Monday, August 19, 2013

Letter to Oprah

Dear Oprah-

You are so full of crap.  Trayvon Martin and Cecil Gaines have nothing in common except their skin color.  If you are defining every black person by their skin color then you, yourself, are a racist.  I would have to say that Mr. Gaines did not play the thug life to get where he was as I’m guessing extensive background checks would have eliminated him from the job pool if he had.  Unless you are living in a bubble, which I believe you do, you would have known about T. Martin’s twitter handles and his gangsta wannabe lifestyle, at least as it plays out on social media. 

Yes, I’m white and I pretty much live in a bubble too.  I haven’t had a whole lot of experience with any nationalities, be they black, brown, Asian, German, Australian, whatever.  I had a little experience with an Italian once and it was pleasant, but that’s another story.  My problem is this, and maybe you can figure out an answer or an explanation. 

If a white person (or one who looks white) harms a black person, will they always be wrong?  I feel the media (your playground) portrays that exact sentiment.  If that is the case then we are not all created equal and must defer to a person of color, always. 

I’m tired of paying for other people’s grandparent’s mistakes.  My grands came over from Germany, Ireland and England after slavery was abolished.  I felt guilty for a long time but my family had nothing to do with it.  So why do I have to defer?  Why do I have to feel guilty when I hear about some kid getting gunned down by a white guy?  Why do I immediately have to wonder if it was racially motivated? 

If I was out and being followed and someone attacked me, I would definitely try to open a can of whoop ass on them.  As a matter of fact, several years ago I was in Phoenix and wandering around a little mall when someone seemed to be following a group consisting of me and my three friends.  We had gone out to dinner and were waiting for a cab.  In the meantime a man was eyeing us in a suspicious manner.  Before I had left on this trip I was reminded by my boyfriend that if anyone attacked me to stab them in the belly button with my keys.  He said it would take them right down.  This guy was following us, so I gathered my friends together in a well-lit area and I told them to whip out their keys or a pen from their purses and we would have a chance if this guy attacked.  Then we waited.  And we waited in a way that made this shifty guy finally walk away from us.  We were lucky and so was he, because my adrenaline was going strong and if he had come up to us I would not have had a problem stabbing him, even if he was just looking for change.  He was in my space and suspicious.

And he was white.  And I was afraid.  And I’m sorry, but kids today who choose to look like thugs are going to get treated as such and maybe they will learn from this, but they probably won’t.  White or black, they think it’s cool and badass and they will keep perpetuating stereotypes until video games, musicians, movies and talk show hosts stop glorifying them – black, white, whatever.

I take offense at celebrities and presidents using their influence to get a rise out of the public.  I take offense of the press that did not publicize George Zimmerman helping accident victims.  I take offense of a public that wouldn’t use their heads and realize that there was no dirt on GZ brought out by the press.  If he had skeletons they would have been all over the news, but it wasn’t there. 

It is tragic that a boy was killed.  It is tragic that a mother and father lost a son.  It shouldn’t happen that way.  It is more tragic that the media has latched onto fear and hate and spreads it like butter on the tongues of society and that we like the taste of it so very much.

Figure all that out for me Oprah.  And if you didn’t make that befuddled remark about T. Martin and Cecil Gaines, I apologize.  The press made me do it.
PS:  Bad call with the purse in Switzerland.  I'm sure they wouldn't have shown it to me either.