Suey Park’s recent hashtag activism was #CancelColbert after a tweet quoting a sketch on his show that said “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.” The hashtag was kept trending for a long period of time and has incited mass outrage…by liberals. There’s an irony there. Liberals will happily claim that they stand up for the poor, the minorities, the underdogs, anything except the rich white males who hold privilege in America…that is, until the focus is on a rich white male that they LIKE.
Now, Suey has had to deal with racial slurs and rape threats from liberals for being the same activist she was before the focus went towards Colbert. People are freaking out over her interview with Salon.com where she used the term “whiteness” and agreed that the white male is the enemy. Well, before the focus was on the poor judgement of a liberal white male, no one on the left took issue with that. It makes sense. In America, the straight cis white male has always held privilege. It is because of that privilege that the system of racism in this country exists and is so detrimental.
Let me first explain the system of racism, for those who don’t really understand it. You see, in America today, aside from the yahoos, the overt racism that once was prevalent is really more of background noise. It’s not the powerful force it once was. Today, however, there is still just as widespread racism as there always was. It just takes a different form, and this form is, in many ways, more insidious and harder to defeat. It’s a system of racism designed to discriminate.
On the right, within the political spectrum, you still see a bit of the overt racism, however. The difference is that they couch it in “I’m not racist, but…” which is usually followed by cliche’s like “black people are more often criminals” or “asians can’t drive.” The racism on the right stems from more of a xenophobic worldview.
On the left, it’s a level of hypocrisy that is cringe worthy. The left claims to be against racism in all forms. Your typical white liberal, however, is still afraid to go to black neighborhoods. The common sentiment is that it’s OK to make jokes about minorities that weren’t once slaves, because that’s not really racism. It’s OK to make racial jokes all around, so long as you don’t use one of the taboo racial slurs.
Now, let’s look at the system itself. Our system is designed to keep minorities poor. There’s no funding for minority dominated schools or neighborhoods. There is serious discrimination in hiring, even today. They’ll hire the minority person who acts the most like a white person, and call themselves diverse. I’ve even seen the executive management of a very large corporation exclaim that they’re promoting diversity, because they have a single female in management.
Our educational system and social structure makes getting a good education hard on minorities, and we’re outsources all of the unskilled labor jobs that could help to change that in a generation or two of people being able to make a good, honest living so their children can afford a good education.
Now, back to #CancelColbert and the liberal outrage. The majority of people that are outraged are white males. They’re so offended at being lumped in with the “bad guy” that they feel the need to make more racial slurs, and start going after Suey Park, claiming she’s being racist. Now, let’s think about this. Suey is an activist. Due to the racism in our society, there is a need for activism. When the activist is doing activism and expressing outrage, the liberals are going after her for the language she uses in her outrage…instead of going after the reason she’s outraged, the reason we need activism to begin with. Why? Well, the white male she’s going after is a liberal celebrity. Americans are good are throwing away their values, or at least showing their true colors, when it comes to famous people on TV.
So, I truly hope that Suey Park and others like her keep pushing the envelope and keep being the vocal activists that they are. In showing the true colors of those who claim to be allies under most other circumstances, they force us to take a good look at ourselves. I hope I’m not the only one who, when looking back at what the left looks like right now, doesn’t like what I see. THAT is more of a potential catalyst for change than any outside force could possibly be.
Contributor: Robert Sacerich
Robert is a Philosophy of Science and Bioethics student, as well as blogger and science advocate/activist. He has worked extensively within the secular community for various secular nonprofit organizations and public communication causes.
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