Sunday, April 09, 2006

race relations

Thanks for all of your support, public and private. The post below was in response to a dialogue I've been having (with several others) with Miss Fire on her blog. You can check out her posts here and here. It's her blog, so I suppose that she eventually gets to have the last word.

There are just some lines that I don't think that people should cross. And using that word, with that much venom behind it, is a deal breaker for me. I mean, hey, if that's what you feel in your heart, that's on you. And if that's how you think, and you truly try to make amends for it, and work on it, and change your line of thinking, that's great. But I don't see any evidence of that in these conversations. Please point it out to me if you think I missed something.

I just finished reading a book called Founding Brothers, and in it the point was raised that one of the reasons that early American leaders allowed slavery to continue was that they had no idea to do with all of these black people once they were free, because there had never been a truly biracial society before. That thought just blew me away. And I suppose that's why it's so hard - we're doing something that's never been done before. And we didn't exactly start off on the right foot.

I get really frustrated, because just when I feel good about race relations, something always comes along to destroy my hopeful thoughts. A character in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun says that so many of the problems in this world occur because people just don't sit down and talk to each other. I try to live my life as the conduit between worlds, exposing people to a way of life that they may not have understood before. This experience isn't going to dissuade me from doing what I'm doing. It just motivates me to work harder.

Good God, it's almost 4am. I've got to go to bed.


tuckergurl said...

I just started reading this whole back and forth. I just think some people really do not need to have blogs. There I said it. What she said was completely inappropriate.

Miss Fire said...

Ever heard of free speech? I have the freedom to express my thoughts, however hurtful to you they may be. And you have the freedom not to read it.

L. Britt said...

I'm thinking that this dialogue is devolving into something else...something that is not at ALL constructive. Miss Fire is right, she has the right to post whatever she wants. But I think she hit it on the head. I don't think that she's posting to create a thoughtful discussion. I think she's posting to be "hurtful" and because she's pissed off. I'm also thinking...who has time to read that shit?

Bright-Eyes said...

Most people don't want to talk.
And you can tell, when they are people like her. I could tell that from the first line she wrote.

She tried to get over on the system by pretending she was Cherokee, then thought she knew what the black woman was thinking. Now this.

She is not worth getting dissapointed over, people like her are a dime a dozen and you will only contiue to be sad if you let them get to you.

She likes the internet because no one can know who she is. I bet in real life she pretends to be liberal, and diverse. I bet she can even convince some people she isn't racist.

Forget about her.

An A-List Celebrity said...

Gee, I should have read the comments. I figured the word was "ho."

I'm not kidding. It would NEVER cross my mind that an enlightened white person would use the n word, no matter how many black friends he or she has. It makes me sick and ashamed.

Now I'm not saying Miss Fire didn't have the RIGHT to say the word. She has the RIGHT to say whatever she wants. But rights are beside the point here. We're talking about emotion and feelings.

Ditch the bitch, K. She no longer has the RIGHT to be your blogging buddy.

The Rover said...

I'm a big supporter of free speech - of course she can say what she wants. A-List is dead on with my point - just because you CAN say something doesn't mean that you should. And furthermore, if you're going to say something inflammatory, you better believe that other people are going to have a response.

I also think L. Britt has a great idea - let's make our conversation constructive.

The Bird Man said...

It is a Fox News World that we live in...sadness ensues.

I think it is great that you both (Britt & K. Lance, aka: "you people") stood up to her. I think that you were both right to do so... bigotry is worth fighting where ever it crops up.

Also, Tribe Called Quest is awesome, and she has no right to talk about them in that manner. That part really pissed me off.

Hana said...

Hi, K Lance. You don't know me, and I don't really know you, but I do want to put my thoughts in here.

I don't seem like a minority. I'm 16 years old, I'm not black, and I live in a wealthy suburb of San Francisco. But I'm also female, biracial (half Japanese, half white) and gay. I've had it easy all my life, living in my little bubble of San Francisco liberalism, but I'm going to have to face the real world at some point soon. And, honestly, I'm scared that there are racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted people in the world. I'd like to believe that people are just people, regardless of race or sex or anything else, but the fact is that not everyone believes it too. And what scares me the most is that no one really talks about it. No one will talk about the big issues, like racism and homophobia, that I'm going to have to face when I get out there in the world.

So I kind of just wanted to thank you, and everyone else here, for opening up a discussion like this. And thanks, K Lance, for speaking up for diversity and tolerance. Just...well, thanks.

Melissa said...

I feel like shit.

Sanguine27 said...

"i'm scared that there are racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted people in the world."

Do not be afraid. Your actions will speak volumes. You never know whom you might touch. Just remember not to judge too harshly, (I am not implying that you are doing this) as those with conflicting views have feelings and emotions just like you.

It is impossible to know if miss fire is reveling or suffering right now. Perhaps some solace can be found in the hope that through her online rants, those around her are spared the ugliest manifestations of her anger.

Anger, sadness, and frustration are common emotions. Most people have at some point been overwhelmed by these, spurring actions that often result in feelings of guilt or shame. No doubt that something more elusive than Ms. McKinney’s behavior or some posted comment is inspiring the contempt in miss fire’s heart. I hope that she is able to confront it and make peace. Such a transformation is rarely easy and can never be forced. It is evident though from her posts, that miss fire is steadfast by nature. If she wants it, nothing will stop her I am sure.

Do not feel bad. Every time someone reinforces hate, someone else reinforces love. This is easy to prove. All you have to do is decide to be the someone else.