Thursday, August 8, 2013

Affirmative Action is White Slavery (and other stuff you didn't know were "things")

The title is not for shock value. I'm not making this up. Some of you who regularly read my blogs may even agree with it. That's the gift (and curse) of having a diverse audience. We're not always going to agree, but I do get to see different opinions. (it should be noted that I'm listening to "Back dat azz up" as I write this....taking over for the 99 and the 2000. just thought you should know) BTW... watch this video...because...let's discuss. White Slavery!

How in the entire hell would anyone make THAT analogy? Whetttt?!?!? White Slavery? What did white people lose...a few spots in college? A promotion or two? HOW IN THE HELL CAN THEY COMPARE THAT TO SLAVERY?!?! I mean...that's the emotional response. I'm not emotional, though. So I'll look at this as if I were white for a minute (indulge'll be fun).

This is what they expected me to be on the news.

For the purpose of this exercise, I will assume that my character stays the same and I'm simply transformed physically. I'll remove the conditioning. I'll assume a position of equality based on hard work (and maybe a little family parents earned that). how do I feel about affirmative action? Well, if I'm better for the job, shouldn't I get the job? Why yes the hell I should! If I'm more qualified for the university, shouldn't I be accepted? You daaaaaamn right I should! I never owned a slave...why should I have to pay for slavery?!?!?! This is an outrage! This is oppression!!! is....THIS IS SLAVERY!!!!!

This is what they got!

I imagine that's how that thought process plays out. And let's all suspend our background for JUST a second, and admit that seeing someone get a job you're more qualified for, or a spot in college you're more qualified for, hurts. I don't care what color you are, losing out on something to someone you feel is undeserving stings and causes you to react. The first reaction is often to say "this isn't fair". I is SUPPOSED to be fair, right? Of course it is. And...this is America gosh darnit! this is the place where hard work is rewarded and lazy people get exactly what they deserve...NOTHING! Cool...Cool...except that's NEVER actually been America. Ever. Not once. At no point has there been absolute equality (or even close).

I'm here to break the shackles for my white brethren

So...let's figure this out. How about we start with...Affirmative Action isn't slavery. At all. Not even kinda. Slavery involved people being forced to leave their country, family, lives and work for someone, with no money in return (if you say the slaves were provided with food, clothing, and shelter i might slap your lips off fam...cut that shit out). As a matter of fact, can we stop comparing shit to slavery other than people being forced to work for someone for free and not being allowed to quit, walk away, stop, etc? I don't think this is a lot to ask, ok? Ok. Also, the holocaust isn't a natural analogy to make for hate. Millions of people killed because they were Jewish. Unless you're comparing another group of millions killed because of their ethnicity/religion/etc...find another word. Shit can be really really really bad without resorting to the hyperbole.

Ok...soooo is Affirmative Action...bad? If you know me, you know I think most things are neither bad or good. Most. Sexual Assault, Pedophilia, Oppression...yeah that's bullshit. Most other things I recognize are rarely all one or the other. Take AA. For minorities (which includes women), AA helped (and still does) balance the scales of being denied fair opportunities. For the majority group (in this case, white males), AA took away some opportunities. Without context, you can see how losing opportunities that you once had, based solely on race/sex, can be viewed as discrimination (still bullshit because context isn't a make believe word but...) We can have an intellectual discussion about whether or not it's STILL relevant/needed if you'd like. We can discuss whether it's "racism against whites" if you'd like (it's not because it's not but....). What we can't do is pretend that the default setting on this country until the 1960's was legally protected discrimination. President LB Johnson said "" seems logical. But it's 2013. I'm open for the discussion. What I'm NOT here for is the extreme position on either side. Nope, a person of another race not liking me is not necessarily racism. I'm loud. I cuss occasionally (though far less in real life than you'd think). I refuse to shave my beard. I resist most attempts to define me and to assimilate. In other words...I can understand you not liking me and it doesn't necessarily have a thing to do with my beautiful copper toned skin and luxurious beard. On the other hand, every time a black person mentions race, it's not an attempt to make white folks feel guilty about slavery or ask for reparations (most of us have accepted that shit ain't gonna happen). Rarely do we attempt to discuss. If I discuss something for days it doesn't mean I'm outraged. Most of the black people I know (this isn't scientific, but it's telling) were NOT outraged about the Paula Deen situation. We made jokes about it. We hashtagged it on twitter. We even pointed out that the slavery dinner was probably a bigger deal than the use of the word nigger. What we DIDN'T do was picket, sit-in, ask for a government inquiry, riot, loot...unless you define outrage by "blogging the SHIT outta that story"....nah. Folks just found a story about a public figure and discussed it.

AA is white slavery? Reach on fam

Now...I'm not going to ignore the feeling of unfairness some white people are experiencing. I don't believe I can expect my experience to be respected while I'm dismissive of yours. But....let's not reach, Mr Fantastic. Affirmative Action was intended to right a historical wrong. It was clearly not designed with the sole purpose of demeaning white men (remember white WOMEN benefited from Affirmative Action, too). If you really believe it's unfair, then produce a less emotional argument devoid of hyperbole. Show how ending AA would be beneficial, not just to you, but to the country as a whole. Or...just keep saying ridiculous shit while I laugh. (now listening to Ha. my music choices didn't influence my writing...but i want to share)

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Mandatory Riley Cooper Blog (or..."you guys say it tooooo")

Seems like all anyone is talking about recently is race. Zimmerman, Deen, and now Riley Cooper (he of the Philadelphia Eagles) have kept the conversation going. I've written enough about race for a lifetime. I'm just as tired of it as you are. Here's the vid...

But...I had a conversation with a co-worker yesterday that helped me articulate my feelings a little better. See, my co-worker also happens to be a very funny (but clean) comedian. He strays away from "controversial" topics and does material that, for the most part, would be considered family-friendly. That's also his personality, so it makes sense (follow him or whatever @erikedmunds on twitter). Anyway, as you may know...I'm NOT a clean comedian. I say things that some may find offensive. I've never told a joke with the intention of offending (in fact, I rarely if ever say "nigger/nigga" on stage). But my personality causes me to address topics that people are passionate about. Those topics are often polarizing (not to mention i got this AMAZING bit about vibrators). Oh...and I cuss (Erik says I use "swear words"...because he's a 70 year old in a 31 year olds body).

Erik Says "Don't Swear"...asshole

Anyway, comedians use language to get their audience to respond (hopefully by laughing or applauding...hopefully). I don't expect the things I say on stage to necessarily be acceptable in public (i still say the shit...but whatever). There's a reason it's called "an act". So...let's discuss group dynamics and social contracts. I don't call women bitch or cunt because I understand that those words are offensive to women. I don't really need to know "why". Specifically because i'm NOT a woman and I grasp group dynamics, I don't care if women call each other 50 leven (if u don't get's ok) bitches...I know I shouldn't. Same with "faggot". I grew up during a time where people said that word freely. Louis CK opens one of his sets with a joke about how it was used when he was growing up. As time changed, the contract changed. People realized (for the most part) that it was offensive to the LGBT (of course some aren't general though) community and stopped using it. I don't care if I was at a Pride parade and saw a bazillion people saying it...I wouldn't join in. Group Dynamics. I'm not a part of the group...I don't get to make the rules (Paula Deen...I grew up hearing that word and figured out NOT to use it...see?). Heterosexual privilege doesn't compel me to say "but you say it..." because I don't feel entitled to group membership.

That's the issue for me. The "it's hypocrisy because you guys say it" argument is boiling down complex dynamics into "if you want equality, then everyone can do the same things". If you believe It's bullshit. But cool. Because you also have to live with yourself. Do you want to say nigger/cunt/bitch/faggot for equality? Because I've never seen anyone using those words in that context attacked. Louis CK didn't get charges of racism/homophobia for his stand up where he used both the f/n words within 10 minutes of each other. Why? Because...context. Context. But...nuanced thinking isn't for everyone. Neither is honesty. If you're intellectually honest, you know that there are things your wife can say to you that aren't acceptable if someone else says it. You get it. You just don't want to. Stop It B

Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's not You, It's ME...Really

I've got an announcement to suck. You are not nearly as awesome as you think. I know all of the self-help books are there to make you believe that you're AMAZING and worthy of not just love, but praise and worship!!! *catches the holy ghost...does the cat daddy to Mary Mary* You're not. You're probably a good person. You have a lot of great qualities. Probably have a good heart and allat. But you're not perfect. None of us are. And the sooner we accept that, the sooner we can be better. 
Probably Not

I'm a great debater (no Denzel). I can argue. That's my gift....and my curse. I've broken up with women because I was wrong and made them feel like it was THEIR fault. That's called "being a piece of shit". Not in every case, but...enough to see a pattern. Now to be fair, I've loved women before. I've cared greatly for a few women. But...taking responsibility for my mistakes was never a part of my makeup. When I finally figured out "oh...they're NOT crazy, I'm full of shit" life changed.

Ask yourself...when your significant other tells you they don't like something you you think about it, consider how they're seeing it, then address it? Or... (what most people do) do you defend yourself? No one likes to be "attacked". But this isn't your enemy. This is someone you're either getting to know better, or building a life with. When you defend yourself, you're saying "whatever I'm doing is cool, you've got it all wrong". When you think/consider first, you're saying "the person that I care about is affected by my behavior. How can I correct that?". I mean...if your goal is to actually have a happy relationship, you'd probably want to do the latter. Is that what you want? Or do you want someone to worship the ground you walk on and see you as the modern day Christ, incapable of mistake?

Some woman out there is reading this and nodding. She's going "yep...i just want him to accept that he's wrong sometimes". Yes, ma'am. I'm here for you. But... (come on knew a "but" was coming) what are you contributing to your own demise? When he says something you do bothers him, do you say "i only do that because I care"? Or one of my favorites "I'm a women, what do you expect?". Own your shit, too. If this is a man that you want to be with, it's important that you know what he likes/doesn't like. Asking him to give you a pass whilst changing who he is will leave you alone and bitter. 
Come on...can't ONE of these not be corny?

Nobody gets a pass. You gotta know your strengths and weaknesses. Then find someone you can be yourself around. Someone who knows how to work through misunderstandings and come out stronger. If every time you argue, you love him/her less and're doing it wrong (or you're with the wrong person). Listen to your own conversations. If you find yourself talking about everything that's wrong with the opposite're losing. Don't's JUST as unhealthy to think it's ALWAYS your fault. You need balance. Once you have a realistic view of yourself, you can really go and find what you deserve. 

P.S. I'm not a relationship expert. These are my observations and if you can relate, cool. If not? It ain't for you. In the meantime...waffles.