Sunday, August 13, 2017

Diversity in my Life and My Thoughts on Charlottesville

The Speed of News
            News is happening so fast that I can’t even comment on all of it.  Charlottesville seems more of the moment, so I am going to talk about it in a shallow way to get my feelings out before it is all washed out by the next horrible thing.
            I do feel it necessary to point out, atomic war is something that might have broken outlast week and it is somehow not the top news story illustrating how awful President Trump is.  Also, an issue that promises to hang around for a while.  Keep that in the back of your mind while I reflect on my world view.

Some Context
            Growing up in the 90’s I was exposed to numerous TV shows and movies that wanted me, and I am assuming children in general, to know that the world was in trouble and everyone had to work together to save it.
            Shows like X-Men are perhaps the most iconic and ongoing properties in that vein, the comic having been around since the 60’s and even now being a massive movie franchise about bigotry and alienation when it isn’t about firing as many lasers as possible at a purple cyborg to… You know, maybe we can all acknowledge that “X-Men Apocalypse” did not understand the franchise’s core appeal and move on.
            My point is, diversity in the casts of those shows was not something that was advertised or commented upon, but was something that was there.  Even as a kid I recall having the thought, “Oh, I see, they want to show how everyone is included”.  Sure, it was often clumsy and rarely subtle (for instance the kid in the wheelchair for the Burger King Kid’s Club, was named “Wheels”.  Yeesh), but I didn’t mind.
            When I watched the shows or movies, or looked at the asinine advertising for subpar burgers, I was there to see an adventure.  If not every member of the cast was a cis-gendered-white-male I just accepted that as how the world was.  Because not everyone is a cis-gendered-white-male.

They even included Kid Vid who was really into 80’s new wave pop music… Or was possibly a time traveler from 2080, they were not really clear on the concept.  Apparently his real name is Ryan Mcfarland according to wikipedia.
            When I watched Dr Bashir save Deep Space Nine with medical knowledge, Kwame lead the Planeteers with a level head, or Roland rewire the proton packs to catch more powerful ghosts I didn’t think to myself how unrealistic it was or how the show had to include them for “diversity”.  I accepted that these characters were doing what they were doing and their race was at best a physical description rather than any defining characteristic.
            I know that I had and have biases and prejudices that I am not even aware of, things so subtle that I would not even understand what was being pointed out if someone explained them to me.  I know that I had a resentment toward my schools for putting a huge focus on certain cultures over others (you can read my review/reflections on “Pocahontas” for more of my feelings on that), but I do know that the area I grew up in was not diverse and if not for some focus being put on other cultures and people I don’t think I would have gotten any exposure.
            The best I can do in my day to day life is try to treat everyone as an individual.  Every person has their own little story to tell and is at their own place in this world because of decisions made not only by them but by countless other people.  We will never meet all of those people who caused the dominos to fall, we just know that we are getting knocked over.

            With all of this in mind, I have to ask what shows were these guys watching when they were growing up?

            What made them this?  What made them see “Indiana Jones” and think that the guys getting punched were the ones in the right?  What part of Picard’s Drumhead speech made them think that diminishing someone was alright?  What part of “Heart” made them think that having fewer and whiter people was a winning strategy?
            I really do not get it.  What made them think that the “Red Pill” Morpheus (a black man) gives to Neo (a white man) to explain how everyone is being marginalized by a system (whose avatars are all white men) was a symbol of men waking up to the oppression of… Feminism?  Guys, I think you missed the whole point of that movie.  Like all of it.
            Who lied to these weak racist fools so often about the Civil War that they now think it wasn’t about Slavery?  Who lied to them about World War II to make them think the Holocaust didn’t happen (though they seem to think it should have)?  What happened to these guys to make them blame minorities for how disappointed they are in their own lives?

Didn't they see "Fight Club"?
The Credit Card companies are responsible.
             Why do so many of them think President Trump is the answer?  Just because he is racist and hired racist Stephen Bannon to be a chief policy advisor?  Even if President Trump is on their side they still have to look at how comically inept the President is and realize their star player is laughably bad at every task.
            Why is it so many people think every time white nationalists do something horrible at an event celebrating racism it is somehow a false flag operation?  Are they really that stupid, deluded, or just trying to cover it up?  I do not get any of this.
            A few months ago, I decided to coin the phrase, “Not-Zees” as a descriptor of the Alt-Right and White National supporters of Trump who were pedantic enough to point out they were not literal Nazis, which they defined entirely as a political party started in Germany following the first World War.
            I guess I can throw that cute nickname out the window.  Kind of hard for anyone to claim Nazi is such a narrow term when there are guys yelling “Heil, Trump!” and carrying Swastika branded merchandise.  Images of the KKK battle flag sitting next to the Nazi flag also erases any illusions people had of the two being distinct, and curb stomps all future moronic arguments of, “Heritage, not hate” as transparent lies, as if they somehow weren’t before.

My Thoughts
            Like I said, I don’t get any of this.
            I see the world as a big and diverse place full of people who are awful, but I see them as awful on an individual basis and I judge them on their Words and Deeds, as I have explained before.  So here we are, the President shows more deference to a Russian Dictator and Nazi mobs than he does to Senators in his own party.
            What is more, that is not just me exaggerating, I have a quote from white nationalist rag The Daily Stormer who took President Trump’s awful response to the issue and rightly interpreted it as a winking endorsement.

            “Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together.  Nothing specific against us.
            “He said that we need to study why people are so angry, and implied that there was hate… on both sides!
            “So he implied the antifa are haters.
            “There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all.
            “He said he loves us all.
            “Also refused to answer a question about White Nationalists supporting him.
            “No condemnation at all.
            “When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room.
            “Really, really good.
            “God bless him.”
            -Taken from Here

Sleep tight America.  It has been less than 9 months.
            If you like or hate this please take the time to comment, +1, share on Twitter (click that link to follow me), Tumblr, or Facebook, and otherwise distribute my opinion to the world.  I would appreciate it.

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