Monday, January 16, 2012

The Oprah Winfrey Show

Did anyone else catch the episode titled: "Black For A Day"? Normally, I'm actually not a fan of her show but my uncle happened to be watching it this afternoon and it focused on a topic I have much interest in: Racism.

Her "guests" of the day were a couple of people who actually went undercover in the guise of different ethnicities to see how people treated them differently. For example, a black man used make-up to take on the appearance of a white man, a white man took pills that darkened his skin to that of a black.

I won't say it was "eye-opening" for me. It would probably be eye-opening for white Americans though. They're always so surprised when they "discover" that racism still survives today. "I didn't know people like that still existed! I mean, sure there are racists, but I didn't expect them here!" Or "I didn't know it was still so bad!"

I will say that racism in this country has mostly moved to a passive state. Things are better than they used to be. Most people aren't openly racist anymore. Moreover, most don't think they're racist. You might ask me, "What's the difference?" Well, let me tell you there is a difference. On the other hand, the passive variant has proven harder to uproot. The problem lies in the method and the awareness.

With regards to method: Education on the matter, actual contact with those people; these things increase tolerance (this works for religion, too). They do! But beyond that... what can we do? You can't force a person to treat everyone fairly, to consider everyone equally. Where do you draw the line? It will be too late when you listen to the evening news and hear, "Today, City Thought Police raided a local supermarket for discriminatory actions toward colored patrons."
For awareness: Well, as I said, everyone likes to think we've come sooo far, and yes, we have. But complacency is the stupidest thing we could possibly choose to reward ourselves with for that achievement. I mean, come on guys. "We done good. Let's take a break for a few decades." That's retarded.

You might have noticed that I've filled this post with links to comedians' bits regarding racism. Well, yeah, they're funny and some of my favorites but also what did you expect? News articles? Hahahaha, bless your soul. Here in America, we can't rely on "journalists" or politicians to deal with scary, scary reality anymore. I, and many others, have turned to comedians to cut the shit these days.