Mr. Shabazz and the Avacado that got him there…
Okay, so Malcolm X never mentions avocados in his autobiography. But what he does mention is well worth the read if you have yet to do so. It was shocking to me that I had known so little about an individual who has had such a direct influence on national thought.
It’s equally amazing that, just as El Hajj Malik El Shabazz predicts at the end of the book, many of us have only been taught about his most volatile separatist notions. This in spite of the fact that by the end of his life Malcolm X was completely in favor of interracial cohabitation if done sincerely without condescension. Though we have come a long way since, it’s sad that we have yet to succeed in eradicating the racial tension that has been psychologically ingrained into so much of America.
Even more than the iconic hatred of the KKK or dirty looks when I walk down 125th street holding hands with my dark skinned girlfriend, it’s the ignorant “non-racists” that seem to be preventing what men like Mr. Shabazz and Dr. King sought to achieve. The people who following an off-color joke quickly state, “it’s ok, some of my best friends are black” or “my neighbor’s black” or my favorite: “Slave days are over!”.
It’s the comments like, “it’s because you’re black”, or “you’re such a Jew”, or even “white-boy” that are allowed out of our mouths because we staunchly tell ourselves we aren’t racists. We’ve never called anyone a cracker, or spic, or nigger! : O
And we aren’t racists. Not in this sense of the word:
I really hope this isn’t the thumbnail that shows up
when I post on Facebook…
But what we say IS sometimes racist. I myself have made relatively harmless comments based on the stereotypes of races in the past. And sometimes it is indeed harmless. But I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the danger of allowing myself to say negative things about an individual based on the color of their skin. Even if they aren’t offended or the joke is particularly hilarious
Hahaha, White guys really can’t dance! Classic!
it can be a slippery slope until a joke goes from uproarious to…”oh, oops, that was a little too far and now when they make an inappropriate comment about me I have to take it instead of revealing the injustice because I started it and now I’m gonna make another ugly comment cuz I’m hurt…”
Now I’m definitely not saying we need to be Post-Racial and avoid all commentary about races. And I’m most definitely not asking for us to walk on egg shells being filled with guilt or paranoia around men and women who look different than ourselves. That can be as condescending and ignorant as a blatant racial slur.
All I’m saying in this post…this long LONG post (sorry about that)… is that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to just be a little more self aware and accept the fact that while we are NOT necessarily racists, we DO every once in awhile say racist things that have a seed of prejudice, that can potentially make us forget that we’re all from the same family. Some of us just have a bit more melanin than others.
The real racists know they’re racist. I’m not sure I know what to do about them. And the methods I may suggest would probably be inappropriate to post here. But for those of us that do our best to work against injustice and immoralities like racism on a day to day basis through our daily lifestyles, it shouldn’t be too hard to refrain from making yet another obvious racial observation…
I mean…uh…do your best…
Postscript: I have a new song I’ll be posting soon! Be on the lookout!