Posts Tagged ‘stereotypes’

Django Unimportant

django

By now you’ve seen Django Unchained. It’s a movie and as such is meant to be entertaining; a means of distracting you from the reality of your day-to-day life. Mission accomplished.

However, when it comes to the big picture, it’s an unimportant footnote. It’s astounding to see Black people constantly revisiting old circular arguments and repeating the same observations about Hollywood representations. In this case: how no Black person could’ve made the movie (untrue), how the movie is disrespectful towards ancestors (give us your version Spike), how White people were laughing inappropriately (Black people too), how the depiction is inaccurate (it’s not a documentary)…the list goes on.  But does any of it truly matter?

Obsequious validation seeking from Hollywood, blaming “The White man” or any other boogeyman to whom you attribute all your personal and social ills is not getting you what you want. Right now you’re stuck in a behavioral loop because you’re getting something from it. Somehow you’re still at the stage where you believe that even negative attention is good, complaining is productive and if you rage long enough, you’ll get your way. [By the way, that’s not “The White man”, that’s your infantile ego.] So you remain immersed in negative thoughts (energy), never changing the things you rail against or yourself because you’re thoroughly conditioned by forces (media) designed to keep you asleep. It’s not too far a stretch to say that right now, YOU ARE a SLAVE to that which you have given over your power (including your mindset).

Listen, I am merely doing the friend thing here and drawing attention to the behaviors that keep you in the same angry, frustrated, bitter 2012 state of mind. I want better for you in 2013 but that’s not enough; you have to want better for yourself. Consider carefully what truly matters, what it will take to get what you want and act accordingly.

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery” ~Bob Marley

Racism is Dead

What is Racism? The Census Negro category, Senator Harry Reid’s comments about Obama and Glenn Beck’s most recent statement that African-American is not a race – are NOT racism. So what is it? It boggles the mind really, and not because we can’t find a definition (or it doesn’t exist); but because it all depends on whom you ask. Even my selected definition may not jibe with what you believe. Maybe you mean prejudiced or a bigoted. There is a difference you know. But in the end does it matter?  You call me a racist (it happens) and now what? You might as well have called me a Gubardink for as much meaning as it has. I have no way of knowing what that means to YOU.

In the midst of a heated conversation where a charge of racism might be made, the only thing I know is that you intend to offend. For me it’s the same as calling me a nigger. I know you mean harm but I can’t do anything with it since it has nothing to do with me personally. It’s a non sequitur. The worst part is “racist” tagging is a conversation ender. It’s intended to put you in your place because really all you can do is deny (which makes you seem guilty) or ignore – which shuts down the conversation. Just like race baiting (i.e. playing the race card), calling a wise person a racist has become passé. It’s a shame because there ARE instances where use of the word is appropriate when defining a pattern of behavior or actions. However, all this random usage makes it nearly impossible to call it when it’s real. It’s a classic case of the boy who cried Racism and it has backfired – big time.

And what if I call YOU a racist and you stopped to ask what I mean? Not assuming my intention but literally asking what I meant to imply? Not EVERYTHING is racist / racism. People tell me my book title is racist. Huh? Maybe like text language this willy-nilly use of the word represents a general breakdown in communication skills; when all else fails cry racism. I don’t know. What I do know is that people have to be bold enough to stop their accuser in their tracks. Get some clarification. If not how can we ever hope to advance past rudimentary name calling to intelligent dialogue and productive relations? A cynical part of me thinks the overall goal is to NOT advance the conversation; things are just fine the way they are. I don’t think there’s a conspiracy per se, just a lazy way of thinking and relating to each other. And that is something we truly need to “get over”. 

The Book