My whole family is racist, but me. (Although, they will deny it. They need to look up racism in the dictionary.) Not long ago my father called me and very unhappily announced that my brother Ron was marrying a black girl! And now everyone’s mad at me. Like it’s my fault, for being a liberal.
My daddy said, “I bet you’re just loving this!”
I said, “I’ve never even met the girl! What’s she like?”
“What’s she like? What’s she like? She’s black!!”
She’s black? That’s what she’s like? What is that supposed to mean? Does he think she has a giant afro and she’s walking around town with a big boom box on her shoulder like Radio Rakeem? WHAT THE FUCK IS SHE LIKE?
I don’t have a lot of contact with my brother Eddie (the minister) because we are very different regarding politics, religion, well everything. But, he lives in Gulfport, Mississippi, and his house was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. So I wanted to reach out to him, and offer to help. I mean, why send money to the Red Cross when you actually know someone you could send it to?
I sent him an email and he gladly accepted and appreciated the offer of help. So, I mailed him a check. Then, a few days later, I get an email from him attaching this article from some conservative guy talking about what went wrong in New Orleans after the hurricane. It turns out that it wasn’t a lack of timely and appropriate government response to a crisis situation. Turns out, it was “the blacks”. That’s right. Let’s see if I can get it straight. It’s ‘all those lazy people who want something for nothing, always looking for a helping hand, and can’t pull themselves up by their own bootstraps’. Hmm. I wrote back, “So I guess you’ll be tearing up that check then?” Ok, I didn’t. I thought, “What would Jesus do?” So, I stopped payment on it!
I went home recently, and I had forgotten how bad the language is in Georgia. If you can get past the N-word, the double negatives will kill you! My cousin told me, “We don’t got no niggers on our street.” I said, “Oh my God. I can’t believe you said that! You are so ignorant! It’s ‘you don’t have any niggers on your street’.”
When I was home, my sister kept going on and on about the “Orientals”. It was the Orientals. The Orientals. I thought she was being attacked by a rug.
Finally, I said, “Do you mean Asians?
She said, “Well, I say Oriental.”
“Yeah, well, I say it’s 2007.”
“My Oriental friends don’t mind.”
“Clearly you don’t have any. ‘Cause it’s Asian.”
“I don’t consider my Japanese friends Asian.”
“Well, I don’t consider geography a matter of opinion. I know this is Georgia, but get a map!”
That’s why I don’t buy the “That’s how I was raised” crap. I was raised to be a racist homophobic xenophobic misogynistic Christian conservative asshole, and I turned out ok!
I watched this awesome show on PBS last night about black leaders during slavery. There was one woman named “Ma Bette” who hired a lawyer and sued her owner for freedom and won! That’s awesome! We never hear stories like that. Not even in February. The only black history figure we ever learn about is George Washington Carver, the peanut guy. You know why? Because he is non-threatening! The only dream he ever had was to make a better jelly sandwich.
I used to be the only white employee in a black comedy club in Atlanta called Uptown Comedy Corner. One night after the show, we’re all hanging out and the DJ puts on CD.
I said, “Cool. Is this A Tribe Called Quest?” My friends start tripping, “You know A Tribe Called Quest? How could a white girl know A Tribe Called Quest?” WTF? There aren’t black radio waves I can’t get. We are all one big global media now, people. Right now somewhere in Cambodia, there is a guy on a rice paddy going, “Can I kick it? Yes, you can!”