Plays Well With Others

Blacks and Whites…

I’m thinking that Martin Luther King, Jr. is probably doing belly flops in his grave right now. The black and white issue is all over the news after Michael Richards flew off the handle in a comedy club and starting throwing the “N-word” around at a couple of African-American hecklers in the crowd.

Richards has apologized, but I’m not too sure that he’s going to get off that easily. I mean, a white guy being racist to black people doesn’t go away as easily as someone like Mel Gibson using racial slurs against Jewish people. I don’t know why but it just doesn’t. And so now we have Jesse Jackson trying to eliminate the N-word from entertainment altogether. Good luck with that one.

For one, documentaries and epic movies are probably going to continue to use the word for it’s historical purpose. I think most people understand that you can’t undo the past and you also can’t pretend it didn’t exist. Banning a word isn’t going to suddenly make blacks forget that the word existed.

Secondly, it’s typically blacks that use the word. Certainly there are white folks that use it “trying” to be funny or in a racially motivated moment, but I think most white people find it to be a word they’d never use. In fact, I’d bet that most white folks find that word at the top of the list of words you just don’t say.

Black people are known for throwing the N-word around amongst their friends—using it in an often joking way around other black people. And comedians like Chris Rock, who likes to play the angry black man, use it all time in their performances. If it’s such a bad word, why use it at all. When asked, the most common answer is that “they can use it amongst each other, but other people can’t”. Erm. And my response is, then why is okay for black comedians to call white people “honkey’s” or other racially offensive terms.

Now I’m not trying to say what Richards did was right by any means. I saw the video and can’t really find any good reason for a “comedian” losing his cool to hecklers like that. Any true comedian would know how to work the crowd and find a way to turn it around on them without getting racial.

I just find there to be a discrepency between how black people get so offended by such things and then by how they act themselves. You can’t say you’re offended by someone calling you a racial name and then turn around and call someone else a racial name. It’s more than just banning a word from the entertainment industry—it’s about changing people’s mindset and changing the fact that dwelling on the past isn’t going to get anyone anywhere.

Earlier this week I was reading a blog that described a situation where a University, in order to prove a point, offered a scholarship for white people—a $250 Caucasian Achievement and Recognition Scholarship. To be considered you had to be one quarter caucasion, have a GPA of 3.2 and write a couple of essays.

The point they were trying to make was that racism is being perpetuated every day by things like scholarships that cater to a small segment of “minority” people. There are hispanic people scholarships, black people scholarships, indian people scholarships, even women-only scholarships that don’t get looked at as racist or segmented. The second you offer a white-only scholarship everyone is up in arms. Why, I guess because as a white person it’s just assumed that we have all the advantages just because of the color of our skin. The problem is that, as a white person, it’s pretty hard to even be considered for a scholarship because of the “quotas” they are trying to fill as far as “diversity” is concerned. Often times, I had to resort to my quarter hispanic background in order to get even a small chance.

Seems to me that if you want to end racism, stop finding way to segment people. Offering a scholarship for only black people is obviously going to cause anger to people that can’t apply, just like saying that white people can’t use a word that certain black people use all the time is going to cause anger.

Most people that live in the United States are Americans…period. We’re not Africans or Europeans or Hispanics, we’re Americans. We weren’t slaves and our parents weren’t slaves. I didn’t own slaves, nor did any members of my family that I’m able to trace. And if they did, I’m not responsible for that. It was a different time and a different place. And it’s over. And the only people being repressed or held back are those that are doing it to themselves.

Does racism exist? Certainly. It exists within some white people and it exists within some black people. And some black people are racist against other black people, just like some hispanic people are racist against other hispanic people. So yeah, it exists. But banning words and segmenting scholarships and dwelling on the past isn’t going to move anyone forward. That’s how I see it.

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One Response to 'Blacks and Whites…'

  1. personal avatar
    Brent | 30 November 2006

    Yes, racism exists, and it always will. Michael Richards tirade was disturbing. He should be apologizing. But some of the biggest racists I know are blacks. They hate whites. That is racism. And anyone using the use of the word is “nigger” is promoting racism, even if they are black. I’m tired of the double standard.

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