Thursday, January 22, 2009

Our Colorblind Century and the Ragin' Racists

Someone please tell the Reverend Joseph Lowery that racism is over, if he wants it. Racism is over now.

My Inauguration Day post covered the significance of the day as it pertained to race. As it was a solemn event, I really didn't want to get into discussing the aspects of race relations. But that was two days ago.

Now, I do need to clarify. The election of Barack Obama did not end all racism. Racism is a mental disease where you take prejudices and use them to classify and define people.

And we all have prejudices. Every damn last one of us. What separates a prejudiced person from a racist, though, is what you think after that instinctive thought goes through your head. If you see a black man and call a spade another word (the one that starts with N) then you're probably a racist. If you internally chastise yourself for even considering someone based on the color of their skin, then you're on the right track. And if you look at Barack Obama and you wonder why the black men have tears in their eyes, then you are the generation we have been waiting for. And that's my children.

The important thing though, is that we are over the hill on this one. We are at a point where, finally, there is no office, no place that is barred by race. And now it's a matter of letting the old racists die, the people who cannot overcome their prejudices grow old, and the generation that would consider black a color only to start to asserting themselves.

Which brings me to Rev Lowry:
"... help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."
Hey, Joe, what more do you want? At what point is enough going to be enough (no Ferengi jokes, please (#97))? There has to be a point where you stop harping on race to the exclusion of cleaning your own house and addressing the asshats that perpetuate the stereotypes. And if you can't get past focusing on the color of a person's skin, does that make you the new racist?

After all, I thought the goal of all your efforts on race centered around someone's dream:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Let me know when you're ready to live by those words, Joe. Your minority (those who cling to race, that is) is getting mighty small.

25 comments:

dmarks said...

"If you see a black man and call a spade another word (the one that starts with N) then you're probably a racist."

Ahem.... last time I knew, "spade" was also a racist term, little better than the N word.

"If you internally chastise yourself for even considering someone based on the color of their skin"

Looking at skin color first, unfortunately, is a requirement of blatantly racist "affirmative action" quota/goal/preference policies.

Patrick M said...

Dmarks: Ahem.... last time I knew, "spade" was also a racist term, little better than the N word.

That was the point. Plus, I'm talking about a racist. I do know a few here and there.

Looking at skin color first, unfortunately, is a requirement of blatantly racist "affirmative action" quota/goal/preference policies.

Really?!?!?!?

*wiping off the dripping sarcasm* :)

Shaw Kenawe said...

Hey, Joe, what more do you want? At what point is enough going to be enough (no Ferengi jokes, please (#97))? There has to be a point where you stop harping on race to the exclusion of cleaning your own house and addressing the asshats that perpetuate the stereotypes. And if you can't get past focusing on the color of a person's skin, does that make you the new racist?

Your indignation at the 88 year old Civil Rights leader is noted.

Until you have a better understanding of what the man has been through, who he is, and the culture that produced him, I suggest you find some other American icon to beat up on.

Suggesting that the Rev. Lowery is a racist is beyond insane--it's braindead.

The Rev. Lowery's closing lines that so enraged your sensibilities were a riff on a Big Bill Broonzy song.

The Rev. Lowery and men of his generation were beaten, humiliated, degraded, and systematically deprived of their Constitutional rights for generations and generations.

Your PC outrage over what the Rev. Lowery recited is suspect and smells of hypocrisy because of your lack of outrage over Rush Limbaugh's and the RNC's promotion of the "Barack the Magic Negro" song.

Patrick M said...

Shaw: Damned right I'm indignant.

I'm fully aware that the Reverend has been in the struggle since the MLK days. But that's pat of the problem.

Far too many of the old warriors who were in the right in the old days of Jim Crow are now, increasingly, perpetuating the very problem they fought to purge.

Let me clarify something. I don't think he is a racist. But he's trapped in the mindset that racism is still a pervasive attitude in this country. And that's not the case.

And like I said, the best thing that can happen now for race relations in this country is for the old guard that fought this battle and has seen, despite their word, our country reach the point where we are over the hump on this issue, and the old guard southern racists who sit and stew, to die out.

And as for "Barack the Magic Negro" I have one question. Do you even know what the song is about?

If you did, you wouldn't waste my time being indignant, because it pretty much makes a similar point to this post. Here's the research.

dmarks said...

Patrick, the thing about racist quotas was not for you. I figured you already knew it :)

Arthurstone said...

Patrick teed it up, took a mighty swing and whiffed:

'Someone please tell the Reverend Joseph Lowery that racism is over, if he wants it. Racism is over now.'

The inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama is a major event and a huge step for this nation. By any measure a landmark.

Sadly racism isn't over quite yet. We have a long way to go.

I'll have to defer to Lowery on this one. I think his experience is just the tiniest bit wider, the teensiest bit deeper than yours Patrick.

I was sitting at the health club last night after a workout and Bill O'Reilly (& Dennis Miller I think) was waxing indignant about this from an inauguration ball performance by Jay-Z and Young Jeezy:

My President is black my Maybach too and I'll be goddamned if my diamonds ain't blue. My money's light green and my Porsche is light grey. I'm going to DC anybody Feel Meh! My president is black in fact he's half white, so even in a racist mind he's half right And if you got a racist mind it's alright… My President is black but his house is all White….Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther Could walk, Martin Luther walked so Obama could run, Barrack Obama ran so all the children could fly, So imma spread my wings you could meet me in Da sky!!! I already got my own clothes already got my own shoes, I was hot Before Barrack imagine what I'm gonna do...Hello Ms. America, hey Pretty Lady.. Red, White, and Blue Flag Wave For Me Baby Neva thought I'd Say this shit baby I'm good You can keep ya Puss, I don't want no more BUSH! No More War, No More Iraq! No More White LIES, My President is BLACK!
-Jay-Z

Oh woe is us! We'll be killed in our beds!

Of course I don't recall an O'Reilly episode spotlighting this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/12/AR2008051203014_pf.html

But if I missed it please let me know.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Patrick,

If you and other white people don't understand the difference between the little rhyme that the Rev. Lowery spoke at the Inauguration on Tuesday, and the "Barack the Magic Negro" song Limbaugh played, then, the answer is NO. NO we are NOT a post-racial country.

Not yet anyway, so long as otherwise smart people think that what the Rev. Lowery spoke was "racist," and that what Rush Limbaugh aired on his program was "misunderstood."

dmarks said...

I generally agree with Shaw's last comment. Not only was the Shanklin song at least midly racist (its racism blunted because the meme was started by Spike Lee), it wasn't funny, was poorly executed and rather lame. Shanklin is well past his prime. Gems like the song with the crazy Ross Perot ranting are a thing of the past.

Patrick M said...

Dmarks: I know all. Didn't you know that? :)

Arthur: Don't you recognize me paraphrasing from John Lennon?

Or what I said just a couple of paragraphs later?

Now, I do need to clarify. The election of Barack Obama did not end all racism.

But as long as race relations are defined by people who are oriented toward

The O'Reilly vid in question is here under the Miller Time tab. Oreilly was blasting them for being the kind of role model that Obama isn't, as they were just being low class. Miller kind of blew them off as irrelevant, especially with Obama.

And I believe O'Reilly covered the subject (as did everyone else), though I lack citation, if not this specific anecdote-driven story. And the final popular vote tally speaks for itself as to the effects of race.

Shaw: Of course I can see the difference. Rev Lowry still sees everything in the context of race. The song, on the other hand, lampoons the obsession the left has with the color of Barack Obama's skin.

In other words, Rush wouldn't be playing the song if the race industry wasn't alive and well, despite the fact we're so much closer to the color blind society than they say.

Arthurstone said...

PatrickM typed:

"In other words, Rush wouldn't be playing the song if the race industry wasn't alive and well, despite the fact we're so much closer to the color blind society than they say."

Or in still other words one could say Rush wouldn't be be playing the song if he didn't have a vested interested in promoting racial strife.

It sells to his audience.

TAO said...

All I know is that Rev. Lowery has paid a tremendous price to speak the words that he spoke.

He has stood up to inequality, unfairness, injustice, and a very angry majority and paid a tremendous price for his beliefs and convictions.

For that I respect him because he is by far a much greater man than I.

He did not cash in or turn his history into an income stream.

For that he deserved the honor that he was given. Which is more than I can say for Falwell, Robertson, Dodson, and Rick Warren.

So what if his rhymes don't quite hit the spot....

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

Dr. King's philosophy does not fit the agenda of the Old Guard of the civil rights movement. There's no money in it.

Arthurstone said...

Always amusing when 'consevatives' evoke MLK.

Thanks for the chuckle. Martin was a Republican right?

dmarks said...

His speech about "content of their character" certainly contradicts the Democrats' insistence on racist quotas.

Arthurstone said...

Ah yes dmarks. 'Racist quotas'. Yet another willful obfuscation from one of the best. Read your brief dismissal of labor unions elsewhere recently as well. You've a great gift for reducing complex issues to bumper stickers.

Operation Breadbasket was a pretty good indicator of Dr. Kings beliefs. Affirmative action is a useful tool for addressing continual discrimination Recall that in 1968 King was still considered a dangerous subversive and 'near-Communist' (Ronald Reagan). Jim Crow laws were still in effect until the mid 1960's.

Though encouraged by Obama's election I think we might still have a way to go.

Patrick M said...

Arthur: Rush wouldn't be be playing the song if he didn't have a vested interested in promoting racial strife.

That's bullshit and you know it. The song mocks people (Al Sharpton, race whore, and the idiot at the LA times) who are going on about the color of our president's skin. It's the same as saying what I wrote promotes racial strife. And if you want to say that, I have a response I'll save until you say something that fucking stupid.

Tao: I don't knock him as a person who has fought the good fight for so long. And he definitely deserved the honor of giving the benediction. But when history has been made and someone stands up after it and says what he said, it's a good indicator the people perpetuating the problem are now (unintentionally) as guilty as the racists. It's more a reminder that we need to continually take stock of ourselves and our world.

Makes me wonder if MLK would be the same way if he lived today (rhyming intentional).

dmarks said...

@arthurstone: Ah yes dmarks. 'Racist quotas'. Yet another willful obfuscation from one of the best."

I was willfully telling the truth. Any policy that demands rewarding and punishing on the basis of skin color is racist. This includes any affirmative action policy that mentions preferences, goals, or quotas.

"Read your brief dismissal of labor unions elsewhere recently as well."

I can go on at length if you want. My main complaint with labor unions, actually, is that they are illegitimate organizations due to the fact that most members are only there because they are forced to join and give dues. The playing field should be leveled, so no one is forced to join.

"You've a great gift for reducing complex issues to bumper stickers."

Neither of my statements has been on a bumper sticker. But both are true and accurate.

"Affirmative action is a useful tool for addressing continual discrimination"

Racist policies such as quotas and hiring goals do not address discrimination. They create new discrimination.

dmarks said...

Shaw, I agree and disagree:

"Until you have a better understanding of what the man has been through"

Assuming that his benediction was very racist, you can't excuse it based on what he has been through. People are responsible for their own actions and statements. The "he's mouthing off like a moron because he had a hard day" excuse does not cut it.

"Suggesting that the Rev. Lowery is a racist is beyond insane--it's braindead."

As I said above, that is only assuming. I don't get bent out of shape by what he said.

Arthurstone said...

dmarks typed:

'Assuming that his benediction was very racist, you can't excuse it based on what he has been through.'

I assume no such thing. Nor does any other thinking person I've encountered. But of course that wouldn't include the rightwing blogosphere where unsurprisingly folks went nuts.

http://www.broonzy.com/

But thanks for playing. Frightened, middle class white males (and I include Ann Coulter in this category) simply cannot announce the 'end of racism'. It isn't quite that simple. The catalog of instances of bias & discrimination against minorities and the poor grows every day. It grows a little slower but it hasn't stopped.

And please stop now about labor unions. It isn't necessary for you to 'go on at length'.

dmarks said...

I wasn't assuming.

"Frightened, middle class white males"

Nice racist and sexist statement you made.

"And please stop now about labor unions. It isn't necessary for you to 'go on at length'."

Patrick, do you object to my pointing out organizations with destructive greed that are sometimes a problem?

(Arthurstone is the first to mention unions in this post, actually. I think he is just being sloppy again.)

Arthurstone said...

arthurstone opined:

"Frightened, middle class white males"

dmarks clarified that in terms he himself can understand:

'Nice racist and sexist statement you made.'

No small trick dmark as I can count two of those three attributes as mine.

Perhaps you meant to turn another conservative cliche: 'self-loathing'

Patrick M said...

Dmarks: I'm not a fan of the word greed, but organizations that use division to obtain power are, in large part, the cause of far too many of our problems.

And Arthur is often sloppy. In fact, I have the pictures. I deleted the video out of mental self-preservation. :)

Arthurstone said...

Heh. Heh.

An eighty-something African American man quotes a couple of lines from an old blues song (which rings just as true now as it did then) and conservatives faint dead away.

The horror! The horror! Racist! Racist!

Have a great weekend fellas.

Enjoy it while you can.

Collectivism is right around the corner!! 8)

Cheers!

Patrick M said...

Arthur: There's one point that you miss. When you refer to Rev Lowry's quote you add:

(which rings just as true now as it did then)

And that is where you're wrong. Until you understand that, you'll still view every interaction over the next four (or eight (*shudder*)) years involving our president through that same outdated prism.

dmarks said...

Arthurstone: I don't care what race/sex you are, or if you are self-loathing or not. Racist statements are racist statements, regardless of those factors.

Patrick: I do not hesitate to use the term "greed" for those who get ahead by abusive government power, threats, or thuggery.... as opposed to those who get ahead by good hard work. The greedy ones accumulate don't get ahead the honest way.