Jezebel.com is one of my very favorite blogs. This was posted today. I wonder when advertising will stop playing into people’s fears?
This is my favorite part of Dave Chapelle’s “Killin ’em Softly.” I think it may be the best representation of DBR there is:
I wish Dave Chapelle was still more prominent. He is a genius when it comes to talking about race.
Yesterday, something happened to me that was a little funny, kind of jarring, and totally racist. I was in the picturesque foothill town of Morrison, Colorado with my tweens and our friends. We had just come off a great morning of miniature golf and comraderie, and we were standing in a parking lot wondering if it was better to stay and pay the $5 to park or to take our chances and try and find free street parking. As we debated the merits of each and wrangled children, a pick up truck roared by and some kid screamed out “White power!” It really was very stereotypical and though I didn’t see for sure, I bet that truck had Truck Nuts on it.
My friend who was standing closest to me looked stunned and asked “Did I just hear what I think I heard?” But before I could answer yes, another friend’s son misheard what was screamed and lead the rest of the kids in a chant of “Fight the Power!” Our darling little protesters! What could have been an awful moment was lightened by the innocence of our kids. Leading me to believe that children really aren’t born with racial/cultural prejudice. Perhaps my friends and I have done an excellent job of keeping our little ones in a warm and fuzzy bubble of tolerance. Maybe it is a little of both. Whatever the cause, I am happy with the results.
I know I’m not the only POC in these here United States who has experienced something like drive by racism. Drive by racism is that time someone told you that you were a credit to your race in some way, shape, or form. or when you’ve heard that you are pretty for a black girl and it was meant it as a compliment. Or being asked where you are from and then the person is shocked that you aren’t from any place more exotic than St. Louis, Missouri. All those amusingly racist things that happen to you when you are a person of color.
Being able to laugh about most things keeps me sane, and reminds me that I don’t have to be a bystander or a punching bag. I had no control over that person’s attitude or words, but I can control my reaction to that prejudice and stupidity. I chose not to let it ruin a day that ended up being one of the best days in recent memory, but I am sad that I am jaded enough not to be surprised by the fact that it happened. And angry that his thoughtlessness was screamed out in front of impressionable children.
I think that laughter can help sugar coat a bitter pill, and my hope is that by talking and laughing about those fucked up little things that happen when you least expect it, we can take some of the sting out of talking about race and culture and begin to converse honestly and to heal the rift in our country. Sunlight makes the best disinfectant, and I want to help move the conversation along.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I present Drive By Racism: A lighthearted look at racism and its absurdity. Because sometimes you have to laugh to keep from screaming.