I've used my free time during C doing A LOT of independent research and cataloging my old blogs (not to blow myself but there's exponential documented growth as a person and writer from 2016 to now). I had a Gilded Age phase earlier this year, but the last month or so I've been obsessed with learning about Jim Crow. I am fascinated with the horrors of this scar on America's face. The inability to turn away from a car crash analogy fits this situation like a glove. It blows my fucking mind. If I had a dollar for every time I watched a Jim Crow video after 1 am I could buy a full meal at Chipotle WITH queso.
1960's America is my favorite era in history. There was some actual positive change amongst the turmoil and assassinations. I could talk about the Civil Rights Act for at least three paragraphs without outside sources, but like most white people I was ignorant to much of the horrors from Jim Crow that led to the Civil Rights Moment.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not an idiot. I have a history degree after-all. I knew a little bit about Jim from the two days we talked about it high school and my favorite movie of all time Remember the Titans, but outside of the obvious things most people with high school diplomas know (separate but equal, redlining, the Bus Boycotts) I was ignorant to a lot about our nation's past. We don't spend enough time talking about this in schools. It may be painful, but history is ugly AF. We can't just act like nothing happened. There are still so many throw-away things in society that you wouldn't think twice about with ties to Jim Crow. How did watermelon get racialized? Do you know why some people call sprinkles "jimmies"? Or know how Aunt Jemima originally started?
Cartoons only amplified the racism.
There are tons of people who still don't understand the horrors of blackface. For some time I didn't get it either and would be like the people who say "how is it any different from White Chicks?" If you do a little research it's pretty obvious why the topic is so taboo. That being said I did find the timing of an SNL skit from 2000 where Jimmy Fallon is impersonating Chris Rock going viral at the same time as the murder of George Floyd a little too convenient.
My point here is blackface is bad, but not nearly as bad as mother fucking MURDER; hence the house on fire line. It wouldn't shock me if that story was leaked to get attention away from the real problems since social media loves to look down its nose and scold instead of actually doing something productive.
I even started a blog on the topic of how fucked up Jim Crow and race relations in this country are on May 8th. How even 50+ years after the Civil Rights Act was passed we are still dealing with the scars of Jim Crow as a nation. After considering the weight of the subject, I abandoned ship in fear. As a white guy I'm always worried about getting cancelled since I am rough around the edges and make light of everything. I didn't feel like it was my place. After the murder of George Floyd I had to say something. Just like school shootings; how many more times does this need to fucking happen before we do something????????????George Floyd was killed during broad daylight, in a major U.S. city by officer Derek Chauvin after multiple pleas to get off his neck.
This treatment of AMERICANS is unacceptable. "All men are created equal" is already a fucking joke being written by a slave-owner. How can we say with a straight face that all men are created equal with the way black people are treated in this country? Why are there FOUR COPS holding down George Floyd here for allegedly writing a bad check?
And white people can have straight up hate rallies and bring assault weapons to the steps of government property and Trump says they're good people???
Another bad take I used to have was saying I only cared about things if they affected (effected?) me. That was partly trying to be funny, but partly true and ignorant AF. This stuff all affects us whether the results are directly felt or not. They say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and I think C has shown us how weak those links are from a public health perspective. We basically live in two different countries (white and black America) and sadly I don't think anything is going to change until white people (the people with the most power and vast majority of this country) start showing that they actually care about racial injustice. Obviously plenty already do and I'm not saying it's right or I agree with it, but I mean that's sort of just how things work in this country. Have you ever noticed since pot has gotten legalized how many already rich white guys found a way to profit off it?
I saw the differences of the two Americas everyday while I was teaching in Prxv (on purpose) or driving for a ride share company in Newport. The kids in Prxv are in buildings from the 20's with books from the 90's with no structure or support. Sometimes close to 30 in a room and not enough seats. How is that right? It's not fair to these innocent kids who are already starting behind the 8 ball when their mostly white counterparts 20ish miles down the road have things like working bubblas with adults who actually care and hold them accountable. Newport, RI has some of the most extravagant mansions in the history of the world. Perhaps the most telling sign of the two Americas the fact that the Newport Mansions and a project are just blocks apart from each other. If you go across Memorial Blvd there are section 8 houses (hidden off from your sight-line) a tennis serve away from the International Tennis Hall of Fame and all the mansions on Bellevue. A true visual representation of the distribution of wealth and class struggles in this country.
There have been countless other African-AMERICANS that have been murdered by excessive police force in this country. You hope George Floyd's death can create some sort of change, but I'm not holding my breathe. I referenced cataloging blogs in the beginning of this post. I have looked over a lot of my past work and there is stuff I'm not proud of. Mainly my take on Kaepernick in 2016. Well your boi is so woke now that I haven't had a good night sleep in weeks (also because unemplxxxxxxxx has been fucking me raw). I mention how I'm a do the right thing guy all the time on DOL and the way we are going as a country is not right. This Michael Che bit from his 2016 Netflix Special "Michael Che Matters" is resurfacing today and is relevant as ever given the murder of George Floyd.
This is why I love comedy. Che was able to use humor to bring this injustice to light in a way that's still funny, but makes you think. We're taking about MATTER. It's such a great bit. It is so fucking ass backwards that our country is still this way in 2020 and the idea of equality is actually somewhat controversial. Clips like this shouldn't need to exist.
I don't want to be some holier than thou preacher on DOL because that's not what I'm all about. I want to make people laugh and be an escape. I know nobody reads my shit and a lot of people think I'm wasting my time, but maybe this is the post that changes things? Maybe finally we as a nation can come together and say this isn't okay. Of course the looting is a bad look, but I don't blame people. Plus some of it is fucking hilarious and a much needed pallet cleanser on this Andre-the-Giant-level-heavy blog.
The media and fake news is only dividing us more. I know it can be so disheartening that you may just want to bury your head in the sand and act like everything is okay. I've done that before and it solves NOTHING. R.I.P. George Floyd
Despite all of this I do feel bad for cops. Their job is almost impossible nowadays. I don't know what the percentages are, but there's hopefully millions of police officers who are disgusted by these actions. I hope some stand up to the crooked cops and decide they've had enough. Standing up to the man can be one of the hardest things to do; especially if you're putting your job at risk, but police are supposed to PROTECT and SERVE. Not kill in cold blood. R.I.P. George Floyd.