One night last summer, I was talking to a skeptic from Savannah, Ga. He brought up the topic of racism,the KKK and such, and asked why skeptics don’t talk about racism at all. I said that I didn’t think there was much of a reason to talk about it because no one takes groups like the KKK seriously.
This conversation happened a while back, and a few beers into the evening, so the details of it are fuzzy, but I seem to recall him saying that the KKK is not so easily dismissed as ridiculous down in Savannah. Growing up in a relatively well-off (read: pasty white) suburb of Chicago, racism for me had always been discussed as a hypothetical/phlosophical/intellectual topic. And at the end of the discussion, no one ever uttered the words, “Really, the Nazis had a point.”
But the reality is, I know people who didn’t vote for Obama solely for the reason that he’s black. And I now live in a community that just a few years ago was considered rural, now it’s considered a suburb. There has been talk about extending the train line out to our town, we’ve even built a train station (and if you go to the train station now, you can take the bus to another train station that has a real train going to it).Â But the people out here have voted against actually extending the train because they’re afraid it will bring crime (read: black people) in from Chicago.
Turns out, I don’t talk about racism beause I think it’s ridiculous, and I’ve naively thought that everyone else does, too.
Why do you think racism isn’t talked about much in the skeptical community? Should it be?