Here's one quick way to work out if someone's racist.
If they say, "I'm not racist, but..."
Then they're definitely racist.
Really, that phrase should be outlawed.
If it actually worked, nobody would ever again be sent to prison.
In court all they'd have to say is, "I'm not a murderer, but... I accidentally mistook my husband for a knife holder thirty-seven times."
And the judge would say, "While all the evidence indicates that you're guilty, you've used the "I'm not but" defence. Which we all know is infallible. Therefore, case dismissed. Off ya go tiger. Try not to do it again, ya cheeky scamp."
The phrase should be, "I am a racist, and..."
"I am a racist AND I only watch Channel Nine."
"I am a racist AND I don't own any bed sheets without eyeholes in them."
"I am a racist AND I only eat the white marshmallows."
"I am a racist AND follow me on Twitter @whitesupremacisttoteslol69."
Now just say you suspect a person of being racist, but they've cleverly avoiding using the phrase, "I'm not racist, but..."
It's not uncommon; some racists can be surprisingly crafty.
So to put it very simply, here's what racism is.
Mentioning someone's race is not racist. It's just another identifying factor.
Then if you mention someone's race and say something negative about that person, that's still not racist. As long as you keep it personal.
But if you say someone is inferior because of their race. Well that's racism.
Let's pretend that tall people are a race.
Mentioning that you think someone is tall is not racist.
Or saying, "That tall guy is an idiot."
Again, not racist.
It only becomes a problem if you say, "All tall people are morons. The freaks."
Taking that example further, if you say that, "The tall comedian in the check shirt who does the show about racism is a rubbish waste of time and not at all funny."
Well that's deeply hurtful to me, and I think it's also extremely unfair. Honestly, I've had mixed reviews, and most of them have been positive.
However one thing it's not, is racist.
But if you said, "All tall people are lazy, they smell, their food tastes weird and they can't drive. And it's not their fault. It's just the way they are."
Well that's extremely racist.
Another common mistake that people make when it comes to race is thinking that one example, or a series of examples, proves a general rule about a certain race.
If you saw one tall person being unfunny, or even a series of tall people all being extremely unfunny, that does not prove that all tall people aren't funny.
It only proves that you saw some tall people who aren't funny.
Maybe you should come to one of my shows and decide for yourself?
No many how examples you have, they never prove a general rule when it comes to race. It's a scientific fact that no race is inferior or superior to any other.
For example if you have a moldy grape, or even a whole bunch of moldy grapes, that doesn't prove that every grape in the world is a queue jumping asylum seeker here to steal your job.
So this is likely the last article I'm going to write about racism, and this week in Sydney I'm doing my last shows about it. On Wed, Sep 11 and Fri, Sep 13. Details below.
If you miss them, it's possible that the fact that you've missed out will torment you forever, and you'll never again sleep soundly. Or you won't care. It's all up to you.
Xavier Toby is a writer and comedian. (www.xaviertoby.com)
Catch Xavier at the Sydney Fringe.
Performing White Trash at 9.30pm on Wed, Sep 11 and 9pm on Fri, Sep 13.
He's also presenting the comedy walking tour '2013 - When We Were Idiots' from Sep 6 to 15.
Catch Xavier at the Melbourne Fringe from Sep 20 to Oct 5.