Crying racism is the idea among white Americans that blacks see racism in every little thing, that they are looking for cases of racism. The phrase is supposed to remind you of the story of the boy who cried wolf. Blacks are seen as “whining”, as being “oversensitive”, as “having a chip on their shoulders”, as “blowing things out of proportion”, as “playing the race card”.
What is going on here is the opposite of what it seems. It is whites who are being oversensitive. You are challenging their colour-blind image of themselves. You are shaming them so they are trying to shame you back – to shut you up because they do not want to hear it, to discredit you so they do not have to admit they are racist.
They have made “racist” into such a dirty word among themselves that it is like calling them a liar. It has gone from being a description of certain kinds of acts, of lines crossed and mistakes made, to questioning their whole character, which they must then defend.
That is why they do not want to admit to racism even when it is staring them in the face. That is why their apologies come out so half-baked – because they do not want to admit to being racist in the first place.
To them racism is rare, something from the bad old days that has died out. But it did not die out – it just changed shape: from hatred to a smugness and contempt that is covered under a thick layer of politically correct words. They cannot see through their own lying words. Or do not want to.
“Crying racism” assumes that racism is rare. If you are white it is rare! So rare that it seems like blacks are just making it up. It is hard to believe in something you have never experienced, much less understand it.
Yet despite their lack of experience, despite their lack of understanding, despite their wanting to read events in a way that avoids seeing racism and admitting to it, despite all that they still think they are the best judges of when something is racist! That is what the word “oversensitive” assumes.
That makes no kind of sense. But they notice none of this. Because they do not want to notice it. Because they talk mainly just to other white people. Because they have created a vast Talking Machine of newspapers, blogs, cable news and talk radio that repeats their self-serving white point of view over and over again.
Blacks appear on their stage only as complainers and not, say, as hosts of news shows who can frame issues and report the facts they think are important, helping to keep the reporting of others honest. Because of this the injustices that blacks talk about appear unimportant and, because only blacks see them, they are merely “perceived” injustices – just black people crying racism.