Unless you've done something productive with your life these past couple of weeks, you may have noticed the topic of racism blaring every facet of media available. Racism is like a cable TV show to Media, they'll give you 12 good episodes then you have to wait a year for the next season. That's a good thing too because shit like the energy crisis, financial crisis, war on terror, war on drugs, war on my muthafuckin' mind doesn't need to discussed at all. I like to think of the media as a sexy bartender who likes me drunk and tipping money in hopes of seeing her tits. I'd call her Miss Direction. Right now she is serving us all up a nice cocktail of North West, some Miley Cirus Twerkin' and should we be inclined to hate white people we can take a "Paula Dean Nigga Bomb", perhaps with a "Murdering Spic Zimmerman" as a chaser. Oooo. Tasty. Of course should hating black people be more of your brand you can have savory Rachel Jeantel. Yum. That's some good "Creepy Ass Cracka". All while differing opinions prompt people to point at each other screaming "Racist." It makes me wonder if words, which are ever evolving with the progression of our society, should define the true nature of our character, rather than how we actually treat each other when it really matters.
Let's think of some facts.
“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
― Albert Einstein
What else does Science say about prejudice? Take a look at this video with Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University.
It's evolutionary. Social animals bond with certain individuals within a group and even at that level can be aggressive. As primates we have the instinct to maim anything or anyone strange that is not familiar to us, simply out of our natural fear. Anarticle in Psychology Today states:
"...when male chimpanzees in Uganda encounter a male from another group, they slash his throat and rip his testicles off just in case he survives and has any future ambitions for reproduction."
So yea, there is a reason to be a bit prejudice, and it's not exclusive to race. Prejudice isn't married to race, because race knows you can't turn a hoe into a housewife.
If you still think we have no prejudices, just think about how the average person reacts to the homeless. Sure there is the occasional charity, but generally when we are not paying them to get drunk and kick each other's asses so douche bags can make a quick buck and notoriety ...
... we power walk right by them. Perhaps even let off the brake slightly so the car moves up past them off the highway exit.
Truth is our natural prejudices and stereotypical thinking have been manipulated since the beginning of civilization by Kings to keep power and wealth within their nepotistic aristocracy. Mental oppression is gained and maintained by centuries of slaughtering tribes, taking over nations, enslavement, and knowledge suppression. Withholding education to the lower class, creating difficulty in critical thinking, has kept the peasants at bay until they've had enough of the system and want their goddamn cake.
And you can take your fucking tea too. By The Way "Red Coats" was a derogatory term.
Today, our differences are often projected in media as something to be feared or mocked to continue to serve this purpose.
“We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches,alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.”
― Maya Angelou
So we know unconsciously we hold prejudice, but consciously we also give in and perpetuate stereotypes. Which is completely normal as your brain likes to associate things with other things. It needs to place things into a category. It needs a base judgment to be ready for whatever event may occur should it encounter whatever and whoever. Without it, you may run into a wild wolf apt to play fetch with it. Maybe you make a friend, maybe you get you get your arm gnawed off.
If you're thinking "Bullshit, I'm not prejudice nor do I stereotype anyone. I have all sorts of friends of all races. My best friend is a ________________." Awesome. That must mean you, like most people got over your asshole primordial prejudice and judge individuals by their merit. Congrats. But let's not negate at times you may quickly give into stereotyping. Like when you are riding behind the Slug riding a turtle for a car in front of you going 20 mph on the highway, and as you pass them up you notice it's a Korean (like you can tell the difference) and say "I Knew it !"
And this analogy fits for the following groups of people: Haitians, Cubans (or any minortiy in Miami) and Old People. Are you then a cross burning racist or just having a momentary lapse of prejudicial douchbaggery? Or is this just plain funny?
It's a slippery slope, but its one we should just accept superficially, like astrology. It might not be too far off the truth, but If I were an employer how much of a dick would I be if I don't hire you because you were a Capricorn. I can even stereotype you by WHEN you were born. Seriously. WE LOVE TO STEREOTYPE. What we need is to be careful in making discriminatory decisions based on our false perceptions of individuals by attaching negative characteristics solely on race, religion, gender, age or sexuality. But I think its ok to keep it light. Stereotypes aren't all bad. I never seen a protest with a mob of angry black men demanding we stop giving them so much credence on the size of their ... uh ... member.
So Paula Dean got into some trouble for apparently using the word "nigger" when describing a man that robbed her at gun point to her husband about 2 decades ago . She openly admitted it during a lawsuit testimony. She was being sued by a WHITE Lady for using racial slurs which she overheard while working for Dean at her restaurant. Well she admitted it. We can at least give her some credit for honesty. What ensued following is a bitter/sweet hilarity as she was given a shovel to dig her hole deeper and deeper for America's hypocritical pleasure.
Because that is way more important news than this:
Here is a quick list TOP 5 Most Offensive American Epithets
(based on nothing by my own observation):
Retard - to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action,process, etc.); hinder or impede.
Bitch- a female dog.
Fagot - a bundle of sticks, twigs, or branches bound together and usedas fuel, a fascine, a torch, etc.
Nigger - Origin Spanish:NEGRO (Black)
Cunt - the vulva or vagina.
I'd like to say, I rarely use those 5 words. In context, however, I do. Perhaps even as a youth, I've done it offensively, because I was immature :P. At least I never did this:
The real question is who holds the power of these syllabic sounds purging a human of all dignity. The speaker or the listener? Answer: The Listener. It's up to them to allow words to alter their frame of being in a negative way.
Suppose two strangers got into a heated argument ridden with insults like "cockswashing sperm guzzler" or "hooked nose ass sniffer". It will probably take one of the taboo words to incite one of them to "knock a retard/bitch/fag/nigga/cunt out." Doesn't matter which derogatory adjective you choose you'd probably be talking about a fat white heterosexual male. Is it wrong to use these words? It does hurt people's feelings but why are these insulting degrading words any worse than any other insulting degrading words like "pussy ass fuck face?" I don't like my face fucked and last I checked I do not have a pussy in my ass. I don't see much of a distinction between it all. They are all aggressive words pronounced by the witless who can't come up with a clever zinger when faced with a mental opponent. In layman's terms "them fightin' words."
Now before you begin attaching human suffering to these words which once had alternate non-pejorative meanings just remember - You are not a label. One thing can't define the complexity of your individual experiences, compounded to form that which is your personality, into one word. So if someone calls you anything that you deem offensive, laugh in their face and call them a "sad ignorant little (wo)man" then say "I'm much more complicated than that". If they say it again, then punch him in the face. (just kidding, kinda)
If the intent isn't there to cause harm, then no one should give THAT much value to these words, but rather the actions of the individual using it. Education will play a big role in this matter.
Here are 2 of my favorite comics giving there insight on taboo words.
Let me state this position clearly - when I hear a white guy say "nigger" when referring to a black person. I am repulsed. When I hear them use "nigga" within the context of endearment or just generalization of males of any race, it doesn't bother me so much. It has become part of pop culture thanks to songs like the one above of my favorite MC's DMX. Black culture is taking the word back to the root which has no malicious intent at all.
The word "nigger" spawned, in part, from the mispronouncing of the Portuguese or Spanish word "negro" which translates to "black". Some argue it stems even further back to the names of the countries or regions they were enslaved from like Nigeria, Niger River,etc., The word itself wasn't derogatory at all but descriptive in those days. It became derogatory when it became synonymous with a man's inferiority to another since almost the entire Caucasian world enjoyed the fruits of their Negroid slaves labor for about 3 whole centuries. Since the emancipation of black slaves the word has continued to fuel prejudice even until today.
What I find disturbing is the Quentin Tarantino got loads of shit from critics like Spike Lee for making a movie about slaves. Mind you, Lee refused to even watch the movie. His argument wasn't that the film didn't depict accurate realistic use of the word, but because it was used "too much". Yea dipshit. It was used way too much back then too. Tarantino was going for realism to remind us all how utterly disgusting and brutal slavery was, giving reasonable justification the protagonist Django needed to run around (spoiler alert) killing a lot of white folk.
Although there is still much work to be done, Sports entertainment, Hip Hop Music, Fashion, Celebrities, and Presidents have taken out much of the negative stigma off the "N"-word. A new generation of whites who grew up in black culture use it with endearment along with blacks who accept them. It's always been like that but, you rarely see it in media. At least not until this girl came around:
If you haven't heard of V-Nasty, then my deepest apologies for being the gateway to hell. She is part of a group of white girl rappers known as WHITE GIRL MOB. Their front woman being rapper Kreayshaun. A lot of what she said in the 2nd clip to me seems cartoonish-ly hilarious, but one good point she made was:
"How can you ACT a RACE? Is Obama acting WHITE?"
"... We can't be the word police. I use the word nigga, so who am I to tell someone they can't use a word. But then again, WHO AM I? I'm a black man who grew up in America ... I did't particularly like the clip.... The fact that she can be so bold to defend herself using the word tells me the people around her ain't doing their job... like even if you grew up using the word, you are a public figure now."
But really, who are WE to tell someone not to use a word, if they aren't consciously, intentionally using it to disrespect someone on a personal level. Especially someone who was raised in an environment where that language is acceptable by anyone. What life is in media doesn't always reflect the true nature of the environment we actually live in. A word can't be evil. Intentions can. It's not like a word can literally kill and eat a baby.
As an artist and writer, I feel we should be allowed to explore and use any word as we wish within context especially in humor. However what is NOT ok is to FEEL contempt towards another individual based simply on looks, or for what their socially archaic ancestors did.
It's your right, however, to feel and say what you want, as long as you know there will be social consequences and you are willing to stand firm when the tsunami of backlash comes to suck you up and drown you. There is a level of tact that one should abide by before feeling privileged enough to use these words. For example If you are a white teacher in a classroom full of black students who already hate you because - well you are goofy looking white dude - maybe you should think that over a second.
Warning: Bad Segue- Speaking of white derogatory terms ...
Do you think that when a white man is called a cracker he feigns his contempt? As if it doesn't affect him that much but likes to pretend it does. After all its rooted in the white man'ssuperiority, whipping the backs of hoards of Saharan Africans. Crackercomes from the thunderous sound the whip makes as it hits their flesh. CRACK! It does not come from a tasty saltine. Still when used by a person of color or ethnicity it does show a level of ignorance the same way by giving their imaginary oppressors an empowering name. By calling a white man a cracker, you're essentially calling yourself a .... well at this point in the article. I'm done saying it.
However I feel bad for Rachel Jeantel. Because she practically has become the justification for the slaying of a black boy who was a good friend of hers. None of this can be easy for her. What I find ironic is that her critics are from both white and black culture which both have a hand in the current presentation of her character. Is she ghetto? By ghetto do you mean a poor minority? Maybe. Does that make her less credible witness? I hope not. Again, words have different values determined by the Listener. The speakers intent often differs, as in this case. Treyvon wasn't trying to be racist. A bit of Prejudice but within the context of the phrase "Creepy Ass Cracker", what should standout more is "Creepy" because that was the intent. To describe a possible pervert who is following a young man for no reason. "Cracker", well seriously I am yet to meet a white man who takes that term very serious unless it's amp up his justification for thinking "nigger" in his mind or attitude. Even when hispanics call them "Gringo" I don't see hoardes of pissed off white men picketing Taco Bell. Because again it's just a word.
Now, if you are white and watch this clip and think "see, I told you!" - you may be a bigot.
There is no real evidence that these savages (and I say it not because they are black, but because the nature of the crime clearly defines them as just that) was induced over a hatred of whites. But let's just say it was.
Black prejudice on whites (and vice versa) is a problem that needs to resolved with education, not media sensationalism. Our current system perpetuates a "hatred" of White America to the black community, by reducing their education, thus diminishing opportunities to have a positive future. Hence creating a never-ending cluster fuck of whites and blacks wanting to hurt each other. Why do you think they've remade the same fucking movie about a WHITE Teacher coming to a shitty school which is ALWAYS predominantly attended by minorities failing? To assert to urban culture, that the white man is a savior. You want to know the irony? That same movie is nothing more of a re-hashing of Stand and Deliver. A Story of a Mexican teacher who helped poor minorities in their education. The film was based on a true story, but let's retell it over and over with some white faces best. Now Why do you also think that prisons have such segregation amongst themselves, and are encouraged to do so? Because thanks to the "War on Drugs" these are the products of our manufactured racism. Prisons are mostly private institutions that make money off of each inmate. A modern day slavery topic meant for another day.
These urban areas and our education are provided and maintained by government officials that divide budgets unequally. This OBVIOUS inequality is observed by minorities early on and without the right guidance and knowledge can cause racism from minorities. You know "reverse-racism" (such a stupid term) and in turn "Hate Crimes". Another stupid term. If a white man killed and raped an entire white family, I still would consider that a bit of a hate crime. Don't you think? Are there any Love Crimes other than the women that steal my heart ;). Hey Ladiiiiiiies.
In the unfortunate Treyvon Martin case, I will try not to judge the actions of Zimmerman, because in this case i believe both men made bad decisions that have negatively shaped the lives of all who are directly involved and the spectators fixated on this having to be100% racially motivated. Zimmerman is neither villain nor hero. He is a guy who thought he would protect his community. He was armed as was his right. He followed up on a suspicious individual by calling for Law enforcement first to give a warning. He was approached, got his ass kicked by a 17 year old kid. What happened from that point is still up for the jury to decide. Was it because Treyvon was black? Well we are all prejudice in some aspect right? So most likely race played small part in the thought processes that lead him to determine that Treyvon was suspicious. It also could've been that he was 1) stranger in a neighborhood that's been robbed so much that they had to form a neighborhood watch and, 2) he was young. No one is pegged delinquents as quickly as young men of any race. Not saying what happened is not a tragedy and justice shouldn't be served because no matter what - bottomline is - Zimmerman is a GROWN ASS MAN. He should've known better ( I did try not to judge up until that point). So on that I put a blame on him, but is that enough to send him away? Not sure, but please put the race card back on the deck because we all have one.
Do You Know who tend to be less prejudice? Smart People. According to Psychology Today:
"Hodson and Busseri (2012) found in a correlational study that lower intelligence in childhood is predictive of greater racism in adulthood, with this effect being mediated (partially explained) through conservative ideology. They also found poor abstract reasoning skills were related to homophobic attitudes which was mediated through authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact."
That's right. Now I'd like to be fair and give notice to the fact that being smart is not always your minds capacity to intake more data than someone else. Being smart is about the willingness and desire to learn, analyze and logically form an opinion that is closest to fact, THEN questioning those facts and being open to changing your mind. That is real intelligence. The ability to let go at any moment ideals conditioned in you through misinformation, miseducation or group influence.
George Carlin said it best:
"They (the owners) don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They are not interested in that ... They don't want people smart enough to sit around the kitchen table to figure out how badly they are getting fucked by a system that through them overboard 30 fucking years ago... You know what they want? Obedient workers."
Civil Rights issues are often times projected to the forefront of the Media Machine for 2 reasons. 1) Because they usually divide the already poorly educated, hypnotized saps by making issues with TONS of grey area into Black and White. Race, Religion, Gay Rights and Abortion are real popular. 2) Because of the varying ideals and stigmas attached to the topics, it fixates on labeling any opposing school of thought as evil. Even terms like "Conservative/Liberal", "Pro-Life/Pro-Choice, Left-Right" are meant to immediately divide you. You begin to label yourself something. Of course you wouldn't label yourself "evil" right? So you must be good. It is them. "Those people are evil because they are "Republicans/Democrats", Muslim/Jew/Chrisitan/Athiest", because of whatever historical event can be conjured up to PROVE those "people" are fucked up, man!" As if YOUR group are innocent and pure and love candy coated bubble gum and are kind to all furry little creatures. We are all equally good folks as well as equally FUCKED UP assholes.
Even the mere concept of Civil Rights pisses me off because "rights" are inherent. Bottom line WE as individual representatives of the HUMAN SPECIES are endowed with the right to resources to our survival. We are entitled to as SOVEREIGN BEINGS to do what we wish to our minds, and to our bodies. We are entitled to love who we want. We are entitled to be free to choose whatever course in life makes us happy, PROVIDED it does not impose on, or deplete any rights of, others to simply live. Unfortunately we are born into a system where rights seemed appointed and retracted, and hardly ever in a "civil" manner.
That's Divide and Conquer. While we are all busy pointing fingers and living in the past, the future and our freedoms are being ripped apart for the real God of the world MONEY! Oh that's right I said it. You think the inscription on the dollar bills and coins "In God We Trust" means we as a nation put faith in a deity who suposedly provided all of the things we need to survive, but then decided:
"You know what? That Free Water I gave you? Yea, Trust me, you are gonna have to pay for that, will that be Cash or Credit? Oh You need Shelter? Here, sign this Loan. Need some smarts kid? Join the Army, kill some japs, gooks and sand niggers and my favorite nation will pay for it all, if ya come back alive. Hell, it's 2013, if you are dude go ahead and bang another dude.. I wasn't keen on the idea before, but you know even I can evolve. Hmmm, you looking for Love? If you are man, get that money first, if you are lady you better go marry that fat fuck with the buku bucks. Ok, now I am going to go around collect my vig from the church. The 700 Club needs a new building. Shit is expensive. Give me cash or you'll burn in Hell. K. I love you. Toodles" - God
Not to get into conpiracy theories but you have to ask Why are there 6 Media conglomurates that pretty much feed us our daily load of bullshit? BECAUSE THE WORLD IS A BUSINESS!
"The World is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The World is a business"
Reminder: This film was made in 1978. Guess What? Shit has not changed. It probably never will.
And these are the corporations that control your information.
GE (Comcast, NBC, Universal)
NEWS-CORP (Fox, Wall Street Journal, New York Post)
DISNEY (ABC, ESPN, Miramax)
VIACOM (MTV, Nick Jr, BET)
TIME WARNER (CNN, TIME, Warner Bros)
CBS (Showtime, NFL.com.)
So next time you are sitting around your TV or however you are getting your unsubstantiated news like Jaimie Foxx starts talking shit about rioting in the streets (never happened), or your local Sheriffs office starts putting out PSA's that are premised on our natural fear of things that we understand (can't believe this happened). Do this. Make an attempt to OVERstand it. Be like that annoying 6 year old and ask WHY? Why is this being presented to me this way here, and this way there? What are the actual facts? What FACTS are being ommited. Take a bit of time before you join in the group mentality that takes any position that YOUR group is on the righteous side. Because like it or not, the assholes that placed people in gas chambers during the 2nd World War, did not do it because they simply "were following orders." No, they were made to believe through media propoganda, that what they were doing was the right thing to do. That's how powerful Media is. If you aren't careful you are certain to lose one of two things. Either your Life, or your very "Soul".
I leave you with this clip: