On the episodes of “Political Correctness”, it’s pretty evident to see where each party stands: Dre shall not be moved in adverse situations where discrimination comes his way, and feels we should all do the same. Racism should not deter us from maintaining our responsibilities and it only holds the power that we give to it. Gee comes from the standpoint of ways the black community can effectively combat racism. One way, by not partaking in our own demise. This can be in the form of parting ways from behaviors and ideologies that the oppressor either puts in place, or supports prejudiced notions they have about us.
And I am in the middle.
There are countless social justice organizations comprised of people of color with the mission to end racism. But how can we end what we didn’t start? Why is it and how did it become the responsibility of those who are on the receiving end of discrimination to educate oppressors in hopes that racism will end? Also, white people will harbor stereotypes about black people, whether were engaging in behaviors that are deemed to be detrimental or not. There’s stereotypical connotations that can be made about virtually anything we do. Should we just do the mannequin challenge when white people are watching? I can’t live my life being consumed by how white people are looking at me because frankly, I won’t be living.
While this is happening, we can’t help the feeling of being in social environments that are triggering. In local lounges and clubs, we aren’t safe from the the white guy at the club that comes over and says to you,” I’m so glad you’re here! There’s too many white people here”, or the white girl that randomly starts belly dancing to hip hop next to you. At work, it may be a co-worker casually recounting his favorite Chris Rock jokes on race while you painfully listen to them imitate his slang. Maybe in college, books that contain the word “nigger”, are on the list of your literature class.
Has anyone ever entertained the idea that the things we love, are purposely exploited by white people then used to turn us against each other, hmmmmm?? Am I gonna stop eating fried chicken when white people are around? Absolutely not. Am I gonna pretend I can’t dance when “New Freezer” comes on? Nope. Why do we have to stop things we enjoy because of notions others will have about us that we have no control over?
We are on the receiving end of discrimination that we did not ask for simply because of how we look, and we can’t help how it makes us feel. Yet, comes from a place that isn’t real, so why give into it?
Gee asked why Dave Chappelle couldn’t speak his truth during his stand up special. Speaking ones truth, to me, represents speaking from an honest place about issues that directly impact you. The statement of society becoming too sensitive on issues that don’t hit a personal nerve is more of an observation, not a truth. There’s also a problem when jokes with no basis of research or common knowledge on the matter, that relates to thinking and actions that oppress communities. Dre mentions that by acknowledging people as their preferred gender pronouns, he’s participating in something political, and eventually society will revert to a very Elizabethan, off-with-your-head way of life. Our speech will be stifled. But in these moments when he is speaking in strong opposition to political correctness, he is doing exactly that to trans community.
They can speak as honestly as they choose on matters that are in no way harming them, but others can’t do the same?
Even the concept around safe spaces became a point of ridicule when Dre spoke about the idea of coloring books on college campuses. Assumably, speaking on the response that some college campuses took after the presidential election. Dre took a snarky tone, mocking the idea. Of course, this is only one example of a safe space that he chose to focus on, neglecting that coloring books are used as therapeutic practices.
To have this space, I say, what’s wrong with that? Some of our parents and grandparents, that belong to the generation that faced “real racism” probably wouldn’t pass this up.
Dre also forgot that he is an artist himself, who probably benefitted from the safe space he’s utilized during his art career.
Sometimes when we have these strong and unwavering beliefs, that we argue with such rigidity and fervor. But, those same staunch beliefs are not placed on a straight and unbending line. It is a curve. And the information that supports that belief can always be circled back to a point that challenges and even contradicts it.