Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today's complaint about the commercial appeal will be a mockery of a dumb letter to the editor. Stupid letter in bold.

Count on it. Every few weeks some white guy will make a dumb, insensitive remark about a black person. Count on this, also: Every few weeks Otis L. Sanford, your editor for opinion and editorials, will jump on these remarks and hint conspiratorially that whites have hardly moved out of the primeval slime of racism.

For the uninitiated, Otis Sanford is black. This may or may not matter. If something happens every few weeks, I can see why folks would still see a continuing problem with it. If I called the letter writer a dude with a very small penis every few weeks, you probably would not think "Man, Shannon has moved beyond her insulting people problem!" No, it would be, what's with her that she is constantly insulting the size of dude's organ?"

Since Sanford seems to have some general background feeling that he knows that most white people are still in the grips of racism, it would be interesting to ask him to name specific white people, other than politicians, that he knows to be racist. Perhaps as an expert on race, he could name, say, three dozen people right off the top of his head, but I think most of us would be hard-pressed to name even two or three of the opposite race who we know to be racists.

What's with this mess? I think the problem here is that we have different definitions of racists. Maybe this guy means dude with pointy hood, but I mean those people who are always calling people thugs and animals, making fun of how black people speak, and those folks who constantly defend racist idiots.

Of all the black people I have ongoing relationships with, I can't name a single one who seems to have any obvious objection to the fact that my skin is white, and I can't think of a single black person I know personally whose skin color is more than a trivial visual property to me. So I am inclined to wonder if these dumb remarks people make arise out of the vestiges of former mental attitudes rather being actual determinants for ongoing relationships.

LOLZ, he has BLACK FRIENDS!!! But seriously dude, why do you expect your 'black friends'- probably the post man and the dude at the desk across from you, to say? "Hey, dude! You're a whitey! LOLZ!"? And those former mental attitudes still hurt. When teabaggers call folks the n word, when folks hang nooses on campuses and make up outrageous lies about how they somehow are smart enough to go to college, yet so dumb they wouldn't think noose=symbol of hanging=bad idea even if I don't know racial history, it hurts people! A lot.

Sanford likes to drag out his favorite, time-worn, phrase that we -- meaning only whites, of course -- have a long way to go. Sanford might find it productive to spend a little honest effort examining the proofs of his dogma. He might discover that he's not really as expert on racism as he claims to be. If he keeps an open mind, he might even find out that he has almost as far to go as most of the rest of us.

This comes across as whining because some white folks might have to change their ways. If folks spent as much time actually changing their ways as they did about people saying 'hey, maybe you should', we'd live in a racial utopia.

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