Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Gay Race....It's Black and White...

We should have a full and frank discussion about race....but we never will.

Want to know why?

Because no one wants to start it.... because..... they could be seen as racist.

Basically - we're all walking / blogging on eggshells.  Well I am going to put my thoughts out there and let's see how much hate mail I get :) (PS I love hate mail/comments - keep that in mind:)

My 2 and a bit years in the USofA taught me that if you are white you are expected to NOT discuss race - especially regarding the black community.  As "the man" you have no credibility to talk on issues of race as it is White People who who are the racial abusers.

Now - that is certainly the rule and not the exception in my experience.  KKK.  Knights of the Aryan Brotherhood.  West Virginia White Pride. etc.  etc.  etc.  Believe it or not, I can actually appreciate this as a Jew.  My first month in Orlando (October 2002), I went out to Borders to buy some books and wore my Kippah (Jewish Skull-Cap).  I actually heard a woman say to her friend "Oh my god he's Jewish!".  I was later reminded by friends that "Yes Dorothy, you are still in the South.  Even in cosmopolitan Orlando, Florida."

Another trend was very OBVIOUS poor service on most occasions when the server / shop assistant / cashier etc was a black person.  Now I mentioned THIS and was told "Yeah.  A lot of the black people around here don't like the white people  But quite a few of the white people don't like the black people either."  I made a joke along the lines of "Well no one must like the Asians around here".  It was all of about 2 seconds until I realised that I was the only one chuckling.  Ahem.

Anyways - I decided to see if this sort of racial experience of mine was the RULE or the EXCEPTION.  As I was very fortunate to travel with Bubb when he went on work trips, I got to see many cities.  Boston.  Savannah.  Miami.  Ft Lauderdale. Omaha.  Chicago.  Atlanta.  Denver.  To name the most prominent.  And a clear pattern emerged......


None.


No pattern.  The black people in Atlanta and Savannah loved me.  Surprisingly, my most uncomfortable moment in Savannah was when a white, middle aged, southern woman refused me service at her beauty salon when I requested a mani-pedi by responding "We don't......do......  the men."  I found a diverse racial mix in Boston and it seemed pretty well mixed to my eyes.  In Miami, there was an obvious Cubano and Everyone Else divide.  But I didn't find that a NASTY divide, as more of a COMFORT divide.  I dined at my hotel in Chicago next to a table of equal numbers of black and white men (gayelles actually) who seemed to get on like a house on fire. 

And yet even today, if I ask any of the African American bloggers I know a question about their community and/or if I make an observation, it is often answered with a somewhat vague non-answer.  In some cases, it's been answered with a chill in the air that had me reaching for my shawl.

Why?

I'm an intelligent, articulate man.  I have genuine questions about the racial issues in my second homeland.  So why can I not ask them honestly and openly and safely?  Seriously people.  I am asking.

There is a TONNE of stuff about Black America that I would like to ask and know about.  Why?  Because I'm curious about, and interested in, the world around me.  I want to know why in "contemporary" America, there are still such issues.  And why there clearly has been the emergence of reverse racism towards whites.

(Oh god how I hate using these terms - black...white.... makes us seem like floor tiles rather than people)

So I am asking YOU all out there.  Why?  Why is race still such an issue?  Why did the black man at Walmart in Orlando practically spit on me.  And yet, my middle aged black female barber at Super Cuts (Ms Judy) and I got on like a house on fire and she had NO racial issues with anyone.  Actually, she found it all rather trying and stupid.  She recalled verbally putting her daughter in place when she made a disparaging remark about Latinos.

So....this is the START of a series of blog posts here.  I am certain that I will offend some, challenge others, enlighten some, and have some opening up.  But isn't it high time we started TALKING about this rather than simply BITCHING about it.

Over to you guys

Shalom n Blessings

D
xox



7 comments:

SEAN (Just A Jeep Guy) said...
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SEAN (Just A Jeep Guy) said...
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SEAN (Just A Jeep Guy) said...

People are people. Discrimination against each other within any minority is not limited to gays and happens in all races, nationalities, religions, physical abilities and so on.

It's very hard to start a conversation with casual acquaintances and I think even harder in a blog post.

I appreciate that you want to start a discussion but maybe a better way of approaching it is to start with a single personal experience or observation and speak about how it made you feel or as what others think or what actions they might have taken.

To me, the posts that you wrote, with very valid points, were more like walls to climb than an invitation to build a conversation.

As for me, I have confronted bosses who would discriminate not just race and religion but age and good looks. No I didn't work for A&F. I also live my day to day life by seeing people as humans and no better or worse than myself. I don't know what it's like to live in another person's shoes but I do know how I like to be treated and that's how I treat others and what I expect and require of my family, friends and co-workers.

BTW - in 1972 my mom's cousin, 25, was killed by the KKK in Atlanta, GA because he was a catholic man dating a Protestant girl. He was beaten to death with a baseball bat and died in an alley.

LeNair Xavier said...

I have written about race numerous times on my blog. During my time in porn, the editor of TheSword.com, Zachary Sire tries ridiculing porn actors of color for taking a stand against it, while Black porn actors like Diesel Washington sellout to avoid the charge of being suffering from ABMS (Angry Black Man Syndrome). Yet him and every Black porn actor plays the role in how they use sex as a weapon against their White scene partner.

During and since leaving the porn industry, I have sent links to posts to The Advocate, Out, and Instinct Magazine, and others, and none of them will speak about those posts, the discussions I have moderated on the subject, or the poetry addressing racism like in the link below.

http://www.tresx-rayvision.com/2011/06/challenger-faux-rainbow.html

Until that discussion happens, racism will rage on back and forth like a vicious tennis match. So I appreciate you addressing the matter.

iama[GAY]keeper said...

I've blogged about, lost friends in the blogging world because they wanted me to NOT use images of white men on collaborative blogs, why just the other day some guy went off on the fact that I used an interracial pic for an entry. Most say oh you don't live in America so you don't understand.

I remember an entry I wrote about me being a black man on the public transportation system feeling fear from other black men and few took me to task for that entry NOT understanding what I was getting at.

BosGuy said...

Hard to understand why people react the way they do. There is probably a little bit of truth in Avenue Q's song,"Everyone is a little bit racist", but that oversimplifies the issue.

It makes me think of that verse from Depeche Mode's song, People are People.

So we're different colors and we're different creeds

And different people have different needs

It's obvious you hate me though I've done nothing wrong

I've never even met you, so what could I have done?

Unknown said...

If you want to discuss issues between black people and white people specifically in the United States, you're going to have to do some homework, because it is complicated. You also can't look at all black Americans and all white Americans as specific groups with all of the same experiences, prejudices, etc. Find three excellent Public TV series and watch them. Start with "The Civil War," followed by "The Great Depression," and then "Eyes On the Prize" parts I and II. If you don't want to invest that much time, get "The Great Depression."