I thought about this when I was writing my article yesterday about GoDaddy.com booting the white supremacist Daily Stormer off their web-hosting platform. The Southern Poverty Law Center had apparently been pressuring GoDaddy to separate itself from the Daily Stormer for their bigotry for months. The problem is that no one takes the SPLC seriously anymore, nor should they, because they have become notorious for smacking conservative organizations, Christians, and politicians they oppose with the same label.
But Grammy Award-winning singer Ella Maria Lani Yellich-O’Connor, popularly known as “Lorde,” has apparently not figured that out. She took to Twitter to crush all “privileged white people” (like herself) as being responsible for the violence in Charlottesville.
“Being a privileged white non-US citizen, I feel like tweeting to reinforce how horrific POC [people of color] treatment here is is unnecessary & inappropriate…I just want to say I’m so, so sorry. All white people are responsible for this system’s thrive and fall. We have to do better. I’m sorry.”
“All white people are responsible.” It takes a special kind of racist to believe something so repulsive, and intellectually vapid. Identity politics is easy, so lazy thinkers engage in it. Rather than pinpointing actual philosophies, worldviews, and beliefs that lead to the racist ideology of white supremacists and neo-nazis, it’s just much easier to look at their skin color and say, “It’s all people who look like that.” It’s unhelpful at best, and yes, racist at worst.
And maybe that’s the most remarkable thing about her comments. Somehow Lorde, who Time Magazine dubbed one of the most influential young people in the world, didn’t even realize her post was the textbook definition of racism. Accusing people you’ve never met of being terrible for no reason or evidence other than the color of their skin, well, you just can’t get much more racist than that.
But perhaps that shouldn’t come as a shock since Lorde has been in trouble before for her latent racism. Her Grammy-winning song Royals came under harsh scrutiny for calling out black people alone in the song’s condemnation of wealth accumulation.
All things considered, Lorde, maybe you should just sit this one out.