Even though I feel that I am in a perpetuate state of trying to prove my mother wrong when she says that I am a "32 year old child", sometimes I feel that I prove her right by the way I keep doing things that I know I shouldn't. Like last year when I was at a friend of mines bachelor party and was offered some high powered marijuana that I knew I had no business smoking. I went against my better judgement and smoked it, and the next thing I knew I was at the house of one of the strippers afterwords, performing a striptease for her and her stripper pals to a chorus of "shake that ass" and "work it chubby".(I did get a few bucks though, but the mere fact that a few of them put nickles in my undergarments crippled my self esteem) Or recently when I went to a gathering that a ex co-worker was having, where I got absolutely shitfaced in the matter of a couple of hours. When a chick that I had just met asked me if I wanted to "chill in the hot tube" I knew it was a bad idea. But since my life revolves around "C.R.E.A.M"(my Cock Rules Everything Around Me) I went against my better judgement and decided to chill with this chesty beauty, with hopes of getting lucky later. Unfortunately, my hopes of having her count ceiling tiles were cancelled when she damn near had to resuscitate me because of me falling asleep and almost drowning.
I also know better than to not fall asleep in front of the television, simply because of the strange fucking dreams that I tend to have because of it. I guess I had fallen asleep to a television special about slavery or something, because in my dream I led a slave insurrection where I tried to help 20 of my brothers and sisters to "freedom". Of course the dream had some improbable aspects of it like me killing 2 slave-masters with a couple of well thrown Rambo knives I kept in my backpack(see, backpack), me telling one of the slaves to "stop being a bitch" when he resisted escaping, the twin glocks that I shot members of the lynch-mob with as we made our way through a heavily wooded area, and I'm sure historians would cringe at the fact that I was wearing shell-toe Adidas while I was doing all of this. I'm not sure if I died in my dream or not, but right before I woke up I had told the others to go on. Sacrificing myself, held up in a barn armed with only a machete, surrounded by men in hooded outfits with matching white caps who didn't want to discuss the current state of Hip Hop with me.
When I woke up all I could think about how my father recounted stories of what he had to go through in South Carolina in the 40's and 50's. I never had to encounter a tenth of what he went through, but him vividly telling some of the things he witnessed, people being hung until their necked snapped, and the specific things they couldn't do because of Jim Crow, I never took anything for granted. I have issues with my old man even though he died 5 years ago, things that I have a hard time forgiving him for, but he was a tortured guy because of the overt racism he saw first hand opposed to the great white shipmates he had during his 30 years in the Navy.
I know that I should write a Black History post, probably where I quote Maya Angelou, and possibly give you some random black history fact. The hell with that I say, I reject the fact that black history has to be relegated to the shortest fucking month of the year. Sadly, I'm lying, I wish I could say that that's the reason, the real reason is because I'm an asshole and reject the idea of being told "when" to celebrate anything.(Just imagine how many pissed girlfriends I had because of the fact that they received their Christmas gifts in July) This is just a friendly post about the types of racism that I have experienced, nothing to the extent of anything my father could have articulated, but just my own experiences.
Overt Racism: When I first started thinking about writing this post last night, I openly wondered how many times someone called me the "N word". I had a really hard time, difficult in a way that I actually wondered if anyone had ever called me that word outside of the term of endearment way I've heard it from other black people, something I'm trying to get away from. I guess we put bad experiences in the back of our subconscious somewhere, because right when I was going to say that I was never called that, my brain sort of had a mental bowel movement where all these examples came over me like some sort of "racist instant replay". I guess I could tell you about a kid in my 5 grade class named Terry that called me that word, but there isn't much to tell since I hit him in the face with my cafeteria tray. I guess I could tell you about a dude named John Peters who called me that word on the bus home from junior high, but I chased him to his house where his "ultra liberal" parents let me smack him in the face for it.
One case that sticks out is being called the "N Word" simply because I accidentally bumped into a guy at a "Rage Against the Machine" Concert.(What racist goes to a fucking Rage concert anyways??) All I can recall is smashing his head against his car door post concert as his black friend, that's right, just looked on as if he was studying my racist bashing techniques. The other one, a much scarier instance, is when me and Danny were playing pool and discussing the ridiculousness of people who have confederate flags. Apparently the two gentlemen besides us didn't like the flow of our conversation, and decided to explain why it was their right as Americans to have said flags, one of them taking off their jackets and proudly showing off a shirt with that image on it. A few words were exchanged, me having the smart mouth that I have, then all of a sudden a few "go back to Africa's" and "dirty n*ggers" came out of their mouths. I was in a dilemma because Danny can't fight to save his life, and because he has kids and a wife I would never forgive myself if something happened to him.
So we calmly left, I dropped Danny off and told him that I was going to bed. He said, "You're going back up there aren't you??" I didn't answer and just drove off. When I got back there only one of the men remained, and as I cornered him about to put him on the business end of a beating my brain and hands had a very civil conversation. Brain: Is this how you want to go out, perpetuating the angry black guy stereotype?? He's a racist, fuck it, you don't want to get in trouble!! Fist: Fuck you!! Lets just say that my brain didn't have much of a say that night.
"Maybe I'm overacting" racism: I have a Chinese food restaurant that I'm loyal to, a guy that I have been going to for a few years now. Despite a better restaurant across the street, I have stayed loyal to my Asian brethren from day one. I don't know what was wrong with me, I guess I was having a bad day or something, but when I walked in and he said, "Ahhh, I bet you want the chicken don't you??!!" I snapped. "What??", I said, "Why do you think all black folks want chicken huh?? You have a side of watermelon that you can serve me, huh?? I thought we were cool Lee, how the fuck are you going to hit me with that stereotype shit??" He smiled, looked up and said, "Because you have been getting chicken and Rice for the past couple of years, you ass-rag!!" All I could say was "Oh" and "sorry", as I walked out his establishment with the same dejected feeling you had when your parents grounded you for some childhood indiscretion.
Stereotypical racism: I have heard comics from the likes of Richard Pryor to Dave Chappelle, both express how they hated it when a person of another race suddenly felt the need to "talk jive" when they address them. Case in point, I was watching a band that I love perform in a bar that I randomly frequent. I guess this dude wanted to make friends, innocent enough, but he approached me with a "Yo, yo, yo.. What's up Dawg!", accompanying it with a crazy as fuck handshake. To throw him off a bit, I started speaking with an exaggerated British accent and said, "What is this "dawg" rubbish that you speak of mate?? Is that elaborate handshake a white American tradition or something?? I just came to this country so I am naive about some of your customs." That's when he cut the bullshit and said, "No, I'm Justin.", and gave me a proper handshake. So immediately I dropped the accent and said, "I'm humanityCritic, how fucking hard was that. I might suggest you not get your image of what black people are actually like from B.E.T, you inbred jackass!!!"
Subtle Racism: I couldn't tell you how many times as I kid I saw something that I thought was my father's own conspiracy theory, actually come into fruition. He always said, "HC, if the teachers seem happy that you received a C or lower, its only their way to hold you down!!" God dammit if that man wasn't right, more times that I care to admit I noticed that I was being praised for average work but my white classmates were being encouraged to "do better" even when they got grades as high as "B's".
Nothing is more degrading than being told by someone mid-conversation, "Wow, you are a bright guy", "You are so articulate", or "You are so well spoken". Even though idiocy like that should never get a pass, but I think most of the people who actually spew that drivel out of their pie-holes don't actually realize that they are saying anything wrong.
"I hate my own people" racism: I am a big critic of some forms of Hip Hop that degrade women and depict ultra violent images. I'm not an apologist for all Hip Hip, but I know enough of the culture to understand that there are other alternatives when it comes to the music itself. I'm not even saying that if you are a rap critic or critical of a few black Americans that you are a self loathing black person per se. But when you hear black folks lump other black people using words like "them", "they", or "those people", you know that there is a deep seeded self hate there. Sure, they will act like they are trying to help the race by coming out against "filth" and the criminal element of society, but I have a sneaking suspicion that many of these individuals would have been "House Negro's" back in the day. Like Chuck D said, "Every brother ain't a brother cause of color".
Maybe not racist, but incredibly fucking stupid: It has always been my feeling that if you have to say, "I have plenty of black friends!!" to show you aren't a racist then something is seriously wrong. Listen, I can't say you are a racist if you have ever said the following things, but at least feel secure in you being a bona fide, steaming pile of shit: Anyone that aggressively argues the "reverse racism" argument, any person who wants to pull the "Hey, my family came here from Ireland!! What's the big deal?" discussion, people who want to compare the Holocaust to the slave trade, if you have ever asked a black person why there is a B.E.T and not a W.E.T, or ever openly wondered why you weren't allowed to use the "N-Word".