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.
🗑 Washington woman makes no bones about her racism with Kamala Harris Halloween decoration
A Richland, Washington, woman took a fake skeleton with black bones, threw a black wig on top, and strung it up in her front yard with a “Kamala Harris” name tag. (Get it?) She claims it’s not racist. That’s the real gag, folks. Ronnarae Cowell, 71, says she and her ex-boyfriend were simply having some Halloween fun when they hung a set of three skeletons just ahead of the election. (The others have signs that read Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi — take a wild guess what color their bones are.) Despite complaints from neighbors offended by some very obvious symbolism, this wacky woman wonders what’s the big deal. The skeletons are hanging by their shoulders, after all. Of course she claims to be a Trump supporter, which raises the question: Where’s her orange skeleton? Get it? Because Trump’s skin is orange. (Tri-City Herald)
🗑 Kenosha alderman can’t help but put his foot in his mouth
Joe Biden’s drawn-out election drew varied reactions. Many of the president-elect’s supporters took their unbridled joy to the streets, banging the shit out of pots, honking the shit out of car horns, rapping the shit out of “FDT.” Those on the other side handled their emotions differently. Such was the case for Rocco LaMacchia Sr., a Wisconsin alderman who attempted to put the kee-kee in his home city of Kenosha with sarcasm that, by our highly scientific calculations, sounds awfully racist. “When we riot, do we start at Best Buy or Target?” he wrote on Facebook and Twitter on Saturday. “I’ve never done this before.” Never mind the fact that this amateur act serves the city that landed on the national stage after police opened fire on Jacob Blake earlier this summer, leading to protests local and far beyond — his response to the uproar following his puny attempt at a punch line reveals his supreme self-awareness. “It was all a joke — people who really know me know I’m not racist,” he said, after commenters dug up his old tweets “joking” about the Black incarceration rate. And then, the finisher. “I am getting beat up over nothing.” Anyone have a tomato? (Kenosha News)
🗑 NYPD anti-harassment official happens to be a big ol’ bigot
Surprise, surprise: Police officers hate their jobs just as much as the rest of us. Yet instead of moaning and groaning about it to their friends, family, and local bartender, several members of the NYPD anonymously voice their gripes via a notorious police message board called the Rant. The language on this forum is as colorful as you’d expect (think Denzel in Training Day), but King Kong ain’t got shit on a user who goes by the alias “Clouseau,” who over the past year has posted several racially charged attacks on the platform. The user called the Bronx district attorney (who is Black) “a gap-toothed wildebeest,” and referred to former President Obama as a “Muslim savage.” Turns out, an investigation has revealed that “Clouseau” is actually Deputy Inspector James F. Kobel, a high-ranking official who just happens to be responsible for combating workplace harassment in the NYPD. Yikes! We’ve never worked in HR, but seems like a bit of an oversight. (Then again, he probably omitted “bigotry” and “middle school name-calling” from his résumé.) Kobel reportedly denied the allegations, but last week was relieved of his command of the Equal Employment Opportunity Division. “Despite my denial, it will likely end my career,” he wrote. “Where do I go to get my reputation back?” Maybe he should start with Best Buy or Target? (New York Times)