I am not sure how I recently turned from sophomoric podcaster to temporary “racism reporter,” but that’s exactly what has happened over the last few weeks. I was planning on sticking to stupid jokes, but, if you see injustice, I think you’re an asshole if you don’t expose it. So, here we are.
A few weeks ago, Kiki and Kibbitz interviewed “Kathy with the Mic” from OC Fashion Week (if you haven’t seen the episode, I suggest this recap for context). Subsequently, I wrote a blog about how Dr. Deb (aka “Rainbow Brite”) appears to be racist.
While I based my opinions partly on Kathy’s comments, I want to be clear that Kathy never used the word “racist.” She said that Dr. Deb “treated them like the hired help.” The other information that influenced my opinion was what I saw on the episode of RHOC and a very concerning Instagram post by Christopher Keyes (the event sponsor whom Dr. Deb mistook for a security guard), alleging that Dr. Deb had called him the n-word!
My judgment call was challenged by Braunwyn’s husband, Sean Windham-Burke, in a series of Instagram DMs, which appear at the bottom of this post. Because we are committed to telling “the other side of the story,” we invited Sean to come on the podcast to defend his mother-in-law, but he declined.
But here comes episode 8, which (after the sophomoric jokes) features an interview with Christopher Keyes. He not only defends his post, but adds anecdotes about OTHER situations in which Dr. Deb acted in a fashion that can only be described as racist. Jordan added an interesting bit of supporting evidence, as well.
Pro tip: if you’ve never experienced racism, you may not always recognize it.
Here’s the thing. Unless you’re the person who’s being treated in a racist fashion, I say you’re not allowed to decide if it’s racist or not. Christopher is an African American man. He knows what racism feels like. Mr. Rich White Guy does not.
If Christopher says it felt like racism, I believe him. PERIOD. You should, too, because, as you’ll hear in the interview, he has absolutely no reason to lie about this.
I know of which I speak. I am Jewish by ethnicity. Dozens of times, in my presence, people have made comments like “he Jewed me down,” or “this is a Christian nation” that made me feel marginalized. Deeper than comments, I live in a world where Christian holidays are celebrated and Jewish holidays are ignored. Despite what the dominant culture may understand, I experience discrimination frequently. (Side note: I understand that my light skin and married surname help me “pass” for any other kind of white person and brown people cannot. It’s a privilege that I am aware of.)
This is my long-winded rambling way of saying that sometimes racism is overt and sometimes it’s very subtle. But the only ones who know whether it’s happening are the people who are experiencing it.
In other words, if you’re Christian, you have no idea what it’s like to be a Jew in this country (the only place my experience lies). If you’re white, you have no idea what it’s like to be African American in this country. You just don’t know.
But when it’s overt, you’re an asshole if you don’t expose it.
But one thing I know is that the n-word is a sick fucking word that everyone better drop from their vocabulary. If you say it, fuck you. If Dr. Deb said it, fuck her, too. I will mention it all and you will not be able to shut me up.
That’s my position and if you don’t like it, let me know in the comments.
Here are Sean’s most relevant DMs, just so you know I told you the whole story.