Archive for bigotry

Day 6 (racial discrimination 2)

Posted in racial discrimination, social commentary with tags , , , on July 15, 2008 by blackstarr

“Just see if you can Jew him down.”

“Damned Asians!  Y’all can’t drive to save your lives!”

“Look at you, with them Puerto Rican shoes on.”

“They smell like dogs when their hair gets wet.”

Have you ever uttered any of those statements in your lifetime?  If so, did you realize the impact that they carry?  I have often said that while Caucasians may lead the pack when it comes to racism, they certainly hold no monopoly.  Almost all of us, at some point or another, have uttered some type of racial or ethnic slur, many times without even realizing that you have done so.

I try to add a little flava, and a little humor to my posts from time to time, but, the main reason for opening this blog is to help keep racism at bay, to help launch a platform for obliterating it from society in . . . well, someone’s lifetime, and to make everyone aware that racial discrimination is alive and well.  I am often accused of bringing up the issue of race in the course of conversation.  I am guilty as charged.  Unlike so many people that I’ve come across, I have no qualms about bringing up the subject of race.  I see no harm in making folks aware of the FACT that racism still exists.  It seems that it is sometimes very difficult to make others understand the concept of why their attitudes or statements are racist in nature.  I need no primers in the subject matter as racial discrimination is a part of my life, almost on a daily basis.

The first step that I take in explaining that a person’s words or deeds are racist in nature, is to try to get them to understand that there are two parts to racism:  the person practicing racism and the person who is at the brunt of the racist remarks or actions.  It is usually the one practicing the racism who has the most difficult time grasping the notion of racism.  For example, if a Caucasian has not been  a victim of racial discrimination in their lifetime, they will rarely understand why you take offense to something that was said or done.  It’s relatively close to the difference  in learning by the wisdom of others and learning by experience.  One can conceptually grasp an idea presented by another, but, will not necessarily get the full meaning of it unless they have actually experienced that concept in action.  Racial discrimination can be easily placed in the same category.

The tenets of racial discrimination can be either subtle, blatant, or both.  Those that are blatant are very easy to deal with.  They are usually as plain as the nose on one’s face.  We normally come across it when it is being used by someone who is all too aware of what they are saying or doing, and, more often than not, don’t really care.  It is the subtle form that gives us the most difficult time in both recognizing it and correcting it.  The examples that I gave at the very beginning of this post are some of the subtle forms of racism and racial discrimination.  They are subtle mostly because they are not usually directed towards a particular person, have been picked up by hearing it from family and community members, and are most likely used without even realizing the error of their ways.  Subtlety can often be determined by the intention, with ill-will not being a part of that intent.

To obliterate racism and racial discrimination one can start anywhere.  The important thing is to . . . start.  Since we are always in our own backyard, why not start there?  Let us take a closer look at the things that we say and do.  Let us be conscious of the impact that words and deeds can have on others and upon ourselves.  A wise man said that ignorance is bliss.  A wiser man said that ignorance is no excuse for bad behavior.  If we recognize that our words and actions are harmful, we can monitor them.  By monitoring them, we can weed that behavior from our daily routine, eventually obliterating it from our lives altogether.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

Day 2 (racial discrimination)

Posted in blog marathon 2008, social commentary with tags , , , on July 11, 2008 by blackstarr

As I scanned cyberspace yesterday, I came across several interesting posts about the recent death of Jesse Helms.  The most fascinating post was highlighting some of the things that he said over the years concerning Black people, not a term with which he had come to grips.  He rather favored terms that we have come to know as most foul, as concerns Black people.  Not one to smirk at death, even when it is the death of one of the most despicable people to ever walk the face of the earth, I find it impossible to grieve in the least bit.  I hated everything that he stood for.  I despised the things that he did during his career that  helped to hold Black people back.

Yet, with all of his bigotry, he moved us to strive even harder.  It seems that the bigotry that is outwardly exhibited in some Caucasians is the very thing that gets us motivated.  I’m certain that you can remember the ruckus that the bigoted  Don Imus brought us.  You can recall the prejudicial outbursts made by Michael Richards (aka Kramer of Seinfeld fame).  Without intentionally trying to bring tears to your eyes, I remind you of the unarmed Amadou Diallo, shot forty-one (41) times by New York’s “finest”.  Last, and certainly last year’s biggest thorn, the Jena Six.  All of these events are historic in that they brought out the worst in American Caucasians.  They also got us, Black Americana, to move to action.  Letters were written, shows were protested, and marches were made.  When we are outraged enough, we will get off of our a$$e$ and do something.

When we are discriminated against, or feel that we have been, we are right to move into action.  We are correct in thinking that something needs to be done.  The majority of the time, the wrongdoing is being done by some Caucasian or Caucasians and we are quick to act, sometimes lightning quick.   Jesse Helms, Don Imus, and Michael Richards became “non-entities” in my eyes, long ago.  I trust that Helms made peace with God for all that he has done.  As for Imus and Richards, they have apologized for the statements they made.  I accepted those apologies but those persons still remain non-entities in my eyes.  I simply no longer recognize them as anything of importance to me.

What, then, do we do when the racial slurs and discrimination are being perpetrated by Black Americana itself?  Do we march?  Do we write letters?  Do we boycott? 

We process what we have heard or seen, digest it, and take a long hard swallow.  We then continue along our merry way as if what was said or done was of no relevance.

When racial epithets rear their ugly head and that head is attached to Black Americana, we need to move into action just as quickly and boldly as we do when that racism comes from Caucasians.  In my mind, those Black Americana that I speak of also become non-entities in my mind.  I am speaking specifically  about Kanye West. Having processed him into a non-entity, it pains me to even type his name on the page.

My boycott of Kanye West started when I got wind of some remarks that he made back in January 2007, remarks that he made in an issue of Essence Magazine.  The article states that he said “If it wasn’t for race mixing, there’d be no video girls”.  This referred to the incessant method of choosing women to star in music videos who are of mixed heritage, basically of lighter skin pigmentation.  He went on to say “Me and most of our friends like mutts” and concluded with “Yeah, in the hood, we call ’em mutts”.  He actually called them dogs.

Considering the fact that my brother is married to a German woman (translation: Caucasian), their three lovely daughters, who are my three lovely nieces, fall into that category.  When it hits home, one tends to take things personally.  My nieces are the most wonderful, sweetest young ladies to grace this green earth.  They are, by no means, dogs, or as West put it, mutts.  Had these statements been made by a Caucasian, we would have been up in arms.  Instead, we continue to purchase his CD’s and attend his concerts, lauding him with awards out the ying yang.  Michael Richards is a very humorous comedian, but, his talent does not afford him a pass.  Don Imus has the uncanny power to stir up tension on his talk shows, but, again, his talents do not gain him a pass.  In my book, no one gets a pass . . . not Richards, not Imus, and certainly not West.  Caucasians may lead the way, but they hold no monopoly on racism.  We, as a people, need to stop letting a$$holes like West get away with murder.  We need to hold them accountable.  We need to let them know that they cannot – Black, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, nor anything else – continue to degrade our people without some form of repercussion for the evil that they perpetrate.

Imus made an apology.  He is, no less, back to his normal antics, but, nonetheless, has made an apology for the remarks that first got him into hot water with Black Americana.  Richards has bowed down and vowed that such outbursts will never happen again.  So far, so good.  I have more respect for the two them than I have for West, if only for the fact that they had the sense to acknowledge their errors and ask forgiveness.  In a way, I can almost forgive Jesse Helms in that he knew he was a bigot and stood by what he believed in.  As for West he is nothing more than a bigoted a$$hole who needs to be blackballed by Black Americana until he finally sees fit to do the right thing.

Whether it is Fiddy, Diddy, Obama, or his mama – no one gets a pass – certainly not this a$$hole.

copyright  ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com