It has been said that until one has walked a mile in another’s shoes, one can never truly understand the other person. But that does not mean that we can’t at least try to understand another person’s perspective.
We live in a country in which one’s skin color is one of the factors that determines one’s fate. We also live in a country in which unconscious bias and white privilege also play a role in determining one’s fate. As a Caucasian woman of Eastern European Jewish descent, I’ve never thought about the privilege automatically assigned to me because of my skin color. The last few weeks have made it painfully clear that because of a twist of fate, I have access and a perception that is denied to Americans of color.
Because I do not have the first person experience that a person of color has, I will not even try to speak of that experience. But Trevor Noah has that experience and it is heartbreaking.
I would say that I hope (which often springs eternal) that we, as Americans have finally learned our lesson about racism and racial inequality. But the last few weeks have reminded this nation, in a painful way, that both are still alive and well, even in 2020.
In a normal world, someone who lives and breathes conspiracy theories would be derided as a lunatic (for lack of a better word) and hopefully ignored. But we don’t live in a normal world.
The latest laughable statement to come out of the White House and you know who can be described in one word: Obamagate. In a nutshell, former President Obama is accused of doing the job the American people hired him to do.
As usual, you know who is vague in the details of the accusation, but rushes to judgement. In reality, this is nothing more than a cover-up. The cover-up is that he and his administration failed to protect the United States from Covid-19. Instead of fessing up that mistakes were made, he falsely accuses his predecessor of being at the head of a made up conspiracy.
The difference between a mature person and an immature person is how they respond when they make a mistake. The mature person recognizes their error and at the very least, promises to learn from said error. The immature person blames others and tries to bluff their way out of the error.
It’s not a stretch to guess who is the mature one and who is the immature one in this so called “Obamagate”. Add it to the list of reasons to vote Democrat in November.
Let’s face it, the news can be dull at moment. But comedy has a way of elevating the news by making us laugh and making us think.
The Daily Show premiered in 1996 on Comedy Central and has been a staple of the channel since then. Originally hosted by Craig Kilborn, then by Jon Stewart and currently by Trevor Noah, The Daily Show is is part news program and part stand up comedy routine.
The thing that I love about The Daily Show is that it speaks to the viewer who is bored or turned off by traditional news outlets, but still wants to be in the know about what is happening in the world.
Kanye West is as much known for his music as much as he known for shooting his mouth off.
Recently, he was on TMZ Live and stated that slavery was a choice.
While he was on the air, he made the following statement:
“You hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sounds like a choice. Like, you was there for 400 years, and it’s all of y’all?”
I’m not African-American. I cannot and will not claim to see the world from the perspective of someone who is African-American.
However, even I know enough to know that for the entirety of human existence, slavery has never been a choice. One does not choose to be torn away from their home and family, put in chains and taken to another land thousands of miles away to work. One does not choose to be treated as less than a full human being and be denied their rights as said human being. One does not choose to live with the legacy of slavery, even though the physical chains have long since disappeared.
I could continue, but I think the Daily Show summed it up best.
Last year, he published a memoir of his very unique childhood entitled Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. Noah’s father, a white man of Swiss/German descent, was in his son’s life as much as the white father of a biracial child could be back then. His black mother, whose ancestry in South Africa went back generations, was his main parent. Loving, but strict (and perhaps a bit intense), she raised her son with a firm, but free-spirited hand. In the book, Noah talks about what it was like to grow in South Africa when the country was divided by very firm and enforceable social, racial and economic borders.
What I really loved about this book is that unlike other celebrity memoirs, it felt authentic. There was nothing forced or fake about his stories. It was as if he was sitting in front of me and we were having a conversation about his childhood. I also loved that there is a universal quality to this book when it comes to childhood, growing up and how our perceptions of us, our world and our parents change as we get older.
Last month, when 49 innocent people were murdered in the shooting at the Orlando night club, I had hoped that this country would finally come together and move forward from the tragedy.
The truth of the Orlando shooting is that hate, prejudice and discrimination had as much responsibility for the murders as much as the gunman did.
This week, two African-American men were killed by police officers. Alton Sterling from Louisiana and Philando Castile from Minnesota had their lives unnecessarily taken.
In response to the shooting of the two men, a rally in Dallas ended with the death of five police officers.
That brings the death count to 7.
The same hate, prejudice and discrimination that was partially to blame for the Orlando shooting is also responsible for the death of these 7 souls.
It’s no secret that racism still has an emotional foothold on America. While I am not African-American, I can understand the perspective of those who feel threatened and abused by a system that keeps them down.
The truth is that all lives matter. We are still all human beings at the end of the day.
I’m going to end this post with a video from The Daily Show. As usual, they hit the nail on the head.
We have seen too much blood spilled on American streets this week. It’s time to end the madness.