11 Subtle Signs He’s A Total Racist

You have a new guy in your life that seems great at first, but then he occasionally throws in some inappropriate comments about people of color under the guise of being “funny” that don’t sit the right way with you. Joking about someone’s race isn’t a thing—he’s actually a racist, especially if you notice these signs.

  1. He makes racist jokes. A perhaps not so subtle sign that the man you’re dating is racist is that he makes racist jokes that he thinks are funny but are really not. I’m not even going to try to replicate or make up the kind of crappy joke that he’d make because you know what? Normal people who aren’t racist just don’t make racist jokes because they aren’t funny at all. It’s not a casual joke—it’s racist. No ifs, ands, or buts.
  2. He uses inappropriate slurs. This is also not such a subtle sign of racism, but it’s important to talk about nonetheless. Your dude says inappropriate racial slurs that just make him sound like a total jack*ss. He thinks because an artist of color says the N-word in a song that he’s given permission to use the word in casual conversation despite how completely inappropriate it is. Facepalm… just, facepalm.
  3. He starts a sentence with “I’m not racist, but…” Okay, dude, anyone that says these words is automatically a racist. There’s no way that anything intelligible ever comes after this half of a sentence. In any other context, if you said that phrase, you’d also sound like a weirdo. How about “I’m not a pedophile, but…?” Creep! If he wasn’t a racist, he wouldn’t need to say anything at all.
  4. He says crap like “All lives matter.” Do we even have to go into how stupid this is? I mean, in some parts of the U.S. and the world this may seem like a subtle sign of racism, but to me, it’s a flashing neon sign. The Black Lives Matter movement is so important for a plethora of reasons but the overarching is because of the god damn racism people of color still have to deal with on a regular basis. They deal with things that I can’t even begin to imagine.
  5. He says he hates political correctness. According to Wikipedia, “The term political correctness is used to describe the avoidance of language or actions that are seen as excluding, marginalizing, or insulting groups of people who are seen as disadvantaged or discriminated against, especially groups defined by sex or race.” So, basically, he hates refraining from using language that may hurt someone when he could easily say something else. Anyone who “hates” this is just a jackass… and a racist.
  6. He’s guilty of racial microaggressions. Microaggressions are your classic form of subtle racism. According to Columbia professor, Derald Sue, racial microaggressions are “brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color.” He does crap like this. For example, he touches a black girl’s hair without asking and thinks it’s OK. In reality, it’s embarrassing and wildly racist.
  7. He says he doesn’t see race. This may seem like an okay thing at first, but in truth, it’s just completely ignoring racism. According to Stephen Colbert, when people say “‘color blind’ they don’t actually mean that they can’t see green or red; rather, they are suggesting that they can’t ever be racist because they don’t register skin color at all.” This is just total BS. It’s like when someone calls themselves a humanist. Puke.
  8. He perpetuates stereotypes. When you’re out to eat, he asks what your friend Elizabeth does for work. When you say that she’s an accountant, your racist friend rolls his eyes and says “classic” because she’s Asian. He believes the stereotypes and repeats them regularly. Great.
  9. He often ignores or discounts people of color. This one is definitely more subtle than the rest. It may be more subconscious but it’s a form of racism nonetheless. He ignores people of color and favors white folks. For example, he regularly stops to let a white person cross the street but doesn’t do the same for a Latinx person. This is likely subconscious racism, but it is nonetheless.
  10. He says crap like, “But where are you really from?” This is wildly offensive and is one of the not so subtle ways that he’s a racist. He asks a person of color where they’re from, then when they say somewhere in the U.S. he asks, “But where are you really from?” This is ridiculously racist because it’s assuming that anyone of color needs to be from outside of the country.
  11. He mentions his one black friend. In defense of his non-racism, he always mentions his one black friend. This is the classic go-to for people who are indeed racist and have no other defenses to say otherwise.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.