Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So much for the post-racial America theory

I slid into my favorite pool playing haunt last night to get my billiards fix in....I have a serious addiction with pool, even more than golf. Anyway, the moment I walked in one of the regular patrons (white, late 30's) was feverishly ranting.... Kanye, Kanye, Kanye....that fucking racist. I had only briefly caught the flak that Kanye West did something stupid yesterday (suprise), but I didn't really know the whole story, nor did I really care. But this guy apperently did....a little too much. A few minutes later another regular came in, even older than the first (late 50s) and he was just as upset.

I filled myself in on the full story after I got home, and all I could think about was "Why the hell do grown men give a damn what happens on the MTV music awards?" I forced myself to painfully watch the video of Kanye stealing the sweet, little, white girl's moment in the sun...and then I understood what riled these guys up so much. If Taylor Swift was a male, punk would have just been another stupid moment in the litany of stupid moments in MTV history. As a matter of fact, it would have been great to see an Axl Rose type up there and watch the two of them beat the shit out of each that's good MTV. Unfortunately the demographics of this situation were just too much to bare for white, protective middle age men across the country.

Listening to these guys cry racist, ad nauseum....militantly, mind was a harsh reminder that maybe we are still stuck on stupid.

The redeeming factor in the whole incident was Obama calling Kanye a jackass. Yup, Mr. President... that's about the sum total of the whole fucking thing. Forget the grand, racist conspiracies....this guy was just a drunk ass screaming his opinion into a microphone...unfortunately a sweet, little, white girl caught the butt of his tirade.

After the bar patron had ranted and screamed "racist" for about 30 minutes he was finally chastised by one of the employees and asked to "Please, just shut the fuck up." He kind of sulked for a few minutes then turned to me and painfully professed, "Nobody listens to me." I wanted to tell him, "Yeah...because you're being an ass just like the guy you're screaming about. No one likes to be screamed at." But I kind of felt sorry for I just listened to him instead.

Maybe this is part of the process...maybe this is healthy dialogue to actually get to a post-racial America. Or maybe we're a nation of screaming, territorial apes....and that's what we'll always be. I don't know anymore...are we going forwards or backwards?

Also...there's this.

I was listening to WWL today list the reasons why Fielkow said he wasn't running. The main reason Arnie gave was because of the racist accusations he has had to face in the past year....and that he felt he would be further dividing the community if he ran.

You know my answer to that is I'm glad he's dropping out because he apparently doesn't have the fortitude to handle the job anyway. It sounds like he's moping because he got slapped with the race card. If his skin is that thin, then he's definitely not the right guy for this job. Citing fear of racial reprise for not running for seems to me like he's perpetuating the problem. I don't know, but it's very disappointing to me.


oyterboy said...

I don't believe we'll ever truly be post-racial ... a sad statement, but there will always be those douche bags who are mentally incapable of empathy, let alone brotherly love. I do think, however, that it's not entirely a bad thing that the far right wing nuts are coming out of the woodwork and being as loud and obnoxious as possible. Of course we're getting the birthers and "Birchers," but the anti-health crowds seem to be nicely seasoned with dumb-as-a-stone, outwardly-racist trash, which should eventually force moderate repubs to either join 'em or kick them out of their party, metaphorically and literally speaking. The most dangerous kind of bigotry is the variety that hides behind manners and decorum, as the damage it does is seldom seen, and it tends to linger.

On another note, I was thinking about how Darwin could ironically be the downfall of the far right. My theory is that whenever a group sets itself in opposition to rational thought, especially of the scientific variety, there's a sort of "natural selection," if you will, which takes place. That is, if one refutes scientifically-proven things like evolutionary theory, or human-caused global warming, and are not progressive-minded in accepting green technology, medical advances (like those spurned by stem cell research, or evolutionary science) you will be at a "disadvantage" on the human stage, evolutionarily speaking. The trick is to hold those people who take aim at reason to their word. If they don't want public health care, no medicare for you; if Darwin is the devil, sorry, you won't have access any of the benefits to society which have been made possible as a result of his work ... we could easily continue this with global warming, environmentalism, etc. Maybe on practical level just pointing out very directly the hypocrisy of the irrational arguments out there is a place to start. God knows that the MSM isn't doing it.

Jason Brad Berry said...

wow...keep going...i'm all ears.

Jason Brad Berry said...

You're exactly right that the MSM isn't pointing out the irrational beliefs which contradict reality. Its salient to this post as well, as I believe "Race" as the semantic construct which exists in most people's mind is actually a myth itself.

Do you have a blog?

oysterboy said...

"I believe "Race" as the semantic construct which exists in most people's mind is actually a myth itself"

I completely agree ... it's more of a collage of assumptions.

I don't have a blog. Well, I have one reserved, but I keep making excuses not to move on it ... I'd rather just read yours : - } >

This is Dana, btw.

Jason Brad Berry said...

oh bloody hell...that makes sense. How are you man?

I was blown out of the water that someone replied that intelligently and that quickly to that post...of course it was you.

oysterboy said...

Hey ... doing well, thanks. Congrats on AZ and the well-deserved accolades. I know it must be a grind, but one can only imagine what level of shite we'd be wading through now without all of your talent and hard work.

Anonymous said...

Oysterboy, your post was very well written however, your premise is flawed and easily dismissed by those of us trying to make sure any changes made will actually work and be good for the country. It always cracks me up how people will be blinded by the intent and never look at the method change will occur.

Also in regards to the idiots that are on the right (I'm an Independent), I find it funny you have the audacity to criticize with the numerous videos being produced with the crazies that exist in Acorn. Come on....fair is fair and I understand life isn't fair, but let's at least strive towards some sort of fairness or not open yourself to such an obvious rebuttal.

In regards to the Darwin rant, I always find the lefts approach to such topics as sloppy and clearly made by people who have never tried to motivate a single person to do better, the ability to empathize or someone who has participated in an a debate forum. If you could empathize than you would realize much of what is stopping the reform to embrace these technologies is not the acceptance of the concept but, and this is true for health care, the manner in which they intend to bring about the change.

If you are an honest person, and if you are a friend of Ashe, I have no reason to believe you aren't then you must admit that the current legislation is filled with partisan pay offs and not with the best options of fixing the 15-20% of health care that is broken. The irony is that many of these changes could be voted on and passed tomorrow. Instead much of the legislation is paying off or not penalizing the lefts lobbyists (unions - for example).

I am not defending the bone heads on the right, I am trying to determine why, everyone has to have this NOW, and yet will not entertain the things that can be implemented much faster and not cost the government a dime. I will concede the right would pay off their cronies as fast as possible if this ball was in their court. I can't come up with a good reason why passing a law to allow insurance to be purchased across interstate lines shouldn't be passed immediately. What will that cost the taxpayers and there isn't alot of risk to the consumers.

Is it your premise any change they make has to be for the better? Regardless of the effect it could have on the economy now and in 10 years?

At what point did we start expecting so little from our politicians on both sides of the fence? It also strikes me strange that you have a clearly biased media (fox, cnn, networks, all of them) and if you look at the ratings which have gone through the roof for Fox, that might give you pause and think either our message is FUBAR and/or we might want to slow this down and really look at what we have here because even our people aren't following our news channels.

People feel like they are being lied to and they are, be reasonable, they are not being given the best methods to cut costs and reform health care because some of the options help the right and other options hurt the left.


Anonymous said...

I come from a family that is mixed racially and religiously.

Most families are like this if you really honor all your ancestors. Feed all your ghosts. Honor all your ancestors.

The African branches of our family agree with the Chinese and Native American relatives on that one; the same idea is in European fairy tales.

Spiritually, claim them all. Claim the beaten, enslaved, raped, brutalized, and the ancestors who did those things to them. We all have both. Every one has victims and perpetrators up in their family tree. No one needs to deny either side of that story, nor do any of us need to get too hung up on one side or the other.

Empathize with the suffering, and see and own and take responsibility in the ways you can for the harm done. All of us have ancestors on both sides of the good vs. evil fight, and most of our ancestors are like we are, mixed. Try to see and understand everyone's context and story. We are all still dealing with centuries of fallout in our own lives, and we've each made our own mess for the next generations, too.

See them and claim them all.

And then in real life, try to do right. Live your own life, honoring but not chained to your ancestors. Do your best not to lie, and to undo the lies you've already told or the ones of earlier generations. That's going to piss people off, but live for the future generations, to make it easier for them. It would be easier for them if you did the right thing now.

Give second chances, but set standards and keep your own home safe; show your Daddy the door if he is consistently rude to your wife.

Race is a stupid idea that never existed in "real" reality, but racism has been "real" reality in such a profound and horrifying way that we are sort of stuck with the consequences of our history.

The notion of a "Post-racial" world is often a code word for other things, for certain kinds of "shut up already" impulses, or for a sense of fellowship created by percieved economic or social class interests, or by the annointing of a new common enemy or despised group (Muslims, gays).

I'm not as interested in a "Post- racial" world as I am in a creole world, a mixed race world where everyone does recall their own ancestral story, and aspects of small cultures, such as the myriad languages we are on the verge of losing, are preserved as living wonders of the world.

Anonymous said...

AF's choice is disappointing, but it is probably for the best. Who needs a guy who does not want the job?

I doubt that the race excuse is real. I read that, and made my hand into a little puppet who said, "Blah, blah, blah".

Those little baby Obama girls are tough enough to face the racists; AF could have stood it if he'd wanted to.

I bet he could not get his money backers sorted out, and I bet he knows more than we do about how dirty dirty dirty things have been under Nagin.

He doesn't want the bucket to come down on his head as he walks through the door. He'd like someone else to walk through first.

So, are there any brave Karens planning to run? Would Gen. Honore mind giving it a try?

Are there people in New Orleans capable of running or working for an election campaign who are not connected to the dirty dirt?

Jason Brad Berry said...

- Empathize with the suffering, and see and own and take responsibility in the ways you can for the harm done. All of us have ancestors on both sides of the good vs. evil fight, and most of our ancestors are like we are, mixed. Try to see and understand everyone's context and story. We are all still dealing with centuries of fallout in our own lives, and we've each made our own mess for the next generations, too.

See them and claim them all.

wow...I love you whoever you are.

A quote from Bruce Springsteen:

"Well now down below and pullin' on my shirt
Yeah I got some kids of my own
Well if I had one wish for you in this god forsaken world, kid
It'd be that your mistakes will be your own
That your sins will be your own"

See them and claim them sir/mam...own it all.


NOLAT said...

We as a local culture must truly work against allowing our racial (note: not racist) bias affect our decisions on leadership.

But , we should also learn to breed unicorns I suppose.

People, look for those who are interested not in their personal advancement but rather the advancement of the city's denizens a a whole, regardless of race.

This mayoral election is a delicate vase that is yours to break. Or, yours to cradle.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Forge. I think forge.


Anonymous said...

I appreciate the person who said the "denizens", rather than just the "citizens" of New Orleans. I'm going to start using that word.

I've been using "citizens" a lot, but that isn't really what I mean. Immigrants who aren't citizens yet, foreign students, and all the other kinds of non-citizens enrich the city and make it a good place. That's always been true. Po'boy sandwich, anyone?

A friend told me about trying to get through the bureaucracy surrounding replacing her student visa after the place she lived in burned down. Getting rehoused and setting up her utilities again was not easy, either. It was horrible, and she had to do it in her third language.

She could not even get through the voice mail systems to talk to real people because she did not have a US Social Security number to type in.

Have we set up systems to make sure that legitimate non-citizen residents don't fall through the cracks when disasters strike?