Turtle and I are having a little tiff over race. Yeah. Surprise, surprise.
Many times, I jokingly comment over things like stereotypes on television like, “oh here we go, the black dude dies first,” or, “oh look, another black gangster,” or “playing rap music, here comes the Cadillac with the rims…”
We laugh about it most of the time. So last week, while watching Terra Nova, the leader of the sixers (Christine Adams) who happens to be a woman of color shows up on screen, tall, black, militant – with face paint and I go, “wait why does she have to be black? Why can’t they cast someone else like the woman who plays the captain’s lieutenant. She’s mean-looking too and white.”
I was half joking and half serious because I was seeing a recurring theme with these shows.
Turtle kinda went off and said he was tired of hearing me say that.
“Besides,” he said, “black is more intimidating than white.”
“The color black is more intimidating than the color white. That is why burglars wear black. That is why black bouncers look scarier than white bouncers.”
“Dude, I don’t care what color you are as a bouncer. Bouncers scare me, period. The bigger the scarier…black or white.”
“I don’t believe you.”
The conversation or should I say verbal exchange went downhill from there.
We all have prejudices towards people not like us. I believe it is normal. However, acting on those prejudices is what we avoid as a society. That said – For a country this diverse, I believe Americans are so obsessed about race and class – at least compared to Europeans. I mean, the thirteen years I have spent in this country has enabled me to see both sides of the color line.
- Blacks HATE whites (yes, I said it…okay maybe hate is strong word, I will go with ‘distrust’)
- Whites are scared of blacks (or the possibility of a revolution where they become the underprivileged)
- Mixed race people are forced to choose one side based on the one drop rule (who are we kidding, mixed people are considered black)
- No one believes there is such a thing as White Privilege (that would be against ‘post racial’ America)
- Affirmative Action is seen punitive to whites and condescending to blacks (This one could take all day)
- Blacks have to prove they are capable (I have personally experienced this in EVERY job I have held)
- Whites have to prove they are not racist (ever notice every white group of friends have a token black friend?)
- We are all stuck in PC hell (And it aint getting any better)
I stand by all the statements I have made. Let’s talk about White Privilege. Chris Rock said that a black person has to fly really high to get to where a white person can easily walk to. He was referring to the fact that all the black home owners in his neighborhood were the best in sports and entertainment while his white next door neighbor is an ordinary dentist. (What does a black have to do around here to move next to Bill Gates?)
The other day, I was having a mild discussion with a white co-worker. I told him he had nothing to complain about on this planet. He disagreed with me. I told him that as a white male, unless he screwed up majorly like doing drugs, getting arrested or dropping out of school, he was guaranteed a decent life. He once again disagreed.
So, I asked him, “If I give you $10 million dollars and in return when you wake up, you will have to live the rest of your life as a black man, would you take it?”
“No,” he said.
“Okay, fair enough. Let me up the ante. If I give you $100 million dollars and in return, you have to live the rest of your life as a black woman, would you take it?”
He said, “heck, no.”
I rest my case.
(To be Continued).