(This post originally appeared in the Huffington Post)
Trying to reason with racists is like being stuck in a lift with drunks singing Bohemian Rhapsody. You’re going to end up banging your head against a wall.
Well, if you can’t beat them, join them. The drunks, that is, not the racists.
Thing is, we didn’t always talk to racists. We gave that NF looking pub a wide berth, rarely came into contact with Daily Mail readers (unless we were dating their rebel-against-the-parentals offspring). But now, thanks to social media allowing every two-bit bigot to crawl out from under a meme, they’re everywhere we click. And like the gluttons for headfuck we are, foolishly thinking logic and facts will have any sort of effect, we keep engaging with them.
Like zombies, they’re spreading. Broadband and freely available wi-fi means even the most knuckle-dragging crackhead racists can now add their tuppence (kudos to you if you can decipher what they’re saying), with the (slightly) more educated bigot also feeling empowered to step out of the closet thanks to the ‘Get out of racism’ card championed by the likes of UKIP. Gotta hand it to them, they’ve done a remarkable job there. Being proud of your country isn’t racist, complaining about immigration isn’t racism. Meaning all those people who kept their jingoism and hatred for foreigners quiet lest they were branded racist now type out their jingoism and hatred for foreigners with gusto.
Ah, the Internet.
Only here will you come by someone who can’t spell his own name but will readily quibble over the semantics of the word ‘racism’, quote you passages from the Qur’an, illustrating his points with statistics that we tell ourselves not to waste time verifying. And yet, we do. We verify. We tell them they’re wrong. Idealistic to a fault, we soldier on, confident one day one of them will respond: ‘Thank you. In less than 140 characters you have stopped me from being an ignorant, hate-filled buffoon to instead turn into a reasonable, tolerant human being’.
It’s enough to drive you to drink.
So let’s drink. Next time you find yourself locked into a witless battle with racists, keep a bottle of your favourite tipple by your side. Every time they utter one of the of the following sentiments, replace that sinking feeling with a drinking feeling.
We present the Racism Drinking Game. It puts the riot into patriot…