The hypervisibility of ‘racism-as-bigotry’ scandals maintained by way of mainstream media is actually… only semi-not-really-kinda-sorta-but-not-all-the-way beneficial to the work necessary to dismantle institutional/systematic racism. It reinforces the notion that outspoken bigotry is the only way to perpetuate racism (further problematized by the view that racism is not a system of advantages and domination but individual prejudice held by anyone with or without class status/power. And yes, I said problematized. Problem?).
Is what Donald Sterling said a problem? Yes. Were his past actions and words problems? Yes. Is taking him down going to solve the problem? Mm. Mm because Sterling is a manifestation of a racist culture. He did not create it, he does not resist it–he benefits from it. The NBA heavily penalizing him will send a message, but it will not fix the system.
But anyway–the hypervisibility. It erases the way the economy is set up in conjunction w/ social norms and historical actions that set the stage for today; the way legal protections work–who benefits and who is damned; the way justice is very much JUST US and if you’re not white (there’s further nuance that goes into this) you have no place that isn’t jail or under heavy surveillance or automatic suspicion.
Racism is so much more than Sterling’s words. It’s the foundation and lifeblood of our society.
Q: But his mixed girlfriend–
Q: Barack Obama is a Black man and he’s–
Q: You have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
A: That’s not a question, but if you get me those Gorgio Brutani’s I’ve been eyeing for a while, I’ll indulge you for more than 5 minutes. BTW, the Brutanis are strapless… Now I might be able to pull myself up by the side zippers…
Q: Race is a social construct.
A: Yes it is. It is an ideology created ages ago and maintained today and it has material effects.
Q: But rappers perpetuate reverse-racis–
Q: You’re a reverse-racist!
A: And I’m also an institutional misandrist, and a level 9,000+ super-saiyan lvl 5 firebending avatar of old, since we’re talking about things that don’t exist.
A: You.. have my attention. Please, go on…
*I like how NONE of the Q/A “questions” were actually questions, so much as they were an assortment of derailing comments I’m usually likely to receive from here and Twitter.