About Racist Remarks

Run a Google search on racist remarks and there will be more than one million hits. The latest entry is of course the remarks made by Don Imus concerning the Rutgers female basketball team. We became sensitive to the issue with the infamous remarks made by Al Campanis twenty years ago during an interview on the late-night ABC News program Nightline . During the interview Campanis stated that blacks "may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager". Elsewhere in the interview he said that blacks are often poor swimmers "because they don't have the buoyancy." A protest erupted the next morning and he resigned his position with the Los Angeles Dodgers two days later. (The fate of Don Imus has yet to be determined). Racist remarks by other celebrities such as Jimmy " The Greek" Snyder ( lost his job), Michael Richards ( future career questionable), Andrew Young ( resigned his WalMart position), Trent Lott( no longer a majority leader but making a comeback), Mel Gibson (still raking the money in, apparently forgiven), Steve Lyons (lost his job) and George Allen (lost his bid for the Senate) have had their share of newsprint. Of course no one ever admits that they are racist - stupid yes, but not racist! Whether the remarks are directed at blacks, Jews, Latinos ( I came across a web site recently referring to Mexican immigrants as “mexcrements”) or Indians they only remind us that we still have a long way ago before we can declare this country free from racism. As long as we are a nation of immigrants there will be ugly racist remarks and as long as we see fit to tolerate religious zealots there will be religious slurs and gay bashing. Acceptance of differences whether they be color, religion, lack of religion, ethnic background or sexual orientation has improved and will continue to improve (I haven’t been referred to as a WOP since I was a teen). Assimilation is the key which will bring about change! and we should embrace every opportunity we have to foster assimilation. Generation X will be much more tolerant and blind to differences than the Baby Boomers who were and are more tolerant than the Silent Generation who in turn was more tolerant than the "Greatest Generation". Although I can't say the same for myself I have never heard a racist remark from my children or grandchildren.

While still a child my granddaughter wrote this poem which says it all.

Same Difference
White ,wide wimpy or lame
We're all different, no one's the same
Talented, teasing, toothless or tall
We depend on each other one and all
Black, blue, or beaming with pride,
We don't always take the same side.
We're dreamy, dreadful, and all different too,
Each one of us is special and so are you

1 comment:

Caroline said...

I believe in freedom of speech. I wouldn't mouth off in a blog if I didn't. I've also been known to make some discolored comments, especially about rednecks but they are family members so I don't think that counts. I believe Imus (and his ilk be it Rush Limbaugh or Howard Stern) has the right to make off-colored, racist, stupid comments as well. If I don't like what is said, I change the channel. I KNOW I'll never change his mind. I heard Imus on the radio once and vowed that I would never listen to him again because I think he's a bigoted, ignorant prig. If I find any radio personality to be offensive to my sensibilities, I turn the channel. I also believe that, although Imus has the right to say what he wants, the radio and news stations have the right to fire him if they don't want his kind of dumbass remarks tainting their reputations. I guess you could say that is there freedom of speech.

Like my father always said, "Freedom comes with responsibilities. If you do not act in a responsible manner, your freedom is taken away from you."