Friday, October 14, 2016

The Dog Ate My Racism

I'm sick and tired of old being an excuse for bigotry, and this isn't a joke, it's a rant. Hearing someone’s age and upbringing justifying racism is like nails on a chalkboard, because it's use should've stopped like the chalkboard. It's what everybody once thought making prejudice acceptable makes my hands feel gross like I've just used a chalkboard. I'm talking about when your grandmother drops the N-bomb and everybody laughs it off because it was okay when she grew up. That's unacceptable, because even if racism was okay in the first place, we've had decades of progress to learn that it isn't anymore. Age and being a disgusting human being aren't somehow synonymous, no matter how much that sort of thinking helps people sleep at night. Few reasons why.

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The 'ol faithful age excuse for prejudice is predicated on this notion that it was okay to treat someone like shit because everybody else was doing it at the time. It perpetuates a gang theory that 98 percent of the human race are just livestock with nice cars and fancy phones, and that's grim. That's all I hear when someone says,"well Ryan, that's just how they were brought up". Most prejudices as far as I can see are just a product of one person sniffing the butt of the person in front of them, then that person doing the same to the person in front of them, and so on and so forth; like some sort of voluntary human centipede of morons. If you compare the era and setting I was raised in to the world in which our elders grew up, it sounds like it was just a huge playground where most people bullied this one kid who they all thought was beneath them. Meanwhile, the other fraction of the school who either thought this poor boy was alright or simply didn't have an opinion about him put their hands over their eyes and pretended that dogs didn't exist until they graduated. While admittedly a pervasive school of thought is difficult to rail against, membership of said school and living amongst it's ideologies still doesn't just automatically make that kid beneath everyone, and excusing bigotry from it's alumni in this day and age implies that. To me, not only does it imply that sort of talk is okay now, which I'll get to, but it also sends a message that it was okay in the first place. What it really means, however, is that everybody from that school was either too stupid to think for themselves or too much of a pussy to let everybody know that they weren't part of the zeitgeist; I occasionally struggle to settle on who I'm more mad at.

However, that's just the beginning, because while the prejudice has far depreciated since, the mass-stupidity that let it happen lives on somehow. You see, it's absurd to believe that dogs don't exist just because that's what everybody told you to think, even though one was pissing on your shoe, but it's even more ludicrous to shriek when one walks into the room 40 or 50 years later. That's what your grandmother or whoever is essentially doing when she can't sit a table with lesbians and calls your friend an N-word in 2016. It's what the customer is doing when he automatically thinks you're the manager because you're the only male working that day. That's unacceptable if you consider how well documented and how much of an utter cliché the whole N-word from a white person drama has become in just my 25 years here. Sure, if you've managed to ignore that for this long, then they probably don't make screwdrivers for the screws you need tightening, but it's still the same ignorance as before, isn't it? When we apologise for a person's upbringing and our own inability to change an elderly person's attitude, we miss the point and start sniffing butts again. We just continue the dogs don't exist delusion and take part in the dog ate my homework chain of inaction which allowed prejudice to pervade unfettered in the first place. That chain needs breaking, because I'm tired of the smell.

It's not okay to be bigoted or prejudiced, but we all are in varying degrees. It's innately human to make note of changes and differences. A blonde dude is not a blonde dude until you've seen a brunette chick, the same way that a song which is just one tone for three minutes is not a song, or how a blue car is not a black Harley, or a black US president is not the slew of white presidents which preceded them. For me, my prejudice comes out whenever they send a crew into space, because let's face it, the folks at NASA choose they're crews like they're either ticking boxes in the Handbook for Political Correctness or casting for another horrendous Fantastic Four film. The difference is that we haven't deluded ourselves into a dogs don't exist fairytale universe, and for the majority of those that have know to keep it there next to the cyanide slides which end in an Aryan utopia. It's 2016! So regardless of what we believe, we all should know by now that the only valid excuse for using the N-word for instance is if you're black, a rapper or if you've been in some fucked up Kimmy Schmidt situation where you've missed the last 40 years of pop culture and literature. So, unless your grandparents have been dropping club hits featuring Flo Rida which I'm unaware of, give them a smack over the back of the head with a calendar the next time they say something bigoted, because hopefully it might either knock them out or knock them into being amnesiacs; whichever shuts them up first.

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