Ever since last week, when I posted about my reflections on the Netflix television show, "Dear White People," my mind has been going in one thousand different directions. This is because since my time in the marines, the issue of race and everything to do with it has played havoc with my anxieties. Common sense should tell me not to think about it, let alone write any posts on the subject. However, for someone with conditions like Asperger's Syndrome and DAMP, not thinking about it is more difficult than thinking about it.
Too many variables on the subject have been thrown into the mixture in my mind and all of them are vying for recognition when thinking about it. There's the stereotypes, both good and bad, how it is portrayed in the media, contributions by others and finally, my own experiences with it. This is a lethal cocktail mentally and has caused a war inside my head. The only way I know how to deal with it is to write about it in the hopes that it will eventually make sense. So far it hasn't.
It is also probably the reason why I am so into watching "Dear White People." Part of me hopes that it will bring me some sort of understanding. So far, I am totally enjoying the programme because it does make you think. I mean really think. However, not all of it is truly positive. Some of the misjudged racial stereotypes I've held in the past come to mind at times. One thing that keeps coming up, because the incident which triggers actions and reactions from blacks and whites, is the controversy surrounding a 'Black Face' party held by some white students at the university. This is an example of the conflict in my mind. My brain is telling me that the white students are being racist, the party is insulting to black people. However, one counter that springs to mind and in a way, I'm slightly disappointed that the programme didn't use it themselves is: "White people didn't complain at the movie, 'White Chicks.'" Now I know that this statement is ludicrous but this won't stop some white people from using it as their defence or justification.
Living in Great Britain hasn't lessened my anxieties about race. In fact, it has put a different emphasis on it. Over the past two years, there have been scandals involving men of Pakistani origin who have been sexually abusing young white British girls. This has set off a big debate in the UK but one of the excuses churned out as to why this abuse was allowed to go on for so long was that people were afraid of being called 'racist.' While the shooting of black men by American police officers in the US has been news on both sides of the Atlantic, the police forces dealing with the sexual abuse in the UK have tried to justify their lack of attention and poor police work in the matter by stating that if they had gotten involved, they would have been called 'racist.' To me, that's a cop out by the police but saying that, it's not an excuse for racism against the Pakistani community in Britain. This along with other issues has poured oil on the flames caused by the war on the subject taking place in my brain.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I'm still trying to make sense of the issue of race in my own mind. Maybe I never will fully but I would like to make enough sense of it to stem the war inside my head. That could bring my anxieties down a lot. Then again, the one question that has never been answered, which goes back to the days in the service, is: "Why did the African-Americans in the service target me when there was the perfect target in their midst?" See, the blacks seemed to go after me, when I posed no threat to them but they never ever went after the redneck mountain boy who openly admitted he was in the Klu Klux Klan. I invite anyone of African descent to answer this question because when it is answered, it will smash down a major wall in my mind.
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Published by Michael Lefevre