Main Theme: Race
I believe I’ve alienated many of the people of color I used to get along with online. I’ve probably annoyed many of them too. But I suppose it’s all right because I’ve always had a hard time getting along with people of color. There’s been a string of shootings, usually involving white cops and black victims. I don’t believe it’s all about race. I think I’ve iterated before that the white cop vs black victim thing is more of a class issue, eg, middle-class person policing a lower income neighborhood. I’ve been challenged on not being colorblind. And the older I’ve gotten, the less colorblind I’ve become. I think that’s OK as long as recognizing color isn’t used as a tool for division.
I’m not of the popular black opinion that white privilege and white supremacy dominate everything. Do I believe white privilege exists? To some extent, but I don’t believe it’s as pervasive as people of color make it out to be. For example, is a white girl who speaks well and dresses professionally more likely to get a job than me? I think so. That’s white privilege. However, if I dress professionally and speak well, will I beat out the white girl who shows up to a white-collar interview in a T-shirt and jeans? Yep. I believe that, too. Being the most qualified for a job doesn’t just mean that your qualifications on paper meet whatever standard the hiring manager’s got. Being the most qualified for a job shows that you’re a well-rounded individual: You look good on paper, can express your thoughts clearly, and know how to dress properly for an interview. White people have the advantage (which I guess is white privilege). But I’m not of the opinion that white privilege can’t be overcome. People of color just need to work twice as hard to obtain something a white person can easily get.
Then, there’s the issue of white supremacy. Please, let’s leave the term “white supremacy” with the groups it belongs to: the KKK, the Aryans, and the Nazis. The term “white supremacy” has connotations of suppressing the advancement of other races. The majority of white Americans do not do this on an active, regular basis. To accuse the average white person in America as being a white supremacist is an insult. Nevermind that the white person may have friends of color. If that white person treats people of all races with respect, love, and kindness, that kills any form of white supremacy they can be accused of. White supremacy is played out in the hatred of other races. Not in the average white American.
I don’t really listen to rap, R&B, and typically “black” music. Not the new stuff, anyway. I noticed I only have 3 stations featuring black artists on my Pandora radio: James Brown, Rihanna, and Nat King Cole. I had a Mary J. Blige station I barely listened to. I had a Mariah Carey station that I didn’t like. I had a Kanye West station featuring songs I would thumbs down. I had a Sean Paul station that I got tired of. Although we’re getting on the dubious side of race here, I had a Michael Jackson station that played mostly Jackson 5 and Motown rather than 80s and early 90s pop.
So I’ve embraced my Pandora stations in all their diverse glory: the 3 black artists I briefly mentioned and Norah Jones, Sarah McLachlan, Aimee Mann, Rebecca St. James, Yo-Yo Ma, Paul McCartney & Wings, The Beatles, Bread, Ke$ha, Britney Spears, Sara Groves, Neil Diamond, No Doubt. I also have an MC Chris station for my husband that plays “nerdcore” and comedic songs, which is a station I also happen to enjoy on road trips. The artists on my Pandora station are overwhelmingly white. And that’s OK! They produce music that I like and my preference for music has no racial color.