The interview Don Lemon had with Trump in his office has been gnawing on me. Trump said “he was not a racist” then Lemon said said to Trump he treated him kindly.
In was such a odd exchange. Then it I thought of the late 1980s I had a college teacher who wrote books and articles on HP Lovecraft. He looooved talking about Lovecraft before and after class. He was the only teacher with groupies on campus who signed up just for his classes. Oddly he was not an English teacher.
Anyways the teacher was talking about the racism in Lovecraft’s stories. The teacher described him in some ways a reflection of his times. He said Lovecraft did not see himself as racist towards individual African Americans (teacher used the term black people the phrase African American was rarely used back then) but only racist against the group. The teacher said in literature for that period that thinking was pervasive, racism against groups not individuals. The teacher said that thinking today is bs but in their times it was common.
Well Trump seems a throwback to that era. I suspect Trump believes to be racist you need to be racist and act racist to individuals not the group. Of course its a variation of “I have black friends” which is complete bs. Although I am not sure if that mentality ever went away but just remained dormant and now resurfacing. I suspect Chief Justice Roberts has the exact same world view as Trump.
So when Trump said he was not racist I believe in his mind he is not because to him racism involves individuals not groups. The problem is thats rationalization. When you act racist against a group the individual will definately be affected by it. Trump, Lovecraft et al seem to fail mentally to see the link between individuals and groups.
In many ways its a racism more insidious. Why? Its harder to unlearn. A racist who attacks an individual is easy to call out and explain why its wrong. They know they are racist. But people who would not act racist to an individual but solely have racist feeling, attitudes or put down BLM its harder solely because they believe they are not racist and are offended that they are being accused of it. Teaching them the links between individual amd group is harder in some ways they telling them not to be racist toward an individual. In fact these same people would stand with you calling out the racist who acted racist towards an individual. Yet they do not realize attacking the group affects individuals.
Sadly this thinking seems to be getting more prevalent. Its shifting away from a “I have black friends” defense to “I am not racist to individuals” both are pure bs but the second one is becoming dangerous. It gives permission that its ok to be prejudice with groups.
Wrote way too much.