We Must #CancelColbert – And by the Way, Look How Not-Racist I Am

I’m so non-racist I even think non-racists are racist

I believe that Stephen Colbert‘s show should be canceled over an ostensibly racist tweet.

And also, look at me: I’m not racist.

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We all agree that we should call out actual racism, loudly and often. But I go a step further, ignoring nuance, context and logic, to ensure that I call out even non-racism as racist. That’s how you know I am truly, noticeably not racist.

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As a white person, I never experience racism of any kind. But I do my part to combat racism by being offended on behalf of other races. There are many ways I could increase equality in America: Teaching or volunteering at New York or Chicago’s appallingly segregated schools. Giving to charities. Asking lawmakers to fix a justice system that imprisons African-Americans at higher rates than whites.

But I do none of those things. Rather, I do the thing most personally convenient to me: I go on Twitter a lot, and accuse other white people of being racist. Especially if lots of other people are doing it too, with a hashtag like #CancelColbert, so we have Twitter strength in Twitter numbers.

Nothing proves you’re not racist like calling other people racist.

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To which you may say: Wait a minute, Tim. It sounds like all you’re doing is adding to an opportunistic pile-on in a shadow reality when you could be out tutoring kids.

To which I say: Yes, but how many people would see me tutoring? A handful of other volunteers? On Twitter, hundreds or thousands of people can see how not-racist I am.

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That’s a great point, you might say. But… isn’t it not about you? When you raise your hand on Twitter, trying to make people see how not-racist you are, how are you helping anyone else?

To which I say: Why are you defending racists?

Oddly, none of the people I ever rise to defend ever reach out to tell me how much they appreciate it. (Actually, I don’t so much “rise” as “sit on my couch,” but never mind.) And no, no one ever says I seem like one of the cool white people who really gets it.

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But I do gets lots of retweets and favorites from other white people, lending their voices to say that they, too, are not racist.

Let’s face it: There’s nothing worse in today’s society than being called racist. It’s even worse than actually being racist. So it’s important that we show our non-racism by calling out even non-racists like Colbert, who plays a character who is a tone-deaf buffoon, and, accordingly, says things that are tone-deaf and buffoonish.

The more sensitive and finely tuned my ear for racism, the more obviously not-racist I am. Being able to detect racism even where none exists is one of the most elevated levels of not being racist.

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The best part of my campaign against racism is that once in a while, I even criticize someone who is actually racist. There are a lot of these people.

Yes, I suppose I could focus my heroic efforts on them and the damage they do — by registering voters, staging boycotts, or doing any number of other concrete, practical things. But why would I invest time in something hard when I can reach a much larger audience while eating my Cheerios at home?

Granted: My scattershot, meaningless, BB-gun approach hits lots of the wrong people. It may even sound like I’m crying wolf, which makes my voice less credible when real racism arises.

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But no one will say that, because they don’t want to be misunderstood and grouped with the actual racists.

Disagree with me? Guess what that makes you.