Is it because Chris Rock is a liberal, or because he is black that he gets a pass when he invokes racism against people and conservative groups like the Tea Party? And when whites act in ways which are similar to him and other blacks/liberals, why is there that double standard which exists that says the whites are racist, but Chris Rock is not?
This video of two high school girls responding to hail mail (and often times itself racist), and discussing openly and frankly a specific situation that is going in within their community can with absolute certainly be called a rant. It may also be inflammatory and many other things. But – can it really be called racist?
Either what these girls are saying has truth to it, or they are lying. If they are lying, then they have insulted an entire community of people, black and white, they have made complete fools of themselves in posting this video and they owe their entire community an apology. If there is truth to it, obviously, at least with these two girls, there is a serious problem going on within their community, and inside their school, and they felt they needed to share it with others. So they vented (ranted) on YouTube. What specifically makes them, or what they said on YouTube, unique from anyone else who has posted an incendiary video on YouTube, or on any other social network website anywhere on the internet? Considering that most people are always looking for ways to get their “15 minutes of fame”. YouTube, among other networks, offers a channel for anyone with computer skills to present themselves to the world.
Since this video aired, these girls have received death threats and have been removed from their high school and are in hiding. The prevalent and most pertinent question is – who is sending the death threats, and why would someone threaten the life of another over what was said in this video? Also, aren’t the death threats themselves more serious than anything these girls have said? To date, there has been little outcry or concern about these death threats, certainly less, than what these two girls said to provoke the death threats. When the perpetrators of these death threats are arrested, will they be prosecuted? If they are black, will they be charged with a hate crime?
More questions arise, and perhaps there is a “teachable” moment for both blacks and whites. For example, was it the use of the “N” word by two white girls (one of whom makes it very clear she is of Cuban descent) that most irked blacks who watched it. It’s common knowledge blacks don’t like to hear whites use the “N” word, even though a great number of blacks themselves use the word. But even still, is that worth threatening someone’s life? And it was Chris Rock who, in his “comedy” routine made the off-color remark about whom he considers to be black and whom he considers to be the “N” word. (Follow the link, but be warned there is graphic language in the video.) His “comedy” received much laughter and applause from the audience.
The girls also talk about “ghetto” speech and use of poor grammar, speaking skills and dialects among blacks in their school. Well? This has been an on going problem for decades. Remember Ebonics? Poor grammar and poor speaking skills makes it hard, virtually impossible for anyone, of any color, to get any decent, well-paying job, especially if it is one working around other people. There is a reason why grammar is taught in school. Unfortunately, it is evident that the public school system and educators have failed a great many people; a problem which has been going on for decades. It is also evident, and tragic, that parents have failed their own children in this respect by not doing more to correct the poor use of language they use. And, it seems fair to blame the students themselves who have not demanded their educators and schools do more to help them learn proper language and grammar skills, and who have themselves lapsed into apathy with regards to speech and language usage. By condoning anyone’s poor grammar and language skills, by accepting it as part of someone’s “heritage” all we are doing is degrading both the English language and the people who misuse it, whether because they have not been properly taught how to use language or because they do so intentionally, a sort of “rebellion” against society and social norms.
The girls go on to speak of blacks milking the welfare system, having babies solely for the purpose of collecting the money government provides to poor Americans who have children. We can’t, in all honesty, say that some blacks don’t cheat the system and have kids just for the money they receive. Nor can we ignore that some poor whites do it too. Is it racist for a white person to point out the fact that, although some poor whites produce children for money, some poor blacks do it too? All parents already receive up to a $1000/per child tax credit. This has led many people, particularly poor Americans to use children, and having children, as a means to access money they otherwise would not have. In doing so, however, they are not only creating more children who will grow up in poverty, but are creating a strain on the entire system which was designed to help people by providing a little bit of extra economic security. Perhaps the best way to amend this problem is to have a cut off after two children.
Let the question of whether these two girls actually said anything racist be at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. The proper response from the community of Gainesville, Florida would be to have an open meeting at the school in question for all parents, students and faculty – and these two girls at the center of this controversy.
If there is truth in anything they have said in their video, there is a pressing need for the entire community to come together to resolve these problems before someone else makes another video that may be construed as racist, or taken out of context, or where someone becomes so enraged by watching it they send a death threat.
If, on the other hand, this is not a fair and accurate representation of Gainesville, Florida, then these two girls need to be called into question by their community and made to explain themselves and why they thought posting an inaccurate video of their community was a smart idea.
Either way, there is a tremendous teachable moment for the entire community, black and white. A moment, and an opportunity, that ought not be missed or overlooked. There are still some racial problems in America which need to be addressed, openly and candidly. Perhaps that is what these two girls were trying to do in their video. They are high school children, after-all. If either of them had committed murder in cold blood, in all likelihood they would be tried as juveniles. So, why take anything they have said as anything other than juvenile?
They may deserve to be scolded for what they have said, perhaps even made to better explain why they said what they said, and to point to examples within their community rather than ambiguous over-generalizations. But – do they deserve to have their lives threatened over it?
And – isn’t Chris Rock just a little bit to blame?