The “Don’t Re-Nig” Campaign and white Denial

So the Republican website that created this image, Stumpy’s Stickers, was supposedly shut down in March of this year, seeing as their products behind a national campaign were based on a racist play on the word “renege.” The site is still there and fully functioning. It includes an industrial strength roll of Confederate flag stickers sold in bulk with 500 per roll, stickers with phrases such as “Tequila: Mexican Holy Water,” and an image of a billboard comparing President Obama to Hitler. A Republican small business owner in South Dakota recently decided to continue the racist spirit of the “Don’t Re-Nig” campaign by displaying a sign with this exact slogan on it. Twice. On both sides.

This is what she had to say in her defense:

“I had no intention of trying to be racist,” said Mary Snyder, who put the sign outside the business. “It’s just ridiculous. It’s a political sign, my opinion. They think I’m slandering, uh, n*****s. That’s not it.”

Snyder said she didn’t know about the controversial national campaign. She said she intended the sign to say “Don’t Renege,” which means not to go back on a promise, undertaking or contract.

First of all, she just said the N word. Any statement that begins with “I wasn’t trying to be racist” and is followed with the word “n***ers” immediately disproves its own point. Never underestimate the power of white denial, something so ingrained it compels us to insist we aren’t racist, then comfortably use the N word in practically the same sentence. Does anyone really believe that a white person who freely says the N word to reporters didn’t “intend” to reference it on a sign? And if she intended to say “Don’t Renege,” then why didn’t she just write that on the sign? Twice. On both sides.

Second of all, whether or not she knew about the larger campaign is irrelevant. Nowhere in the interview does she claim to have misspelled the word “Renege.” There’s some meaningless discussion of what her “intentions” were, but no following explanation of why she went with “Re-Nig” instead. Was it an accident? She didn’t say it was. Will she change it now that she understands the pejorative association? She didn’t say that either. In fact, she refused to apologize for it. Her plan is that of most whites: deny racism, then hide racism behind the First Amendment. Protecting the “freedom” of hate speech = white supremacy.

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4 thoughts on “The “Don’t Re-Nig” Campaign and white Denial

  1. G says:

    Ignorant overt white racists nowadays due to tend to label themselves Republicans because that is where the Left tell them they belong. Of course, the number of overt white racists is insubstantial. Their numbers likely are roughly the same as those non-whites who are racist against whites and are told they belong on the Left. We waste far too much time discussing either of these two groups.

    It is the covert racism on the Left that is most damaging. When someone says “welfare” or “food stamps” and your equate those terms to black people, you may be a racist. If you believe people are inferior due to race and need lower standards set for them than those standards set for whites, you may be a racist.

    Additionally, the Republican Party historically is the party of Freedom. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican President. Republicans passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments (granting former slaves citizenship, providing blacks equal rights of due process, and blacks the right to vote respectively) against massive Democratic opposition. The Democratic Party was the party of slavery, the party of Jim Crow, the party of segregation, and the party of the KKK. Even in 1964, while over 90% of Republicans supported the ’64 Civil Rights Act, over 30% of Democrats voted against it.

    In the words of another Republican, Martin Luther King Jr., Republicans want people to be “judged not by the color of their skin, but for the content of their character.”

    Knowledge is power. The truth will set you free.

    • Conservatives are made by Liberals telling them that’s where they belong? So the Left determines who is and isn’t a Republican, forces folks into being Republican, or otherwise completely creates them? I wonder how Ann Coulter would respond if she knew that liberals turned her into a conservative.

      Also, whites don’t get to decide whether or not subtle racism is “worse” than obvious racism. We don’t experience either.

      I want you to listen very carefully to this since you’ve already made a nearly identical comment on a different post: both parties have always been and continue to be white majority parties, which means there have always been and continue to be racist whites on both sides. I personally believe there is very little overall difference between the policies of the Left and the policies of the Right. But you need to understand that history didn’t end with the 1960s–take a look at what Reagan did to POC in the 80s in terms of the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, and racialized criminal legislation. Take a look at all the Civil Rights legislation he and his party destroyed. I don’t care much more for white liberal ideas than I do for white conservative ones. However, this does not mean that the actions of racist white Republicans in the present become null and void because their party “supported” legislation hundreds of years ago.

      And do you seriously think it’s impressive that a bunch of mostly white men sat on their asses and voted for something? This is such an insignificant detail when you consider the actual historical situation: the one where Black folks had long been struggling, fighting, and dying for their own freedom. Furthermore, it sounds like you’re congratulating a bunch of white men for passing a few conciliatory bills that didn’t even guarantee their own result right away. What do you think happened? The Republicans said “no more slavery,” had a vote, and slaves waltzed off plantations the next day? Do you know anything about the Civil War or Dred Scott?

      Take a minute to read this post:

      Whiteness is power. Ignorance shall give you bliss.

      • G says:

        Obviously you didn’t pay attention to what I what I wrote or you wouldn’t have asked such ignorant questions as “What do you think happened? The Republicans said “no more slavery,” had a vote, and slaves waltzed off plantations the next day?” I referenced over 100 years of Civil Rights legislation and fights pertaining to them.

        I find it impressive that the spirit of freedom that led to the founding of this country with the words “All men are created equal…” is also the same spirit of freedom that was able to overcome over 4,000 years of historical precedent of all peoples enslaving their own and others.

        In 1860, less than 2% of the white population owned slaves. During the Civil War, over 360,000 Union soldiers died fighting for the abolition of slavery. Both of these are relevant to our American history and what we (all Americans) should consider regarding it.

        I agree with you that our drug laws need reformed. I believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility. I believe in hand-ups, but not hand-outs. I look at welfare as temporary safe havens, not a way of life. I believe health care is a commodity, such as guns, and our rights to them do not mean others are forced to provide them to us. I believe in freedom of choice in education, empowering families to be able to choose the school that meets the needs of their child. I look at people as individuals, not as special interest groups. I judge people on their character, not superficialities.

        I suggest you research Ethnomasochism, Social Comparison Theory, and Group Polarization. It will take some time tying them together, but it will be insightful and may assist you in navigating through your views.

  2. Obviously you can’t comprehend sarcasm. And it’s still a legitimate question that you completely failed to answer.

    And why are you taking up space with your personal beliefs–as if this is a place for that, as if it is important, and as if anyone cares? You’re derailing the real discussion.

    So the “spirit” of “all men are created equal” inspires you? Not surprising for someone to be inspired by these words when they were written exclusively for them and no on else. Are you completely incapable of seeing the invalidating contradiction of white men writing these words who justified owning slaves on the basis of them being less than human? And how on earth is it even remotely logical to claim this idea was the driving force behind the end of slavery? This idea SUPPORTED slavery because it only referred to WHITE MEN. I suggest you research the actual political, social, and racial context for the drafting of the constitution before you uncritically uphold/celebrate it. The argument that more white history needs to be taught in schools, or that whites need to be portrayed in more heroic ways, is just absurd. Stop drinking the white supremacy/nationalism koolaid.

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