Even more boring than all my recent boring entries. A warning.
It’s a little unfortunate, but there are certain topics that Jieun and I can’t discuss. Maybe “can’t” is too strong. It’s just difficult for us to discuss certain things. Mainly because there’s in imbalance in knowledge about the subjects. The biggest ones for us are music and race issues.
I dunno what it is with music but I can be infinitely patient with other people when they’re playing stuff but with Jieun, I’m completely not. It’s awful of me, and I have no idea why I’m like that. Maybe I expect more from her? I have no idea. But yeah, so like, she wants to improve her keyboard skills and I can’t be the one to teach her. Which is just slightly sad. I dunno, I’ve gotten better, but it’s still a little sensitive I think.
There’s kind of a similar thing with race issues. Jieun’s knowledge of the subject is so far above mine, it’s extremely difficult for us to talk about. It’s like she’s talking on a meta level, and I’m asking stupid questions like what is race? What is racism? I quite honestly mean that. I have no idea what race is. How come someone who is half black like Halle Berry is black, not white, but someone who’s half Hispanic like Cameron Diaz or Christina Aguilera is white, not Hispanic? Does race really boil down to just skin color? No clue. I honestly don’t know what racism is either. Jieun’s always telling me that certain things are discriminatory, not racist. OK, whatever, I’m just saying, race, racism, no clue what they are.
I remember once being in the crossfire of a convo Jieun was having with Jelin’s hubby, an Asian American studies PhD and I could physically feel the breeze as everything flew over my head. I’m serious, I have no idea what even basic terms mean.
I can’t help but have thoughts about it though, even if they’re not completely informed ones. Anyway, there were these stories in the Merc recently on race issues that were kind of interesting.
So there’s this movement underway to rename a street in San Jose in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. I’ve said this before, but I’m against having a holiday for MLK Jr. Have a civil rights day or something. Not a MLK Jr. day. Just makes more sense to me. That said, whatever, I’m cool with renaming a street because it’s just a street, not a state/federal holiday, so why not.
Another thing in favor of the name change is that the street is already named King. They just wanted to amend the name so it’s not just King but Martin Luther King (Jr).
So the interesting thing is, King road is apparently heavily Latino, and apparently rich in cultural history, whatever that means (again, clueless) and the residents there objected to the name change, saying it would take away from the cultural history of the area. And this opened up a huge can of worms. Like, the NAACP flew in, and surprisingly (to me at least), they came out in support of the Latino groups. The NAACP going against black activists. That’s interesting right? I dunno, maybe only to me.
It points to the future, I think. Race issues in America have historically centered on blacks and whites, but demographics are changing and Latinos will eventually be the largest minority group. It makes sense then that their issues become more of a focus then, right? That we talk equally or more about the dearth of Latino oriented TV shows, not just black TV shows? Stuff like that?
And how groups are going to deal with these changes is interesting to me. Like, how will blacks feel about not being the #1 thing in race issues? I can’t imagine that will go over well. How will Latinos deal with being the largest minority group? (SN – isn’t it odd that Latinos are the only group not represented in Matrix Reloaded? Or maybe they are, but it seemed like they were missing. SSN – I have no idea what “Latino” means. I’ve said this before. There are black Latinos. Lots of them. Are they black? Or Latino?) How will things play out as people realize issues aren’t always about majority concerns vs. minority but that different minority groups will clash with each other? Where will organizations that purport to represent all people of color like the NAACP fit in? Interesting to me.
Anyway, yeah, another interesting issue brought up by this whole brouhaha is why it’s ok for Latinos to object to the name change on grounds that it will take away from the cultural history of the place, when in other areas, when whites have objected for similar reasons, they’ve been called racist. That’s a good question to me. Either the reasons are valid or they’re not, right? I dunno.
Is anyone still reading? Doubtful. OK, so another issue – that Ghettopoly game. This guy Pitts, a black columnist who frequently writes on race issues, had an interesting perspective on it. Surprisingly, he wasn’t that mad at the guy who made it. Instead, his fury was directed towards those black musicians, mostly rappers, who have perpetuated the same kinds of stereotypes. His take was that the outrage over Ghettopoly should have been directed long ago at them, who propagated those ideas of blacks and the ghetto. It’s sad to him that most blacks have stayed silent about that. So it’s not that surprising to him that everyone else picks up on the same imagery. In the end, while how other groups view blacks is an issue, he was more concerned with how blacks viewed themselves.
I dunno if it was coincidence or what, but in the same section that day, there was a review of some all day concert headlined by Ludicrous (sp?) that pointed out the blatant misogyny and violence in the music. And how it was odd that the crowd didn’t seem to be bothered at all, in fact, they embraced it. The juxtaposition of the column and the review was fascinating.
It’s a good point, and it’s not me that’s making it so I don’t think I’m being racist here. But if blacks are going to be outraged at things like Ghettopoly (as they should be), black artists need to stop celebrating those same negative stereotypes in their music. You can’t have it both ways.
Boring entry. Oh well.