ME: Good morning!
THE RABBLE: “That’s racist! You are a racist!”
ME: What did I say?
THE RABBLE: “You said good morning. Clearly something a white person would say!”
…me at the press conference:
I would like to apologize to anyone I offended with my open-ended remark intended to wish everyone reading my blog a good morning. The greeting was not just intended for people of Caucasian descent but to everyone around the globe regardless of skin pigment. To me, everyone in cyber space is colorless, odorless and equal. I hope this does not affect the many multi-national relationships I have built over the years.
So let me again wish everyone a pleasant and good morning. I hope you were able to at least smirk at the good-natured poke I took at a very touchy topic. A great mind, in his time and after his time, George Carlin once said you can joke about anything. It all depends on how you structure the joke. He then went on to joke about cartoon characters from Looney Tunes fame, Porky Pig and Elmer Fudd, on a topic that is not considered a joking topic. Look it up on YouTube if you are not familiar with the bit.
Unless you are deaf, mute and have been locked in a tower for the last one hundred years without any social interaction or the internet, you are familiar with the term and concept of racism. Below is the definition of racism:
“the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.”
* prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.
This concept boils down to one side thinking it is better than another based on superficial traits. Straight up being serious here. This is one of the more stupid things in the history of the human race. Primarily today it is viewed as people of a nationality or based on the color of their skin are __ insert stereo-type here. But throughout the ages it has had a little different context. People who lived in a certain area were deemed inferior to people who lived in another designated area. Also people with wealth were viewed as superior to those without wealth. Call it what you want but it’s just somebody trying to ‘win’ something in life based on something inconsequential.
In this world judgement exists. If I show up to work in a bedazzled woman’s t-shirt wearing flip-flops with crazy bedhead – people will talk and make some sort of assumption on why I look like I do. If you see a person on the sidewalk pushing a grocery cart filled with a cornucopia of riff-raff and the person is wearing dirty, ill-fitting clothes you are naturally going to start rationalizing in your mind why they look like that. If you see a person in nicely pressed business attire walking briskly towards a high-end sports car, again you are going to make some mental assumptions about that person.
Notice I didn’t say man or woman or add any ethnicity to the above descriptions – I just said person. Based on your own personal experiences, you may have pictured the two generic people as both men or both women. They may be Caucasian (white), African-American (black), Asian (non-white), Spanish (tan?) or some other variation based on your life experiences or TV shows depicting similar characters. And for the record, however your mind colored or didn’t color the above characters doesn’t make you a racist.
Let me give you an example. Some people know who Carl Lewis is. Carl Lewis, an American, was an Olympic athlete who won four gold medals in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Notice the facts. Carl Lewis was the superior athlete in four events and won four gold medals. Based on what I wrote, just what I wrote, what do you know about Carl Lewis? He is/was: an American, an athlete and a gold medal winner. If I would’ve said, Carl Lewis was a black athlete and because of his heritage he possessed certain physical attributes to help him win four gold medals. This previous statement is not what I said nor what I am saying it. One sentence is very clinical and just a skeleton of the bones of the argument and the other is adding potentially personal-flavored perception. The second statement on Mr. Carl Lewis is insinuating that he was superior to some of the athletes based on genetics of his heritage instead of his determination, drive and heart. Carl Lewis was not the only ‘black’ athlete in the events of those games. So if all black athletes are superior and equally gifted, then why wasn’t there a multiple-way tie in those events? If just being ‘black’ made them all able to do the same thing, then shouldn’t each athlete of a similar skin tone had the exact same performance? Apparently not since he was the clear winner four times for those games. What set him apart was not his skin pigment or who his ancestors were…it was his individual efforts in conjunction with the work he put in with his coaches, friends and family.
With this being said, I do know that racism exists in the world. Saying otherwise is short-sighted and foolish. But let me hedge this argument a bit. There is a difference between racism and oppression. Oppression by definition is: prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control. You do not have to look very far to see racism. Just watch some baseball. Every time Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles hits a home run, the stats team will update the viewers on how he ranks among African-American ballplayers active and in history. When the 80-year old Bartolo Colon wins another ballgame, again the stats team will give a blurb about how he ranks among Latino pitchers of history. This is obviously a back-burner, low-profile form of racism but it is still racism. Last time I checked, these guys are just men playing baseball and in terms of the history of baseball, they really aren’t all that special – no offense to those two examples. But since we classified them based on the color of their skin or where they were born, now all of a sudden there is different context. Cut and dry it’s racism. It’s not oppression but it is racism. There are Caucasian stats as well but you will never hear ESPN say Babe Ruth is the top home run hitter of all-time among Caucasian players. The world would lose its mind. But when the other players are ethnitized it’s OK. I find it amusing. These baseball examples all have men as the basis, no women. That’s sexist. But that is a different argument for a different day.
Now outside of sports, the line on racism and oppression is a little more fuzzy. Are there people walking around in everyday life hating people of a specific race for no real good reason? Yes. See the KKK and other hater groups. Thinking everyone of similar ancestry alive today is superior or inferior to another group of people of a particular heritage is archaic and absurd. If you disagree watch the Jerry Springer show. There are people of every descent and tax bracket being straight up retarded. And I do not mean mentally challenged…I mean moronically retarded.
For the people who are truly oppressed you have my sympathies and my word that I am not directly doing anything to oppress you. Oppression and discrimination are wrong. Any child that has some semblance of a decent parent or two can confirm this. Maybe if there was some sort of Dexter-ish run organization, true oppression and discrimination would be eradicated. Perhaps F. Paul Wilson will enlist Repairman Jack to fix this problem.
In closing, let me say racism is dumb. Whether it’s practiced by white people or black people – it’s dumb. Also, crying racism every time something doesn’t go your way or get said the way you want it to…get over yourselves, you are just making yourselves look uneducated. In these ridiculously hyper-sensitive times you cannot make even a bland statement without someone ‘interpreting’ every little thing as a negative connotation against a person or group. Life is hard people. Stop making it harder with bull poop that doesn’t affect anything except to cause a virtual uproar. Stop and think for yourselves every now and again just for giggles. Feel like calling someone out for being an A-hole. Fine. Making it a race issue because their skin color differs from yours…it’s embarrassing to most level-headed humans who simply judge the people by their actions. There is a difference between being an a$$hole and being a racist or an oppressor. A large percentage of the populous ARE a$$holes but only a very small percentage are actually malicious racists. Don’t get me wrong, there are quite a few racists by proxy who have laughed at a joke inferring racial stereo-types. For the most part these people are harmless and have many friends of that color.
Be good to each other. Treat every one as if you are talking to them with your eyes closed or are trapped in a completely dark room with them. Make up your mind about each and every single person based on how they interact with you or how they treat the less fortunate or other telltale actions and not some off-hand remark misconstrued.
Bring on Halloween so we all can put on a mask and hide away for a day from the real two-faced people. Peace!