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Library Racists: A Rant

Imagine if you will, dear readers, the following scenario:

You've had a fabulous day. You have been informed your audition for the musical was callback-worthy. You have registered for your next-semester courses, and are highly pleased with your schedule. You've undergone volunteer training with one group, done some volunteering with another, raised a pride flag, and even had fun in your classes! (Turns out, derivatives are pretty darn cool). You go to the library to kill some time online, and as you open up some of your favourite blogs, etc, the two people next to you strike up a lively conversation on how the problem with Canada is that the government is so afraid of being discriminatory that it practices reverse racism.

Wait, what?

As I'm sure you've guessed, this is what ACTUALLY JUST HAPPENED to me (I'm back at home now). As if that remark alone wasn't enough, they proceeded to complain about Aboriginal people! The gist of their argument was as follows: "Those darn Aboriginal folk! They see racism EVERYWHERE, when it clearly isn't so! Why, every time you back them into a corner with your UNASSAILABLE LOGIC, they just come back at you with 'well, you stole our land!' They are so racist toward us white people!"

I left. Sure, I could have made it a big Teachable Moment. I could have pointed out, y'know, that if someone is saying you are doing something racist, you should check to see if you are doing something racist! I could have explained that people of colour can't really be effectively racist toward white people, due to the power differential there. I could have opined that as white people did, in fact, steal Aboriginal people's land, pointing it out is not necessarily unforgivable. I could even have gone for the emotional argument, and said that, as someone Métis, their remarks were really, really fucking hurtful.

But I did none of these things, because I did. not. want. to. deal with it. They had just UTTERLY ANNIHILATED my good mood, and I was in no state to point out the flaws in their argument. So I walked away. And sure, part of me regrets that I couldn't explain what was so terribly wrong with their line of thinking. But the bigger part of me is grateful that I managed to save my own peace of mind.

--end rant--



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 19th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
... You know, I've always wanted to know.

Who thought up the term "reverse racism"? Because isn't the reverse of racism... social acceptance or whatever?
Oct. 19th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
You would think that, wouldn't you? But no. Reverse racism is the HORRIBLE TERRIBLE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WHITE PEOPLE. How they/we [I include myself because I really do look totally white] suffer, at the hands of those awful people of colour!
Oct. 19th, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC)

Oct. 19th, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
Oct. 19th, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)
Me too!

Sorry about deleting your other comment. It appears there is no way for me to edit comments, and I'm being a bit despotic when it comes to moderation on these types of entries.

It was for ableist language, FYI.
Oct. 19th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
OH RIGHT. Sorry.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )