The above image was printed in today’s Columbia Tribune, the local newspaper for a small Missouri city about 117 miles west of Ferguson. It’s too stupid for me to think piece you to death over it, but it is worth noticing and acknowledging. When racists think it’s safe to remove their heads from their shoulder deep plunge into their own asses, this is what you get.
The image is hurtful, racist, and uniformed, but, frankly, I couldn’t be happier to see it. I am always glad when a racist exposes his or her true nature. It’s a vivid reminder that this is what they think about you; not just now, but always. Even when they aren’t saying it in public, or publishing crudely drawn cartoons, this is who they think you are. They see you as Neanderthals in saggy jeans. They see you as violent criminals. They see you as dumb (notice the letter “R” playfully inverted on the first sign?).
Unfortunately, there are many more people who think like this than most good people want to believe. There are enough that these collections of malformed thoughts secretly rattling around the otherwise empty heads of our neighbors, co-workers, and friends to help form public opinion. That public opinion helps form public policy. And that public policy makes white supremacy a matter of law.
So why does blatant racism like this sometimes emerge into the consciousness of the public, instead of remaining behind closed office doors or at suburban dinner tables? One reason is that these people won’t speak up when the status quo is maintained. Why would they? It takes an event that scares them enough to let the mask slip so you can see who they really are. When black people in a small, forgotten town, decide to fight back, suddenly the dog whistles are put away, and the sirens are alarmed.
So don’t let this image or the vile slurs thrown around by anonymous cowards on social media discourage you. Let it be a reminder that they are afraid.