Monday, June 25, 2012

Yep. This one's about racism.

My mom used to say I wore my heart on my sleeve...which for the most part, was, and is entirely true.  Granted, I have learned to cope with it more easily in my years of accumulated wisdom, but I do still get my feelings hurt easily, and sometimes misconstrue jokes or "insults" as serious.

But, in this society, ya' gotta have thick skin.  So as I have grown, I have learned to let a lot of things slide.

I let comments about the standard for women being "unhealthy" and "too thin" slide off my back.  Back in the day (which was a Wednesday, for those of you wondering), these accusations of being too skinny would have offended me.  But in a society where allegations about weight and diet are all too common, I have learned to let them go.

I used to get upset when I heard or saw someone ignorantly claim that being a Christian was a fantasy, or that Christians are judgmental, "holier-than-thou" bigots.  Back on this Wednesday (mind you, it was a busy day) I would have left a snooty comment, or let the accusation boil my blood a little.  But nowadays, I just turn the other cheek, as us silly Christians would say. 

I used to try to fight the jabs boys or men would make about women being moody, irrational, and hard to please.  "We are not moody, boys are just stupid!" I would proclaim!  Well...this insult I not only let slide because boys are indeed, and innocently enough, slightly stupid when it comes to figuring out a woman...but also because women are scientifically, and also innocently enough, kind of moody, irrational, and hard to please.  (You know it's true, ladies.)

I take pride in being able to slough off the occasional comment.  Opinions are opinions, and each individual is entitled to their own, no matter how illogical or downright dumb I may think it is.  I have learned to tell the difference between an opinion, which is not to be argued, and a truth, which leaves room for correction, if necessary.

Well...I have some correcting to do.

Recently on Facebook, I saw a status from an old acquaintance, who happens to be African American.  It read something like this:

"So dude gets shot by the police in tha cliff at Taco Bell off Camp Wisdom...he was smoking a blunt and when law tried to approach him he reached for his gun..."

To which many friends, also African American, left several comments, including:
"These white folks don't give two sh*ts about n***as!"
(Granted, the young gentlemen did not censor himself, but I inserted the asterik for your reading pleasure.)

Now I'm not sure exactly what she was implying.  It is my hope that she was insinuating that had he just handed over his little "treat," he would be alive today; not the latter, which the eloquent young man obviously felt....that some stupid white cop carelessly shot a black man simply for pointing a gun at him.

A few weeks ago, another old high school acquaintance, who also happens to be African American, left this as his status:
"I got kicked out the club for goin into the women's Gimme a better reason than that racist's cool I got a bottle first"
After which he posted a picture of a bottle of Grey Goose vodka.  I won't go into this one too much, as I would hope it's obvious what is wrong with this statement, but in case you're a little cloudy today, let me be clear: kicking a boy out of a women's restroom is not racist. It is sane and logical and decent; and you sir, are a creeper and an apparent thief who should probably be kicked out of clubs before you even make it through the door.

I will let a lot of opinions/accusations/allegations/insults slide, as I previously discussed.  But I am fed up with seeing and hearing comments about how "white people are so racist."  In reference to the young boy who was shot after pulling a GUN on a POLICE OFFICER....what exactly does this comment person (excuse me for lack of words; this is the part where I get a little worked up) think should have happened?  Does he believe the officer should have paused to consider that perhaps the black man was just worked up and didn't mean any harm; he just wanted to smoke his marijuana in peace?  Does he think the officer should have put his life, and his family and friend's well being in jeopardy just because he is white and this young man is black?  Or, were the roles reversed, would the intention be the same?  If it was a black police officer shooting a white boy with a blunt, would it be OK in that instance?  If it were this comment person's father who was out patrolling the streets, would he have wanted his father to not fire his weapon at someone who was POINTING A GUN AT HIM, and just hope that instead it would be an unloaded weapon, or perhaps the whole thing would just blow over and they could go have a taco together?  And to the other status regarding the "racist man" who kicked him out of a restroom...yes, I'm sure that the white security guard/bouncer walked in and said: "Absolutely nothing about this situation is unordinary, unsafe, or inappropriate in ANY way, and I allow guys to hang out in the women's restroom at this club all the time, but since you're black, sir, you need to get the hell out of here."

Yes.  I'm sure that is exactly what went through his mind.  And I'm sure similar thoughts went through the police officer's mind before he defended himself against a threat.  I'm sure he didn't think "Well, I'm going to have the possible death of a young boy on my hands for the rest of my life, but because he's black, I'm going to shoot him anyways."

I can tolerate a lot.  But it seems to me that the ones so quick to call white people "racist" are the only ones looking at the skin color in the first place. 

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