Friday, February 02, 2007

Go Ahead, Be Offended

So at various colleges and universities, some white-as-white-bread kids got together and had parties with gangsta/ghetto themes. "Bling and Bubbly" as one instance called it. On the MLK holiday too. Okay. Que the overreactions.

So I'm the first to admit that as a white guy, I'm probably wildly unaware of how much more unpleasant life can be with darker skin color. I'm also an adult male and don't have a screaming case of vaginitis.

What I think may not be appreciated by the black community (See footnote) is that white people are, by and large, operating from a style deficit. That's why when a style is adopted by whites, it's no longer cool. As a result, white people are always ready to rip off another culture. No sense in whining about it.

So they want to have a gangsta-style party. Fine. Here's the standard: this is only okay under if these two conditions are true:

1.) If these future-soccer-moms and "daddy got me my job" mouth breathers HAVE any black friends, they must invite them and explain the theme. If they don't have the balls to look a black person in the eye and spell this out- they don't have the character to pull it off.

2.) The inverse must be acceptable. If a bunch of students at say, one of the historically black colleges like Grambling decided to have an Enron party, or country club party, or whatever the fuck white people do that is worth mimicing, would THAT be okay? If the crowd at Grambling wanted throw a party where they all dressed in lots of polyester and drink wine coolers and Zima, and talk about fucking golf, more power to them- although my bet is that ANY other party idea would be more fun.

So if these two conditions are met, let the dumbasses do their thing. Yes, I think having a party like this on the MLK holiday is in bad taste, but here's the bottom line- it's legal and permissable to be an inconsiderate asshole. Why on earth some offended party thinks that a private gathering merits an institutional investigation, or what outcome they hope to see is a mystery. These young people are not enlightened, and judging by the party photos that beget this nonesense, they aren't interesting either. Best avoided in any event.

And, while I'm thinking of it- if these gangsta fashions are desparaging to black people, why doesn't anyone within the black community tell the black people who are the source of this? Oops. Not even Bill Cosby gets to ask that.

Note: No- I'm not being intentionally provocational by failing to use the word "African-American". All but one of the black people I know are not from, and have never been to Africa. So long as I am "white", they can be "black. I've gone round after round with a black friend over this subject, and she assures me that I'm mistaken, but understands that I'm trying to rationalize an emotional matter, and am not doing so out of malice. I still fail to understand how "African-American" is appropriate or sensible. Where is the corrollary? How am I a caucasian-American? I'm not decended from the people of Caucasia, nor have I ever been there. It's all a ridiculous verbal circle jerk that I see no reason to use. I'm from the US, just like Jesse Jackson, and that makes us both the same, except for our skin color. And if it were really that big of a deal, wouldn't the NAACP, United Negro College Fund, Congressional Black Caucus, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the others that don't immediately spring to mind using more antiquated names have updated their names?

Related Rant: I am also told to avoid using the word "oriental" to describe a person. I'm sorry- I'm going to push back on this one too. Not only do I not use the word to be perjorative or mean spirited, it's fucking accurate. Asia (as in "asian", which they would have me use) is a BIG FUCKING CONTINENT. Look it up. I know that most of us from public schools have a poor grasp of geograpy and are easily duped by the PC police, but this is absurd. Asia Minor, for example is a geologically and historically significant part of Asia, is populated with Persians, Arabs, Kurds, and Turks, plus whatever smaller ethnic groups that are under my cultural radar. None are "Asian" in the sense of say, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, or any other ethnicity that might be described as being of the Orient. Now, to be specific, the Orient is a debated term without specific boundaries, like the "Western World" (and I expect it's use in colonial times lead to this issue) in that some include Persia and some don't. I don't know that it matters, and here's why- it doesn't include Russians. Yeah, you know Russia? That nation that covers most of Asia? Yeah. You may see where I'm going here. Calling a guy from Japan "Asian" is about as specific as calling him "Russian" or "Earthling" and it's a useless concession to over-sensitivity.

Alright, so if you think I have my head up my ass on this (wouldn't be the first time) feel free to set me straight.

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Blogger Cheesy said...

LOL@ the party... reminds me of the Pimp N Ho parties we have at the local bar where I work.... tooooo fun.. and Stuc? I'm with you on the black v afr~amer,,, issue.. why on earth don't we all just call ourselves anerican.. plain~~~ simple.... and NO hurting of feelers... AMEN

7:54 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

oops.. American .. too lol

just don't call me a typist.. I'll take offense

7:58 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

Great rant. I agree with your take on this. I really hate political correctness and would rather speak honestly and let my words stand on their own.

I grew up in a family that used more colorful terms for blacks, orientals, hispanics (latinos) and whatever. I didn't adopt their habits though. I guess I'm the african american sheep of the family ;)

5:28 AM  
Blogger General Catz said...

I'm afraid i'm with you, too. I am only third generation american, so theoretically more of an outsider than most blacks, whose ancestry is far older in the US. Should i call myself Russian-American? How about Russian-Caucasian-American? Or, to go further and use your logic, Asian-Caucsian-American?

The best example i ever heard was from a black woman who said, "I'm not African-American. I'm just American. I was born in America." Her name is Whoopie Goldberg.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Scott from Oregon said...

Typical hairy white glossy butt perspective. Lordy lordy lordy.

But that's OK. That was the hand you were dealt...

You can't help the fact that your ass is so white it looks like Dolly's cleavage on the UNDERSIDE...

The trouble with race and color is the associative memories that go with each. Words have history, and things hanging off of them with horrific connotations.

Why use the word Oriental at all?

Chinese, Japanese, Korean. Laotian... Aren't those more accurate and less generic?

I don't know... I'm not with you on this, nor am I against you. Except perhaps on the over PC thing. Or not. Hell. Quagmire... Ahhhhhhh...

7:19 PM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

Sorry for rambling but I just thought - names to label people tend to become pejorative regardless. At one time, a person with a low IQ was called an idiot. Then others used it to make fun of eachother and it was no longer politically correct. So they used moron. Same thing happened. Then slow. Then retarded. Then mentally handicapped. Then special. And so it goes. We just end up with a lot more nasty things to say to eachother because people are sensitive and don't want to be singled out in what could be a negative way.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Schmoopie said...

If you were born in this country, you are a Native American, period.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Judith said...

theres a lot of an influx of african nationals here in ireland over the last 10 years how funny would it be lets say in 20 years time their kids start calling themselves irish africans??!!

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH MAN, you had to go and be yourself again! I love you and I will agree with you about 94.7% of the time. This reminds me of a similarly controversial topic, I was reading an article about breastfeeding in public on MSNBC. Of course there is the "disgusting, or sexual, and private" remark, then the "natural and beautiful" stance. Then a light shone down and a woman from Japan stated that they have nursing rooms in every public place to facilitate women and their babies. Why doesn't the US? And a man from Malaysia said that it was sad that this was even an issue in the US, the rest of the world was fine with it. So if we are so advanced here why are we still having issues with things so trivial and primitive? As a nation and "a melting pot" we still have a lot to learn. -T.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

Dammit, your site ate my insightful comment AGAIN!

10:57 PM  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

and apparently jessica simpson is getting upset about being called stupid.......

look, if it makes everyone feel better, it`s entirely my fault.

handsome six foot tall english guy.


terribly sorry.

now, what was the question again?

10:00 PM  
Blogger slaghammer said...

I’ll call anybody anything they want me to call them anytime they tell me to do it. If they prefer “African American” from morning till noon and then “black” from noon until midnight, that’s totally fine with me. Asian, Oriental, whatever, just send me a freaking email or post it some public forum or another so I don’t have to guess. I was raised in a land where racism was a birth right and showing respect to other races, religions, and/or political views could get you in big trouble. I’m so godd*mned happy to be free of that miserable bs I think I’ll live the rest of my life in a state of ecstatic harmony with whatever politically correct tumbleweed blows through. That’s just me though, whatever anybody else wants to do, that’s fine with me too as long as it doesn’t involve guns and grieving widows.

10:42 PM  

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