I hate talking about sexism and racism. Hate it. Why? Because it stirs up a range of shit that really should not be an issue at this point in time. We should have grown the fuck up by now and move on. Let’s deal with the hungry, our addiction to fossil fuels, accessible education for everyone, or getting our planet into better condition. ANYTHING other than trying to shit on one another because of where or how we were born.
I’m all for learning from past mistakes, but don’t browbeat people under the assumption they still think this way. Nitpicking the shit out of someone else’s terminology because they’re trying to communicate a thought, also an irritation. Did you know that “hispanic” is considered less PR than “latino”? Well, according to a college class on cultural diversity I took some time ago, it is… but it depends on where you go, and then the person… until basically you have no way to communicate a damn thing without pissing someone off. What’s the point of communicating at all then?
I happen to live in one of those states where segregation wasn’t so long ago and for some, it still weighs very heavily on their memories. I consider myself lucky that I did not come up in that time period, but I see the aftermath everywhere. Where I went to school, the ethnic minority was actually the majority of the students attending. Spawn has the same type of ratio at their school. Race just didn’t become an issue until our prior generations starting putting in their two cents. You had past generations that were used to or pissed off about things being the way “it used to be” and both wanted nothing more than to bitch about it constantly.
Now understand, even reading about happenings of the heavily racist periods of the American South makes me sick to my stomach to even be part of the human race. We should NEVER have been this way and considered ourselves anything above savages that should have been put down.
However, I also think that dwelling on the shitty parts not only elongates the healing process, but pretty much makes all chances of recovery worse, if not impossible. Fully understand it, mourn it, pick up the pieces and do fucking better, but let it go. Harping on this shit is doing nothing but making all of us anxious, depressed, withdrawn, medicated and venomous.
Is anyone else tired of the fucking annual events that people seem hell bent on having every September 11th? Isn’t 13 years enough to stop sensationalizing the shit and move on? It sucked, it really really sucked. Why are we continuing to harp on it though? That doesn’t honor them, that just enables a pity party for those left.
With that said, I was in a mixed group of people once and one in particular… I guess felt his “good ol’ boy” mentality would fall on a few supportive ears. He ran a management company that generally catered to lower income residents. Lower income in the South is still predominantly ethnic. His comments centered around drug use, criminal activity, monetary and domestic issues “they” caused.
“Whose “they?,” I ask.
He’s uncomfortable. With some dancing around the subject, he finally comes to say that usually it is the ethnic groups, specifically black, who cause him the most amount of issues. I point out that even though segregation is no longer an issue, a vast majority of all minorities are still in the lowest portion in terms of income, residence, access to medical care, etc so it really would not be odd that that would be higher than average, statistically speaking, but doubtful they were the only ones to have those issues.
He grasps on the one thing I hear come from just about every white racist mouth here… “exploitation of the welfare system,” “government assistance,” “living on the taxpayer’s dime” etc. I retorted that it was complete bullshit if he thought the welfare system was so robust anyone could live large on it. Generally speaking, even with the most assistance given, no one could pay any amount of rent with it, let alone any other expenses and there was a time limit on how long you could remain on it, let alone getting on it in the first place. I cited some places he could read more about it. He scoffed.
He then diverts to the hostilities that come from the more unproductive sides of the ethnic group, the pitiful few loudmouth douchebags who unfortunately get pinned as the “stereotype” of blacks in the south. Those in gangs, or wish to be, drug dealing, etc (you know, the ones that exist in just about every race, but that just doesn’t register).
I asked him if he wanted things to change. He said “of course.”
I told him “then stop using the word ‘they’.” “They” do not exist.
The minute he separates himself from those around them, he becomes part of the problem. He counters that “they” should be the ones to improve since “they” made him think this way. I asked him why he would give any unnamed, blank, ambiguous group of people the power to wire how he thought about anything or anyone.
If everyone goes around thinking that everyone else just needs to be nicer to them first, then nothing will ever change. If you want to live in a neighborhood where everyone waves to one another, then raise your fucking arm and wave first.
By the same token, the minute we judge people on a completely irrelevant point, we lose. Assholes and saints come as varied as a 64 box of crayons and then some and the true assholes are the ones who let a very narrow view of society embitter their judgement so much, they feel righteous in using “they.”