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By Olivia Pierson
First published on Insight@theBFD 02/07/2020
Why do people care so much about being called a “racist”?
What is it about the term that gets people so worked up and determined to prove they’re not one?
Why does the term have such a moral hold over people that we consider it much worse than being called an ignoramus, a bitch, a ho, a sod or a selfish bastard?
I just don’t get why people care so much about it.
If the term is levelled at us, why don’t we just shrug and reply, “Fine, call me what you want for it doesn’t make it true of me,” like we do when we’re called other horrid names?
Instead, people defensively retort, “I’m not a racist! How dare you call me that! I have lots of friends from other races – in fact my second-to-last boyfriend was a Raro!”
It reminds me of the 18th Century, when one of the worst slurs to fling at somebody was to call them an “atheist.” To stand accused of not being a Christian was to be anathema to civilisation and decency.
American revolutionary hero Thomas Paine was often accused of being an atheist – especially after he wrote his Deistic book The Age of Reason, which saw him severed as a friend by all his former, respectable compatriots in America, except for Thomas Jefferson. During that time, a Deist was considered to be easily as bad as being an atheist, since it denied the existence of an interventionist God and did not take supernatural miracles literally. To be an atheist meant that others perceived you to be a person of absolutely no virtue or morality.
Thomas Jefferson was known to get quite touchy if people asked him if he were an atheist. It was a question he refused to answer outright as if an honest answer to the wrong person might cast him in a bad light that would shred his reputation. To disparage him as a “vulgar, profligate atheist” was a favoured habit of his Federalist political enemies, especially during elections.
Today, being seen as, or rumoured to be, any kind of racist seems to be the new immoral equivalent of being seen as an atheist in the 18th and early 19th centuries. How a person feels about another race is entirely a matter of private choice and we shouldn’t care too much about it. Anti-discrimination laws are already well and truly on the books and have been for some time, so it’s not as if folks can regularly practise hostile actions that stem from feeling racist against another individual or group.
What is particularly ludicrous at this moment is that the Black Lives Matter movement, which actually is an openly racist identitarian hate-group, scream out in accusation that everyone who doesn’t agree with their claims, their demands and their hate, are racists. They regularly mark these accusations with acts of extreme vandalism toward statuary and private businesses and violence toward real people. Then liberals on both the Left and Right, who are trying so hard to not be seen as racists, get gripped with paranoia and end up completely enthralled to, and kissing the feet of, the loudest racist group that is active in our time. The irony here is just too absurd not to mock.
We shouldn’t care a whit if people call us racists, anymore than we should care if they call us atheists or anything else. Sticks, stones, names, and all that.
If you enjoyed this article, please buy my book "Western Values Defended: A Primer"
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