Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
Is the button at worn at the DNC (Once You Vote Black, You Never Go Back. Vote Obama) racist? Yes. If you said, “Once You Vote White, You Never Go Back. Vote Romney,” (even if I could have gotten that to rhyme) I bet that would still get some attention and a lot of criticism.
But why are both the real button and my example button racist? Never mind that phrase taps into a racially loaded stereotype. The sexual power of black men. In this case, that’s a distraction.
Here’s my formula for racism. A racially based belief ACTED upon in a decision. That why my reverse example of “Always Bet on White. Vote Romney” pops out like racism. It clearer to see. A racial preference (preferring black/white). Being converted into an discriminatory action: vote (and act on that racial judgement).
So why does this Democratic National convention participant or all owners of this “Once You Vote Black, You Never Go Back. Vote Obama” button not see the racist side of this message?
Racism stinks. And like a bad body odor, at some point, you can’t smell yourself when you have it. You’re offending everyone else but, the same way a bad smell normalizes to your nose if around too long, it all seems normal to you. That’s also why it’s difficult to talk about race. Often the offender doesn’t think they are offending.