Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Racism in America

I love how ppl like to act like America is a perfect Utopia. Don't get it twisted, clearly I'm not hopping the fences or riding rubber tubes begging to get a visa to Cuba, Haiti, Uzbekistan, or Mexico. Hands down, America is the best place on earth to live. Now that I got my "Patriot Act" safety net out of the way....... I am however, capable of self-reflection and criticality.
Sidenote: No offense to Cubans, Haitians, Uzbekistanians and Mehicans. Even though some of my best friends are Haitians, I kinda don't want to say it bc everyone says that when accused of being racist.
But I digress.... racism, in case you haven't noticed, is everywhere around us. I once met a man who said he preferred things 30 yrs ago than today. Reason being, you knew who the racists were, where they were, and where they stood. In the corporate day and age, in this polite/sarcastic/politically correct society, the racists are everywhere. Even in your work group, in your class, signing your paycheck, taking a paycheck from you or serving your food.

HARK!!! Fear no more racists worldwide!! With the annonymity of the internet, it's 1812 all over again. From the safety of your keyboard, you can be a mousepad mobster, desktop discriminate and laptop lynch to your racist little heart's content. Am I being paranoid? Negative? Don't believe me? Here are a few rugs to look under.

Comment box
Granted, ppl will post whatever they want online, but I'm not talking about content. Spend some time reading the actual viewer/user commentary. I remember when certain stories broke, be it Imus, Obama, Tiger Woods, you should see the Jim Crow type comments that followed below the videos, blogs and news articles.

Online Gaming
I just got into online gaming this last year where I play against strangers all over the world (probably why I fell off of blogging for a second shhhhhhhhhh). My favorite thing is cooperative online gaming, where me and a couple friends (actual or just online buddies) team up and play against teams, clans or random clusters of players online. But understand something, that opens you up to the whole world. From Denmark, to Seoul, to Burned Scrotum New Mexico, anywhere the Internet is, racism is. I've been called "you fat American" from Europeans [even though I'd like to think of myself as the antithesis of fat, note that there was no way they can actually see me], I've been cursed out in French and had no idea what was being said [but if you have enough Haitian friends you have a rudimentary understanding of French] and any racial comment you can think of. I've even had several ppl try to convince me that I wasn't black bc apparently I "don't talk black." NOTE: I'm substituting "black" for what was actually said.

I learned a deeper new-age racism that I didn't know previously existed. Apparently these are the worse things online to be. The Classics:
N-word. That one never gets old
Gay. Sexuality need not even apply
Mexicans. Biggots cant stand our neighbors to the south.

Sad as it was, this was old ignorance to me. "Dirty, stinking, this and that," yeah, I'm used to that. The one that really threw me off guard was "Jew." That's an insult now??! I'll never forget the first time I heard ppl being called "a Jew" or " thats so Jewish" in negative contexts!!! It took me a second to realize what they were talking about.

I ignore these ppl and resist engagement whenever confronted. If a black person fights and argues EVERY time you're called something unpleasant or racially insulted, you'll be too exhausted from fighting to do anything else. You got to save that ass-whooping card for an emergency last resort occasion. Simply mute the person, ignore, leave the room, kick the person from the room or file a complaint/report (which most platforms allow you to do). That's for the novice... for the advanced witty individuals, there are a number of less than honorable, but evilly satisfying combatants that you can pool together to ruin their day. Nothing extinguishes ignorance like intelligence. My pal Al is one of the best at it....I just wish he'd stop asking me for chicken over call lines. And devil's advocate: That's a major reason why I don't tolerate certain language from my own ppl. If hearing other ppl use these term derogatorily offends, bothers or moves you in the slightest bit, perhaps you need to re-examine the use of your own vernacular.

Anecdotal denouement: A man once told his son, "Everyone has two wolves inside of them. One represents evil, hate, ignorance, violence and all negativity. The other represents just, morality, kindness, good will, honesty, truth and positivity. These two are at constant battle for control of you and one will ultimately kill the other." Scared by the story, the boy asked his father, "Which one will win?"

His father simply responded: "The one you feed the most."

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