13 comments on “Fighting racism for…other people?

  1. Andre,

    I believe that it is our duty as citizens of this world to support the poor, marginalized, and voiceless amongst us. Empathy, compassion, and love for each other calls for us to stand up against injustice whether or not we are directly involved. An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere!

    • I /cosign this. Not getting involved is often viewed as a sign of acceptance (i.e. The allowing of an obviously demeaning & harmful racist/sexist/etc. joke to go uncontested makes one listening just as guilty, or so we’re told) of whatever ill behavior or words are being brought forth. Being white, I don’t know if it’s even possible to be offended by things such as the recent Creative Steps Day Camp debacle, but I certainly share the very same feeling of disgust. When given a similar situation, should I sit passively by until given the cue by the real offended? My answer now, & forever will be “absolutely not”.

      -n

      • @ Megan and Nic: I certainly appreciate your engaging approach. Instinctively, I think most of us are like that as well: we feel that actively trying to redress certain societal ills (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc) is a good thing. But sometimes I feel like I’m treading ground that should be left alone. Iraq immediately comes to mind, but there are countless examples of instances where we were sure we’d be ‘treated like liberators’, only to find out that we’ve either pissed somebody off because of our intervention or that we’ve unncessarily fought for things that were of the least bit of interest for those ‘served.’ I dunno.

  2. I hate to lightheartedly address something that appears to be a serious matter, but let me tell you that we white people live to get offended for other people. We prep ourselves – seemingly on a daily basis – to defend another culture. It’s our way of feeling relevant. LOL!

    • Mike :I hate to lightheartedly address something that appears to be a serious matter, but let me tell you that we white people live to get offended for other people. We prep ourselves – seemingly on a daily basis – to defend another culture. It’s our way of feeling relevant. LOL!

      So true! LOL!

  3. On another note, as far as racism in Hollywood goes, I think you’ve got it wrong in this aspect. However, having read many of many of your previous posts I am pretty confident in assuming that you’re a fan of Chris Rock, who utilizes the very same racial disparities in his acts to create humor, so I know that you get the overall point. Black/white/brown/etc., we’re not the same, but poking fun @ those differences actually closes the gap, IMO.

    -n

  4. Hey Dre,
    I’m reminded in this post of a story I saw on some program that I can’t recall the name of (20/20, 60 minutes?). The Forida State advocates for Native Americans demanded the changing of their football team’s name from the Seminoles to something less offensive. Lines of white people/ black people etc. joined their protest. Soon the university conceeded and announced they were changing the name. Immediately after the announcement the Florida Seminole tribe THEMSELVES started a campaign to leave the name the same. It seems the advocates had never even ASKED the tribe, it’s chief or any of it’s members if they were offended and furthermore the advocates were not even from that tribe (most likely 1/8 Native Americans). I’ve always made it a point to give more creedance to the group that should be the ones offended than to any advocates who (and I agree with Mike on this one) are more concerned with how noble it makes THEM look than how it represents the people involved. Good post.

  5. Compelling post, Dre. I can understand the sentiments coming from the rest of the room, but as a black person I tend to get annoyed when non-blacks get offended FOR ME. As a result, I usually shy away from putting my two cents into other people’s affairs, unless they get the ball rolling. thehc provided the best example possible showing how socially destructive (and downright stupid) it would be to pitch a fit over someone else’s “victimization”, when even the person they’re defending doesn’t feel victimized.

  6. So if some idiot publishes his “research” claiming that blacks are intellectually inferior or Glenn Beck calls our POTUS a racist, white people should wait for black people to take the lead before we chime in? Not me. Ignorance is ignorance no matter who gets upset about it. Why can’t we point out what’s wrong with the world INSTEAD of worrying about who responds and who doesn’t?

    • geekgirl, I don’t think anybody is saying to ignore outright blantant examples of racism, bigotry, and social injustice. But there IS a much larger point here worth examining. Trust me: as a black man I welcome ANYBODY to join in “the fight.” But speaking for other people may be just as offensive as the violation in question.

      • I don’t, but I think I am with geekgirl on this one. How are you supposed to differentiate between times when its ok to join the fight against injustice and when you are speaking for someone else?

        I mean it’s one thing when you start a campaign to save Darfur and you have no idea where Sudan is, but isn’t it ok to say that you don’t want people to use certain words around you and yours (which is what I think Ms. Elizabeth and interesting as her viewpoints may be) is really trying to say?

  7. Andre :
    Iraq immediately comes to mind, but there are countless examples of instances where we were sure we’d be ‘treated like liberators’, only to find out that we’ve either pissed somebody off because of our intervention or that we’ve unncessarily fought for things that were of the least bit of interest for those ’served.’

    The same people that fell for that Iraq BS, also fell for Tom Ridge’s Code-Oranges & sheathed their homes in plastic tarps after they bought every roll of duct-tape within 20 miles. I get, & agree w/ The HC’s point, I do, but while I’ve certainly disagreed w/ you on select posts pertaining to race in the past, I don’t ever recall any of your posts (whether they be on this new blog, or the old one on blogspot) coming anywhere close to the extent of his example.

    -n

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