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What's the dumbest -ist argument you've ever heard?

I was on my way to a meeting this morning when I ran into a former volunteer for my department, Cindy*. I hadn't seen her in a while, but I remembered that she had started working for a partner organization (where my meeting was). We nodded at each other as we passed in the hall, and as I continued on my merry way a particular memory of her popped into my head.

It was the time Cindy told me that reverse racism is the worst racism.

She actually said those words, guys. Like FOR REAL.

Let's rewind. I work for an organization that provides services to various marginalized groups. While my department does not serve ethnic minorities specifically, the organization has a very diverse staff, and many of its programs do. Back when Cindy was volunteering with us a few years ago, she and my coworker Gina* didn't get along super well, because Cindy sometimes said things that were a little... off. One day, she made a comment about how it was weird that Gina's parents had named her such a white name, considering that they're both Indian. This comment obviously didn't sit too well with Gina. Cindy could tell Gina was upset, and sort of apologized at the time (a nonpology, really). A few days later, when Cindy was volunteering and Gina was out of the office, Cindy brought up the incident. After telling me about their conversation she said, "I think Gina thinks I'm racist, but it wasn't a bad question! It was about culture, not race. And when you're white, people always think you're racist, which isn't fair. It's reverse racism. Reverse racism is the worst kind of racism."


OMG, people. My jaw hit the floor. I am ashamed of it now, but I couldn't even respond. Words just completely failed me. I think I made a noise like "Eulosdngfdfioweijfsd" before going back to my work. Gina and I failed to call Cindy back to schedule her for another shift.

If that isn't the dumbest racist argument I've ever heard, it's at least in the top 5. And thinking about it got me wondering... What's the dumbest racist/sexist/ableist/homophobic/etc. argument you've ever heard, GT?

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