I hate to admit it. It’s really quite embarrassing, humiliating really. But — even though I was an actual civil rights worker in the South and (crazy me) later gave money to the Black Panthers — in the interest of transparency (that’s what we all aspire to nowadays, isn’t it?), I cannot tell a lie, George Washington:
I am a racist.
Worse than that, I profile.
When I see a black gangbanger walking down the sidewalk toward me at night, sometimes I cross to the other side. Even if he’s not wearing a hoodie.
Ditto for skanky white guys in ponytails who look like meth heads, bandana-clad Mexicans who might be members of the Zetas, and Asian guys with ominous Fu Manchus, black belts, and ninja pajamas.
Yes, I profile. In that way, at least, I am sort of like the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Not only that, if I carried a gun (I don’t though, I’m too sloppy. Just last week my wife yelled at me for backing up over one of the solar garden lights we just bought) and one of those guys jumped me and started beating the living daylights out of me, I might well shoot him.
So I’m racist… and a profiler. Baaaad.
Why am I racist?
Because I profile, duh. I’m kind of an equal opportunity racist. I profile everyone.
But just to put the icing on the cake, someone I don’t know called me a “racist” on Twitter yesterday. “You must be a racist,” he said, thankfully omitting the requisite exclamation points. This was in reaction to my appearance on NPR to discuss an article I had written on the Zimmerman trial, the same article a columnist at the Washington Post called “deranged” because I likened that sorry, hypocritical event to a Stalinist show trial.
So it’s settled. I must be a racist.
But don’t be smug, dear reader. You’re a racist, too. Even if you comment seventeen times a day on The Huffington Post, cursing Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, you’re still a racist.
That’s just the way things go these days.
UPDATE: I wrote the above Tuesday morning. Obviously, I was having some fun. But since then I have heard the latest turn in the Zimmerman/Martin saga and I have lost my sense of humor. Our Department of Justice, in its “wisdom,” has just decided to establish an email address through which George Zimmerman’s fellow citizens can report on putative examples of his racism, although a full investigation of the same had been conducted over a year ago by the FBI, yielding a result of no racism. What DOJ is doing now constitutes a witch hunt employing the methodology of a police state, citizen spying on citizen, with Attorney General Eric Holder and his henchman Tom Perez assuming the role of Markus Wolf. If you don’t remember who he was, you can click on the link. Or perhaps have a look at this film. The U.S. Department of Justice channels the Stasi. Did you ever think it could happen here?