This Week in Racism

Michigan Students’ Extracurriculars Include Mock Slave Auction of Classmates

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

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

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 can’t be racist — Obama was president!

This past weekend, on Fox News Sunday, host (and actual journalist) Chris Wallace asked South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham a direct question: “Senator, is there systemic racism in this country in policing and in other institutions?” Seems pretty simple, right? Not judging from the audible swallow Graham gave as he prepared to spin the newest remix of the bullshit he spewed last year in his election debates. “No, not in my opinion,” Graham said. “We just elected a two-term African American president.” The Obama Defense! Man, we haven’t seen that since Get Out. When Graham finally got around to the police part of the answer, he stuck with the same tune: The problem is a few bad apples, not that [checks notes] law enforcement procedures routinely allow officers to kill Black folks with impunity, regardless of the severity of the alleged crime, and even when no crime has been committed! Not to be outdone in the Fox News exSMHtravaganza, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron — aka Mitch McConnell’s “I have a Black friend” Black friend — went on the network the same damn day and said with a straight face, “I don’t believe this country is systemically racist. What I believe is this country has always tried from the very beginning to become a more perfect union.” At least Donald Trump is willing to accuse people of racism—as long as they’re named LeBron James! (CNN)

🗑 Michigan may look like a mitten, but it acts like a hood

We’re just gonna say it: The farther north you go in Michigan, the weirder things get. And by weirder, we mean more racist. (Not that there’s not plenty to worry about in the southern part of the state, as evidenced by MAGA Nation descending on Detroit last November in what was basically a protest against Black people voting, but you know what we mean.) The latest evidence comes from Traverse City, all the way up near the pinky fingernail, where the school district is investigating a group of high school students who used Snapchat to — wait a second, this can’t be right. They held a mock slave auction of their own Black classmates? The student who started the private account, which was just straight-up called “Slave Trade,” had previously made a Snapchat story called “Hitler’s Summer Camp”? Even more unbelievable, something similar happened in Texas earlier this month. Hope you’re reading this, Lindsey Graham and Daniel Cameron! (Traverse City Record-Eagle)

🗑 Maybe it’s time for old Germans to just stop eating chocolate

Depending on how much of an ’80s baby you are, you might remember the racist-ass candy known as Cherry Clan (which was changed from the even worse Cherry Chan!). Because that was a single product, manufacturer Ferrara Pan could just stop selling it. In Germany, though, chocolate-covered marshmallows don’t have it so easy. Yes, the confection once called negerküsse, or “Negro kisses,” which as recently as the late ’90s came in full minstrel-style packaging and—are you fucking kidding us? — might now be known as schokoküsse (chocolate kisses), but old habits die hard. Last week, in a Berlin supermarket, a Ghanaian German man who was shopping overheard an elderly customer wonder where the negerküsse was and took offense. Rather than siding with the legitimately aggrieved shopper, who had by then begun filming the confrontation, the branch manager threw a cardboard box at him, and a security guard pushed him out of the store. Sure, seems right; why bother explaining the situation to the out-of-touch customer when you can just blame the victim? (U.S. News & World Report/Associated Press)

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