Getting real about racism Part II
I talked about racism in my last post because, as everybody is painfully aware, with the election of Obama, talk about racism started blowing up the airwaves. I think everyone hoped that electing a black president would be the beginning of the end of racism and we’d all be holding hands and singing cumbaya by now.
Of course it seems to have, at least initially, had the opposite effect since it has given racists a whole new array of forums on which they can identify themselves. A quick look at the comments section of articles about just about ANYTHING will let you know that there is still an abundance of cyber-racists lowering the bar on dialogue for everyone. Fortunately most racists of today, especially cyber-racists, are an easily dismissible nuisance. The problem is most black people haven’t learned how to ignore them effectively. Most people who post inflammatory remarks, or bake inflammatory cookies, or draw inflammatory comics are just starved for attention. They know the stuff they say is going to piss a bunch of people off.
Yet every time this happens black people do the same thing. We reward the attention seekers with our undivided attention.
I would let this topic go but I got a text message today from a very good friend telling me to boycott Barnes and Noble. Apparently my friend was not satisfied with the appology given by the manager of the store for the unfortunate monkey book prank that was played using their display window. I did not hear this appology so I can’t speak on it. But regardless of what they said I have no plans to boycott or encourage others to boycott Barnes and Noble or any other place that contributes to increasing literacy. My feelings on it are yes the store probably could have done a better job of monitoring their display window and yes the manager could have groveled for the forgiveness of all black people for their negligence. But is this a real issue that deserves my energy? I don’t think so. And what would be accomplished by punishing Barnes and Noble for this anyway?
Will punishing Barnes and Noble for an incident non-incident that they are probably not even really responsible for contribute to the end of racism? Probably not.
Will giving national attention to a stupid prank encourage other pranksters to pull attention grabbing racist stunts then turn the evidence loose on the internet? Much more likely….
I was reading the comment section of a blog about this incident and saw how upset a lot of people got over this thing. One person said they had just gotten a B&N gift card, but after they heard about this incident they threw their gift card in the trash. Yeah that’ll show em!! Give them some free money! Hello the gift card was already paid for!!! Just like most knee-jerk reactions to incidents like this, this was an example of reasoning with your emotions rather than your head.
As a people we seem to wear our emotions on our sleeves. And as long as we make it known that this is the way to get to us, people will keep doing stuff like this. When you think about it does it really matter if someone thinks black people are monkeys? Someone thinking it doesn’t make it any truer than me thinking white people don’t have rhythm* makes that a fact. Black people need to stop being so crippled by what other people think of us and focus our energy on being all the wonderful things that we actually are.
*Okay there is documented evidence to back this up all over You Tube so there is a possibility that at least in most cases this is a fact. But who cares whether I think most white people can’t dance. Obviously some of them can. I saw America’s Best Dance Crew. Besides I told y’all I was predjudiced in my last post.