Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The look and feel of modern racism

Mmmm, this is such a funny amalgamation of comments; it’s just too bad that the point is moot, despite all of the fervor and passion. The world will never stop seeing color; it’s not even a realistic goal.

For example, when I’m doing laundry and sorting socks, the plain fact of the matter is that for ease of sorting and pairing up, I put white socks in one pile, and socks-of-color in another. I will admit to wondering why I sort my socks in this manner - to the point of actually feeling a little guilty about it. But then again, that’s coming from a right-handed girl who used to feel sorry for her left hand constantly being left out. I guess it’s that thing called “white guilt”…or, in the latter case, “right guilt.” But it really doesn’t make sense for me to sort my laundry differently if it will cost me time and efficiency…especially since my socks don’t have feelings and can’t protest. It would make even less sense for me to start using my left hand out of a misguided sense of fairness.

What I find troubling is the increasingly common comparison of the GLBT “struggle for inclusion” to the black civil rights movement; and what astonishes me most is the number of blacks I’ve heard speaking up to make this faulty allegory.

Permit me to take this back to the clothing connection: to me, comparing race to sexual preference is very much like comparing socks to shoes. The black civil rights movement was about black socks, and white socks, and red socks, and yellow socks, and striped socks all sharing the same bureau drawer. After all, one can wear a black sock and a white sock at the same time without feeling acute discomfort in his/her sole.

In contrast, the GLBT “struggle” is about a group of people deciding – for whatever reason – that they were born with two left feet, even though they weren’t. They then choose to put a left shoe on their left foot and a left shoe on their right foot…but can’t understand why they walk a little funny and people sometimes look at them strangely. Instead, they bully everyone else into pronouncing that two-left-feet-ism is a normal and healthy alternative.

Speaking only for myself, I find that when I wear two left shoes, my right foot hurts. Of course, I’ve oversimplified the situation considerably for the purpose of this illustration…but anyone who’s walked around wearing two left shoes knows exactly what I’m talking about here.

Chris Matthews’ ill-conceived comments were clearly a clumsy blunder; but in reading many of the comments posted hereto, it would seem that Negroes, blacks and African-Americans are collectively hypersensitive, woebegone from all that dwelling on the past. But honestly - considering some of our nation’s most painful history, wouldn’t you feel a little woebegone too? Occasionally?

Consider, if you will, this real-world current event much closer to home: since July 2009, a large boat made out of black people has stood front and center at the Terry Harris Judicial Complex.

Again, speaking only for myself, I personally find the positioning of the boat right smack dab in front of the El Paso County Court House – our axis of justice – to be deliberate, demeaning, insulting, patently offensive, and flat-out tacky. Why, then, have repeated attempts to communicate my consternation continually fallen on such stubbornly stone deaf ears (belonging most notably to “Art on the Streets” chairwoman and City Council alum Judy Noyes, along with the Downtown Partnership powers-that-be)?

Because the guy who built the boat made out of black people happens to be gay, that’s why.

Though there are some who’d like us to think otherwise, gay is not the new black; and indeed, despite this progressive day and age, research will show that both racism and sexism run rampant even under the all-inclusive rainbow of the gay community.

I believe that most people truly do mean well; as such, I try to judge not, lest I be judged; try to overlook well-intentioned feet in mouths, pay little heed to single-minded “dittoheads” regardless of their political persuasion, forgive the kind-but-clueless, and forget the hard-hearted and hateful.

One need only look so far as the star-bellied sneetches and their own struggles with racial hegemony to understand that while a color-blind society may seem “fair,” such an ideal is unrealistic and unlikely ever to be attained. But to find that sexual diversity has fast become more acceptable for inclusion than racial diversity is cause for alarm…and that some of my hometown’s most respected movers and shakers are hard-hearted, hateful hypocrites, simply staggers the mind.

This is the look and feel of modern racism; it’s a lot like the antiquated racism. So Mr. Matthews forgot Obama was black for an hour; far better that than to remind people everyday for a year…and at least he doesn’t have a boat made out of black people in his front yard.