Despite that fact that many of us are smart, interested, curious beings, we’re still unable to come to terms with seemingly basic concepts – like racism. How much time do we spend discussing whether or not something was really racist? Or justifying things people say with a ‘I mean, it’s kinda racist, but…’?
This week’s comments from Kelly Osbourne started another debate about racism versus ‘saying something we shouldn’t have’. But if these things are in your vocab, you are actually just racist.
When Kelly Osbourne asked Donald Trump, ‘If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet?’ debate raged. Some called her out for being racist, while others, like ex-The View host Sherri Shepherd, began with an attack and ended with a tweet saying, ‘Cut @KellyOsbourne a little slack, bc I’ve done it myself … sometimes ish comes out of your mouth live that you didn’t mean to say.’
Kelly herself went straight to the ‘You know I didn’t mean it like that’ response. (Is there another meaning we missed?)
We hear it all the time: ‘We don’t mean it’; ‘We meant it in a different way’; ‘You know we’re not like that’; ‘It might sound racist but it’s not…’
We need to stop with the ‘I’m not racist, but…’ reactions. If you say racist things, you are a racist. It’s not complicated. Even if you’re drunk like John Galliano or under pressure to be funny like Jeremy Clarkson.
Related: Kanye West on First Racism Encounter