Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Punks Everywhere

I have just read multiple stories about random racism.

This is a normal routine for me. Stories about racist police, racist landlords and racist business people all float across my computer screen every weekday and I consume them and consider them. It's what helps me pass the time, and has taught me something valuable.

Racism is often steeped in cowardice.

I'm not saying that racists are all cowards, at least not in the way we typically think of cowards. Plenty of racist love nothing more than a good fight with someone of an "inferior" race. What I'm saying, is that what I've noticed is that a lot of people want to enjoy and spread racism without having to pay any of the associated costs that go along with being a racist. I consider that cowardice.

I've read about politicians rapidly backtracking from racist remarks they made years ago or just last week.. I've read about people openly advocating discrimination, and then quickly trying to convince people that they don't have a racist bone in their bodies. I could chalk this up to stupidity, or confusion, but it's obvious that's not the case. These people know what they're doing, and they know the price. They just don't plan on paying.

It's more than a little irritating. After all, the world would be a simpler place if bigots just admitted they were bigots, and let the rest of us treat them accordingly. Instead, they want to make bigoted comments and still be treated like fair-minded respectable members of society. Of course this isn't a new attitude, but that doesn't make it any less ridiculous.

Unfortunately, this a side effect of our piss poor attempts to "erase racism". We've added a social stigma to racism, but since so many people are so comfortable being racists, they'd rather change the definition of the word, than change their behavior. Everyday I'm reminded of how few people lack the moral conviction to stand behind their beliefs and truly reap what they sow.

Little punks.


Laugh Where You Can

Digital ignorance is everywhere.

I mean that in every sense of the phrase. Ignorance about technology, which I'm largely guilty of, as well as just plain ignorance and bias being spread digitally. The internet puts tons of knowledge at our fingertips, but what it really makes it easy to do is reinforce every single bias you've ever held.

Check out that link above. It details how NYPD officers joined a Facebook group to protest having to participate in the West Indian Parade, and proceeded to spew racist, hateful, ignorant comments into the hundreds. And, they were later caught, and tried to deny everything.

It's not surprising. At least the part where we learn that cops despise most minorities and view them as sub-human is not surprising. Trust me, I've heard it all before, and it's just an off growth of the general perception in the world. But it's a little surprising that cops were stupid enough to post all this information in a group that can be publicly viewed despite the fact that their names and pictures were attached to their comments. That is shockingly stupid or incredibly bold, and given the rampant spread of digital ignorance, I'm going with stupid.

 I've heard cops laugh at criminals who get caught because they made stupid posts on Facebook or Myspace, or did some other boneheaded thing. So to learn that more than 1,000 of them would join a publicly accessible post, or that they themselves have Facebook accounts that are publicly accessible is laughable. In fact, that laughter is what is protecting me from the overriding anger I would normally that so many police view people who look like me as savage animals.

Well, whatever it takes.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's the Status Quo for a Reason

I hope y'all checked out this series about the Presidential Pardon system.

If not, click the link because it makes for good reading. The headline on the first story is "Presidential Pardon system heavily favors whites."

It could have easily been "American life heavily favors whites."

Seriously, that's what the article basically tells us. Being white, with all the statistical and historical benefits that come along with that status, is better for your life. When it comes to pardons, the seemingly "random" factors considered are actually factors where white folks are much more likely to do well thanks to a host of other issues from historic wealth, to a biased justice system.

At this point in time, the system has been rigged for so long that you can actually avoid direct bias and still get the results you really want. It's incredibly easy to add the veneer of meritocracy to the rotten floorboards of discrimination, and then deny all culpability when the floor collapses and people die.  It's the Golden Age of racism, you might say.

 Sadly, nothing will change. It's great that this was investigated, but I can already see some easy ways the statistics will be attacked and progress thwarted. More importantly, the vast majority of Americans aren't interested in progress on these issues because that would mean acting in their own self interest.

So, folks will act shocked and dismayed, and they will vow to get to the bottom of things, but what they will really do is allow the status quo to continue. Because the status quo is benefiting the people it was always designed to benefit.

That's why it's the status quo.


Raving Black Lunatic