It’s a strange phenomenon of our times.
There are white people posting comments seething with bigotry who quickly reject any suggestion that they are racist.
They are equally quick to say that anyone who challenges them is “playing the race card.”
To help these people, here’s a test to help them figure it out.
First, the qualifying round – if you answer yes to two of these questions, proceed directly to the second round:
* Have you ever said that someone is playing the race card?
* Did you blame African Americans when the Orpheum Theatre decided not to show Gone With the Wind next year?
* Do you get angry at Black Lives Matter protests although you’ve never read its principles?
* Do you think Western civilization is in a fight for its life because of an increase in minority groups and foreigners?
* Would you rather your children did not attend a majority African American school?
* Were you incensed when Hillary Clinton used the term, deplorables, but think Donald Trump is right when he calls protesting NFL players sons of bitches?
* Would you be upset if a black family moves into your neighborhood?
* Do you believe white people are being victimized by the liberal media?
* Do you believe Black Lives Matter has a war against police?
* Do you think there is no such thing as white privilege?
* Do you think that we talk too much about race?
* Have you ever commented that there a lot of African American students at the University of Memphis?
* Have you ever defended yourself by saying some of your friends are black?
* Do you say “political correctness” more than twice a week?
* Have you ever made fun of Kwanzaa?
* Do you think it’s silly that there’s a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday?
* Do you routinely write off movies with black casts?
If you said yes to two or more of the previous questions, you qualify for the following definitive test. If you say yes to two of the following questions, you can quit pretending: there’s no question you are a racist.
* Have you ever complained that there are too many interracial couples in TV ads?
* Do you believe Barack Obama was born in Kenya and/or is a Muslim?
* Have you ever defended Confederate statues by saying they are about heritage and history, not slavery and hate?
* Have you ever laughed at or forwarded a cartoon showing African Americans, especially Michelle Obama, as apelike?
* Did you agree with President Trump’s reaction to the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville?
* Do you read the Daily Stormer or Breitbart or watch InfoWars and believe they are the truth?
* Have you ever taken a DNA test and were relieved you were 99% Caucasian?
* Do you think more African Americans are in poverty because they aren’t willing to work as hard as other races?
* Do you believe that there is no basis for African Americans to complain about police shootings of black people?
* Have you ever said the n-word and justified it by saying some black entertainers have used it?
* Do you think there is no conflict between churches’ teachings and setting up “Christian schools” for white students?
* Do you believe the opioid epidemic demands treatment and empathy, but you called for tougher sentences when there was a crack epidemic?
* Have you ever argued with an African American that they were wrong in saying something was racist?
* Have you said that Grizzlies Coach David Fizdale should shut up and stick to basketball?
* Have you ever decided against attending an event because you thought there would be too many African Americans there?
* Have you ever said that you don’t understand why there can’t be all-white organizations if there are all-black ones?
If you answered yes to two of these questions, give it up. You are certifiably a racist.
Our advice: we’d like to say you should have a “real” conversation with an African American, but we suspect you would find it impossible to actually listen. We hold out only a glimmer of hope that there’s any way to engender in you an ability to see the world through African American eyes.
If that’s too high a hill to climb, you might get acquainted with the message and lessons of Facing History and Ourselves and buy a ticket to its October 23 Benefit Dinner celebrating 25 years in Memphis. The speaker is New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb, who wrote an epic column about Black Lives Matter last year and is always a persuasive and influential voice on race, history, and justice in America.
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