… I got an extremely racist message in my inbox, saying some things about the Ferguson situation that I’d never like to repeat nor give credit to. (I’m sure the message on the Tumblr staff blog yesterday made me a little bit of a target for such messages. It happens.)
Situations like this, along with the Trayvon Martin shooting, have a tendency to bring both the best and worst out of people. It shows how far we have to come as a culture, even as things seem closer than ever. I don’t want to make a big deal out of this stuff, but it really bothered me to see how someone’s ideology made them so blind that they had to use the words they did to describe this situation and their feelings on it.
I guess my wish is that people look beyond their laptop, their apartment, and their own lives and think about what it’s like in someone else’s shoes. That’s what this whole situation is about in so many ways, big and small. Too few people do it. All they see is their own perspective, and that perspective too often is poisonous.
This morning, the Washington Post described the situation in Ferguson as reaching a “turning point.” Who knows if it is? It could go on for weeks, and it might just. Whatever is next, I hope that people consider what we’ve learned about society from this story so far, and see opportunities to change things, not cause more vitriol.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the positive in the ugly. But I hope that Ferguson shows that there’s still room to shine a light on the ugly and call it out for what it is—and then show that we can beat it with our spotlight.
Big Magic Johnson, what has he done? He’s got AIDS. Did he do any business? Did he help anybody in South LA? … What kind of guy goes to every city and has sex with every girl and catches AIDS? … I don’t think he’s a good example for the children of Los Angeles.
How to get people on your side: Criticize one of the most famous and philanthropic athletes of all time. Johnson’s post-NBA career decimates absolutely every stereotype about HIV—every stereotype that Sterling would be quick to throw on him based on his interview with AC.
Also, this response to the interview was pure class, Magic.
Make no mistake: Donald Sterling is the villain of this story. But he’s just a handmaiden to the bigger evil. In our quest for social justice, we shouldn’t lose sight that racism is the true enemy. He’s just another jerk with more money than brains.“Welcome to the Finger-Wagging Olympics,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
So, if we’re all going to be outraged, let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident. Let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played. Let’s be outraged that whoever did the betraying will probably get a book deal, a sitcom, trade recipes with Hoda and Kathie Lee, and soon appear on Celebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars.
And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.Nevada outlaw cattle rancher and cause célèbre Cliven Bundy • Saying something so incredibly racist that even his supporters—like Rand Paul—are saying “screw it” and giving up on the guy.
General Tso’s Chicken has become a staple of American dining; a dish that, were it not for pizza, could be crowned the most popular ethnic food item in the country. And it’s a total cash cow. The dish is carried in most of the 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States, produced very cheaply, and sold for about $10 a pop, resulting in billions of dollars in tasty revenue.
Some notable history in this fascinating article: Apparently the Chinese food industry was first borne of the Chinese Exclusion Act, an infamous 19th century anti-immigration law which forced many Chinese immigrants out of the labor force. Self-employment became a necessity, and immigrants moved away from the West Coast partly to avoid persecution.