Various Lies

Monday, January 17, 2011

Where to go...

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day, Dear Reader. In Memphis, we had the day off work so we could do something...uh...for the cause, or something. Not sure. I mean, our city (downtown) is 52% African American. We have a black mayor, have for over 20 years in fact. Dr. King was actually, totes IRL assassinated, or (even murdered!) right downtown, at the Lorraine Motel. I know dudes who worked for the city and like went on strike and stuff when that shit was going on. Marching and everything, cos they damn well cared. I've read about how the Black Power movement came out of those days, the militant branch giving up on Dr. King's message of peaceful progress. He was like the black Ghandi or something and it wasn't fast enough.

Thankfully the world is a better place now, and we all have a equal voice.

kali

This time last year a 'friend' of mine called my girlfriend a nigger. Because she was rear-ended by an ambulance and is looking to do nothing more than get her medical bills paid. But because she's black she's nothing more than a typically money grubbing nigger. Go figure. She's probably enjoying keeping Whitey down at the same time. Fucken white cracker ass motherfuckers keeping the black (wo)man down.

...Anyway...

Thankfully, the world has moved on a lot since Dr. King was murdered, but it hasn't moved nearly far enough. If I was posting this on my grown up blog I would stick a whole bunch of links to research on the neuroscience and psychology behind inter-racicial hate and fear. But we're not on my grown up blog. We're here. So I get to be pissed off and you can just read it, or leave.

I started dating Kali when we lived in Washington, D.C.. She's a musician, and I often went to the clubs she would play at. There was one, Bar None, a basement bar on U-Street and 14th. She would play at the open mic night there. Mostly it was spoken word poetry, but she would step up with her guitar and perform her music for the crowd. It was awesome to see my brand new, shiny, fresh out of the box girlfriend captivate a room, and I was so fucking frightened that someone was going to hurt me or beat me. Because I was white.

Of course after a couple of weeks I stopped thinking that every black man is Ice Cube in "Boyz in the Hood", and out to kill a white motherfucker. TV educated me. Real life re-educated me.

I was usually the only white in the room. Sometimes maybe one of two or three. Only once, out of a couple of dozen times, someone stepped on my foot and gave me the shoulder. I was curious why everyone was fine with me being there when it was clearly a Black Club.

"Oh, well you're not white. You're English."

That gave the lie to the whole ecumenical vibe I thought we were sharing. Turns out I wasn't welcome as a White. I was welcome as a foreigner.

Maybe it was just his perspective. I don't know. I've been through a lot of shit as a White dating a Black, and nothing has been any fucking easier since we moved to Memphis. 99% of it has been snide remarks, or comments, or judgement because she's black.

I'm not dating a lazy ass bitch. I'm not dating a fucking nigger. I'm not dating one of then dirty spear chuckers. I don't think it's funny when you make an off hand comment about "them". Who the fuck is "them"?

Dr. King believed in his cause. I think I believe in it too. It's a simple enough damn cause. The color of your skin shouldn't predicate anything but the fact you may or may not need suntan lotion. We have to work harder at this. How we do that? I'm just keeping about my business, treating my fellow humans like humans. I don't expect the world to change, but one thing we can do is make some small changes at home. Don't make stupid "Hug a N***** Day" jokes. Don't judge me on the color of my skin. Judge me on the actions I perform, the tone of my voice when we talk and how I treat you. America is a multi-cultural society but it will never, ever survive if we can't treat each other as equal humans first, and different cultures second.

16 comments:

Rift said...

Man, I can't even come close to understanding this.

I have had two serious girlfriends, one of whom was black, and my current one, asian. I have never come across any racist comments relating to her, or us as a couple. I have to admit there have been times when I've been the white-minority (which is a strange experience, I must say) but I've never been hassled for it.

I don't know if the people I move with, an Australian thing, or a US thing, but it sounds like something is really wrong - but hopefully getting better...

sciencegeeka said...

I've been lucky enough to be kind of outside the whole white/black thing. Part of it is because I don't care, and part of it is some weird genetics (Because I don't associate w/ the paternal part of my family, people have assumed that my dad is black or asian, neither is true).

Ironically, the worst I've gotten is from a boyfriend's mother, who told him he shouldn't date me because I was trying to 'pass'.

We'd all be a lot better if we'd treat our fellow humans as humans.

Dr Becca said...

Everything you write is gold.

Pharm Sci Grad said...

Word.

Anonymous said...

Wait, aren't you supposed to be castigated and cast out of polite society, regardless of context, because you wrote that word? I mean, if it's not acceptable for a author (Twain) to have used it when it was part of common parlance...

/did I beat the outrage brigade?

The Grand Inquisitor said...

i prefer to treat them as the scum they are. easier that way

tideliar said...

Thanks for the comments y'all.

tideliar said...

Thanks for the comments y'all.

microbiologist xx said...

Because all of my friends and the parts of my family I choose to associate with are not remotely racist, it's easy for me to forget that racism continues to be a problem. I'm so insulated from idiots, that I can actually almost convince myself that it's not that bad anymore. Then, I take a 4 day trip to the tiny town my in-laws live in where I hear black people referred to by all sorts of civil-war sounding names. We had to get up and leave when a 90 year old relative related that she had a "nigger man" to drive her around.
And they wonder why we don't come around more than once every year.

Nico said...

I like that you get a day off on Dr MLK's day, that's a nice change from all the days off we get for having massacred a few more of our neighbours, or for a bullshit royal wedding. I live in London, so it's easy for me to forget racism is alive and well, hardly any of my friends are English! I guess the BNP are kinda right when they say we take over...

I find it disheartening to see people who have been the victims of racism respond with even more racism, as sometimes happen, but like they say idiocy is the human trait most widely distributed...

Nico said...

PS: I am shocked, SHOCKED! to hear that you have a grown-up blog, what waste of swearing!

tideliar said...

@MXX: My maternal grandfather was like. When he thought one of my girlfriends in Uni might be Indian he refused to talk to me or my mother for 3 years. She was white, she just used henna on her hair... :/

@Nico: Did you get your invitation to Bill & Katie's wedding yet?

Candid Engineer said...

Beautifully written post. Not sure when Scientopia became "grown-up" and citations-only kind of place... can't say I always comply with that. :) But you know you should feel free to write whatever you want wherever you want.

I know what it's like to be the only woman in a roomful of men- and I'm not sure if I always was or if it just happened at some point- but I'm quite comfortable with that. Being the only white person in a room... is something I'd have to work on, is something I'd want to experience. If only for the value in putting my shoe on the other foot. Sometimes I think empathy is the best way to move forward in this world.

tideliar said...

Cheers CE

I was actually wondering if PhysioProf would stumble by - the grown up bit was to give him something to bite at :)

Juniper Shoemaker said...

Everyone needs sunblock, tideliar. No, I'm not shitting you.

:)

tideliar said...

Hi Juniper, thanks for stopping by.

I know we do all need to protect against UV, I'm alluding, as I'm sure you know, to the evolution of white skin, that's all :)

No one is "safe" from skin cancer. Which is why I appreciate and look after my 'moon' tan :D