Sunday, March 30, 2008

Don't Be a Nagger


That sign is funny as shit, but I think we can all agree that racism hurts everyone.

Because almost all of us are so sick of hearing about it. How is this still an issue??

Yeah, there are some black people that make their kind look bad.

There are some white people that make their kind look bad.

There are some spanish speaking people (what do we even call them now? Hispanic? Latino?) that make their kind look bad.

There are some asians that make their kind look bad.

Wait, are there? I don't know, maybe not, they seem pretty nice.

There are cultural differences and personal differences that can be annoying. But who has the time or energy to actively hate a whole race of people just because? A lot of it is obviously ignorance and a lot of it is a subconscious fear of that which is different from what we know and some of it can be related to past experiences with the wrong representatives or annoying cultural differences...but let's just stop.

ALSO, let's stop seeking it out. Damn. It's out there for sure, but could we stop inventing it at every turn? Personally, I'm to the point where I will not even refer to black people at all ever.

Recently on Babycenter a popular poster had a signature that said something like "Nagger to one husband and prison warden to 2 boys" and every time I scrolled past her posts, I'd feel uncomfortable because I'd accidentally think of the N word, which I will not even say out loud.

Finally one evening some racist idiot got on and started slinging the N word around and I got the opportunity to mention to this poster that her signature made me feel guilty for some reason and oddly enough, several people said they felt the same way. I just thought that was funny that so many of us were so sensitive to it that we couldn't even read a similar word without feeling uneasy.

I'm not racist, I have absolutely no problem with any entire race or religion, but I just find the whole thing exhausting. You just never know who you'll offend when or why.

So I know this is old news by now, but I can't not offer my opinion on this LeBron James Vogue cover controversy.

LeBron James Magazine

People are saying this is racist. Do you have any idea why this is racist?

Supposedly because he is being depicted as King Kong.

Do you know why this *is* racist?

Because someone even went there. Whoever screamed racist at this, is racist.

When I see it, I see a big fierce athlete, with a beautiful woman in one hand and a basketball in the other, a total powerhouse, ready to take the world and basketball court by storm.

Who looked at this and thought Vogue was comparing him to a primate? Do we need to have the "intent" talk again? I've been over that a few times here before. Does Vogue have some hidden agenda to compare black people to monkeys? I'm thinking not, call me jaded and maybe it is because I'm white that I'm not seeing it, but I truly don't believe that was the intent of the photographer, the cover models or the magazine editors.

This is what I mean by let's stop SEARCHING for opportunities to scream "racist".

You know, Big Kid has NO CLUE that there is even such a thing. He has no idea. His aunt is black (Mr. Ashley has a black sister...long story, however it does make for interesting opportunities to make people feel uncomfortable when someone says something racist like it's okay because I'm white..."You do know Mr. Ashley has a black sister, don't you?"), he has friends of various colors, he has no idea that it is any different than having brown eyes or blue eyes.

But the constant screaming that racism is everywhere is going to draw his attention to the fact that it even exists.

People are stupid. People of all races. People that hate any entire race, religion, gender, sexual preference are obviously among the stupid in a major way.

And don't even get me started on people hating The Jews. Is this over the Jesus thing? Do you even know how long ago that was? And if they did take over Hollywood, it was through their own hard work and perseverance.

So let's just stop. Let's all just hate each other for the things that are actually worth hating each other over.

Also, let's remember that if we wiped out racism, Jesse Jackson and Reverend Al would be out of business...and that's not a bad thing. Not a bad thing at all.



To see the hysterical "Apologies to Jesse Jackson" South park video where Stan's dad is on Wheel of Fortune and the clue is "People who annoy everyone" and the board said N_GGERS and he guesses the N word...Go HERE and search for episode 1101 in Season 11.

To read an article on the cover controversy that brought up some good points, go HERE.


Mitch said...

The whole cover scandal really confuses me. Le Bron is making the face he always makes when playing basketball. Like the article says, he is pretty much being himself and is a good enough athlete to dribble the ball down the court AND carry a pretty chic at the same time.

Did you see the other pics taken for the issue? There are some really cool pics that were taken too. Some of them were better than that one, but not because this one is all racist. But that's my opinion.

And can I just say that I love the phrase from the article -- pissed smooth the fuck off. I'm using that one from now on.

Rebecca said...

AMEN SISTAH! Preach on!


Rachel said...

EXCELLENT post! In fact, I would say it's the finest 'piece' I've read on racism. My husband and I discussed it during dinner tonight.

I had never really experienced racism until I married my husband who is Jewish. When we moved to Germany, one of the packers/movers made a comment about our marriage contract, or ketuba. I explained what it was and he asked if we were Jewish and I said my husband was. From that moment on, he would not even look at my husband; all questions were directed at me. Of course, I called him out on this and told him I would report it to his company and our company who had hired them. That evening I walked into the garage and was greeted by a swasticka. It was in the same color and type of marker that the movers had used to mark the boxes. It made me physically ill. I could't sleep that night.

I love that you related that Big Kid doesn't notice race. If only we accepted people by the way they treat us and others...

Thanks again for the fabulous post!

clemsongirlandthecoach said...

Um, yeah. You know that my first grader thinks that Coach is African American? Really, he's just Italian and dark as shi-ot. Ryan says, "It's OK Mama. God made everyone different."

What-ever. But it was funny as hell when his teacher asked me if it was true...

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you. I get so tired of the race issue being forced down our throats. It is constantly an issue where I live and I actually think it is making things much worse because it creates so much tension as anything and everything you do might be construed as being racist.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you, Ashley, and it is something hubs and I argue over a lot. I from the Chicago area and moved to hooterville after getting married. I spend quite a bit of time with the locals going "but *why* do you not like them?" I just can't wrap my head around it.

Also, I know exactly the poster you are talking about with the "nagger" siggy. I do a double take every time I see it.

AFRo said...

I'm so glad that you wrote this! Aside from the fact that I live in Mississippi where racism is something that I live with daily.

1. Because I wrote a post about a month ago that included the word nagger, but upon reading it to Mr. AFRo decided to change it around because I didn't like the way it came off.

2. I didn't have a thing in the world to post about this weekend, but this inspired my story that I have to share, however because it's so long, I'm off to post it now rather than telling it in your comments...

Anonymous said...

ITA, Ashley! It makes me soooo freaking mad. Hmph!

Cari Dunn said...

Great post. Now I'm sorry I stopped watching Southpark years ago.

Elizabeth said...

So friggin true. So true. I'm tired of hearing that every damn thing is racist. And that cover? What fuckwad thought THAT was racist? He looks like he is ready to take on the damn world, right? God, whatever.

And yes, there are asswipes of every color everywhere. Lord knows. I live by most of them.

Andrea said...

Funny story about kids. One day when my first daughter was about 3 or 4 I was trying to explain to her who someone was. Not being able to get through to her who I was talking about, I resorted to a skin color comparison and I compared the person to her daycare teacher and said something like, "She has black skin just like D***'s" She promptly told me that her teacher didn't have black skin, but that she was brown. I laughed so hard. To her color is just that, a color. That's the way I want my children to think.

Anonymous said...

Girlfriend, you are so on the mark it's not funny! I completely agree, and, I am so fOcking sick of trying to be so damned PC all of the time!

BTW, LOVED the Madonna post...I think that I literally peed my pants...but just a little!

I am officially adding you to my blog roll...hope you don't mind!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree- especially about kids not even noticing the differences. One of my students with autism has been saying the n-word because he heard it somewhere and repeats everything he hears. He has no idea what it means. When I tried to talk to him about how some kids are a different color than he is (he's white) he started listing all the kids in the class and their colors- he said one was peachy-pink, one was more peachy-tan, one more tannish brown, etc. He had no ideas that he was any more different from our black students than he is from anyone else. I could have hugged him for his purity and innocence. I think we all start that way... can't we hang on to it?

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were JUST talking about this. I looked at the picture and thought DAAAAAAAAAAAMN that guy is strong/hot and so is Giselle. I read the Whitlock article (he's a reporter for my hometown paper, too) and agreed. There are a lot of legitimate race issues out there. But if we keep coming up with petty issues, the larger ones will get overshadowed. Whitlock also had some interesting thoughts about Don Imus' comments, too...

I had an American Lit. professor that told us that he didn't categorize literature into women's, african american, etc. He said, "I choose literature for this course based on what is the most appropriate and the highest quality for the period we are studying. True equality is being chosen for the merit of your work. That was 15 years ago...and I still think about that.

jenn said...

One of the weirdest things for me when we moved from the West to Maine was that every damn person here is WHITE. Seriously. It kind of creeped me out at first, coming from a state where it was a complete mix of races.

It has made for some AWK-ward moments when my youngest (who was only 1 when we moved) has spotted the rare person here of different race and asked at full-megaphone volume, "Mommy! Why is that person (insert any color other than white)??"

I hate that race, religion, and sexism comtinue to be issues in this supposedly enlightened age.

Anonymous said...

I had NO idea about the controversy over the Vogue cover. What a douche bag who started that shit!

KelsyC said...

What a great post! I couldn't agree more!

Cate said...

Miss Ashely,
Love you and all, but I take offense to your obvious prejudice at the stoopid peeple. You shud reelie get sum cownsilling on this matter. You do no thay are evrywhare. I do haf a gurl crush on you and that is why I thot you shud no this or thay will be all over you lak white on ..... darn can't keep the racism out no matter how I try.

Love you, gf

Anonymous said...

What jackass came up with the King Kong theory? You're right - that someone even THOUGHT of that is racist.

Awhile back, when my daughter was three, she looked at an old Costco Huggies box we had in the house. On it was a little black girl in diapers. Her comment to me?

"Mommy, when I was a baby, did I used to be brown?"

I LOVED that her little mind worked this way. It's a shame that as adults, we can't retain a tiny bit of that same sweet innocence.

KatBouska said...

Very insightful and hit the nail on the head in so many ways. I actually just posted a blog on the same subject so you're writing defnintely perked my ears...or opened my eyes...or whatever.

And I had no idea that's what the controversy over the magazine cover was about. It's ridiculous and I'd love to hear Lebron's take on it!

RubiaLala said...

Seriously. I didn't see the cover until it was in the news and I was like wha...?!? I don't get this at all. I think it's an awesome cover.

Anonymous said...

ugh, i totally agree. jesse and al both need a freaking hole in the head for all the shit they stir up. don't even get me started on the shit that went on in that little town an hour from here that starts with a "j". i still want to jump through the computer screen when i see ignorant ass people on the bhb with black ribbons.

Anonymous said...

Personally I think it was meant to look like King Kong. That is the first thing I thought of when I saw the cover. But I don't see why him being portrayed as King Kong is a problem. They call him King James in the basketball world, and I think it is a great picture. I am sure LeBron knew what he was portraying when he entered the photo shoot. And for anyone to assume he didn't and that he was fooled into posing like king kong is insulting LeBron. I think it is a very cool and powerful photo. fyi... my wife left this blog open and I saw this article and just had to reply. nice blog entry

Anonymous said...

thanks for the explanation on why that cover was controversial. I didn't get it when I saw a blip on the news about but I was not that interested to see the whole story.

now it's just ridiculous that that is considered racist. Last time I checked, King Kong couldn't dribble a basketball and is much bigger than Labron.

Thanks again!