When you are out and about being racist and someone calls you on it is important to have a diversion tactic handy. This will redirect the conversation and avoid the personal hurt of being called a racist. The following is a guide to some of these tactics and when to use them.
- But I have _____ friends – This one is old school using it straight out is unlikely to be effective. Jon Kay has tried a version of the inverse “some of my worst enemies are white” with limited effectiveness. If you have someone in your family with a white saviour complex “I have a nephew or niece” may be the best way to work this tactic.
- We just have different opinions – This approach is used when you’ve said something flat out horrible. One way of phrasing this is “it’s a free country” although that may make you feel like you are a child throwing a tantrum at being punished for taking a crayon someone else had momentarily put down. One can also get into a philosophical debate over the nature of fact and opinion. If you’ve got any new age post-modern tendencies you can talk about how there is no such thing as facts or a singular worldview. Since your worldview sees other people as evil you’ll want to just brush over that part of it.
- Talk about emotions and politeness – When you are racist to other people they are likely to respond with emotion, you did after all insult them and insinuate they were subhuman. Insisting on a tone for the conversation allows you to deflect whilst telling the person you are abusing they cannot respond to you in the way they want achieving double racism.
- Diverse cultures – This move is perhaps the worst used. Often people just blurt out the words multicultural society or melt pot when accused of racism. This tactic when done properly is a contextualized version of “we all have opinions” insisting that the diversity of our country is completely outside a history of colonialism. Often these words get misused and diverse simply means not white, as in “the Jamaican men’s track team is very diverse.” Another misuse is “there are some multicultural people over in that corner, what a diverse group we have.” Similarly one time this author was in a group with two multiculturals, a diversity and a jerk who described the group as such.
- Point to ‘spokespeople’ – One of the cool tricks white governments have is to pay certain malleable non-white individuals as spokespeople. Their role is to say racist things so white people feel okay with it. If you are going to be racist it isn’t important to know the names of any people in the group you’re maligning except these spokespeople. Going after Muslims, know Tarek Fatah attacking women know Anne Coulter, slagging indigenous folks, know Senator Brazeau. The basis of this deflection tactic is that everyone from the group you assaulting is the same so watch out for backlash on that front.
- But I know all about you/them – If you are lucky you may momentarily be able to deflect with your prior indulgence in poverty tourism. This basis of this tactic is simple: you have seen the people you are talking about, ergo what you are saying is based in fact and not tempered by the racial assumptions you brought to your encounter. To get maximum time on this deflection tactic tell a really specific story about said group which you can then extrapolate well beyond its logical limits.
- We are all immigrants – This argument is used almost solely against first nations. It attempts to challenge the “here-firstedness” of indigenous people when “here-firstedness” is a central tenant of white law. To attempt to delegitimize claims is based on anthropological claims that people in North America came here pre-whiteness from Siberia. It becomes a diversionary tactic because it ignores the elements from the same theoretical body that humans originated as a species in East Africa. Following this logic said racist’s Ethiopian cab driver should be telling him what to do. This is actually an excellent idea given the number of Ethiopian cab drivers with Doctorates studying non-hierarchical community spaces.
- We are all native to earth – Or we are all part of the human race. Stating truisms like this are great for totally changing the scale to something irrelevant and away from your racism. When someone is talking about relationships this tactic which pretends we are all autonomous and identical individuals may actually get you out of the discussion. You’ll get out because your adversary will walk away from you in disgust at your childish misunderstanding, but if you are being racist should you really expect better?