No post-racial society for you

Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed.

So says the jezebel.com headline.  I don’t know the book, probably wouldn’t have really cared about the movie, but then there are tweets like this.

Tweets like this are causing a lot of traffic, anger, commentary, WTF? moments, etc. Rightfully so. As one person I know put it: “The extreme amount some people suck continues to amaze me.” But, they don’t seem to be occasional idiocies, by just a few people. The jezebel.com article:

“The posts go on and on and on. It’s not just a coupe of tweets, it’s not just a coincidence. There’s an underlying rage, coming out as overt prejudice and plain old racism. Sternberg is called a “black bitch,” a “nigger” and one person writes that though he pictured Rue with “darker skin,” he “didn’t really take it all the way to black.” It’s as if that is the worst possible thing a person could be.”

At times like these, I’m always reminded of Derrick Bell’s proposition about racism in the US, in his book, Faces at the Bottom of the Well:

“Black people will never gain full equality in this country. Even those herculean efforts we hail as successful will produce no more than temporary “peaks of progress,” short-lived victories that slide into irrelevance as racial patterns adapt in ways that maintain white dominance. This is a hard-to-accept fact that all history verifies. We must acknowledge it, not as a sign of submission, but as an act of ultimate defiance.”

Further outlined in this article “Is Racism Permanent?

The answer, of course, is yes.

But, it really shouldn’t be that surprising, should it? OK, some of us feel that we’ve been working to get past this, haven’t we? Surely we’ve conquered this, haven’t we? Sure, racism is all institutionally/systemic, but this overt racism? Surely that’s not happening so much any more, is it? For others (i.e. those subject to the hate), the reality is far from our idyllic aspirations.

There’s much to chew on about this topic out there. How about from 2009?

The Guardian had a recent article that is worth a read: Twitter racism: how the law is taking on the ‘Twacists’:

“But they do involve abuse that might otherwise not have been broadcast beyond the confines of a living room or pub. Commenting after Cryer’s conviction, Wendy Williams, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the north-east, said: “In recent months we have seen a number of similar cases in the north-east, in which people have been racially abused through social networking sites.

“Ironically, the strongest evidence in each of these cases has been directly provided by the defendants themselves. When a person makes such comments digitally, they effectively hand police and prosecutors much of the evidence needed to build a robust case against them.”

The upside? We see the statements and can deal with them. The downside? People feel it’s fine to make them.

And, that, well that seems problematic.

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marco

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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