I realized the other day that I have a racist friend.
“Dude, you're a racist,” I said. “Why don't you just admit that you like Trump?”
“Everyone likes Trump!” he said.
“No,” I said, “most people hate him, like me.”
He's the kind of racist who tries to deny it or pretends to himself that he's not. He brings up race a lot. He might be one of those “fragile white guys” who's way of thinking is under attack with all the BLM stuff going on.
He's been talking like Trump for awhile and I try to steer the conversaion to something less polarizing. Finally I said, “Hey just don't talk about politics because you don't know what you're talking about. Talk about what you know about, like growing weed, women, and cattle. Otherwise you're just another asshole with an opinion. Dude, you're ignorant and uneducated and you live in a rural area. Trump's your guy. Quit trying to pretend.”
“How about just give every black $50,000 but then they have to shut up about everything forever!” he said yesterday. “If Trump doesn't get re-elected he might go to jail and if he wins a lot of people are going to jail including Hillary because of China and,” he said.
“Stop,” I said. “You don't know what you're talking about. You know nothing about 'Hillary and China.' When you talk about things you don't know about it just makes you sound stupid. Disliking someone because of the color of their skin is just stupid. I don't think you really want to be racist, you just listen to the idiots on right-wing radio or what your buddies say. You keep telling me all this bullshit you heard somewhere.” (Jerry Philbrick's letters-to-the-editor are his favorite feature in the Anderson Valley Advertiser.)
“You're one of those far-leftists,” he said.
“No, I'm actually pretty middle-of-the-road,” I said. “I watch the NBC nightly news, read the New York Times, and I never listen to Amy. Jeez, I just trashed a far left person for maligning Biden! Look, I know you're pretty harmless, you're not out there committing any overt racist acts, but stop talking politics to me because it's boring. Ask me if you want to know what's going on. How were you brought up anyway? Was your family racist? I was brought up anti-racist. My mother and I sat there in 1964 watching the march on Selma, Alabama on our little black and white TV. I was taught that if anyone said the word “nigger” to write them off, forever. So yeah, I didn't have many friends growing up in Indiana. This is a racist country, founded on slavery, we're all a little racist.” I told him an anecdote, a racist thought I had twenty years ago. “See, even me!”
I do want to keep my racist friend, we go way back and he's a good person who's helped me a lot over the years. The way I look at it I'm his best friend, ie, probably the only one to call him on his bullshit.