Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Yes, we're still talking about racism

     And we're going to keep talking about it, because unlike some wrinkly white dudes would have us believe, racism has not been solved. (And oh yeah, by the way, global warming is a thing.) Actually, I would argue that despite the amazing progress we've made that in some ways racism is almost an even bigger problem today. I think that unfortunately the progress we've made can make people, even well meaning people, ignorant to the problems black people still face. Gains are made, and people start to relax a little and forget (white people who have the privilege to do so, anyway) that there is so much more work that still needs to be done. And that's when some wrinkly white guy opens up his big mouth and says, "Why are we still talking about racism?"

     Because racism is still a problem.

     All right, I went off on a bit of a tangent there. So I'm talking about the Super Bowl, though not any of the actual football stuff. Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard at least a little something about Beyonce's wonderful awesome halftime show (getting an idea of my opinion on it?) So, I'm not a reporter, and I'm not writing this to give a detailed recap on what happened. So, quick summary: she used her new song "Formation," her video and her performance, to send an important message that needs to be heard about racism, police brutality, black women and black hair and black people being black, Ferguson, hurricane Katrina and I think some other things too. I actually didn't watch the halftime show. But just reading about it later gave me chills.

     I think what she did is awesome. Black people still do not have enough of a voice. They aren't being heard. Beyonce is a black woman with a voice who was given a huge platform and she took that opportunity. Hell yes. Power to her. She was given use of one of the most watched nights of the year and she used it for more than just cheap entertainment. It was brilliant. It got people talking. A lot people weren't happy. So what? It needed to be said. People didn't want their night of watching sweaty men potentially giving each other life changing concussions and other injuries for the purposes of making rich people richer ruined by important issues. Boohoo.

     Of course, she's getting a lot of backlash. Because people still just don't get it. I don't understand how people still don't get it. It's so frustrating. That's what makes me sad about the whole thing. People think she's lashing out against cops and white people and that's not what it's about. She's standing up for herself and for black people. Her message wasn't heard by everyone. And because her message still wasn't heard we are still going to be talking about racism.

     And while we're talking about the Super Bowl, let's talk about Cam Newton for a minute. Has anyone heard about how terribly unsportsmanlike it was of him to give such short answers during the post game interview, and then to just walk off? Have you all heard about what a sore loser he is? Yeah, you may have heard that a few hundred times.

     First of all, I think it's pretty crappy to make the losing team give an interview so soon after losing. I mean, come on. Seriously? Are we really kicking them when they're down? Oh yeah, it's the media. Of course we are. Come on, nobody likes to lose. I was up for a promotion at work once. When I didn't get it, I was so upset that I called in sick the next day. I'm not proud of it, but there you go. There was even talk about Newton not being deserving of MVP. Come on. Give the guy a break.

     Second of all, immediately after the game, on the field, Newton shook Manning's hand and congratulated him. I saw it live. I later caught a still shot of it and saw that Newton had a genuine smile on his face.

      It should also be mentioned that at the same time that Newton was being interviewed, Denver cornerback Chris Harris was in the same room, separated only by a curtain, talking about the game. So, it's no wonder he was upset. 

     Further more, when the Indianapolis Colts lost Super Bowl XLIV to the New Orleans Saints, Peyton Manning went straight to the locker room without shaking hands with Drew Brees or Sean Payton. While he was criticized for this, he wasn't given nearly the same amount of crap about it that Cam Newton is being given. At least Cam Newton tried to do all that was expected of him. He was upset. He lost the Super Bowl. Come on, people. Give. The. Guy. A. Break.

     Oh, and in case the point I was trying to make wasn't crystal clear, I'll just spell it out. Cam Newton is black. Peyton Manning is white.

     Yep. We're still talking about racism.

     I really hope that one day we can stop.