August 19, 2010

People are People

If you're like me, you've had about enough of the whole Dr. Laura debacle.  If you haven't heard about it by now, well - I'm surprised.  But just in case, here's the audio of what she actually said, in its entirety.  Was it stupid?  Oh lord, yes.  Was it racist?  Well, no, in a crazy way, it wasn't.  PLEASE read on to see what I mean!

You have to know, if you follow my blog, that I like pretty much everyone I've ever met.  And if I don't care for someone it's because they're cruel, insensitive, egotistical, or self-riteous (and guess what?  Dr. Laura is all these things).  I don't care what you look like, your race, your spiritual beliefs, your gender or who you love.  I just don't.  And I believe that a majority of people feel the same as me.  Is this naive of me?  Perhaps.  But I do think that we're inching ever closer to Dr. King's dream of people being judged not by their race but by the content of their character.  I do believe this.

I have friends that range in age from 12-75; disabled; straight; gay; lesbian; Asian (Korean, Hmong, Japanese, Chinese); Hispanic; Black; Indian; American Indian (or PC "Native American); Jewish; Born-Again Christian; Muslim; Hindi; Catholic; Protestant; Wiccan; Atheist -  and I'm not exaggerating.  All you'd have to do is check my Facebook friends list to see that it's true.   In fact, I'm a little surprised at the diversity of this list!  I hope this shows that I just don't care what or who you are, as long as you're a good person.  And everyone on my friends list is a good person!

That being said, I will also never be black.  Or Asian.  Or Wiccan.  So I will never understand what it means to be any of these things (before you give me slack about the Wiccan thing - I understand that this categorization is a "choice", but it's still a way that people are labeled).  So I will never go around saying the n-word, pretending to talk like an Asian person (stereotypically), or making witch jokes.  If I EVER offended any of my friends, I would be right there with an apology, and I hope we'd talk about why it was offensive to the you, and I would feel just awful.

Like it or not, Causasians will be the brunt of jokes for a long time to come, and we are the only "category" who really can't do anything about it.  I don't mind, either!  We do it to ourselves, too, guys.  One of my favorite books in the last couple years is a book called, "Stuff White People Like" by Christian Lander.  It's hysterical, and if you're a 25-40-something urban hipster liberal white person, you'll realize how spot-on it is.  And if a black/Asian/Hispanic person were to poke fun at this book there'd be no backlash.  Why?  Because it's all true! 

I've got only one last thing to say about this whole deal, and I hope I say it right so that you all know what I mean (but if you don't I'll personally message and try to clarify, because it's not my intention to offend):  let's all be a little more self-deprecating.  Seriously!  I think more self-deprecation would be a major hurdle-jumper in our attempt to build bridges and create unity.  When we can laugh at ourselves and at the same time educate others about our culture but NOT be offended when others imitate us in order to try and understand what it's like to be in our shoes, then we've made progress.  If we step back a little, we all know where the boundaries are and when they've been crossed.  And those people who do cross the line need a good dose of sensitivity training.  But hey, let's lighten up!   Because we all have one thing in common - we're HUMAN.   It's wonderful that we're all different - I don't want to be a Stepford Wife!  Vive les differences!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to grab a cappuccino and put on my yoga pants before I take a walk with my dog to Whole Foods while I listen to NPR on my iPod.  (If you don't get this, read "Stuff White People Like" and you'll see what I mean).  :D

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