This Week in Racism

Don’t Try to Put a Positive Spin on the N-Word Like This College Professor

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our weekly roundup of the world’s most preventable disease!

Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine. If you already get our newsletter, Minority Report, you’ve likely seen this — but now the rest of the internet can get a taste.

🗑 Africana studies professor proves acronyms can’t hide R.A.C.I.S.M.

Melissa Hargrove, PhD, has been lecturing at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville for a few years now, and while she hasn’t made full professor, she has made… 11 student groups sign a letter calling for her dismissal! During a class last week, she wrote a certain word in all caps on the whiteboard, and then took a page from Tupac’s debut album by making it stand for “Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished.” Not a great look — but there’s an even worse look lurking. This wasn’t Hargrove’s first time making what one might generously call a “questionable teaching decision.” As another student pointed out on Twitter, this is the same woman who gave her students an extra-credit assignment to pretend to be confined on a slave ship during the Middle Passage. Don’t call it “racism” — call it Rhetorical Acts Causing Intense Student Malaise! (WBIR 10)

🗑 For those still arguing that the Capitol insurrectionists were “very fine people”…

Over the past month — has it really only been a month? — the FBI and other officials have made hundreds of arrests in connection with the January 6 raid on the Capitol. Predictably, Q-loonies and other extremists opted to deny the reality of these arrests entirely; after all, they howled, the entire raid was a false flag operation and anyone caught there wasn’t actually a Trump supporter. To them, we say: You’re really gonna love Kyle Fitzsimons! In 2017, four years before Fitzsimons found his way to the Capitol, the Maine man let loose with a tirade of racism and xenophobia at a public hearing. In the footage, which CNN recently obtained, Fitzsimons railed against teaching English to immigrants, telling legislators they were “bringing in the third world” and asking a Black spectator, “What’s wrong with your culture that you need to know that much about how to teach your kids to stay out of jail?” (Don’t ask.) Is there more? Oh, there’s much, much more. So much more, in fact, that when CNN reached Fitzsimons’ attorney for comment, the only response was “no comment.” We’d say “have fun storming the castle!”… but we already know how that turned out. (CNN)

🗑 In today’s edition of “THAT’S WHAT I’M SAYING THO,” Texas pastor receives racist letter after pointing out church’s race problem

Back in November, following in Donald Trump’s footsteps, the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention issued a statement saying that critical race theory “is incompatible with the Baptist faith and message.” You might not be surprised to know that Black clergy felt some kind of way about that announcement, with some prominent pastors choosing to leave the convention. Dwight McKissic wasn’t one of them, but he did decide to pull his church, Cornerstone Baptist, from the organization’s Texas chapter — and what did he get for his troubles? A letter calling Black folks “savages” and claiming that “Negroes” didn’t deserve to be appointed to positions within the organization. We’ve got seven words for you, Pastor McKissic: The. Price. Is. On. The Can. Though. (WFAA 8)

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