My favorite racism denier is the one who says "How can America be racist? Obama was elected!" First, if it had been up to white people he WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN. Most whites were more comfortable w/ Palin possibly becoming president than Obama...
...which frankly tells you all you need to know about white Americans: we have an easier time seeing excellence and ability in a thoroughly mediocre, barely-educated white person, than a high achieving, highly-educated Black person. There's a word for that...(2)
Actually, I'm not saying everyone who voted against Obama did so for racist reasons. But by the logic of those who deny racism by pointing to his victory that IS what one should conclude. If a vote for him = evidence of non-racism, then a vote against him = the opposite (3)...
Fact is, it isn't hard for white folks w/ racist views about most Black people, communities & culture, to find "exceptions" to the rule. So white people voting for the Black guy, if they view him as "different" than most Black folk is proof of racism, not a refutation of it (4)..
And that is how many Obama voters felt. A poll taken a few months before the 08 election found that a sizable % of whites who expressed racist views about Black people generally (their "values," culture, "behavior" etc) said they intended to vote for Obama anyway...(5)
In other words, they viewed him as different from "normal" Black people. But that means those whites ARE racist in their perceptions of Blackness writ large. Carving out exceptions for your own personal, political Cliff Huxtable doesn't change that...

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More from @timjacobwise

11 Jun
Folks who say it's racist to claim whites have privilege in America fascinate me. Would it have been racist to say that in 1950? 1850? If If not, then it can't be racist now either. It can be true or false -- a sociological debate -- but not prejudicial...
Claims about whites being advantaged in the labor market, justice system, housing, etc are not claims about white folks' character, or anything inherent to us. And it is only arguments like that which could constitute racial bias. They are assessments of social reality...(2)...
If you think those assessments are wrong, fine, we can debate that. But if you are someone who then argues "no, it's not white privilege but Black culture/family dysfunction, or even genes" that explain racial inequity, you're in no position to call OUR side the racist one (3)...
Read 7 tweets
10 Jun
Bryan Kilmeade ranted yesterday that antiracists are trying to "take down white culture." Please, what is that, exactly? What is white culture, historically? Be specific. Not European culture -- pay attention to what I asked -- but white culture. I'd really like to know...
Bc if you know the history of the concept of the white race you know it was ONLY created for one reason. Not bc it had real historical meaning. But bc whiteness became the banner to unite ALL Europeans, no matter how poor, against enslaved Blacks and indigenous peoples...(2)
Which means "taking down whiteness" is an eminently reasonable thing to do. Whiteness has no inherently valuable meaning. European culture does (as with all cultures), but we weren't white in Europe. To preserve whiteness is to preserve a system of inequity and nothing else...(3)
Read 4 tweets
9 Jun
My second favorite kind of racism denier is the one who says "but look at all the progress we've made" as a country, but then says we need to "MAGA" (so, they don't think we really needed all that progress after all, apparently)...(1)
...and also forgets that that progress happened no thanks to people like them. The "conservatives" of the segregation and enslavement eras were pro-seg and pro-slavery. Conservatives prioritize maintaining tradition and existing order. Progressives seek to upend it...(2)
Literally, zero movement conservatives supported the civil rights struggle in the 60s. They hated King and his associates. So to brag about progress that wouldn't have happened had it been left up to people like you is a special kind of chutzpah...(3)
Read 9 tweets
7 Jun
Some white folks on the left are so into being edgy and outsider-ish for its own sake, that they will reflexively repel from whatever the dominant progressive discourse is at the time just to seem iconoclastic...(1)
So if the dominant strain of progressive/left movement activity is around racial justice, they'll attack it as identity politics. This isn't bc they're racists. I mean, some might be, but generally, that's a lazy explanation. The truth is worse (2)...
For instance, Glenn Greenwald, if he had been doing his thing in 1990 when David Duke was running for the US Senate and nearly winning, he'd have been that guy who was like "it's so easy to bash a Nazi. The REAL issue is his Dem opponent who's in bed with the oil industry!" (3)..
Read 14 tweets
4 Jun
Those who quote MLK's content of character line to oppose affirmative action (tho he supported it) are the same who rationalize stop & frisk & racial profiling by referencing aggregate crime data. They judge Black folk on what they think Blackness means, not personal character...
They are nothing but frauds and hypocrites. They believe in judging Blackness -- people, communities, families, culture -- based on stereotypes and false generalities. They just don't like people pointing out sociological truth about white advantage and racism...
They are incapable of arguing against charges of systemic racism w/o devolving into anti-Blackness: critiques of Black family structure, Black cultural norms (or at least what they think to be such norms). Yet they accuse antiracists of judging people based on group identity...
Read 4 tweets
2 Jun
People rarely think about all the ways that "race-neutral" normal, everyday policies and practices perpetuate and help deepen racial disparities in this country. But they should. Because this too is a large part of what we mean by systemic racism

A thread
When people hear the term "systemic racism" they think those using it mean that every institution is teeming with bigots just waiting to harm Black people or other POC. But that isn't what is meant by the term...(2)
Indeed, some of the most important drivers of systemic racism are not deliberate or intentional at all. Not to say there aren't such intentional elements, but they aren't necessary for racial inequity (and thus racism at a systemic level) to become sedimented...(3)
Read 50 tweets

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