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#OutofOfficeQuotes 44: "Even the word 'racist' is racist..."

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

Hook waggles his feet at the ankles so they meet, part, meet, like Newton’s Cradles, until the balls of his big toes hurt. He answers sulkily, looking to escape. “Prof-whatever runs that estate. He’s not powerless: the little white lady who lives next door, she’s powerless.”

“Except she has the full weight of the system behind her.”

Hook snorts: the sound’s unpleasant, even to him. “Are you kidding? What the fuck are you talking about? Do you know how many old people freeze to death in this country?”

“Yeah, I wrote a feature on it, remember? Stop changing the point. Why are you threatened by black men Chris?”

Monica’s eyes fix on him from the mirror as she brushes powder on her reddening cheeks. The effect is ravishing. Hook feels sick with rage: for some reason the mortgage materialises in his head like a pop-up.

“OK Monica, bear with me on this. If a racist is someone who treats people differently because of their colour, everyone is racist. In fact, even the word ‘racist’ is racist because it recognises differences between races. You think that Collins guy doesn’t notice if the person he’s talking to is black or white?”

“I don’t know. Maybe I’ll ask him if I bump into him.”


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