Maybe after actor Mel Gibson shouted, “Freedom!” in Braveheart, he should have kept that volatile mouth of his shut forever. But good ‘ol Mel is in the news for yet again making a racist remark. His girlfriend recorded him going off on a yelling tirade. At one point, he tells her that her dress will lead to her being “gang-raped by a bunch of n***s.”
Shocking, right? Racism? Nowadays? Of course it’s not.
Despite the accession of an African American into the White House, Gibson’s lethal weapon of a mouth is still proof that racism is alive and well. And we’ve been in danger of forgetting that. Barrack Obama is only the first U.S. President of color after all.
I came across this interesting opinion piece on Cnn.com that talks about how racism isn’t blatant in the public sphere now, but has moved behind the safety of closed doors. As the piece puts it:
Clearly over the last 40 years, our laws have greatly mitigated once commonplace displays of racism. It is rare that the N-word gets dropped publicly in a racially charged situation; again Gibson’s conversation was meant to be private. In America’s institutions, where there is great awareness of the legal implications, overt forms of discrimination are far less frequently seen than before.
And I think the writer is completely right. Gone are the days where the majority of people will shout racist remarks at those of color on the streets. It still happens, but nowhere near as much as in the past. Racists are kind of afraid to spew their hatred in public, and I feel us biracials are to blame. We represent an abomination to racists. An old, white guy- a complete stranger- once saw my mom (white, Ukrainian) with my sister and I, when we were very young children, and he shouted, “Slut!” at her. We’re mixed– half white and half black. We represent an absolute breakdown of a racist’s hateful beliefs.
And we’re winning!
The Pew Research Center recently reported that a record 14.6% of all marriages in the U.S. were between those of different races in 2008. Obama himself is black and white. It’s like the movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, where people don’t know who are aliens, because the aliens have taken over human bodies. Racists don’t know whether or not the “white” person next to them is either mixed or married to someone of a different race. Racists better up their paranoia levels, and warn the town sheriff in Bigotville.
During the World Cup, I turned to my seemingly white co-worker, and started ragging on the Mexican team. She instantly scowled at me in return. I forgot! She’s half white and half Mexican! Even I- a biracial- was fooled! We’re everywhere, now, and this is a racist’s worst nightmare.
Thus has racism become more of a closed-door activity.
But is this a good thing? Is closed-door racism acceptable racism? Or does forgetting about racism make it more dangerous?
I do fear what closed-door racism could lead to. The solution to racism is not to lock it in a cage and leave it festering there. You suppress something inside, you push it down long enough, and it’s usually only a matter of time before the pressure reaches a boiling point, and then that something explodes forth on destructive wings.
Racists are turning into the minority, but it’s a minority based on a strong belief in hatred. And belief always lives on. It will be preached behind closed doors. It will be kept within racists families, and the children will learn. Then their children will learn, and believe. And then their children.
Even now, we’re getting a view of the hateful disenfranchised taking a stand in the face of progress. A mixed guy is President. Enter the Tea Party, who have become well-known for their racism. Progress has taken a group of people with hateful tendencies, and given them a reason to bond together and have their voices heard.
This country will grow more beautiful with color, and as a sad result, racism will not go away, but rather become more concentrated in small circles.
Once the minority becomes desperate enough to lash out at the majority, racism, with savage teeth, will find a way to claw its way out of the cage of forgetfulness we’ve put it in.
And then who knows what may happen…
Forgetting about racism doesn’t work. Racism in privacy is still racism.
So, Obama is President. Blatant remarks and acts of racism are met with great public objection. Run, racists, run! Biracials are everywhere!
But the flame of racism is still far from extinguished.