Hooray! After 496 posts – your humble scribe finally got his first comments from a TROLL!
Of course, he would not wish to burden you, his esteemed reader, with moronic, abusive rants. Thus he SCREENS all comments and sent these ones STRAIGHT to Delete Permanently – and BLOCKED their contributor’s IP.
However, this is not to say that he would fail to publish a comment just because he disagreed with it. Heaven forfend! Provided the comment were reasoned and civil, he would publish it immediately – along with his reaction to it.
But of course, Trolls do not know the MEANING of the words reasoned or civil. They lack the INTELLECT to reason – and the decency to be civil.
So which piece attracted the attention of his first Troll?
Surprisingly, it was the one which follows THIS piece. It was about pretentious names – specifically, common names which are misspelled or mispronounced to give them an “exotic” flavour.
But it stated that with this phenomenon, black Americans are the worst offenders. And it appeared to be THIS which stung the Troll into action.
Nevertheless, the Troll’s accusations of racism DID give this writer food for thought. Not that he thought his piece might have been unjust – but rather, that there was a whole ISSUE concerning racism today. An issue which he felt was worthy of sensible discussion.
It really all stems from the dreaded Political Correctness. PC was originally designed to eradicate racism, sexism and a whole bunch of other -isms.
Before PC, casual racism, sexism, ageism, etc., were daily currency. Mostly, it had less to do with outright hostility than simple ignorance.
People who were white, male, straight, etc. – did not realise the HURT they were inflicting on those who happened to be black, female, gay, etc. – by thoughtless comments and tasteless jokes.
Something had to be done. Enter PC.
But as is usually the case with these things – the pendulum swung too far. And pretty soon, no-one knew WHERE they were.
If a gentleman gave up his seat for a lady – she might SLAP him for being SEXIST.
And FORGET about calling a black youth “boy” – even if he WAS one.
While comedy shows became a MINEFIELD of confusion. Was it “okay” to laugh at THIS joke? Or THAT one? Was that sexist? Racist? Anti-gay? Anti-parrot?
What started out as a tool to right injustice quickly drove society into PARANOIA.
Of course, we have all had time to evaluate this Brave New World now. But there is still a lot of silliness out there. And nowhere is it more rampant than in the area of racism.
So what IS racism?
Well, to deny a person basic RIGHTS, based on the colour of their skin – or physical differences to YOUR race – is fundamentally WRONG. No question.
And to ATTACK someone for the same reason – whether physically or emotionally – is obviously ALSO wrong.
But what about having a little fun with a person’s STEREOTYPE? We ALL fall into a NUMBER of stereotypes – this columnist included – and RECOGNISING those characteristics is part of how we can COMMUNICATE WITH OTHERS. ACCEPT them – as DIFFERENT.
One of the most heinous sins of PC is its insistence we are all the SAME. Anyone who has LIVED can tell you we are NOT.
Sure, we are all entitled to the same RESPECT as human beings. And the same opportunities. And the same human rights.
But does that MAKE us the same? Of course not.
Post-PC, many people are still UPTIGHT. They stiffen at the word “black”.
Even a throwaway joke about the WELSH got Anne Robinson into trouble. Forget about her getting the SACK – some people wanted her JAILED.
Which is where this observer wants to get OFF the Crazy Bus.
RACISM is defined as: “The prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races” and “Discriminatory or abusive behaviour towards members of another race.”
Nowhere in that does it say we cannot DISCUSS our DIFFERENCES.
“Intrinsically” means THROUGHOUT – that one is claiming one’s race to be TOTALLY superior to another. Individual aspects of behaviour do NOT constitute TOTAL superiority.
A Kenyan can generally run faster than an American – but Americans got a man onto the Moon. A Scot invented the pneumatic tyre – but a German invented the automobile that runs on them. We could go on.
The point is, all peoples have their strong points and weak ones. And all have their good and bad traits. Which is further complicated by the fact that a trait which one person may find attractive – might be abhorrent to another. And vice-versa.
Which brings us neatly back to the THRUST of this piece. People are DIFFERENT. And recognising that undeniable fact does not make you a RACIST – merely a REALIST.
“Discriminatory or abusive behaviour” – THAT is racism. Not an appreciation – or even a gentle ribbing of – our DIFFERENCES. They make us who we ARE.
So by all means check out the following piece – this author has left it word-for-word, the way it was written.
And if you ARE black – AND American – and even have a name that qualifies as PRETENTIOUS – leave a comment. Provided it is reasoned and civil – rest assured I will publish it in FULL.