I had a good vacation but I made one mistake. I watched too much news. I got to see and read too much coverage about the Shirley Sherrod, NAACP, Tea Party and Fox News fiasco. It was hard to watch that stuff. It seemed like everyone except Mrs. Sherrod wasn’t thinking clearly. After the health care debate got out of hand I have been able to deal with these racial issues because I know three things. 1. The president’s administration won’t have your back when the drama starts. They don't want any parts of the race debate. 2. Organizations like the NAACP have watered down the issue of race to the point where it’s become limited to name calling and hurt feelings. That doesn't take away anything these groups have done in the past. I respect and honor that but fighting racism in these days and times is much more layered than just someone saying the N word and we have trouble dealing with it. 3. What Fox news is doing is way more about brainwashing white people than it is about me. When we play along we just help the process.
The saddest part about things like this is the way people keep trying to put the issue of race into one box. It’s either has to be all the way one way or the other. In 2010 race is a complicated thing. There are so many ways you can talk the situation that it’s almost impossible to come to a clear conclusion about anything. My opinion changes from situation to situation. I’m much more serious about the systematic things like education and the justice system. I’m much less affected by the name calling and stereotypical things. Only people willing to be opened minded should even attempt to discuss it openly. There are so many other things to take into account than just skin color. There’s education, geographic location, economics and all kinds of other factors. A lot of the issue has to do with life experiences. That actually makes racism more confusing because people can ignore personal experiences in favor of generalizations. We could be living in a country where no two people have the same exact views on race unless they are too dumb to think for themselves and just follow what someone else tells them.
I can only speak for myself. The best way I could describe my attitude about race is that I have a necessary acceptance of a certain amount of superficial racism. I’m sad to admit that but it’s true. Too many white people have done things for me in my life to paint them all with a broad brush. It would be unfair and dishonest to sit here and tell you that I think all white people are trying to hold me back. I couldn't look those folks in the face again if I did that. Besides, I was raised to believe that I could make any person respect me if I carried myself the right way and that’s been true 95% of the time no matter what race the other person is. At the same time I listen to talk radio, I read blogs and internet comments. I know that there is a section of the population that is judging me based on something they heard on the news or watched on BET. I realize that no matter how well I treat my kids, or how hard I work, there will always be someone that looks at me as inferior.
When me and my friends go to a nice restaurant or Best Buy there’s going to be someone in there thinking to themselves that their money is paying for my steak or buying my new television. I can’t do anything to change their minds even if I showed them my check stub and made them realize I make more than they do. That’s their problem and not mine. Why should I be miserable and let them mess up the taste of my steak because of their closed minds? The funny part is that the person doing it is probably telling it to his son and they are both wearing Reggie Bush jerseys. My main focus is my own actions and making sure that the next generation has even better opportunities than I have. That’s the way to move past all of this in my opinion. We just have to work and educate ourselves through it because talking isn’t working.
Some of the people who read this won’t agree with me. Then there will be some others that wonder why I am being so lenient on the white man. Others will read it and say I am lying and can’t wait for the next FEMA check like the rest of the blacks from New Orleans. I could respond to all those people all at once and tell them to get together to kiss my ass but then we would be right back where we started from and that’s exactly what’s happening now. That’s why we need to start ignoring some of these things in the media if they are not going to deal with it seriously.