Monday, August 13, 2007

Another Racial Post

Okay, today I'm going to become uncharacteristically racist in order to try to make a point and attempt to better a race. Keep in mind, I'm saying "racist" in my disclaimer, not "bigoted." There is a difference. Racist is when you focus on a specific race. Bigoted is when you start making broad, generalized, stereotypical, and false statements about a particular race because you're ignorant.

My intent is not to be bigoted. I'm going to be focusing primarily on a particular race, but I am by no means including all members of that race in my comments. Just a particular demographic, and you'll know who you are and who you aren't, if my predictions are correct, by how pissed off you get while reading it. Yes, it still pisses me off that race is to this day such an issue that I have to predicate any post that focuses on a race with a disclaimer, even if I'm trying to help improve racial relations, because most people are too lazy to take comments in context these days and would rather accuse you of something you're not to compensate their lack of understanding. I guess it's just one more thing that keeps me controversial enough to never, ever, get featured in the Blogs of Note column.

All that preamble being said, one thing that irritates the fire out of me are the lazy and ignorant of the black community expecting to be handed opportunities without any justification. That being said, again, I'm targeting a specific demographic in the black community, not the entire black community. I know there are many dedicated and intelligent black people in the world who have earned their success through harder work than most other people need perform. This is not about them. They are pillars of their community, prides of their race, examples of accomplishment, and positive role models for the youth of the nation. I also fully comprehend that there are just as many lazy and ignorant white people in the world. I see them every day. However the difference is that, whereas they may be just as demanding for entitlement as their darker-skinned counterparts, they don't seem nearly as indignant about it. That is what irritates me about the situation, not the demand for entitlement, but the pure, unbridled adamance over it.

I'm sure by now, you've identified the specific demographic I'm targeting here. It's those who have made poverty a way of life, not for the lack of opportunity to advance, but the lack of desire to take advantage of the opportunities given to everyone. I'm not even talking about the people in poverty due to circumstances beyond their control, but solely those who glorify their poverty through ignorance and a lack of will to succeed. No one has had fame and fortune just handed to them; everyone's gotten what they have in their life through hard work and dedication. Okay, some people are born into an established fortune, but don't think that someone along the line hadn't had to work hard to amass that fortune, and don't think it won't collapse into a colossal shitpile of failure unless they eventually pull themselves up by the bootstraps and take responsibility for the success of the family business. So everyone's got to work hard to either get, or keep, what they have. No matter who you are, you are defined by how hard you want to work and how much you want to learn, and if you work hard enough and educate yourself enough, you create your opportunities, but there will always be those who don't want to work hard and become educated and would just like their opportunities handed to them on the condition of their heritage. These are the people I'm talking about.

I know your race has had a hard time of it in the past. However, I think it's about time to stop holding it over people's heads and using it to guilt people into giving you something you have not personally earned. I would say "get over it," but that sounds harsh. No, I don't want you to forget the years and decades and centuries of utter shit and depravity your people went through to get where you are today, but I think it's high time to stop relying so heavily on it as if it's all you have to define yourselves, too. You have so much more to offer the world than the legacy of suffering of your ancestors if you would just move past it and apply yourselves.

I'm not going to deny that what your ancestors went through was a horrible experience. They were sold into slavery by their own people, and we bought them. We shouldn't have, but we did. Eventually, we came to our senses and apologized for that. We recognized you as free people. We've made it virtually impossible to legally treat you with prejudice. In fact, we've gone so far as to put your rights above our own in a lot of cases. We've given you every opportunity to advance yourselves, all we ask of you is that you apply yourselves and take advantage of the ample opportunities before you, yet some of you have the gall to tell us that it's not good enough because you don't want to apply yourselves; you just want to be given whatever it is you want. We tell you that you can be rich and successful if you just get an education and work, we'll even guide you and give you opportunities that we don't even have, yet some of you would rather we just give you a million dollars for nothing more than the skin color you were born with. That's racist.

You have many stalwart examples of how far you can make it if you try. The Obamas, Colin Powell, Michael Jordan, Morgan Freeman, Bryant Gumbel, Condi Rice, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King Jr.; I could fill pages with the names of well-spoken, educated, rich, and successful black men and women if I really put my mind to it, so you can't tell me that a black person who desires success and devotes him- or herself to an education cannot be successful. If you notice, all of the most respected black people are eloquent, intelligent, enlightened, and well-mannered. They aren't speaking in kindergartenish pidgin, throwing away their money on gold rims and diamond-studded teeth, slinging guns, drinking fo'ties, smoking pot, ignoring their children or abusing their spouses, or listening to musicians who generally portray a farcical lifestyle of glorified depravity balanced with absolutely no redeeming qualities. Stop trying to emulate 50 Cent and T-Pain because no one is going to take you seriously if you talk like you're retarded. They shorten words to fit a beat, not because it's cool to sound ignorant.

Of course, white people have just as much a problem with this, and they have just as much an excuse, which is none. They think they can be lazy and uneducated and somehow get whatever they want, too, and what they can't have handed to them, they just take. However, white people don't have nearly the number of scholarships offered to them just for having a particular racial heritage. White people don't have affirmative action working toward them, virtually guaranteeing their success once they choose to apply themselves. I don't know if white people are statistically any more or less likely to demand positive reinforcement for laziness, but I do know they have a far less viable argument. What I'm saying here is that just like anyone else successful in this country, you have to work for it. We give you ample opportunities to exploit if you can just educate yourselves enough to take advantage of them. Ask any of the successful black men and women in America and they'll tell you that it might have been a long and arduous journey, but with enough determination, anybody of any race can be a success in this country. You simply do not need people to hand you money when you can earn it, and then you have something come along with it that money can't buy: pride.

Of course, saying all of this I'm sure makes me racist. Bill Cosby, another prime example of a successful, educated black man in America, told the same demographic of the black community to stop acting like fools and get an education, and they claimed Bill Cosby was being racist against his own race. It's not racist if you're emploring people to better themselves. It's not racist to emplore a race to overcome its stereotypes. It's more racist for the race to adhere to its stereotypes at the mere cost of its dignity. Of course, I have to bear in mind that there is a certain wealthy and corrupt portion of the population as well, in whose best interests it is to keep the majority of the population uneducated because an uneducated population is simply not a threat. They don't question; they don't reason; they just believe what they're told and spend their money on worthless junk. That in itself should be enough to make this demographic angry enough to want to learn and succeed, because otherwise they're being taken advantage of.

Of course, I do realize here that I'm preaching to the choir. Anyone intelligent enough to actually read and comprehend this entire article has already surpassed the demographic toward which it is dedicated. Anyone to whom it might be addressed I highly suspect wouldn't understand it and would just accuse me of racism. It is not. It's not racist of me to believe that anyone of any race has the power to accomplish great things, and it's not racist of me to beg every member of the race to realize this and overcome their barriers. To those who are applying themselves and reaching their dreams, you are doing yourselves and your race proud. To those who aren't, all I ask is that you put in an equal amount of effort. Every successful member of your race at one point had to do the same thing. Greatness is within your grasp, but nobody is going to just hand it to you. You do have to reach for it.

np: Simple Minds - "Reel To Real"

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