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100 Years of Slavery Followed by 100 Years of Institutionalized Oppression is Exactly the Same Thing as that Time Some Guy Hurt Cam Cannon’s Widdle Fewings

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The hit parade continues with this gem from Cam Cannon, some wannabe-screenwriter who apparently writes under a gay-club DJ name, and who has been giving John Romano a run for his money in the “Missing the Point Entirely” category of late.

Me and my racially group [sic] of friends had these same kind of conversations, except that we weren’t racially mixed, we were a bunch of young dumb white guys. But I had black friends confirm our findings: there’s not really a racial epithet you can sling a white person’s way that carries the venom that a word used over-and-over-again by rappers carries for African-Americans. But my thinking has evolved.

There is a word you can call a white person that carries with it all sorts of horrible implications, and that word my friends is RACIST.

The R-word.

Yeah, dude.  Calling a black person “nigger” as an epithet, in the same way white people did when they fucking beat them, treated them like cattle, murdered them, terrorized them, raped them, and devised various legal apparati to justify themselves, yeah, that’s exactly the same thing as someone pointing it out when you’re being a dick about race.  It sucks to make a mistake and be accused of racism, sure, but fuck, man, get a little perspective.

But lo!  What has brought Mr. Cannon around to this way of thinking?  A black guy was nice to him once 13 years ago.  No, really.

As always, I must take you back. To 1996. I was a newlywed working two jobs, and I became pretty good friends with one of my African-American co-workers at job number one. We were both fans of hip hop music, and used to swap mixed tapes. He turned me on to Jay-Z, and I passionately argued that the Beastie Boys were not to be trifled with. One day, we got into a discussion about the Source Magazine, and it’s response to the Tommy Hilfiger rumor. You remember, Hilfiger supposedly said that he didn’t like black people wearing his clothes. Hilfiger of course denied the veracity of the supposed quote, and it’s been debunked about a million times, but at the time, Source was shall we say, skeptical. For their writer, the surfacing of this rumor only confirmed what they had secretly suspected for a long time: Tommy was an R-word.

I of course found this absurd. I don’t know Tommy, but I was pretty sure that the color he cared about was green, as in Lorne. I mean, as in money.

But then my friend dropped the bombshell on me, explaining that he too suspected every white person he met was probably a racist. To his credit, he admitted that when I first started, he suspected that I was an R-word.

While I remained friends with him, I couldn’t help but feel hurt. I’d never been called a racist before – and I guess I still hadn’t, but the mere fact that someone hadn’t ruled it out got to me. So, I organized a protest, made plans to shoot a documentary about it, and contacted the best-dressed attorney I could find… Seriously, what I did was I brought it up to him later.

In discussing it with my buddy, I explained that, in essence, upon meeting me, he found me no different than Sheriff Ray Stuckey in “Mississippi Burning.” For all he knew, I was like Sheriff Ray Stuckey, he said. But when I met him, I thought, hey, there’s a black dude. I’m not so high and mighty as to say I don’t notice race – but when I saw him I certainly didn’t think, oh my Lord, it’s O-Dog from “Menace II Society!”

He saw my point, and I never did think that he was a bad guy for thinking the way he did.

Am I, like, the only one who doesn’t see the problem here?  Dude was like, “When I first met you, I thought you’d be like all the other racist assholes around here, but hey, you’re cool!”  And Cannon is hurt by this?  To the point that he’s bringing it up in public web posting 13 years later?  What the hell?  The guy didn’t even actually call him a racist. Also worth noting here is the enormous difference between doing some reflexive stereotyping in your head and using a racial slur out loud to a person’s face.

This is Cannon’s big experience with Race in America?  Racist, please.

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Written by dieblucasdie

August 5, 2009 at 12:17 am

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