All tagged racism

You're a Jackass, not a Joker: Why Some Topics are Never Comedy Fodder

This week I was having a conversation with a coworker and in the midst of our chat he made a rather sexist joke. Now it wasn't a "women belong in the kitchen" type thing. It was a little more subtle than that but it was a sexist comment nevertheless and I didn't like it. So I didn't laugh. And then I told him why I didn't laugh. After all, I have to work with this guy every day and there's no way I was going to be dealing with that crap more than once. Anyway, we had a calm exchange about it which basically boiled down to me saying I don't find sexism funny, and him declaring it was just a joke and suggesting that perhaps I should be a little less uptight. Ah, of course, the problem is that I'm too high strung, not that you think sexism is funny. Of course!

Well the whole situation got me thinking about jokes and where the line is drawn between funny and rude, appropriate and out of line, offense and sensitivity. 

Dear White People: Thoughts on Ferguson

[It's been a long time since  I've penned  a blog post. I've been bogged down with school and work and generally too busy to get on here. But some things are so important you have to make time to talk about them. In my gender and women's studies class this week, after the decision was made by the Grand Jury to not indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Mike Brown, my professor asked us how we felt. What I intended to be a short response turned into a long outpouring of grief and frustration. Answering his questions helped me to gather my thoughts on the situation. Here they are.]

 

While I was disappointed and hurt by the decision, I was not surprised. That was the part that hurt me the most. I wanted so badly to be surprised. But I knew better than to raise my expectations. The US "justice" system had failed so many times before, I knew better than get my hopes up. Still I had a hard time breathing, just as I had when the Zimmerman verdict was read. My heart still sunk and tears still sprang to my eyes.

Letter from a Toronto Suburb

On Saturday, August 9th, another innocent, young black man fell dead in the streets with his hands in the air, fired upon by a Caucasian police officer. Upon hearing the news, I was struck by the same sickening feeling I had when I heard that George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin who was suspiciously wearing a hoodie on a cool February evening; or when I read about the black woman beaten by a state trooper on the side of a California highway because she was talking to herself; or when I saw the news about John Crawford III who was shot and killed in a Walmart armed with nothing but a toy gun; or when I learned about the shooting of Relisha McBride whose only crime was needing help when her car broke down. Too many stories of black men and women being brutalized and killed for things that white people can do without fear. And each time it happens, our hearts cry, “Not again!” But it has been happening again and again.

Yes, slavery was abolished hundreds of years ago. Segregation ended decades ago. And yet, the systematic devaluation of black life—the implication that we are inferior and worthy of fear and distrust, this deeply ingrained belief that our work, our time, our contributions to society, our very lives are worth that much less than that of our pale-skinned cohorts—has not changed. 

It's Not For Them: Why Your White Friend Shouldn't be Saying Nigga

I honestly expected the most ignorant thing to come out of Instagram’s new video feature to be twerk videos and 15 second sex tapes. Silly me. I give this generation too much credit. Yesterday, as I was scrolling down my timeline, I came across a video captioned, “Give em permission to use nigga” with a screen shot of a white dude. Oh? Again, because I like to hope for the best, I clicked on the video with my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t hear this white guy casually drop the “n-word” for the amusement of his black friends. I’m such a silly optimist. Of course the white dude said nigga, and of course his black friend laughed uproariously. I sat there trying to figure out why the hell it was so amusing. I’m still at a loss. What I’m not confused about, are my feelings toward the word: I don’t like it.