Reassessing Humanity as All Inclusive

I have been to the most hoity of toity fancy-pants black tie affairs, the sketchiest dive bars with people just mainlining drugs in the bathroom like crazy, rap battles, a cello concert, Old Country Buffet, and almost everywhere in between.  As I see it, the only real differences seem to be what people wear, how they talk and the number of places it is considered acceptable to vomit.  Outside of those key areas, the population doesn’t really seem all that different.  Humanity has a lot more in common than not.  We would all like to avoid being cold and hungry, we all like to have real friends and we all just want to feel like we are worth something.  That doesn’t seem like it should be particularly unattainable if we could all just stop stepping on each others’ toes.  But that doesn’t mean disliking other people for ridiculous reasons is going out of style anytime soon.  People from every race still engage in insensitive and selfish behavior toward one another on a regular basis, even the really smart ones do it.

But there is a lot of bigotry going under the guise of social acceptability today.  It’s like racism got a fancy college degree and a glossy coat of phony political correctness. I’m aware that everyone thinks that their respective ethnicity is the “the tops” but please don’t use pretend logic to legitimize your uncomfortable feelings about other peoples’. It’s your right to be a scared and ignorant person but don’t try to fool yourself via nonsense reasoning. If you can’t be a person who sees other people as individuals, don’t make it worse by also being a liar.  I could not be more pleased to hear about how much lynching as gone down in the last one-hundred years but this soft racism hasn’t really solved the problem.

Bigotry can only come from fear, ignorance or selfishness.  We’ve been working on fear and ignorance for decades and have made a little bit of headway, especially in the case of ignorance.  For example I really used to hate people that wore socks and sandals together.  I was days away from creating a webpage that called for these people to be imprisoned until they could be rehabilitated into normal society or just died.  Then a friend of mine said, “They probably just have really gross feet” and my life was changed forever.  I had never bothered to put myself in their shoes or, in this case, socks and sandals.  I was blinded by my bigotry and, rather than try to understand, I lashed out.  We have to educate and understand to fix the problem.  Society has been slowly trying to do this by offering intensely insensitive stereotypes side by side with normal examples of different peoples in the entertainment industry.  This has been the trend in television ever since white people considered that maybe not everyone wanted to watch shows only about white people.  The only exceptions being Cheers, Friends, Frasier, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, MASH, The Honeymooners, Leave It To Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, Mad About You, The Flintstones and Gilligan’s Island– unless you take into account the episode where the Harlem Globetrotters show up.

Talking about it doesn’t always help either.  Most people that want to start a conversation about race aren’t going to lead you into a long talk about how everyone should just be cool with each other anyway.  They are going to take hold of your brain and lead it down a dark and dirty hallway full of their crazy and confusing anger.  It may not end in them foaming at the mouth and screaming out “genocide” over and over, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park either.  If you haven’t dealt with this already, eventually a member of your respective race will approach you with this.  When someone does start talking about other people as subhuman, I usually politely disagree but respect their right to express their opinion.  You risk upsetting them by defending the worth of another people but you dodge a much larger bullet because, if you say nothing, they may assume that you are on their side and try to enlist you to help them cover up a race-related killing.  However even seemingly normal people can slip by little bits of this when they preface their sentence with “I’m not a racist, but.”  This is the term people use before saying something so amazingly racist that you will think you’re in a Quentin Tarantino movie.  Here are two real life examples of things I have been told directly by another living person: “I’m not a racist but I really do think that Chinese people are just smarter at math and whatever” and “I’m not a racist but I don’t really try and talk to white people.”  I am just waiting for the day when someone slips in “I’m not a racist but I’ve been hearing a lot about a Jewish conspiracy to use black people to take over America and we might need to kill all of those people before it’s too late” into casual conversation.

No group is exempt from this.  Hate comes from everywhere because all people can be scared and all people can be ignorant.  The odds of you being a complete ass are just as likely as anyone else on the planet.  Some where out there is a black gay German guy who absolutely hates, and is deathly afraid of, Asian-American female clowns that also practice Islam.  Also, if you are that guy, please contact me because I want to make a documentary about your life.

There are people who are willing to be open-minded and decent, and then there are people who are not.  We’re all in this ridiculousness together; there is no reason to be picking teams or dishing out retribution.  Being a jerk because someone was a cretin to you isn’t going to solve anyone’s problem.  The lines aren’t clear enough to be taking sides, so why bother?  I think there’s a pretty famous saying about how there are these two wrongs and they are, like, no good or something.  Maybe it was “two wrongs are still both bad.”  I think that’s it.

It is, at best, a bizarre world we live in and I am not going to be the one to make sense of it.  I’m just asking that we all give that a shot and try not to screw it up any more than we absolutely have to.  I’d be satisfied with that.

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45 Responses to Reassessing Humanity as All Inclusive

  1. Absolutely f-fabulous!

  2. Fantastic. Very well said. My father was an Italian immigrant to Australia and was horrendously racist towards Ausians. As a child I could never understand this, especially as he was also an immegrant to this country. Now I am older, I still dont understand it any better, and refuse to judge by colour of skin, religion or sexual preference. I am really glad you wote this piece. Acceptance and kindness need to be reminded as values today. Thanks Posky for the ray of light.

  3. Lis says:

    Beautiful post, Posky! How fitting that my My Yahoo Quote of the Day reads, “It takes a lot of things to prove you are smart, but only one thing to prove you are ignorant.” (Don Herold)

    I take exception to The Simpsons, though.

  4. J.C. Prime says:

    Brilliantly put, and thank you for sharing it. That’s all I have to say.

    … well, that… and this: being angry with any part of How The World Is is fine, but it should only ever be ranted about with humour. And you have. The best kind of humour as well. Loved it.

    And NOW I’ll shut up.

  5. This had to be said, and I’m not entirely positive I could have done this nearly as well. About all I can say is “Bravo.”

    And probably a reblog when I get home from work, because this is just about the only time in a long time that I’ve seen this message withot a wrapping made of cynical, baiting rhetoric.

    • Posky says:

      I’m not trying to trick anyone or convince them that they are evil or not doing enough. I’m just trying to speak my mind and share a few thoughts. If someone happens to be receptive and wants to make a change, that would be great.

      And i always appreciate someone sharing my work.

  6. Elisa says:

    Great post. The sad part is when I heard racist remarks out of the mouths of kids my children’s age when they were small. Sadly, probably their parents influence…so it’s a vicious cycle. :(

  7. My girl’s mom explains to me, “I’m not racist I’m just afraid of black people.” And she just doesn’t know any,she says. So knowing this, we are at her son’s retirement party (he’s retiring from the air force after 24 years) and she’s having panic sweats because her son is introducing her to his friends and co-workers. They are all black. Not just some of them. All of them are black. She thinks he’s doing this to her on purpose, to make her nervous. I tell her, “These men will lay down and die to protect your son.” She snaps back, “And he would do the same for them.” Clearly it was lost on her. She’s from the same small town outside of Boston and never left.
    She about died when her GPS directed her around rush hour traffic in Boston and took her through a “different” neighborhood. I think she held on to her purse the whole time she was behind the wheel.

  8. clownonfire says:

    Posky.
    Funny. Scary funny.
    Le Clown

  9. clownonfire says:

    Reblogged this on A Clown On Fire and commented:
    I’ve reblogged Posky so many times this week that I am changing the name of my blog to “Posky’s Pied-à-terre”.

  10. meizac says:

    Absolutely fantastic post. Consider yourself re-blogged.

  11. Wow. It’s not often that a drawing sends chills up and down my spine.

    But your final comic up there? Totally did that…

  12. sweetmother says:

    this is awesom. loved it.

  13. sweetmother says:

    and by awesom, i mean awesome.

  14. prenin says:

    I have friends of all races and mixtures, three of the kids I looked after were mixed race and we still love each other to death, yet I have been accused repeatedly of being racist because I am white!

    Colour bigotry exists in all races and there’s a real problem with Asian typecasting.

    Just because a tiny minority of muslims want to commit mass murder because they are too poor to afford a wife, doesn’t mean every muslim is in the same group.

    Although I DID end up getting a taxi home from Rochdale with a guy who was later jailed for terrorism.

    Nice bloke… :)

    God Bless!

    Prenin.

  15. drawandshoot says:

    LOVE the final set of drawings Posky, and what you said…

  16. HoaiPhai says:

    Great post! On the humorous side to illustrate how dumb racism is, Chevy Chase once said on Saturday Night Live, “I don’t judge people based on the colour of their skin, I judge people based on the size of their nostrils”. Makes about as much sense, eh?

    I cannot remember who said this (maybe Redd Foxx) but I remember hearing, “If a race of blue people were discovered somewhere, some people would hate them immediately knowing nothing more about them than their skin colour”… so true.

  17. Reblogged this on Human In Recovery and commented:
    I seem to be stepping out of my avoid reblogging policy today. My appreciation to the Clown for sharing this one. My favorite quote from this post is: “The lines aren’t clear enough to be taking sides, so why bother? “

  18. RFL says:

    This is such a great post.

  19. christine says:

    Bravo, Posky. I couldn’t agree more.

  20. asoulwalker says:

    I love the comic at the end. It’s beautiful. It reminds me a little of the Doonesbury the day after Obama got elected in the United States. I’m not exactly sure why it reminds me of that– but apparently I felt it important to type it out.

    • Posky says:

      I have a passionate haltered of Doonesbury because in that world everyone has the exact same face. I find it completely terrifying.

  21. billmcmorrow says:

    Fantastic read, and so true. Two wrongs just suck.

  22. irishsignora says:

    Well said, Posky, and done with great good humor. Hope you don’t mind that I shared it.

  23. Byron says:

    “This has been the trend in television ever since white people considered that maybe not everyone wanted to watch shows only about white people. The only exceptions being Cheers, Friends, Frasier, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, MASH, The Honeymooners, Leave It To Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched, Mad About You, The Flintstones and Gilligan’s Island– unless you take into account the episode where the Harlem Globetrotters show up.”

    I actually prefer NOT to see any black people in movies or television because, most likely, it will be a very embarrassing depiction: notable exceptions (off the top of my head) being Troy from Community. There might be one other show that I forgot to mention. I’ll take an all white cast over a modern day sambo character, any day.

    I was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast, and on one episode he and his guest were recounting when they went into a predominantly black movie theater as the only two white guys in there. Slowly, as the commercials were playing, they noticed that not one person in the ads (or the movie, for that matter), was black. In fact, everyone was white. No asians, no hispanics. Rogan pointed out how weird it was to be surrounded by black people, in a black community, and they were not even represented on screen. He was also high as shit.

    • Posky says:

      I have to agree. Minorities are not just under represented but miss represented. Granted, black and white don’t matter in Hollywood quite so much as the color green– so you wind up with garbage either way. Tyler Perry is awful but he makes people money so I have to keep seeing the trash he makes and hearing about “how funny” Madea was.

      Somehow, despite being a legitimately good show that portrayed black families in a positive light, The Cosby Show still made tons of money. It’s an anomaly but proves that people are okay with seeing actual humans on screen. Since then it almost seems like things have moved backward over the last fifteen years. For every awful show, Like Home Boys In Outer Space, you had a decent one like Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Everybody Hates Chris or even Family Matters. But what is on the air now? Tyler Perry’s For Better Or Worse. I watched a couple of episodes and, for better or worse, it may be the only watchable sitcom with an all black cast currently on television.

      But, you’re right, where is everybody? Why is it that I can’t see more unique characters? Why don’t see the same diversity I see in my life on television and in films? Do people really associate with each other so little that we can’t even see it on the screen?

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  25. a. m. f. says:

    Nice write; the last comic was a brilliant close ~

  26. Here, here. Now let us slay everyone who disagrees with this sentiment!

  27. sarimirfan says:

    The finishing comic did it all! Nicely written.

  28. I would like to think I try my damnedest to be as impartial as I could. But I also know it could be hard when you are surrounded by those who don’t even bother.

    You are, at core, a philanthropist. A very talented one. I love you for that. And I hope it weirds you out.

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