It follows the same script every time.
A (usually White) public figure says or does something that's kinda, sorta, racist. People notice the racism and call him on it. He replies by denying it, using at least one of the following statements as his "evidence"
1. "I'm colorblind"/"I don't see color"
2. "I have ***insert race*** friends"
3. "I don't have a racist bone in my body"
The first two statements are understandable. Misguided — and usually bullshit — but understandable. One of the luxuries of being White in America is not having to be as perpetually conscious of race as non-White people tend to have to be, so I get how someone could sincerely believe they're colorblind. And, I can also see how having a Black bff could allow someone to assume they couldn't possibly harbor any racist feelings.
But that third statement always weirds me out because, well…it's just a weird-ass thing to say. Mainly because it creates more questions than answers. I mean, why is it always bones? Why don't you ever hear anyone deny having a racist liver or a bigoted spleen?
Anyway, Slate's Jamelle Bouie wrote about the habit of denying the existence of racist bones. I needed more answers, though, so I recently did my own investigating and eventually found a White guy who does actually admit to having racist bones. After I bribed him with a few Miller High Lifes, he agreed to go on the record.
Thank you for agreeing to this.
Thank you for the Miller High Lifes. I'll do or say anything you want as long as you keep the High Lifes coming, man.
Noted. Anyway, when did you first realize you have racist bones?
I was eight years old. A second grader at Crested Oak Elementary School. It was an all-White school, until this Black family moved into the neighborhood. The Jenkins family. They seemed like nice people. The dad was an accountant and the mom always smiled and reminded me of Irene Cara. They had a son named Darius who was the same age I was, so we were in the same classes.
One day during recess, Darius asked me if I wanted to play catch with the football. I'd never played catch with a Black kid before, so I was excited and nervous. Anyway, Darius threw me the ball, and I dropped it. This was a surprise, because I had pretty good hands. I picked the ball up and threw it back. He caught it, and threw it back to me…and I dropped it again.
Stunned, I couldn't figure out what was happening. I was usually great at catching, but I couldn't catch any of Darius's passes. Later on that day, in science class, the teacher explained that hands were made up of metacarpal bones. And then it dawned on me: I must have racist metacarpals.
Exactly. All this time, I just assumed my metacarpals just functioned as the intermediate part of the hand skeleton that is located between the phalanges (bones of the fingers) and the carpus which forms the connection to the forearm, like everyone else's. But, as I learned at recess that day, my metacarpals secretly harbored a deep-seeded latent hate for the African Diaspora.
Has this hate affected you in other ways?
Definitely. You think it was an accident that I didn't shake hands with you when we met? My bigoted metacarpals won't allow me to shake hands with any Black person who happens to be darker than a chocolate milkshake.
That's a very random qualification for some racist metacarpals.
I know. It really gets confusing when I meet Italians.
Well, I was a really talented athlete and I wanted to play wide receiver in high school, but our quarterback was Black so I couldn't catch any of his passes. I ended up just playing field hockey. This ruined my high school life.
If you're the star receiver on the football team, girls like you. If you're the weirdo forced to play field hockey because your racist metacarpals won't allow you to catch any of the Black quarterback's passes, girls don't like you.
That's unfortunate. I almost started to feel bad for you until I remembered that the bones in your hands believe in red-lining and wish to exterminate me and all of my descendants.
I understand. After realizing I was supposed to meet you here today, my racist metacarpals almost wouldn't let me drive here. I had to convince them I was going to Papa John's. If I were you, I'd feel a certain way about my bigoted bones too.
Are your metacarpals the only racist bones in your body?
No. I realized last week that my femur hates Mexicans. There was a special on Selena on TV and, out of nowhere, I got up and kicked the screen. Broke my own damn plasma screen. My femur hates Mexicans even more than my metacarpals hate Black people! Also, I'm not sure yet, but I think both my clavicle and my inferior nasal concha hates Jews.
Often, White public figures accused of racism claim that they don't have any racist bones in their body. Do you have any thoughts about that?
There are 206 bones in the adult human skeleton. Are they saying that, out of all of those bones, none of them are racist? How could they possibly know that? It just seems statistically improbable.
Also, we're giving all this attention to the bones, but I know there are some racist kidneys and appendixes and urethras out there too.
You mean racist organs?
What makes you say that?
I don't know what's in everyone's bladder. But I do know what's in my bladder, and that's an everlasting hate for Asian men. And, I'm no genius or anything, but I know I can't be the only man on Earth carrying a wish for all Asian men to burn in Hell in his bladder.