A Few Thoughts About Racism and Defensiveness

As posted on Twitter yesterday, and potentially relevant to certain conversations in fandom this week:

Saying, “But Bob has always been so kind to me” doesn’t mean Bob is incapable of racism.

Saying, “I’ve never felt personally offended by Bob” doesn’t mean Bob has never said or done anything racist.

Saying, “I’ve known real racists and Bob isn’t like that” reveals an overly simplistic & harmful all-or-nothing misunderstanding of racism.

If multiple people are angry because Bob said/did something racist and you call them a “lynch mob” … yeah, just don’t. #Facepalm

Racism is not restricted to sheet-wearing, cross-burning, moustache-twirling villains.

Also, ignorance does not make you a Bad Person. (Being called on ignorantly hurtful actions and refusing to learn, however…)

Basically, if Bob is accused of racism and your defense of Bob consists of, “But I like him so he can’t be racist,” you’re doing it wrong.