On the 11th of July, the strained and puritanical tone (even though tabloid in style) of the British online news outlet, Metro, went one step further in its fight against the politically incorrect. (In an article called 'Mixing up people of the same race isn’t cute or funny, it’s racist'.) What we had was a pious and simplified piece of Critical Race Theory for the public's consumption. Clearly Metro sees “casual racism” (or “microaggression”) as one of the worst crimes on earth.
Metro (or Ashitha Nagesh) tells us:
“On Monday a national newspaper, the Herald in Ireland, published a story about Romelu Lukaku – a Premier League football star who just got signed to Manchester United for millions of pounds. But instead of a photo of Lukaku, the paper used a massive photograph of Stormzy – who, for anyone who didn’t know, is a grime star, and not a footballer.”
The other sin is to find this mix-up a joke. After all, racism is no joke.
From her pulpit, Ashitha Nagesh tells us that “[m]ixing up people of the same race isn't cute or funny, it's racist”. (I though that Left and the Liberal-Left didn't believe in the existence of races.)
Yes, “it's racist”! In other words, it's a fact that it's racist. Yet there often aren't any genuine facts when it comes to what is (or what isn't) racist. Thus racism is often – though not always – in the eye of beholder.
Ashitha Nagesh also gets personal (after all, “the personal is the political”) when she writes:
“For as long as I can remember I’ve been constantly mixed up with other brown people who happen to be in the same place or doing the same thing, or have had people call me by a totally random other name and expect it to be okay.”
We can't help getting other people mixed up. It's not a sin to do so. If people are unfamiliar with a particular race, then there's more chance that they'll get people of that race mixed up. Chinese and Japanese people often find it difficult to make distinctions between white Europeans. Older Muslims in England, for example, often get the few whites they know mixed up.
Ashitha Nagesh's anti-racist puritanism gets even more extreme when she castigates her former lecturers for pronouncing her name incorrectly. This too (surprise, surprise) is racist. She writes:
“At my graduation, the dean at my university seemed to have a weird brain malfunction upon seeing my ethnic name and announced me as ‘Rashreetri Nragreeshri’, despite making us all spell our names out phonetically before the ceremony.”
All the above isn't just plain racism. It's more about the buzzword: “casual racism” (or, technically/theoretically, “microaggression”). One's first impression of the term “casual racism” is that it must be minor (or insubstantial) racism. However, according to Critical Race Theorists, that's not true. The reason is that if the racism is indeed casual, then that makes it worse than explicit - or intentional - racism. In other words, non-intentional racism is deemed to be worse than intentional racism. And that's why jokes which involve blacks - and Anne Marie Morris's “nigger in the woodpile” - have been pounced upon by the anti-racist vice police. (I wonder if Ashitha Nagesh picked up all this theory when she studied at the Univerisity of London, where this kind of thing is rife.)
Ashitha Nagesh cites another example of casual racism (or microaggression) when she writes:
“For example, when Sir Lenny Henry was knighted in 2015 for, ironically, his services to diversity in the media, ITV News broadcast his achievement with a clip of Ainsley Harriott.”
Nonetheless, “ITV apologised almost immediately afterwards”. That didn't matter because “the damage was done”. What “damage” was that, exactly?
Now everyone has experienced exactly the same thing with white people. I've seen and heard different white people being mixed up with each other on TV and in print. But that wasn't racist because they were white! That's how anti-racism often works. Many anti-racists look for racism 24/7. Not surprisingly, they also find a lot of racism. That's the job – sometimes literally the job! – of many anti-racists.
Here's another example from Metro:
“And in January, the Guardian illustrated its front page interview with rappers Rae Sremmurd with a photo of two completely different rappers, Bre-Z and Gizzle.”
Nonetheless, a “correction was later printed, and the proper photo used online”. Despite that, “people were still left wondering how such a huge mistake could be made”. Really? A “huge mistake”? Is Ashitha Nagesh being serious here? Or is she competing for the prize of Supreme Anti-racist?
This might have happened simply because there are so many black rappers on the scene! But, as I said, because these rappers are black, then the mistake must have been because of casual racism.
Ashitha Nagesh finishes off with some more Critical Race Theory. She writes:
“It’s as though our names, our identities, just aren’t important enough to remember – regardless of who we are or what we’ve achieved.”
No; it's because people make mistakes. The difference is that white people aren't allowed to make mistakes when it comes to blacks and Asians like Ashitha Nagesh. Sure, there might have been (some) racism involved in all the examples she cites. However, there's absolutely no concrete evidence that there was any.
The alleged racism comes straight out of Critical Race Theory. In other words, CRT makes non-racist actions and non-racist words racist. The theories themselves transform one thing into another thing. Thus, in the process, CRT also achieves its primary goal - “progressive political change”. Anti-racism is a “progressive” weapon in the armoury of Critical Race Theorists. It's designed to bring about radical changes to society.
All this is similar to the case against joking about people who happen to be black. However, it's mainly the case that jokes which involve blacks aren't racist. Despite that, the very fact that the joke involves a black person and it's meant to be funny means that it simply must be racist. For white people to show black people in comedic contexts is to be racist. Unless, of course, it's black people themselves who're involved in the comedy (or joke) or the comedy (or joke) is entirely positive.
There's also the very recent case of the British MP Anne Marie Morris and her “nigger in the woodpile”. These cases are also deemed to be racist by the anti-racist vice police. But they aren't deemed racist by the majority of people. Not even by many blacks.
In order for something to be racist, the accused must see his acts or words to be racist (even if he doesn't class himself that way). The racist acts or words must be motivated by a clear hatred of a particular race. Sure, some racists deny being racists. (There's no denying that.) Though it's still the case that if a person hasn't deliberately singled out a person because of his/her race, then his intent can't be racist. Of course Critical Race Theory doesn't care about intent. It cares about the definitions of racism which it has supplied to literally thousands of students, lawyers and academics. Racist words and acts are deemed racist by stipulation. By fiat.
Thus Critical Race Theory and its theories of race and racism are but means to bring about radical/progressive political change.
Viva la revolution! Viva la anti-racism!