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Condemn white supremacy? Great! But no special credit, white people

5 57 0
14.09.2017

In today’s America, effusive — and often undeserved — praise is heaped upon white folks who publicly condemn racism.

During the 2018 Miss America pageant, Margana Wood, competing as Miss Texas, provided another example of this phenomenon. When asked about Donald Trump’s reaction to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Wood replied:

I think that the white supremacist issue, it was very obvious that it was a terrorist attack. And I think that President Donald Trump should’ve made a statement earlier addressing the fact, and in making sure all Americans feel safe in this country. That is the number one issue right now.

Her comments were widely praised by journalists, pundits and across social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

For me, this moment evokes Chris Rock’s genius 1996 comedy special “Bring the Pain,” during which he mocked people who want credit for things they should be doing anyway, such as taking care of their children.

That Wood’s condemnation of white supremacists and neo-Nazis is considered brave or especially laudable is one more indicator of how low the standards for truth-telling and acts of resistance against racism have fallen in the age of Donald Trump.

In a healthy society, it should be a given that decent and normal human beings would publicly condemn white supremacists, neo-Nazis and their ilk. Alas, such basic standards of human decency have been upended by Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s racial authoritarianism and growing influence over American life.

In fact, Margana Wood’s comments provide an opportunity for one more “teachable moment” along the color line.

On........

© Salon