Friday, November 9, 2007

Racism in America (or) Posting Again

Sorry for the long delay. Been spending waaay too much time in Warcraft. My main made 70, got a flying mount and has been socking away money at a high rate of speed. In fact one of my friends has been 70 almost as long and has about 50G...I have 950G...and the guy in question is into me for 50 large. Big L wants his money, AND the vig. I'm turning into the Shylock of Azeroth.

Which, bwah-ha-ha, leads me into the topic I need to write about...racism. Yes. The favorite topic of many a blogger (not). That minefield and morass into which many soul has wandered, never to be seen again.

The Lovely and Talented Mrs. Pedant teaches at inner city schools, so the issue of racism is one that we don't really have the luxury of sticking in the back of an unused kitchen drawer and thinking about only when we see a news report on the Jena 6 or something. It seems to me that one of the reasons this subject is so fraught is that people, or at least the people who speak about racism, fall into one of the two categories...the "Reverse Discrimination" crowd or the "Everything bad comes from the White Man" crowd.

Mrs. Pedant has a saying after 5 years of inner-city teaching: "We load the gun, and then they shoot themselves in the foot with it."

Which is to say, both sides of the racial divide have some work to do. So let's take a look, shall we?

On the "Whitey is the root of all evil," front, there's lots of posts refuting it. Whitey is, like everyone else chained to the great wheel, both good and bad, perpetrator and healer. Blaming Whitey for every inner-city problem ignores that fact that black on black violence is on the rise. Gangs exist not because "The Man" is deliberately keeping inner city kids from having a viable social net of family and community, but because in the absence of viable families and communities, for whatever reason, the kids in the inner city will make those social groups for themselves.

And because they're conceived by and run by children the social groups will rapidly descend, Lord Of the Flies-like, into tribalism with all the attendant paranoia regarding anyone in the "out group". They shoot each other not because "Whitey makes them," but because the only family they really know expects it. Because the people at the other end are from another tribe, because in some way they aren't really human.

This isn't happening because some white dude in a corporate board room wants it. But, and here is where the power structure ISN'T off the hook, it IS happening because the white dude in the corporate board room doesn't CARE enough to be active in STOPPING it. Why? Because in many cases, he thinks discrimination is sooooo last century. He listened to Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. He reads the words and somehow he convinces himself that we're already there.

Yes. Really. That's what anyone who talks about "Reverse Discrimination" about affirmative action is saying. They may ADMIT to YOU that there's still discrimination but, in the immortal words of John Roberts, "The way to end discrimination is to end discrimination." But you know what campers? If right after you say that you make it harder to PROVE discrimination, if your only contact with affirmative action seems to looking for ways to tear it down, and other than that you spend NO TIME dealing with the problems of discrimination, then you aren't saying "The only way to end discrimination," (against blacks and Latinos and native Americans), "is to end," (all forms of), "discrimination," you are ACTUALLY saying, "The only way to end discrimination," (once and for all), "is to end discrimination," (against whites, which the only remaining form of discrimination).

Look, if to disadvantage whites in the hiring process or the admissions process is "discrimination," the clear corollary is that non-whites are not suffering discrimination. Because if non-whites ARE suffering discrimination then affirmative action is STILL fulfilling it's original function: to level the playing field between whites and others with regard to schools attended or jobs filled.

So, if as everyone knows and has proved with scientific studies, hiring and admissions bias DOES still exist how could one POSSIBLY believe that affirmative action is discrimination? The only method I can see is defining discrimination down. What can we point to as an absolute 100% success in the last 50 years against discrimination?

Strange Fruit.

It's been a long time since a black community woke up to find one of their own hung from a tree for the crime of: looking at a white woman funny, sassing a white man, drinking from the wrong fountain, etc. What an accomplishment! We should give ourselves a round of applause that white men can no longer kill black men with impunity, certain that a jury of THEIR peers would never convict.

This is where the fainting violets amongst you might want to avert your eyes.

What a fucking GREAT accomplishment; "We don't do the shooting ourselves." Give yourself a pat on the back!

So, apropos of my comparison that in the conservative mind "Being made to look at a Democrat's placard equals Rosa Park's being told to go to the back of the bus," we can NOW add, "My kid not getting into law school because that slot went to a black kid equals that same black kid getting strung up in a tree and fucking LYNCHED."

Jesus Christ On A Crutch, what the FUCK is wrong with these people? How unbelievably self-centered do you have to be to not notice how unequal that equation is??

If you think affirmative action should be ended, I had better see some MAJOR equality work, Mother Teresa level work, or you're just a goddamn bigot.

OK, all safe for your tender virgin eyes again.

All told, racism in this country is alive and well and arguments to the contrary are woefully misled at best and deliberately disingenuous at worst. Affirmative action is necessary because Mrs. Pedant's students are far less likely to get into a good school or get a good job than the Wee Pedant (To Be Named Later), and she's not even born yet. If you're white, you are still enjoying the fruits of the racism of your forebears. You ain't off the hook yet, Skippy.

Bad grammar and gratuitous commas removed. I need an editor.

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