It Requires A Firm Tongue
Friday Ephemera

I’ve Been A Bad Girl

In racial-dominatrix news:

Why liberal white women pay a lot of money to learn over dinner how they’re racist.

Says the Guardian

A growing number of women are paying to confront their privilege – and racism – at dinners that cost $2,500… A frank discussion is led by co-founders Regina Jackson, who is black, and Saira Rao, who identifies as Indian American. They started Race to Dinner to challenge liberal white women to accept their racism, however subconscious.

“However subconscious.” Pretentious guilt is, one suspects, billable too.

The women who sign up for these dinners are not who most would see as racist. They are well-read and well-meaning. They are mostly Democrats. Some have adopted black children, many have partners who are people of colour, some have been doing work towards inclusivity and diversity for decades. 

Which, on reflection, might explain quite a lot.

Rao and Jackson believe white, liberal women are the most receptive audience because they are open to changing their behaviour. They don’t bother with the 53% of white women who voted for Trump. White men, they feel, are similarly a lost cause.

Those doubting, damnable souls. The ones who can’t be hustled.

Jackson and Rao have hardly been able to take a break since they started these dinners in the spring of 2019. So far, 15 dinners have been held in big cities across the US.

It turns out that quite a few well-heeled ladies of the left are keen to be denounced over dinner as “part of the problem,” warned against having “unmonitored thoughts,” and told to “own their racism,” whether real or imagined, in what amounts to a niche, and rather perverse, status game. If it sounds self-preoccupied and a tad neurotic, that’s because it is:

Jess Campbell-Swanson comes across as an overly keen college student applying for a prestigious internship. She can go on for days about her work as a political consultant, but when it comes to talking about racism, she chokes. “I want to hire people of colour. Not because I want to be… a white saviour. I have explored my need for validation… I’m working through that… Yeah. Um… I’m struggling,” she stutters, before finally giving up.

In the wake of her struggle session over carbonara and canapés, Ms Campbell-Johnson is now “committed to writing a journal, jotting down daily decisions or thoughts that could be considered racist.”

And happily, during dinner, there are the usual consolations, like put-downs and one-upmanship:

Erika Righter raises her tattooed forearm to her face, in despair of all of the racism she’s witnessed as a social worker, then laments how a white friend always ends phone calls with “Love you long time.” “And what is your racism, Erika?” Rao interrupts, refusing to let her off the hook. The mood becomes tense. Another woman adds: “I don’t know you, Erika. But you strike me as being really in your head. Everything I’m hearing is from the neck up.” Righter, a single mother, retreats before defending herself: “I haven’t read all the books. I’m new to this.”

Peck, peck, peck.

Of course, the race-hustling soirées weren’t always quite so polished:

In the beginning, Rao’s dinner-party tone was much more argumentative… Women at the dinners were always crying. Some of those dinners got out of hand – attendees have tried to place their hands on Jackson and Rao, and racial slurs have been thrown around.

Feel the magic of inclusion and diversity.

And if racial chastisement and dinner-table neurosis isn’t your thing, do bear in mind that it has other rewards:

“There are so many people worse than us,” says [Lisa] Bond. “I don’t talk about the 53% [who voted for Trump] because I’m not one of them.”

Again, a status game.


Ms Rao’s unhappy mental processes have been noted here before


Heavens, a button. I wonder what it does.