Author: Yennaedo Balloo
I’m thinking back to a fairly classic episode of “South Park” in which Stan’s father yells out the “N” word on national TV. He thinks it’s the solution to a puzzle on Wheel of Fortune, the clue being “People that annoy you.” The solution was actually “Naggers.” Stan’s father goes on to apologize to Jesse Jackson as Stan and his black friend Token retaliate that Jesse Jackson is not the emperor of black people.
The lesson that comes from the episode is that Token and Stan finally patch things up when Stan admits that he’ll never “get” Token’s being upset at the use of the word, and the boys finally make amends as all is well in South Park, Colorado again.
The fact is that white people trying to impose their “understanding” of racial trials and tribulations for other races isn’t racist. When the non-white races are faced with that imposition, retaliation is often taken as a rebuttal and accusation of the white person(s) in question being racist. Maybe the word gets tossed out extravagantly too, but the reality is this: white people can’t truly understand the struggle and issues a non-white race suffers. We can all read about it, and we can watch Spike Lee movies, but in the true level of “understanding” white people simply can’t manage it.
Here’s the lesson: trying to tell colored people how to feel about a given subject, occurrence, or word is wrong because you can’t understand how it makes them/us feel. Here’s your comfort: that’s ok.
To my fellow non-whites: accusing someone of being racist is a heavy accusation, and to do so because they’re trying to be sympathetic is wrong. They can’t understand, but that doesn’t mean we should get a mob of CTSJ self-righteousness up their asses.I could spend time looking up quotations from theorists and race commentary, but frankly, people getting up their own asses with self-assured-intellectual-masturbatory statements only dilutes a message. Let’s be honest, don’t we all, on some level appreciate white people with their pastel polo shirts, lack of rhythm, dressing ridiculously for sporting event, fascination with cultures that aren’t their own, casual gentrification, green lifestyle, granola, obsession with Sci Fi, fetish for Asian girls, love of bumper stickers, boat shoes, and appreciations for Dane Cook?
So white guy, you’re not racist for not understanding, but you’re being offensively insensitive by trying to force your appraisals on people who you cannot understand. Try to be more cognizant of these things. Take people pointing out when they’re offended with a grain of salt and shrug off those who quickly call you racist, because you’re not. Chill, do what us colored folks do: ignore people who are dicks, and you can probably live a happy life.
Yennaedo Balloo is a senior ECLS major. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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