21 August 2010

Post Racial


It's been a strange week, hasn't it? Dr. Laura claimed that her "First Amendment" rights were somehow violated by her quitting her own radio show after she made blatantly racist comments on the air.

She should look into that free speech First Amendment thing, but I'll break it down for her as I understand it in my simple-minded way: if you say something stupid and someone tells you to shut up, that's not a violation of your first amendment rights. If you say something (that doesn't provoke real danger) and the government tells you to shut up, that IS a violation of your first amendment rights. Done.

There is also is the whole "Mosque at Ground Zero" (not a mosque, not at Ground Zero) trumped-up controversy to keep us from thinking about things like how the economy is el Fuquito and the environment isn't much better.

In the midst of all this brouhaha, I got THIS from someone who is in a club with me. They sent it to the whole club email list and they are defending their "right" to do so. I have not corrected the punctuation or grammar, but I did, to spare you, dear readers, reduce it from the 72 point bright blue type in the email. My comments are [in red].
Proud to be White

Michael Richards makes his point...............

Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs Seinfeld does make a good point. [Ok, you have already repeated yourself. AND left out some commas. Way to start, genius].

This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points...[Didn't you just say that? Or are you not even paying attention to your own stupid email?]

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

And then there are just Americans. [I guess you have never heard of Irish Americans. Or Italian Americans. Or Polish Americans. Do I need to continue?] You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White boy,' 'Cracker,' 'Honkey,' 'Whitey,' 'Caveman'... and that's OK..[To whom is that ok? Have you asked everyone?]

But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink .. You call me a racist. [And, one might think, beat your ass. Also, nice use, of misplaced, comma.]

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you... so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live? [Places with POOR people tend to be more dangerous, no matter who the residents are. This isn't a racial thing. This is an economic kind of thing.]

You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.

You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day.

You have Yom Hashoah. You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi. [I think someone with actual google skillz may have intervened here.]

You have the NAACP. You have BET.... If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we'd be racists. If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists. [White people CREATED the racist structures that made special days, channels etc necessary. But forget all that.]

If we had White History Month, we'd be racists. [White history month is every month. I went through all of fourth grade learning about the California missions and I can't remember anyone ever mentioning the native people who built them.]

If we had any organization for only whites to 'advance' OUR lives, we'd be racists. [I'm old enough to remember organizations like Rotary, the Democratic National Convention and the Mormon church arguing over whether to admit Black people. But that was a long, long time ago. Like, whole decades.]

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that?? [Um, the members?]

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant. [Miss Black America (not "American") was developed because black women could not be in the Miss America pageant in 1967. The contest rules of Miss Black America say nothing about race.]

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships... You know we'd be racists. [Like when we barred people of color and Jews from many US universities all those years].

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US ..... Yet if there were 'White colleges', that would be a racist college. [The black colleges are now known as "historically black." This is because, while they admit students of all races, they were developed to give bright young African Americans a place to go to college - since there were few other opportunities for advanced education for them. So they develop these institutions to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and you want to put them down for that. Nice.]

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists. [The Million Man March was about making people more politically aware and active. Is there a problem with that? And what rights, exactly, do you not have as white people? Just wondering.]

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists. [Good call on the orange, but you forgot purple and green. Racists usually throw in purple and green.]

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist. [Not clear on the logic here. There is only minority-on-white crime? And that makes it ok for police to shoot gang members and beat up suspects? Um...you're going to have to clarify because I'm not following].

I am proud... But you call me a racist. [Maybe because you say racist stuff like the n word and towel-head??]

Why is it that only whites can be racists?? [Who is saying only white people can be racists?]

There is nothing improper about this e-mail.. [Except the logic, the fallacies, the generalizations and the racist language. That's all]. Let's see which of you are proud enough to send it on. [I only wish it were on paper so I could throw it in the fireplace]. I sadly don't think many will. [It's sad that you are an idiot]. That's why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. [Name two. Ok, just one. I'm waiting. ] We won't stand up for ourselves! [You're going to fight for the right to...do what? Party?]

BE PROUD TO BE WHITE! [I'm proud when I succeed at being decent and kind. My skin color is not that fabulous to me, and in any case, was an accident of birth. I would actually prefer something a little more Salma Hayek colored, but that's just because I would rather tan than burn.]
It's not a crime YET.... but getting very close! [How is it close? Tell me. Please, I'm all ears.]

It is estimated that ONLY 5% of those reaching this point in this e-mail will pass it on. [I'm kind of amazed I reached this point, since you don't have one. If I passed it on, I would expect to be scorned, laughed at and perhaps spat upon. So I will just make fun of it on my blog, instead.]

BTW, Michael Richards never said that. It is from an email that has been floating around forever, according to Snopes.com.

I guess it was good that I received the email, because it reminded me of how much work there is to be done. Sigh.

But if you have any energy for dealing with this, please comment and I will print the comments to give to the *PERSON* who sent me the email. We are due to hash it out in our club meeting since he feels his emailing rights have been violated because I asked him to never email me again unless it was official club business. Thanks.

Image is some poor kid from google.


*edited to add: I originally called the person who sent this a rude name, but I changed it to say *PERSON* because they protested. You see, it is ok for them to say the N-word and other racial epithets repeatedly, but it isn't ok for me to do any "name calling. " That makes about as much sense as everything else they said.

18 August 2010

Getting Old is Fun

I was judging a Toastmasters humorous speech contest last night and found myself sitting in the back row next to a gorgeous and charming man, Brian von Dedenroth.

(Judging a contest is no sign of my skill as a humorist - there were about 10 volunteer judges).

Now, my Toastmasters group isn't short on charming men - I am regularly flattered by the attentions of Bruce S., who is 80-something but still has a spark in his eye, a spring in his step, and a certain special way with the ladies. But I think even the men in my group would admit that we are long on smart and short on gorgeous, so Brian's presence was a pleasant surprise.

During a contestant interview, the interviewer was asking the speaker about sardine fishing (of all things).

"So six inches is a good size."

I could not stop myself. I whispered "That's what she says."

Brian jolted in his seat and choked a little.

I think I am going to enjoy being a terrible, shameless little old lady.

15 August 2010

Hot cha cha!

In a fit of botanical ambition, I expanded my little urban garden this year.

I grew:
-4 kinds of tomatoes
-Bananas
-Green Beans
-Herbs (dill, mint, chives, basil)
-Strawberries (pretty stupid, considering strawberries are $5 per half flat here)
-Tomatillos
-And this pretty "Hungarian Carrot" chile plant:
IMG00240.jpg
I assumed it would be sweet like orange peppers from the grocery store.

WRONG. I bit off a piece today and it made tears squirt out of my eyes. My mouth was afire, even after milk, cheese and a handful of Planter's low-salt Peanuts. I actually went over to the mirror to see if I had blisters on my lips and tongue.

I like spicy food - in fact, last Sunday I was making fun of my gringo friendsLaurieWrites, Goon Squad Sarah, Suzanne, and Clumber Kim for not being able to handle the "medium" hot guacamole at Rosa Mexicano restaurant. (They seemed to handle it better after a few Bloody Marys).

But this. This was different. I always thought of the Hungarians as mild-mannered people, spice-wise, based, I suppose, on their love of sweet paprika.

They fooled me. The Hungarian Carrot pepper is hotter than a Serrano, not as hot as a HabaƱero. But plenty hot enough for this gabacha. The plant produced a bounty, so I have quite a few. Any takers? I'll pick some for you.
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