Racism: The White Person’s Unicorn

I know a lot of folks are probably confused when it comes to racism. Like, when does racism actually occur? Because something will happen to a person of color every day, maybe several times a day, and it will seem obvious to them that racism has occurred, only to have a white person say, “Whoa, hey now. You can’t just read racism into everything.” This kind of response makes a person of color want to beat the office printer with a baseball bat, Office Space style.

But as a white person, I understand this statement. You see, racism is the equivalent of a unicorn. Yes, it may have existed once, but it’s incredibly rare, and most people never ever see one. That’s why white people are happy to explain that they aren’t racists (unless they’re super-proud of it, like Robert Spencer and David Duke, both of whom soft-pedal it and even insist that Donald Trump is not racist). No, white people may be insensitive, they may offer tons of reasons why that black person was killed by a cop, and they may not see a problem with blackface, but rest assured, they are not racists. Some of their best friends aren’t, either.

I grew up mostly in the South, so I know lots of white people who aren’t racists. My mother grew up in an area with no black people whatsoever, because there was an understanding that there wouldn’t be any if they liked to breathe. Some southern people might lament that if white people kept marrying black people, soon enough no one would be able to tell the races apart. Some people might refer to black people by other words than “black.” Some people might discuss black people as though they weren’t as smart or as good as white people. But what was really clear in all of this was that these white folks were in no way racist. Because that’s a unicorn.

When my father, who is definitely not a racist, got angry at me for having a crush on a boy who was half-black and cried, “I ain’t having no black grandchildren,” he surely meant that he objected to the Goth movement. (Or Emo, the terms apparently having changed.)

Given that racism does not really exist, except in the minds of “liberal,” paranoid minorities, any claim to the contrary must be thoroughly examined, by a white person, until they find the reason why the unicorn simply cannot be there. For example, it may not have been the intent of the white person to discriminate, thereby making the whole argument null and void. (The fact that this same logic is applied by personality-disordered people and related sociopaths to their victims is completely beside the point.) Also, discrimination can be a figment of the imagination, because white people aren’t racist. Or, if something indisputably bad happened to a person of color, like getting shot in the back while unarmed and running away in fear, there is most definitely another reason (or reasons) why this happened without racism having anything to do with it. Just ask a white police officer. They’ll explain why the black person fucked up.

It’s really aggravating to all the non-racist white people to have to deal with these unicorns all the time. It’s tiring to have to explain why it’s not there, because it’s a unicorn, a myth, and therefore it can’t be there. I mean, maybe back in the days of slavery, but that was ages ago, and black people should really get over it, just like Native Americans should get over the whole genocide thingy. Ancient history!

All right, all right, there is maybe one time when the unicorn is there. If someone uses the N-word, well, that is probably a unicorn, if that’s what the white person meant and wasn’t just being funny or satirical or something. So maybe then.

White folks aren’t bad people, and they want you to know that. We’re not. And we will listen, so long as you’re not talking about unicorns, because if you do, we’ll start talking about dragons, which are very real indeed. Dragons, unlike unicorns, are not rare, and they are insidious. They keep white people out of the college of their choice because of things like reverse racism, which is a liberal plot to get payback for slavery from white people, which is totally unnecessary because racism is dead, and if you don’t have a ton of money, then you fucked up somehow. Yes, that’s the dragon right there. It’s out to get white people. It might even wipe white people off the face of the earth! And that’s no conspiracy theory. Unlike unicorns.

By dun_deagh — https://www.flickr.com/photos/dun_deagh/7281722204/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56885388

Writer, painter, cat fancier, troublemaker, democratic socialist, & antifascist.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store