as racist as this country is, it’s somehow charming to discover that we’re even more bigoted against Mormons! the pollsters seem to go around asking, on a scale of four to thirteen, who do you hate more?
on the airplane home i half watched, half heard, the movie musical ‘hairspray’. entertaining, to be sure, but … i get so sick of movies that relegate (even when they celebrate) african-americans to nothing but singing and dancing and clowning around (or being thugs and lowlifes).
on a related note, what’s with all the immigration frenzy going on with republicans these days? are they all just hate-crazed and can’t find anyone else to pick on?
on our vacation i met a middle eastern man who was angry with india for out-sourcing. can anybody here say “planet earth?”
i also had a flash of one of my favorite pet peeves. the americas are commonly thought to have been settled by north asians who got lost chasing caribou across siberia, and yet … polynesian sailors settled hawaii a long time ago, and how unlikely was that? hawaii is tiny islands in the middle of freaking nowhere. those people must have been doing a heck of a lot of ocean-going to ever wind up there, and if they’d gone just a bit further, they would have hit the american continents for sure. there’s no way they could miss. and the continuum of human physical characteristics seems quite in line from africa to south asia to southeast asia to polynesia to hawaii to the mainland. maybe it’s just me, but given a choice between a band of hunters getting lost in the freaking arctic and eventually bumbling their way down to patagonia, versus experienced sailors who were clearly exploring the pacific on purpose, it seems an obvious one.
“I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said.”
elementary, my dear Watson. you are an idiot.
I’ve been reading on numerous blogs about this commercial but didn’t see it until today. It certainly does make you wonder what KFC had in mind when they wrote, produced, directed and distributed this commercial, because you know that marketing is rarely accidental.
This happy family doesn’t need a dad. Those kids just came out of nowhere, I suppose. But it’s okay, it’s all right, nobody’s missing that father. It’s assumed he wouldn’t be there anyway, isn’t it? Isn’t that the implication?
At least on the various black sitcoms the dad is just as fat, ugly and stupid as the white dads on the white sitcoms (with the exception of Everybody Hates Chris). Hell, even that fat, ugly, stupid dad would be welcome in this commercial.
It seems pretty obvious to me that if this was a white family, an asian family, an hispanic family, even a jihadist islamic arab family, the dad would be there too. that’s why the stereotype – the racist intent – is so pernicious. the absence speaks louder than words.
A catalog of Bill O’Reilly’s references to African-Americans, grouped by topic, from Huffington Post
Jesse Jackson criticizes Obama for not showing up for the Jena 6 protest in Louisiana. Okay, but where are Hillary, Edwards, Giuliani, Romney? All of those people should be there!
Two stories dominate the headlines: Michael Vick is cruel to dogs, and Senator Craig is a bathroom-cruising queer. The press brings up the usual “racial divide” in the question of Vick, but they don’t bring it up in regards to Craig. This is a racial divide in itself.
A tiresome one.
Speaking of pre-determined narratives and the media, this post by Los Angelista had me thinking about that again. The policy of the media giants (Newsweek is owned by MSNBC, which is owned by Time Warner which also owns Time, vs. Fox which owns another third, vs.Viacom which owns the rest) seems to be to make the news fit their pre-determined narratives. I wouldn’t be surprised if you researched their history of African-American stories and found they all revolve around some poll differences where “blacks think A” and “whites think B”. It seems to be their whole story (see? we ARE different after all!). So, why bother with anything that actually happens, when you have a perfectly good story to add on to like sequels? Which of the following does not fit this mold?
- OJ (blacks for, whites against)
- Rodney King
- Rap Music
- Barry Bonds (yeah, even trivial things)
- Barack Obama
Surprise! It all fits! Everything having to do with race in America always will fit!
70 percent versus 12 percent. 88 percent versus 9 percent. 60 percent versus 36 percent. They love their little polls.
What does your heritage mean when you don’t know where you come from? I’ve been thinking about this lately from several perspectives:
1) What if Barack Obama had been adopted and no one knew anything about his father? How would that effect perceptions? Would there still be people saying he isn’t “black enough”, or “isn’t really black”, because of the quantity if melanin in his skin? I doubt it.
2) My wife – who was adopted – discovered her own Jewish heritage only in her twenties, when she found out about her birth father. Now she is trying to find the place for that heritage in her own life (she was raised California Protestant but is now Bay Area Agnostic). She finds that her most important values (education, community, family) are also strong values of the Jewish tradition. These values are certainly not exclusive to her or to Jewishness – does it matter which labels you put on these values?
3) I was somehow sure that my grandparents on my mother’s side were from Bohemia or Austria – and I discovered only as a grown man that they were in fact from Poland. What is my Polish heritage, and what happens to the Bohemian heritage I thought I had? I know nothing, really, about Polish culture, but then again I knew almost nothing about Czech or Austrian culture either. I feel no heritage at all in relation to these nation-states or ethnicities. My other half is German Jewish and I feel the same way about that. What I do feel is that I am a 21st Century Northern Californian American.
4) My father is a self-proclaimed “fanatical atheist”, but in his life’s work, as a compassionate therapist, author and social worker, his values are very close to the ‘Theology of Liberation’ developed by radical priests in Latin America. He is – in his teachings – remarkably close to the Jesus they worship in theirs. It is the values that matter, not the names that go on them. The Jesus of loving, of giving, of sharing, of affirming and welcoming all, is a good enough Jesus for any fanatical atheist to accept a human being worth honoring. (The gay-bashing, woman-hating, damnation-threatening, nasty Jesus according to St. Paul, on the other hand, is basically a jerk).
I am not a big fan of the concepts of nations and races and ethnicities and tribes. On the one hand, people like to celebrate their commonalities, their traditions, their music and clothing and food, but on the other hand – we all know the ugly side of that stuff. Will it ever be possible to have the one without the other? 21st Century Northern Californian America is as close as I will probably ever see it. Which is why I am proud of that heritage.