Yeah. All of you.
I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but racism still exists. (Okay, I’m not sorry.)
I understand why you think it doesn’t exist. You’re public people. You write for public consumption. And in public, racism is something we love to hide.
Try going online for, like, three minutes. Hit the comment sections of literally ANY news story. Doesn’t even matter what the story is about. You’ll find it there.
There’s one surefire to kill it. (Assuming, y’know…that you actually WANT to kill it.) Don’t be racist. That’s it.
Irony doesn’t kill it. Making fun of racists doesn’t kill it. Trying to be funny at an awards show doesn’t kill it. ACTUALLY NOT BEING RACIST? That goes a long way. Calling people out for their racism? Squishing the PRIVATE behavior in PUBLIC? Now that’s important. In fact, isn’t that your job?
Brush up on your Baldwin, white folks. Racism kills YOU, too. Isn’t it time to kill it? Like, seriously kill it? Aren’t you tired of assholes messing up good things like the National Book Awards? Because here’s the thing…award shows and privileged institutions are not, by themselves, bad things. I WANT A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD, TOO, dammit! Don’t you? Don’t you want to go to somewhere with other brilliant people, and celebrate humanity in its brilliance, without having it marred by ignorance? Don’t you want that?
Let’s leave out the irony. Let’s get to work, man. This is bullshit.