Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So When is it Okay to be a Bigot?

Ah yes, racism. The steaming topic always gets America's blood boiling and is perfect cannon fodder for media pundits. It doesn't matter whether your on the side of an advocate for discriminatory practices, civil rights activists battling for equality, or even the middle man touting "Can't we all just get along!" Racism is always good for discussion.

People eat it up when the media brings it to the table. In 1984, Rev. Jesse Jackson said a mouthful during a "private" conversation with reporter Milton Coleman when he referred to Jews as "Hymies" and New York as "Hymietown".

Actor Mel Gibson's private dispute (well at least he thought it was private) with his former girlfriend will now and forever be infamous. Gibson used the "n*****" word in a heated conversation with his estranged girlfriend .

And in 2007 cable network A&E suspended production of the reality series "Dog the Bounty Hunter" after its star Duane "Dog" Chapman, made racist slurs during a private conversation with his son.

I was compelled to write this piece after examining the news of late and contemplating on the fact that bigotry, although dismissed in public, is some how given a pass in private conversations and settings.

I am not in the minds and hearts of these men previously mentioned. I won't go as far as saying they are racists or bigots soley based on these incidents. However, I will say their poor judgement stems from years of cultivated ignorance.

At one time or another in private a great deal of us have heard or said unpleasant comments about race in humor or anger. Yet, when we stepped out of our homes the next day we still gave a helping hand to any man/woman in need.

The belief should be that there is no place for biogtry....period. But are we really sincere about our desire to end racism if we spew madness in private and learn to hold our tongues only in public?

That does not eliminate ignornance, it only puts it to bed for another day for it to rise its ugly head.

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