Monthly Archives: March 2018

How Steve Bannon Perverts Racist Tropes

Commenter on Metafilter:

“A mix of concerted efforts and accidental activism have chipped away at the definition of racism for some time. These attacks narrowed the definition from “the historically rooted pattern of social stratification and exploitation rooted in race” to “mean people.” They have belittled the consequences of racial violence and focused cultural attentions on small slights to one’s identity.

“That said, what Bannon is doing here, and neo-Nazi’s all over have been doing globally, is different still. They are extending the popular tropes that suggest claims of racism are really rooted in ‘excess sensitivity’ and ‘weakness.’ And that extension says, ‘See. To be called a racist ONLY means that you are angering the sensitive and the weak. That’s all racism really is!’

“This perversion of our moral compass is not just nauseating. It is dangerous. It is how we lose the moral authority to name racism for what it is.

“Importantly, the solution is not to stop calling things racist (lest the word lose its meaning). The solution is to insist on the right definition. And to pair the murderous rhetoric these ideologues use with their historic consequences. This stuff is not just politics. It’s not a joke. This stuff kills whole groups and generations of people. Just because it’s not happening yet, doesn’t mean it’s not the same as before.”

Full comment in context.

Photo from this CNN article.