Grate (sic) Moments In Racism

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July 11th, Dalas Texas… all was going as smooth as could be (read: not very) during a county commissioners meeting until the Santa Ana winds brought in a stiff breeze of stupidity.

During the meeting the conditions of the growing bureaucracy were compared to a “black hole.” That’s when the breeze blew clear through the ears of Commissioner John Wiley Price and out his mouth who exclaimed it was more like a “white hole” and demanded an immediate apology for the metaphor. Some judge decided to chime in too. Both Price and the judge are black. (news source)

Now, as we – white, black, male, female, enchanted pastry humanoids and unicorns – all know, a “black hole” is a scientific term that came about in 1967 to define an anomaly with a gravity so strong, nothing can leave its grip, not even light… an apt description of any mound of paperwork produced by local governments for sure. The color black was chosen as a describer for the phenomena because black is the absence of color – color being created by light waves, which aren’t being let go by the black hole’s gravity – and not for any racial means.

And even though it’s obvious that the “offended” failed 7th grade astrophysics, the term “black hole” is also ingrained in popular culture (for convenience). We have ”The Black Hole,” a Disney epic about… well… a black hole. We have a song called “Black Hole Sun” about… well… the sun going nova (not really). We have the black hole of Calcutta, a dungeon where people, like light and pending ordinances, disappear forever.

For more info on this subject, just ask PBS’ Nova host Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, an African American and author of Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries.

But this wasn’t about being offended, was it? This was about being on TV and the opportunity to make waves. I agree whole heartedly that racism is a bad thing and that it’s still prevalent in this new millennium. However, with Price’s track record and the quickness to leap at the mere sound of “black” (at the speed of light, mind you) and the ensuing attacks against the terms like “devil’s food cake” and “black sheep” I question Price’s seriousness on the subject. I also question his introductory statement on his website: “John Wiley Price addresses real issues, advances real change and achieves real results.”

Really? The fact that “Devil’s Food Cake” is black is a serious issue? It’s chocolate. Chocolate is decadence. Decadence is sin. Sin is the devil’s domain. Alternatively, the Devil was cast from heaven and therefore the light of God… the absence of light = black. Sigh.

shinSo, for achieving high office with little common sense or knowledge; for governing people with a clear reactionist mentality; for making accusations of racism just to extend your own 15 minutes of infamy… I hereby award John Wiley Price and anyone who jumped on that bandwagon that medal of freakdom – The Kick in the Shins award…

We need address REAL racism; not pull issues out of thin Aether (that’s another astrophysics nod btw… look it up!).

But we’re not done here, oh no. England’s got it’s head up its ass when it comes to this stuff too, even though they have sort of the right idea by attacking racism young.

According to the BBC, the National Children’s Bureau issued a 366 page guide for nursery staff to look for racist overtones in “yucky food.”

It said: “A child may react negatively to a culinary tradition other than their own by saying, ‘Yuck!”‘.

That may indicate a lack of familiarity with that particular food, or “more seriously a reaction to a food associated with people from a particular ethnic or cultural community”.

Yes, if a child turns up his or her nose at an unfamiliar meal it must now be determined if this is due to that fact it is a foreign delicacy or just too freakin’ spicy. I didn’t and still don’t eat brussels sprouts… does that mean I have a latent hatred for the Flemish? Doubt it. If a kid spits out a taco, does it mean he hates Mexicans? It’s England, how many Mexicans can there be to form an opinion about them?

Besides, a nation that produced blood pudding and eel pie shouldn’t dig too deep into culinary tastes else you’ll uncover a serious case of self-loathing.

So let’s give half a KITS award to the NCB. Right time of life to deal with intolerance, but just get it out of the bloody kitchen (or else my soufflé’ll fall).

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Ryan is an artist / writer out of Melbourne, FL.

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