The Race Post (Part One)

20 Oct

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.”

Say what?

“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).



14 Responses to “The Race Post (Part One)”

  1. Ginger October 20, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Well, one can argue that your co worker may just be one of those people who like their life very very much…race aside.

    Distrust definitely not hate. And #7 def annoys me. ‘oh, I’m not racist. i have a black friend just annoys me. That you see the color says something…

    • lucidlilith October 20, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      Ginger the boys makes less than 35 grand a year. He is passing up $100m because he is “happy?” If you offered me $1m to be white in America, I will take it oh. It has nothing to do with pride but the easy life. Imagine no longer being pulled over by the cops, being suspected of being “intimidating,” or any such nonsense. Imagine being able to get a loan from a bank really quickly since I am not in a “high risk” group, or better insurance since I am white I am not likely to be obese, have diabetes, or any such “black” disease… goes on and on.

  2. EDJ (@egodujour) October 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Before I even read the post, I have to say I LOVE Terra Nova. My sis and I just started watching this weekend and spent the whole of Saturday watching every episode so far. We’re totally hooked!

    Now to read the post.

  3. laola October 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    i broke up with a white bf over a similar disagreement…couldn’t picture spending the rest of my life with someone who found my skin color intimidating.

    • lucidlilith October 20, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

      Turtle and I are barely talking now sef but I think it is because of general smeh-smeh and not just the argument.

      • naija October 29, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

        na wa o! for the sake of this blog I hope you sort it out. otherwise, be true to your heart and your self.

  4. EDJ (@egodujour) October 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Okay now that I have read it. I don’t know if black is intimidating, but then I am biased not to think that otherwise I would fear my own kind. I just think the perception is there, and you really cannot blame Turtle. This idea remains thanks to many things AND I think it is pushed by BOTH blacks and whites.

    Your co-worker is just one example. I bet I could find a white person who would swap races for less than $10million. It all depends on what that person thinks.

    Regarding white privilege, Chris Rock is correct based on what he sees, but I see something else. I am not saying white people don’t have a “head start” but I think Chris Rock is oversimplifying. I think his example speaks more to the fact that black people have not always focused on certain career paths (and financial practices) that would allow more of them to move into those neighborhoods.

  5. one3snapshot October 20, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    The scene in the movie Something New when Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker had the argument in the grocery store popped into my head as I read about the disagreement you had with Turtle.
    I just wanna say ifunanya unu nwere siri ike ka U.S race relations. It’s only in this America that one becomes so paranoid about race (with good reason too)

  6. one3snapshot October 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    @EDJ, I can poke so many holes into your theory about career paths and blacks. I listen to the Tom Joyner morning show every morning and they have a segment called little known black history fact. One for example was about a woman who was the first black nurse in the military. She was rejected by 3 nursing schools before she finally got accepted. After she earned her degree she was not allowed to work as a nurse for years.
    The point I’m trying to make is some of the career paths black americans have chosen is not always because they wanted to go down that road.

  7. lovelife4sale October 21, 2011 at 2:47 am #

    wow… that is something, Racial Issues always come up during inter racial relationships, you just have to remember to draw the line during arguements, or else hurtful words would be exchanged, and the thing about words is, once they are out of your mouth, you cant erase, re-cant or bring them back into your mouth.

    i do think there is the white privilege, and an example is that of your white co worker….

  8. sugabelly October 21, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    I adore Terra Nova too and I immediately noticed a lot of race issues with the show. I agree, the race issues in America could be discussed all day.

  9. Myne Whitman October 21, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    Funny I’m just like you, pointing out race stereotypes and media PC on TV. Living just a few years in America has made me that way. I’m sure you and Turtle have had such discussions before and will get over yourselves soon. 🙂

    BTW, we love Terranova.

  10. Bola October 25, 2011 at 12:01 am #

    I am dating the whitest of all white American, he is from Alabama, blue eyes, blond hair, the works. We definitely have the same discussions. The only difference is, we have both agreed not to get angry. Everyone is bloody racist. Yes I said it, blacks and whites. One is just more polite and hides it better than the other. Don’t let this come between you.

  11. Curious February 10, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Hmm..always wondered why black people dated white people and vice-versa, is it love or is there something else underlining that decision? I have a couple of friends who are married to white men but agree that white people think they are superior and all the other stereotypes, but why then do you go ahead and date this particular white man, let alone marry him, is he that special?! Sorry always wondered 🙂

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