Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hey Stupid, There is a Big Difference

I read a post a while back on The Field Negro about Toby Keith's new song that celebrates the glory of stringing up gangstas.

I digested the new info, shook my head at the stupidity and then decided to move on with my life. It's my standard response to garden variety racism.

Unfortunately, this act of racial stupidity involved nooses. In recent months I've been slapped in the face with the fact that issues involving nooses bring out a special type of stupid in many white people. That means that when I saw the topic discussed at other venues, I also saw a lot of comments that really pissed me off.

Objective studies have shown that white people in America are actually not as dumb as many black people think. In fact, they have the highest levels of education on average of any non-immigrant group in the country. (Certain immigrants have higher education levels because we only let the smart ones in legally.)

Sadly, despite their education, many white people suffer from a disorder that causes them to compare horrible acts of violence committed against minorities to vaguely similar, less horrific acts committed against white people. This typically occurs during discussions about the present day impact of historical racism.

This disorder is called Compulsive Comparison Dementia.

CCD is like an involuntarily spasm of the sphincter that causes feces to fly from your butt. Only it's your mouth that's plagued with the spasms even if you are still spewing shit.

People are often struck by the disorder without warning and they tend to spout ridiculous comparisons that have no basis in reality:

"Asians immigrants succeed; why can't blacks?"
"Italian and Irish immigrants were discriminated against too, you don't see them still complaining like black people."
"Africans held slaves too, and slavery used to exist in Eastern Europe as well."
"White people got lynched in the West just like black people got lynched in the South, so why is talking about lynching somebody such a big deal?"

That last hypothetical comment brings me back to the initial thrust of this blog post, Mr. Toby Keith.

Keith's new song advocates vigilante violence and is accompanied by a video showing a black youth dressed in typical urban fashion as a potential target for that violence. In a shocker, Keith's video is becoming quite popular among conservatives, and has garnered the singer lots of media attention. He's been cheered for setting the record straight and giving Americans some advice they can finally use.

Shockingly, his song has made some black people unhappy. We tend to view songs about nooses and death by hanging as warnings, not good dancing music. In fact, we don't call it death by hanging, we call it lynching. As black people have made their unhappiness known, many white people have found themselves struck by Compulsive Comparison Dementia, which has forced them to say things like the aforementioned comments about lynching.

The lynching comment is both idiotic and inaccurate. White people in the West did not get lynched. They were hanged. There is a difference between those two things, a massive, enormous, colossal difference.

Getting hanged means a jury of your peers found you guilty of a crime and decided to hang you for it.

Getting lynched means somebody pulled you from bed for an impromptu, midnight picnic where the main thing going on the grill is you.

Big difference.

Now, I understand that white people sometimes organized themselves into a posse and hunted down particularly bad criminals to hang them. I know that frontier justice could be brutal and capricious.

I also know that the cats getting strung up in the West weren't getting their testicles and ears cut off before they met the rope. I know their crimes were more egregious than looking at a white woman. I know the people getting killed typically were not children.

I know they weren't getting lynched.

So, like many black people, I tend to bristle when I hear someone complain that all the fuss about lynching and nooses is unnecessary. Then I realize that person probably suffers from CCD and they can't help being an idiot.

That helps most of the time.

(Sidenote: Since creating his ode to lynching Toby Keith also had this to say:
"I think the black people would say he [Obama] don't talk, act or carry himself as a black person."

"What does that even mean?" the audibly shocked Beck replied.

"Well, I don't know what that means," Keith drawled, "but I think that that's what they would say. Even though the black society would pull for him I still think that they think in the back of their mind that the only reason he is in [the general election] is because he talks, acts and carries himself as a Caucasian."

Toby Keith is a dumbass. Yes he is.)


WNG said...

I haven't even been able to really post about this because none of the words I type about him go over four letters.
I've never been a fan of Keith's music or politics but this steps so far over the line into offensive that it's ridiculous. He gives country music a bad name and he knew EXACTLY what he was doing. The man makes me sick.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Good old real red necks alive and dreaming of lynching.

I'm with WNG I have a lot of things I want to say but I can not say them. The pure anger.

Of course being black and being smart and well spoken are mutually exclusive in his world.

Jackazz INDEED!!


Anonymous said...

What you wrote really needs to be drilled into the heads of white folks who love to state that white folks also were lynched. Nope, like you said, there was a world of difference between being hung and getting lynched. The two IMO really cannot be compared.

Big Man said...

Yeah, folks don't seem to want to understand the difference between and lynching and hanging.

Toby Keith idiocy is mildly comforting. At least we know we won't have to worry about him sneaking anything by us.

sixfive said...

Thanks for posting this, I went ahead and updated Keith's Wikipedia page..

MCBias said...

I apologize for taking somewhat of a tangent on this. But as a Christian, what makes me the most angry about this is the call to vigilante violence. This seems to be one of those ugly roots of the American entrepreneurial spirit that is so celebrated. We'll start our million-dollar businesses, but we'll also kill our own villains if the government won't do it for us. It's extremely troubling to see so many of our books, music, and movies elevate the concept that man is above the law. I'll digress before I get into the "are there absolutes" debate.

Big Man said...


I agree with you on the vigilante thing. America is a nation of laws as long as those laws don't interfere with us doing what we really want to do. Then the laws no longer matter. The post I just published about the kidnapping is proof of that.

Deacon Blue said...

I already posted so many comments about Toby Keith's idiocy and the idiocy of those that think there's no problem with his lynching lyrics over at The Field Negro that I have no more energy to devote to Keith's silly ass.

However, I want to co-sign on that vigilante justice thing. It scares me how many people think the world would be a better place if cops (and civilians) just offed people who are suspected of and seem very likely to be guilty of a crime.

I'd be squidgy about someone killing someone even if they SAW the person do the heinous act (unless the witness is a parental unit or something; if I saw someone trying to hurt my little girl, or my wife or my son, I think I'd be leaving my sanity and Christianity at the door for a while). We have a justice system for a reason, and the thought that people want vigilante justice so we can cut costs makes me very, very afraid.

Bigchief David said...

One thing that gets left out of this often is the sheer cowardice of lynching. It's mob rule, mob mentality and white racism all done under the cloak of darkness. The sad thing about Toby Keith is that there are millions of people who listen to him.

Raving Black Lunatic