Saturday, October 22, 2005

Racism in America

Yup, it's a Saturday night and I don't have a date, so I'm going to solve the world's problems; we'll start with an easy one: racism.

I just don't get racism. I think about what my world would be like without people like Michel Martin and Gwen Ifill and Tavis Smiley and Rigo Chacon and Belva Davis, not to mention Nichelle Nichols and Morgan Freeman and Dave Chappelle. (Yes, I mostly highlighted African Americans in that list, because, for all the racism against Latinos, Asians, and every other brand of non-WASP, in this country there's nothing quite like the n-word.) I could go on with names from Bill Cosby to Tiger Woods to Arthur Ashe to Oprah and Whoopi, and that's before we even start with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and Mr. George Washington Carver.

On a more one-to-one personal level, where would I be today without Ms. Pullam and Mrs. Bowen and Guillermo Garcia and dozens of others in my childhood?

[For all the people, both famous and personal, that I left out, please take no offense: I am proud to say that there are far too many of you to name.]

I see white people talking about the danger to the supremacy of the white race, like the 13yo twin sisters Lamb and Lynx Gaebe, two teenie-bopper white supremacist pop singers who pose wearing smiley-face t-shirts with Hitler mustaches. I'm not making this one up, either: they're called Prussian Blue, as in their pure blue-eyed Aryan heritage. [brought to my attention by The Huffington Post]

I say yes, indeed, white America is in serious danger. We are in danger of having "niggras" (the "polite" form of the word in my younger days) as neighbors, co-workers, teachers, nurses and doctors. We are in danger of seeing black people on our television and in our movies. We might even have to sit next to one on a bus, or {shudder} all the way through a cross-country flight. We are in serious and immediate danger of having our lives enriched by the diversity of the human experience, and the United States of America is in grave danger of moving at least a tiny little bit closer to the liberal ideals expressed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Heaven help us.