This Week in Racism

White Supremacist Recruiters Can’t Resist a Place Called Whitestown

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.

🗑 In a stunning twist, the place called “Whitestown” isn’t the problem

We’ve heard the story more and more in recent months: Residents of this or that smallish town wake up to find that a hate group has left recruitment flyers in their mailboxes. Well, it happened again last week, this time in Indiana. In Whitestown, a little ways outside Indianapolis, townspeople fou — wait, hold up a second. Did we hear that right? Whitestown, Indiana? The state that used to lead the nation in Klan members wasn’t content to just have White County, White River, and Whitesville? We mean, yeah, nowhere should be targeted by people leaving papers that say “no white guilt” and “white lives matter”… but if you were an unimaginative White supremacist, you’ve gotta admit Whitestown is the VERY FIRST PLACE YOU’D GO. Anyway, it’s not Whitestown’s fault. At least not for this. It’s standing on the “towns with racist-sounding names” list, though? That’s a different story. (Fox 59)

🗑 How to succeed in Ohio politics without moving past Jim Crow

Last June, as the country was dealing with the double whammy of Covid-19 and a national conversation around systemic racism, Ohio held a hearing to determine whether it should declare racism a public health crisis. During that hearing, state Sen. Jim Huffman — who is also an ER doctor — asked about the racial dimensions in Covid’s impact by saying, “Could it just be that African Americans or the colored population do not wash their hands as well as other groups?” Yes, that’s the phrase he used. (Later, he told the Washington Post that he thought the terms “people of color” and “colored population” were “interchangeable.”) Huffman was immediately fired from his ER-doc gig… but not from politics. Far from it, in fact. He was recently named to head up Ohio’s senate health panel! Wait, it gets better. The person who appointed him to the role? Well, that would be his cousin. In summation: Nice work, Ohio! (CNN)

🗑 We’re gonna need a whole other word for this kind of racism

Even if you’re not familiar with the term “ouroboros,” you’ve seen one: It’s the image of a serpent forming a circle by eating its own tail. But while the symbol has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, it might be time to swap out that snake for another slithering creature: Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell’s Kentuckian counterpart in the U.S. Senate. Paul went on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News on Friday night (strike one!) and proceeded to argue against President Joe Biden’s fight for a $15 minimum wage (strike two!) by saying that… well, look, we can’t make the insanity any clearer than he could, so let’s just use his own words. “The people who lose their jobs first when you hike up the minimum wage are Black teenagers,” Paul said. “So, you know, ‘why does Joe Biden hate Black teenagers’ should be the question.” (And you’re out!) Let us get this straight: The problem with the minimum wage isn’t that it keeps families mired in poverty but that raising it would force business wonders to fire Black employees? For the record: This is untrue. But at least it proves once again that the most beautiful form of racism comes from accusing someone else of it. No wonder his 60-year-old neighbor whooped his ass! (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Sign up for Minority Report

By LEVEL

A weekly newsletter that dives into cultural news in need of a strong opinion. Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store