I’ve officially lost count. For a while, I could tell you exactly how many times I’ve been called a racist, but now the number escapes me. I do know, however, that it’s quite a bit.
People on the right have hurled that term at me for saying that immigration reform is needed, or for pointing out that SB 1070 might make Latinos nervous, or for implying that ethnic minorities often have different perspectives than the majority culture does on some issues (that last one is a huge no-no).
However, people on the left have also tossed it my way (the term “imperialist” is also popular with them). Most recently, I got it for using the word “Hispanic” instead of “Latino”… or it may have been the other way around. I can’t recall.
In any case, whenever I am accused of being a racist, I wonder if I should ask the person to reconsider and choose another insult. I can supply a lengthy list, if they so desire.
You see, I’m concerned that we’ve watered down the terms “racism” and “racist.” Once upon a time, these words conjured up images of guys in KKK hoods, or of George Wallace in the doorway, or of old women shrieking slurs in public. This was hardcore stuff.