Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Setup, schmetup

For the record, despite the fact that I'm FUUSE's Darth Vader on this issue (OK, a really white Darth Vader) I don't think it was a setup.

To be perfectly honest, when I was fifteen you would have found me out in the hallway hanging out and waiting for the ceremony to end and I might well have freaked out myself if I'd been hearing rumors of racial incidents and saw ushers kicking out some African-Americans.

And the world divides neatly into two categories of people (a) people to whom being sworn at means nothing and (b) people to whom it feels like big deal. I have a filthy mouth at times, but I NEVER directly say, for example, "fuck you" or "Back off, Bitch." Something like "I am so fucking tired" or "Stop bitching at me," rolls off the tongue. But somehow attaching the term to someone feels like a much bigger deal. I suspect people of these two varieties have trouble communicating when they get angry at one another and I get the sense that problem reared its head here.

The fact that we are all SO quick to judge when it comes to race is clear enough. The fact that FUUSE was fueling things by labeling the incident racist, then claiming it was the UUA's term when it wasn't, sort of speaks for itself.

But I think self-righteousness and confusion explain this a lot better than deliberate plotting. (After all, if they were smart enough to plan this, they were smart enough to execute it someplace where there were no African-American ushers around. A similar statement coming from a white usher would have seemed far less credible.)


1 comment:

Paul Wilczynski said...

The problem with accusations of racism is that they often fall into the "when did you stop beating you wife?" category. Once accused, there's no way anyone can be found innocent.