Monday, February 22, 2010

Riddle Me This

This You Tube vid I made was inspired, of all websites, by an article on Thought Leader

Of course, unlike Jennifer Thorpe, I am not a hand wringing liberal with fake lenses. I'm a guilt free, and unapologetic white. So Jenny, you can take off the "lenses" put them under your backside and sit on them. Stop feeling guilty, and stop apologising for the differences you can see. Did she really use the word "Othered" FFS? Black is black, and white is white. You don't need lenses, open your Fricking eyes woman and get a life!

Yesterday a friend of mine implied that I was racist. It all started because I received this joke on email. I’d seen it before, it gave me a little bit of a chuckle and so I forwarded it. To me it was no more than another joke about the jokes we have for leadership in our country. I thought nothing more as I closed the email and started working again.

Two minutes later I got a really angry response from one of my close friends. He slated me for denigrating black people and forwarding something where all the white people got it right and all the black people got it wrong. I was immediately on the defensive. What? I would never forward something deliberately racist. I got all my defences up and went waging a verbal tirade chastising him for criticising me when he knows that I would never do that. My take on the joke was that it was a direct criticism of the lack of common sense among our leadership. The joke only worked because of the use of particular public figures. It was no more overarching than that.

Then I took a deep breath and looked at the joke again. His criticism was that if the creators were trying to be current they could just as easily have featured Barack Obama rather than Tony Blair. My response was that it was an old joke recirculating because of the creation of a reason to recirculate it. Finished en klaar. It was not about “black people”, it was about Julius and Jacob, and if it wasn’t them it wouldn’t be funny in the first place.

But then I thought, what would have to be in the pictures that would make me feel affronted like him? And it was immediately clear to me how things could go. Say the joke had Zille and De Lille in the place of Zuma and Malema. Say it had Manuel and Leon in the place of Zille and Blair. Would I find it funny that the men got the answer right and the women got the answer wrong?

Truthfully, probably not. I don’t laugh at jokes that are racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, sexist … so why did I laugh at this one?

We are often limited by the lenses that we use to filter information that we find it very difficult to see things from another person’s perspective. For the larger part of my life I was never made to think about my race, which is obviously and indication that I was occupying a privileged position. I was not othered because of my skin tone, but because of my gender and so that is the most immediate reference I look for in understanding the world. So here I just didn’t see something that was glaringly obvious to someone else.

I simply was so busy staring through my own lens, I missed out on another angle.

3 Opinion(s):

VI said...

@ExZ. Sums up our lot at 67 Domkopf Street.

VI said...

Video Collection updated.

Lime said...

She found it funny because she's a racist - just like all of us. These libs think they are better than everyone and don't "see" race etc. They see it - probably more than average Joe as they're more aware of the differences that they try to defend and deny daily. Why not just admit that some have a lower IQ than others and get over it. Just like there are (shock and horror) other races out there that don't act and think the same as them! Just think of how different the world would be - for the better.