Ask a Genial Black Man! – April 2, 2015

Sometimes I receive interesting queries on my many social media pages (up to 105 Likes on Facebook! PROGRESS?!) that are as thought-provoking as they are typed into a user interface. They’re more deserving of 1-2 paragraph answers afforded through Facebook and Twitter.

That’s why I’ve devoted this post for my advice/opinion column (not to be confused with my op-ed column, EAT POOP!), “Ask a Genial Black Man!” !!!

Clint Ingram wrote:

God I am so sick of all this white privilege and white are racist bullshit …. Is there still racism? Sure. You’d have to be an idiot to think otherwise. But is racism exclusive to whites? Not by a long fucking shot. Everyone is a racist in some way. Its not exclusive to any race, to point at any one race and claim they are racist for something that happened in the past, something they don’t condone or had any part in, is racist in itself.

Not really a question — unless you count “Is there still racism?” as a legitimate inquisition — but here goes.

I understand what you’re saying, and yes, racism is not limited to one race. That said, there is a valid reason and right for people to cite a majority group for instituting and profiting from systemic racism. By voicing what they are feeling, they are making their reality known. It may not make sense to your reality, but that doesn’t mean it is any less valid.

And in terms of privilege, the ability to say that someone’s racial views are bullshit and be sick of it is within the definition the article covers. To be in the majority group and not be sympathetic to the plights and comments of a minority group is to use phrasing like “I am so sick of all this white privilege and white are racist bullshit.” If you were a person of color in a society with a majority ethnicity, you would be exposed to unique situations and treatment, and that might lend some shading to your viewpoint.

There are troubling things happening in society relating to race, and a fundamental problem is that there are people that are being treated unfairly because of the belief that someone of another ethnicity is different from the majority and poses a threat to their way of life.

The ability to not suffer the same fate when placed in the same situation because of your ethnicity is privilege. The ability to disagree with a person of color and view their opinion as bullshit because you don’t have that perspective is privilege. The ability to complain without offering a solution is privilege. The ability to not truly engage in conversation and learn from others is privilege.

No one is stopping any race from complaining about racism and privilege. But to ignore the very real commentary from others and/or dismiss it as “bullshit” is as ignorant as any blatant racism that is unfortunately performed on a daily basis.

A sane person wrote:

(Regarding the Phoenix police officer not being charged for killing an unarmed black man) so, basically what has been decided here is that death is the penalty for resisting arrest if you’re a black man in Phoenix?

Yep, if you’re a black man in Phoenix, New York City, Ferguson — basically America.

***

That’s it for this edition of “Ask a Genial Black Man!” Please send any questions, and I might answer them in 18 months or so.

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2 thoughts on “Ask a Genial Black Man! – April 2, 2015

  1. A black man almost anywhere in the United States. I read compulsively while I was between jobs, and those readings … horrifying. Horrifying how many black men (and women) are killed with little to no repercussion, as if to encourage others. I will never see things through my old lens of wishful thinking again.

    Like

    1. It’s sad, although unsurprising, that most Americans turn a blind eye to such acts. For example, coverage on the Ice Bucket Challenge overshadowed the first few months of Ferguson news; a trend that, in hindsight, wasted water in the name of philanthropy, was deemed more newsworthy than the death of an unarmed man. That’s what we’re working with in 2015.

      Liked by 1 person

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