1/ #Racism- and #Sexism-by-Proxy … a thread:

A while back, my usually-progressive son said it was wrong to give children 'black' names like LaShawn or LaTonya.

"There's so much racism," he said. "Their resumes and other applications will be rejected because of their names."
2/ I said this was a classic example of racism-by-proxy: "I'M not racist, but OTHER PEOPLE are … and we should all cater to them."

"But I'm just being realistic!" he countered. "Racists won't change, so black parents should give their kids race-neutral names."
3/ I said racists won't change if we never challenge their racism.

"If we accept racism as an immutable fact and act as if we must all adapt our lives to fit their biases," I said, "we help perpetuate racism. We practice racism-by-proxy."
4/ Yes, studies have found that resumes and applications with 'black' names are more likely to be rejected. The solution is to confront racists who reject 'black' names … not to tell black parents to choose race-neutral names in order to accommodate racists.
5/ #JoeBiden stepped in that with his comments about busing. Yes, it caused protests … from white people who didn't want black kids in their schools. The solution is to confront their racism, not to accommodate it by calling busing "an asinine policy."
6/ Then he doubled down by saying he opposed "involuntary" busing. As if black kids were protesting being sent to white schools … rather than being protested by white racists who didn't want black kids in 'their' schools.
7/ Indeed #Biden's entire paean about "being able to work with" white racists in the Senate is a case study in racism-by-proxy. He may believe he could "work with" them because he's so charming. But Barack Obama was charming too.
8/ If it's true that #Biden could "work with" Senate Republican leaders - and I doubt that - it would be because of *their shared whiteness*.

So his unstated - and perhaps un-self-examined - argument is racism-by-proxy: "I'M not racist, but THEY are …
9/ "… and they'll only work with a white guy like me. So if you want to 'get things done,' elect a white guy like me."

Note: I don't think #Biden consciously thinks that. He doesn't *need* to think about it … and that's one way #WhitePrivilege protects itself.
10/ @BretStephensNYT stepped into the same pile with his column about the #DemDebates. He argued that 'average voters' would be furious that Dem candidates spoke about protecting and helping 'Them,' not 'Us.'
11/ When challenged, Stephens insisted that wasn't *his own* view. He said he was explaining how those 'average voters' who 'voted for Obama and then Trump' think.

Again, racism-by-proxy: "I'M not racist … but THEY are and we must cater to them."
12/ Aside: Obama-to-Trump voters are not "average" in any meaningful sense. They are - at most! - 6% of the electorate. And they are hardly "forgotten," as Paul Ryan claimed last week. Hardly a day passes without the NYT or CNN interviewing those "forgotten" white voters.
13/ So, who *did* call out the racism in 2016?

@HillaryClinton did, with her "basket of deplorables" remark … and the response was swift and furious. How dare she "insult the voters?"

Because, again, racism-by-proxy assumes racism is immutable and we must cater to it.
14/ The same applies to #Sexism-by-proxy. You see it in oft-regurgitated columns about 'Is America ready for a woman president?'

As if voter sexism is an immutable - or at best glacial - force that cannot be challenged and thus must be accommodated …
15/ … by continuing to elect men.

"I'M not sexist," the pundits say (or would if pressed), "but MANY VOTERS are and Dems need to accept that."

Like my son, years ago, they're "just being realistic."
16/ But here's the thing:

Racism- and sexism-by-proxy are, indeed, racism and sexism.

Arguing that we must cater to racists … is racist.

Arguing that we must cater to sexists … is sexist.
17/ It's not "just being realistic."

It's telling POC and women that racism and sexism are immutable - or at best glacial - forces … rather than personal-cultural-structural choices and policies.
18/ It says we must not call out racist or sexist words and actions. We must not say people or institutions are racist or sexist. We must not challenge or trigger them.

It says we must meekly accept their bigotry … unless and until they choose to change … somehow, someday.
19/ And, crucially, racism- and sexism-by-proxy center white men in deciding what is or is not racist or sexist. Until and unless all white men agree that something is racist/sexist … we're all being "too sensitive" or "playing the race/gender card."
20/ Well, no.

Racism- and sexism-by-proxy are, indeed, racism and sexism.

Yes, #JoeBiden's comments were racist.

Yes, @BretStephensNYT column was racist.

Yes, the 'Is America ready for a woman president' meme is sexist.

And Dems are right to call that out. (End of thread)
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Crissie Brown 🏳️‍🌈
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!