I'm not racist, you are, for bringing it up!

This is just the latest version of this vomit-inducing argument I’ve seen on the boards (and elsewhere). It generally works like this:

  1. Person A does or says something with racially charged implications.

  2. Person B points out that Person A’s position conveniently ignores the experiences of a demographic of people.

  3. Person A says, "Ah ha! You mentioned demographic X as being separate from the rest of the people. That makes YOU THE RACIST!!!

I don’t even know what to say about it to make this a thorough pitting. These days, so many supposed arguments are based on non-sequitur name-calling that it’s hard to know where to begin in refuting this kind of vacuous nonsense. I mean: “identifying Asian Americans as a demographic that might at times have a unique experience relative to everyone else” should never be a position that needs defending, but according to some, it makes you racist.

Yes, the poster Magiver was responding to compared Asian Americans to white Americans, lumping everyone who is non-Asian into the “white” category, which was imprecise and a bit lazy. But it’s clear what the intent of their argument was, as it’s clear that Magiver is himself looking for any excuse to justify ignoring the Asian American experience. In this case it’s a bizarro combination of “you didn’t specify enough diversity in your statement, which is racist” along with “reporting that Asian Americans experienced specific and targeted economic impacts means you’re ignoring everyone else, you racist!”

Go fly a kite, dude.

To me this is like those people who say “I’m so not racist that I don’t even see colors and everyone who does is racist”.

The opposite of racism isn’t blindness, willful ignorance, or stupidity. You don’t have to be racist to talk about race.

Yes, race is a social construct. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You aren’t being a racist for talking about it, and ignoring race doesn’t make the issue go away.

In his defense, Magiver is a hateful imbecile.

I don’t think we gave his plan to fight Covid by airdropping millions of gallons of hand sanitizer on Manhattan and then parachuting doctors on motorcycles into the hot, but wet, zone enough of a chance.
It coulda worked!

Well, “I’m not racist” is a contradictory assertion. It is like saying “I’m very smart”: these are not assessments one can legitimately make about oneself but can only demonstrate for others to see.

Nitpick: There is a sense in which “I’m not racist” is a statement of ideological position rather than an attempt at factual assessment. Just as one can say “I’m not Christian” to mean that they consciously disbelieve in the divinity of Jesus or other tenets of Christian doctrine, one can say “I’m not racist” to mean that they consciously disbelieve in claims of white racial superiority or other such racist positions.

Of course, whether the professed non-racist actually manages to live up to their claims of non-racism in their own behavior and reasoning is, as you note, a matter on which other people may disagree with them.

You cannot refute that which is not an argument, merely a vacuous assertion.

All you can do is laugh in their face and walk away shaking your head.

Back the Ye Ancient Dayes of Olden vBulletine we had someone here whose sig line went something about “The only response to arguments like that is scorn”.

I’ve utterly butchered the quote, but “scorn” was the payoff word. With luck somebody, ideally that poster, will recognize what I’m talking about and fill it in rightly.