Sunday, June 21, 2015

Finding the Logic of Racism

I'd like to think I am color-blind. There are probably a variety of reasons for this. I have a number of family members and friends who are mixed and in interracial relationships, and I've been taught to give everyone a chance to show who they really are as people. Bad first impressions and terrible assumptions stop any opportunity to truly get to know someone.

There's been a lot of talk about racism in America.  Many young black boys and black men are murdered while unarmed, their body said to be the weapon that caused their deaths. There's been a lot of outrage. A lot of protests. A lot of confusion around the heart of the real problem. But the heart of the problem occurred long ago and not so very long ago.

I'll explain that little conundrum, because I think understanding the problem will help us solve it and will open up friendlier discussion to solve it.

Racism Embedded in History
A wise person said that, 'if you don't know your history, you are doomed to repeat it.' I'd like to add something to this quote. If you don't know your history, you are doomed to never knowing how and why the world works the way it does. We have to remember that the events of the past shape the present and future. Many things culminate to get us to where we are now.

The reason America might have a race issue is because we refuse to acknowledge it anymore, or if it did, we say its too long ago to affect anything; we believe its buried in the past and doesn't need re-analyzing, which causes the problem to crop up since there hasn't been any proper closure for it.

Not only has there been racism towards African-Americans, but Irish, Italian, Native-Americans, and the list goes on, but right now I'd like to focus on African-Americans, as this is the topic that's been making more headlines and has been more enduring throughout the years.

I'm not saying that all Americans are racist or that a large percentage are. The fact of the matter is that I don't  know, but I do believe that our past can come back to haunt us if we don't critically analyze race relations in the past.

Past Suffering
Many people like to say that blacks need to move on from slavery times, that it happened so long ago that now it's just a way to blame whites for everything. We have to remember that what came after slavery was only a little bit better. You had Jim Crow Law, the Civil Rights movement in the mid to late 60s to put an end to segregation and institutionalized racism. And even towards the mid-70s, there were still areas implementing the much hated desegregation policies. I know a woman in her late 40s that still remembers the practice of bussing, where black kids were bussed to white schools and white kids were bussed to black schools in an effort to de-segregate the population. This is a very long history, even outside of slavery. There is no wonder there is not much generational wealth in the black community when there has been so little time to really achieve it.

Am I trying to make excuses? No, but I'm trying to understand the whole picture fully. And the factors that play into an overall negative view of blacks by the public. There are more factors that go into play besides accountability. We as a society need to see the implications of this. We also need to see the implications of the founding of this country, and how it was secured in order for us to be more sensitive to people of all races and gender.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

You're A Special Kind of Unicorn...

I recently watched Lorde do a song cover of 'Don't tell 'em' by Jeremiah. I don't remember how I stumbled onto the video, but that's Youtube for ya.
Anyway, someone in the comments section was defending her for her somewhat strange choice of song (being she's a singer and the song she was covering was a rap song) and her style of choice; a naval bearing, crop-top t-shirt. This person basically said that Lorde's different and people can't understand those who are slightly different from them and don't fit their definition of normal, because she wouldn't be getting so much hate in the comments section otherwise.

If I can clarify, Lorde is only a little bit different.

Enough where people are interested in her without feeling too threatened, in my opinion.
Though some still inevitably are threatened.

She came into the mainstream being anti-Hollywood and anti-conformist, but all in all, that's only slightly cutting against the grain.

Lifestyles determine your normalcy.

Her lifestyle is still something to be envied, and therefore has nothing to really worry about by way of criticism because people can just yell 'you haterz!'

I, on the other hand, I'm very different, and because of that, will have no one defending me once I admit what my lifestyle goals are and dreams. Not even one person. I'm more than anti-Hollywood and anti-conformist. I'm sure I take the dam cake.

I would rather live in an underground hobbit house, or a mini home; something unique and different and low-costing. I don't want to spend my life working for things I won't be able to fully or thoroughly enjoy. But that's too different. That's the difference that can't be supported or encouraged.