Some of my favorite points:
"There's been a lot of talk these last couple of weeks about "hipster racism" or "ironic racism"—or, as I like to call it, racism."
"...the domain of educated, middle-class white people...who believe that not wanting to be racist makes it okay for them to be totally racist. "But I went to college — I can't be racist!""
"Modern racism lives in entrenched de facto inequalities, in coded language about "work ethic" and "states' rights," in silent negative spaces like absence and invisibility...And in irony."
"...we are all kind of bizarrely cavalier and careless these days, throwing our most deeply-considered morals under the bus for the sake of a few cheap jokes."
"Ummm, I'm a Writer and I'm Trying to Write in Here!"
This is Lesley Arfin crowing about the majestic power of the n-word, and white kids whining that it's "unfair" that black people "get" to use "it". You know, because words are powerful and words are Arfin's craft and would you take the color red away from the best painter on Twitter??? And besides, don't you just find Arfin to be so RAW and DELICIOUSLY NAUGHTY? It's all tied up with the deliberately obtuse people who conflate "freedom of speech" with "immunity from criticism." You "can" say the n-word. Go ahead and say it if you want, Skrillex. And I will go ahead and give you the world's most sidewaysiest eyeball forever. Because it hurts people. Why do you want to hurt people?
"No, don't you see? I'm just showing how I'm so down with [minority group] that it's totally cool for me to make jokes at their expense. Because we are just that kind of tight bros now."
No. You cannot unlock some secret double-not-racist achievement by just being regular racist. Otherwise Bill O'Reilly would be president of the NAACP.
"But it's a JOOOOOKE."
...People in positions of power simply cannot make jokes at the expense of the powerless. That's why, at a company party, you never have a roast where the CEO is roasting the janitor ("Isn't it funny how Steve can barely feed his family? This guy knows what I'm talking about!" [points to other janitor]). Because that would be GROSS, and both janitors would have to work late to clean up everyone's barf. Open-mic comedians, I know you think you're part of some fresh vanguard in alternative comedy who just discovered that a lot of black ladies don't like it when you touch their hair, but pleeeeeeease just stick to stuff about how your stupid girlfriend is a bitch. (Just kidding. Please never speak again.)
"Yeah, but we have a black president! Isn't racism over?"
N. Jerin Arifa
National NOW Board of Directors
National NOW Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force, Chair
National Organization for Women (NOW)
The National Organization for Women is the nation's largest organization working to advance women's rights and improve women's lives.
Bella Abzug Leadership Institute