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View Diary: Charlie Rangel was wrong to use the term "white cracker" and here's why (86 comments)

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  •  Yes, they do. And in return, (1+ / 0-)
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    Charles Hall

    Those whites have to abide by the same rules when it comes to the words they aim at those outside their group. Living in a society together means abiding by one set of rules. Making people "feel comfortable" is irrelevant. Doing what's right is what's important, as is setting up a set of rules that helps us win the fight against racism.

    Either it's wrong to use stereotypes, or it isn't. Explain to me, from a moral perspective, how to argue that it's ok for a black person to use a negative stereotype of white people, but it's not ok for a white person to use a negative stereotype of black people. Explain that to me in moral terms. Either you believe in the Golden Rule, or you don't. I do. I believe it's worth treating people the right way, even if -- or especially if -- they aren't treating you the right way. That's the Gandhi/MLK approach, and it worked in this country.

    Now let's put morality aside. How are you going to effectively argue tell the white person it's wrong to use a stereotype -- even if that white person doesn't mean it in a negative way -- when in the same breath you say it's ok for a stereotype to be used against him?

    Maybe you don't care, but I do. I want to reduce racism and bigotry -- both structural racism and the negative feelings groups have toward one another, in particular the negative feelings whites have toward blacks, as those are the most destructive. Telling white people that they have to take slurs, that someone else gets to tell them whether they are allowed to see a word as a slur, and that they are the only group in America who has to operate under those rules, is a message that will not help us reduce racist attitudes among whites. Many of them will simply say: Screw that, screw you, and screw the message you are preaching. That's the truth. And that's one less person we've won over to the fight against racism.

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