The Forum


J'Mel Pop QuizFacebook is the place to settle any debate, isn’t it?

By J’Mel Davidson

 

The internet is the Jurassic Park of stupid, and Facebook is the Velociraptor enclosure.

And, in case you’re wondering, I can make Jurassic Park references for the duration of this article. For example, I could point out that I am often the Tyrannosaurus Rex that manages to sneak into the building and, while common sense would dictate that I should be in plain sight of all involved, I still manage to sneak up on these Facebook Raptors and rip them to shreds then roar as a banner reading “J’Mel Rules the Earth!” falls before me.  But I won’t do that, because you haven’t earned it.

Mostly, I use the Facebook to keep up with friends spread out over the globe, to post pictures of Lego sets that I can’t afford and to post pictures of chesty Asian Cos-players … that I also can’t afford.

I also use it as a forum to debate. Most of the time these are fairly inoffensive debates about subjects that don’t matter (one could argue that no subject actually matters, but that’s too deep for me to get into at this point. Suffice it to say, I am not completely convinced that you exist as a person when I’m not actively thinking about you.)

I argue about Steampunk (I just do not get it. So much tan). “Reality” television (it’s neither reality nor television). I like to argue about how “Internet speak” is dumbing down not just our youth but fully grown, seemingly educated people.

Recently, after a completely mismatched argument about whether people should build their homes in flammable environments, my somewhat VAPid (I spelled it that way on purpose. Its a clue. Black Riddler, y’all!) sparring partner, with no way to actually defend her side of the argument, compared me to her ex-husband, called me a swear word and de-friended me. And as sad as I was to lose the friendship of a person I didn’t know, her delicious anger and brash decision to erase me from her Internet existence was the gold medal in the Facebook Olympics (haha, I told her that she should win a medal in the Getting off-topic Olympics and she responded that I should be in the Special Olympics.)

1) I wish all these various Olympiad truly existed and

2) Joke’s on her—everyone wins at the Special Olympics!

None of these topics are important—nor do they matter. But, dear reader, life finds a way. Sometimes an actual honest-to-goodness topic I care about will slip through the cracks and give me the opportunity to engage my friends and “friends” in some nice, relaxing discourse.

Let’s talk about Paula Deen, shall we?

I’m sure you, my loyal readers, have been waiting patiently for me to weigh in on this controversial, sad and slightly comical chapter in the Southern Fried Hedonismbot’s tale.

Well, here it is—I don’t care. I don’t. I don’t care what she said and I don’t care that she no longer has K–mart and Jim Crow as sponsors. The woman has only ever made two blips on my radar.

First blip: Her accent is stupid and fake sounding. Hey, Paula! Foghorn Leghorn’s slow cousin called! He says tone it down…

Second blip: That damn jewelry. If you believe for ONE SECOND that she takes off all those rings from her sausage fingers in the restroom, THEN puts them back on just to cook, then you deserve all the cholera you’re gonna get from her homemade Carrot Cake biscuits with bacon, sugar, and tobacco–infused butter.

Because I’m on Facebook, I had to face what other people had to think about this national tragedy, and I have to say, lots of people are wrong. Their opinions are bad and they should feel bad. Join me as I point out some of the most popular of these misguided thoughts, won’t you? Let’s get this movable feast underway!

“She said it once, (fill in number of years) ago!” A lot of Deen Sympathizers seem to think there is a statute of limitations on hateful ignorance. Paula Deen is far from being one of history’s greatest monsters (that’s Jaden Smith’s job). But if you believe she chose the most offensive derivative term that can be fired at an American person of color and made a life–long decision to only use it once, then erased it from her vocabulary, you are a dummy. A dumb, dumb dummy. But, let’s assume she DID only use it once, and it was 20/30/40 years ago (the amount of times gets further back with every week) who determines the statute of limitations? That brings us to…

“We should forgive and forget.” Well, that’s mighty white of you, but if you aren’t offended by what she did or said, then why would it matter if you forgave her or not?

I forgive your ex–husband for taking your Celica. He didn’t take it from me, but everyone makes mistakes! How long are you gonna hold it against him for sleeping with that Latin guy? It happened so long ago!

See how stupid that sounds? You can’t forgive someone for something that happened to someone else—unless you’re the Pope. And trust me, lady, you ain’t no Pope!

The other day during a discussion, someone said “I think the word ‘bigot’ is as offensive as the ‘N’ word.” No you don’t, dummy, or you’d call it the “B” Word. This rocket–heart scientist also unleashed one of my favorite arguments: the “they call each other the ‘N’ Word all the time/rappers say it all the time” gambit. Let’s attack this argument straight on, shall we?

Me? I say “nigga” all the time, yes. I wake up in the morning singing it, adding it into popular tunes and creating parodies like a disenfranchised Weird Al. And you know what? It’s absolutely none of your business. YOU aren’t the minority. You haven’t dealt with the stigma, the history, the pain, the civil unrest or the racism that still survives in these United States. There is no why you’ll ever be able to understand where a black man is coming from, and why we can choose to use or not use the word. But, if YOU use it in public and you’re not making a point that a nearby black person agrees with, you better believe you won’t get the same privilege. Not fair? Nothing is fair. Blame your founding fathers—who owned slaves.

What is sad, at the end of the day, is how some people simply can’t understand why a person would be offended by this rich, well known personality proclaiming that she’d love a plantation–themed, slave–employed wedding with black men catering to the every need of the guests. She has trotted out lots of black friends since this, and people have brought up the fact that she’s helped some black folks along the way, and that’s swell. Would they have been invited to the plantation wedding? As guests?

What is really sad is that by supporting this woman and “forgiving” her, this thing that obviously has upset lots of people, some of which you claim to be friends with, you’re basically dismissing the feelings of millions in a fight you have no stake in. You’re basically saying that these feelings don’t matter.

Now, I’m gonna leave that there for you to think on and walk away. I’m no social expert, and I don’t have any deep answers.

What I do know is that someone called this a “post–Paula Deen world” the other day, and I’m not even sure they knew what they meant. But there is still racism, and it’s not nearly as clear cut as it used to be. I think there are older generations that are still grappling with the idea that everyone is supposed to be equal, younger generations that have no idea why people weren’t always equal…and…

Well, I’ll just leave this actual Facebook note here, unedited.

“If whites marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists. You are proud of your race and you’re not afraid to announce it, but when we announce our white pride, you call us racists. You have black history month, black colleges, Ms. Black America and BET, but if we tried that we would be sued. I am proud, but you call me a racist? Why is it that only whites can be racists? There is nothing racist about this status but I’m sure some1 will delete me for it. Let’s see which of you are proud enough to copy and paste. I sadly don’t think many will. That’s why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. ALL of US, of ALL colors. We won’t stand up for ourselves! I love all of my black friends and fam but I won’t condone reverse racism. That’s not equal rights.”

 

Obviously, there’s still lots of work to do.

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