Have you ever felt rage? I am not talking about the temporary ire we all occasionally feel when an office mate is won’t return repeated calls or when some other driver veers dangerously close to a car that we only owe three payments on. I mean an enduring tempest the likes of which is sustained only by the unending onslaught of bigotry and ignorance that plagues our existence. Have you ever felt that?
Sometimes, I am amazed and enraged at the things some people consider acceptable human behavior. For instance, today, Liberty Council released a sickening internet meme that compared homosexual people to drug addicts. Liberty Council compared people loving each other to people with a self-inflicted disease. Liberty Council labeled genuine love of another person, “unhealthy relationships” Their insistance that the “deep hunger” (read, the general need for love that most humans feel!) homosexuals feel can only be sated by an intimate, personal relationship with a meat sack that may or may not have even existed and (if he did exist) died nearly two millennia ago notwithstanding, I find Liberty Council’s opinions about gay and lesbian people highly offensive. And this comes just a day after reading this sectarian diatribe from a walking douchebag over at LifeSite pseudo-News. (I won’t link there directly so as not to boost their misogynist egos.)
The rage is hard to portray with polite words; but I imagine it would go something like this:
Dear enormous jerk,
Thank you for bathing me in your horrendously unkind words and spreading your hateful lack of wisdom over me and my people. I appreciate your genuine enthusiasm. But I and my colored, slant-eyed, Semitic, handicapped, heretical, retarded, lesbo, faggot family would be unabatedly happy on the occasion that you dropped dead so that we and the rest of our human family could get on with our short lives in un-accosted bliss.
I am appalled. The day after Gabrielle Douglas became the first Black woman EVER to win the Olympic individual all-around gymnastics competition, I see rumors that NBC released an “apology” for following up her glorious moment by airing a commercial with a monkey in it. A monkey.
Seriously? What is WRONG with people?!!!
NBC never should have apologized for airing that commercial, no matter WHO was on just before it. What NBC SHOULD have apologized for is all the racist jerks who associated a fracking monkey in a TV commercial with a Black athlete in the first place! Only a racist bigot would make such an association. The fact that some racist people put their bigoted spin on a random coincidence and then backed a spokesperson into a corner for a forced apology doesn’t make NBC wrong. It makes the racist bigots who thought it up in the first place wrong.
I was watching that segment. I watched Gabby Douglas win the gold medal in absolute superb style. I watched Bob Costas discuss her historic victory. I watched the ensuing commercial for NBC’s upcoming TV show “Animal Practice.”
And guess what!
I didn’t think anything remiss about it. I thought the commercial was dumb the first time I watched it. I thought it was dumb the umpteenth time I watched it that night. I thought about how Bob Costas looked older and wondered how long has he been hosting the Olympics. I thought about how proud I was of Gabby Douglas becoming the first woman of color to win a gold medal in the Olympic Women’s all-around gymnastics competition. I thought about a lot of things. But not one time did I associate the cute little monkey in that dumb commercial with the fantastically talented gymnastics genius I had just seen on screen. Do you want to know why?
BECAUSE I AM NOT A RACIST JERK.
Just because you don’t say racist things and you have Black friends doesn’t make you progressive or colorblind or tolerant or whatever you want to call yourself.
When you are a minority living in a city that is over 98 percent white, you notice. People are surprised when I tell them I have a graduate level college degree. Once, at the end of a conversation on racially-motivated hate, a girl told me never walk home by myself. I get those people who try overly hard to tell me how colorblind they are or how cool they are with Black people. And to top it all off, the theater by my house didn’t bother to show Red Tails! I mean, why would anyone around here want to watch a movie about Black history? (Sigh.)
Because of my innate novelty here, I have found myself questioning whether I really want to bring my children up in a place where they also would be an instant stand-out. The other night, a disgusting scene broke out in my favorite bar – a liberal enclave in this rural, right-wing county. Some guy whose girl was apparently seeing a new beau on the side, caught his lady friend having dinner with another bar patron who happened to be Black. I remember seeing him take a picture with his phone. But I didn’t think anything of it. That is until he confronted both of them. (The new guy, totally unsuspecting, was quite surprised of this man’s existence.) The man pointed straight at my (now) new friend and told him twice he was a “fucking nigger.” Twice. Pointing at his face. (That shit don’t fly in my favorite bar – he was promptly banned.)
Ya know, I don’t care if he was mad about finding his girlfriend with this other man. I don’t care if it was just something he said in the heat of the moment. The fact that he said it means he thinks it. The fact that he thinks it means he is a racist. I don’t want my children growing up in a place where they will be treated or even considered differently by people like him.
Just because you don’t say racist things and you have Black friends doesn’t make you progressive or colorblind or tolerant or whatever you want to call yourself. What you say matters. What you do matters. How you treat people matters. But most of all, what you think is what matters.
Did you know that there is no specific antonym for the words bigot or racist? Do you want to know why? Because such a thing doesn’t truly exist yet.