This Week in Racism

Are All Conservative Conferences Sponsored by Nazis?

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.

🗑 At this point, we’d be surprised if a conservative conference *didn’t* happen on a giant Nazi symbol

For those of you who don’t stay glued to Fox News, last week was CPAC, the annual gathering of the country’s “best” and “brightest” conservatives that also happens to sound like your uncle’s sleep apnea machine. And this year’s installment had it all: the slogan “America Uncanceled,” which in its hopes to own the libs is about as assertive as boiled chicken; Ted Cruz yelling the word “FREEDOM!” like a televangelist who had just watched Braveheart; a gold statue of Donald Trump in stars-and-stripes shorts that we mistook for Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School. And it all happened in the beautiful Hyatt Regency Orlando, on a stage designed in a shape we can only assume is 100% innocuous. [Flips idly through history book called The Symbology of the Nazi Party.] Uh, wait a second. [Looks at photos of CPAC stage, looks back at book.] In the 1940s, the Nazis took a Norse symbol known as the Othala (or Odal) rune, added wings, and began using it as a swastika replacement in some units of the SS. And that’s exactly what the CPAC stage was shaped like. Coincidence? Sure — as long as you believe that the Trump campaign using concentration camp symbols was a coincidence too. (Washington Post)

🗑 Is “We’ve been hacked” the new “It was a different time?”

Full disclosure here: We don’t know much about Coastal Carolina University, or about the off-campus living options for students. We do know, though, that Coastal Club Living bills itself as “luxury” living, with amenities that range from energy-efficient stainless steel appliances to a sundeck and yoga/dance studio, not to mention an Instagram account that posts images of a sign reading “WE WANT WHITE TENANTS IN OUR WHITE COMMUNITY.” Yes, really. On Saturday night, Coastal Club’s account featured that little gem, which stayed up until Sunday morning — at which point the account deleted it, slapped up a “NO ROOM FOR RACISM” post, and sent an email to all its tenants saying that “our Instagram account had been surreptitiously taken over and consequently, a hateful post had been placed on our community feed.” We gotta say, we’re actually inclined to believe the complex on this one. Not only does the original sign posted have a real ’50s vibe going, but this is South Carolina. If Lindsey Graham can say “If you’re a young African American… you can go anywhere in this state. You just need to be conservative, not liberal,” then a racist housing complex would let that shit rock. (WPDE ABC 15)

🗑 Let’s just go ahead and assume everything is racist until proven otherwise

Last year, when L.A.-area public radio station KCRW hit financial difficulties, it offered buyouts to two dozen employees. One of those outgoing employees, Cerise Castle, wrote a goodbye letter excoriating the station for its lack of Black employees and the way it treated the few Black employees it did have. It stayed under wraps at the time — but after Castle appeared on a podcast last week and repeated the allegations, they’ve created a firestorm for the station. Among the allegations: that Castle’s co-workers described her hair as “militaristic” and said she reminded them of a “gangsta,” that the station took her idea and passed it off as someone else’s, and that building personnel tried to stop her from entering the building multiple times within her first month of employment. This is an especially bad look for KCRW considering what’s been unfolding at podcast network Gimlet Media, where… actually, just read it yourself. We’re getting pretty damn tired of hearing this song. (Los Angeles Times)

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