To all the white people getting real bent out of shape over Greg saying that “every” white person in American is racist… get over yourself. Every white person IS indeed racist. Not because they necessarily CHOOSE to be, or because they’re bad people, but because racism (especially against blacks) is so ingrained in the roots of our culture as to be thoroughly institutionalized.
I would LOVE to say I’m not racist. I resist viewing persons of color as representative of their ENTIRE race, instead of, say, as individuals. But the fact that I even NEED to resist it says a lot about the subconscious SHIT going on in my head, the way blacks and other people of color are presented to me each and every time I expose myself to media, or just white friends’ off-hand opinions and “jokes.” RACISM is NOT a conscious choice in America. If you’re white, you view life through a spoiled lens of white privilege, and you are RACIST. That doesn’t make you a bad person… Refusing to acknowledge it DOES. Whether you are an overt, through and through, unapologetically racist white person, a naively “innocent” white person, who just tries to avoid thinking about the whole topic, or a white equal-rights activist, working for the advancement of people of color, You. Are. Racist. Because that shit is not a choice. You either give in to it, ignore it, or rebel against it. But it’s there. It’s force fed to us from birth.
I’m not speaking up to “speak for the person of color” or to fight their fight for them (though the burden shouldn’t be on them to fight ANY fight, for merely existing), because it’s not my place to do that. But I’m fighting the white person’s fight against ignorance. The fight of urging other whites to understand they have white privilege, that that fact (because it IS a fact) doesn’t make them bad people, but that choosing to remain ignorant to it DOES.
Ask yourself: Have you ever had to worry when applying for a job, for a loan, for an apartment, for your children to get into that hot new private elementary school… Have you EVER had to worry that you would be denied solely because of your skin color? Because every single person of color does. Have you ever had to worry that if you showed some cockiness in a moment RICHLY deserving of cockiness, that you’d be called intensely hurtful and derogative names and recast in the image of an animal? Whether YOU, as an individual, are an overt racist or not does not matter to the individual man (intelligence, articulateness, physical prowess, talent, motivation aside) who is faced with these things on a daily basis.
And white people wanna talk about “reverse racism.” Please. When have YOU ever been faced with a huge, blank wall of hatred and resentment simply for rising above others and becoming a champion? I can guarantee you, had this been a white man showing cockiness in a moment of triumph against intensely personal rivals, a few brows would have raised, a FEW articles would have been written, but everyone would have gone back to their own business the next day. The media would have glossed over it in favor of highlighting contributions from other members of the team. Sherman didn’t take the attention off his team’s efforts – the media, and racist White America did.
I’m intensely sad that America’s inexcusably overwrought reaction to seeing a strong, talented black man succeed and rejoice in that success created a situation where he felt the need to apologize for any aspect of his celebration. That the second he inched his head up higher than those around him he was attacked for being “uppity” in the form of racial slurs and “non-racist” white rhetoric (such as this incredibly racist and patronizing Open Letter to Sherman: http://wgna.com/an-open-letter-to-richard-sherman/). That he now ALSO has fellow black American athletes claiming that he has singlehandedly set black Americans back 500 years (because he’s not an individual or anything, just a representative of the Black Man in America. Please, let’s blame the raped woman’s rape on her choice of attire.)
But it’s going to be ok, because Sherman is an extraordinary human being, and, though he shouldn’t have to, he can take all the racist bullshit this country has to throw his way.
Sherman can handle it.
In my quest to teach myself, from scratch, how to design a blog, I’ve already hit a lot of stumbling blocks.
First, I went through the grueling, multi-day process of watching youtube tutorials, researching all the various pros and cons to different registering and hosting options (not to mention website-creation services like Wix and Weeble and the various hosted sites like blogger, etc.), agonizing over what features I would eventually need and not need, and alternately soaring with exultation and crying from an inability to think of a good domain name. I was all kinds of emotional after it was all over.
Decision-making time came in the form of an ultimatum from the annoyed R.O.B. I just needed to MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN, already! So I decided. Then, I undecided. But, finally, I decided for good and pulled a couple-a triggers.
First, I decided to just go with my full name. I probably wouldn’t use it for this blog idea in the long term, but you can never go wrong with registering your full name, right? I could use it if I ever became, like, a famous photographer or something. So the thinking went.
Then, I bought hosting.
Then came days and days of searching furiously for a free template that had the look I wanted AND had plenty of customization options. I even looked at frameworks briefly, until I realized how much work and knowledge they require. I decided frameworks, despite their customization appeal, were Waaaay out of my league.
Well, I found the template, this template. (It’s pretty, despite being sexist – see below), customized my menu, and put up a few practice posts. All was right with the world. I was in it to win it. My butt had worn an indentation into my mattress (yeah, I work from bed – don’t judge me.), and leaving the blogosphere to go to work was like falling asleep at night and leaving the real world behind to dream for a few hours.
Oh SHIT, my content is gender-neutral! What if this theme can’t handle it???
I was in heaven, lazily drifting around on my comfy, pleasant-looking-for-my-skill-level blog, planning grandiose entries when suddenly, POOF… my cloud disappeared.
And by cloud, I mean blog. My blog disappeared.
Did I do anything wrong, you probably want to know? Did one of my innocent little test posts feature naked dongs or burning American flags? Or both? Did my bank account get so low that my automatic, recurring payment didn’t go through? Did I write a personal letter to GoDaddy’s CEO besmirching his name and insinuating sexual relations with his mother?
No, no, no, no, and no.
When I finally tracked down an answer, it was that they had “randomly” selected my payment as “possibly unauthorized,” and to test it, they deregistered my site and sent me an email that I needed to reregister it in order to “authenticate” my payment method. My payment method was the Paypal account I have used faithfully for going on a decade now. I have NEVER had my authenticity doubted before or run into any sort of similar problem.
I was furious.
All of my hard work, gone. All of my little test posts, gone.
But it wasn’t so much that everything was gone, because, let’s be honest, there’s WASN’T much. It was that I felt violated. Here I was, pouring blood, sweat, and tears into site, and it just disappeared. This rocked my world.
Suddenly, the blogosphere was this scary, alien place where your babies can just be stolen in the blink of an idea. Any time-invested project could vanish, and you’d have absolutely no recourse.
Commence hiatus. It has taken me MONTHS to get over this incident. Even after a fellow blogger told me that you can back up your entire blog for insurance against this very thing, I still cringed away from restarting. As someone starting from scratch, you pour HOURS into behind-the-scenes learning and testing and trying and tinkering. Your up-front investment is high.
But, you’ve gotta pick yourself up sometime, amiright?
This is incredibly disturbing
The moment to pick up and carry on, for me, is now. R.O.B. and I have just moved to Colorado!
Name of this state should be Youwishyoulivedhere
Luckily for him, he has a job (duh, it’s why we moved!) Unluckily for me, the job here, more so than anywhere else I’ve ever lived, operates on “who you know” instead of “what you know.” Which leaves me right up shit creek.
What better time to get out the old blog, brush off the dust, and get her going? So here I am, getting her going. I’m not quite sure what I want this space to be about. Rather, I do know, but what I want it to be about is, like, 10 different things. I think, for now, I’ll confine it to my learning experiences as I go along. Right now, I’m going font-crazy, downloading all the nice-looking, free fonts I can find. My next post will probably deal with that. Fonts! How exciting, right??