Hey white people!!! Wanna have thirteen dollars separated from you through guilt and skewed statistics??? Well, if you do then look no further as the good kids from Ferguson, Missouri have got a message for you.
You remember Ferguson, Missouri... That place where the unarmed black kid was shot by the cop under auspicious circumstances which triggered weeks of unrest and continuing racial strife.
Well, these kids (and, more importantly, the company behind the movement hoping to move boxes of shirts) certainly remember it and have a message for you! (Hold on to your butts, folks... We going on a ride...)...
Well, that certainly is a bit to digest.
This is one of those times I wish I was on the radio, so I could start and stop this video and argue with the cute kids like a maniac. But alas, my limitations are what they are, so bear with me as I try and sort out some of the points I hold issue with in this...
First of all, let's start here:
This video is a two minute commercial hoping to get you to buy a thirteen dollar shirt. The group behind it, "Good Ideas for Good Causes", is a company that makes their money selling shirts (and according to the BBB, they are not very good at it with some 147 complaints towards their practices, but that's besides the point). This isn't a political statement so much as it is an ad, so there is less scrutiny into the claims that they make... That said, there are a veritable shitload of all sorts of misstatements and propaganda that they are selling off as stated fact... Sold by adorable, precocious little scamps that for whatever reason I feel like bitching about to you.
Like the whole national disgrace brought about in the shooting of Michael Brown, the 18 year old gunned down by a police officer. Let's start there, shall we???
"... Little place where police shot an unarmed black kid in the face... It was a national disgrace..."
That's a fun, loaded statement, filled with all manner of conjecture and inference... It is true, Ferguson, Missouri was that little suburb that was the sight of the shooting of Michael Brown, the so called "gentle giant" who managed to get himself shot by a cop after a stop and struggle. And according to the autopsies, there was a bullet that popped his face... So yes, that part is sort of right. The jury is still out as to whether or not it was a justified shooting or not, but there have been reports of the officer in question sustaining significant injuries during his struggle with Brown in his vehicle before the shooting.
And there was an air of national disgrace to the whole scene, though it would have fallen more to the reaction to the shooting than it was to the shooting itself (which, again, may very well have been fully legal and justified). I. The days following the shooting,mthe evenings were rife with all manner of looting and civil unrest, eventually forcing the a Governor of Missouri to send in the National Guard to keep the peace.
"... Is Racism still a thing?"
Yes, especially as I hear a group of black kids in a video whose opening words are "hey white people". That said, it would be ignorant to believe that racism is dead, especially being that it has existed since antiquity and will no doubt continue throughout time (so long as there is a difference between any three people, where two are the same and one is different).
But is it anywhere near the glory days of Racism?
Nope. A long stretch from the firehouses and snarling dogs of the blood and guts period of the Civil Rights movement.
"... Just because Beyoncé is on your iPod and you voted for Obama doesn't mean an end to racist drama..."
Um actually, it technically would sort of show that. Like if an alien landed, they would not automatically assume white folks hated black folks given the access they currently have to the main stream (which requires whites to support them in order to have garnered it), but I'm nit picking... I understand the context of their claim.
"... (Racism) is not one of those things that just goes away..."
Not with videos like this, it won't. Truthfully though, it never will. Just look at the Middle East where people have been warring over their racial and cultural differences since roughly the brother's feud between Isaac and Ishmael some five thousand years ago. What you hope for is something like what we have now, where the system calls for everyone to have an equal shot at the social rungs of the ladder, for the eyes of the law to be blind to race in its applications, and where people are permitted to associate with whoever they want. It's not perfect, of course not. And we have recourses to fix that. Or at least we do in theory...
"... Talking about Race makes me uncomfortable..."
See, whitey feels this way because if they happen to utter anything beyond the Progressively acceptable message of "Blacks are so put upon by the racism (both top of mind and subconscious) of the white devil that any and all efforts to level field are required to correct" will get you called a racist. And it spreads from there...
Think Michael Brown could have some something to warrant the shooting?
You're a racist.
Support "stop 'n frisk"?
You're a Racist.
Disagree with Obama?
You're a racist.
See? It's become an easy and fun way to shut up any and all opposition. It's gonna be great when it turns to us all being sexist when we tell Hillary Clinton how much we have her bad ideas...
Fun facts! The frisking ratios displaying a difference in stop n' frisks between whites and blacks/ Latinos...
According to Federal Crime Statistics, blacks and Latinos are responsible for 90% of the violent crime in NYC. 90%. White, on the other hand, a paltry 8%. So, I'm guessing this desire to "even out the numbers to share in the inconvenience" is based more on making sure no one gets their feelings all ruffled than it is on any common sense. But, concidered this is coming from the same political thought process that feels we should be making sure we don't have any mention to Islam in our reporting of acts of terror and genocide being perpetrated by Islamic Terrorists, it seems like par for the course.
"... Equal shot in life, not to be shot to death..."
This is a fairly egregious one, as it plays on the hot button situation which paints young blacks, particularly males, living this violent, awful nightmarish existence at the hands of the gun wielding and frightened by the bigotry of the white Satan bent on keeping darkie down. But statistics would bear out a fairly different story...
My dispute isn't that white guys don't kill black guys... They do! In 2011 (most recent FBI statistics I could find), 448 black guys were killed by white guys. That's like two a state! But just a quick glance down shows us the true albatross around the necks of young black males and their true killers... Other young black males. To the tune of 2447 in 2011! The only racial demographic to have more kills (by the numbers... The percentages would be much higher given the lower number of total population that blacks represent) is white on white murder, which reigned supreme in 2011 with a staggering 2630. That makes the number one reason young, black males fear a short and tragic life is because of the malicious actions of young black males. Not whitey.
"... It's you people making this about race. I don't see color."
I thought that was the idea, was it not? Judging a man by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin?
"... Employers are 40% less likely to interview a black applicant with a traditionally black sounding name with similar resumes..."
Here's where we face that sword of Damocles situation we discussed earlier... the whole "get in trouble if you say anything" caveat I spoke about earlier. An employer could never give his reasons for such an oversight, which admittedly could very well be born out of racist thoughts just as much as they could be born out of some other reason. Maybe he has had bad experiences hiring African Americans. As a business man myself who has hired people before, I really don't understand what such a reason could be, but there might be a perceived good reason for such. But again, we can't really have this conversation with one side having a freak out when the other speaks freely about their opinion. Can't change minds if you're unwilling to listen to the other side. They might have a point.
"... 40% of whites feel they are harder working than blacks..."
See this video. I'm sure blacks share a similar view of themselves when polled. Is racial pride only to be tolerated from minorities???
"... It's you people playing the race card..."
Given the auspicious nature of your PSA, yea... I'd say that fairly accurately explains the entire gist of their sales pitch. Also, there's a reason such a term exists... Because the declaration of racism towards an opposing view on politicized policies and statements.
But they are right... Playing the race card is something that is done to trivialize and marginalize people and opinions. This is why any statement counter what this slick advertisement claims will be decried as racist... To trivialize and marginalize the opinions it holds.
"... Some of my best friends are black."
Again, I really thought this was the whole idea behind this "the races getting together" movement that this piece of propaganda is trying to heal??? As for me not being a friend? Why? Because I hold a different view of the situation??? Again, more marginalization of counter thought to keep any objective examination of their claims.
As an aside, despite thoughts contrary, I do actually have a black friend. His name his James. We talked about race once the whole time we have been friends (we have talked about weed though nearly once a week for almost a decade). It was when Transformers 2 came out. For whatever reason, Michael Bay decided the comic relief for the film needed to come in the form of two obviously stereotypical black characters. For whatever reason, it struck me off and I bitched about it on the way home. And do you know what happened??? This great friend of mine looked at me... I could see in his eyes, he was touched by my racial sensitivity... And he asked me... "Thom, is you gay? Them was the funniest parts of the film." He then went on to bitch for thirty minutes about the Devastator having balls.
But hey, at least I got a cookie for my progressive friend circle.
"... White people need to own up and face it..."
Sure... If they are a fire branded racist actively following that ideology in their daily choices. That would make sense.
But what am I to own if I hold no racist bigotry? And what exactly is racist, if I may ask?
But they right. We do all have to do our part if we aim to put racism behind us. Sometimes it does mean recognizing when there are certain biases held towards people and cultures that are guiding our thoughts, and then working to override such narrow thinking. But other times, it does fall upon those "oppressed" to see that what is happening might not necessarily be racial bias, but cultural... and not in the way you think.
I'm sure there are more black kids emulating their favorite rap stars in their style of dress and lifestyle depictions getting killed (be it for good reason or otherwise) than there are those going in a different sort of lifestyle direction. Maybe that's what's getting kids killed more so than just the color of their skin. But we can't make that discovery through the facts if we are too busy sorting out the assumptions of what is contained in none heart.
Needless to say, should you have thirteen shekels just wasting away in your pocket and wild sleep better being told that five of those dollars will maybe go to organizations helping to do something, feel free.