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A particular type of racism
Disclaimer* For the duration of this post I am going to use the word Nigger. It's a word and I'm not afraid of it. I'm speaking to it as an idea and it is not my intent to alienate anyone or hurt feelings. This is an engaging and intellectual website and to refer to the word from my keyboard as the "n-word" is only mindlessly politically correct.

Among able-minded and socially-adept adults in the community I grew up in there was closet racism. This racism existed mostly inside the privacy of homes but it would extend to my area of existence by way of their children. It is not just an assumption that it is the parents who instilled the racism into their kids. After being familiar with the parents for a certain amount of time I could hear the evidence of their racism on their lips. Neither the parent nor the child would consider themselves racist or recognize their prejudices. To all extents they most likely considered themselves socially and morally forward peoples.

Basically their theory is this: There are two types of black people, there are black people and there are niggers.

I've heard this argument my entire life. It makes me want to vomit on many people's faces. It is used as justification against racism. "Oh, I'm not racist towards the good black people, only the rotten ones." And it's a justification that is a lot more prevalent than you'd imagine. Even left-minded progressive people who are nice as a sunny day just unabashedly distinguish their hate. "If you're like me that's cool, if you resemble anything of which I cannot immediately relate I'd prefer it if you did not look at my child."

Where does this racism breed? Is it just left-over from a different time when it was considered the norm to be openly racist? Does racism die hard? Will it still infect the suburban houses as long as there are closed doors? What accounts for it? I think it must origin from fear. Fear of low-income black neighborhoods that have been vilified by the media and portrayed very specifically by the entertainment industry. The racism I speak of infects the prominently white and well-off neighborhoods surrounding these poor ones. It's a racism born from borders. It's the white people afraid of the crime from down the street. The mistake is that the crimes come with the "niggers" rather than the poverty. In differentiating types of black people the more affluent whites are vindicating their moral superiority. As if they, living in similar poverty, would still shine so brightly.

Neighborhoods breed classes. There is no community outreach to break down these borders of communities which exist only blocks apart. We've built these lines into our cities that we are now afraid to cross as if we think they really exist. They've grown into chasms so wide that we look to the other side and can only generalize. From so far away can we help that all we see is race? Yes, we should be able to help that and go further even, every community has something to offer its neighboring ones. We strive for a national coherence inside America when we can't even create local ones.
You're definitely right and the scariest part is this attitude is not isolated. I've talked with friends about it and it infects every corner of the United States. It is guised by a veil of progression and political correctness. I saw Chris Rock's Good Hair this weekend and thought it was an intriguing assessment of the current racial climate of the United States.

The movie starts with a question from Rock's daughter, "Daddy, why don't I have good hair?" The point is that she does have good hair, but black culture dictates otherwise. The trends are pointing to "white hair" and exorbitant prices are paid for this white hair, most of which comes out of India. Chris Rock goes there, to the very heads that grow the hair for the black hair market in the United States. Most of it comes from a Hindu practice where hair is sacrificed at the temple for God. This hair is then sold, processed, and shipped to the United States. We see a hair distributor in LA  with an innocuous roll-away suitcase. He estimates the worth of the hair inside at $15,000. He can sell it all in a matter of hours.

Rock was the perfect interviewer for this movie. It was funny and enlightening and you could tell only a personality like his could get to the heart of the matter. One of the best interviewees was Rev. Al Sharpton who said of the black hair industry (worth $9 billion) “We wear our economic oppression on our heads." And that's the sad joke of the movie, that at least 90% of the people who control the black hair industry are white. It's the Revlons and the fashion industry which sets what is popular in the black community. And they--the number one beneficiaries--what they've set is a necessity among a demographic of black women to have their hair appear like a white woman's. It's become a cultural mark of identity to reject natural hair.

Rock interviews a group of girls just about to graduate high school. There were probably 5 girls and only one wore her hair naturally. As a group they conceded that they thought in a job interview they would be discredited if they showed up wearing hair like the one girl was currently wearing hers. It was sad and cynical, but maybe true. That to succeed professionaly a black person needs to shed their blackness for a white standard. I like to think it's not true that a naturally haired woman equally qualified for a job as one with a weave will always be the one left out. But I think in a lot of cases that is the truth.

The name of the game is cultural assimilation. When did that become the rule and will it stop? Will black women be the ones who make the next social move? Rejecting a practice which I think Chris Rock did a good job of highlighting as something more than hair.

The movie was funny and consistently fascinating. The interviews all felt real and from a male perspective I was completely fascinated by the extent of weaving. Recommended
Race is the strangest thing, no matter which race you are. We all have some opinion or other, and while whites bend over backwards to be "politically correct",  non-whites bend over backwards to be "justified".

I have lived for twenty years in two countries, both of them in Africa. The names of these countries are unimportant.

In country number 1, violent crime is almost unheard of. I have spent many days sitting on a floor in  "kia"(house) sharing sandwiches with friendly black people. Black people delight in greeting you on the road, stranger or not, simply to discuss your health or the weather. Never have I met such caring, gentle group of people. Truly a joy to be with. However, they live in such poverty, and so many injustices marr their lives.

 In country number 2, the black people are far more fortunate. Food is readily available for them, and most of them are employed- unlike those across the border. However, crime is out of control in this country- and it is committed mainly by black people. Black people justify this by saying that it is poverty and injustice that compels them to act this way. Most often they claim it is racism which pushes them to act like this. However, they forget to confine their acts to other races, and all peoples live in fear of these people. While fraud, etc, is commited by whites, it is almost unheard of for a white person to commit violent crimes, irrespective of their own poverty.

This has led me to believe that neither race, nor poverty, nor injustice can force a person to behave in a certain way. Crime is committed by people who choose crime, and although many hardships may come our way, I choose to follow the example of the black people in country number 1,
even though, I am white.
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Latest Post: October 27, 2009 at 9:30 PM
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