This Week in Racism

A George Floyd-Themed Valentine Is Just the Latest Episode of LAPD Behaving Poorly

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.

🗑 We’d say we expected more from LAPD, but… nah

Remember how in elementary school when Valentine’s Day rolled around, every kid made a mailbox, and then also made cards for every other kid in class, so that every kid had a mailbox full of cards? And even though there were like 30 kids in your class and your wrist hurt from writing “Happy Valentine’s Day” and you hated that you had to give one to stinky-ass Gerald and you hoped that Kelli would like your handwriting and decide that you were her boyfriend, but you still understood that it was nice that no one felt left out? Well, take all that energy and turn it completely inside-out; now you’ve got an inkling of what possessed someone in the Los Angeles Police Department to circulate a Valentine’s card that depicted George Floyd and the message “you take my breath away.” While it’s not known where the image originated — a similar one was seen on Facebook — LAPD chief Michael Moore confirmed to the LA Times that they were investigating two Instagram accounts that may have ties to LAPD employees, including one called Blue Line Mafia that has seemingly been removed from the platform. Between Daryl Gates and the invention of SWAT, Rampart, and Rodney King, LAPD was already a first-ballot Institutional Racism Hall of Fame inclusion, but this? This is the sort of thing that shows what it takes to be a true champion. (Los Angeles Times)

🗑 We’d say we expected more from The Bachelor, but… nah

The Bachelor finally has a Black bachelor!” they said. “You should really watch it!” they said. Fine, we said. So we tried, and from jump we knew that the hot mess hid an undercurrent of… something weird. That something didn’t take long to surface: Last week, after contestant Rachael Kirkconnell apologized for dressing as a Native American for Halloween and attending an “Old South”-themed sorority party at a plantation, Bachelor host Chris Harrison wondered aloud if we were all just making too big a deal out of it all. “Is it [not] a good look in 2018?” he asked of Kirkconnell’s actions. “Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.” Totally, Chris. Totally. 2018 was a different time! We mean, we had no idea that expressing nostalgia for antebellum slavery was such a big deal. Or that parading stereotypes of other cultures was even remotely offensive. In fact, if it weren’t for the mass protests of 2020, we’d have no idea that systemic racism was even a thing. Oh, no, wait a minute, that’s not “we” — that’s you. Harrison seems to have either realized his own headassery or had it explained to him because he’s “stepping aside” from his hosting duties for a “period of time.” Now that’s a good look in 2021. (NBC News)

🗑 We’d say we expected more from rural Illinois, but… well, you get it

Piatt County, Illinois, isn’t far outside the Champaign-Urbana area, but we’re guessing some of its residents don’t like anything even remotely… Urbana. Last week, a Black Amazon driver named Jordan Lee drove onto a property to make a delivery, only to find a stone engraved with the phrase COON HUNTER. Given that his car wasn’t externally marked as an Amazon vehicle, and Lee had his wife and son in the car with him, he was understandably freaked out. “No matter what, they should be culturally sensitive enough to know that if they are raccoon hunting, put ‘raccoon,’” Lee told a local news station. It’s not like there’s really anything to be done about the stone — it’s a private citizen’s private property, and they have the right to express the fact that they’re a bigoted jackass — but if said private citizen is really looking for a seamless two-day delivery experience, may we suggest Grand Dragazon Prime? (WCIA)

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