If you are a white person arguing about racism with a black person here is how to derail the argument:
The main thing is to turn the tables by getting your opponent angry. Once he is then you can say that it is pointless to continue. You “win” and never had to address the substance of his argument!
It is easy to get blacks upset about race because they take the whole race thing way too personally – because, unlike you, it affects them, well, personally! And, if you act in a racist manner in a debate about racism, all the while saying that racism is all in their heads, that will drive them nuts!
The trick is to never take what they say seriously. Instead belittle it. So when they talk about their experience of racism, tell them they see racism everywhere, that they are imagining it. After all, a friend of yours is black (make it up if you have to) and he does not agree. So how can they speak for all black people!? Demand facts and figures, studies and surveys that back up what they say. You need evidence! You need proof!
Tell them how you, as a white person, have had the same experiences too: You were stopped by the police too (when you ran a red light). People touch your daughter’s hair too (she is three). It will make them look like complainers. That you missed the point of their examples will get them upset – just what you want!
If their English is bad, jump on that. If their English is too good then they probably have a good education, so what are they complaining about?
That is the general idea. It is taken from a website, Derailing for Dummies, which explains how racists, sexists, homophobes and others favoured by society - the privileged – derail or throw off the arguments made by the marginalized – like blacks, women and gays. Although it is written tongue-in-cheek, it is dead serious: the author has seen it too many times.
The website tells you how to use each of these derailing arguments:
- If You Won’t Educate Me How Can I Learn
- If You Cared About These Matters You’d Be Willing To Educate Me
- You’re Being Hostile.
- But That Happens To Me Too!
- You’re Being Overemotional
- You’re Taking Things Too Personally
- You’re Not Being Intellectual Enough/You’re Being Overly Intellectual
- You’re Arguing With Opinions Not Fact
- Your Experience Is Not Representative Of Everyone
- Unless You Can Prove Your Experience Is Widespread I Won’t Believe It
- I Don’t Think You’re As Marginalized As You Claim
- Well I Know Another Person From Your Group Who Disagrees!
- A In B Situation Is Not Equivalent To X In Y Situation
- Who Wins Gold in the Oppression Olympics?
- You Have A False Consciousness
- You’re Not Being A Team Player
- You’ve Lost Your Temper So I Don’t Have To Listen To You Anymore
- You Are Damaging Your Cause By Being Angry
- Surprise! I Was Playing “Devil’s Advocate” All Along!