Saturday, August 26, 2006

Who can('t) end racism with his smile?

When I was in college, I had this friend who, like me, was into hip hop. This was ca. 1989, a very good year for hip hop (Public Enemy, Boogie Down Productions, De La Soul, Yo! MTV Raps!, all of that and more). We also liked Spike Lee's movies (esp. 'Do The Right Thing', which as the song notes came out in 1989, the summer). We were both from whiter-than-white towns (Danville, IN and Brownsburg, IN). My friend was attending Purdue University, and in the spirit of promoting racial harmony and combating racism he decided he was gonna say 'Hi' to every black person he saw. Not all the black people enthusiastically said 'Hi' back. He was very disillusioned and shortly after that he started listening to Rush Limbaugh. He also later was about as cold about Biggie Smalls' death as Ted Nugent was about Kurt Cobain's, if that's possible.

Anyhow, around the time he started getting all disillusioned, as an experiment, I spent a day saying 'Hi' to every white person I saw, and that didn't go too well either. Try it yourself!

I grew up across the street from a kid who became a 'non-racist' skinhead, and would learn that 'non-racist' is skinhead slang for 'just homophobic'. It's kind of like how some vegetarians eat eggs, but others don't. Don't go around assuming vegetarians aren't eating eggs. Apparently at one time skinheads were working-class youth that liked ska music and wore funny little hats. Then some old racist dudes with funny little hats infiltrated skinheadism and twisted it, or something, and from that point on skinheads spent the time they used to spend listening to ska explaining the difference between racist and non-racist skinheads, and telling people which kind they were, after which the explainee would make a joke like 'ha ha, non-racist skinhead, is that like a non-rock punk?'. Google for details.

Prior to the head shaving and gay-bashing, he showed signs of being intelligent, which just goes to show 'he seems intelligent' is about as nebulous and pointless and generally worthless a statement as 'he seems nice'.

This has nothing to do with anything but I am old and like to ramble on with the stories.

One time, we tried using a railroad crossing as a Dukes of Hazzard type ramp in winter, and we flipped over the car.

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