Earlier I saw a post from comedian Jon Laster who encountered a racist at the comedy club he performed in, and after finding the strength to reform from rearranging the racist’s dental work, he took to social media to ask for suggestions on what to do when met with racism while avoiding catching a case. Here is a rephrase of what I just messaged him:
Racist terms like “nigger” developed their power because of the legal and social history of a believed inferiority of Blacks. This inferiority belief was empowered by the lack of civil rights and basic freedoms of Blacks in America dating back to slavery. I’m pointing out the obvious because racist words like that CANNOT be used in the same context now as it was then because Blacks DO now have basic civil rights and freedoms and are legally recognized as full equals. Blacks are still the victims of injustice on a daily basis, but not nearly to the extent of when racist terms developed their power. The same way blacks will never know what it was like to live back then, whites of today will never know what it means to be a racist in its purest, truest, oppressive form. The closest thing to this power is racist police officers, which, you can be sure, is a major driving force for such individuals to join the force. But in regards to the everyday racists who harass Blacks, or for that matter, Muslims, Hispanics, or any other racial or religious minority have no real power, unlike their ancestors. Therefore, when it comes to being a true racist, as I’ve said before: They are posers. And like all posers, instead of being feared, they should be mocked
The context of these words today is different from back then. The context today is simply an attempt at bullying. It’s tribalism that is emboldened by the election, and now they who think they are in the majority in regards to their ideals are simply bullying those who, with Trump’s election, appear to be the minority. So what is happening when someone makes racist or bigoted remarks is an engagement in a mental battle. As a victim of these words, it is perfectly understandable to want to pop somebody in the mouth or to blow your lid. Natural even. Especially with the historical context of words like “nigger.” But in doing that, they have won the mental battle. They (aside from if you pop them in the mouth), got what they wanted. They hurt you. They got that rise. That’s all they wanted to do. For all we know, they then go home, listen to rap music, talk politely to their black co-workers, and maybe even have black friends. Each of these things, true racists back in the “good ol’ days” when America was “great” would never do. They’d just go on being racists 24/7. But being that they are posers, this basic truth is lost on the new generation of racists. Because they will never know what it means to have this kind of power, they try to simulate history on real lives with real emotions, but the fact is: It’s just a mental battle. So how do you win this mental battle? Everyone is different. But my top two options are
1: Clap back. Roast their asses. Put them in their place. Be creative. They tried to hurt your feelings in a non-creative, generic fashion. Hurt theirs personally and directly. That is the true eye-for-an-eye approach, and is justice without needing to get violent. Not everyone has a way with words or the fortitude to be able to keep their composure to do this, which leaves option #2, which is the option I most recommend:
2. Calmly record them and post for the world to see who they are. I would even suggest to do so with a smile on your face. Not only will that confuse them, but it will frustrate them in this mental battle and leave them flustered, and most importantly, it will let the whole world see who they are and potentially ruin their lives in ways their words could never ruin yours. And, as has already been the case with many racists online who have lost their jobs or been expelled, the backlash will prove what I have stated: they do NOT have the same power as their ancestors. They are mere posers.
Take away their power. Both the words and their speakers’. History is too deep for the words not to hurt at all; but when you are in a battle, you don’t let the pain show: you just fight back.