In a blog that centers around the massively stupid statements that people manage to make because they refuse to stop and think before they open their idiot holes, even I am not exempt. In fact, as it turns out, I may be the biggest idiot among us.
In my post Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I made the statement that: "in the year 2011, the word 'nigger' has no shock value left". Or something along those lines.
I meant this as a declaration of the stupidity and ignorance of the word. And, I meant to imply that I, personally, found no shock value in the word, in this day and age. I find that the type of person that would use that word is only after the shock value it entails, and that in giving them what they want, we have assisted their ignorance.
That was what I meant.
Sadly, what I said was...pretty fucking stupid.
That whole post was based on the fact that I find racism to be pointless, moronic, hateful and about as significant as a professional sporting thingee. But, I tend to try and lend humor to situations where it isn't really warranted and as an end result, I hurt the feelings of someone that I truly care about. I tend to be an asshole, like that.
As a white person, I can balk at racism. I can view it from any perspective and attempt to be outraged. The reality though, is I have about as much business injecting my opinions or thoughts on the matter as the middle-aged white dudes that stand outside abortion clinics and try to tell women what to do with their bodies. I can say that I find that greatest of racial slurs to be non-shocking, but thats only because I've never had it thrown in my direction.
The problem with writing a blog that looks at our entire society as a subjective thing is, eventually, you hit close to home and offend the people that have always stood behind you.
The person that I offended is someone that I respect more than she will ever know. She took me into her home when I had nowhere to go, she has had my back even when I didn't know I needed someone to have it, and she has never judged me until I put my foot in my mouth and imposed upon our friendship. I would cheerfully finish my beer and fist fight the entire KKK for her, and she knows this. But, if I'm not acting any different than those inbred hill-billies, that seems like a moot point.
If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, then my post must have been the super highway with an express lane.
99% of you could be offended at my thoughts and I would shrug it off and tell you to go read another blog. I would probably even poke fun at your discomfort in a wholly new blog and pat myself on the back for crushing your soul. But, not this time. This time, I'm truly ashamed of myself. Because, when we accidentally hurt those that we love, shame is the only response we have. And, this is a person that I do love, like a sister (not awkwardly like that hot cousin we all have)...
The reality is: white people can only view racism from one of two perspectives. It is either something we participate in, or something we don't. We will never see the whole picture, because it is not something we are ever subjected to. We can embrace, be mortified by it, ignore it... but, we will never know the depths of hurt it will cause. My post was intended to be an eyeroll that people could still be that ignorant in the year 2011, but I actually did more damage than good. I displayed my own ignorance by discussing a subject that I will forever be ignorant upon because I happen to have been born white.
I truly don't understand racism. I don't. I judge people as they are, white, black, yellow, whatever. Yes, I've made remarks like: "Penndot employees move slower than black people crossing against the light." But, if I had said 'fat' or 'cripple' in place of a skin tone, no one would have blanched. That was a joke made about my current geographic location, and not meant as a racial slur.
I swore I would never apologize if this blog offended someone. Up and down. Fuck 'em all. I was going to be brazen and outlandish and say whatever I wanted without regret. But, then I side-stepped and hurt a good friend with 'good intentions'.
Its easy to make light of certain situations. Humor heals, as the old saying goes. And, maybe thats true. But, maybe, just maybe, if you've never been on the receiving end of the pain, the healing power of humor is just salt in the wound.
I've done a lot of dumb shit in my life. If I listed it all here, it would probably crash the server. But, the dumbest thing I ever did was make light of a situation that a good friend lives with on a daily basis, never considering how she might feel about my off-hand remarks.
I wish I could drag myself out back and kick my own ass. (I tried, but I'm just not that flexible at 36) But, I deserve a good ass kicking, and I hope my friend delivers it the next time she sees me.
Somewhere along the line, my brother was able to transcend our upbringing and scale the walls that we all claim we've climbed. He was able to look at a person as a person and love them as just that. There is no black and white in his world, except where it comes to shades of grey. In other words, my brother is a white person that is just a person. I envy that.
Personally, I'm a white person. I live in that idiotic grey area where there is black and white. I struggle to not notice, to accept, to ignore... But, obviously, I'm not there.
The word 'nigger' does hold shock value. It shocks me that people are still ignorant enough to use it and look for shock value. It shocks me that, in this day and age, some of you are still judging people based upon the color of their skin, and not upon their worth.
I wish I could take back the stupid statements I made. I wish that I could pick up the phone and call my friend and say: "Sorry I was an asshole." I wish I could turn on my kitchen sink and have beer flow forth...but, wishes are cheap.
I apologize to my friend. My intentions were good, I swear. I know that doesn't make what I said right, but...it's all I have.