Playing the Race Card [Long]
I didn't know where to stick this. Seems like more of a Great Debates sort of topic but I don't really want it dissected.. just general opinions on the matter. If I have this in the wrong forum, feel free to move it.
I'm hoping this post doesn't violate any rules.. it's the transcript of an IM conversation between me and a friend of mine of about a week ago. We've known each other for about a year and a half and with the exception of only a few instances, have gotten along perfectly.
The reason I mention that is because we seem to be a study in differences and for all intents and purposes, should be going for each others' jugulars. She's a twenty-eight year old conservative, African American Catholic originally from Maryland and I'm a liberal, twenty year old, white atheist from Tennessee. I don't understand why we get along, but we do.
Anyway, earlier this week, we had a rare flare up concerning a perceived racist comment on my part. I adamantly deny that my comment was racist in any regard but she believes differently. I've already asked a mutual friend of ours what she thought of the matter (she agreed with me) but I want to make certain that what I said wasn't wrong.. so with that in mind, I've come here to the SDMB to ask the teeming millions their opinion.
[Conversation already in progress]
Aesiron: Tina Fey is hot.
Aesiron's Friend: Tina Fey from SNL? You think she's hot? Oookay.
Aesiron: She is. You aren't one to comment, gorilla lover
Aesiron's Friend: Oh shut up. Albert is not the only man who I think is hot.
Aesiron: Vader and Big are just as much gorillas as Albert is.
Aesiron's Friend: I also think the Rock is sexy. Many women happen to agree with me on that.
Aesiron's Friend: Jonathan Coachman too. He's very sexy.
Aesiron: If you like chimpanzees, yeah.
Aesiron's Friend: That can be construed as a very racist comment, Robert.
Aesiron: Calling Albert a gorilla isn't? You know perfectly well that wasn't how it was intended.
Aesiron's Friend: Albert's white. If you made that comment about Mark Henry then it would be a racist comment.
I don't know. You don't find most black people attractive so a comment like that seemingly has racial undertones to it. Why else would you say that two black men look like chimps?
Aesiron: No, it wouldn't. It's a comment on their physical stature.
Aesiron's Friend: And what do Coach and the Rock have in common with a fucking chimpanzee?
Aesiron: The Rock? I was talking about Coachman. The Rock is perfectly fine. I'm straight and I think the Rock is attractive
Aesiron's Friend: Okay, then what's wrong with Coach?
Aesiron: Um. Nothing. Going along with the simian theme, I compared him to a chimp. Vader and Big don't look like gorillas yet you let those comments pass without a word.
Aesiron's Friend: Because I'm used to people saying Albert, with all his beautiful man fur, resembles a gorilla. I let those pass because they are all white men.
Look, for many years people have compared the appearance of blacks to apes, chimps and gorillas. That's why I got sensitive about the comparison to Coach, especially coming from you.
Aesiron: You letting that pass 'cause they're white can be construed as racism as easily as my remark. "It's only a whitey.. what do we care?"
Also, as someone who has obvious race issues and refuses to date someone of her own ethnicity, you aren't someone to comment on this or even get offended. In addition to that, there have been numerous times you've posted racially inflammatory remarks.. the poor AIDS infected Africans for example. That doesn't have to be thought racist.. it is racist.
Aesiron's Friend: Uh, even though I have issues with being black it doesn't change the fact that I am black. Thus, I become offended by things just as much as any other black person. As a black woman, I most certainly have every right to be offended or comment on any comment I find racist. Just because I don't like being black doesn't mean that part of who I am is rooted in that culture.
My comments on Africans, although rude, had a heap of evidence to back them.
Aesiron: Yet you still don't get the fact that your dismissal of my comments towards Vader, Albert, and Big is just as racist as my supposed slur.
Rude. And racist. You're an African so you're poor and you have AIDS. Bullshit.. that comment is worse than any perceived slight. That you still stand behind it makes it infinitely worse.
Aesiron's Friend: Look at the facts. Most Africans are poor. Okay, most do not have AIDS but the rate of infection is high on that continent.
And tell me how the gorilla comments about Albert and co. are racist. I don't see it.
Aesiron: Lots of African Americans are destitute, poorly educated, and addicted to drugs. I guess that makes you a stupid broke crackhead. Right?
My comments weren't racist. Your dismissal of them in favor of homing in on my comment about Coachman is.
Aesiron's Friend: No it doesn't. Not if you look at the numbers. The UN reports that the majority of the inhabitants of Africa are poor and uneducated. That is a cold hard fact. The majority of African Americans are not poor or uneducated. Again, you can look at the latest census figures to back up my assertions. There is no comparison.
Aesiron: Yes there is. You are using numbers to represent an entire continent of people. We aren't statistics or averages, we are individuals. Just because most people that look like me do something doesn't mean I do. Nor does living in the South make me an inbred. Same principle.
Aesiron's Friend: That's the way of the world. Numbers and statistics, not individual faces.
Aesiron: Only if that's what you look at. I couldn't care less what percentage of Africans have AIDS. You obviously do. Then you use your limited knowledge to slander all the people of the continent, regardless of their health.
[She goes silent]
Well, what's everyone think? I'm right and she's full of it, correct?
Erm, I forgot to add that the names mentioned in this conversation are those of wrestlers. That's probably why you have no idea who the hell we're talking about.