Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Hyper-Sensitivity of Racial Themes in America

For many years now, journalists, politicians, educators and ministers have defended the equality of black people.  That in itself is fine, but politicians will generally take a worthy theme and and transform it into some grotesque mutation in order to create a political weapon.  Legitimate sensitivity to black people's concerns has, over time, become a paranoid hypersensitivity where any reference to black ethnicity is seen as "RAAAAACIST."

Some examples.  Don Imus referring to a women's black basketball team as "nappy headed hoes."  Imus was trying to be cool and employ the language of youth.  He was trying to pay the players a compliment on being tough cookies who won games.  The unfortunate reference exploded in his face, resulting in him losing his radio show and becoming the target of wild paroxysms of public outrage with its resulting shame and humiliation.  He had to apologize to the women's team in person and prostrate himself before the gods of political correctness to beg forgiveness.  Ridiculous.

In 1999, a white staff member of D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams used the word "niggardly" in a private staff meeting to describe the administration of a fund.  Black members were offended and the staff member, David Howard, was asked to resign.  However, "niggardly" has no racial connotations whatever -- it is an ancient English word from the time period of 1520 - 1530 and means stingy, miserly or cheap.  After a public outcry against the stupidity of Howard's dismissal, he was rehired.

In the same year, a college student took her English professor to task for using the same word in a lecture:
Student Demands 'Niggardly' be Prohibited at University of Wisconsin (02/03/99)
Student Amelia Rideau is upset that her professor used the 'N-ardly' word at least twice: Once on Jan. 25 during a class on 14th-century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, and once in a subsequent class to explain the word’s meaning.  Ms. Rideau was outraged, and is demanding the UW implement a speech code which would punish anyone using what she described as 'offensive' language - including the 'N-ardly' word.  She urged the university not to require proof of intent before punishing verbal villains such as her professor.
Amelia Rideau is a good example of the extreme racial hypersensitivity that liberalism and political correctness have produced.  In her universe, any word or language deemed "offensive," no matter how innocent, is to be repressed and the perpetrator punished. The only proof of a crime is to be that some black person, somewhere, somehow, was offended by the remark.  Such hysteria resulted in colleges attempting to impose "speech codes" and to effectively abridge freedom of speech.

In the past twenty years I remember a lot of racial hysteria that I consider ridiculous.  A group of black city councilmen in Georgia wanted to remove a cotton patch from a town heritage display because it was "a painful reminder of slavery."  A football tournament in the South issued an advertising poster with a Southern mansion in it.  The poster had to be recalled due to this "painful reminder of slavery."  A group of black students on a field trip by bus were asked by the driver to "move to the back of the bus" so passengers not of their party could more easily enter and depart.  The NAACP had a field day over that one as racial hysteria reached epic levels.

Some people, like reader Mnut, are still over-sensitized to racial issues and see "racism" where there is none.  In fact, he has been scouring the web for my comments at other sites in order to prove me "racist."  Good luck on that, Mnut.  By the left's definition, as described in the above paragraphs, I am already a racist, as are my black conservative friends who do not engage in such racial histrionics.

This is not to excuse real racism (wherein the racist hates essentially all members of a certain race, or believes essentially all members of that race to be inferior or advocates second-class citizenship for same).  Bad taste or social insensitivity do not a racist make, not by my definition.  Sarcasm or ridicule directed at members of the racial grievance industry over their exaggerated claims is not racism.  Such people, of whom Jesse Jackson is one, are legitimate targets for satire, sarcasm and ridicule.  Contempt for one race hustler does not logically imply contempt for the entire race of which he is a part.  This is something Mnut and other liberals have not yet figured out.

Liberal blacks, race-hustlers and shake-down artists like Jesse Jackson, are legitimate targets for criticism.  We as conservatives cannot allow manufactured race hysteria to result in self-censorship.  That is what the liberals are counting on:  that from fear of false charges of "racism" we will self-censor, i.e. that we will not criticize Barack Obama and other black liberals or hold them to account.  The phony charges of Tea Party "racism" is designed to inspire self-censorship.  They just want us to shut up and the phony racism charge has worked so well for that in the past.

This use of racial hysteria as a gag for conservatives has gone on far too long.  Fortunately, more and more people are seeing through the scam and it is losing its effectiveness.  Charges of "RAAAAACISM" today more often bring contempt for the accuser rather than fear and loathing for the accused.  The race card has been played many times too many.  The public has caught on to the scam.

Criticism of liberal blacks is legitimate; however, the use of insulting ethnic stereotypes for ridicule is not.  A Photoshop that some fool created a few months ago showed the White House lawn planted with watermelons.  That is not a legitimate criticism of liberal blacks, but an insulting stereotype of the black population as a whole.  Such "humor" is never appropriate and I will delink and disassociate with anyone who uses it.


Stogie said...

Hey you know, I really agree with the sentiment of reducing unnecessary (or any) censorship,
whether in media or politics or just on the street. I think censorship
is another word for ignorance. So we're on the same page there brother.

But I wanted to make an unrelated comment about your website's ethos... .

This is an obviously incorrect statement. It's those opinion pictures
on the side dude. I pass no judgement on what you believe, or why, but
you clearly have an agenda. In fact several. I don't need to list them,
you already know. But come on buddy, amend one of these. Either, say,
"in ruthless pursuit of what I believe is right" (Or something catchier)
or actually become an impartial source of information and remove the
graphics. It's unfair, there are people who won't be able to tell the
difference between journalism and opinion, and you'll be misinforming
them (if nothing else, then at least on the definition of the word
agenda). I know that's not what you set out to do.

Stogie said...

The picture didn't come up. It's at the top of the page. "In ruthless pursuit of truth, not an agenda"

Stogie said...

I'm not changing any of my sidebar banners or my mottos for you, pal. "Ruthless pursuit of truth" IS an agenda, though one that is acceptable.