A Question For “The Colored Man” On C-SPAN

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“May I speak now?”

“Yes, Ma’am!”

“I’m 90 years old and I just wanted to ask the colored man, why don’t colored people instead of seeing what we did to them, why don’t they see what we did for them. They talk about the slavery but since they’ve given welfare, free medicine, free everything.”

“Ma’am, I think this is more of a conversation about the relationship between the administration and the people on Wall Street and not necessarily one that is based on race.”

“Oh, oh, okay. I’m not a racist. That was my comment. Thank you.”

You know how you can tell a racist? They’re the only people who think that the words “I am not a racist” can magically, by themselves, prove that they are not racist and that this phrase can even prove they are not racists right after they say things so demonstrably racist that they themselves feel compelled, unprompted, to find a way to prove that they are not racists.

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • stevarious

    Her statement there has to count (in a field of INTENSE competition!) as one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard anyone say. Ever.

  • http://justrox.com Rox1SMF

    Yeesh! There’s a small part of me that almost wants to excuse her due to her age… but y’know, I’ve got a 98 year old grandma, and although she may still use the word “colored,” she holds NONE of this lady’s opinions about black Americans. Then again, she worked from the age of 12 right up until about a year ago, just like she had all of my and my 76 year old mother’s lives… right alongside all the “colored people” with whom we shared a neighborhood and similar income levels.

    I guess it’s difficult to adopt an air of white privilege when you’ve never been privileged. I’ll bet that caller never worked a day in her life, much less lived in the projects.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    My 90-year old mother would never use the word “colored.” She’s mindful to use whatever term a group of people want to use to describe them. For the sake of her blood pressure, I’m glad she didn’t see that woman’s idiotic and resentful remark. She’d slap her own forehead with her frail, bony hand and say “What an ass.”

  • CJ

    May I speak. I want to talk to everyone in America. Racism has not stop in America because of Martin L. King’s death in 1968. It is still here. She is 90 years old,born in 1920. Her Grandmother had to been during the slavery period. No excuses. NONE. Now, what are here family members saying. Do not change the history books. I have worked since I was 18 years old, blackman young man, now retired, college degree. Never was on welfare, WIC, food stamps, etc. Pay taxes, homeowner, and veteran.

    Sit down and talk to all races. We are suppose to be Americans.