The Greatest Speech Ever Made - Charlie Chaplin
"I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor - that’s not my business - I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that.
We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.
The way of life can be free and beautiful.
But we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls -equal
has barricaded the world with hate;
has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.
We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.
Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.”
I have something I need to say to ‘some’ of the people here, ‘some’ of the people everywhere. What I’m about to say very well might piss you off and I understand why, emotions are running high and rightfully so. All I ask is that you read my whole post and give it some thought.
I saw lots of people reblogging “men are etc., etc.” posts followed by men who say “not all men” then onto the people with the “you are just being an entitled male” stuff.
This last month it was the same argument but about race and if you are white you are racist and at best you’re just fighting it back. Then we saw the same old thing… “Not all white people” and “I have friends that are POC”. If you said such things you got the “white entitlement” argument. I honestly understand both arguments, I do.
I didn’t comment on either type of these posts because I understand what the person writing the post was saying and their intentions. I had no reason to defend any of my current or past good intentions or even list all the things I have done or feel that contest these kinds of posts, as they are not directed towards me.
I have been thinking a lot about Ferguson and all the posts I have seen about racism and sexism in general. It made me want to do research on the word racism and say something about the injustice we saw to the people of Ferguson. Again, I didn’t want to simply reblog something I saw because I don’t agree with how most of it was delivered and I didn’t want to say something fruitless like “not me”.
I found lots of blogs with people saying that if you are part of a race that is in a higher social class you couldn’t help but be racist; that you cannot have a prejudice (good or bad) and be in a position of power over another race without being racist. I’m sorry but you can’t have a pulse and not be prejudice (good or bad) it just comes with having experiences and sadly even a lack of.
My understanding has always been that racism included some level of hatred for another race. I could have always been wrong but it sure feels like the meaning of the word has changed since I was a kid.
This brings me back to my point. Having the opinion that any race that is in a higher social class is racist by default is not only incorrect but it is also counterproductive to human rights. For this current argument our understanding is that whites are of the higher social class and power so they are all racist. So I asked myself, what would happen if one day that changed? What if Latinos were considered the higher social class? Does that mean that now all Latinos would be racist? It would have to, by the current argument’s understanding of what racism is.
I’m not writing this because I feel the need to say I’m not racist or sexist. The people that know me know what I’m about and that is all I require. I’m writing this because we need to be able to overcome racism and sexism. The current meaning renders us helpless and even excuses those guilty of racism and sexism. We HAVE to be able to overcome it. It HAS to be possible. Without us agreeing to this, the dream that Dr. King shared with us all is dead and we can’t let that happen. Ever.
We all need to work harder to explain to our children that this world is full of really horrible things that are not fair and that we all need to fight against these evils. We need to teach that we can find people of all colors and sexes fighting for equality. We cannot remain defeated in the idea that racism and sexism is a birthright. Don’t let your children be raised with any opinions about race or sex more than it’s an old “social construct”. Remind them it’s something that has had no right to have a place in our society, never did, and never will.
These posts that say any race, social group, sexual orientation or lack of and so on need to stop. They only make the problem worse and give shitty people an excuse to be bigger assholes. Even if it’s not the point it’s how it comes across to the outsider unaware of what needs changing. We don’t need to give ignorant people reasons to be horrible people.
I’m not suggesting we stop posting and talking about these inequalities. I just know we need to rethink how we approach it. Not everyone understands our plight. If your argument requires you to use a prejudice, it’s not to say what you are railing against isn’t happening or wrong but it IS a poorly made argument and makes good change harder to come by. You don’t need me to agree with you, I already do. You need the person that has never thought about it. Insulting them before you explain yourself does not earn their trust or time. We need to work harder and smarter at fighting inequality and continue to as it inevitably fades away.
John Belushi + meltdowns on Weekend Update
My friend just lost her Momma today, and I lost one of my tribe this weekend. I wish everyone a little peace and brighter days very soon.