Tag Archives: racism

Today’s Bit – Thursday, 4/14/11

I was in a bar, and I was talking to this pretty cool old English guy, and after a while the door opens and this group of rowdy Australian pro skateboarders comes in. And they land at the bar next to us, and we start talking about skating, and they’re loud and funny and hammered and saying rude shit to drunk American girls that their accents somehow turn into the sweetest of sweet nothings. And I notice the English guy is getting quieter and quieter and frownier and frownier, until, by the time the skaters do their last shots of Jager – which their foreign bodies, with their southern hemisphere biology, somehow convert immediately into muscles and fun – and leave, the English guy is just frowning silently into his beer.

And I say, “those guys were pretty cool, huh? Australians are always crazy,” or something.

And the English guy goes:

“Fucking descendants of fucking criminals.”

History is important; we can learn a lot from the story of mankind’s triumphs and mistakes. At the same time, though, a lot of our prejudices and stupid beliefs are holdovers from the past, outdated stuff we should’ve put behind. A lot of it really doesn’t have anything to do with us, either. So, there’s a fine line between knowing history, and dwelling on it, using it as excusable fuel for your anger and ignorance.

Actually, that’s not true at all. There’s actually a world of difference between “I don’t know, remember what happened the last time we overextended our military forces in a dispute that didn’t really have anything to do with us” and “I put fags in the hospital in retaliation to the honorable General Jackson’s being cheated out of victory at the Battle of Fort Moonpie” – those two things aren’t even remotely fuckin’ alike.

So I think there should be a law, that you’re not allowed to get pissed off about anything that happened before you were born. With a few exceptions, of course. Like, once a year, every African-American is allowed to cut in line or not pay a utility bill or get out of some minor non-violent legal trouble – like anything up to trespass, not including failure to pay child support – just by saying the word “reparations.”

And Jews are allowed to kick anyone they hear denying the Holocaust ever happened, in the crotch, as hard as they can.

lawbi #17: Embrace Diversity or Go Hungry

One of the great characteristics of my neighborhood — and a lot of St. Petersburg neighborhoods, really — is its diversity. Walk a three-block circuit around our house and you’ll find affluent people. Poor people. Middle-class homeowners. Folks who probably couldn’t rent any apartment where a credit or background check was part of the process. Gay couples. Retired couples. Single-parent families. White people. Black people. Latin people. Laotians. (At least I think they’re Laotians.) All of us living our respective lives within less than a quarter of a mile from each other.

Of course, most of us fear/dislike/make baseless assumptions about one another, and engage in little more than head-nods at the dumpster in the way of interaction. But still, there’s something about living amid such a varied cross-section of humanity that lends a certain smug sense of open-mindedness; I must be without prejudice, because I can throw a rock and hit somebody who doesn’t look just like me.

Read the rest at CL …