I have a confession to make: I don’t like chocolate. Neither do I like coffee. Chocolate is just “meh”; but I loathe coffee in any form. (I jokingly call this coffee revulsion my “superpower”: I’m able to detect a single molecule of the hated flavor in any food or drink.) I understand there’s a scientific connection between the aversions to these two flavors, something about a genetically predisposed sensitivity to 6-n-propylthiouracil.
But now, it seems, this aversions means I’m a white supremacist. The two substances I dislike are dark, ergo I’m a racist. Forget the taste-bud theory. Chuck any actual science out the window. The real reason I hate coffee and dislike chocolate is because I’m responding negatively to people with high melanin content in their skin. Or something like that. (I also detest beer, which may also be related to that 6-n-propylthiouracil sensitivity, but no one accuses me of hating Germans because of it.)
These kinds of absurd, illogical conclusions are just food for thought these days, when drinking milk will get you labeled as a bigot and peanut butter sandwiches are the height of cultural insensitivity. Innocent words which have been part of the English language for years are now racist. Use the term “black hole” in the context of scientific phenomenon and you must automatically hate black people or something. Say the word “niggardly” (derived from the Old Norse verb “nigla,” which means to fuss about small matters) and you’re out of a job. And heaven help you if you like angel food cake but not devil’s food cake. Forget that sensitivity to 6-n-propylthiouracil, you’re clearly a racist.
Enjoying ethnic food is equally wrong since it’s cultural appropriation, so patronizing Chinese or Mexican restaurants is symbolic of systematic oppression. (“The dominant culture can try the food and love the food without ever having to experience oppression because of their consumption. … Food is appropriated when people from the dominant culture – in the case of the U.S., white folks – start to fetishize or commercialize it, and when they hoard access to that particular food.”) College campus dining halls must walk a particularly fine line since snowflake students are so easily triggered by offensive menu items.
Milk is the latest indicator of white supremacy, since apparently there is a genetic trait more common in Caucasians which allows them the ability to digest lactose as adults. Therefore, drinking and enjoying milk is a symbol of oppression against everyone else the world over. Let’s see, how far can we take this? What about the many cultures (East African, Tibetan, etc.) which have milk as a traditional part of their diet? People have milked cows, goats, sheep, horses, camels, yaks, reindeer, and just about any other domestic animal that lactates. But milk is white, therefore to drink it is to drink up the racism it implies. And cheese? Must be racist too, since it’s made from milk.
In today’s America, with few exceptions (and yes, obviously those exceptions exist), most people don’t believe skin color determines intelligence, social skills, kindness, generosity, compassion and other human qualities.
But that’s not good enough for the left. In the hysterical frenzy to discredit any and all people on the right side of the spectrum, they fall back to their most powerful fail-safe tool: the accusation of racism. Scientific facts about food preferences or lactose tolerance don’t cut the mustard when there’s an agenda to support, and that agenda includes labeling anyone and everyone (on the right) as white supremacists, even when they’re black.
Racism – and just about every other “ism” the left throws around – is just a filler, a default term when they can’t think of any other insult to lob. The accusation has historically been useful because it’s impossible to prove a negative. “The number of card-carrying white supremacists in the U.S. would not fill a football stadium,” notes Lionel Shriver in the Spectator. “The ramping up of opprobrium suggests that plain old ‘racist’ is losing its punch. As leftists compete with each other over who’s more righteous, many folks tarred as prejudiced these days are the comparatively open-minded.”
Mr. Shriver admits the slander of racism is now water off a duck’s back: “We’re well on our way to the label becoming a perverse badge of pride; if you’re outside the far-left faithful, your first charge of racism constitutes a losing of your political cherry, inoculating against any further sense of injury. This commonplace code for ‘not one of us’ is morphing into a meaningless playground taunt, just as forgettable as ‘stupid.'”
At this time of year, Halloween costumes are in the crosshairs of racist accusations. Columnists Brent Bozell and Tim Graham at Townhall mention CNN analyst Kirsten Powers as one of those “obnoxious people” who sees racism where none exists. She tweeted: “Dear white people who are upset that you can’t dress up as another race or culture for Halloween: your feelings don’t matter. The only feelings that matter are of those who feel disrespected/mocked by you appropriating their culture for entertainment. Show some common decency.”
The accusation of racism is classic projection. Just because you interpret something as racist, doesn’t mean racism exists. It’s all in your head. Progressives know good and well these ugly charges are false; but it’s such a convenient term, don’t you know, covering a multitude of circumstances and very hard to refute. It’s the most powerful tool liberals have. They wield it like a club, smashing down all opposition, because it’s effectually undeniable, along the lines of “Have you stopped beating your wife yet, yes or no?” After all, how does anyone “prove” he isn’t a racist?
It’s a classic Saul Alinsky tactic: if you’re busy defending yourself, you can’t go after the other side. Another honorable strategy is to accuse the opposite side of that with which you are guilty.
But here’s the thing: It’s not working any more. Like Chicken Little’s “The sky is falling!” or the little boy crying wolf, it’s a lie that’s losing its effectiveness. The vast majority of Americans aren’t racist, but they are getting sick and tired of being called such. Like any overused epithet, liberals are applying the sledgehammer of “racism” across so many absurd situations and examples that everyone is shrugging their shoulders and saying, “Sure, whatever.”
I know this is a weary cliché, but it can hardly be improved: If everything is racist, nothing is racist. If you accuse someone of being a white supremacist for enjoying a healthful beverage (milk) stretching back thousands of years in virtually every culture on the planet, then you’re just being stupid.
But hey, we knew that anyway, didn’t we?