Friday 6 June 2014

Sharing Videos of People caught being racist only makes problems worse!

Every so often, some unfortunate black person manages to be confronted by someone/people, so at ease with being racist, that they are willing to be filmed doing so.
This footage then spreads around the internet like wildfire. Trending like the numerous people caught on British transport to the current video from America of a Woman berating and using the 'N Word' at Black man in his car; whilst her kids play in the background. And the latest example of Chelsea Fans Stopping a Black Man in France from entering the train

It gives everyone an opportunity to make a nonverbal statement. 

Black people can say "look see i told you; people are still racist!"

White people can say "oh my god, i am not racist i shared this video and i am appalled". 

Then a few days later everyone goes back to living there day to day lives. Day to day lives that for some include their ignorant views on immigration, sharing of BNP literature, their inability to comprehend "non-blatant racism" and even go back to using the N word themselves or at least sharing the various memes that use is it so frivolously. Herein lies the hypocrisy of black and white society in general. 

It is far too easy to condemn the obvious whist ignoring bigger issues:
  • Issues like the lack of diversity in the media and television; name 5 current shows with a strong ethnic minority cast or positive portrayal? 
  • Issues like the glass ceiling within universities and the work places, that perpetuates a circle of inequality and social segregation. 
  • Issues like the growing ignorance in race relations; how many white people could define white privilege? How many black people could give an adequate explanation of why the N word use is ok for them and not for others? 
  • Issues like the racism within football grounds; If the Premiership/ Football League hired more ethnic minority referees then you would see the true extent of racism in football).
  • Issues like 'Black face' returning to schools and fancy dress parties; how many black people have actually explained why black face is offensive? How many White people are willing to listen and learn?   
  • Issues like the growing hatred of immigrants and muslims; Did you hear about the White Man March?
  • Issues like Hip Hop's proliferation of the use of N word and its impact on black and white relations: Isn't this the same week that Justin Bieber said the N word? Wasn't it just last week, that footage of Jeremy Clarkson say it was mad public?
  • Issues like the treatment of Aboriginal peoples; How many people shared of watched John Pilger's Utopia?
  • Issues like Donald Sterling; not once did he say the N word but what did he do? He displayed a mindset that showed his true feelings. His feelings that came from a person in a position to hire and fire. In a position to deny housing. In a position to influence. Not the blatant but inconsequential racism of a random woman with little to no influence in society. 
  • Issues like the growing divide and silence between races. People are afraid to talk about racial issues. However, those that are unafraid often make misguided or propaganda led statements. Why is it so hard for us to just ask questions of each others culture, likes and dislike?
Football fans like most groups of men act in unison. They hide behind the anonymity and security of the group setting. How many of these men would attempt to stop someone getting on to a train by themselves? Or sing such chants? People show their true colours in the freedom afforded to them when surrounded by like minded people; one need only look at the average Britain First post. 

Thus this video and the many others like it is not surprising to me; nor should it be to you. Nor should it be even acknowledged above issues that pay far for impact on people's ability to progress through society. 

N*ggers in Paris

The question then becomes how can i be as appalled by its use when Jay Z and Kanye West put it as the key word in the title of their song? Well I still can and i have made a video on this before. 

But when rappers and other members of the Black community use the word so much; i actually feel sorry for White people. Not those who would be using it regardless. Not those who would be using it out of hatred. But what of the impressionable "White kid"; who grows up listening to hip hop. Maybe has a few "black friends". Maybe they even do not correct him/her when they say the word. Maybe he/she is repeating it from a song or a film. Either way, that repetition said to the wrong person may end in an awkward or even violent confrontation. 

But that all said, i won't be sharing this particular video because it isn't anything new. Or anything worth sharing. I've been called a N*gger in real life and countless times on internet. None of which killed me. The problem becomes when people's actions are as strong as that word. People with power to stop you getting a job, university place or are supposed to protect and serve you. Or the people who throw the word with a punch, knife or some other weapon. 

It becomes difference between the blatant and the institutional racism. The difference between subjective and objective violence( Zizek's theory on how subjective violence merely distracts us from everything else that happens continuously). 

We already know about blatant racism! Black and White people already know there are a minority of racist white people. Just as there are minority of racist people from every race. But whilst pointless issues distract society, real issues go unshared. 

Why? because people might actually have to speak to each other. That is the problem with today. There are no picket signs. 

No "No blacks, dogs or irish allowed signs", 
No blatant segregation lines,
No Apartheid,
But to go with that there are no Martin Luther Kings, Malcolm X's, Rosa Parks or Nelson Mandela's. No one to speak for black people or even to promote discussion around issues. Mistakenly, Rappers have become the spokesperson for black people in popular media. Last time i checked, there were more black people who weren't rappers/hip hop artists than were. At no point did i elect Kanye West as my spokesperson....

WE as society. We as a humanity need open debate and discussion. People should not be afraid to talk about race. Black people should not fear being called sensitive or angry. White people should not fear being called ignorant or racist. We still need to learn more about each other's cultures and perspectives on the world.
Or all the progress we have made will continue to drift away with each coming generation.

With that all said; i always say judge videos by the comments that following them. Often issues can be truly understood by the comments of people who have witnessed the story. In this case, the mass condemnation of these thugs actions were pleasing!

What's your opinion? Do you think there is enough discussion on race relations?
What was your reaction to the video in question?

Comment below

Antoine Allen


  1. You have go to see this movie when it come out on October 17th. It's called "Dear White People." It comments on race relations in the United States

    1. hey, i saw the trailer but yet to see the film. is it good?