Thursday, August 16, 2012

Revealing the Boogeyman

My last post, Post Racial America? Hell to the No!, focused on a disturbing web site (  that  has the most blatantly racist content that I've seen anywhere on the Internet. My good friend Mark left a comment on that post in which he expressed his mixed feelings about giving the site any attention:  "It is so obviously designed to shock that it would seem that more attention is exactly what they want."

Mark has a valid point, but my focus isn't to give this site attention, at least not of the type that it desires. Ignoring the boogeyman doesn't make it go away; ask any five-year old. The wise parent turns on the closet light and reveals to the child that the boogeyman is just an over stuffed clothes hamper.

The depth of depravity that feeds racism at this level counts on being able to stay in the shadows. They don't want those of us who find their beliefs repulsive to see them. They want to skulk around in dark corners, leaking false information designed to influence the weak minded and fearful into sharing their beliefs. They provide links to studies rejected by legitimate researchers that purport to offer scientific proof of outlandish claims of the inferiority of those whom they hate. Their goal is to recruit followers.

They count on that the people who would find their beliefs reprehensible will remain unaware of their presence. They don't expect to appeal to everyone.  Like any cult, they target the weak, those who believe that they have been marginalized by the larger society. The leadership of racist hate groups may have access to personal wealth but the rank and file followers are working class people. The power of the leadership arises from persuading those followers that the reason that they don't have the job, the house, the car, and all other material measures of success is because of the "lazy, shiftless, violent other" most often identified as Black or Hispanic.
Belief in these conclusions, which are presented as based in irrefutable fact, promotes a climate where legitimate protestations of discrimination made by black people are often met with accusations of "playing the race card."

People tend to form their worldview based on the prism through which they see the world. If you don't hold vile racist beliefs, it is harder for you to imagine the extreme levels of such beliefs as expressed on web sites like this one. We have a need to make sense of the world, to neatly order our belief system. I believe that the reason good people so often fail to take action to stop evil is because we have no frame of reference to help us see and understand the evil. We can't imagine that anyone possesses this kind of hate for others.

We need to open the closet doors, shine a flashlight under the bed and force the boogeymen out into the open to be revealed to be nothing more than sniveling cowards fixated on their own inadequacies. Desperate to persuade themselves that labeling others as inferior will somehow make them recover their long lost dignity.

Came across an interesting article that discusses another racist hate site and why it matters that we call out such sites on their promotion of racism.


Ken Riches said...

You already know how I feel and I support your efforts.

Yasmin said...

Driving out the bogeyman is the way forward, but going back to the link you posted last weekend about casual racism,people simple will not believe that it exists.

So many are used to playing along with the Casual Racism which for some reason is thought harmless becaue it's uttered in many forms on a daily, it's not thought to go any deeper than that which of course we know differently.

It takes a brave person to look inside themsleves and their behaviours to stand up and say it's unacceptable.

Beth said...

Although different situations, this makes me think of all the problems we had with Ken's ex over the years. When I was finally able to write that "scathing exposé" (haha) on my blog and expose her nastiness to my little corner of the blogosphere, it seems to have finally vanquished her, once and for all. She seems to have stopped visiting my blog (although she may still be, using other avenues...I really don't know), and has stopped writing.

People like her and like those nasty racists live in a vacuum. They are not exposed to other viewpoints, and they surround themselves with others who support them in their false thinking and hatred. The anger and bitterness feeds on itself.

When their viewpoints and words are shown in the light of day, they learn quickly that not everyone is on board their crazy train.

I think it's important--and necessary--to call them out.