One would like to think that, in 2016, after all the progress we’ve made on so many fronts, racism would have long ago been sent back to the shadow realm where it belongs. Alas, one would be wrong … the world has a ways to go before it’s done with bigotry in all its ugly forms – racism included.
Thankfully, for every foul bit of racism uttered aloud, there’s a sociocultural soldier there to put its black little flame out. These good, good people have in their hearts the need to see a clean, shared world, so when they’re confronted with blatant racism, the question isn’t “Should I do something about this?” The question is, “How do I not?”
We all have a little itch in us that feeds off seeing some good old-fashioned confrontation. This article has more than enough of that, but be advised—it’s verbal confrontation; if you’re looking for violent resolutions to spoken words, go look somewhere else. Violence is racism’s tactless uncle, and it serves only to amplify whatever issue it’s trying to solve.
Let’s get right into it. Smell that? That’s the smell of justice being served. Feast your moral little souls on it.
15. The Face Of Racism
During the filming of a peaceful anti-fracking protest, freelance journalist Tom Jefferson is interrupted by John Pisone, who made it very clear that he didn’t like the documenter due to his race. Pisone called Jefferson a ‘chimp’ with ‘a mop on his head,’ and proceeded to grunt like a gorilla to solidify his point, all while shifting his gaze between Jefferson and the camera.
When the video surfaced, Pisone was promptly fired by the company whose employ he was under. In a tweet, the company announced that they regret the incident occurred, and that they “will never do business with (Pisone) again in the future.” Regarding the incident, Jefferson said, “I felt it was necessary to document what he was doing and what he was saying so that people could see that there are people out there like this. There is a whole underbelly of society who think this way, but aren’t emboldened enough to come out and say it.”
14. Go Read A Book
On a talk show segment presumably centered on foreigners purchasing Hawaiian land, a caller calls in and says, “You blame it on the white man on how we came over and took your land […] you come over to our country and buy up our land too […] I don’t see how you can have these rallies and all that against the white man. This is America, you know.”
The Hawaiian talk show guest promptly replies: “This is not America, this is Polynesia. Our country was stolen—that’s one of your problems, you’re ignorant, woefully ignorant […] you, caller, need to learn about Hawaiian history and about where you are […] you think you are in America; you are not in America, you are in a colony that was in Polynesia, that was forcibly taken […] you had better learn that history, because you are the recipient of an imperialist tradition.”
Not knowing anything at all about the subject, we’ll just assume that one of these ladies spent more time in the library than the other.
Luckily, there’s a morally-balanced stranger on the bus who puts the woman in her place. “What’s that got to do with her?” she asks. “Nothing,” replies the racist. Exactly… her seat could have gone to someone with nicer thoughts and sweeter things to say, but the lady evidently thought she deserved to sit.
12. Just Ordering A Sandwich
The customers in the restaurant are visibly baffled by the customer’s treatment of the clerk, and many of them speak out against it. The play really hits home when a U.S. soldier walks into the restaurant in uniform. He reacts to the racism just like everyone else does. When the actor playing the racist asks the soldier, “Aren’t you fighting against these guys?” the soldier answers, “Not at the moment. Right now I’m ordering a sandwich.”
There was a premeditated setup here, but this kind of thing actually happens outside of a script, in the real world. Still.
11. Oh, Pauline…
Pauline Lee Hanson is an Australian politician whose consistently conservative political views have garnered her a considerable amount of flack from the Australian and international community, to the extent that she’s widely considered a racist. It’s not blatant racism, as politicians tend to be pretty adept at masking their viciousness, but her views toward Muslims became pretty transparent when she called for a ban on Muslim immigration to Australia after the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.
In the forum showed in the video above, Hanson is called out by a Muslim audience member who asks her about her call for a “Royal Commission into Islam to determine whether Islam is a political ideology or a religion […] Judaism and Christianity fall under the banner of a religion, even though Islam, Judaism and Christianity all stem from the Abrahamic faith.”
Hanson proceeds to stack blanket statements to defend her views, which inevitably leads to her intellectual unpacking at the rational hands of the audience member. Blanket statements, a squishy staple in the arsenal of every practiced racist, can by their nature never be wholly true.
10. Very Unprofessional
When a news segment is introduced with “We tried to bleep out as many N-words and B-words as possible,” you know you’re in for a healthy helping of racism, usually with a generous side of ignorance.
Michelle Green works in the travel and real estate business. As is the subject of the video, she received some extremely bigoted treatment by a Houston-area towing company. A tow truck driver working on a road accident threw ice in Green’s car as she was passing by. Green called the owner of the towing company hoping to see to it that the employee gets disciplined. After she posted a negative review of the company on Yelp, the owner of the company called her up and proceeded to layer her ears with several tones of the aforementioned N and B-words. When confronted by Fox News, the man refused to admit that it was he who made the call.
9. Young And Misguided
The fact that racism is still going strong in the world today is bad enough, but it’s particularly shattering when a child or teenager behaves or says something with racist backing. This happened on 24 May 2013, during an Australian rules football game in the Australian Football League (AFL). Star athlete Adam Goodes, of Indigenous Australian heritage, was called an “ape” by a 13-year old girl as he came within earshot of her. Goodes immediately pointed the girl out to security and had her ejected from the stadium.
Goodes later went on to relate that the racial slur crushed him, but that, at her age, the young girl should not be held fully accountable for the racial slur—that those beliefs were more a product of her upbringing than anything else. It’s true that the sponginess of a young person’s mind absorbs a bit of everything they come into contact with, including racism. To Goodes, her dismissal from the stadium was punishment enough for what she said to him.
8. You Go, Bro
Out of all people who should be above racism, we would think teachers would be one of them. We’d like to think that most teachers are. However, the teacher shown in the video above has proven not to be above such lowly thoughts, and in doing so he’s setting a really cruddy example for his students.
Recorded mid-blowup, the video shows a student who’s had enough of his teachers bigoted remarks, and calls him out for it. Apparently, the teacher had been referring to the student’s classroom corner as an ‘academic ghetto,’ and when the student asks to be moved to the other side of the class, the teacher said he ‘can’t afford it.’ Yeesh. The blowup is actually a reasonable and composed one; the student’s just asking for some respect. Watching the video, we could understand why he spoke up. No young mind should be given that treatment, especially not in a place of learning.
Dear God, this one escalated really quickly, and (to the morally-grounded mind) really inexplicably. On a game show, judges are taking turns analysing a contestant named Michael. They give their honest opinions; one likes him, the other doesn’t really care for him, the third makes a little joke about his wardrobe. Then it’s the fourth judges turn. He says, “Okay, well I’m gonna say that he looks like he’s native Texas and, being from Texas, I would have to support that. But, uh, I don’t like him on the fact that he’s black. Absolutely not.”
We’re doing our best to stay neutral throughout this list, but what an idiot! What kind of lunatic would think it’s alright to say something like that as a cast member of a TV show, while the camera’s rolling? Either he’s a total dimwit who thinks it would be alright to just blatantly blurt that out regardless of the circumstances, or his racism goes so deep that he really just needed to get it out of his mouth, not caring about the outcome. Either way, f*** this guy!
6. The Passing-On Of Truth
A whopping care package full of knowledge gets dropped in this one. The video, a recording of an old talk show, shows an audience member who asks the man on stage why black people are killing each other in Rwanda and why black people from Haiti are risking their lives to come to America. While wearing the snazziest blazer in recorded history, the man on stage replies with, “Black people have been robbed, as I said earlier, of a knowledge of self. And when you rob people, sir, of a knowledge of self, then it means that they start to take on the characteristics and the nature of their oppressor and their coloniser… he gives them the guns and the weapons and the drugs and the alcohol […] and then you pit one against the other, and then say, ‘Look at what these people are doing.’” That is smooth rationality right there, as welcome to the ears as his blazer is to the eyes.
This video is a reenactment of a story that may have some factual basis, or it may be a complete urban myth. Either way, it’s a great story.
A woman flying from Johannesburg on a British Airways flight is (surprise!) a huge racist. She calls the flight attendant and objects to being made to sit next to a black man. With a face and mouth full of privilege, she asks for another seat. “The flight is full,” the attendant replies, but she goes to see what she can do. When she returns, she explains that there is a vacant seat in first class, and the captain himself has OK’d the transfer to that seat, since he is of the opinion that no one should have to sit next to such an obnoxious person. The flight attendant then motions for the black man to come join her so she could direct him to the first class spot. The other passengers cheer and applaud.
4. Oh, Get A Life!
If you watch Judge Mathis, you’ll find all types and sorts step in and out of those podiums. What binds all these strangers together is that Judge Mathis will show them no mercy in his thunderous rulings. Especially not racists. It’s not clear in this video what the defendant is being brought to trial for, but what is clear is that she believes his altercation stemmed from him originating from Honduras.
“I was actually born and raised in Honduras,” the defendant says, “so I took a year off from school to learn English.” The plaintiff replies, “And that’s why you don’t have any respect for our laws here?”
That makes no sense; if we know that, Judge Mathis certainly does too, and he let’s the woman have it. The highlight of the video comes right at the end, with the plaintiff telling the defendant, “You need direction, you need therapy, you need bootcamp,” and the defendant replying, “And you need a life.” Slammed.
3. Galloway Says “Go Away”
George Galloway is a politician, broadcaster, and writer in England. In 2005, he was described by Tom Happold of The Guardian as someone who is “renowned for his colorful rhetoric and combative debating style.” We’re sure he has all of that, but he didn’t have to put much of it on display in this clip, as it takes very little intellectual muscle to verbally dismantle a racist.
In the clip, Galloway gets a call from a man named Jacob, who makes it clear that he believes that Muslims in England are not British. Galloway says, “I suspected you were coming from this angle, and I hoped that you were not. These people […] didn’t come from anywhere. They’re British. They’re British. Just because they’ve got brown faces, doesn’t mean they’re not British. So don’t talk about sending them home or ‘coming to a country to do things.’ They were all British, Jacob.” To which Jacob replies, “They’re not British, they’re Muslims.”
“Well, I think we’ll just leave that hanging in the air then, Jacob in Stanford Hill,” says Galloway, ending the call.
This is another one that’s really, really hard to wrap the mind around. The clip is from a FOX News segment called FOX Faceoff. By now, we’ve come to expect a certain… flavour, of output from FOX News, but holy moly nothing like this. The video shows a clip of a police officer savagely yanking a very young girl out of her seat in a classroom and literally dragging her across the room, apparently for using her cell phone in class. The incident ended up costing the police officer his job.
Angela Box, political consultant, starts the debate off with, “… this week, a police officer lost his job, for doing his job.” Whoa. She goes on to validate the cop’s actions in the classroom, spouting rubbish about ‘root causes’ and bringing up the Black Lives Matter movement with the hint of a roll in her eyes (the student in question happens to be black). Community activist Quannel X proceeds to speak for us and correct everything she just said. Racism sucks by principle, but seeing it succinctly corrected feels good.
1. Bye Bye, Miss Austen
Here’s a little redemption from FOX for the abject weirdness of the prior entry. We’re still reeling from that one a little… anyway, this one’s about Emily Austen, a FOX Sports reporter who covers the Orlando Magic and Tampa Bay Rays. Austen had presumably built her career taking extreme care to keep her inherent bigotry off camera. She dropped her guard down for one second, and it cost her dearly.
On a Facebook live broadcast for Barstool Sports, Austen let loose a few weird jokes about Jewish people and Mexicans, one of which goes something like, “I didn’t even know Mexicans were that smart.”
Yeesh, wrong move. FOX promptly fired Austen after the video surfaced, stating, “She was not speaking on behalf of FOX Sports, nor do we condone any of the statements she made in the video. Emily has been advised that her comments were unacceptable, and she is not scheduled to appear on any upcoming FOX Sports Florida or FOX Sports Sun broadcasts.” Excuse us if we don’t feel bad for her.