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Joe Wilson vs. Kanye West: Which act had more to do with race?

 
 
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 10:33 am
I have a feeling that both of these events had racial underpinnings. However, I think Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift's award acceptance at the VMAs last weekend had just as much to do with race as Joe Wilson's outburst at Obama, if not more. If Taylor Swift was a black R&B artist instead of a white country singer, would he have still run up on the stage and done that?

I will say one thing in Kanye's defense though. At least he seemed to actually regret it, which is more than I can say for Joe Wilson.
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 10:42 am
I'm sure everyone knows about Joe's outburst by now, but just in case some of you are not familiar with Kanye's, here's a link...

0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 10:45 am
I have to agree with you, Kicky. If it had been Mary J. or Rihanna, I don't think Kanye would have done that. Being an asshole is a universal condition. Stupidity knows no boundaries.
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 10:49 am
@kickycan,
kickycan wrote:

I have a feeling that both of these events had racial underpinnings. However, I think Kanye West's interruption of Taylor Swift's award acceptance at the VMAs last weekend had just as much to do with race as Joe Wilson's outburst at Obama, if not more. If Taylor Swift was a black R&B artist instead of a white country singer, would he have still run up on the stage and done that?

I will say one thing in Kanye's defense though. At least he seemed to actually regret it, which is more than I can say for Joe Wilson.


I kinda gotta agree with this as well; I don't think Kanye would have acted that way toward a fellow R&B artist. But, he's a ******* douchebag on about 7 different levels, so this is totally unsurprising.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:04 am
here's an interesting read:
www.hiphopandpolitics.wordpress.com/2009/09/14/the-phony-corporate-sponsored-disruptions-outburst-of-kanye-west-joe-wilson/
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  5  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:06 am
I think in both cases "jackass" had more to do with it than race. And quite frankly, America has a ridiculous obsession with race. In most other countries when you fill out forms, they don't ask you what race you are. When someone is a dick to someone else who happens to be a different race they don't go on and on about race.

America really needs to get over race, some people are different colors. Deal with it.
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:08 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

I think in both cases "jackass" had more to do with it than race. And quite frankly, America has a ridiculous obsession with race. In most other countries when you fill out forms, they don't ask you what race you are. When someone is a dick to someone else who happens to be a different race they don't go on and on about race.

America really needs to get over race, some people are different colors. Deal with it.


Hmm, would you say that racial unity and harmony are more pronounced in these countries where they don't ask you what race you are? This hasn't really been my experience.

France, for example, doesn't inquire about your race on forms (per reports of the French dude in my office); they just quietly deny you jobs if you are an Arabic male. Is this somehow preferable?

Cycloptichorn
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:14 am
@Robert Gentel,
I just don't think it's possible, Robert. I don't think America will ever 'get over race'. And it's not just this country. I read about a group/clan/tribe in Beijing accused of targeting another group with syringe attacks. Now I'll expose my ignorance by admitting that I didn't know there were various "groups" of people in Beijing. But there does appear to be. You've got ongoing racial issues in France, and how different really are the results of 'religious' wars or class warfare? Bottom line is the same. People fear those who are different from them and that fear will manifest itself in various ways. That's the way it's been since the beginning of time and that's the way it will be at the end. IMO.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:24 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
merica has a ridiculous obsession with race. In most other countries when you fill out forms, they don't ask you what race you are. When someone is a dick to someone else who happens to be a different race they don't go on and on about race.


I think the opposite is true. Americans "obsession" with race is a good thing, not a bad thing.

In countries that don't ask you what race you are, there is far more discrimination based on race-- and skin color has far more to do with your ability to get a job. I see this quite clearly in Mexico. People there talk quite proudly about how race isn't a problem in Mexico... yet stereotypes, wealth disparity and job discrimination in Mexico is far worse than in the US, and the society is far less fair as a result.

Sweeping something under the rug doesn't address the problem.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:27 am
@ebrown p,
I was also surprised to find that job postings in Mexico contain the words Masculino, Feminino and Sexo Indistinto.

No one gave me a good answer when I asked how I would dress for an interview if the job was Sexo Indistinto.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:30 am
There's some generalizing going on here re racial acrimony going on everywhere - but not all is the same. I've read some about Brazil, which Robert knows well, and think race has much less of a role in that country than in the US, or France, or even Beijing.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:51 am
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Hmm, would you say that racial unity and harmony are more pronounced in these countries where they don't ask you what race you are? This hasn't really been my experience.


It's a mixed bag, both racism and tolerance are both more normal, it's just not as big of a deal either way. The racists are more low key, and the anti-racists are more low key.

Quote:
France, for example, doesn't inquire about your race on forms (per reports of the French dude in my office); they just quietly deny you jobs if you are an Arabic male. Is this somehow preferable?


This is a good point that I've long held as a counter-balance to my opinion that America is absolutely nuts about race. In many other places institutionalized racism is more prevalent. At the same time in many of those places the violence and aggression over race are much smaller issues.

It's hard to say whether the greater aggression (on both sides) in the US over the issue is more helpful than the peaceful protest. It's certainly a product of caring more, which I'm sure helps, but think that understatement and passive resistance have historically worked much better for the civil rights movement than aggressive witch hunts and overuse of the racist accusations ever did.

The quandary is that caring more makes passive resistance harder. And to me it's just sad to see emotional anti-racists call non-emotional anti-racists racist just because they aren't willing to sign on to each accusation as easily as they are.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 11:58 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
I think the opposite is true. Americans "obsession" with race is a good thing, not a bad thing.


I used to argue this side against fbaezer on the other side. My argument was that you couldn't improve things if you couldn't measure it. His argument was that the incessant desire to measure things by race made the culture more racially defined.

I can attest to that. I never thought about what race I was till I came to America and it was the first question most people asked me.

I like that America fights racism so strongly, really I do. I get how this can be much better than the simply assumed institutional racism of places like Japan. But there is such thing as way overboard, and I think America is there.

Race seems to define every inter-racial exchange. And that's a pity, because that kind of thinking leads to more racism just as it leads to more passion against racism.

Quote:
Sweeping something under the rug doesn't address the problem.


Why does it have to be... ahem, black or white? Why can't there be a happy medium? You know, where it isn't swept under the rug but isn't overboard?

Why do you assume that if I appeal against one extreme I support the other extreme?

I don't ever want America to stop fighting racism, I just want America to be more judicious in picking their battles. I want America to stop making race the first thing we think of in inter-racial relations. That is the foundation of racism, and I look foreward to a day when America stops seeing individuals as defined by race as much as they do now. The trigger happy accusations about racism also fail to let Obama rise above his race. He's still not just a man, just a president to either side. He's above all a black man, a black president.

It doesn't have to be this way. Race doesn't have to define every individual.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 12:02 pm
@ebrown p,
Yeah, and in Latin America they often put pictures, age, marital status and a host of other things that I love that America treats as a taboo. I object to that as well.

Don't get me wrong, I have a special respect for American civil rights. In many ways it's a leader in this field. But that doesn't mean that every witch hunt is helpful and I do think that putting race on every form only contributes to people being defined by race.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 12:04 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I agree with rob, here.

so many forms, and so much done with the info.

I usually put other, mixed...
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:49 pm
@Rockhead,
I usually avoid answering that question altogether.

But I have to disagree with Robert on his assessment of the race issue in this country. Someone must speak out on these issues, as often and as loudly as necessary. If Malcolm X, MLK, the Black Panthers, NAACP, SNCC, etc., had not spoken out when so many, including many, many fearful Negroes wanted them all to be quiet, don't talk about it all the time, don't bring it up here, where do you think this country would be in it's quest for civil rights? Absolutely nowhere. If Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem didn't scream loud enough and long enough, a woman in this country would still be considered the property of her husband. No one is going to give you your rights, especially when they fear that they will lose something precious in the process. Sometimes you have to stand up and scream and shout and pitch a boogie to get what you've got coming to you. Unfortunately, this is the way of the world.
Many in control feel satisfied and happy when they've got their foot on some poor slob's neck. And they'll go to great lengths to keep that good feeling going. That too is, unfortunately, the way of the world.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:51 pm
@eoe,
Funny, see I think MLK got what I was saying, and I have no qualms about his efforts.

I'm not at all saying that nobody should speak up about racism. Again, this doesn't have to be one extreme or the other.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:53 pm
@eoe,
I fully agree with you.

I think like rob says, It's Real important to pick your spots so it is effective and not just so much wind.

there is a lot of wind.
eoe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:56 pm
@Rockhead,
But who determines this? How can the oppressor tell the oppressed when it's okay to feel oppressed?
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Sep, 2009 01:57 pm
@eoe,
they can't.

the oppressed must determine it for themselves.

you know as well as I that you cannot complain about every slight.

it becomes ineffective.
 

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