From Cowgirl Up:
This is what racism looks like.
Racism is the utter lack of compassion it takes to see a mother grieving for a boy and afraid for her own sons, and think, “Wow, that would be really easy to tweak in Photoshop to make her look stupid. Wouldn’t that be funny?”
Racism is dehumanizing. Racism robs this woman of her individuality, her humanity, and her gender. “And ain’t I a woman?” This mother ain’t a woman to “The Patriot Nation.” She’s an object to be ridiculed for mistakes she never made; mistakes, in fact, that someone intentionally added to a photo of her for the purpose of mocking her grief and fear.
Racism is someone in front of his computer whose face twists into the same mask of disgust we see in grainy old black and white films of the KKK burning schoolhouses and churches, and instead of a racial slur spilling from his curled-back lips, he sneers, “Sheeple,” or “Socialists,” or “Obamanation,” and he clicks “like” and “share” on this photo because there’s no little switch in his brain to say: “Is this right to do to a human being?” No. The filter turns off when his hate is triggered by this image. And the really scary thing is, that missing filter means he’s also missing the ability to honestly ask himself, “Am I responding this way because of this woman’s race?”
This is also what courage looks like, over there on the left.
This wasn't just to mock this woman, or even black people in general, though it was all of that. This was also to push a political narrative against Barack Obama.
How much of that was racism and how much crazy right-wing partisanship? Well, they go hand in hand, don't they?
Click on the image to enlarge it, if necessary. This was racism and right-wing political ideology and a deliberate lie, all rolled into one (as they so often are). I won't call you a racist for opposing Barack Obama. But I will call you a racist for shrugging off this kind of racism, for political purposes.
Republicans have been using racism for decades. They deliberately wooed white racists with their notorious 'Southern strategy,' because political power meant more to them than doing what was right. It still does, not even close.
If you're willing to shrug that off, then you're probably willing to overlook this, too. Oh, sure, you'll deplore the whole thing when the truth comes out, but only because the truth was discovered. You've seen the racist stuff being passed around. You probably get emails all the time. It make you wince, but you don't really care, do you? Whatever works, right?
Ron Paul deliberately sought support from white supremacists. His racist newsletters gave him both political support and money, and he made a point of wooing white supremacists. His supporters shrug that off. Oh, he really didn't mean it, right? They just don't care. If it works, it works.
This is what racism looks like. If you're willing to use racism for your own benefit, you're a racist. If there's a difference, it's immaterial, at least to me. I don't care if you really mean it or if you're just using racism for your own advantage. As far as I'm concerned, it's the same thing.
And if you're willing to just shrug if off, that's pretty much the same thing, too. Don't try to pretend there's a difference, because it's all ugly.