A regular reader from New York State emailed us this morning with questions about what happened to the unfortunate Ms. Papachristou:
I am having trouble finding what is “racist” about this joke. The Olympic decision-makers must have a very expansive definition of what constitutes racism. When confronted with a reference to racism, my reaction is: Name the race!
I don’t see any reference to race, but if forced to find one, it would have to be Egyptians, who are members of the white race.
Why would anyone think this statement is racist? The homemade human food for West Nile mosquitoes are inhabitants of Africa’s most populous country.
Why all this solicitude for the tender feelings of the white-race Egyptians who live on the western bank of the Nile? Do they really feel offended? In what way?
Somebody please explain this.
I wrote him back and listed several things that are “racist” about this incident under the prevailing norms of political correctness:
|1.||Egyptians are considered “brown”, as are Arabs, Persians, Turks, etc. This classification grants them special privileges, entitling them to be considered victims of white European hegemony and oppression, etc.|
|2.||All Muslims are treated as “brown”, even Bosnians and Albanians, and are thus accorded those same victim-privileges.|
|3.||The young woman’s joke referred to the large numbers of Africans (all of whom are “brown”, even the Copts and the Berbers) that now live in Greece. Although true — there are large numbers of African immigrants in Greece, many of them there illegally — it is forbidden for white Europeans to discuss this fact, unless their discourse is hedged about with qualifiers that emphasize the victimization of the Africans: they can’t find jobs, are poor, are discriminated against, are targeted by right-wing extremist xenophobic racists, etc., etc.|
|4.||It is forbidden for white people to joke about anything that concerns “brown” people, even innocuous or neutral things that do not refer to the inferiority or negative characteristics of such people. The exception, of course, would be if the butt of the joke were the white racists who oppress and discriminate against the “brown” people mentioned in the joke — then it would be OK.|
Those are the explanations I can think of off the top of my head. There are probably others.
The rules vis-à-vis “race” that govern public discourse are extraordinarily complex and Byzantine. They are never explicitly stated, and are thus very difficult for even the most well-informed person to understand. Most high-minded and politically correct people run afoul of them at one time or another, since there are so many lines in so many places that cannot be crossed.
Virtually every day a politician or celebrity makes an error and inadvertently breaks the rules of discourse about “race”. The TV viewer is then subjected to the degrading spectacle of the offender’s repeated pitiful apologies, protests of good intentions, and abject groveling before the media outlets that shine the klieg lights on him. None of it does him any good, of course. Once the bucket of “racist” tar has been emptied over one’s head, the sticky goo remains indefinitely.
These rules only apply to white people, however (and to Jews, who for practical purposes are considered at least as “white” as I am). “Brown” people are given an unlimited supply of “Get Out of PC Jail Free” cards, and may thus say whatever they like about race with impunity.