Racism is not a difference in political opinion

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 12:01 AM | comments: 0

I've noticed a lot of Internet memes that lately that go something along the lines of, "You voted for so and so, and I voted for so and so, but we can still be friends and agree to disagree." It's generally shared by white people in reference to the invigorated civil rights movement that came after the George Floyd murder, and the larger call to dismantle the systemic racism that we've been dealing with for hundreds of years.

But let's be clear about something... racism is not a political opinion that we can just overlook and be pals. Regardless of your stated political leanings, racism can't be a part of the platform you identify with. There is no moral equivalence between racism and fiscal policy or healthcare or whatever thing you think the government should have a say in. Racism is not a right or left proposition, and it's wrong, period.

Now, that's not to say that one side hasn't taken a more active stance in sustaining racism in recent years. The GOP has supported an unambiguous racist in Donald Trump since the time it was clear that he might have a shot at winning. His racism is not something open to interpretation, it's blatant. The party has further participated in system racism by way of its efforts to suppress voters and participate in extreme gerrymandering that has been declared illegal by the courts. That's not OK. Mind you, the Democratic record on systemic racism isn't ideal either, as much of the criminal justice policy in the 90's reinforced the two-America system we still have today.

If you want to engage me about politics, there's no acceptable way to defend racism or call it a difference in opinion. The finer points of farm subsidies and energy policy are a difference in opinion. Racism is always immoral.


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