"Black. White."

I’ve been thinking about that dumbass idea for a TV show, Black. White. Apparently it’s turning out much like I thought it would. The point of it seems to be to teach whitey about racism. So far that’s all I’ve heard, repeatedly; that the white dad was a racist.
Personally, I think they missed a great chance to teach blacks a few things about prejudice. Instead of dressing the black father up as an affluent white and sending him into a store, why not send him into that same store wearing a t-shirt and jeans and sporting long hair? Especially in the South. If he thought life was more pleasant as a white yuppie, try it as a long-hair. It’s a completely different experience, believe me.
Or try teaching him to speak with a pronounced Southern accent and send him to Brooklyn. Better yet, send him, as a white, Southern accent speaking man, to Harlem and see what kind of reception he gets.
Now, before any dumbasses start whining and calling me a racist, you should be aware that I know racism exists. I’ve encountered it in every continental state in America. But my definition of “racism” is the literal one. A black man who hates white people is a racist. You can’t give him a free pass and claim that his hatred is understandable because he was a victim of white oppression. Sorry. No deal. I don’t care how he came to hate white people. If he hates them, he’s a racist.
Too many black people have gotten a free pass on this one because white people, appropriately riddled with guilt over slavery, simply cannot call them on it. Nor should they, really. That should be a job for black leaders and parents. But whenever a prominent black person stands up and tells it like it is (Bill Cosby, for example), he or she is shouted down and called an Uncle Tom. So black people are allowed to feel angry and victimized, and for some if they fail at anything it’s not because of lack of effort or initiative on their part, but because of whitey.
The biggest problem with establishing a dialogue between the races on the subject of racism is that the very meaning of the word “racism” has been hi-jacked. What do we call it when a black man or organization hates white white people? We call it “reverse racism” or “reverse discrimination.” That infers that the word “racism” refers to a white person hating a black person, and it is in this sense that most black people use it in. This is how Spike Lee could say “black people can’t be racist” with a straight face. This also infers that since it is reverse-racism, a black person is just giving giving back what they’ve received. That’s justification in and of itself.
I’m reminded of Jimmy, a co-worker in my warehouse days (a black man). About the only subject you could discuss with Jimmy was racism. Or, more specifically, white people hating black people. Inequality in America. Etcetera. The supervisors were terrified of Jimmy. They knew that if they were ever to fire him, they would probably be facing a discrimination lawsuit. So Jimmy wound up doing mostly what he wanted to do at work (which wasn’t much). His biggest goal was to get us white people to understand the suffering of the black man.
He seized upon one opportunity, when he and I were in downtown Gastonia, North Carolina on our lunch break one day, to show me just how deeply discrimination against black people ran. Down the street from us was an old lady sitting in a car. Jimmy told me to watch, that as this lady saw a black man approaching her car, she would lock her door. Well, I watched. But I watched Jimmy, not the old lady. He glared at this woman from a hundred feet away, and as we approached his body language became more tense and threatening, like he was about to break out into a run. He was absolutely certain that this white, racist bitch was going to lock her door that it made him angry. Sure enough, as we approached the lady locked her door. Jimmy felt vindicated and thought he had taught me a lesson. Well, he did teach me a lesson. Just not the one he intended.
I also am thinking of Rhonda, a girl I dated some. Her mother was white. Her father was black. Her father disliked me immediately. I asked Rhonda if I had said or done something. She told me no, that her father just didn’t like her dating white guys. Neither she nor her father considered this to be racism.
So, in summation, all I’m really saying is that there are simply too many variables at play concerning racism and prejudice between the races to think that a lame-ass premise for a show such as Black. White. can bring about any useful dialogue. All it does is reinforce the stereotypes that both white and black people believe already. It’s not giving us anything new to look at or think about. And it’s certainly not helping.
This is just another variation on that other dumb-ass idea where they wanted to move “undesirables” such as a black family or a gay couple into a neighborhood where a resident racist already lived. I’m sure hilarity ensued.
Or maybe this show was created by the same group of dumb-asses who thought it’d be a great idea to bring in a poor family from “mountainous rural regions,” stick them in a mansion somewhere and call it The Real Beverly Hillbillies. That idea so offended everybody that it never got off the ground. It’s too bad Black. White. did. It’s just as insulting.
I have a great idea for a reality television program. Why don’t we round up the worst ideas for shows every year and force its producers and writers to go on Ted Nugent’s reality television show, Ted or Alive? Better yet, why don’t we just strip them down to their underwear, set them loose in the country and send Ted to pick them off one by one with a paint-ball rifle? Now that would be fun!

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