While watching her beloved University of Alabama take the BCS National Championship last night, Javacia shared a story from her days on campus. Apparently, during one game, a black quarterback wasn’t doing too well and some crazy old white dude yelled “Get that nigger off the field and put our boys back in!” For his stupid remarks, the dude was pelted with garbage from a white fraternity.
Wish I was there, I would have thrown a battery at him. You haven’t lived until you’ve hit an idiot in the back of the head with a AA Duracell. It’s the poor man’s ninja star.
Thankfully, America has (largely) moved beyond the days of “colored” water fountains and backseat bus rides. But the wifey’s experience and a couple of recent news stories show that there’s still more progress to be made:
Microsoft has been granted a patent for its “avoid ghetto” feature for GPS devices.
A GPS device is used to find shortcuts and avoid traffic, but Microsoft’s patent states that a route can be plotted for pedestrians to avoid an “unsafe neighborhood or being in an open area that is subject to harsh temperatures.”
So, not only will we soon be able to avoid interstates, we’ll be able to steer clear of Deebo n’ dem as well.
On the surface, this isn’t as nefarious at is seems. I don’t really have an issue with a tool that steers clear of “unsafe neighborhoods,” but why are “unsafe neighborhoods” automatically labeled “ghettos?” I didn’t grow up in the “ghetto” but no one would consider my old neighborhood safe – you couldn’t hang clothes on the clothesline outside without ‘em getting swiped. And our street had not one, but two crack houses, one of which was burned down in a fit of rage one night. I’m pretty sure there are some so-called ghettos safer than my neighborhood. It’s time to stop using that term as a catch-all for “crime.”
But that’s not all. Apparently math class is turning into a scene from Roots. From yahoo.com:
Third graders in in Gwinnett County, Ga., were given math homework Wednesday that asked questions about slavery and beatings….
The question read, “Each tree had 56 oranges. If eight slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?”
Another math problem read, “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?”
Another question asked how many baskets of cotton Frederick filled.
The teachers claim it was a “cross-curricular activity.” Huh? Since when are beatings and picking cotton considered fair game for math problems? Would it be OK to use the beatings little Johnny received from bullies as examples? What about Holocaust victims? The lack of sensitivity is appalling.
And that’s the issue here – as the years go on, the civil-rights movement is being pushed farther back in the minds of Americans. I think many people – young and old – have become desensitized or have just forgotten about the struggles our forefathers faced a scant few decades ago. I hate when people use racism as an excuse not to advance beyond their current situations, but don’t believe the hype – there is definitely more work to be done. None of the stories above are extremely malevolent, but there is a deep-rooted racist mindset that must change. We haven’t overcome yet.
Let’s not overlook the sacrifices that were made for us. MLK Day is less than a week away, after all.