Getting Back To Neutral

When everybody’s done camping out in the name of Occupy[InsertCityName], can we spare a minute to discuss the thing we still haven’t gotten right so what makes you think we can improve the class division? Seriously, are you ready to give up your seat of privilege for real or just so long as we get to have drum circles? No disrespect to the spirit of Latifah’s-had-it-up-to-here-ness going on internationally but: If you condone the mindset that any one group is the default, most important and privileged racial/social class in this country – and hate to break it to you, America World, but you do – who the heck is supposed to care about the 1%? What, because you’re not in it? If the problem’s just that you wanted to be *part* of that 1% – not that you wanted to create a more equal and honest distribution of wealth and demand equitable treatment of the working folk – then perhaps you should let the people of color who’re camping next to you know so they can get back to their lives, which have pretty much always been in threat. Welcome to planet Earth.

Which brings me to this. [LINK] In case, you don’t click that – people hate when Black people are cast in anything, ever. As a writer, this is almost disgusting enough to make me want to set myself on fire and hurl myself into a crowd of these people. Now the gross part is that they have freely offered up the reasons *why* they didn’t think Rue was Black and Cinna could be played by a Black man – despite the fact that he is only vaguely described in the book. Often ignoring the obvious descriptions given by the author (and given again in interviews regarding casting), they went on ahead and imagined Rue was white. Because apparently, it doesn’t matter what I write. I can’t change the script inside your head. (Darn you, Sociology, do you EVER cease being relevant?!) And, dontcha see, Cinna was supposed to be “loving”! Not Black, loving! O_O

Then this happened. And I feel like I have to tell you: Yes, this garbage is this upsetting.

*There’s a comment below that’s not entirely visible: I had a male friend all through high school – come senior year, he overheard me talking to someone and interrupted, “You’re Black?!” I kid you not. He was dead serious. WTF?! So, in order to maintain your ingested belief that Black people are ____ and not have to denounce your closet-klan upbringing, you’ve left the reservation and decided to deny I’m Black if I don’t fit the stereotype?! Cuz that’s easier than saying, “Hey, maybe I’m dumb”?!

You know what keeps those innocent dogs safe? That after really being upset and disgusted by the pervasive nature of racism, I remember I’m at my house. Where people are people and love is a many-colored splendor. And I remember what God thinks while I reject the ugliness of man. And I seriously thank God that my identity begins and ends in Him. I also thank God for interracial families and adoption. Nothing grants perspective like loving someone else.


2 thoughts on “Getting Back To Neutral

  1. The pitfalls of reductionism. Oh the days when we had multiple facets to our identities. For example: Alanis thinks she ironic, really shes just white (and Canadian, which explains a lot).

    However, I think the 99%ers are more so on board with the egalitarian thing than you think. Ya, its mostly hippies in tents among the protesters but those are the types of people to be more inclined. Its the 99%er media cheerleaders, those not protesting, who are the ones too tied to their privilege. Ya, there are people who are too poor to protest, but I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about the guy who makes 500k a year, but is still lumped into the 99% statistic. How many of those guys have forsook their plush lifestyles to protest?


    • Honey, there were no such days for some of us. Even I was naive enough to think that it wasn’t *my* generation who thought such ugly things, but cast a popular movie and you’ll learn, I guess.

      I don’t see what the camp-out is proving as far as forsaking privilege. You can always go home. And you will. And when you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps that institutionalized favor will still remain. So basically you got to pretend to be an underdog without actually making sure none of us had to be. I guess I’m just not impressed.

      But honestly, that stuff angers me probably more now that I’m a parent, but most of my “passion” – ie, I know what stereotype gets thrown around when people hear what people of color *really* think – is just telling it like it is. I do believe that we’re victims of our socialization to some degree and most people can be enlightened if they love someone outside their phenotype. I honestly believe that.


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