You know what I don't like? Talking about race. Because, you see, I was raised to be a racist, and I have work that I am doing about that, but I am aware that at any time I could without realizing it say some fucked up shit. So I avoid talking when possible, trying to weed those things out before I open my mouth, because I do not want to be hurtful and I am not graceful enough to walk this tightrope yet. When I contribute anything to something even touching on race, I am prepared with an apology just in case because I know that I do not know in many circumstances. I originally came here as a lurker, in the long long ago when there were still hearts and I was a dedicated Gawkerite, specifically to learn about this stuff.
AND YOU DID TOO GOOD OF A JOB SHOWING ME THESE THINGS, PEOPLE! I wind up calling out stupid bullshit with shocking frequency and I am starting to question the utility of not just punching people in the face without comment. I have never been as goddamned thoughtless as some of the shit that I see. My racism has always been discomfort and extra politeness and words that are patently unacceptable given the last half a century's progress and some mixed-up ideas about causation. But I was also taught that one's own personal tropes don't trump one's obligation to not be impolite. It's down to this: before I started exploring race, I would have shut down my asshole boss talking about the Obamaphone because it was mean-spirited and factually incorrect. Now I do it because that is some racist shit right there, and it is also mean-spirited and factually incorrect. That was a Reagan program.
Either way, I have to go to work tonight with The Joke Teller, and that's a solid eight-hour fight about why we don't tell dirty pussy jokes at work and why it does not matter that the dishwasher's name is Fatima, she is not actually some kind of cleaning machine simply because she is Mexican, and no, all black women do not twerk constantly and you could in fact hire one as a server and trust that her ass would stay unshaken whilst on the clock. It is to the point where I am accidentally hitting him in the groin with fridge doors, because he is quiet for a whole entire minute if he is nursing his balls. And he is not the only one like him that I've run into recently.
If I start punching people in the face for abject stupidity, do I need an actual cape or will you guys bail me out of jail? I am thinking that if I need to claim insanity, I should set myself up for it by pretending that I think I am a superhero. I would like to say that I will simply not punch anyone but I am speaking of a few people that I have met in particular, and I defy any of you to make it ten minutes with one of them without feeling a bit homicidal if you are not a hyper-macho white dude. Even the straight white guys are in for it if they're not Ahnoldy enough.
So I have this question for people who experience these things: Is it getting more blatant, or am I just seeing things with a bit more clarity? Or is it that I'm in a majority-white area and they're comfy? Or is it backlash? I feel as though people are much more "fuck you, it's my opinion" about things like this, and I used to see a lot more "oh, shit, really? my bad." But this could be a function of a lot of things, and I don't know what to ascribe it to, and I have learned to ask a thing if I am wondering because my own logic might be starting from flawed premises.