Politely Racist

With no exact view of the thoughts and ideas of the other party, one party would have to be as polite as can be to avoid controversies or risk saying a thought and be bombarded from all sides. Or can even politeness lead to racism instead? A quote that I’ve found posted on a board of a residence hall says, “In times of political conflict, choosing to be neutral(not saying anything) is the same as siding with the wrong party”. This relates to the SNL comedy sketch “Black Jeopardy”. The main attraction of the clip was that all the players and host were African American with the exception of one white guy which contradicts the title and leaves the audience bursting out laughing. What made that show memorable was that, Tom Hanks, acting as Doug and the only white player, knew everything that the other players knew. In the context of this setting, it is surprising because we expect him to have a different mindset as the other players since he was white whereas the others were Black but no, he had the exact same thoughts and even the other players agreed with him which made it fascinating. At the end of the clip, he was hit with a highly controversial topic and in which he remained quiet. Why? I say that he remained quiet to show politeness but that can too turn on an individual because again if you choose to remain quiet, you are automatically viewed as having a connection with the opposing party. In this case, the topic that hit him was “Lives that matter” so whether he says “Black Lives” or not, it would still be taken negatively: racism. A white guy saying “Black Lives Matter” can become a highly controversial topic of it’s own as “Black Lives Matter” arose because of the belief that white people (termed as cops) are violent towards blacks so one(black) would not expect sympathy or even pity from another(white) who is doing the tormenting. But that does not mean that everyone is the same. With Doug keeping his mouth shut he is possibly doing 2 things. 1, he chose to keep his mouth shut to avoid the controversies by stating his thoughts or 2, he realizes that no matter what he does he will still be marked as a racist. You can just see it in the faces of the host and other players, when Doug kept his mouth shut. That no matter what he said, he’d still be coined as a racist. So he kept his mouth shut just to be politely racist.


Author: jamesjimmyjohns

I go by James and am a Sophomore at the University of Minnesota