Saturday, May 23, 2009

Another Big Issue Deal.

I was thinking about racism, and its apparent, if not reprehensible, role in our society. Racism exists on multiple platforms. It’s no longer a hatred reserved and implemented by Caucasians only. The white male is very much the largest minority in America. It’s a weird thing to say considering that most of the people in power in this country happen to be Caucasian, but that isn’t the point I’m making. Barrack Obama proved that this country isn’t racist enough to prevent a colored person from becoming the most powerful man in the country, so while others may try to use this as an argument and say that the African-Americans are prevented from advancing in society, I say that simply isn’t true, and our president is proof. Whether or not I am a fan of President Obama, which I’m not.

What I mean by the Caucasian male being the largest minority is this. Dave Chappelle and Carlos Mencia are to stand up comics, African and Hispanic respectively. And they utilize the same mechanics in their jokes and skits on television. They degrade their own people, as well as white people, and anyone else. They play on discriminations and make crude and rude jokes that should be viewed as extremely offensive. A white man, Michael Richards, was doing stand up, and tried to go for some shock jokes in the vein of Chappelle and Mencia, and said the word Nigger multiple times. He did not say it in any less offensive manner than Chappelle or Mencia, yet he was punished and ridiculed immensely for it. Why? Because he is white. That’s it, the only reason.

In Living Color was a skit show run by the Wayans brothers (who are African American). One skit they performed made fun of Star Trek, which they called “The Wrath of Farrakhan.” In it, Farrakhan boards the USS Enterprise, and convinces the rest of the crew to mutiny against Captain Kirk, portrayed by Jim Carrey. At one point, Farrakhan addresses Uhura, telling her that, “All I can see of you is the back of your nappy wig.” This apparently is not offensive, because it was stated by a black person. Fast forward a few years, and Don Imus, a white radio broadcaster, makes the comment, “Nappy headed hoes.” He is fired from his job, and like Richards, publicly ridiculed for it. How is this ok? Why are we allowing this to happen.

This wouldn’t even be an issue in my mind if white people could retaliate in any manner. But for some reason we do not get the rights do declare that something is racist to a white person. There are just as many stereotypes against the white male (white female gets out of it for the sole fact that they can play their own race card, having been greatly discriminated in the past as well). For example, that we are all geeks who can’t play basketball, can’t dance, and by default, just aren‘t very cool. There are pictures online of white people dressed up in a gangster style, and the caption underneath says, “You’re white, get out of those clothes and deal with it.” Yet if I were to upload a picture of Barrack Obama in his business suit, and caption it with, “You’re black, get out of those clothes and deal with it,” I would be labeled a racist for sure.

If people (white people included) do not want stereotypes against them, then they should not enact the stereotypes, and they certainly should not make jokes about the stereotypes under the motive that it is fine for them to do, so long as they are of the race the stereotype is set against. But considering that there are people who fit the stereotypes (whether or not that is even a bad thing) that is unfair to them. The simpler solution would be admitting to ourselves that stereotypes exist, there is not much we can do about it. And then completely ignore the people dealing out the stereotype. Like a childhood bully throwing a tantrum, if no one is listening to him/her, they will stop, because they aren’t receiving attention. That would be a huge step towards gaining true equality of race in this country.

One thing to consider is this. The differences in race is the same method of distinguishing different breeds of animals, ie, the difference between a Saint Bernard and a Mastiff. Races are different in a physical status, they use different languages and dialects. Some races are shorter or taller. If we want to stop racism, one of the first things to do would simply be to abolish the idea of different races and consider us all a part of the human race. But that would be taking away a great majority of individuality from the people of the world, so maybe distinguishing ourselves in this manner isn’t quite as bad as we think.

For all of our technological advances, our world is still surprisingly in a very primitive state. The fact that we still have things like racism, corruption in our governments and the like is proof that we may have made ourselves new toys over the years, but we haven’t advanced as a species in terms of sociality. Our species were facing the same problems back during the time of Christ and before, that we are now. Whether or not this is something that can be changed consciously by us, or if it is something that will just happen naturally over the course of time, is undeterminable, but one thing is for sure, the fact that we can even envision a world where we don’t treat each other with hatred is a good indication that we are taking the right road to reaching that place.

1 comment:

  1. So your saying that the abolition of racism requires an integration, or assimilation, into a "human" community.

    That issues of race will disappear if people were to acknowledge such differences in the vein of eye color, indistinguishable in the face of other characteristics.

    I think its a very noble idea, however, I think it misses a large part of the issues behind racism. Regardless of how you look at it, people are not the same. I am very much different from you. Black is different from Asian, as one white man is different from another white man. Biography is a powerful and motivating force. So by pretending these differences do not exist is equivalent to sugar coating everything and glazing over the "problem spots". But pretending it doesn't exist, or forgetting about it, is not productive.

    I think what is required for a complete and utter abolishment of racism is understanding. First, understanding that you will never be able to completely understand another individuals standpoint but more importantly, try despite it.

    I agree that there are a lot of discrepancies in how people react to race acts, however, ignoring the fundamental reasons for why they exist in the first place is a step in the wrong place.