Friday, May 17, 2013

The Boys (and Girls) Who Cried Racist

In the very off chance that you don't know the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, I'll give you a brief rundown.

A long time ago, before cars and iphones, there was a boy who lived in a small village who tended the sheep for his family. One day, bored and lonely, the boy yelled, "Wolf! Wolf!"
The townsfolk came running out to the field to save the boy from the carnivorous beast. But there was no wolf. The boy had lied. The townsfolk were annoyed.
The next week, the boy yelled, "Wolf!" again. Again the townspeople came running out to the field. But again the boy had lied. The people were angry.
The next week the boy did it again. Only half the townspeople came out this time, and they were angry again.
The next week the boy did it again. Only his family ran out to the field this time.
The next week he did it again. Only his mom came out to help him from the fictitious wolf.
The next week, an actual wolf showed up in the field. As it charged at, attacked, and drug the boy away, his screams of "Wolf! Wolf!" were ignored by all.

When Barack Obama became president, the word "racist" suddenly became the most used word in the English language. (Well maybe, like, second. To the word "like.")
Anytime someone criticized anything Obama said or did they were accused of being racist. If you didn't think a community organizer had the qualifications to be president; you were racist. If you didn't think Obamacare was a good idea; you were racist. If you didn't think the murder of four Americans was because of an Internet video; you were racist.
It went from the obscure, to the main stream, to the surreal. Chris Matthews declared the words "Chicago" and "urban" to be racist. Multiply nouns of every size, shape, and definition suddenly became "racist." Words that had been used in a non-racist way for hundreds of years suddenly became "racist."

Now I went to a school in an inner city Pennsylvania town. I had friends of every race, creed, denomination, and disposition. Racism, to me, is one of the stupidest things on the planet. Judging someone based on a purely physical characteristic that they had nothing to do with (People don't choose what color they're born as. If so, I wouldn't be pasty white) is completely asanine. So to suddenly be called racist for my political beliefs, or hatred of Chicago style pizza (Seriously, toppings go on the OUTSIDE of the pizza. That's why they're toppings, and not innings) upset me. I was incredulous that believing the Constitution should be followed was racist. I was distraught that believing Marxism would only lead to tyranny was racist. I was angry that believing the death of Osama bin Laden should be credited more to the Navy Seals that actually did the killing than to a president who sat comfortably drinking bottled water on the other side of the world was racist.

When someone said my beliefs were racist, I reacted. I read the articles, listened to the newscasters. I didn't wanna be called racist, because I'm not racist.
Five years later....and the word "racist" has as much meaning to me as the word "wolf" did to everyone in that town. I saw a headline today declaring that criticism of President Obama has its roots in White Supremecy. I didn't even bother to read the article. The word "racist" has no effect for me anymore. And it has no effect anymore for millions of Americans who used to hate being called racist because they weren't. Now it's just a sad, pathetic exclamation for people who have no other ways to protect their sad, pathetic ideas. The boy who cried wolf was destroyed by his lie. And the credibility of the boys and girls who cry racist is being destroyed by their idiocy. So go ahead and call us racist. Because the more you do, the less people will pay attention to you.

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