Tuesday, July 07, 2015

George Takei is our fault

It would appear that the world is already moving on from the shock of that sound bite in which a has-been from the original Star Trek set all phasers to: RACIST and laid into a Supreme Court of the United States, Clarence Thomas calling him a "clown in blackface" for his dissent in the Supreme Court decision gay-marriage decision. I am not surprised by this quick recovery, but I am very disappointed. I understand that George Takei (or should that be Takkkei?) has since apologised, but I am yet to see anything that looks like an apology.

Takei's racist ad hominem attack is characteristic of many non-Black lefties when they contend with a Black person who does not agree with them. The Left has a very fixed idea about what a Black person ought to think about any issue, an idea that they are not afraid to instil and maintain through force, shaming tactics etc. I am a Zionist, I vote Tory, I am pro-life. I am vegan, but I really don't care that there is a festival in China where they eat every dog they can get their hands on. The number of White people who have blocked me on social media when they discover this is matched by those who threaten to do so. This too is another tactic aimed at enforcing conformity- I will not be your friend because you disagree with me. In the real world, there are several people who were keen to embrace me the first time they saw me who now treat me like a pariah because I do not give them a big round of applause or seek theirs. This can be quite embarrassing (for them, of course. Like Justice Thomas has stated, no one can take away another person's dignity) as I live in rather a small town.

Takei has not mocked the racial identity of Justice Scalia, Justice Samuel Alito or Chief Justice John Roberts, the other Supreme Court judges who were also dissenters. Nor has he ever charged Arnold Schwarzenegger with being a clown in white face for vetoing a bill that would have sanctioned gay-marriage in California.

What upsets me the most about Takei's rant is not that it racist. There are no surprises there. The racism of the Left stares us in the face all the time. No, what saddens me is that the language he uses, more often than not, comes from OTHER BLACK PEOPLE. The first person to call a Black person an "Uncle Tom," "Aunt Jemima," "House Negro", "Oreo", "Non-practising Black" or "Coon" or some other such epithet is another Black person.

In America, someone even published a book called The American Directory of Certified Uncle Toms: Being a Review of the History, Antics, and Attitudes of Handkerchief Heads, Aunt Jemimas, Head Negroes in Charge, and House Negroes Against the Freedom Aims of the Black Race. Some of the people cited, I can understand. But others make you want to find a good dictionary and make sure you know what an "Uncle Tom" is. And this is the problem with the term.
Whatever meaning it might have had has been distorted to the point that it can be used by any Black person against another Black person simply because they do not agree with them. Now, as we have seen with the case of George Takei, now anyone can call a Black person they do not agree with an "Uncle Tom." And why shouldn't they? We allowed non-Black people to call us "Ni**ers", either as a term of "endearment" or the racist pejorative it has always been.

Many social commentators have asked why it so easy for someone to insult a Black person, or all Black people, in a public space and literally get away with it. Society is not as forgiving against people who insult the Jewish, Muslims, LGBT and other minorities or historically marginalised or disadvantaged people. Even a billionaire, Donald Trump, is feeling the heat from his recent comments about Mexicans. None of these groups form a single monolith group. Take Jews for instance, throughout their history in the West, there have been assimilationists on the one hand and theists who believed that Jews needed to stay apart until their redemption, no matter how long that would take, on the other. Split those two camps in to disagreements over the extent of assimilation or isolation. But how many times do you find Jews calling each other names in the public space? How many times do you find non-Jews calling a Jew by the epithet used by another Jew? I could go through the list of what is considered "the other" in western societies, and you will find that it is only Black people who not only get off calling other Black people racist names, but will applaud non-Blacks when they insult other Blacks. George Takei has been commended for calling Justicee Thomas a "clown in blackface" by many Black people, not because they are pro-gay marriage, but because he used the term "clown in blackface." George Takei was comfortable being able to denounce a grown man and question his blackness not out of a personal experience with being black on the part of the has-been supporting actor, but because he could refer to the movie 12 Years As A Slave. Having watched the film apparently entitled Takei to preach to a Black man on how to become one.

What was so Uncle Tomish that Justice Thomas said in the first place? No government can take away a person's dignity. Yet what the judge said was not original in its content, several distinguished Black people have said the same thing. In Up From Slavery, Booker T. Washington mentions a discussion with Frederick Douglass.

This reminds me of a conversation which I once had with the Hon. Frederick Douglass. At one time Mr. Douglass was travelling in the state of Pennsylvania, and was forced, on account of his colour, to ride in the baggage-car, in spite of the fact that he had paid the same price for his passage that the other passengers had paid. When some of the white passengers went into the baggage-car to console Mr. Douglass, and one of them said to him: "I am sorry, Mr. Douglass, that you have been degraded in this manner," Mr. Douglass straightened himself up on the box upon which he was sitting, and replied: "They cannot degrade Frederick Douglass. The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are inflicting it upon me."

Would Black people countenance George Takei calling Frederick Douglass "a clown in blackface"? He did, after all, marry a White woman after his first wife died. Moreover, Douglass was a Republican, one who did not "intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress." Today, every Black Republican in the States gets to be called an Uncle Tom. Someone needs to tell Takei that the party he ardently supports to the point of coming out with racist insults at those who have divergent views was the same which not only gave us the Ku Klux Klan, but put Japanese-Americans in internment camps.

Black people, we need to stop giving people the space to insult all of us. One way to do that is to stop insulting each other with the same words that others can use.

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