I'm not racist, some of my best friends are black
August 14, 2011 10:06 AM Subscribe
This is a question about intelligently discrediting racist defences, with specific regard to the statement "I'm not racist, some of my best friends are black."
posted by The Discredited Ape to Society & Culture (34 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Having just seen encountered this defence of racist statements, I would like to counter it effectively in a way that is intelligent, thought-provoking and ultimately leads to the person responsible re-addressing their entire stance on race, logic and public discourse. Unfortunately, I am incandescent with rage and unable to think clearly myself.
I know that pointing out the existence of black friends does not and cannot mean that someone is not racist or that they have not said something racist, and it seems to me that the very attempt to do so invalidates their claim. But I'm hoping that someone can help me to coolly and calmly point out some excellent arguments to that effect. Although it's highly unlikely that they do have a number of best friends who are black, I have no way of knowing to what extent this is true, and it strikes me that this has little bearing on the matter either way.
Essentially, how do I best respond to the statement? If you'd like to tell me to not respond to it at all, because it's unworthy of a response, then by not responding, and by not challenging their statement, I feel I would be condoning it. Because the guilty party will feel that they have successfully defended their point.