Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Response to Michael Richards' Alleged Self Defense

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Yesterday I found something really interesting in my news feed on Facebook. It was an image of a black man accompanied by the following text.
Michael Richards makes his point...
Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TV's Seinfeld, does make a good point. This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points.
Proud To Be White
Someone finally said it.
How many are actually paying attention to this?
There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc. And then there are just Americans.
You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White boy,' 'Cracker,' 'Honkey,' 'Whitey,' 'Caveman' ... and that's OK.
But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink ... You call me a racist.
You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you, so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?
You have the United Negro College Fund.
Youhave Martin Luther King Day.
You have Black History Month.
You have Cesar Chavez Day.
You have Yom Hashoah.
You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi.
You have the NAACP.
You have BET.
If we had WET (White Entertainment Television) we'd be racists.
If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists.
If we had White History Month , we'd be racists.
If we had any organization for only whites to 'advance' OUR lives we'd be racists.
We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that?
A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.
If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships you know we'd be racists. There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US. Yet if there were 'White colleges' THAT would be a racist college.
In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.
You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.
You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug-dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.
I am proud. But you call me a racist.
Why is it that only whites can be racists?
I not only shared the image from the friend who posted it originally, I wrote as thorough a response as possible. My amazingly diverse friends all commented, each comment challenging the one that came before. It was truly beautiful. People who never met each other participated in a conversation about race using a medium that most people would use to abuse their anonymity. Sadly, today (only a day after this active participation) my post was no longer on my timeline, nor was it on the timeline of the friend who originally posted it. Since I shared it, if the original poster deletes it, it also vanishes from those who share it. Hmmmm.  While I cannot recapture their comments my friends and colleagues made, I am able to share my original response with you because I drafted it using Word.
Here ya go.


There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc. And then there are just Americans.

You are not even “just American.” All of you cam from the “Old World.” A “just American” would be what some incorrectly refer to as Indians, AKA native Americans. When your ancestors came to the “New World,” they shed national ties from their past to establish a new life here in what we now know as the USA. This is precisely why you don’t refer to yourselves as German-Americans, Russian-Americans, Poland-Americans, Poland-Americans, etc. Although millions made it to the “new world,” representing various cultures, languages and regions of Europe, they all had one thing in common: their skin color. Yes, the heritage of being white was something that brought them together, most often to oppress others who were not white (natives and Africans, initially then Asians) and their own who were of modest means (read low-income, AKA POOR.) Yes, whites even discriminated against whites. Look at your history books. Whoever was the “new” group to enter the country was considered the lowest of low. Think Irish, Scottish, Italian, and Russian. At one point in American history these groups were thought to be the “N-word” of white culture. But through assimilation into higher white society, they “earned” their way to lily white status, forgetting what it was like to be at the bottom of the totem pole, discriminating those “beneath” them.


You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White boy,' 'Cracker,' 'Honkey,' 'Whitey,' 'Caveman' ... and that's OK. But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink ... You call me a racist.
Racism is racism. Name calling is not a good look for anyone.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you, so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

Ghetto violence isn’t a black red, white, ellow or brown thing. It isn’t a USA thing, A Mexican thing, a Rwandan thing, and Afghani thing, or an anywhere else thing! Ghettoes are an inequality thing, and so the violence develops. People resort to violence due to limited options. If you weren’t prepared academically because your school doesn’t get proper funding to buy supplies, your school attracts C average teachers who can’t relate to the kids and the DOE just passes you along for statistics sake, you will never be prepared for the world. You’ll necer get a job worth a damn so you will steal, sell your body, sell other people, do and buy drugs, and the like just to make it. If you are lucky you’ll wind up in jail.

Police walk the beat to “protect and serve,” but they actually do more harassing than anything else. Some cops also perpetuate ghetto culture by getting involved with drugs, racketeering, etc. because they hold the power…but I digress. You claim the ghetto is violent, are you referring to guns? Question: How do the guns get into our communities? How do drugs get into our communities? We don’t own dope plantations nor do we own planes or boats to transport it. We are ghetto (i.e. low income, remember? How is it getting in? Ask yourself that.
Ghettos are infrastructurally dangerous. Buildings are dilapidated due to absentee landlords and city public works aren’t quick to resolve community issues. If you were paying good money for rent wouldn’t you want to be able to come home to a place where the ceiling wasn’t caving in? Where you could use a working toilet? Have hot water? Heat? I’ve seen these instances not only because I’m in the field of  housing development , but also because I grew up in ghetto, undesirable places. Ghetto folk are made to feel less than human and ashamed because we have lived and some still live this way, yet are without the power to remedy the issue. Public assistance is available, but the government makes you jump through so many hoops to get it that you either just give up or follow through only to find out you don’t qualify because you make $100 more than the SNAP income limit. (A true story, btw.) This is all nothing but a mere glimpse of ghetto life. You must also understand that people who reside in the ghetto are mad as hell without an outlet for their anger. I’m not saying violent acts are justified, but I understand its roots are something way greater than skin color.

You have the United Negro College Fund.
We have the UNCF because we were (and still are) ignored by the US government, specifically the DOE. The fund was created to help more black students on the path to college and provide the financing so students could afford to finish school.


Youhave Martin Luther King Day.

And why MLK day? MLK fought for the rights of everyone! You get the day off the same as I do. On to the next one…

You have Black History Month.

We have these days of celebration because we have been ignored by the majority. (This phrase soon to be outdated because the minority is the majority now.) We have been invaded, colonized, enslaved, freed, then discriminated against and in the process whites have aided in the erasure and underplaying of our culture. You can apply this to the native Americans, enslaved Africans and their descendents, latinos, etc. We have black history month and latino history month because you constantly omit our contributions to American society from your history books. We had to go digging into our own culture to find awareness, and in the process we found our pride and a sense of fulfillment. We aren’t inferior beings. Red, yellow, black and brown folks, too, are scientists, activists, politicians, doctors, inventors, etc. We are more than entertainers. Portray us as such. We have contributed to the world we live in despite constant discrimination, being stereotyped, and thought of as subhuman.

You have Cesar Chavez Day.
You have Yom Hashoah.
I’d like to point out (Hollocaust Rememberance day, for Jew, a marginalized group in white America, as long as they aren’t rich.)
You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi.
You have the NAACP.

You have BET.If we had WET (White Entertainment Television) we'd be racists.

You do have WET; It’s every station that exists. Because your culture is thought of as dominant, white faces, ideas and culture is everywhere. You may see a token person of color here and there or a huge mass of colored folk on TV acting a damn fool (hello reality TV,) like that’s how we really are. Bottom line, it’s all to foster stereotypes. It also blows my mind that in 2013 I can pick up a magazine and still not see a person of color. If I’m lucky to find one, its’s always someone who it racially ambiguous. I get it; you want to cover all bases.

If we had White History Month , we'd be racists.

Your accomplishments and contributions are celebrated on the daily. We live in a white-normative culture. What else do you expect?


If we had any organization for only whites to 'advance' OUR lives we'd be racists.

There are white member of groups such as the NAACP. Why? Because some people have the sens to understand the hegemonic hold that white normative culture has on the world and the detrimental effects it created. Yes, even white people realize this.


We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that?

I can't and won't.

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.

The Miss Black America pageant was started because we were not allowed to participate in any other pageants because of our skin. Yes, we can participate now, but the wheels are rolling and there is no turning back now. Your standards of beauty are not the same as ours. Blame the media and white normative culture for that. As one of my professor said, “this is why you can look at a Miss Universe pageant and not be able to tell where the contestants are from.” Embrace your own beauty be it nappy hair, almond shaped eyes, or  brown skin. 

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships you know we'd be racists. There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US. Yet if there were 'White colleges' THAT would be a racist college.

You already do. It’s just not worded so specifically. Affirmative action is a way to atone for racially based sins and the countless institutions that have since benefitted from slaver, segregation, and continued oppression.
No one said that whites could not attend these colleges. They are open to anyone. In fact, I recall a few years back that a white student went to an HBCU in GA and got an affirmative action scholarship. Most whites wouldn’t do this because others wouldn’t value the educational experience earned at an HBCU. For the record, you do have white colleges; most of the Ivy League schools could be categorized as such. They are not only categorized by academic superiority, but also by social elitism (read classism and racism.)


In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

You don’t have to march for your rights because you not only have them already, but have the”power” to determine who else gets them.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

You can be proud of your family. No one will knock you for that. It is important that you understand, however, what your heritage means in the larger scheme of things. How has it affected others?

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug-dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.

I’ve never robbed, carjacked, or shot a gun in my life, with no intentions to. You act like people of color are the only ones who commit these crimes. Major flaw. Racism is inherent in police and prison culture. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you may want to do research on the prison industrial complex. My fingers hurt. I’m done for the night.

So, what's your take on this issue?


P.S.
I found this great video on YouTube called Black History Month for White People. Dig in!

3 comments:

  1. Grow up and get a life

    ReplyDelete
  2. White Pride!!!!! Race War..coming soon....yippee..come on..

    ReplyDelete
  3. White Pride!!!!! Race War..coming soon....yippee..come on..

    ReplyDelete