The Acute Racism of an Opinion Column

I was telling this story earlier today — when I was a student at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, I was at one point in a relationship with an Indian woman. We were walking down the street, going from a store and were on our way to a class when I saw a couple of people walking the other way look at us, and then look at one another with the most horrified of disgusted looks on their faces. It was as though our being together fundamentally offended or upset them. Mind you, this couple was not white — a stark reminder that there is plenty of racism perpetrated by, as the Avenue Q song suggests, everybody. I thought it was interesting that I had told this story earlier in the day and then found out about an opinion column written in The Washington Post, ostensibly on the subject matter of Governor Chris Christie’s problem with the tea party. It had a bit of, shall we say, racism to it.

The problem starts in a paragraph that ironically begins by saying that the GOP is not in fact at all racist. It then has this lovely chunk of hatred :

People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.

Why must people with conventional views repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — because he is a white man married to a black woman, or because they have two biracial children? (Was it necessary to state that their biological children are biracial? Is it even possible for them to be otherwise?) Is it because, as the columnist wonders if he should mention and in wondering so mentions that the mayor-elect’s wife “used to be a lesbian?” Used to be a lesbian? Lesbianism isn’t like a Magic:The Gathering card playing club that you can join and quit at any time. Either you are or you aren’t one — if a person is unsure of their sexuality they might think that they are a lesbian, but that doesn’t mean once they have more certainty about who they are that they have quit it, like a person stops eating double stuffed cookies once they find out that they are mathematically untrue.

I don’t know what part of all of this amuses and upsets me the most — the fact that the writer thinks that such blatant racism is normal, or the fact that we are living in an America where we have a black President but still have such hatred and bile flowing through the veins of the so-called conventional view minded Americans. Does the author feel that cultural conservatives would be that much happier if people “kept to their own” and just pretended that there is no sexuality outside of a heteronormative one?


3 thoughts on “The Acute Racism of an Opinion Column

  1. Pingback: A Daily Girl Scout Cookie — Disciplining Yourself to Enjoy Without Overindulging | blog of gordon davidescu

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