I'm Italian and, like all Italians, I suffer the slings and arrows of racism on a daily basis. Do I complain, does anyone complain -- for that matter, do I call Jesse Jacksione, or boycott Olive Garden? "Fagettaboutit." Italians could give a flying cannoli. We laugh at the way we're stereotyped because we know we're the best race in the world; best food, designers, most influential astronomers, flashy cars, etc. We secretly smile every time we're depicted in the media breaking legs or making pizza because we know we're the best. The Irish have a similar situation to the Italians, every time they're in the media they're drunk, playing a crooked cop, or fighting in Boston. The Irish don't have a problem with this. I'm suggesting that, regardless or your race or religion, you may want to consider the Italian/Irish/"I don't give a damn" mentality. I'm suggesting ethnocentrism of the most confident degree. Read the rest of this and you'll see what I mean.
I was watching Inside Edition tonight and they showed a clip and, sadly included the audio, of Rosie O'Donnell ridiculing Dog Chapman. There are many things I could say about Rosie but the thing I can't get over is, of all people, she's a painful hypocrite. Imagine, a lesbian, who preaches tolerance for all, yet is the most opinionated, intolerant, and judgmental person I've heard in a long time. The gay and lesbian community seek tolerance and support on a daily basis, yet Rosie (a public spokesperson for the group) can't seem to take a breath, properly use her celebrity, and help those "ignorant few" who are, apparently, may be more like her than, I'm sure, she would care to admit.
By "ignorant few" I mean the folks lambasted in the media over the last couple of years for spewing racist comments: Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, Isaiah Washington, Paris Hilton, Dog Chapman, and Don Imus, to name a few. Who knows how bad these people are or are not. We have to stop chastising these loose-lipped idiots and ask a simple question; Why? Find out why. Let them speak without the fear of losing millions of dollars and receiving death threats. It is only by getting to the bottom line that we can change things -- or don't you want to change things. Comedians and animated shows like Family Guy get to the bottom line and they do it better than anyone. The rules in comedy are simple; if you are from that group or race you can put them down and make fun. If you're not, you can't. That's it. Dem da rules. Brilliant comedians like Jackie Mason, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Ellen Degeneres, and Carlos Mencia have flourished because they are calling us all out on how we think. "Funny," after all, is what we're thinking and doing but are all afraid to talk about. Fact, every ethnicity, every race, and every religion has a "stereotype." Like it or not, that's the way it is. We may not talk about it but we all know who exemplifies these stereotypes. I can't list the groups here because my career is still budding and I won't risk being grotesquely twisted into some racist monster. Sad. We should all be able, here in America, to write and say what we think. With consequence of course, but, nonetheless, say it without being wrongly accused. It just seems, that these days people play the "racist sexist card" when ever they need a news story or have no "come back."
When I've lived in all white communities I would hear racist jokes and comments occasionally. Most of it harmless. Some of it downright ignorant. And, that's just it, it was ignorant. These people don't know any better. However, by making everyone walk on politically correct eggshells we are only exacerbating the problem.
If you've ever sung along to a Tupac while driving alone in your car, laughed at a joke that depicts a stereotype, or screamed a word in a fit of anger, does that make you an all out racist? No, it doesn't. It's the mentality behind the comments that we need to focus on.
Back I the '70s a TV show called All In the Family would deal with subject matter that was fearless. The true racists got to see how stupid they were being, and the people on the fence took a more tolerant stance on "different." I'm not suggesting we're all innocent but I think that we are missing out on a great opportunity to expose the truth in how America thinks and consequently help educate a few people.
Dog Chapman could have changed the minds of a large portion of his audience if we had asked why instead of labeling him "a trailer park redneck" (Rosie called him something similar). Think about it.