White Fish, Black Fish, Who the F Cares Fish When We all Share the  Same Shrinking  & Polluted Ocean???

8 Sep

   Ok, I’m sorry. I was watching Bill Maher last night and I simply can’t take it anymore.  It’s not just a Bill Maher thing, everyone does it, but the repeat episode I watched last night with guests Philippe Cousteau Jr. (hence my oceanic/ B.P. reference in the title), and Prof. Cornel West, was simply the last straw.  Perhaps it was the lack of sleep, perhaps it was the wine, but I found myself yelling at the panel like, “Wtf does it matter that whatever percent of white v. black families net income has been doing in response to changes in the U.S. economy??”  To me, race is just as significant in a discussion about our failing economy as is some one’s sex, religion, eye color or blood type.

   But when I really lost it is was when one of the panelists began to talk about the importance of education in our country and Mr. Maher’s knee-jerk reaction was to interject, “So you are in support of Affirmative Action??”
   Please, may we pause for a moment to consider that? (Especially in light of how I use Bill Maher as an example of the majority way of thinking, and not an anomaly).
 
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   Call me an asshole, but I honestly don’t give a shit about race. Really, could not care less what color someone is.  So “anti-American” I’m sure since everyone knows any political dialogue about the welfare of our citizens MUST include a distinction among the races. How dare I not judge, value and distinguish people based upon their ancestry!
   I suppose that makes me insensitive. And perhaps I should really work on stressing the importance of people’s race; start you know, dividing people into Crayola-like categories and use that as the basis of how I judge a person instead of looking at them as individual people.
   See, naively, I had been in the practice of separating people into such categories as: good v. bad; nice v. mean; having integrity v. not; hard-working v. lazy; smart v. not so bright…but holy shit, why waste all that time doing an individual character evaluation when you can answer all of these questions just by looking at the color of a person’s skin! No WONDER everyone else sees the value of racial distinctions. Sure as hell cuts down on all of the time wasted by treating people as individuals.
   Now, that being said, Prof. West went into a diatribe about “our racial caste system” and prison disparity, etc. etc., Ok. To which I will say some of those statistics certainly have socio-economic implications that, to a degree, trace back to inherent inequality based upon slavery and the subsequent discrimination of blacks in America. That can surely not be discounted as a factor, but when does it stop?
   Yes, blacks and other minority groups have indeed suffered real and debilitating injustices. That can not, nor should not be overlooked or ignored. My point is merely, to what extent should that be an important line-drawing factor? Particularly, and here is where I fly off the handle, when discussing matters that affect everyone? I.e., health, education, public safety and the economy. Further, I posit to you: Show me a race of people, a nation, a religion, a gender, a belief, any single class of persons who has not been subject to discrimination, hatred, oppression or crippling defeat.
   Oh, and if in your infinite wisdom you do identify a person that is a member of this group immune from persecution; by all means do share with them your findings. (However, you may want to review some self-defense basics before you do so).
   Sometimes, it just is what it is without implicating any moral judgments or giving rise to finger pointing.  Just like statistics.  They are what they are.  Cause and effect don’t always have to be the result of conscious decision-making; let alone discriminatory intent. 
 
~ In the United States from 1980 through 1995, a total of 1318 deaths were attributed to lightning, (average: 82 deaths per year {range: 53-100 deaths}). Of the 1318 persons who died, 1125 (85%) were male. ~

 …Lightening, you sexist son of a bitch!

   I think you get my point.  Conversely, do we have to be so damn sensitive about our ethnicity?? Have we become so obsessed with being “politically correct” to the point of ridiculousness? In many instances, I am going to have to say yes.  Not only ridiculous even, but counter-productive in many ways.  When you are playing match-maker among friends, what is wrong with saying: She’s medium height, really pretty Asian girl, 27 years old, went to Berkley and now works for Variety Magazine.  Since when did using a physical descriptor such as one’s ethnicity become a damn insult? And if so, excuse me… what is so insulting about being Asian??
   Alright, I’m done with all my analogies and metaphors for now. Just making the observation that this politically correct business is really starting to become absurd and insulting in and of itself.  Again, supporting my proposal that we just stop being so sensitive and acting like color is important.
   My point is, I’m just tired of it. On the one hand its, “Don’t judge me by my color or religion or sexual preference,” (to which I say, good, none of this do I find particularly interesting anyway, thus avoiding a pointless review of personal fun-facts), but on the other hand its “Hey, I’m Latino, or Mormon or gay and you better recognize that! I’m different from you, damnit!”  Really, its so confusing.  Can’t we all just agree not to give a damn about such useless information??
   And really? Really??  Are we so shallow and one-dimensional that our main identifier should be our ethnicity, religion or who we have sex with?? I happen to see people as much more than any of the above.
   When being introduced to someone I, myself, don’t open with, “Hi, I’m J.D., these are my ancestors, this is who I worship, and here’s a list of people I sleep with.”  I identify myself first with showing someone that I am a good and decent person. Next, maybe that I am bright and have a good sense of humor. Later, perhaps we will discuss my hobbies, thoughts and dreams. No where in socializing, in furthering my career, or defending my value or significance in the world have I felt the need to rely upon my color, beliefs or sex life. Is that wrong?? And if the above aren’t relevant to the socio-economic examples I provided above, uh, fill me in why they are so important again??
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10 Responses to “White Fish, Black Fish, Who the F Cares Fish When We all Share the  Same Shrinking  & Polluted Ocean???”

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  4. J.D. St. Michaels September 9, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Thank you Jamie. Be sure to submit an “Ask JD” question or topic you’d otherwise like to see covered. It was friends of mine asking me for advice that inspired me to start this blog in the first place. Always find helping/guiding a person highly motivating and fulfilling.

    Best,
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  5. Jamie Holts September 9, 2010 at 12:50 am #

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  6. Anonymous July 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

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  7. Anonymous July 13, 2010 at 8:30 pm #

    Thank you. And well put. Also used to be a huge fan of Bill Maher but he sold out.

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