PRETTY much everything is racist now; especially you.
Over the weekend I read published articles stating:
- Chess is racist because white always goes first
- Church statues are racist because they depict Jesus as white
- Cartoons are racist because black characters are voiced by white actors
- Coronavirus is racist because it has a disproportionate effect on blacks
- Skin care is racist because whitening products encourage people not to be black
- Finding black people attractive is racist because it is evidence of “racial fettish”
- Not finding black people attractive is racist because white supremacism prevents you from imagining that they might be attractive
- Climate change is racist because it affects people in majority black population countries most
- Eskimo pies are racist because Eskimos
- Biological sex is racist because it reflects white people’s desire to categorise everything
- Air pollution is racist because minorities breathe in air pollution caused mostly by whites
- Trying not to be racist is racist because if you weren’t racist you wouldn’t have to try not to be
- Dogs can be racist because they pick up biases from white owners
- Fighting obesity is racist because it ignores unique health challenges faced by African American women
- Toy Story 4 is racist because the main toys are Caucasian.
On July 7 CNN helpfully published a list of “Everyday Words and Phrases that Have Racist Connotations”.
The article warned “many racist words and phrases are so entrenched that we don’t think twice about using them”.
Well there I was, playing Chess whilst eating an Eskimo pie as my kids patted a racist dog and watched Toy Story 4. And as if that wasn’t peak racism, I was likely using racist words and phrases without even realising, so entrenched is racism in my darkened heart. (I mean no offence by the term darkened”)
So you can imagine my eagerness to know what racist words and phrases I had been inadvertently using.
First off the list was the phrase “Master Bedroom”
The CNN article, which took two correspondents to write, said: “While it’s unclear whether the term is rooted in American slavery on plantations, it evokes that history.”
Right. So it’s not actually a racist term. But it evokes history.
The next item on CNN’s list of racist words and phrases was “Master/Slave” – terms used in computer programming.
CNN’s reporters wrote: “Though the origins of those terms don’t appear to be directly connected to race, some argue that they reinforce notions that black=bad and white=good.
So it’s actually nothing to do with race, but “some argue”. Who argues? CNN don’t say.
Next on the list was famed golf tournament, “The Masters”.
CNN reported: “The name appears to have been a reference to golfers with great skills, but its connotations have brought the name under scrutiny.”
Are you sensing a pattern here? The name is not racist at all … but (drum roll) “connotations”.
The CNN article goes on to say: “Sportswriter Rob Parker recently called on the tournament to change its name. Parker argues the name evokes slave masters in the US South.”
So these “connotations” were concocted by Rob Parker.
This is the same African American Rob Parker who was suspended from his role at ESPN in 2012 when he argued that a black Washington Redskins player was not a real black man because he was engaged to a white woman.
CNN’s next example of racist speech that you and I engage in without a second thought – important because there is no-one so racist as the one who is completely oblivious to his racism – is the phrase “Black Mark”; as in “there was a black mark against his name”.
And you guessed it, CNN admit that “black mark” is not actually a racist phrase.
“The phrase didn’t originate in times of slavery, but the use of “black” to describe things that are wrong is subconsciously racialised,” the article said.
“Black has connoted evil and disgrace, while white has connoted decency and purity. Those colours and their connotations may well reinforce social norms pertaining to those groups of people.”
You know who has a problem with racism?
The people who have a racism problem are the people at CNN who can’t engage in a normal conversation without “connotations” because, unlike you and I, they see race everywhere.
You have to wonder about a media organisation that pays two journalists to come up with a list of everyday words that are not racist – but that could possibly, subconsciously have connotations of racism – in order to prove how racist you are.
You’re not racist. You’re just hated by CNN.
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James Macpherson is a sought after international speaker with a background in journalism at the Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph. He previously pastored a significant church in Australia and South Africa. James' weekly Good Sauce podcast comes out every Tuesday. He also writes regularly for Caldron Pool & The Spectator.