Many, if not all of us, have had racial debates or experienced racially charged moments. They occur during dinner parties, family renunions, drunken shindigs, public forums, your Sociology class, whenever. If you’re a human-being, chances are, you’ve had a racially charged argument or two. But, even though these contentious moments vary greatly, there seem to be some recurring comparisons.
The Klu Klux Klan & The Black Panther Party
My girlfriend came home the other night and told me that one of her White coworkers had been accosted by a slightly deranged, racist Black lady at her job. Apparently the lady threw her right fist up in the air and yelled “Black Power!” right is this White lady’s face. Understandably, the coworker was a little shaken, but she went on to explain why she was truly offended,
“Do you know where ‘Black Power’ comes from? The Black Panther Party. They’re just like the Black KKK”
Now that I got that out of the way, let me explain why. I’ve heard this argument in the past, and it sounded just as absurd then as it does now. The Black Panther Party was originally called the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense for a reason; Black people’s lives and civil rights were under a direct and very real threat at the time (still the case to a certain extent). I’m not saying that I agree with all of their methods, but if a White man could castrate, burn, drag and hang me just because his girlfriend peeped the swag real quick, I’d be packing heat too. Not to mention that the fatal altercations that involved the Black Panthers were chiefly with the police (or COINTELPRO, depending on who’s reading). They weren’t just going around the streets promoting a campaign of hate and violence against ANY group of people simply because of their race. As a matter of fact, they were much more interested in economic equality for Black people and being treated like, I don’t know….. human beings?
The KKK, on the other hand, is a terrorist organization housed on American soil. Period.
Cracker & Nigger
“Dude, it’s just a word. I don’t understand why you can say it and I can’t. We’re both people. I like rap”
“Why do people even get offended anymore? Seriously, I wouldn’t care if you called me a ‘cracker’. Try it, call me a ‘cracker’ right now. I don’t even care man”
Of course you don’t fool, I’m eating crackers right now. Why the fuck would anybody be offended by a snack?
C’mon son. “Nigger” has been described, by many, as one of the most derogatory and pejorative words in the English language. But everybody loves crackers. Crackers get their own aisle at the grocery store. Maybe some White people are getting confused because they hear and see Black people say “nigger” and “nigga” sometimes. Let me explain. The best and most caustic way to punk somebody is to take their stuff. What’s worse? Taking their stuff and using it like it’s yours. What’s even worse? Telling that person that they can never use their stuff again. Sometimes that “stuff” is freedom or land. But in this case, the “stuff” is nigger. And White people can’t have it back, ever.
The LGBT Social Movements & The Black Civil Rights Movement
Do I really need to do the preamble thing?…..Okay. Here it goes.
I am not a heterosexist and I support the equality of all people, regardless of their race, creed or sexual orientation. I respect any movement that promotes respect for human life and quality of life.
That’s all you get. If I go into the social, spiritual, racial and moral reasons for my respect of human-beings and universal rights…we’ll be here all day.
All I have to say is, if I hear another person tell me that the gay civil rights struggle is like the Black civil rights struggle, I’m boycotting Bravo. Homosexuals have been victims of violence, oppression and discrimination in some of the most hateful and degrading ways imaginable, and I would be remiss not to acknowledge that fact. But that fact does not need to be compared to the impact that slavery, genocide, rape, institutionalized racism, government-funded terrorism and cultural and intellectual theft have had on Black people all over the globe to this day.
Don’t get it twisted, human rights are human rights and no struggle is greater than the next. Just take note of the following things:
1) People know that I’m Black, no matter what bar I step into, 2) I get the best groceries from the “gay side of town”, and I get my alcohol from the “Black side of town” (so many stores to choose from!) and 3) Any city planner that plans to gentrify a Black, urban area would be lucky to have the gay community on their side.
At the end of the day, we need to realize that some things are just as they are. In their own being and of their own definition. Start grouping the wrong things together and details get ignored and context becomes muddled.
I’m all about clarity.