Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It Really Sounded Like a Good Idea

(Update: Seems I have a gift for seeing the future.)

Remember a while back when France opposed the United States' decision to go into Iraq?

There was a huge backlash against the French over here, with some idiots even removing "french fries" from their menus and adding "freedom fries." Many in this country fell back on trite insults about our wine and colonizing-loving friends and it become pretty acceptable to characterize the French as pansies we had to bail out in World War II.

Of course, now that everybody in this country realizes that Iraq was a colossal clusterfuck and remembers that wine and cheese taste great together, some of the animosity directed towards the French has abated. While they had their own motivations for opposing that war in Iraq that had nothing to do with the common good, they actually appear to have been right about it being an unjustified and unnecessary war.

I began this short discussion because a friend of mine recently pointed me to an article that displayed another way the French are offering Americans some good advice, albeit in a roundabout manner. The article, which can be found here, discusses the recent conviction of actress and former sex symbol Brigitte Bardot for inciting discrimination and racial hatred. Bardot was found guilty of encouraging racism against Muslims after she engaged in a ridiculous rant a while back that accused Muslims of ruining France. She was fined, and it was her fourth conviction on the charges.

Basically, she's been convicted multiple times of being a racist.

Now, this article got me to thinking the same thing that I'm sure most of y'all are thinking right now. If we could convict folks of racism in America, who would be the first ones to go to jail.

Off top Pat Buchanan, Michelle Malkin and Anne Coulter would be in stripes. Then you would have Rush Limbaugh and a bunch of other garden variety racists in the bing. Geraldine Ferraro and the Clintons would also be facing some hot water, and Larry Elder and Ward Connerly would finally have a chance to get close to some of those "bad niggers" they so despise.

It would be like Christmas in July for black folks, at least initially. Got a boss that thinks it's okay to use "you people" in conversation? Turn his ass in. That mean old lady who clutched her purse close when she passed you on the street would be ripe for fingerprinting and mug shots. Blacks folks would finally have the power to point out everybody making our lives harder and force them to face the music.

It would be so sweet.

Then, I began to realize that the list of folks who have incited discrimination and racism is just too long in America. I mean, if we started locking folks up for that, we would have to just go ahead and incarcerate the entire states of Kentucky and West Virginia. If you factor in the explosion of anonymous racism that the internet has fostered, I would wager confidently that black men would no longer be the only group where a third of its members are on parole or probation.

I think most of us understand that racism and discrimination need to be confronted regularly and swiftly, but I'm wondering if the answer would be a law like France's.

How would we really enforce that law in this country where it seems like we can never come to a consensus on what racism and discrimination really are? Besides, I'm pretty confident that if this law was enacted black folks eventually get the shaft once white folks trotted out the reverse racism argument.

Nah, as good as it sounds, having the government punish racists just wouldn't work here in the land of the free and home of the brave. It's a damn shame because our current practice of giving white racists television platforms doesn't seem to be deterring them at all.

Oh well, we still have french fries to thank the frogs for.


WNG said...

Well, we do send people to rehab...

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

here here

dp said...

I'm moving to france

WNG said...


Tyler said...

"Basically, she's been convicted multiple times of being a racist."

Except, Islam is a religion. Not a race. So, it isn't racism.

But, yea, other than that, brilliant points.

Deacon Blue said...

You're right on technical points, Tyler, but how often do you see folks worrying about white Muslims? ;-)

mbats said...

Honestly though, this would backfire as soon as it was passed, because if this law would be for equality then even more black people would be put in jail, with every nigga's ass having the footprint of a white judge on it, and these days maybe even a black judge. You'll have to take into account how many blacks grow up racist and bitter against white folks, then also take into account how many black folks are racists against black folk (i.e LIGHT vs DARK argument), then count in how ignorant a majority of blacks are towards their Asian friends in the corner stores (It's crazy how many sideways remarks I hear from black women towards Asian's in nail shops), as well as everybody's remarks against Mexicans, and we have a shitload of black folk in jail. Now don't get me wrong, damn near every state in one of those Clinton "rural areas" would have to either be seen as the second coming of apartheid or just be blown up for high racist concentration....but I just can't help but seeing the system turn this into furthering along it's modern slaveship we call prison...nice post though

Big Man said...

Thanks for catching that Tyler. When I read her initial comments, I got the sense it was more of racial thing than a religious thing. But, that was just my impression.

Big Man said...

Damn, I forgot about the hate black folks display to Asians. Yeah, that would be a problem. Then again, I don't think black folks have a monopoly on those feelings, so I'm pretty sure every group would suffer.

slag said...

Awesome blog picture!!!

As a card-carrying ACLU member, I have to stand with the Constitution on this one and say no law. But that doesn't mean hateful people won't get their karmic justice. We need to change minds as well as behaviors so it's all about calling out and challenging hate speech whenever we encounter it.

Gye Greene said...

Big Man,

Love the post. But, to expand on what the other Comments have said: I think about 89% of American would be in prison.

Just like with homicide (manslaughter vs. various "degrees" of murder), you'd have to come up with various degrees of racism.

Like: I'm from a Japanese-Norwegian-Swedish background (although at this point, fourth-generation) -- but I **really** like Soul Food (except for the pig's feet; can't bring myself to try that). Am I racist?

And I **don't** think Elvis invented Rock 'n' Roll...

Anyhow: I don't think **all** Caucasians would end up in jail... just, most of 'em.

(BTW -- love the M&B photo at the top; though I miss Cassius Clay. And I'm old enough -- no disrespect intended -- that my first thought was "WonderTwins powers... Activate!"

But -- a **very** cute pic; saved it to HD.)


Big Man said...

I moved Ali to the sidebar. The Greatest will be back eventually, but that picture is just special.

Raving Black Lunatic