2009-09-04

Racism is Not An Opinion, Or Something Made Up In People's Heads








::UPDATE: There is a response, and unfortunately, it was the one I was expecting. Now this child is saying I deleted his comment and that he replied back. I am now going through over 1,000 emails in Gmail, literally to find this missing post to see if indeed he replied back to me, if he did, I will be more than happy to post it and reply in a separate post continuing this conversation. I didn't find it, if he posts it, I will, I will be waiting, but I never got such a reply outside of what is posted in this blog entry. No lie. ::

Someone made some comments over in another post, and I felt those comments deserved it's own blog post.

His comments are ones I am all too familiar with. I heard the questions and comments he posed all the time growing up, and as many times as I explained it, it often fell on deaf ears, because people only want to believe what they want to. Facts are silly and not relevant in all decisions or perceptions most of the time. I feel I should respond to these questions and comments here, so that when it does get repeated, which it will, I can refer said person who says these comments here.

This first comment:

yeah, it seems like hypersensitivity to political correctness(among other things) has led to a backlash regarding people being able to talk about race. jokingly, seriously, sarcastically, philosophically, etc... someone always gets offended, but nobody wants to explore WHY they are offended, or what it means to be racist nowadays. is it discriminating against someone for a job? is it using racial slurs? is it playing on stereotypes for your comedy routine?

as a jew, i don't think you're anti-semitic, but i do think you (and many other minorities, especially in the black community) have a strong aversion to white liberal suburbanites (and other perceived "majorities") coopting racial stereotypes, or engaging in any kind of discussion about black, white, or whatever, in a manner equal to yourselves.

this is kind of sad, because even as we're making such progress in post-obama america, suddenly someone's being excluded from the table; which is ironic, and might seem "fair" in the historical sense, but hardly endears your cause to the world. racism begets reverse-racism (which is just racism) and then all we have is a vicious cycle of hate, never-ending.

to answer your question about, "what is being anti-semitic?" i would expand that further to all peoples and say, "what is it to be prejudiced? what is it to discriminate?

what is it to be a racist?

what is it to hate?"


The whole "climate of political correctness has messed things up or made things suck" excuse has run it's course. It is a cop out, and it is an excuse people use to dismiss and ignore the realities of the world. I'm sorry you can't openly display your racism, but now instead have to be more discreet about it. I'm sorry. I apologize, and with the current climate of racism in this country, it seems not too long from now, you will be free to say whatever, because honestly I'm waiting for Jim Crow to come back full force with all the current "veiled" racism going on.

I find it funny how many people who get mad and accuse the "offended" of made up racism, why they can't understand or try to understand why someone may be offended. We can pretend all we want the history of America was absolute love and racial harmony and that slavery and Jim Crow did not exist and had no bearing on race relations in America, but fact is, it happened, and racism isn't always about slavery and Jim Crow. We need to really get over that notion. We had generations upon generations, up to my parents generation of whites who were taught and believed that blacks are inherently inferior to them. Slavery and Jim Crow ended, but that mentality did not, no matter which way you slice it, that perception is still going around, and I see it displayed quite often. That leads to the subtle racism I discuss. I say this often, but racism goes beyond cross burning and dragging men behind trucks.

In terms of whites co-opting black stereotypes, I can only say this, this sounds mean, but whites have a habit of taking or co-opting things without acknowledging where those things come from. Ask the Native Americans, ask the Japanese in internment camps, and you can ask black people. I remember for years being teased by white people for using Crisco in my hair and skin, for having a big nose, for having big lips, and for having a big old "fat ass". I remember hearing that rap music was complete crap, ignorant, just plain stupid, and you didn't have to have talent to actually rap. I remember when wearing saggy pants meant you were in a gang. I remember New Edition making waves, but I remember New Kids on the Block becoming phenomenons. I remember the kids thinking LL Cool J was ok, but Vanilla Ice being where it is at. I remember when Justin Timberlake was singing Disney songs, but now he is supposed to be the greatest entertainer out there. I know that Eminem is now considered the best MC of our time. Angelina Jolie is sexy and known for her big lips, Jessica Beil is sexy for her voluptuous ass. White women are going out getting botox in their lips and ass implants. So they can get my "greasy chicken lips" and "fat ass" Please refer to Coco as a prime example of this. On black people, things are bad or ok, on white people these same things shine and are wonderful.

In terms of the discussion about race, white people don't want a discussion, they want to vent, blacks want the same, but it doesn't matter because white people will ignore their place or responsibility, and make the assumption about what blacks think. Whites don't want a discussion on race, because in reality, that discussion would hurt your feelings.

Whites chose to be excluded from the topic of race, they didn't want race relations to change or improve for the most part, black people did, and that is what many whites fail to acknowledge. Whites were for the most part just fine with slavery, and just fine with Jim Crow, both benefitted them, even the poorest of whites had an advantage during these times. That mentality has carried over and we see it today, that is why racism still exists to this day. When white people do include themselves in the debate and actually "get it", they are viewed as race traitors and dismissed by fellow whites. Jane Elliot and Tim Wise are perfect examples of this.

In post-racial America, whites have made it loud and clear what they think about a black President, over and over and over again. They don't call him a n*gger or drag him behind a truck, they just pull their kids out of school because they don't want their children indoctrinated, they were fine with Reagan and Bush Sr. indoctrinating the young, but a black man not so much. I didn't get converted into believing Reagan was the greatest President of our time, I sure as hell didn't get that Bush Sr. and me are buddies and on the same page. What I do get is that if your children are to become socialists or Nazis because a non socialist/non nazi President makes a speech about the importance of education and to stay in school, they don't need to be in school because they are dumb, and you and your schools have failed your kids. That sounds mean, but it's true. My mother, who is an educator feels if Obama can capture the audience of kids while making a boring speech, he is a miracle worker, kids don't have long attention spans when it comes to grown folks talking about serious stuff, that is just fact, they tune out, day dream, and pass notes to each other.

The second comment to address:

@siditty: i agree with you that racism can be subtle, but in those cases, it becomes a personal definition. overt acts like hate-speech, racial slurs, etc are something most people can agree on as being racist. but how can you tell if someone giving a job to a white person - or a black person - instead of another equally qualified ethnic/racial group is racist? it might be... but it might also be completely unrelated to it. subverting black culture and selling it back to consumer might be minstrelsy, or might just be about making money. ultimately, you're talking about your OPINION on what you THINK is racist.

i think saying that white people don't see the double standard is untrue. we do, and we point it out in things such as affirmative action, linguistic privilege over who can say "nigger", and even small things like black power versus white power signs.

white people see a new double standard emerging that is biased against their participating in the evolution, the conversation of race and racism in america.

don't let your personal experiences dare i say... color? your perception of the fact that we are ALL people. don't condescend that we can't understand you because we are not black, or let me assume that you can't understand being white or jewish because you aren't, but believe that we can all understand each other because we are all human. isn't that the point of everything we are discussing? to move beyond such stupid distinctions as skin-color? if you take the cop-out that i've heard so many times before (even on this blog) that we can't understand one another, then fundamentally you're giving up on race-relations. you're assuming we will always be strangers, instead of countrymen. and that is sad.

because your cause IS my cause. hate is infectious, and spreads like wildfire. to enslave one people or commit genocide against one people affects us all. you think the situation of "black america" has fallen on deaf ears yet things change, things have changed, and things are STILL changing. every people on earth has at some point in their history been treated unjustly by another. but to me, it is YOU are in danger of not-listening, because you're too busy telling me that i can never understand... when in fact we know all too well.

@all: i see a lot of the comments on this post saying anything slightly derogatory against jews gets you slandered with labels of anti-semitic. but i ask you, when i have made MY contrary opinions about "black america" have you not called me racist? haven't you thrown labels and slurs and other epithets at me? many in the black community are quick to make the same hypersensitive slanders at people who outside the community who call them out for their wrongs and hypocrisies. yet now you play the victim for being called anti-semitic so quickly? welcome to what it feels like when i try to talk about race.

S says that jews can make fun of ANYONE and get away with it (citing sarah silverman as an example) but do you think black comics or, for that matter, any color comics do anything differently? comedy holds all peoples equally ridiculous, from george carlin to margaret cho to whoopi goldberg to dave chappelle. nobody is above being laughed at.

i'm not saying jews aren't racist, or bigoted. we have words in hebrew that are clearly derogatory, and have in many instances sacrificed our dignity to "blend in" (much the same as light-skinned in the black community). we are not above hate, but from your actions and words... apparently neither are you.

and that is what i take issue with, that the victim becomes the victimizer, that people engage in the old biblical tenet of "eye for an eye" so let's all be blind. instead of becoming a survivor and changing things for the better, you turn around and do what's been done to you, knowing how horrible it is. you become the hate you seek to eliminate.

so it goes.


Racism is NOT AN OPINION, it is not made up in people's heads. When you go to an office and see the only black people working there are in "lower" positions. You see it when you managed to get hired and your co-workers with less experience and education make more than you. You see it when your HR department does an audit on salaries and education and note that the few minorities and women who work in the same jobs as their white counterparts have significantly more education and experience, but make less money (happened at my father's job). You see in the salary/wage gap between blacks and whites with similar education and experience. Unless you think automatically whites are smarter,deserve more money, are more intelligent, and worker harder and better than their black counterparts as a whole, which in itself is racist.

Racism isn't an opinion. It happens, and the sooner people quit thinking people make it all up in their heads each and every time, the better, if you can't acknowledge racism in all forms, you are part of the problem as to why racism will never go away in this country, it isn't about political correctness, it is about realizing that although someone is different than you physically, they still have humanity just like you.

Seeing a double standard in Affirmative Action, the "privilege" to say "nigger", and "black power" vs "white power" is telling to me. That isn't a double standard, that is whites bitching and moaning that you no longer have the complete upper hand and complete superiority over another group of people anymore, because those people now have SOME protections.

Why are you pissed off you can't say "nigger"? Why do you want to say it? Why would that be a great improvement in race relations for whites to call blacks "nigger" again in open society? In Jim Crow it was accepted, do you think race relations were great back then?

Why are you or countless millions of other whites not outraged at the concept of legacies in colleges and jobs based on who someone's parents were or who their parents knew? Why are white people not pissed off at the concept of affirmative action when it benefitted them? Why are you not pissed off that your white women benefit from the same that minorities do? Why are you not pissed off when Asians benefit from the same policies.

When you can answer these questions truly and honestly, then you will understand what I mean by double standards whites in GENERAL fail to acknowledge.

Black power doesn't have a history of lynching, murder, rape, and burning of black people and their property. There has never been a Rosewood or 1912 Tulsa riot occur with white people. There has not been the mass appeal to eradicate whites. The black power movement talks about blacks moving to their own utopia, the white power movement believes everyone else should move. Again a double standard not acknowledged by white people.

No there was never a double standard there, they just don't want a discussion on race unless it benefits them. That is the honest truth. They were offered many times a chance to participate, some did, but many chose not to, and they like you want to pretend racism is all in the minds of people, and an opinion rather than an actual reality. That is a luxury white privilege affords you.Racism is a reality in my life, and it isn't something I made up in my head, and just because you fail to acknowledge it doesn't make it any less valid.

We are all people, but not all people in this country are treated equal and that is a fact you can't deny.

I would love to think that all white people think of me as human, but in reality, many don't think that way. If they do, they think of me as less than them, and all while they think I am less than them, they have the audacity to believe that they are non racist because they now HAVE TO tolerate me a lot more than what they used to. It is painful to admit, but I know it is true for many people who are white. I see it all the time.

I never said blacks and whites can't understand each other, we don't want to, that is the cold hard truth. I haven't given up on race relations at all, I have given up on a realistic discussion where people don't automatically assume racism is an opinion, something made up, and not a reality simply because slavery and Jim Crow went away. I would like to believe we all have a shared cause, but we don't. We have a cause, whites have a cause, they want to live like "they used to", blacks never want to go back to "the good old days".

Change didn't occur because it just happened over time, It changed because blacks fought for it to change. People were beaten, lynched, burned, and tortured for this change, this change didn't come peacefully. It was demanded, and even with that change, white people are upset because they see the right for blacks to be treated as equal means taking away their privilege or rights. To dismiss the change as something that "just happened" means people really don't understand race relations and don't really care to.

Every people on this earth don't have the recent history that blacks in America do to refer back to when they talk about the injustice, nor do all people relate or understand the injustices that happen to black people now. I mean I can talk about what went on during the times of the ancient Roman empires, but I can't relate, I can relate to being called a "nigger", I can relate to people assuming I want to steal from them, or that I'm poor and on welfare, that I'm less intelligent, less hard working, and less qualified all because of the color of my skin. Can you relate to that first hand on a consistent, regular basis?

You're right, I do quit listening, because it is the same song different day. I expect nothing less from people. You aren't talking to someone unaware or out of touch with those different than me, I live amongst white people, some of them great friends, but I know and expect them to say something crazy, and I have learned I can't educate people, and people only want to believe what they have always believed, and denial is the response I usually get when I talk about race with people who don't look like me, not always, but it is the majority of the time. I no longer have patience like I should, I openly admit that.

People tend to forget, white people have managed to escape and move away from black people, but even in the most blackest of neighborhoods, white people exist, and they are usually there in roles of power. They are policemen, teachers, and political figures. Whites can escape blacks, blacks cannot escape whites.

I know this post is harsh, I know it sounds mean, but I am not going to sugarcoat this topic anymore. It is racist, I never said I wasn't racist, I just know to admit it. I don't think many white people can or are willing to admit this, because it will shatter their perception that racism is all made up in the heads of sensitive, over politically correct people.