Condemning Hulk Hogan’s Racism Shows How Ignorant We Are About Racism

Honestly, it's been really hard trying to be offended by Hulk Hogan's comments.

I mean, here is Hulk Hogan, supposed racist, free to be as racist as he wants in a private, candid setting, and the best he could come up with is,"I am racist, to a point," and a few incoherent drops of the N-word?

That's not going to upset my day. There's not nearly enough there to upset my day.

People acting like big, bad jackasses in private -- the only place, in reality, where most people have the courage to act like big, bad jackasses -- is hardly even worth talking about, nevermind worth getting upset over.

The truth is that on the hierarchy of potentially racist offenses, Hulk Hogan's leaked comments are at the very bottom of the lowest tier, right alongside Donald Sterling's in the more-awkward-than-offensive category.

If anything, Hogan's comments qualify as racist because he used the right words. And therein lies the most frustrating thing about discussing racism in America.

Time and time again, when the topic arises, we prove we don't even know what it is and are really only ready to condemn it when it's most convenient.

We're all here to nod in agreement when a largely inconsequential statement is made by a big enough celebrity. We'll even do so with his former employer, the WWE.

But we'll never nearly be as prepared to talk about the way his former employer perpetuates stereotypes with every chance it gets when it's time to introduce a new black character.

We were all ready to join hands, grandstand and show how calibrated our moral compasses were when an 80-year-old, potentially demented Donald Sterling made a few weird, self-contradicting racist statements to a mistress.

But, we were nowhere to be found when he was openly involved in multiple cases of housing discrimination, which is undoubtedly one of the most damaging forms of discrimination and actually something to get riled up about.

We're always there when it's easy but seldom around in unison when it's actually time to tackle types of racism that actually matter.

Instead of being prepared to explore all the many ways in which discrimination just might exist, we've arrived at the idea that it's 2015, things are way better, and we've decided to put our radar for discrimination on an automatic setting that only rings the alarm when it hears the right word.

The irony. In our willingness to acknowledge that word as the only undeniable indicator of racism, we've made it even more destructive, almost unbelievably so.

It's gotten to the point that even when our president wants to engage in a bit of sorely needed, constructive and nuanced discussion, the word becomes the point of universal focus while the substantive conversation flies under our radar.

Which brings us back to Hogan and his place in our racial discourse.

Simply put, he has no place in it.

During a week in which yet another unnecessarily deceased black victim of police brutality lost her life, only to be reduced to a hashtag (a tragically periodic occurrence), the subject of a barely relevant, semi-retired wrestler's bedroom conversation with a fling is nowhere near an actually worry.

Of course, it wouldn't be. That'd be the stupid way to think about racism.