Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine. If you already get our newsletter, Minority Report, you’ve likely seen this — but now the rest of the internet can get a taste.
🗑 Please remember simpler times with this tale of a Karen gone wild
While it certainly seems like every white supremacist with bus fare and a distaste for masks showed up in Washington, D.C. last week, it’s important to remember that day-to-day racism didn’t slow down. Exhibit A: A Black man in Oregon trying to circumvent a traffic snarl by getting on the highway provoked the ire of an absolutely classic racist archetype when he edged his car around hers. Let’s do the checklist, shall we? Calls the driver the N-word multiple times? Check. Reaches through his window to smack him? Check. Spits in his face? Check. SWINGS ON HIS PASSENGER WITH A KNIFE, and then scratches his pickup truck with it? Check. We’re so overwhelmed by it all we’re not even gonna say anything about the pickup truck. Guess that’s just how they do it in Oregon. Anyway, the local police department posted a photo of Miss Sunshine on Facebook looking for leads, only for the thread to devolve into big jokes. And while we normally don’t condone such cruelty, you know what they say about God and ugly. (KPTV Fox 12)
🗑 NYPD concludes that the racism is coming from inside the house
After a monthslong investigation, New York Police Department has officially concluded that — ah, we’ll just let the New York Times do it — “a high-ranking officer responsible for combating workplace harassment in the New York Police Department wrote dozens of virulently racist posts about Black, Jewish, and Hispanic people under a pseudonym on an online chat board.” As the Times details, over at Thee Rant, a message board largely populated by NYPD officers, James Kobel called former President Barack Obama a “Muslim savage” and referred to New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s son as “brillohead.” In response, a representative of Kobel’s union issued this statement: “Given the current political climate and anti-police sentiment, D.I. Kobel did not see it as possible to get a fair administrative trial and decided to avail himself of the opportunity to file for retirement.” Ah, yes, the current political climate. It’s like a guy can’t even violate his oath to protect and serve the people of New York anymore without sparking a witch hunt! (New York Times)
🗑 The Brits aren’t the only people who can give a horse a racist name
Devoted readers of This Week in Racism may remember the tale of the racehorse named Jungle Bunny. They may even have thought to themselves, “well, surely nothing like this could happen in these here United States!” To which we say: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Please meet horse trainer Eric Guillot, who on January 1 kicked off the year by tweeting a photo of a horse that he claimed had “a unique name in honor of a [TV network] analyst.” That name? Grape Soda. That TV announcer? Just the only Black man announcer working for the network in question. Guillot claimed that there was nothing racist about it, that he simply loved grape soda — which is all well and good, except he also claimed in a since-deleted tweet that the colt was as smooth as a menthol Kool, punctuating it with a black fist emoji. Guillot has since been barred from the New York Racing Association… though we have a feeling he won’t have a hard time finding a new job once he heads over to Thee Rant. (New York Times)