Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The R-Word

I'm rereading Molly Ivins's You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You, a collection of her writings from the 90s. (Once again, if you've forgotten what was going on in those days, or are too young to remember, Ivins's books are a fun, relatively painless way to jog your memory.) This struck me funny, in a 1995 piece on Timothy McVeigh and the novel that radicalized him, The Turner Diaries:
The funniest part of this book is that Turner keeps getting indignant when 'The Enemy,' which intends to turn us all into 'a swarming horde of indifferent mulatto zombies,' calls the Order 'racist.' When the Order is decried by the media in this book as 'racist and anti-Semitic,' Turner considers it unfair.
That of course is how you know the book is fiction, because in the real world the media would never call an American fascist "racist and anti-Semitic"; they'd call him "the rough-hewn, articulate regular guy who's challenging PC orthodoxy" or something like that. But what I liked was the reminder that racist snowflakes get all indignant when they're called racist. This baffles me at the same time that it amuses me. They come up with all kinds of PC euphemisms ("race loyalist," "racial nationalist," etc.) to try to ward off the R-word.  I suppose eventually they'll try to reclaim it, but really, what is the problem?  You can call them almost anything else and they'll laugh it off, but "racist" somehow gets to them.  All the more reason to use it, then: the right tool for the job.