I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating; racism and sexism have just as much to do with double standards as they do with hatred. Not all sexists hate women, and not all racists hate black people. What racists and sexists do have in common is that they hold blacks and women to a much higher standard than their white male counterparts.
It is certainly possible that a racist hates you for being black, mostly because hate is the most extreme manifestation of any -ism, but hate is not a necessary prerequisite for being pegged a racist or a sexist. And that’s the danger and insidiousness of 21st century bigotry isn’t it? That bigots no longer engage in full frontal attacks, as in 60’s signs that read “Stop the Race Mixing” and “Grand Imperial Wizards for Goldwater.” Isn’t this what makes modern prejudice so hard to grab hold of?
The fresh faced WASPS don’t assail you for just being black, or female, or whatever else they’ve chosen to hold in low regard. Not at all. They do, however, make it a practice of describing women and minorities in ways that make it perfectly reasonable to assesss them as being without any redeemable qualities. They then turn right around and award white men, mostly conservative white men, with Profiles in Courage for engaging in the exact same behavior they reprimand minorities for exhibiting.
A prime example is how Melissa Harris Perry is being caricatured as a hysterical black woman for stating the obvious – that being poor in America is riskier than, well, anything. Right wing rag Breitbart.com posted the video, along with the headline, “HYSTERICAL MSNBC HOST’S ON AIR MELTDOWN OVER BUSINESS OWNERS.”
But hold on, does anyone remember CNBC’s Rick Santelli’s rant on the floor of the stock exchange? He went ballistic, even going so far as to call Americans who’d gotten caught up in the Wall Street engineered mortgage crisis “losers”. Was Santelli, a CNBC analyst who makes his living carrying water for Wall St, lambasted as hysterical for lashing out against the American people on national television? LOL! Of course not. To the contrary, he was credited with being a catalyst for the Tea Party movement.
Black woman gets angry – she’s a hysterical nut job. White man gets angry – he’s a true American hero. See how it works? Oh. And it also doesn’t matter at all that Santelli was dead wrong and Harris-Perry is dead right. As I’m sure you know by now, the right has gone into the business of making up its own facts as well.
I’ll leave you with a bit of Santelli’s disingenuous rant, as well as Melissa Harris Perry’s righteous eruption, and you tell me who’s crazy: