Over the past several posts, I have said a lot about stereotypes, race and related topics but for everything I have mentioned, there have been many areas I wanted to talk about but when I sat down at the computer to type my posts, they went out of my head. I think that’s one of the problems with me caused by my DAMP. I get loads of ideas, too many in fact that when it comes to putting them all together, some of them end up going south. I know I made that mistake when I wrote my first book “Rock and Roll Children.”
Let’s begin straight away and I will start with my posts about interracial bullying. Today there is a popular phrase being batted around whenever the subject of race comes up. That phrase is ‘playing the race card.’ I will be the first to admit that there are many instances where the race card is needlessly played in situations where it wasn’t warranted. It’s also true that some members of racial minorities will play it to gain and advantage. However, it is gotten to the point that whenever race comes up that many white people immediately assume that the race card is being played. My fear is that when there is a genuine case of racism, it will just be assumed that the race card is being played and any quest for justice will be ignored.
In my last post, I wrote about the racial stereotype that African Americans want to solve everything with their fists. I remembered after I made that post that the redneck who admitted he was in the Klu Klux Klan also thought he could get anything he wanted by using his fists. That proves that African Americans aren’t the only ones who think like this besides the fact there are many who do use their words.
On my post about “Race and the Numbers Game,” I left out my observations about (American) football. Many will point out there there are more African American quarterbacks and head coaches in the NFL then there were just a decade ago. I have noticed at least last season that there seems to be more caucasian wide receivers, a position pretty much monopolised by African American players, than in previous seasons. What I am saying here is that a balance is beginning to be struck here and I hope it can continue.
Another area of the numbers game I left out is interracial relationships. I think the main reason many white people at least have problems with it is because it has been mainly black men with white women. Maybe it’s me but I am seeing more and more white men with black women. Now some will point the accusing finger because they heard a black man say that if his sister or in some cases any “sister” was with a white man, they were going to kick his white a*s and I admit, I heard it said on several occasions too. However, these are still in the minority. It could have been dealt with in the UK back in the late 80s on the soap opera “East Enders” when one of the black male characters goes way off the scale because his sister brings home a white man but the BBC went chicken sh*t and didn’t do anything with it. The bottom line is that if two people like or love each other, than the colour of their skins doesn’t matter.
This flows greatly into another point I missed about British people being more tolerant than Americans. In Britain, mixed race persons are more easily accepted. Sure, Britain has it share of humanitarian fascists (people who justify right wing views on humanitarian grounds) and like America, interracial families are fertile ground for them. But in Britain, the argument that people of different races shouldn’t be together because no race will accept their children is on extremely thin ice.
Back to American football but this time from a standpoint of the UK and US. In 1991, the London Monarchs American Football time achieved world wide glory by winning the World Bowl. I thought that the people of London would celebrate the fact that a championship trophy was brought to their fair city. I was wrong. The Monarchs’ victory received very little recognition outside the American football world. There was very little said about it in the media. To most Londoners, it was simply ‘a bunch of Yanks coming over here to play their game’ which I thought rather ignorant. After all, when my beloved Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup in 1974 and 75, it didn’t matter to me that the entire team was Canadian nor did matter to the people of Philadelphia because all that mattered was that a Philadelphia team had won a championship. I used to further add that if a kabadi team from London had won a championship, that anyone who didn’t celebrate the victory would have been branded racist but I know that they do play the game in London so that theory is wrong. My moral here is to support your city’s team no matter where the players come from.
I have to admit that for a while, I had a stereotype about British people. One day when I was crossing a zebra crossing in London, a motorist who had to grudgingly stop because he was legally obligated to let me cross, flipped me the finger when I crossed. So after I got to the other side of the road, I turned and said “Same to you” when he drove past. As I was walking off, I heard screeching brakes and horns beeping. I observed that the car I had said that to had stopped on the crossing and was going to back up to come after me and would have done so if there hadn’t been a line of traffic behind him. This incident along with some others like when I worked as a market research interviewer and had people on the street say unsavoury things to me but threaten to report me when me or one of my colleagues give a sarcastic response to such comments convinced me for a time that British people loved to dish it out but couldn’t take it themselves.
I know that this isn’t really the case about British people but some individuals and misguided youths who bleat on about respect. The British are capable of taking the piss out of themselves and there are plenty of examples of films and television shows where this happens. Americans are capable of doing the same, “South Park” and “The Simpsons” are proof. However, but you still couldn’t do it about their military. To find any satire about that, you’d have to go back to the pre-Regan days with MASH and the film 1941. Americans, me included, do need to lighten up a bit more.
Finally, I can say that there is some ways to go even here in the UK. For example, I have found myself wanting to play the nationality card on the grounds that nobody is going to cry racism for a white American. However, although I can’t prove it, I do believe that there were times where I have experienced discrimination but if I say anything, I will be told that I’m just playing that card. This was reinforced by the one time I did try to make a complaint and was told that white Americans don’t come under the racial equality act. But nevertheless, I have still managed to forge a career for myself here in the UK, so it can’t have been that bad.
While I have gotten a three ton weight off my chest, I know, thanks to my Asperger’s, that these thoughts will never go away and will play havoc with me in the back of my mind. Another point I missed was the was the case of Sophie Lancaster, the goth girl who was killed in Manchester a few years back. Some Americans who like to tease and ridicule people who adapt that life style have probably said to them, “You think we’re bad, you’re lucky you’re not in England, they’ll kill you for looking like that there.” What these people forget is that most Brits saw this as an unnecessary tragedy and proves my points on tolerance. One wild speculation is that if Halloween was from any other country than the US, would calls to ban it be considered racist? I went trick or treating as a kid and it never did me any harm. Likewise with the anti American teacher who thought proms should be banned because it was an American institution. I am resolved to the fact that there will always be nit wits like this but there are even more in the US, you can’t escape them. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
Next post; My Official Apology to the USMC