Race: is a little racial jabbing healthy ?

When the movie “White Men Can’t Jump” came out in the early 90’s, I thought to myself, “Damn, they got me.” And when a black person teases about rhythm difficulties for white people I have the same thought.

To a sensitive white person either of these comments could be considered racist, but they are not; they are stereotypical, but kind of accurate, and painfully funny.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

So why is it a problem if I say ‘black people eat fried chicken’ or ‘Mexicans eat tacos’?

True, these are racial stereotypes, but are they injurious enough to be considered racist? Isn’t the problem with racism the injury that it causes? If a racially-based comment is NOT injurious, is it racist?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Remember back to the days of Fred Sanford and George Jefferson and how much grief they gave us honkies. It was not injurious, but instead healing … and maybe even culturally valuable.

It seems to me that as a country we might be ready to graduate from the era of hyper-sensitivity. It seems that although there are still a lot of black people living within a struggle that is certainly the result of the racial oppression of yesterday, the tide of racial fairness is clearly moving in the right direction, and that to continue to be hyper-sensitive is counter-productive at this time in our history.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

4 responses

  1. I think you’re missing the underlying point, one that even your examples brought out. 😦

    It’s not a matter of whether the comment is injurious or not. It matters who it’s said to or about. ANYTHING can be said about Whites, but NOTHING can be said about Blacks or Hispanics.

    The underlying problem is that some very evil people “redefined” racism as Prejudice + Power in an effort to make it a White-only issue. As long as that is a meme that is still believed by a lot of people, all the other problems are inconsequential.

  2. Well, every racial stereo type always has a little basis in truth. And I am one to think that a racial stereotype or slur is only as powerful or hurtful as the RECEIVING party makes it. If I call an African American the “n” word, it is up to him to decide how hurt he is. So, yes, I think that if everybody would just shrug and go “sticks and stones” the world would be a lot better off.

  3. Overall, white people are in a position of power, therefore, white people are in a position to execute or empower their racism.

    It doesn’t matter that what you say is “injurious” or not — what it shows is a propensity to employ or empower your racism.

  4. But what if you are not in a position of power? Does what you say lose its power? I don’t think that words vary in meaning depending on who says them, but they do very in power.

    –Kyran Luhrs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s