Monday, September 14, 2009
Must we find racism in everything?
Kanye West is infamous for shooting his mouth off. I don't care much for his "music" and that's a generous appraisal. Over the years, Mr. West has compared himself to Jesus (I keep overlooking that part in the Gospels where Jesus is driving in his pimped out ride with his posse of the 12 looking for hos!) and has even declared that, in the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, President Bush must hate black people since many blacks perished. (Note to Kanye: Look at the stats. More white people died in Katrina than blacks!) And yesterday at the VMAs, Kanye West wrestled the microphone away from Taylor Swift who won the award for Best Female Song to say that singer Beyonce, who is black (well, half-black anyway), was more deserving of it. Taylor was stunned and after the microphone was returned to her, she could barely say anything. To her credit, even Beyonce was stunned! Now I can read between the lines of Kanye's little rant: Beyonce's race was the factor that denied her the award.
Is everything racist now? For months now, legitimate opposition to Obama's policies has been decried as racist. Apparently, even not liking the Chicago White Sox can be construed as a racist attack because Obama is a fan of them. But it doesn't stop there. Charlie Rangel, the representative under numerous ethical probes by the House Ethics committee is crying that it is an underlying racism that is causing this investigation. The governor of New York, Patterson, who is performing abysmally at his job with near record low approval ratings is also starting to play the race card. Now a Newsweek article, which is part of a series that the news magazine is running as a dialogue on race, suggests that children are born racist from a study conducted. The testing sample was limited to white families only. I assume that one of the "variables held constant" in this study was the assumption that racism is endemic only to white families! And Maureen Dowd, the persistently irrelevant New York Times Op-ed columnist, declared that Joe Wilson's (inappropriate) outburst of "You lie" should have been heard as "You lie, boy!" This weekend, Serena Williams was called for a foot fault and immediately started to threaten the judge, cursing at her which resulted in Serena forfeiting her match point. And though the call was a terrible one (and it was!), there were numerous insinuations that racism was behind the call.
And the examples are too myriad to list.
We were told that when Obama ascended to the highest political office in the land, that racism would be on its deathbed. Such is not the case. In fact, it has been exascerbated! Too much is being thought in terms of race when that was never the case prior. Mr. Holder, Obama's Attorney General, called the United States a nation of cowards because we don't engage in racial discussions. Perhaps we don't, because the great vast majority of Americans are NOT racist nor harbor racist tendencies.
We're too busy treating our neighbor like ourselves. Are there racists in this country? Only a naive person would say no! But to see racism in every facet of ordinary life by polticians, news pundits, entertainers, etc. is ridiculous. They will never admit it, but it is they who are exascerbating the race issue, not ordinary Americans.
On a positive note, despite the ridiculous platitudes contained in the "I Pledge" video that ran on Youtube, there was a good part of this video. Michael Strahan, former defensive end for the New York Giants said (parphrasing) that he pledged to see himself as an American and not an African American! If only more would heed that.