Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blogging, White Guy, Racial Tension Blues

White vs. Black
(Seriously, don't google these terms)
Being a blogger has been challenging lately. I've got a lot going on in my life, big changes afoot. Lots to do, and lots to ponder. So, it puts blogging--a hobby, after all--kind of in the background of my brain. But there's a lot going on, so I want to come on here and opine, share and participate.

But dammit, can it get frustrating and depressing. The racial tension which has been stirred up by Ferguson and other similar cases has been hard to talk about. I'm a white guy, and though I'm gay and an atheist and thus something of an outsider, I'm aware that "white privilege" is a thing. Particularly since I fit the visual mold well enough to read as: non-threatening WASP male. I do not have to deal with the kind of crap other minorities do, and I'm aware of it. Plus, the cases are murky in places, with the victim generally less than a pillar of society, and the facts on the ground less than clear.

But beyond the deaths, and the looting and rioting, and the general feeling of tension, it's the angry white guy response that gets me down. I'm amazed how quick people are to call the victim a "thug." To imply that any bad behavior, petty crime, or even just less-than-respectful response to authority means the guy deserved to die. There's a desire to blame the victims for their own deaths. And the veiled (and unveiled) racially-tinged language just turns my stomach.
Seriously, my images may not be a terrific fit,
but if you search for it, put your filters on!

I believe that--as they say--everyone's a little bit racist. But, we should try not to be. We recognize irrational prejudice, do our best to tamp it down and/or hold it up to the light and get past it. It's the element that seems eager to drop all pretense and plunge straight ahead into full-on racism that is just depressing to me. Go read the comments section in virtually any newspaper or blog on the Ferguson or Staten Island cases (or any of a series of others), and read the Us vs. Them commentary. It stuff I thought we got past long ago, and it's not helpful in any way.

I guess it's too much to hope for that something in this country not boil down to right vs. left, black vs. white.


Police Killings Reveal Chasms Between Races

In the decade that Ashley Bernaugh, who is white, has been with her black husband, her family in Indiana has been so smitten with him that she teases them that they love him more than her. . .

Read more at: The New York Times


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