People are always egregiously misusing some of the greatest wisdom in the world. In this case, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." "Why do black people get so upset when I use the N-word?" asks Natasha. "I don't mind if anyone calls me a 'honky.' In fact, I laugh along. I guess the difference is that I have a sense of humor and they don't!"
"... and what could be more offensive than being casually linked to the golden age of country music?"
The problem with testing any phrase or action that might offend, say, black people, by thinking of the equivalent phrase or action aimed at white people, is that there often isn't any. If there was some group that held the overwhelming majority of political offices and dominated corporate leadership in the most powerful country in the world and had previously enslaved white people for 400 years, and they had at some point during the slavery period invented a nickname that implied white people were subhuman and were still using it now, then sure, you could use that to guess how a black person would feel about the N-word, maybe.
Natasha might think, "OK, I'll just imagine how I would feel in that situation, then!" But no, that's a terrible idea. People imagine strange things about themselves in fictional fantasy scenarios; they're always suspiciously witty and badass and impeccably moral.
"You're supposed to be contemplating discrimination. Could you please stop literally patting yourself on the back?"
There are areas where we can never be "on the scene" and get firsthand evidence, and we take other people's word for it. We don't run most experiments ourselves; we take scientists' word for what happened. We don't fly to Syria to see what ISIS is really doing; we take our favorite reporter's word for it (for better or worse). But when it comes to how racism feels, people like Natasha seem compelled to go "on the scene" and verify it directly, through the power of imagining themselves into other people's shoes.
Which for most people turns into a racism-themed version of the ending to Rocky IV inside of three minutes.
The issue is a lack of trust, which you can see in common Natasha phrases like "outrage culture" and "victim mentality," which mean "You're lying about how hurtful this word is to you, because you're playing some kind of power game." If Yvonne is white, there's an additional suspicion that maybe she's just pretending to care about the other group as part of this power game, to gain righteousness points.
If Yvonne can convince Natasha this isn't a power game and the goal isn't to shame her, Natasha might stop insisting on making the call about how other people should feel. But I realize this is like saying that if you could modify your car to fly, your commute to work would be easier.
At least then who's looking down on who would be clear to everyone.
I mean, I can't imagine any of this will be a magic bullet to getting people to admit they did anything racist, but I hope it helps people realize that not every racist making excuses is a sneaky liar. Which doesn't make the racism any better, but intentional liars can only be yelled at, while confused people with wrong thoughts can occasionally be brought around.
Christina can be found on Twitter or Facebook.
Check out the incredibly racist tropes in DuckTales that you probably missed in The 5 Most Bafflingly Racist Beloved Fictional Universes, and try to keep count of all the racist tropes in The Justice League when you read 5 Shockingly Racist Scenes In Famous Superhero Comics.
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