This is a comment I was unable to post to a FB conversation because, apparently, I have been blocked from any kind of conversation with the “friend” that was hosting the conversation. This was the comment that would have explained what I was doing in the conversation, but, having been blocked from doing so, my participation is being forced into a form that will leave me looking more than a little incoherent. Which is more than a little uncool with me. Cowardly and intellectually dishonest, in fact. I’m neither going to include the full name of the person involved, nor hide the mentions of her first name that I wrote in the comment. If you know who this is, you can know that I’m calling her out for conversational cowardice and intellectual dishonesty. If not, don’t worry about it.
The reason I brought this point up here is that a week or two ago, Amy and I had a long and unpleasant conversation about her assertion of a “fact” that racism is only found in systemic oppression, and not in individual acts of hatred and cruelty motivated by race. I disagreed with that usage of the word, because it’s not the way ordinary people use it. They also use it to describe indiidual acts of hatred and cruelty motivated by race, and belief in racial superiority. As the CBC did in this article (although, honestly, they didn’t quote any of the graffiti that used terms that indicated a racial aspect to this, as I pointed out above). The hatred (which I neither share, nor condone, nor excuse in even the smallest degree) was focused on people based on their religion and their nationality/ethnicity.
Again, I am not a fan of hatred toward Muslims. The only Syrians I have contempt toward are named Assad. I’m not opposed to helping refugees from Syria. Nobody can provide evidence to the contrary because none exists. I’m not trying to distract any attention from this act. I think it’s deplorable, and that those who carried it out should be made to account for it.
For those who disagree with the idea that racism is only an institutional phenomenon, welcome to my side of the disagreement.