A conversation about racism started up on a picture I posted that pointed out how saying “Go ask someone” instead of “Go axe someone” could save lives. It was white stick figures on a black background.
A comment of “racist much?” was left and a conversation ensued.
Guy – “Racist much?”
Me – “It’s interesting, to me, that you’d find this racist…”
[Random silly/joking comments about the white stick figures]
Guy – “It has nothing to do with the figures. It’s the text. Where I’m from, the only people to say “axe” are people of color. And the only time the ask/axe thing is made fun of, is by white people mocking people of color. This cartoon is called a microagression (google it, pretty interesting stuff).
Maybe where other people are from, the use of this word isn’t along racial lines. So maybe it’s not seen as racist. Or it could be that folks have their head in the sand and/or is so wrapped up in their whiteness they don’t see it.”
Me – “ That’s what makes you a racist and not me. Pronouncing the word ‘ask’ as ‘axe’ is a lack of proper teaching and correction when growing up and learning language. You say it’s racist because the majority of the people you know who pronounce it that way are black, so you are saying black people are ignorant. Not only do I know black people who do not pronounce it that way, I know white people who do.
This cartoon was making a joke about how ignorant pronouncing that word is because it could lead to death. (Which is ridiculous – that’s why it’s a JOKE.) I saw it and thought only of the ignorance of those who pronounce it that way.
You read it and immediately applied that ignorance to black people.
Now who’s the racist?”
Guy – “It’s not racist to acknowledge that some identities are marginalized. The fact that I pointed out that I have only heard black people say ‘axe’ isn’t racist. Rather, I was observing that it’s actually evidence of systematic and institutional racism resulting in poor and inadequate stemming all the way back from the Reconstruction era which hasn’t improved any for minoritized identities. What is racist (though I would call it a microagression rather than racism), is to post a picture mocking the educational disadvantages (what you labeled ignorance) that people of color have had because of institutional racism. Do some studying of Critical Race Theory, it’ll really show you how deep racism and the marginalization of identities goes.”
Me – “YOU are the one that called it racism when you said “Racist much?”
You say I’m mocking “educational disadvantages that people of color have had” because I pointed out that it’s ignorance. So, what about the other races with educational disadvantages? You can say there are none, or you could argue there aren’t as many (I disagree, but I digress), but they exist.
You looked at something I posted for fun, applied your own opinions and bigotries to it and then accused me of racism when race never entered my mind until you brought it up.
You’re projecting your own bias and racism onto pictures and other people when race never once entered their mind…”
I’d like to point out that his blowhard statement of “I was observing that it’s actually evidence of systematic and institutional racism resulting in poor and inadequate stemming all the way back from the Reconstruction era which hasn’t improved any for minoritized identities.” could have been shorter and much easier to understand if he’d just said “Southerners are racists that still oppress the black man.”