Posts Tagged ‘racism’

The Foolproof Confederate Flag

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

THE CONFEDERATE FLAG IS A STRAIGHTJACKET_Where Excuses Go to DieThe “Heritage not Hate” defense is dead.
No more cautiously tolerated rationalizations.   

No more excuses.

Nine people gave their lives so the Confederate flag could finally be rendered foolproof — ’cause now even fools have a chance to drop its baggage and let it go.

To people who pretend the Confederate flag is a symbol of freedom from government: let it go.
To those who lament the slow bulldozing of Southern pride: read the writing on the 150-year-old wall and let it go.
To anyone who claims the Confederate flag is not representative of racism: let it go.
To people who say the Civil War was ages ago, Charleston church gunman Dylan Roof was last week: let it go.
To cultural identifiers proud of Dixie, resistant to change and mad as hell: let it go.
To Southerners who blame haters for turning people against their colors: give us a break and let it go.

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The Rationale of Racist Jokes

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

It’s not what you say privately that matters; it’s what you say…

Justin THE DUMB WORLD OF JUSTIN BIEBER__Where Excuses Go to DieBieber’s unsuccessful attempt to buy (and presumably squash) 2011 footage of himself using the N-word while telling a joke puts him right back in the Get Character or Become One hot seat.

The rationale of the racist joke always begins and ends with, “I’m not racist.” But there are other excuses widely used as well, like, “My grandfather was born during a time when…” To hell with your grandfather – now what? Every day is a day in which to get a clue.

Bieber and Paula Dean and Donald Sterling were born some 47 and 60 years apart, so to those who point to silliness like the “era” in which certain A-holes were born, I say, “Go sell that excuse someplace else.” Willful ignorance and insensitivity are learned behaviors, not vintage collectibles. Americans are just as aware that the narrow-minded walk among us as they were in 1963, but thankfully there are far more opportunities today to learn the difference between acceptance and tolerance, as well as bad character versus bad taste. (P.S. Only someone with a grapefruit for a brain would think it “bad taste” to get caught sharing racist thoughts or humor; when the perpetrator is old enough to know better, it’s no-less than treacherously immoral.) (more…)

“I’m not a racist, but…”

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Don’t have the nerve to be openly racist? Don’t say racist things.

BLACKS_CAN'T_SWIM_Where Excuses Go to DieThere’s nothing surprising about life circling back on karma leper Donald Sterling. And this week, L.A. feels like when they hauled the Space Shuttle Endeavor through the city: scores of Angelenos on the same proud page, even if only briefly.

Thank you Donald Sterling, shoo-in for the 2014 Utter Lack of Character Award.

As a former recipient myself, I fully admit to being an ethically spoiled A-hole in my early 20s – so much so that it took being dropped into an environment where everything I didn’t want to be crept or assaulted its way toward me every day, on a minute-by-minute basis. And frankly, it was really the only way for me to learn. The sole advantage I had was a dark sense of humor, which meant that one or two hostile wake-up calls were met halfway.

There are, though, three things I understood right off:

  1. Don’t hang around with people who like to punch others ‘cause they have to practice on someone (it’ll eventually be you)

  2. No matter what it is, say to their face. Own it. Force the other guy to do all the work, all the reacting, and all the resenting

  3. If you don’t know what racism is (learned, practiced, and legacy), you should probably shut the fuck up about how “Blacks can’t swim”

Equally clear to me (and everyone else) was that, behind bars, sentences never begin with, “I’m not a racist, but…” (more…)

The Racist Tree – Part II

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

But the tree did not actually like Hitler_Where Excuses Go to DieAdditional thoughts on an entry from 2012 that has stayed with me.

The Racist Tree is a simple little poem by Onion writer Alexander Blechman that packs a punch despite the fact it was probably written in fifteen minutes for fun. Lark it or not, I remain intrigued. It’s the epitome of get character or become one.As you’ll see, the consequences of the tree’s poor choices go beyond a label when it’s deeper beliefs, latent virtues, and intentions are rendered irrelevant.

The poem rips conditional social justice, but its subject is securely tethered to the writer’s sense of humor. So on this casual Sunday, enjoy. And consider discussing with someone 20 years younger, a teen screw-up you may know, a teacher, or a parent.

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When Clarence Thomas Talks, People Groan

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

February is the wrong month to excuse American racial insensitivity

Clarence and Stephan_Where Excuses Go to Die

Speaking this week at Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida, African-American Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas bemoaned what he believes to be today’s oversensitivity to issues of race and differences among us. Thomas may have been aiming his criticism at the deterioration of personal responsibility (as in, I’m a victim, you’re a victim, wouldn’t you like to be a victim too?), but if he was referring to entitlement and victim culture instead of mitigating racism, perhaps those are the words he should have used. ‘Cause the controversy his arguably broad statements set loose won’t be going away any time soon.

The good news is we’ve been given fresh meat dialog regarding how we process our racial differences. And when better than Black History month to offer such a gift to society (besides every other day)? (more…)