Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Next Time Someone Calls You a Racist. . .

 

I’ve never been called a racist. If I were, I admit that it would be upsetting. But @gossamercat brought up the fact on @richardfulmer’s post that many of us feel obligated to defend ourselves when we are attacked; it’s only natural to protect ourselves and our reputations.

But what if we didn’t “bite”? What if we responded by not responding or making an off-handed acknowledgement? I think it would drive others crazy. Even on Twitter. Let me give you a couple of examples:

You’re a racist.

Really? So, let’s discuss your other point further. . .

You’re admitting you’re a racist!

Nope. Now you were trying to explain. . .

You were born a racist!

You’ll have to explain that to my mother. As I was saying.

But my favorite response—

You’re a racist!

[a soft smile, tip of the head sympathetically] So where did you say you went to school?

* * * * *

It’s important to remember that people will insult you for all kinds of reasons. In rare cases, they will believe what they say; since you know they don’t know what they’re talking about or don’t even know you, they really don’t deserve a response.

If they call you a racist, the most powerful response: none. I’m not on Twitter or Facebook, but a non-response would drive them crazy. Even better, you could respond by simply typing the word: Sigh. Over and over again.

Suddenly they will go bonkers, feeling angry and powerless that they haven’t baited you. It doesn’t matter how you feel (because you will probably be upset), but the best way for us to fight back is to give no credence to what they are saying. They are boors and childish manipulators. They get their power by trying to make you feel inferior. If you don’t respond defensively, they will eventually run out of steam.

You’re just no fun.

So the next time you are called a racist, you know what not to do.

* * * * *

You might have noticed that my responses are not kind or cordial. They are not meant to be. When a person attacks you, they have not earned your respect. They haven’t even earned your acting respectful. At the same time, if you respond in kind, you will have lost respect for yourself (or at least I would for myself). We have to assume that for the near future (at least up to elections), people will be nasty, punitive, hateful, and inappropriate, and we are unlikely to change their perspectives.

I know that this response may be difficult to carry out. Try it anyway. What have you got to lose?

[This will work for other insults sent your way, too.]

Published in Culture
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 76 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Arahant Member

    “No, no. I’m a speciesist. I identify as a Neanderthal, and you murderous humans wiped out my people. I hate you all, no matter what color you are.”

    • #1
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:20 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    “No, no. I’m a speciesist. I identify as a Neanderthal, and you murderous humans wiped out my people. I hate you all, no matter what color you are.”

    Oh my goodness, @arahant, I had no idea!

    That might do the trick, too! ;-)

    • #2
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:22 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    That might do the trick, too! ;-)

    Definitely one-upping on the identity politics and the oppressed group grievances.

    • #3
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:23 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Best responses to being called a racist?

    I would probably ask them to define racism for me. The Socratic method makes people go nuts, and nobody can define the word without trapping themselves.

    • #4
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:32 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    • #5
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    iWe (View Comment):

    Best responses to being called a racist?

    I would probably ask them to define racism for me. The Socratic method makes people go nuts, and nobody can define the word without trapping themselves.

    My only reservation with that response is that it assumes they are worthy of an exchange. But whatever works is fine with me!

    • #6
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:42 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m gonna disagree with the premise.

    They don’t call people they’re directly talking to racist very often, if ever. But they do call the president racist, they call the Republican Party racist, they’ll call the country racist, your town racist, they’ll call the police racist, or any other available target.

    They’ll even call your race racist.

    And if it does happen that they actually call you racist to your face, I think you’ll find that it’ not because of anything you did, but because of the president you support, or your political party, your country, or your town,… or your race.

    • #7
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:44 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    I’m gonna disagree with the premise.

    They don’t call people they’re directly talking to racist very often, if ever. But they do call the president racist, they call the Republican Party racist, they’ll call the country racist, your town racist, they’ll call the police racist, or any other available target.

    They’ll even call your race racist.

    And if it does happen that they actually call you racist to your face, I think you’ll find that it’ not because of anything you did, but because of the president you support, or your political party, your country, or your town,… or your race.

    I’d stick with my position: don’t honor their actions with a response. If they are doing it somewhere else and not against you, don’t read their stuff.

    • #8
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:46 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Arahant Member

    Another response:

    *Yawn* Boooring!

    • #9
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:50 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Freeven Member
    Freeven Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My answer, always: “No, I’m a culturist. Would you like to discuss the difference?”

    • #10
    • September 7, 2020, at 1:50 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    As near as I can tell, I am racist because of my race* (European mix and white), so I don’t see anything I can do about that.

    So, next question?

    Also, it seems that most of the racist claims are inherently racist themselves. For example, my younger brother – who has literally known me his entire life – thinks I am racist since I think there should be photo voter ID. He won’t deal with the point I make that it is pretty racist to assume that only whites can get an ID.

    *seems like a pretty racist position to me!

    • #11
    • September 7, 2020, at 2:07 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  12. Rodin Member

    How about: “You’re right, but my klan sheet is at the laundry. Can I borrow yours?”

    • #12
    • September 7, 2020, at 2:09 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I laugh in their face.

    They are completely at a loss. Normally the Race card is an unbeatable ace.

    They don’t know how to respond if you just laugh it off.

    • #13
    • September 7, 2020, at 2:22 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  14. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Kozak (View Comment):

    I laugh in their face.

    They are completely at a loss. Normally the Race card is an unbeatable ace.

    They don’t know how to respond if you just laugh it off.

    I usually go with, “That is funny. I was thinking the same thing about you”.

     

    • #14
    • September 7, 2020, at 2:36 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  15. GrannyDude Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    I laugh in their face.

    They are completely at a loss. Normally the Race card is an unbeatable ace.

    They don’t know how to respond if you just laugh it off.

    I usually go with, “That is funny. I was thinking the same thing about you”.

     

    I like that. 

    Or you could gaze mistily at your interlocutor…” You’re speaking your truth. “

    “I’m speaking THE truth!”

    “That’s such a White Western heteronormative binary way of thinking…I really try to stay away from that inorganic, hegemonic mindspace…”

    • #15
    • September 7, 2020, at 2:51 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    If someone calls me a racist, I’ll call them an anti-semite. There ya go…we’re even.

    • #16
    • September 7, 2020, at 3:03 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. OldPhil Coolidge

    I addressed this in another Ricochet post a few days ago. My cousin called me racist for posting a cartoon that I saw here on Ricochet. The two cartoon characters were different colors, even though it had nothing to do with race. He accused me of being a racist and said the cartoon was a “dog whistle.” 

    I told him if he sees race in everything, he just might be a racist, and if he keeps hearing dog whistles, he might be the dog. Then I wished him a good life and unfriended him.

    • #17
    • September 7, 2020, at 3:20 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  18. Weeping Member

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    I addressed this in another Ricochet post a few days ago. My cousin called me racist for posting a cartoon that I saw here on Ricochet. The two cartoon characters were different colors, even though it had nothing to do with race. He accused me of being a racist and said the cartoon was a “dog whistle.”

    I told him if he sees race in everything, he just might be a racist, and if he keeps hearing dog whistles, he might be the dog. Then I wished him a good life and unfriended him.

    I hate that phrase. Love your response. I don’t know that I’d ever say it, but it’s how I feel when I hear the accusation. Hopefully, you’ll be able to repair your relationship with your cousin at some point.

    • #18
    • September 7, 2020, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    *seems like a pretty racist position to me!

    Well, now I don’t want to get in between you and your brother, @willowspring, but–YES! Now be careful debating with family. I want you two to come out of this election alive!

    • #19
    • September 7, 2020, at 3:58 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    *seems like a pretty racist position to me!

    Well, now I don’t want to get in between you and your brother, @willowspring, but–YES! Now be careful debating with family. I want you two to come out of this election alive!

    Oh, I make sure we don’t debate any more. The really sad thing is that the last time we had this conversation was at my older brother’s death bed. He was on my younger brother’s side. (Both academic, one in Rochester, the other in Seattle)

    • #20
    • September 7, 2020, at 4:42 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. kedavis Member

    Susan Quinn: You’re just no fun.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2DjmLzJjRw&t=71

    • #21
    • September 7, 2020, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. OldPhil Coolidge

    Weeping (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    I addressed this in another Ricochet post a few days ago. My cousin called me racist for posting a cartoon that I saw here on Ricochet. The two cartoon characters were different colors, even though it had nothing to do with race. He accused me of being a racist and said the cartoon was a “dog whistle.”

    I told him if he sees race in everything, he just might be a racist, and if he keeps hearing dog whistles, he might be the dog. Then I wished him a good life and unfriended him.

    I hate that phrase. Love your response. I don’t know that I’d ever say it, but it’s how I feel when I hear the accusation. Hopefully, you’ll be able to repair your relationship with your cousin at some point.

    Probably not, he’s way around the bend.

    • #22
    • September 7, 2020, at 5:00 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. kedavis Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    “No, no. I’m a speciesist. I identify as a Neanderthal, and you murderous humans wiped out my people. I hate you all, no matter what color you are.”

    But “seriously” if black people existed first, in Africa, and all other humans evolved from them (which I sometimes remind people is not a great argument to make since evolution is generally considered to be a process of improvement), doesn’t that mean that only black people were responsible for the extinction of Neanderthals? The rest of us didn’t exist yet…

    • #23
    • September 7, 2020, at 5:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. kedavis Member

    cdor (View Comment):

    If someone calls me a racist, I’ll call them an anti-semite. There ya go…we’re even.

    That doesn’t work if they’ve brushed up on intersectionality…

    • #24
    • September 7, 2020, at 5:23 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. kedavis Member

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    I addressed this in another Ricochet post a few days ago. My cousin called me racist for posting a cartoon that I saw here on Ricochet. The two cartoon characters were different colors, even though it had nothing to do with race. He accused me of being a racist and said the cartoon was a “dog whistle.”

    I told him if he sees race in everything, he just might be a racist, and if he keeps hearing dog whistles, he might be the dog. Then I wished him a good life and unfriended him.

    That’s a good one. Isn’t it interesting how only the left seems to hear these dog whistles?

    • #25
    • September 7, 2020, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    I’m gonna disagree with the premise.

    They don’t call people they’re directly talking to racist very often, if ever. But they do call the president racist, they call the Republican Party racist, they’ll call the country racist, your town racist, they’ll call the police racist, or any other available target.

    They’ll even call your race racist.

    And if it does happen that they actually call you racist to your face, I think you’ll find that it’ not because of anything you did, but because of the president you support, or your political party, your country, or your town,… or your race.

    I’d stick with my position: don’t honor their actions with a response. If they are doing it somewhere else and not against you, don’t read their stuff.

    ‘Not suggesting you change your position. But I think the context is important.

    Why would they be calling you a racist? It doesn’t make the world a better place or anything. Perhaps it’s just something they say to someone they don’t like. Perhaps it makes them feel better about themselves. Or clever.

    If they’re calling your president or your political party racist, they’re probably suggesting that you’re racist for liking the guy or the party, and that you should consider voting for the other candidate. (I think that’s the most charitable spin I can come up with.)

    • #26
    • September 7, 2020, at 5:44 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. kedavis Member

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    namlliT noD (View Comment):

    I’m gonna disagree with the premise.

    They don’t call people they’re directly talking to racist very often, if ever. But they do call the president racist, they call the Republican Party racist, they’ll call the country racist, your town racist, they’ll call the police racist, or any other available target.

    They’ll even call your race racist.

    And if it does happen that they actually call you racist to your face, I think you’ll find that it’ not because of anything you did, but because of the president you support, or your political party, your country, or your town,… or your race.

    I’d stick with my position: don’t honor their actions with a response. If they are doing it somewhere else and not against you, don’t read their stuff.

    ‘Not suggesting you change your position. But I think the context is important.

    Why would they be calling you a racist? It doesn’t make the world a better place or anything. Perhaps it’s just something they say to someone they don’t like. Perhaps it makes them feel better about themselves. Or clever.

    If they’re calling your president or your political party racist, they’re probably suggesting that you’re racist for liking the guy or the party, and that you should consider voting for the other candidate. (I think that’s the most charitable spin I can come up with.)

    I think it’s mostly because by labeling you as “racist” they don’t need to deal with you or any of your ideas etc, as an individual.

    • #27
    • September 7, 2020, at 5:54 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  28. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    namlliT noD (View Comment):
    If they’re calling your president or your political party racist, they’re probably suggesting that you’re racist for liking the guy or the party, and that you should consider voting for the other candidate. (I think that’s the most charitable spin I can come up with.)

    Very creative, @dontillman! Seriously, I like the idea of people coming up with creative ways to stop them in their tracks. Whatever works for people. This kind of obnoxious behavior is going to go on for a while, so anything we can do create roadblocks works for me!

    • #28
    • September 7, 2020, at 6:06 PM PDT
    • Like
  29. namlliT noD Member
    namlliT noD Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

     

    • #29
    • September 7, 2020, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  30. kedavis Member

    kedavis (View Comment):
    I think it’s mostly because by labeling you as “racist” they don’t need to deal with you or any of your ideas etc, as an individual.

    It’s also an explanation for Joe Biden saying “if you’re not voting for me, you ain’t black!” and stuff about Clarence Thomas and Sarah Palin, etc.

    One of the last times Jonah Goldberg made sense:

    https://www.adrive.com/public/b667dv/Remnant%20with%20Jonah%20Goldberg%2003-15-18%20clips%20Hillary's%20Pillory%2C%20Lamb's%20Slaughter.mp3

    • #30
    • September 7, 2020, at 6:20 PM PDT
    • Like