Enough is Enough

DISCLAIMER— IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY FOUL LANGUANGE… OK, if you’re offended by foul language you shouldn’t read my blog at all. However, if you are additionally offended or sickened or enraged or whatever by ignorant comments, prejudice, racial slurs and epithets, you probably shouldn’t read this post. Although, technically, the whole reason why I’m writing this probably has to do with the way you feel about ignorant comments, prejudice, racial slurs and epithets.

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Ok… So Donald Sterling is an asshole.

We get it.

That being said…

Was it really necessary to make such a fuss over some asshole, being an asshole and a bigot? All the fines and bans and forcing to sell his team crap… He’s a billionaire. 2.5 mil? Chump change. And he bought the Clippers for I think about 14 million. They’re estimating he’ll be able to sell it at about a billion. As for the ban, I don’t know the man and I can’t say how shitty that might be for him.

The fact remains… It’s a big bunch of bullshit.

I do not see how this being the leading story on NPR FOR FIVE DAYS could possibly be warranted.

I agree that the issue of race and intolerance is still a hot button in this country. I agree that we shouldn’t ignore stuff like this, especially when it comes to a prominent figure in a multi-million dollar industry that happens to employ a lot of prominent minorities.

But to spend this much time and attention on this is not making things easier. This is not “teaching a lesson” to bigots and assholes everywhere. Bigots and assholes are bigots and assholes and while I’m not saying they can’t change, watching some billionaire get fined a bunch of money is not going to make BillyBob in BumFuck, Georgia believe that “Those Damn Niggers” aren’t ruining life for him and all the other hard-working white folk out there. Or make Josh in White Bread, Connecticut change his mind that it was the fact that he was white that got him passed over for that scholarship and not the fact he got 900 on his SATs. Or make Officer Anthony in Queens, NY stop frisking hispanics simply because they’re brown.

The more we make a big deal about stupid crap like this, the more it stays on people’s minds. And while bigotry and ignorance is something to be mindful of to some extent, the best way to get it out the door is to stop making it an issue at all. People are going to be dicks. About everything. Not just race. People are dicks about anyone that is different. Different religion, heritage, sexual orientation, sex, appearance? Sure. Mental or physical disability? Yup. Income level? Mmhmm. Social standing? Ya. Level of education? The list goes on. Take a good look at your own life. I can guarantee there is something about you that someone, somewhere is a dick about. The more focus and time and energy we devote to those who are dicks about specific issues like race, ethnicity and sexual orientation? The more importance we give them and the stupid things they say.

They’re not important. They’re assholes. Period.

History is important. It’s important to see where we’ve come from. But it’s also important not to dwell there. Words hurt because you let them. Assholes say things about specific groups not to hurt them, but because they’re ignorant and they actually believe what they’re saying. There’s a difference between ignorance and malice. Beating a black man to death for dating a white girl… That’s malice. That’s horrible and that SHOULD be the leading story in the news for 5 days. Expressing the opinion that interracial couples are wrong isn’t mean, it’s stupid. And that asshole should be called on it, advised they’re ignorant and then attempt to explain why. Then move on. Ignorance turns to malice only if the person had the capacity for it in the first place. Just because you’re an asshole and you think interracial couples are wrong, doesn’t mean you think it’s okay to beat a black man to death for dating a white girl.

This isn’t the 60’s anymore. We have a black president. And no, that doesn’t mean there’s no problems. But don’t dwell on the ignorance of the past. You’re not going to change someone’s mind if they don’t want to open it. Be an example. Don’t preach. Get off your soapbox and introduce that asshole who doesn’t like interracial couples to your neighbors who’ve been happily married, upstanding members of the community for 40 years, raised 2 beautiful kids, and just watched their oldest grandkid graduate from Yale. Oh, and incidentally, he’s black and she’s white. Oh, and don’t forget to introduce them to that white couple across the street… Though you might want to bring a pound cake because she’s pissed off because her second husband/third baby-daddy didn’t pay child support on his other kid and now they’re garnishing her cash assistance.

Pay attention to the big stuff. The fact that Sterling was refusing suitable housing to minorities should be a WAY bigger deal than him telling his girlfriend not to be see with black guys. Honestly, it kinda just sounded like he was calling her a skank and then decided to add the racial stuff in there to really make himself a jerk. Prosecute people who commit hate crimes. Educate people who say dumbass things.

If you want to be offended by words like nigger, kyke, faggot, spic, chink, wetback… That’s entirely up to you. But the more we recognize and allow those words to mess with our minds, the more we keep people separated into groups and the farther we stray from just being people.

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