James Maxey's note: First, just so there's no confusion, Dave Drake is not David Drake, the SF author of, like, a zillion books. This Dave Drake is someone I know from Codexwriters. His posts there can be a bit provocative and sometimes he'll bring up topics that are deemed off limits for that site. So, I reached out to him about a month ago to see if he'd be interested in doing a guest blog on a controversial topic of his choice. He came through with the following essay:
Change is coming!!! Hallelujah!!! In January 2009, the USA's next president, Barack Obama, will be inaugurated. With all the hype of him being the first black president, many people miss the fact that he isn't black, but rather a man of German, Irish, English, Cherokee, Kenyan descent who was raised by a set of ivory white grandparents. Its strange to me how even the supposedly "liberal" (what a misnomer!) left can be so calloused as to call this multicultural melting pot of a man "black". In fact, its funny how most Americans can actually be so blind to their Eurocentric definitions of race.
In the days when whitey was in charge of fucking the world up (pick a day between January 20th 2009 and any AD date that tickles your fancy) there was a bit of a superiority complex (not unusual for people in charge, regardless of parentage). This fueled the Johann Friedrich Blumenbachs of the world, and this then led to common understanding of what pedigree whiteness is-- pale skin and high foreheads. Anything askew of this was no longer "pure" white, but "tainted" -- and for obvious reasons, no longer "superior".
For some reason, this unfortunate falacy has widdled its way permanently into the brains of most people, including the many many non-white peoples of the world. This is my first gripe with all this "change" talk going around. If the pot starts out calling the kettle black, then this "monumental" moment of racial progress and equality in America is already flawed. Really, the only way "change" is going to happen is if Americans realize that being "American" is not just a nationality anymore, but an ever increasing ethnic and cultural identity.
But one may wonder if there is any silver lining to this current socio-politcal mess. Well, yes... there is, or at least I hope there is. If we, as a nation, can stop walking on fucking glass... that would be great.
What I mean by that is... if Kanye West says anything else that can be categorized as categorically annoying-as-fuck, then he needs to be treated in the same manner as dumb-ass Don Imus. Equal treatment for equally moronic people. Either that, or nobody gets punished (which is what I'm personally in favor of). Enough with the P.C. "can't say the N word with an er at the end" and the "check this box if you're Caucasian" bullshit. Nobody should use racial slurs, and I'm not fucking Turkish!
The first thing thats going to have to change (to many an African American's chagrin) is the special 'blacks are off limits' rule. Now that there's an arguably "black" man running the county, there absolutely NO REASON why whites can't poke fun at any ethnic minority of their choice. It shouldn't (and doesn't) need to be labeled as insensitive any more... (even though I don't know what I ever needed to be sensitive about, I was born in 1986 to a Dutch nanny and a second generation Irish American who descended from near slave-like plantation workers on the old Emerald Isle... COUGH... and no complaints here mind you). True, racism ran thick through the streets not so long ago (civil rights movement only a handful of decades ago), but its time to get over what happened half a century (or even one and a half centuries) ago.
James Maxey again: Thanks Dave. I sort of agree with one of your points, and largely disagree with another. I'll reply in the comment box.