You can be a little bit racist just like you can be a little bit pregnant

racism meme_2

(This article first appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail)

If I hear something racist and speak up, I often get a reply that goes something like, “Ease up champ. It’s just a little bit racist.”

So is that even possible? To be just a little bit racist?

Here are a few racist comments I’ve heard people claim are okay, and in order not to offend anyone, I’ve replaced the racist word with the word ‘penguin’. Also, it’s fun.

“The way all the penguins live together in one suburb, bunched together in their own little colonies. They’ve got to be up to something.”

“Those penguin taxi drivers. Why do they always smell so bad?”

“Penguins shouldn’t be allowed to cover their faces like that. What if one robbed a bank? We wouldn’t know which penguin it was.”

“I’ve never a met a penguin who isn’t dodgy. I bought a watch from one of those penguin discount stores, and it didn’t even last a year. What a waste of four bucks.”

“I wouldn’t trust a penguin around my wife. Those penguins, they can’t control themselves. Their libidos are just out of control.”

Racism meme 1

After replacing the key word with ‘penguin’, it struck me how general most of the above statements are. Each one of them could apply to nearly every race. Which means that the only thing each of the above statements proves is that anyone who says anything similar is speaking garbage.

Labeling one race as a ‘little bit’ inferior is as meaningless and pointless as the decorative patterns on toilet paper, wearing sunglasses on top of your head, and keeping up the Kardashians.

Now a judgment about a person’s smell, driving ability, work ethic or libido might be appropriate to that person. Also, it’s your opinion. So while it might not be even slightly correct, you’re welcome to it. You just can’t ever apply it to a whole race.

Every generalisation about race, either good or bad, is a statement of difference based on skin colour, and just doesn’t make any sense. Not even a little bit.

According to science, we’re all so ridiculously similar it’s scary. Compared to most species on this earth, the genetic difference between all of us is so tiny that we’re all pretty much cousins. Which means every fantasy you’ve ever had about any other human being is, in essence, a fantasy about your cousin.

Back to the original question. Even though it’s factually and logically incorrect, is it ever possible to be just a little bit racist?

Well, racism is a belief that one race is inferior to another, and although it’s baseless, let’s compare it to the other big system of beliefs we have on this planet – religion. Can you believe in any of them just a bit?

Do Hindus believe it’s okay to eat a little bit of cow? Do Muslims and Jews believe it’s okay to eat a little bit of pork? And Christian priests. Is it okay for them to do even a little bit of porking?

No, no and definitely not, but it is possible to have a little bit of cake. So I conducted an extensive investigation and after months of eating cake, I discovered that I was fat, and that racism is definitely not cake. Not even a little bit.

This article first appeared in The Brisbane Courier Mail

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