Don Imus says that he’s not a racist.
Perhaps he’s not. Perhaps he just did it for a paycheck. Perhaps he’s just the ‘gay for pay’ of bigots. Which is the equivalent of saying, “I’m not a slut – I’m a hooker!”
Michael Richards, after squawking that his hecklers were ‘n-gg-rs’ that should be hanged from a tree, also said that he is not a racist.
Even David Duke, ex-Grand Wizard of the KKK turned perennial political candidate/prison inmate, won’t say that he’s a racist.
When the Knights of the Klu Klux Klan won’t use the r-word when describing themselves, there may be a bigger issue at hand.
What the hell is a racist? Why it is the worst thing you can call someone?
There are two trends in sound bytes that I will not succumb to. One is calling the opposition ‘Nazis’ (even though in this piece it maybe true) and calling anything a ‘witch hunt’.
I wasn’t around for the Salem Witch Trials. The Red Scare was before I was born. But I was here for ‘The Satanic Panic’ of the late 20th century. For those of you that don’t know because you haven’t had your recovered memory session recently; all of a sudden in the late 1980’s there were otherwise normal people under went hypnosis and came to the conclusion that they had been ritually abused in a Satanic Cult.
Satanists were instantly everywhere! There was a conspiracy of these devil worshippers to take over the United States – and some day – the world!
Geraldo Rivera, before he was known for giving away troop positions was the champion for this fiction. On one of the ABC specials he hosted, he stated, “Estimates are that there are over 1 million Satanists in this country…The majority of them are linked in a highly organized, very secretive network. From small towns to large cities, they have attracted police and FBI attention to their Satanic ritual child abuse, child pornography and grisly Satanic murders. The odds are that this is happening in your town.”
The ‘odds’ were more in favor that this crusade would ruin lives before anyone realized there wasn’t any evidence to back up the claims. People went to prison on false memory evidence. Families were torn apart for accusations. People actually bought heavy metal albums! It was appalling!
Candidly, I think we should be much more scared of Pat Robertson than of Anton LeVay. Guess which one called for the assassination of a democratically elected leader? Here’s a hint: It wasn’t the Satanist.
This ordeal wasn’t in the 1700’s. This was in my lifetime. And if you think it can’t happen again, think about when it was okay to say that Bush is incompetent. Oh sure, now everyone says it – but there was a time that it would get you Dixie Chicked or even worse – Valerie Plamed.
I bring up the Satanic Cult (alleged) epidemic because at the time people were accused of being Satanists and put into rehab. I personally know teenagers that were sent away for little more than the offense of listening to Slayer. That’s right, in a decade noted for bad taste and cheesy neon trends – not loving Jesus was treated as a mental disease.
So now our latest frenzy is rooting out racists. And no, for some reason, that doesn’t mean Al Sharpton. Being thought of as a racist is now so taboo that someone like David Duke who purportedly throws a birthday party for Hitler every year will not refer to themselves as that.
We’re so caught up in what people SAY, that the existence of racism is lost completely. We are so caught up in what people SAY that the only way to repent is lose your job or to go into rehab. If that isn’t indicative of hysteria, I don’t know what is.
So instead of having rational discussions about race, women’s issues, gay rights, immigration, religious tolerance we get into a finger pointing and name calling fever. Just like the real issue of child abuse (some ironically by Catholic priests) was over shadowed if not squashed by the fear of covert Satanists. Firing someone for making ‘racially insensitive’ remarks will not make prejudice disappear (it will more than likely make prejudice reappear on XM). Clamoring for an apology won’t make it all better. And I don’t believe it’s even a start.
We should talk calmly about SOMETHING in the country. Race would be a good start. At stake is the fate of the most racially diverse country on the planet. A country whose Free Speech feels tentative and its mania is on a hair-trigger.
If we’re not careful, we’ll lose all objectivity and then Geraldo could become our voice of reason.
That’s right, I just used a fear tactic to get my point across. Call it a sign of the times.