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Vintage Racism: The "We Don't Want Trouble" Defense Makes a Comeback

Want proof that "post-racial America" is a myth? Look no further than a timeworn racist excuse.

Back in the Jim Crow days, there were two basic approaches to racism in the segregated South. You were an aggressor—a lawmaker wedded to segregation, a member of a lynch mob, a scientist trying to prove non-white people were inferior, or your garden variety white person who might use a racial epithet. Or you were a bystander—someone who maintained the status quo by saying, "We don't want any trouble."


Nowadays, being racist in public is less acceptable, so people come up with all kinds of excuses for prejudice. Like, "Just kidding!" Or, "I'm not racist, I'm just honest. (Variation: I'm just exercising my First Amendment Rights.)" "I have black friends." "Posting on Facebook can't be racist." And so on. Even amid claims that America is now post-racial, one of the tried-and-true ways to be racist has endured: the argument that fighting against bigotry is more trouble than it's worth.

Take, for instance, what happened recently at an Arkansas graduation: A black teen mom named Kymberly Wimberly was the top student at McGehee Secondary School in Little Rock. Despite these accomplishments, a white co-valedictorian was named along with her. Was it because this white student had the same GPA? Nope, it was because school officials worried that making Wimberly valedictorian would result in a "big mess" at the majority-white school.

This response may seem antiquated, but it's not uncommon—and neither is the old-school racism it defends. When Prescott, Arizona, residents shouted racial epiphets at non-white students while they were painting a school mural, the administration's first thought wasn't to speak out against racism. It was to lighten the skin of the Hispanic boy depicted on the mural. Why? They wanted to avoid "a controversy."

As late as last year, schools in states like Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama have held segregated proms for black and white (and sometimes Hispanic) students. Overt racism still exists—one parent in Charleston, Mississippi reportedly said in 2008, "I'm not going to have any of those niggers rubbing up against my daughter"—but others prefer these divided dances because they want to side-step "racial flareups, a fight."

In this case, fear of violence is code for fear of change. And that's not much different from the Jim Crow era. A student named Chasidy Buckley, ensnared in the Mississippi prom fight, didn't mince words when she described what was at the heart of the segregation: "The [school] said, 'why change now? Let's just keep going.' That's the whole thing with our town. Everybody's afraid of change. It's just horrible."

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via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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