- Victor Kerlow
- This was the illustration in the New York Times.
It wasn’t even a close contest!
So that you won’t have to read it, I will paraphrase Celeste Ploumis’s entry for the New York Times’s Metropolitan Diary.
Here we go:
Dear Diary, today I saw a man who had skin of a different color than my own.
Oh, Diary! I was so scared!!!
So I gave him a dirty look and made note of “every stitch of his clothing, every hair from his fade to his braids, perfectly placed to intimidate” so that I could identify him in a police line-up if necessary.
And, Diary! You’ll never guess what happened next!
He smiled at me and actually just wanted to watch me knit because I reminded him of his grandmother.
Oh, Diary! Did I feel ashamed? No! Because you know the next dark-skinned guy is probably going to try and rape me. I mean, his hair was so different than mine. How was I to know he wasn’t the devil?
Congratulations, New York Times! That’s the most racist thing I read today!
Just when the world already feels like the kind of crappy place where people get massacred just for looking different, a mentally-disturbed man gets gunned down in Times Square while tourists snap pictures, and , would you believe it, kids are smoking all of the pot, it turns out that things are just fine after all!
Because, as the Times’s Metropolitan Diary feature demonstrates, even though a white woman who knits on the subway feels threatened by a man of color who does nothing to threaten her except EXIST AS A MAN OF COLOR, it all turned out okay!
The woman in question, Celeste Ploumis, was not harmed in any way!
What a relief.
Maybe next time she gets on the subway, she won’t automatically assume that any guy in a fade haircut is trying to intimidate her? Maybe that’s just how he likes to wear his hair?
And, maybe, New York Times, you don’t have to play into this lady’s racist bullshit by illustrating this post with a cartoon of a cowering white woman with her knitting needles on alert sitting next to a large, black man with tattoos of knives on his forearms?
Fuck you, New York Times!
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