Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What the Heck Is Wrong With People?

Yeah... it's been over two months since the last post. Wow! Time flies, kiddies! Quick update: workflow has been steady, interspersed with periods of craziness, so the freelancing is still going swimmingly... knock wood and big thanks to my regular clients who have kept the work coming! (But usually I'm too dang frazzled to sit down and compose a blog post on the rare occasion that I actually have the time to do it! Guess I need to work on that.)

So, in the past couple months, it seems like there's been a lot of stupid racial stuff and intolerance going on in the news. Why is it that skin color is still such an issue in this country? First it was the Cheerios commercial. I cannot believe that some people were upset that the spot featured a family who happened to be biracial. Now, I'm not naive. I know that there are still a lot of racist idiots in this country, but I guess I didn't think that having a mixed-race couple in a TV spot would generate such an outpouring of hatred. Kudos to General Mills for not pulling the ad, and for their stance against the bigots and malicious small-minded clods.

I have hope for the future though. Check out this short from the Fine Bros., where they asked kids what they thought about the commercial and about the racist backlash it generated. Warmed my heart.

Then there's the Paula Deen N-word controversy. She admitted in a deposition on another matter that she had used the N-word in the past. (You can read the whole deposition here if you want.) It was very small part of the deposition, and she also said that she used the word when she worked in a bank (so it was DECADES ago) in reference to a bank robber who had held a gun to her head, and possibly other times but not in a hateful, directed way.

I don't condone her use of the N-word, but I kinda think the whole thing was blown out of proportion. She wasn't spewing the same kind of hatred that the commenters on the Cheerios youtube page were. She just used a word ages ago that was commonly used back then in the deep south. It doesn't excuse it, but at least she was honest about it. And while I think there should be repercussions (because she IS a public figure after all), the corporate reaction may have been just a little too harsh. But maybe not... the N-word is such a hot-button issue that her corporate partners may have felt they had no other choice but to sever all ties like they did.

Why IS the N-word still such a hot-button issue? Why is it that the N-word has so much negative power when a white person says it, but not when a black person does? If it's such a negative word, shouldn't everyone avoid using it? And why is it that slurs for other races and ethnicities don't seem to cause such a media uproar? Aren't they just as bad as the N-word? Again... it just seems stupid that something as random as skin color can cause people to hate each other. Wouldn't it be great if nobody would ever used those words? Or if they didn't carry such hurtful connotations? In a perfect world, friends.

Most recently, there's the George Zimmerman trial. I'm not sure how much of that tragedy stemmed from racism, or how much of the not guilty verdict did either. Maybe none. And while I don't think Zimmerman should have been found guilty of murder (because it didn't appear to be premeditated), I do think he should have been convicted of manslaughter or negligent homicide. After all, the confrontation -  no matter who started it - never would have happened if Zimmerman had obeyed the police 911 operator's instructions not to get out of his truck and follow Trayvon Martin. In that way, he's responsible for the death that occurred. That may be the basis of the Martin family's civil suit, should they elect to bring one.

But news involving intolerance isn't just race-related lately. Why are people so opposed to same-sex marriage? Just like with skin color, why should gender matter to anyone else other than the two people involved in the marriage or relationship? What's it to YOU, Bub? Seriously. A group called the "Alliance Defending Freedom" tried to block the legalization of same-sex marriage. Did you get that? The group is called the Alliance Defending Freedom... and yet they don't want gay couples to be free to marry. Ironic, isn't it?  Just more small-minded bigotry. They say they're defending freedom, but only if it's THEIR brand of "freedom". What are they afraid of? Opponents have said that allowing same sex marriage would undermine the sanctity of "traditional" marriage between a man and a women. I don't see how it possibly could, but maybe it's just me.

I hope someday we can all see people for who they really are instead of seeing their skin color or their sexual preference, or their financial status, or their political affiliation or their religion. I just don't understand why some people have such a problem accepting others solely because they're different in some way. One of the kids in the Fine Bros. video said right... people should be judged on their character and their personality, and nothing else.

I know it's not just me, but I wish there were more of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment