Mar. 3rd, 2009

WHERE DO I GET GIRL SCOUT COOKIES IF I DON'T KNOW ANY ACTUAL GIRL SCOUTS?

I need them :'(
I made an entry about this and then deleted it. And now I'm rewriting it.

Basically, I got in a near argument about racism as it pertained to one of the books in my Graphic Narrative class, seeing as it was set in the south during the 60's.

My argument was this: The main character's parents were racist. They did not commit hate crimes, and (most of the time) were pretty ok around black people, however they held some pretty dumbass ideas about them ("their bones are stronger because they're closer to apes!") and did not actively fight the racist system that existed. However, the mother insisted that the kids never say the n-word. I said that, for the time, it was good that the mother disciplined them on that. It was a small step in the right direction, despite everything else that went against it. Further, because of the impression that discipline left on the kids, that helped them to become active in the movement when they became adults. I don't absolve them of the messed up shit they did later in the novel, but I do feel that the n-word discussion was important.

Only one other person in my class agreed with me. Everyone else insisted that a racist is a racist is a racist, and even if you're not committing hate crimes, you're just as bad as the people who are doing so, and until you're actively fighting the system, you're in the wrong.

So my general question for discussion is this, I guess. Are there really no shades of grey within the issue of racism? In my mind there's a scale from bad to worst. Being complicit in a fucked system would fall under "bad", and lynching would fall under "worst."

I have such a hard time with race issues because, being white, I kind of feel like I have no place in the discussion, other than to feel an irrational need to apologize for the past and feel a bit like an asshole because I know there's no way I'll ever really get it, if you know what I mean. I really hope I'm not being unintentionally offensive here, but I really feel like I missed something somewhere, and I won't mind being straightened out if it's necessary. =\

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anneford

March 2014

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