I wish I could say this attitude was foreign to me but I think it’s pretty common among white Americans. I remember being at a family reunion as a very young adult. My father and some older relatives were talking about the reasons the USA lost in Vietnam. One of my uncles was sure he had figured it all out.
“Asians don’t value life the way Americans do,” he said.
I wasn’t particularly “woke” at 18 and 19. I regularly made racist and homophobic jokes. Had there been an Internet back then I probably would identified as an “incel.” But for some reason this particularly right-wing, racist uncle always rubbed me the wrong way.
“I”m sorry Uncle Charlie,” I said. “But that’s fucked up racist bullshit.”
You could have heard a pin drop. I think one of my aunts fainted. My mother immediately rushed over to my side, and grabbed me.
“Watch your language,” she said in a firm but quiet voice. “You shouldn’t talk about politics or religion anyway. Now apologize to your uncle.”
I did. In my family, genocide was an acceptable top for conversation. “Politics” was not. And God forbid you should curse “in front of children.”
But I do understand why I used profanity and called my uncle a racist, even though I probably shared a lot of his racist views. Telling people not to use profanity or talk about politics is a form of control, a way of reducing us from citizens to subjects. Even Taylor Swift has talked about how forcing young female actors and singers in the years following the invasion of Iraq to be apolitical made it easier for sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein. In a puritanical society like ours, talking about politics, any kind of politics, is rebellion. Talking about politics in an obscene manner is revolution. So for God’s sake, fuck Jeb Bush and his whole family. Were there any justice in the world they’d all be in jail for war crimes, or better yet hanging on a meat hook like Mussolini.
I suppose it’s never a bad time for a George Carlin clip.