Friday, September 14, 2018

Calling out racism DOES NOT diminish its meaning

I keep reading it in comment sections and hearing it on talk shows…”calling so many acts racist makes the whole idea of racism lose its meaning.”  Presumably,  some whites have just become bored at the whole idea of being held accountable for the racially insensitive things they say and do.

It occurs to me that many people are confused about what even constitutes racism.  For example, absolute furor exists around the spectacle of football players taking a knee during the National Anthem and against Colin Kaepernick, the former football player who started the protest.

Some say it is about honoring the flag.  This is false fury.  

At the grocery store, just this morning, I parked next to a shirtless man wearing a pair of Bermuda shorts made with the stars and stripes. The flag isn’t just fashioned into shorts and bikinis, it is painted on the side of doghouses, outhouses; covers toilet seats and picnic tables. That doesn’t seem to bother anyone.

Still others claim it has to do with honoring our military, but the military has nothing to do with football.  Moreover, if Kaepernick had taken a knee to honor all the soldiers who could no longer go to a game, everyone would be angry with the players who failed to kneel.  That’s because it isn’t the kneeling that’s the issue…it’s what they’re kneeling about and “who” is kneeling. 

The idea that Nike chose Kaepernick for a commercial has sent people into some kind of moral meltdown.  But where was the outrage when  Amnesty International awarded Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award?  He was named GQ's Citizen of the Year, received the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award and the Eason Monroe Courageous Advocate Award from the ACLU of Southern California.  

People burned their Nike gear, but they didn’t stop reading GQ and Sports Illustrated. 

It occurs to me that whites don’t think Black people never have a legitimate reason to complain, let alone protest.  

Raise a clenched fist and whites hurl accusations of anarchy and terrorism.  

Whites even have to co-opt the idea that “Black Lives Matter”, with “all lives matter”.  Never considering that if all lives matter, then Black Lives Matter too.  

Then it became “White Lives Matter”  because everything has to be about white people.  

To add insult to injury,  “Blue Lives matter” evolved, as if people are blue, of course they could be talking about Smurfs and perhaps they don’t know Blackness isn’t a uniform you take off after a days work.

It is racist to suggest that Mexicans are drug mules and members of MS13.  It is racist to promote the idea that Blacks are unredemptive criminals.  It is racist to promote the idea that Muslims are terrorists.  To do so is as ignorant as to suggest that all Catholics are pedophiles because Catholic priests have molested tens of thousands of little boys.  

There is only one race…the human race. All people are simply human beings and racism begins with the denial of that core fact.  Race, as we like to think of it, is a  social construct for the purpose of segregating and categorizing.

My advice to people who are tired of hearing the call of racism, is that they should stop being racist.  Or at very least, get a little understanding about what racism is.  And by the way, kneeling isn’t disrespectful, but calling a man a son-of-a-bitch is.

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