Has anyone, besides the self-aggrandizing loony fringe, ever actually admitted to being a racist? Nobody ever says, black people are so inferior (or when they are effectively saying this, they have a baroque rationale). Or, ohmygod, you're right, it hadn't occurred to me, I must be a racist. (At least when you accuse someone of being an anti-Semite, you can sometimes sense on their part a moment of self-doubt. Am I?)
When you accuse some of being a racist, they stare you down. You've gone over the line. You're too crude--or else you're a paranoid fantasist. Rush Limbaugh is having a sweet time with this.
Now, someone, in a nation riven by racial fears and animosities and a few hundred years of conflict, must in fact be a racist. But who, beyond a handful of white supremacists?
How is it that racism has been so successfully rejected as a description, precisely by the people it is meant to describe? How can they so stubbornly deny their obvious feelings, and why would they want to?
Confusingly, and helpfully for the racists, the word racism has not changed but the practice has.
We (ie, liberals) say 'racist' in a sense that would still encompass the old South and the structure of apartheid in South Africa.
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