Monday, December 04, 2006

Take This Blog & Shove It

So… It has been awhile since we have had an updated blog. I apologize. My tardiness in posting a blog is inexcusable and is a disrespectful display against our scared domain. If there was an excuse for my lateness it would be the sensitivity surrounding the subject that I wish to discuss. Racism.

Unless you live in a barn you have surely heard about Michael Richards’ recent racist tirade. This rant has sparked a debate among all races regarding the use of the N-word and other racially offensive words. I am not going to pretend that those reading this blog have no idea what those words are, nor will I be even more naïve to assume that those reading this blog have never spoken a racially insensitive word in his/her life. The issue I have and desire to discuss is the level of comfort some individuals possess when speaking in such racially insensitive terms.

We have all been in this situation. The situation where someone chooses to tell a racial joke or begins a sentence with, “I’m not a racist but . . .” I personally hate those situations. I usually choose to respectfully listen and give my nervous laugh but inside I am anxious with uneasiness. Is there an etiquette rule in this situation? How do you tell your friend, uncle, taxi driver, etc. that you do not approve of what they are saying? I guess what bothers me the most in these situations is how those who choose to speak in racially insensitive terms are not concerned that the person(s) to whom they are speaking with might not be comfortable hearing those words.

The easy thing to do in this situation if you are the one hearing the racially insensitive comments would be to ignore them. To ignore the comments spoken would avoid an awkward confrontation ending in a lesson on racial sensitivity or anger fueled by embarrassment. Also, to ignore the comments spoken would allow the offending individual to continue his/her life comfortably speaking in offensive and racial terms. However, you are still sitting there feeling uncomfortable. Ignoring your lack of comfort in these situations defeats the purpose of the feeling. You are supposed to feel uncomfortable in these situations. If you do not, there is a problem.

There is a reason you feel uncomfortable. The uncomfortable feeling one gets in these situations is the cue to speak up. All that needs to be said is, “I am uncomfortable with your comments.” No self righteousness needs to coincide with the comment nor is this an opportunity to get on a soap box. With those six words you have the opportunity to change another person’s perspective. And now you have made the offending individual uncomfortable and maybe next time he/she will not be so comfortable speaking such offensive language.

9 comments:

Heath said...

I'm really glad you decided to go with this topic. Good point, about the uneasy feeling, being the best display of a problem.

It was like this time a Robot came up to me and started talking all about how the Hu-man been keeping him down. So I took out his robot soul; his battery. That'll teach him. Damn Dirty Robots.

evan said...

I'm not a racist, but...that was a good blog, well edited to boot.

Mount Washington Brain Trust & Pipe Club said...

I'm a robot.

Mount Washington Brain Trust & Pipe Club said...

That's my advice for those situations. When some Michael Richards is going on with some Mel Gibson-type comment, just say, "I'm a (insert group being offended here)." It'll make them pause even if it's clearly not true.

Although, I am indeed, a robot.

~Marie

Heath said...

You are not a ROBOT! I've seen your parts!

I didn't even pause for a second!

Anonymous said...

bleep boop beep

Kara said...

Your comments are making me uncomfortable

Anonymous said...

Laws of Robotics

Law I - A robot may not harm a human or, by inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Law II - A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the first law.

Law III - A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.

Kara said...

Evan - I know it was you that wrote that last comment and the "Laws of Robotics" is from the movie "I Robot." GET BACK TO STUDYING!