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Oct. 19 2009 - 3:47 pm | 150 views | 2 recommendations | 16 comments

7 ridiculous ‘I’m not racist’ claims

Okay, so charges of racism have gotten more than a little out-of-control lately. But that doesn’t mean that racists are a dying breed—they are alive and well in America and around the world.

Rather than argue that every negative statement about the President or a particular people group is racist, I’d like to focus on the more egregious examples of racism. Or, in this case, the people whose comments are obviously racist, but who insist on denying it.  Below are 7 of the more ridiculous “I’m not racist” claims:

1. “I’m not racist…[I] even let black people use my bathroom.” This was the response of a Louisiana justice of the peace to accusations of racism after he refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. Hmmm. Someone needs to tell this guy that if his notion of equality is based on using the same restroom as Blacks, his civil rights views need updating. Pronto. And what about his spurious rationale for refusing to perform the marriage? He claimed to be concerned for the welfare of any children born to the parents. One can only wonder if this guy’s ever heard of the current President of the United States, who was born to an interracial couple. No need to worry—but something tells me the justice wasn’t really worried about the kids.

2. “I’m not racist. Do you know how many times I’ve been called one?” In one of his typical rants, Rush Limbaugh continues to assert that he is not a racist. In the past he has referred to then presidential candidate Barack Obama as “the little black man child” and “Barack the Magic Negro”. He also said that the “NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips” and when discussing the television show “Survivor”, stated that “African-American tribe” were the worst swimmers,  while Hispanics “have shown a remarkable ability to cross borders…They don’t get apprehended, and they will do things other people won’t do.” As if this is not enough, he has repeatedly referred to Native Americans as “Injuns”.  Maybe, just maybe, these statements are the reason people refer to Limbaugh as a racist. The shoe fits.

Next up, Lenny Dykstra and Pat Buchanan, after the jump.

3. “Nobody can call me a racist.” Or so says Lenny Dykstra, a former Major League Baseball outfielder-turned-financial advisor who declared bankruptcy earlier this year. Of course, in the same conversation, Dykstra said some things that belied his not-a-racist claim:

Lenny’s on speaker when he proudly states, for both my wife and me, that “nobody can call me a racist—I put three darkies and a b**** on my first four covers.”

The first four Players Club covers featured Derek Jeter, Chris Paul, Tiger Woods, and Danica Patrick.

“What was that, Lenny?” I ask.

“I said I put three spearchuckers on the cover!” he replies.

via You Think Your Job Sucks? Try Working for Lenny Dykstra: Profiles: GQ.

Gotcha, Lenny! Now everyone can call you a racist.

4. “I’ve put all kinds of political signs up.” When Patrick Lanzo posted a sign outside of his Georgia business bashing Obama’s healthcare plan using the n-word, and said “I’ve used the n-word most of my life”, it was, oh, I don’t know, maybe a hint that he’s a racist. Add to that the mannequin in the corner sporting Ku Klux Klan attire (note the rarely-seen black hood and matching cape) and you have a recipe for racial foolishness. And then there’s this video from last year where Lanzo questions the difference between President Obama and a monkey. But Lanzo denies he’s a racist, saying that he “stands by [his] President.” Sure you do, buddy.

5. “I am not a racist. I did not intend any racial bigotry, harm or prejudice in my words.” Well, let’s look into that, Officer Justin Barrett. It says here that you sent an email comparing Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to a “banana-eating” and “bumbling jungle monkey.” How do you explain this? Wait, what’s that? You say you felt the Boston Globe coverage of Gatesgate was unfair? So you responded not to the Globe, but instead sent out a mass email to a bunch of people calling Dr. Gates a banana-eating jungle monkey. That makes absolutely no sense. Even worse, when asked to explain why you used such language, you said: “I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you. I have no idea.” Then you played the fool and said you never used such language before. Perhaps it’s time for a polygraph, officer.

6. “[They] are desperately trying to paint me as a racist. Nothing could be farther from the truth.” Why Audra Shay persists in her hollow denials of racism is beyond me. This is an instance where picture is worth a thousand words:


So when someone refers to “coons and illegals” on Shay’s Facebook page, she LOLs ’cause it’s just so funny!  When a later commentor expresses concern that Eric Piker’s (above) comment was racist, Audra promptly de-friends the person who called the comment racist while remaining friends with Eric Piker (that’s really his name, angry commentors). That’ll show ‘em, Audra. You can be friends with all the racists you want on Facebook! And let’s not miss the reference to “Obama bin Lauden [sic] the Muslim” in his comment?  Keep in mind, these are the young Republicans. The GOP future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!

7. “This has been a country built basically by white folks.” Ah, Pat Buchanan! The man who is against affirmative action, except that he wrote a memo in favor of it as long as it didn’t benefit Blacks or Jews. In a well-known television interview with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Buchanan made a number of racist statements, most notably “This has been a country built basically by white folks.” Sure, Pat. Feel free to ignore the millions of African enslaved people, the thousands of Chinese and Mexican laborers—the other people who worked to build this country. And while you’re at it, Pat, forget about those who served this country in combat:

1.2 million African-Americans served in World War II.  And yes, they were among those who stormed the beaches of Normandy.

The Defense Department says almost 10,000 Mexican Americans fought for the union during the Civil War.  Hundreds of thousands of Hispanics served in the Armed Forces during World War II.  Twelve Hispanics were awarded the Medal of Honor.  Twenty-four Asian Americans received the Medal of Honor for heroism in World War II.

via ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ for Monday, July 20 – Rachel Maddow show- msnbc.com.

I can’t even call which one of these is the worst.


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  1. collapse expand

    Let’s add Jesse ‘Hymietown’ Jackson to the list, also Louis ‘jews is a gutter religion’Farrakhan. Also the race-baiting Al Sharpton who faked the Tawana Brawley incident, and how he inflamed the neighborhood in Crown Heights and got an angry mob to kill a random Hasidic Jew.

    Also since we should be in a post-racial America (but I get it; it’s a work in progress) can we please get rid of the Miss Black USA pageant–I am sure you would not accept a Miss White USA.

    Also in that vein, we need to get rid of BET (Black Entertainment Television?) WET (White Ent TV) would be picketed by the aforementioned Rev’s daily until it was shut down.

    Also I have watched Def Comedy Jam for years and if you juxtaposed the black comedians for white ones and replaced “white people” in their jokes with “black people” there would literally be riots.

    • collapse expand

      If you’re trying to get me to defend people who discriminate, it won’t work. I don’t support discriminatory comments, no matter who makes them. You’ll notice that virtually all of the statements on my list were made in 2009, with the exception of a couple made by Limbaugh a few years ago.

      As for your little tirade about various Black entertainment outlets, you’ll have to take that issue up with someone who actually watches those programs. I don’t, so I can’t even speak to what they are doing.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      “Also since we should be in a post-racial America (but I get it; it’s a work in progress) can we please get rid of the Miss Black USA pageant–I am sure you would not accept a Miss White USA.”

      you do realize why Miss Black USA even exists in the first place right? It was in response to the fact that there were lack of Black women in the Miss USA Pageant. So I would advise you to look at the context of why the “exclusive” race, sex, etc. group was started in the first place. I’ve heard many White Males complain about such things and not a one even knew why those things exist. Also I wouldn’t repeat all this political jargon about a Post-Racial America. It would be nice, but its not the least bit true and the comments by white public figures that this article shows and your response to the author’s comment to you are perfect examples of that.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    Jessica, I’m dumbfounded. This is a great report, full of righteous anger. Gawd. What people think they ought to get away with.

  3. collapse expand

    “As for your little tirade” Geeze, I’m agreeing with you, why do you have to disrespect me…typical black person*

  4. collapse expand

    Great post. Nothing shines light on the guilty better than their own words.

  5. collapse expand

    My T/S blog is about the criminal justice system, especially wrongful convictions. As far as I can discern, a significant percentage of wrongful convictions occur primarily because of racism. The most common pattern is Caucasian crime victim, African-American suspect/defendant, Caucasian police detectives, prosecutors, judges and jurors. Yes, quite a few Caucasians have been wrongfully convicted. But that fact does not erase the racism that subtly (and occasionally not so subtly) infects many of the wrongful convictions I’ve studied/written about.

  6. collapse expand

    Great post Jessica. What people say says plenty about who they are.

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    About Me

    I left my career as a corporate lawyer to author Double Outsiders (JIST Works, 2007), an award-winning book about the lives and experiences of professional women of color. Since then, I've continued writing as a freelancer and columnist and have been cited in the Associated Press, Working Mother, and the National Law Journal, among others. In Hyphenated, I'll continue writing about women of color, but will also expand my focus to look at issues impacting women and people of color generally in society. You can find me on a bunch of different social networks, but most often on Twitter (@jescarter).

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    Contributor Since: July 2009