Enough is Enough.

Okay, this shit has got to stop.  As most of you know, February is Black History Month.  Yes, the shortest freaking month on the calendar, even in a leap year for crissakes.  Black folks get one freakin’ month to shine and educate people about the greatness (and yes, sometimes the sorrow) of black history in these great United States of America.  On one hand, it’s sad that in the 21st Century, we still have to divide people between black, white, asian, hispanic, and all other manner of skin-tone-based descriptions.  It would be great if people were just “humans.”  But I know that, like it or not, we DO see the differences between people, and I guess that’s fine as long as we’re not associating stereotypes with those descriptions.  After all, isn’t skin color difference just as important as height, facial hair, weight, etc. when describing a robbery suspect or an actor whose name you can’t remember?

The difference, of course, is that in this country people have not been subjugated to hundreds of years of subjugation, slavery, and discrimination based on whether or not they have a beard.  (As much as I’d like to see hipsters subjugated, it’s an unrealistic dream at best.)  So, that being the case, the black community is alone in the long struggle to make a place for themselves in our society.  The only ethnic group that comes close is the Native American population, and like it or not, the European American has pretty much taken everything possible from that group, starting with the land they fucking lived on.  Not getting into that.  There’s just so much bad there.

Anyway, I saw this link recently and it just made my blood boil.  Take a good look at this, people, and I’ll give my calm, reasonable rebuttal. Okay. When I see this sort of thing, the only reaction I can come up with is “YOU HAVE THE ENTIRE FUCKING CALENDAR, YOU BACKWARDS-ASS CRACKER!”  I mean, really?  Really? White people are still 63% of the total population. And when you think “rich people” you usually picture white folks.  Yes, black athletes and entertainers make mad cash.  That is, the very small percentage of the total population that is in the NBA or works with Sean Combs.   Against this, you have the fact that only 11 black executives have ever made it to the Chairman or CEO position of a “Fortune 500” listed company. Of these 11 executives, only 6 remained as of April 1, 2011. (http://www.blackentrepreneurprofile.com/fortune-500-ceos/) That’s eleven…EVER. Dude, it’s a list of the top 500 companies every year. Starting in 1955.  That’s a total of 28,500 companies not including, obviously, repeats.  Example: Wal Mart has been there at least eight times in the last ten years.  So, let’s take a guess and just halve that number…let’s say there have been 14,250 companies listed.  Of those, 11 have had a black CEO/chairperson.  Including repeats.  If we’re gonna play the “repeat” game, you’ve gotta figure that means, what?  About eight?  Yep.

Anyway. A friend once asked me why I don’t like the word “nigger.”  His rationale, as misguided as it was, consisted of his black friends using it and so on and so forth. My response is that “you haven’t earned the right.”  Unless you’ve been born black, especially in a mostly-white community (like, you know, all of Indiana) you just simply cannot know what it’s like. I don’t.  He didn’t.  We’ve never had people eye us suspiciously when we entered the store, never learned about how our people came over to this country in chains (in fucking CHAINS, people!) and we’ve never had to work harder and think faster than an equally-qualified job applicant just to get a look at promotion. We haven’t.  And as such, we haven’t earned the right. I know a few older black dudes that dislike the way “nigga” gets used by modern black youths.  They find it distasteful.  The counter argument that I’ve heard is that by using that word amongst one another, black kids have taken the power out of it. They’ve neutralized the sting, much like “Yankee” used to be sort of a derogatory term slung at American Colonists.  Now we take pride in that term.  Either way, this discussion is one that the white man needs to butt out of.  It’s not up to us.  That’s not a word for us to use.  Period. And yes, I’ll concede that words are just words.  Some of them just carry more weight: Nazi, cancer, hipster…these words are a little bigger than a collection of vowels and consonants.  It is, after all, the intent behind the word that gives it menace.

“It’s just a word” is a mantra I hear a lot.  I think the best argument for this sort of thing is from the late, great George Carlin:

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with the word “Nigger” in and of itself. It’s the racist asshole who’s using it that you ought to be concerned about. We don’t mind when Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy say it. Why? Because we know they’re not racist. They’re Niggers! Context. Context. We don’t mind their context because we know they’re black. Hey, I know I’m whitey, the blue-eyed devil, paddy-o, fay gray boy, honkey, mother-fucker myself. Don’t bother my ass. They’re only words. You can’t be afraid of words that speak the truth, even if it’s an unpleasant truth, like the fact that there’s a bigot and a racist in every living room on every street corner in this country.”

He’s right, of course.  And I’m not a big enough hypocrite to admit that I’ve never told a racist joke.  I always justify it by saying “I make fun of everyone, regardless of gender, race, or sexual preference.”  I return to Carlin’s belief that it’s the intent behind the joke/racial epithet/what-have-you.  Maybe.  But I still feel really guilty, and frankly, a little dirty when I stoop to that kind of humor.

So, just…I don’t know.  Stop being assholes.  Let the back community have one stinkin’ month.  Jesus, if that’s the best we can do as a nation to apologize or at least try and somewhat rectify the ninety or so years that we put this group of people through hell, so be it.  Imagine how mad some people are going to be in fifty years when “Gay Pride Month” or “Latino Culture Month” roll around.  And I, for one, have no problem with that sort of thing coming to pass.  (Sidebar worthy of another entire blog: if you discriminate/hate on gay people because of some stupid line of religious text, you are an ignorant bigot.  So stop that shit.)  We’re Americans.  More importantly, we’re Humans.  Let’s get over this cultural and racist divide and accept each other.  It’s okay.  When the comet slams into Earth, it’s not gonna care a damn what color you are at the time of impact.  Because we’re all gonna be equally screwed in a fiery conflagration.

We’ll all be reduced to a smouldering pile of bones.  Charred, black bones.  How ironic.

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27 responses to “Enough is Enough.

  1. I know where you’re coming from. I mean, think about it, we learn about all types of history in school, we just have on month just for blacks. There’s nothing wrong with that. We really learn about white people 75% of the time in class EVEN on black history. But some black people over react to that as well. I hear “We need to study more black people because we use to be slaves” but every race had/has people who are slaves. It’s like me saying “We need to study Arabs because we have other Arabs blowing us up!” no.. Just no… Anyways I think you see where I’m coming from..

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  2. Then I believe we should be able to have a white American month. I think we should do away with Black History Month and Make it American History Month and do away with the racism completely. And just so you know, Back in the 70’s when I was in elementary school. The definition in the dictionary for the word”Nigger” was white trash. Just sayin

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    • You apparently missed the point…the OTHER ELEVEN MONTHS are ALL White History Months. And while I like the idea of “American History Month” I tend to think we could spend more than thirty days or so on that subject, as there are entire college courses dedicated to the Revolution alone.

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  3. Very true, man, and Amen to all of it. Seeing as I go to one of the most liberal schools in the country, I’ve come a long way from, ahem, Northwest Ohio. I’m open to so much more and willing to participate in rallies and whatnot that advocate rights and understanding of this exact topic. It sucks seeing blatant racism today; it’s fucking 2012! Where do people think they get off just being ignorant fuckholes? Frankly it gets under my skin.

    That being said, even the open-minded folks around here are often blind. I have friends of all different races and backgrounds, from New York City and downtown Detroit, that have actually came up to me and said, “Hey, you’re from a podunk town in Ohio, right? TELL US A RACIST JOKE!” It’s like they want me to feel like a complete asshole. Yeah, I have built up quite the arsenal and as a comedian I’m all about making others giggle, but I didn’t come here to mutter out racist jokes for the amusement of ANY of these people. I actually came to get ’em somewhat rinsed out of my head.

    People need to remove head from ass and try those practicing the big three: peace, love, and understanding. Excellent blog, my friend. Ya done good :).

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    • Thank you, sir. OF course, there’s a whole lot more that oculd be said on this. White condescention, for example: not really bigotry, but “Wow! He’s a really clean, well-spoken black man!” Well, um…thanks?

      But you’re right, of course, about the college experience. If more Midwestern Americans went to some sort of college and for God’s sake TRAVELLED farther than, say, Cedar Point, they’d realize how foolish they are for harboring these prejudices.

      Rock on and Talk Hard, brother.

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  4. When we were still in New Bern, I had a guy in my apartment complex help me train Vesta. He was originally from Brooklyn, was in the medical field, helped train police dogs, and just happened to be black. He said when he was in Brooklyn, he never had any problems with the law. But he moved to North Carolina and suddenly people used that awful N word, he had been pulled over and threatened to be arrested 10 times in the handful of years he had lived there, and his daughters were told that they weren’t allowed to use a gas station restroom in Havelock. It shocks me that this type of hatred still exists.

    What’s even worse is that I got involved in this political group on Facebook thanks for a friend who was a former Marine, and many of the conservative people in that group made frequent comments about how hate crimes don’t exist and that people just need to learn to punch. Would a punch have saved James Byrd’s life? Doubtful.

    Besides, white people have St. Patrick’s Day, Casimir Pulaski Day (oops, that was just Illinois), Yom Kippur, Leif Erikson Day, etc.

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  5. i’ve always thought that making the shortest month of the year “black history month” was basically a slap in the face, and has always pissed me off!

    btw, love your blog…..keep on, keeping on!

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  6. You are so correct. People are people. Period. I’m a bit of a strange one in my job because I see the person first. Trust me it has saved my ass from a fight more then once, I roll onto a scene and treat everyone like men and women. They are so taken aback by that from a police officer that they don’t know what to do. I’ve actually had a guy thank me as I was hand cuffing him and taking him to jail, just because I talked to him like a man.

    ANYONE can be as ass. I prefer to hold judgment AFTER they have done something worthy of that.

    *and on the subject of Imperials, WE GOT DEATH STARS!!! We’ll blow your planet up bitches!* (the ULTIMATE whites of the universe)

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  7. Growing up in a rural area I was subject to plenty of “friends” that were hardcore racist. Funny thing they didn’t even know a single black person. I was raised very religious and not to judge anyone (sexual preference, race, wealth, etc) and I stand by that, as there are powers above me that can decide who is right, wrong or just misinformed.

    Black History month is racist in itself for the same reason you say in your blog. However the fact that we study white history mostly the rest of the year is for one major reason. Our country’s history is mainly of white descendants. The reason our history is mainly about white people is also the exact reason why our country was founded on some practices that were very much racist and wrong. Unfortunately when it comes to political history and American history in general, we have created this white history which still needs to be taught. Is it fair that we don’t have more black history to teach, no. Is it fair how black people were treated until the last 30 years or so, no. is there still racism in today’s society, I would most certainly assume there is.

    Bottom line, do we need a white history month? No and fuck you for saying that you ignorant assholes on that wrote on the link you sent. Should we build black history from what we do have and continue on as we are now to keep it going? Yes and we should try hard to go back and incorporate anything from the past news/media or other such animals to get more information into our “textbooks” (I say that since they will be pretty much gone in paper form soon!).

    Thanks for the rant, I enjoy it!

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    • I should proof read before I post. Some words are mixed up but you get the general idea. White history month, no way you uneducated rednecks!

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    • Thanks, bub. In reply, I’d say that your situation explains a lot of the problem. Going to college, traveling the world, living more than 100 miles from where you were born…people that have done all this are less racist. Fact. The more you are exposed to other cultures, the less scary and different they are, and the more you realize that people are people. There are good ones and bad ones, saints and assholes, and it doesn’t matter what the person looks like on the outside. I’ve met really cool white frat boys and complete dicks that happen to be black. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you look like. You are who you are.

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