Archive for the ‘prejudice’ Category

A noose at Columbia?!

Jena. Yes at Jena. There is no excuse for it, but that is the South. I live in the South. I know the South.

Call me an idealist, but New York has always represented a sense of freedom, beauty, opportunity and open-mindedness to me. Am I wrong? Yet another noose. Yet ANOTHER ONE at Columbia University of all places. A very distraught Madonna Constantine, the black professor who found the noose on her door, was on Good Morning America this morning–talking to Robin Roberts (my idol), which is ironic because the fact that we see black journalists everyday should show we are in another world compared to what the 50s had to offer. Anyway, the professor said one of the main things she felt was embarrassed though she said she had nothing to be embarrassed about. I’m embarrassed too.

You all know that I hate the race card. And that I don’t like to go on and on about “the black plight.” But this HAS to stop. Why is the world so hateful? I’m continuing my lose of faith in people. And this resurgence of “the noose” is childish at best, dangerous to our country’s progression at worse. I have been pretty lucky because I can’t think of a major incident in my life where I was the victim of racism. To be honest my racism had mostly been by other blacks telling me I wasn’t black enough. Very different problem. My parents however were old enough to experience racism while living in Lubbock, Texas. My mother and her siblings went for ice cream only to discover their vanilla scoops were in fact Crisco. Both of my parents also remember the segregation, the separate water fountains.

I feel so very blessed (I say blessed…even as an agnostic). I’m blessed because I know that the opportunities and the life I have today is a direct result of people who fought for what I have. But I’m fearing that we are going backwards. Not just with something like a fool hanging a noose but this is going to create more of those “movements” I despise. I don’t want to see a 1960s-like movement everytime such actions like this one are taken. I think we can solve this without a march. I think if we just EDUCATE. Show the face of racism and humiliate it. I want to see everyone banded together and speaking out in the community. Marches just get written off as “oh, there THEY go again.” But if you take actions to educate, whether that is in school or town hall meetings, maybe something can be done? But then again, maybe I’m being an idealist like I said before. And because I’m just starting and continuing to feel quite disappointed in people, I might just join a march if there is one to be a part of. I’m tired. I’m just so tired of it.

Right in my backyard

My recent move has been blissful. I love this place. I’m near nature. I’m close enough to work and downtown. That sneaky demon/angel kitty of mine has somewhere to roam outside on the balcony. But as with every damn thing in life, there is a downfall. The downfall is being a stone’s throw a way from a doctor’s hospital and a few other medical centers.

That is bad Feng Shui already. Feng Shui always tells you being near a hospital is not a good idea and yes I read about Feng Shui. Really not the point. The point is that yesterday I had to witness knobby-kneed, clear visor and monster sunglasses wearing, pasty abortion picketers. I love the idea we have all these wonderful rights. We get to say what we want (for the most part), do what we want (within reason) and we have the right to proudly display and brandish what we stand for. However is it wrong to say, and I’m really being quite whitebread and cliche, “–not in my backyard?”

There. I said it. Not gonna take it back.  The scene was so circa Roe vs. Wade. When I’m peeling out of my complex, I don’t really feel like reading posters that say  “Jesus heals.” And “Abortion hurts women.” I’m not exactly a blasphemous heathen, but I don’t need a sermon shoved at my eyes while I’m at the stoplight or that churn in my stomach–the same I get when I have to evaluate whether or not those “homeless” median dwellers holding up cardboard box panels saying “Hungry. God Bless” are really in dire straits. Hey. I’m just trying to get to the next street. Grab a damn coffee. Get to the store. I got the compulsion to yank out my lighter and torch each of those poorly scrawled phrases that contradict everything tolerance stands for.

How sick is it to know that if you were someone who has had an abortion, that in broad daylight you can be reminded of your decision and then mocked for it. How nice. And today’s issues just seem far more what will decide what kind of America we will have come voting day. The decision was made. Abortion is legal and up to a woman to decide. May she see fit not to use it as birth control but it’s still her right just the same. So let’s move on from this tired topic and stop rehashing. Besides, everyone just kept on driving.

Here we go again…

I’m tired of hearing about the word “nigger.”

Now comedian Eddie Griffin got in trouble  for using it. I will spare you all the other things at hand and how careful comedians have to be now about using this word. So let me just give you my take …

I don’t want to hear you using it in my presence. And I’m not saying, “Oh, it’s OK when WE do it but you white folks better not put that word in ya mouth.” I won’t be saying that because personally I just hate the word and I don’t really want to hear it at all — from anyone. BUT… I grew up with this word (as obviously so many other black folks have) so I admit that on occasion, I do use it’s variation of “nigga” among friends and family but not in earshot of the general public. When people do that, it just fuels the fire of this long-debated and senstive issue of this word — the word EVERYONE hates but for some reason people just love to use. And it just gives more reasons for people to say, “Well if it’s OK for YOU to use it, then why can’t I?” Because hearing this word among strangers is simply embarrassing. And personally, when I’ve used it, it still sounds awful coming from my mouth — even in jest. And I’m far from being a prude.

But that said, I will admit to being a hypocrite. I have used it. Plus I don’t care if my father uses it. And sometimes his joke attached to it is damn funny. But that is in the comforts of his home. And I know there are some really wonderfully offensive and racist things we probably all say at home (and won’t admit) no matter how open-minded you were brought up in this society. We are all human and no one is 100 percent free of some prejudice. The real issue of race is whether or not you actually live your life in ignorance.

Ignorance: the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc. The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.

Yep. I know you know that definition. But look at it for a minute. Key words being “lack of knowledge” and “unaware.” Just because we all have our prejudices, it is through learning and being aware that we decide whether we actually act out the prejudices we hold. This is about knowing the difference of what’s on the surface, what is deep-rooted and whether or not your prejudices rule your life or how you treat people. I won’t get preachy here. But I will confess my sins and lay down some facts.

Fact: I admit to repeating or allowing my ears to hear racists jokes. Sometimes I even laugh.

Fact: I hate but have used the word “nigga” at least 5 times this year.

Fact: If you take out all the “nigga” references in Hip Hop as truly hypocrital rap mogul Russell Simmons  is currently trying to do, (be sure to click both links and see how he flips his views so quickly) what’s left will probably be more poetic.

Fact: I’m not a racist. But I’m not perfect. And neither are you.

So. Really. I’m tired of hearing about the word “nigger.”