If I hear something racist, sometimes when I pull the person up for it they'll say something like;
"Ease up champ. Settle down sport. Back off tiger. It's only a little bit racist."
Is that even possible? To be only a little bit racist?
Here are some examples of the racist comments I've heard people claim are okay, since they're only a bit racist.
In order not to offend anyone and because it's fun, I've replaced the racist word with the word 'penguin'. As penguins are awesome - and you can't be racist towards a penguin. Well maybe you can, but nobody bothers because they don't speak any human languages.
So, here we go.
"Those penguin taxi drivers. Why do they always reek?"
"The way all the penguins live together in one suburb. Of course people are going to think that they're up to something. All bunched together, in their own little colonies."
"The penguins who clean my office, they're so useless. I wish they'd all just go back to bloody Penguinistan. Or wherever it is they came from."
"Penguins shouldn't be allowed to cover their faces like that. What if one robbed a bank? We wouldn't know which penguin it was."
"Whenever the penguins in my apartment building cook their stupid penguin food, it just sticks up the whole place. That smell, it gets in everything. My clothes, even my hair. Then all day I smell like a flipping penguin."
"I've never a met a penguin who isn't dodgy. I bought a watch from one of those penguin discount shops, and it didn't even last a year. What a waste of four dollars."
"I wouldn't trust a penguin around my wife. Those penguins, they can't control themselves. Their libido is just completely out of control."
After replacing the racist word with penguin, it struck me how general most of those 'little bit racist' statements are. If you change the location and the situation (and sometimes you don't even need to do that) then those statements could easily apply to nearly every race.
Which proves that they're pointless. When saying that something is inferior to something else, if the statement could be applied to both sides of that argument, then all you've proven is that you're speaking rubbish.
Labeling one race as a 'little bit' inferior is as meaningless as the labels on bottled water. It's water, in a bottle. Duh. Or the patterns on toilet paper. Yes those patterns are very pretty, that's why we decorate them with our shit.
Or the brand of sunglasses someone at a nightclub is wearing on top of their head. The brand doesn't matter, the simple existence of the sunglasses on the head proves that person is a dickhead. In the say way, saying anything even a little bit racist says a lot more about the person saying it, than the race they're saying it about.
Back to the original question. Is it even possible to be just a little bit racist?
Racism is a belief that one race is inferior to another, and although it's based on rubbish, lets compare it to the other big system of beliefs we have on this planet - religion. When it comes to the major religions, is it okay to believe something just a little bit?
Do Hindus believe it's okay to eat a little bit of cow? Do Muslims and Jews believe it's okay to eat a little bit of pork? And Christian priests. Is it okay for them to do even a little bit of porking?
In that last analogy, I always wonder what the crackling would be. I've got a few ideas, but I reckon I'll leave that one to your imagination.
So, what did you come up with? When it comes to Catholic priests, what's the crackling? I bet you're trying very hard to think of anything but altar boys.
Speaking of little things, it is possible to have a little bit of cake. So I've done a lot of thinking and reading and investigation into both racism and cake, and one thing I've learnt for certain is that racism is definitely not cake.
A judgment about a person's perceived smell, driving ability, work ethic, or penis size might be correct, in your opinion, for that person. That's your opinion and it might not be welcome or even plausible, but you're welcome to it. You might even meet someone who smells like flowers and dreams, drives really well, works hard and has a huge penis, but there's not a whole race of people who are all like that. Unfortunately.
Every generalisation about race, either good or bad, is a statement of difference based on skin colour, and it just doesn't make any sense. Not even a little bit. Scientifically speaking, we're all so ridiculously similar it's scary.
Compared to monkeys and most species on this earth, the genetic difference between all of us is so tiny that we're pretty much cousins. Which means for my whole life, I've been fantasizing about and sleeping with my cousins. Now that's properly terrifying.
Most importantly, I don't like it all when people speak poorly about my family. So let's just stop with the racism okay? You silly penguin.
Xavier's stand up show White Trash is on at the Melbourne Comedy Festival from March 27 to April 9. He's also performing in Sydney (May 7-11) and Brisbane (May 12-19). For details, tickets and more stupidity: www.xaviertoby.com