“A way of mocking people who are overly sensitive about race issues.”? That’s what pulling the race card every single waking minute will get you. Good for Jonah for pointing this out.
For instance, when a character on NBC’s Parks and Recreation explains to a co-worker how to do laundry, he says, “Okay, so you always separate your lights from your darks.”
She responds, “That’s racist.”
Perhaps the greatest sign that the punch line has gone mainstream came last week when NPR’s All Things Considered reported on “that’s racist.” Correspondent Neda Ulaby explored how a phrase once considered one of the most serious accusations possible has become a gag line. The only problem? It’s not clear she actually gets the joke.
But what’s the joke? We don’t find out until a 14-year-old-boy says it plainly: “I think I or other people just sort of do it as a way of mocking people who are overly sensitive about race issues.”
NPR could have done the whole story in 30 seconds. But instead it spent more than five minutes trying to grapple with a wonderful yet utterly inconvenient truth for the ostentatiously liberal network: Young people just aren’t as uptight about race as their parents, never mind their grandparents, are. And, by the way, the days of segregated swimming pools and neighborhoods haven’t merely “yielded” to “more subtle forms of discrimination”; they’ve yielded to – wait for it – less discrimination.
And that’s the joke. And the people who’ve spent the last few decades screaming “that’s racist,” not as a punch line but as a heinously unfair accusation or in an attempt to bully people, don’t seem to get that the joke is on them.