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’re pleased to introduce our 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.
🗑White woman named Karen demands to see the manager of the internet
It’s not a great time to be named Karen — at least, according to a group of women named Karen who appeared on a British morning show earlier this week to complain about it. “We’re labeled as racist, entitled, anti-maskers and we’re just not that sort of person,” said one of the Karens, Karen Masters. Sure, we get that; while a name like Karen perfectly distills the personality of a middle-aged White woman who complains when the world doesn’t constantly cater to her every whim, it can’t reflect the reality of every Karen. So we’re sure that the next thing out of her mind is completely reasonab — [checks earpiece] — we’re being told that it was actually “It’s totally unfair and we want the media and the tabloids and the papers to stop using our name to describe racist people.” Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing that Karen Masters is going to set up an internet petition to — [checks earpiece] — ah, she already did? (Newsweek)
🗑Houston, please welcome your new GOP county chairperson, a guy who shares MLK quotes decorated with bananas
With nearly 5 million people, Houston’s Harris County isn’t just the biggest county in Texas, it’s the third biggest in the entire country. So earlier this summer, when the chairperson-elect of the county’s Republican Party posted an image to Facebook depicting a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. with a banana in the background, it was a bigger deal than just “Texas gonna Texas.” (If you’re keeping score, GOP chairs in three other counties shared posts claiming that George Floyd’s murder was staged.) The idiot in question, Keith Nielsen, reportedly claimed that he wouldn’t take office when that day came in early August — yet, despite multiple party officials calling on him to step down and a letter signed by all the state’s precinct chairs reminding him of that fact, he seems to have ignored it all, and is now the chairperson. Nice work, everyone! (Houston Public Media)
🗑Sharing memes is for racism amateurs, says Virginia mayor who writes only the finest original racist content
Luray, Virginia, is a lot closer to West Virginia than it is to D.C. or Richmond — but you don’t need a map to verify that when Luray’s mayor is getting jokes off on Facebook. (Of course Facebook. Always Facebook. Would it kill you to try something new, you sad old White dudes who look like the “before” picture in a shady testosterone-supplement ad?) Clearly triggered by the prospects of his guy in the presidential election, Barry Presgraves posted on Facebook that “Joe Biden just announced Aunt Jemima as his VP pick.” First off, HILARIOUS. Fresh, invigorating, not at all something even Mike Huckabee would reject. Second, it was in that “graphic text” format where funny goes to die. Third, he deleted it as soon as people noticed it, which really makes you doubt Barry Presgraves’ commitment to comedy. But since as an elected official he’s a public figure, it’s probably worth shooting him an email to help him workshop his next Netflix special. (Washington Post)