The world is not just black and white, there’s a myriad of pretty colors making up society. Let’s end the war between races and work to save the only race that matters; the human race.
Remember the so-called controversial Being White in Philly article? You know, the one that prompted the Mayor of Philadelphia to complain to the Human Rights Commission, denouncing the “disgusting” tone of the piece? The author, Bob Huber, had a point: “In so many quarters, simply discussing race is seen as racist.”
That’s definitely the case for the majority of white people, who would be considered racist by many folks I know for even asking a black person about a recipe for fried chicken. But not so much for blacks—we seem to be able to say almost anything and get away with it, insert black privilege here!
I re-read the Being White in Philly article again this morning after spending a few moments the day before watching news segments by Don Lemon and Roland Martin discussing whether or not Americans are hyper-sensitive about race. Not only did I not find the tone of the article to be disgusting—as I have stated before at the National Constitution Center during a panel discussion with Mr. Huber and others—but the author’s point, which was that white people are afraid to talk about race for fear of being labeled a racist, was proven in real-time, as the black community—even myself at first glance—was completely taken-a-back by the story, but why?
What exactly was so appalling in Huber’s narrative that warranted the Human Rights Commission being notified? The fucked up part about a lot of it was that the majority of black people I spoke to about the article admittedly “didn’t make it past the first page.” Did the lengthy article show blacks in a negative, stereotypical light? Maybe, but definitely not more than the black-owned WorldStarHipHop.com or all-minority cast of Love and Hip-hop Atlanta. Did it make references to blacks not working, smoking weed and robbing homes? Sure, I guess a sentence or two may have pointed that out, but no more than the script to Friday, Next Friday, or the Friday After Next.
At risk of being called a sell-out, an Uncle Tom, or a house nigger—all the names bestowed upon me last year when I was involved in the White in Philly fiasco—I have to speak up and say that there’s an overwhelming amount of black privilege that exist in today’s society. Although it plays out differently and in various contexts, it’s somewhat equal to the mass of white privilege that our counterparts enjoy.
I grew up around black people who said the most foul shit about white people, but would never admit their racist, because to them: black people can’t be racist, insert black privilege here. I remember on numerous accounts being on public transportation during thunderstorms and black youth would say stuff like: “ugh, white people smell like wet dogs when they get wet.” In no world imaginable could a white person say anything remotely as insensitive without setting off World War III, insert black privilege here.
Look, I’m just as sick of white privilege as I am about black privilege, it sucks and we can do without them both. I’m tired of the bullshit thought-leaders who pontificate race to the point of inertia. I’m over the celebrity civil rights leaders who are more reactionary than proactive. I’m beyond disgusted with narcissistic elected officials who don’t think race or human relations is in their job description and lastly, I’m fatigued at the conversation being only two shades, black and white.
In Philadelphia and across the nation, communities are becoming more diverse and representative of multiple cultures. If we can’t get past this century-old white and black phenomenon, how can we expect to embrace, encourage and engage other races, like Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Africans, Indians, Russians, etc.
It’s not like there’s another planet that we can go to because we’re sick of each other. It’s the 21st century; no intelligent life form has any excuse to hate someone else for no reason, especially just the color of their skin. I don’t know about you, but I want my children to grow up in a world that really does show unconditional love. I’m up for talking and working, not just to improve race relations, but human relations—cause at the end of the day it’s really just one race, human.
So let’s have the conversation that no one else is having. And let’s have it openly, checking our privileges at the door. Don’t worry about offending me if you have questions about my race, culture, class or beliefs. Let’s set norms, a code of conduct if you will, and just ask me, that’s how we learn. As a matter of fact, I’ll give you a few answers to get you started.
I love fried chicken, especially when its buffalo-style. I have numerous fried chicken recipes that I’d love to share, one that includes cornflakes. I’m not a fan of grape soda or watermelon, although I love orange juice and mangos. I’ve never been to jail, don’t have a tattoo, I have pretty good credit and I dislike rap music. I’m curious how white people are raised to interact with blacks, as I was told by my dad: “you better not bring one of them home.”
The only way we can move forward as a society is if we move forward together—break down the silos and clear up the misperceptions. Or we could just continue the status-qou, in which case no one will have a productive conversation about race, class and culture, and the comment section below will become longer than this article. And instead of being Chris Norris, I’ll be a sell-out, Uncle Tom or house nigger—again.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
Source: TBO Inc®
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