‘That’s Racist’

Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online, July 6, 2011

‘That’s racist.”

It’s a comedic catchphrase these days, popularized by an online clip from a 2005 TV show Wonder Showzen on MTV2. {snip}

Across the country, it’s a staple of schoolyards, Internet discussion groups, Twitter, and sitcoms.

{snip}

Perhaps the greatest sign that the punch line has gone mainstream came last week when NPR’s All Things Considered reported on “that’s racist.” Correspondent Neda Ulaby explored how a phrase once considered one of the most serious accusations possible has become a gag line. The only problem? It’s not clear she actually gets the joke.

Ulaby relied heavily on Regina Bradley, who teaches African-American literature at Florida State University. Bradley admits her students say “that’s racist” all the time: “They were simply using it to lump discussions of race and race discourse all together. Because they were just saying because we brought up issues of race that was considered to be racist.”

Okay, so apparently the reason these kids say “that’s racist” is that they’re not too bright. But, wait, there’s more. According to Ulaby, Bradley also believes that the students are using the joke to establish up front that they themselves aren’t racist. {snip}

Hold on, another explanation is that kids simply mimic the stuff they see on TV shows like 30 Rock and South Park.

I don’t want to overanalyze, but it seems as if everyone’s bending over backward to come up with the least obvious explanations for a pretty obvious joke.

{snip}

But what’s the joke? We don’t find out until a 14-year-old-boy says it plainly: “I think I or other people just sort of do it as a way of mocking people who are overly sensitive about race issues.”

Bingo!

NPR could have done the whole story in 30 seconds. But instead it spent more than five minutes trying to grapple with a wonderful yet utterly inconvenient truth for the ostentatiously liberal network: Young people just aren’t as uptight about race as their parents, never mind their grandparents, are. And, by the way, the days of segregated swimming pools and neighborhoods haven’t merely “yielded” to “more subtle forms of discrimination”; they’ve yielded to–wait for it–less discrimination.

{snip}

But the simple fact is “that’s racist” is the sort of thing those darn kids today say to make fun of their aging Gen X and baby-boomer parents.

{snip}

And that’s the joke. And the people who’ve spent the last few decades screaming “that’s racist,” not as a punch line but as a heinously unfair accusation or in an attempt to bully people, don’t seem to get that the joke is on them.

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  • Anonymous

    “Dat racis” is the “The boy who cried wolf” for modern times.

  • Tim in Indiana

    It’s a comedic catchphrase these days, popularized by an online clip from a 2005 TV show Wonder Showzen on MTV2.

    Ah, so that’s the origin of the catchphrase. I’ve seen that little animated GIF everywhere. Could this be another example of the power of the Internet to wake people up?

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/thats-racist#.Thtz3c2Qc4Q

    But the simple fact is “that’s racist” is the sort of thing those darn kids today say to make fun of their aging Gen X and baby-boomer parents.

    Has the sanctimonious “hippie generation” come full circle? Could this be the “new rebellion,” where young people rebel against the new “establishment” of racism hysteria everywhere and all the time?

    Maybe it’s time for the sanctimonious hippies to be rebelled against. What comes around goes around.

  • Anonymous

    Blacks have been mocking whites for years with this private joke, snickering at how much power it has over whites.

    Want to see a white person do contortions? Make an accusation of racism, and enjoy the commotion.

  • Occidentus

    The link to the clip, should anybody want to see it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTsW75KJXO4

  • Anonymous

    Young people just aren’t as uptight about race as their parents, never mind their grandparents, are.

    The explanation is a heck of alot more important than that. Today’s young people, via their first jobs in large cities, where they have no choice but to live where they work, have far greater contact with blacks and mexicans. They have learned a few things….1) racism, in its traditional context, is a lie, 2) racial stereotypes are true, and 3) non-whites, especially blacks, want them dead.

    They learn these things (pretty much the same way as I learned these things) and figure out that the line between liberal and white nationalist nazi is pretty thin indeed.

  • Question Diversity

    Unfortunately, Jonah Goldberg has done has fair share of throwing around baseless accusations of “racism,” and other similar slurs. V-Dare: http://goo.gl/M5TaJ

  • Anonymous

    We noticed that too many of the standardized test answers were erased and re-entered….”that’s racist” 😉

  • Anonymous

    “the people who’ve spent the last few decades screaming “that’s racist,” not as a punch line but as a heinously unfair accusation or in an attempt to bully people, don’t seem to get that the joke is on them”.

    That’s because they have no sense of humor, other than belittling others.

    not as a punch line but as a heinously unfair accusation or in an attempt to bully people, don’t seem to get that the joke is on them

  • Russ in the South

    “Racist” for leftists is like “obscene” for right-wingers.

    A supreme court justice once quipped, “I can’t define ‘obscene’ but I know it when I see it!”

    Leftists can’t define “racist,” but do they know it when they see it?

  • Scott Wilson

    White hipsters (et al) are trying to adjust themselves to a post-racial society which exists merely in their minds.

  • HH

    Greg Gutfeld, on his FNC show “Red-Eye,” has even adapted this newly popular sentiment into one of his regular bits, mockingly stating that anyone that disagrees with his opinion pieces is a, “racist-homophobe” or some such.

    I can’t even remember the last time I encountered someone – of any age – who really buys into this “racism is everywhere” hype that was so common only years ago.

    It seems the race hustlers really have “jumped the shark” on this – and it’s about time a little reality was introduced into this issue, even if it is via jokes and jests!

  • Anonymous

    Over time, lies begin to stink enough for everyone to smell them.

  • Sonya

    #7 wrote: We noticed that too many of the standardized test answers were erased and re-entered….”that’s racist” 😉

    Perfect example #7. The times I have seen that joke used online it has always been associated with blacks. I is not about making fun of their “Gen-X” parents, it is usually mocking blacks.

  • Anonymous Girl

    What about the word “haters”. It drives me crazy every time I hear it…..or maybe I am just one of the hateful haters hating every hatred word. Or maybe it is just the context of word use…….”you life is full of hatred that have you burnin in hell fo-ever[sic]”. That is a quote from a black woman said to me when I wouldn’t let a black guy jump ahead of me in line at the grocery store because he had fewer items than me. Everybody in the store had fewer items than me but I LOVED (not hated) the hypocrisy of the statement.

  • Duran Dahl

    The Left can almost be defined as “humor challenged”…especially when it comes to their little shibboleths. Few situations are as amusing as a po-faced liberals obliviousness to an awake individuals sarcasm or mockery.

    “Not by wrath does one kill, but by laughter.”–Nietzsche

  • AlmostMusicPhD

    “when NPR’s All Things Considered reported on “that’s racist.” Correspondent Neda Ulaby explored how a phrase once considered one of the most serious accusations possible has become a gag line. The only problem? It’s not clear she actually gets the joke.”

    They don’t. I worked in at least three NPR affiliate radio stations while going through college/grad school.

    I can tell you that the ideology of the Communist Party USA was represented in two of the three places I worked at, ( with overt posters on these men’s cubicles, and clips of their ‘arrest’ by the cops as ‘badges of honor;’ Democratic bumper stickers were the norm on EVERY car in the parking lot; while gays and ‘persons of color’ were consistently given raises, promotions, etc. over merely ‘christian’ and ‘white’ men, and a total condescension of ANYTHING that smacked of conservatism was the DE JURE philosophy at each of these NPR affiliates. That’s why to this day I call it NPR – National Propaganda Radio.

    Of course they don’t get it. Their religion is that the Obamessiah has arrived, and we oldsters, and conservatives, and especially trinitarian Christians are in the ‘way’ of some socialist utopia. It’s just as Cambria has said in his blog- the liberals of Satania worship their new god, the black.

    http://goo.gl/sEnZl

  • Anonymous

    Again, the essence of this whole PC debasement of language is

    captured pretty well by the dictum that nothing racist can be

    factual or scientific and nothing factual or scientific can be

    racist. The media-inspired and PC-fed vulgarity insists that this clear distinction should be endlessly adulterated. The

    hedonistic rotteness of much of American life is fertile context

    to assume, implicitly, that whatever is troublesome and annoying is false and is unncessary and whatever is myopically reassuring is good.

  • Anonymous

    I find it funny that the author uses the term GenX. I guess by definition I am GenX. If you called me this rediculous label based only on the year of my birth I would make you eat your words and cry in the corner. The sloth like morons that provided the basis for this label were some of the most lazy, filthy, apathetic, un-informed, oxygen thieving people ever born in this nation. I consider them the polar opposite of me yet I get lumped in with them. They are also some of the most vain, cocky, undesearving, and false sense of entitlement jerks I’ve ever encountered. The Libtards love them because somehow all of these characteristics make them ultra indoctrinable. They really are some of the most brainwashable sheep I’ve ever encountered. I know. I went to college (indoctrination camp)with these “GenXers” during the height of the so-called generation. They really are some of the most fiercely un-American white hating guilt-ridden idiots I’ve ever dealt with. Too many of them are now the age where they are campaining to be or are already holding important political offices. Based on what I know of these people I’m lumped in with, GOD help us!

  • Anonymous

    It’s not a joke. It’s still fear. It’s called beating someone to the punchline (i.e. ‘cutting them off at the pass’) so that they cannot use the trapping psychology “Wull whaddya think about this topic then…” to prove that you have racist notions.

    Instead, these supposedly post-racial whites who are ‘having an in-joke on the fuddy duddies’ are in fact using the intonations and ennunciation to shelter behind black stereotypical behavior.

    ‘Dat Racist!’ is like saying: “I see what you’re trying to make me do and say and I’m way to chary for that kind of entrapment…”

    Which is the same as yielding the ground that should be fought over, honestly, to begin with.

    At best ‘Dat Racist!’ defuses a situation into a neutral-loss for whites should very well be telling anyone who asks: “You bet I’m racist, so would you be if you knew what you were losing…”

    Because that puts the shoe on the other foot in terms of denying population replacement, criminality, low social achievement standards and the simple fact that everyone else -has- a racial homeland. And still they want ours.

    This isn’t funny. This isn’t an inside joke. This is poor dumb whites throwing up their hands and saying: “Please don’t hit me, I can pretend to be black, honest I can!”

    Which is simply pathetic.

  • Anonymous

    6 — Question Diversity wrote at 7:15 PM on July 11:

    Unfortunately, Jonah Goldberg has done has fair share of throwing around baseless accusations of “racism,” and other similar slurs. V-Dare: http://goo.gl/M5TaJ

    ————————

    Thanks for the link……Yes, Jonah Goldberg is just another phoney and I believe in reality, he is anti-white. Most racially aware Whites can spot his kind a mile away. I have noticed that most neocons are quick to call us racists, bigots, White trash, rednecks, nazis as much as the leftists do. Makes me wonder about their REAL motives and just who they really are……