Chesca Leigh of Youtube (youtube.com/chescaleigh) did a video about the politically incorrect things that Caucasians tend to say to their black female friends. Some people don't understand why the comments Chesca highlighted are offensive, so I'm gonna break it down for you.
There are two kinds of evil people in the world... those who do evil stuff, and those who see evil stuff being done and don't do anything about it.-Janis (Mean Girls, 2004)
Opening an article with a quote from the teen film “Mean Girls” might imply shallowness or juvenileness, but it illustrated my point, so read on before you click away. I had long dinner with a friend in which we discussed a little bit of everything: race relations, politics, gender roles, music and life events in general. I couldn’t help but notice that after every topic, she said something to the effect of “I don’t know why you care so much.” Towards the end of the dinner she said “I think you stress out too much about things that don’t affect you directly.” To give a more specific instance, when were discussing gender roles she said “Who cares if there are couple of super-traditional men with sexist views? You just don’t marry that guy and you’ll be fine.” Considering sexism can affect how women are viewed & treated personally and institutionally, yeah, I should care. Even if sexism doesn’t blatantly damage my life specifically, I should care about how other women are treated simply because I too am a woman.
I’ve come across a lot of people with a similar approach as my friend to societal issues, and I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m very touchy about human suffering or that I came out of a counseling program that encouraged social awareness, sensitivity and advocacy, but it’s not in me to have a “not in my backyard” attitude. Just because something isn’t overtly impacting me, doesn’t mean it’s unimportant or that it will never get around to impacting me. Many young people have that attitude when it comes to politics. Even though they’re old enough to vote, they don’t participate in the process because the political issues don’t seem to affect them currently. They’re not thinking about it, but one president’s decisions can affect the country’s well-being for years to come, eventually affecting their livelihood as they get older. In my opinion, a selfish “not in my backyard” attitude is part of the reason why our society is so jacked up and social injustice continues to exist. When you advocate for someone else, you advocate for yourself because it could easily be you that’s getting the short end of the stick. Furthermore, if you ever do hit an obstacle, you’re going to wish someone gave a darn to stand up for or help you. Anytime you turn a blind-eye to injustice or inequality, you ARE potentially responsible for human suffering. It IS your problem. We are all humans. What goes around comes around. Realize and embrace the power of the energy you put out (or don’t put out) into the world. It’s the ripple effect at its best. Below is a video about a social issue that many turn a blind-eye to. Watch the effect of blindness. What if YOU or someone you loved were the young man in this clip?
A friend of mine was telling me about a man who complained that Beyonce’s music, in the midst of strongly empowering women, didn’t make him feel like he was “wanted and needed” and described the ferocity of her message as “thrown at my face” and male bashing. This infuriated me. This was the 1,000th time I’ve heard a man accuse Beyonce` of male bashing and criticize her music because it proposes ONLY a female perspective. This man and others are under the mistaken impression that feministic messages have something to do with them, be it bashing or otherwise (Cue Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain...I Bet You Think This Song is About You”). Feminism and/or female empowerment is NOT about ridiculing men. It’s NOT about men AT ALL. In short, it’s about encouraging women to do what’s best for their well-being and success and to pursue justice in the face of discrimination. I’m sorry your feel disadvantaged because Beyonce` is so busy trying to cater to women, that she doesn’t write songs that make you feel “wanted and needed;” she isn’t for you to begin with. She’s for us. Women. For us by us.
This man’s reaction to Beyonce’s feministic messages is a part of the selfish, egocentric thinking that comes with being a “social dominant” and not a “social subordinate” (the central topic of this article). A “social subordinate” is someone who is a part of a community plagued by social injustice (ex. the poor, the disabled, homosexuals, racial minorities, non-Christians/Catholics, women). Social dominants, although often being the facilitators of injustice (either overtly or covertly), sometimes fail to realize that they’re more privileged. Living daily in an advantaged world among fellow social dominants, feeds into the illusion that social adversity is almost non-existent. When coming across material that’s in support of only social subordinates, (ex. Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” or James Brown’s “Say it Loud, I’m Black & I’m Proud”), social dominants feel left-out and discriminated against, crying foul and claiming that there is no such material for them. This reaction stems from both egotism and a presumed aloofness of their privilege. Egotism, because in their advantaged experience, they’re used to being catered to and respond negatively to anything that excludes them. Privilege aloofness, because they don’t see that most material and support is already in their favor. For example, a Caucasian peer of mine purported that the existence of BET (Black Entertainment Television) was racist and if there was a “White Entertainment Television” there would be an uproar. Aloof to her privilege as a member of the dominant race, she failed to understand that racial minorities are still severely underrepresented in mainstream television, giving reason for a channel like BET to exist. Outside of channels like BET and TV One, everything else IS white entertainment television. Hispanics, Asians and other racial minorities are even further underrepresented.
There wouldn’t be a need for a “Born This Way” if the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community wasn’t prosecuted and ridiculed. There wouldn’t be a need for Beyonce` to remind women that they can “Run the World” if they already felt like they could. It angers me when social dominants complain about supports for social subordinates, as if they don’t already have enough advantages. Social subordinates just can’t be great.
My latest videoblog.
Humans will go to extreme lengths to spread hate. Are humans more selfish/evil than they are selfless/good? What do you think?
My latest videoblog
My personal commentary on politics, race, gender, religion, social class, news media and several other things related to our society and culture.