Pop Culture, Race & Politics

The Type Of Racism I Can Appreciate

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I have quite a bit of family in Cincinnati, Ohio. And, since it’s only four and a half hours away from Pittsburgh, I’ve made that drive many times. So many that I’ve memorized and look forward to certain landmarks unique to it. The rush of the speed limit jumping from 55 to 70 when passing through West Virginia. The gradual change of topography as you leave Appalachia and enter Ohio. The outlet mall I’ve always meant to stop in but never actually have. The straight-away stretch near Columbus where I got my first speeding ticket. (I was going 101. I had just bought my Charger, though, so it’s excusable. Well, somewhat excusable.) The 50 foot billboard on the side of the highway an hour or so from Cincinnati that says “HELL IS REAL” in the biggest and scariest font I’ve ever seen.

And, most of all, the large farm house somewhere in the middle of Ohio with a giant Confederate flag painted on the roof.

The first time I noticed it, I had to double take to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. The second time, I made a mental note to never, ever, ever, ever stop or get stopped for anything within a 30 mile radius of that barn.

But, as I made more and more drives to Cincinnati, something strange happened. I started looking for it. Pointing it out to people I was driving with, like a museum tour guide showing off a painting. (“Note the expert craftsmanship as each star was delicately and evenly painted. You have to marvel at the detailed racism…“) And, if I was so focused on the drive that I missed it, I’d actually get…disappointed.

Part of this “appreciation” for the barn is due the fact that it’s a long, boring drive, so you look forward to certain things to stay engaged. But, even more than that, egregious examples of racism just aren’t seen very often in polite society. Pittsburgh aint exactly the most progressive place on Earth. But as racially stunted as this city might be, you’re just not going find many proud out-of-the-closet racists. And a small part of me — a very, very small part — appreciates the type of honesty that barn conveys.

After years of hearing everyone from Donald Sterling to Donald Trump awkwardly and insincerely deny their racism after getting caught doing or saying some unambiguously racist shit, it’s kind of refreshing to see someone who happily broadcasts “Yup. I’m racist. Racist as the fuck. I have two pleasures in life. Hating niggers and eating bacon. And I just ran out of bacon.”

This is why I was kinda disappointed in Sterling’s CNN mea culpa. If you’re reading this, Mr. Sterling, I have a question for you. Why deny your racism now? You’re a trillionaire with like 17 minutes left to live. What do you have to lose? Own that shit, Crip walk off the set, and give the camera a peace sign right before your spleen explodes.

And this is why, while a part of me hates Robert Copeland for calling President Obama a nigger, another, more disturbing part of me thought his “explanation”…

“I believe I did use the ‘N’ word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse,” Copeland wrote in the April email sent to the two other commissioners and forwarded to O’Toole. “For this, I do not apologize – he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”

…was the most bad-ass thing I’ve ever heard.

Racists of America, if you’re reading this, please follow Copeland’s and the owner of the barn in Ohio’s lead and step your bitch-ass games up. This is the 21st century. We have a Black president and a Black God now. What the hell are you waiting for? America is browning right before our eyes. It’s time for you to be out, proud, and loud.

Sure, I’ll hate you for it, but it’ll be appreciative hate.

—Damon Young

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • KingJames870

    I can do nothing but agree with this. I like my racists honest too.

  • Ray Jefferies

    Lord only knows I would LOVE for Copeland to explain what his “criteria” is for being called a n!gger. I just want him to say what I know it is: being black

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      That’s all we need. Its not like this skin color comes with a merit badge for being awesome.

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      I think he said it. If there some secret criteria that allows other groups to be called the word as well? Also, during both Obama campaigns, there were some White people who straight up said that they were voting for the n*gger for President. There’s levels to this ish.

    • Tentpole

      You would figure after Copeland statement, we would finally put the word back in the box we took it out. In the 21st century, it really make us look stupid when whites use a word we have made a noun, verb, adverb, adjective, and a pronoun. They say if you respect your self first, then others will learn to do the same.

      • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        I don’t see how our using it has anything to do with them using it. It has different meanings depending on the user. Black people don’t motivate a racist to use the word and we’re not gonna stop them if they want to.

        • Tentpole

          Wrong WC, it was their word to begin with. All we did was prove how dumb we can be by trying to flip the script on a word that was born out of hate. It will always mean only one thing.

          • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

            It’s our word now. We didn’t try to flip the script, we flipped the sh!t out of it.

    • Amber

      Since he’s in law enforcement they should also look into his arrest record

  • iamnotakata

    Listen…I co-sign and approve this message. I like my racist real and upfront…not perpetuating equality and acceptance of my kind when they are secretly thinking about lynching me. This is why I love the south or at least Texas….I know if I ride through Vidor, TX on my drive to turn up in NO I better drive the speed limit and never stop there…They make it no secret who they fool with and its not us brown folks. However out here in the Bay Area everyone is preaching peace, love, weed, ecstasy, molly and their favorite word “diversity” but really “muth*fu*kas neva loved us” (shoutout to Aubrey!) I know a racist when I see one, disguised or upfront, I like my racist to keep it 100 okay!

    • Abhorsen

      Sometimes it’s refreshing to travel around in Asia or eastern Europe,they never hide their dislike for black people. I once was told that ink should not be allowed to colour the river lmao

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        I’ve always been curious of Asian racism. It fascinates me

        • Abhorsen

          It’s in yo face racism lmao

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            I’ll take it since I can dish it right back

        • IcePrincess

          Asians despise black people

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Unless we are entertaining them, then they love us

            • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

              Makes you wonder why hip hop and R&B are really popular in Japan…

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                Because they love our style. There are Japanese girls that use heavy makeup and tanning to look like Black girls, complete with the hair styles and clothes. There are hip hop and reggae clubs in Japan. Every year, there is a soca festival in Trinidad the Japanese visit eeligiously, and they’ve even won the music and dance contests before.

                So i know there’s plenty that don’t like us, but plenty more that would love to be us.

              • Leigh

                Where else where you find a song with the lyrics “Young ni**a move that dope”? They are fascinated, curious, enthralled and appalled at the same time.

                • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

                  Oddly enough, gangsta rap isn’t very popular in Japan. The kind of hip hop that doesn’t sell well in America are gold and platinum sellers over there. Who knew…

            • Leigh

              Or spending our money in nail salons and beauty supply stores.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                Nah they hate us when we go there,they merely tolerate us because no one else will pay the amount of money we do for their services.

          • Keisha

            Not all Asians…

            • IcePrincess

              Of course not. I realized that was a blanket statement after I posted it, but I was too lazy to change it. Fight me ;)

              • Keisha

                lol

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Social conditioning. We dumped our non PC tv content over there and some folks will still ask to see your tail.

        • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young, A.O.M

          When you get the chance take a look into how the Japanese viewed other Asians and whites during WWII. That was some top of the line hate.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Well when the Japanese heard that America was putting Japanese people in concentration camps, they were seething with hatred, but that was nothing compared to what the Japanese did to the Chinese during the same time after invading China

            • Keisha

              I lived in Japan for seven years…The hatred between the Japanese and Koreans is REAL!

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                Oooooh yea i read about the crazy crap they say to each other every week. Its like 1990s Crips & Bloods type fueding on crack.

              • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young, A.O.M

                That hate is as real as the Arab/Iranian hate. Man.

                • RewindingtonMaximus

                  Its almost as bad as the hatred for China. They hate China more because they acrually have the power to take dominion over Japan and they know it. That’s why they are fighting over the islands that sit in the coastal realm of both countries.

              • Abhorsen

                The japanese did keep hundreds of korean women during WW2.

              • KKay

                It blew my mind when my cousin’s mother (a native of Japan) told me that. She also clued me in on the so-called Asian nationality hierarchy that many Asian feel exists.

            • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young, A.O.M

              They did the same to the Vietnamese, the Filipinos, and Koreans during their occupation of that peninsula. If they captured a white guy who was a ginger they would brutalize them a little more than the rest of the P.O.W’s. I’ve never read any accounts of how they treated black soldiers.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                They killed them but the accounts stated more psychological warfare. Thry did not understand why past slaves would continue to fight for their white masters.

                • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young, A.O.M

                  hmmm. Do you have any sources or links I can read? I’d appreciate it. None of the accounts from the 93rd Division, King’s African Rifles, or Montford Point Marines delved into capture.

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    I will have to get back to you on this. I watched this documentary a long time ago during a Race & Racism class and i don’t remember the name of it. But I’m going to look into the books you mentioned

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

          It’s weird, man. They hate people, but want to be like the very people they hate, SMH…

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            You gotta watch VICE on HBO. especially last week’s episode and the one coming on this Friday, perfect examples of crooked crap the US does that makes other people hate us soooooo much.

            So many countries are so xenophobic because they have been at war for so long, that even though they accept elements of the outside world, they still hate it.

            • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

              What gets me is when political talking heads are surprised at the fact that other companies hate America. I wonder if they stopped and took the time out to know why?

      • Msdebbs

        ” I once was told that ink should not be allowed to colour the river”

        Wow

        • Abhorsen

          Ever been to Asia,it’s an eye opener

          • Msdebbs

            Nope it was on my list of places to visit but idk if they can handle my level of darkness…

            • Abhorsen

              Goodluck. Asia has great massage parlours

              • Msdebbs

                And how do you know?

                • Abhorsen

                  Val told me

                  • Msdebbs

                    Lol…Lies you tell.

            • iamnotakata

              Really you could just visit San Francisco and save you a whole lot of money, it might as well be Asia…white folks are minorities out here.

          • PunchDrunkLove

            Nothing in that part of the world would take me by surprise. I could be wrong, and it could be my own prejudice, but Asians strike me or have left the impression that they’re aren’t feeling too may races outside of their own.

            Just my experience….again, I could be wrong.

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

        Ink shouldn’t be allowed to colour the river…..i feel like i would swing but id probably just be so caught off guard by the blatant nature of it

        • miss t-lee

          Really.
          That’s classy racism.

      • Keisha

        Really? In my travels through Asia and Europe I never experienced that. Most of the time it was admiration/curiosity. People wanting to feel my hair/skin and compare it to theirs…and then take pictures.

        • Abhorsen

          Eastern europe and which asian countries did you go to

    • nillalatte

      LOL… okay. duly noted. rotflmao

    • Leigh

      I’m a Louisiana girl living in Texas. I’ve heard about Vidor, TX all of my life. LOL! I ALWAYS make sure to have a full tank of gas so that I NEVER have to stop in that sundown town.

      • LakeCity

        Same here. I make that drive back home to LA several times a year and ALWAYS make sure I have enough gas to make it past Vidor.

    • Epsilonicus

      “I know if I ride through Vidor, TX on my drive to turn up in NO I better drive the speed limit and never stop there”

      That “unsafe to stop here because they may kill you racism” is that racism that I do not like. Yall can keep that and I will take the covert racism any day over having to look over my shoulder constantly.

      • miss t-lee

        Vidor was once the home of the KKK in Texas, that’s why it’s a well known “don’t stop in that city” location.

        • Epsilonicus

          Ok. But that dangerous type of overt racism is not a type I ever want to experience. Nor do I prefer it. I like living too much.

          • miss t-lee

            Gotcha.
            Overt, or covert. It’s all the same, and just as dangerous.

    • miss t-lee

      Yep. I just mentioned Vidor in my post…lol
      Gas up in Beaumont, and don’t stop til you’re in Lake Charles at least.

  • Conceited-Ibaka

    Pretenders are worse than murderers. At least with a forward racist, you know what time it is.

    Shourr ourrs to Miami Heat. In as much as I HATE them, they did the damn thing tonight!

    • Abhorsen

      Durant should get a ring this year..

      • Msdebbs

        Nope! 3peat sorry friend….maybe next year.

        • Abhorsen

          Only the Lakers should talk of 3peat

          • Msdebbs

            I thought we were talking about relevant teams???

            • Abhorsen

              I was talking from a historical point of view

              • Msdebbs

                Oh okay….no one stays on top forever

        • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

          Boooooooooooo

      • miss t-lee

        nope.

    • CamCamtheGreat

      Go Heat!

  • Ray Jefferies

    Since we’re on the topic though I’d rather have overt racists than covert ones… especially the ones that are so covert they’ve convinced themselves that they aren’t racist. You know the ones, who bathe in progressive buzz words, and take every opportunity to show you they “get it” and how others don’t. They might be the worse kind because they will still engage in racism and never believe that they do.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Those are the people who hate racial talks because they can’t believe we still worry about it when the President is Black. That’s like saying you no longer have to worry about Herpes when the commercial on TV proves the pill will make you happy.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

        Those are also the same people that will call someone a racist if they want to talk openly about the issue of race.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          Exactly. So you have to dig a little deep, like exposing their fetish for wearing other people’s underwear or watching beastiality. Catches them off guard, then you let the verbal punches fly

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

      *shots fired at the Tea Party?*

      • Epsilonicus

        The Tea Party is covert? lol

        • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

          Let them tell it, they are, LOL!

  • Andre

    Most racists these days speak in coded language…always with plausible deniability built into their rhetoric.

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      There’s a whole method to the madness though. Racism isn’t JUST racism to White people, if that makes sense.

      • http://wildcougarconfessions.com Wild Cougar

        Racism to liberal whites is like the fake apology. I’m sorry you feel offended

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    I’ll take In Your Face Racism for $200 Alex.

    Sometimes some people say something so cleverly racist, I aint even mad. I give them props for it.

    Besides…isn’t it exhausting for people to go out of their way to prove they aren’t racist while in the middle of doing something COMPLETELY RACIST?

  • nillalatte

    “America is browning right before our eyes. It’s time for you to be out, proud, and loud.”
    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL you stooped for that.
    Copeland is 83 years old. Not an excuse, but reflective of the time in which he was a child and taught to hate. A shame, isn’t it?

    On the other hand, how does one view this?
    Banner

    My response: Unfortunately this is a product of the language prevalent in rap, and who are the majority of consumers of rap? White ‘kids’. ‘Kids” that, on some level, don’t see/use the root word and don’t see the derivative as derogatory. It’s pretty interesting to see that culture shift, I think. Music has a very large influence on youth. *another brick in the wall…

    • Abhorsen

      Plays Kansas,carry on my wayward son for Nilla’s thoughts

      • nillalatte

        That is one of the few rock songs I REALLY loved (*whispers* way back in the day)! Thank you for that. :)

        • Abhorsen

          Whose yo daddy

          • nillalatte

            LOL… silly

    • Sigma_Since 93

      Nillalatte’s Hott Toddin with the Val eye / eyebrow combo. I see you ma. I see you.

      • nillalatte

        Awww, sweetie, Val looks so hot in her avi, I can’t compare. I’m keeping my eye on you doe. ;)

        • Sigma_Since 93

          You added a bit of flair with the Allyah like hair over the eye. #nillalatte stayswinning

          • nillalatte

            *smiles*

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/pervertedalchemist1 Perverted Alchemist

      “Unfortunately this is a product of the language prevalent in rap, and who are the majority of consumers of rap? White ‘kids’. ‘Kids” that, on some level, don’t see/use the root word and don’t see the derivative as derogatory. It’s pretty interesting to see that culture shift, I think. Music has a very large influence on youth. *another brick in the wall…”

      In other words, Nillalatte is saying what KRS-One said almost 20 years earlier in his song “MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know”:

      “Word- what go around come around, I figure
      Now we got White kids calling themselves ni**ers”

      • nillalatte

        Yes, and growing. Of course, there are always going to be two ends of the spectrum like the articles illustrate. There are going to be, unfortunately, those in yo’ face racist who don’t recognize their mentality as backwards and the others, who want to move beyond that type of hatred.

        What I find highly intriguing is some black folks also present a double standard here. They want to rap and use the derivative ad nauseam, but then get butt hurt when white kids use the exact words rappers spit. Then some black folks want to say that white folks (‘kids’) can’t use that word in either format. It’s like, well, damn, go tell Lil Wayne, Drake, JayZ, etc, to stop putting that shyt it out there. (*acknowledges: that ain’t never gonna happen.) So, what happens, cultures start to blend, but it’s done over generations, just as you’ve shown.

        • CrayolaGirl

          Yeah, there’s a double standard. I can understand getting caught up in the lyrics of some songs. Just because it’s in a song doesn’t mean you get to just say it all willy nilly. Rappers also call women bitches and hoes but people figure out how not to walk around calling women or themselves out their name.

          • nillalatte

            All I’m saying is the music/lyrics have an influence and it’s changing the way people use the derivative of the root word. Combine that with skin color and some folks feel that it takes on a whole new meaning.

            I laughed at your bitches and hoes statement doe. Do you have kids? I hear ‘kids’ all the time saying these things to each other (and in public) and they don’t mean anything by it. I ain’t saying folks should lose their mind and not consider social norms. But, I am saying, ‘kids’ are not thinking of the derivative the same way as the root word, so they are not making the connection to why the derivative is considered racist for a white person to say, since it is so prevalent in the music of which they listen.

        • afronica

          I don’t think I buy your argument.

          Children realize that they don’t talk to their parents the same way they chop it up with their friends. I realize I’m not going to talk with my boss the same way I let it fly with my friends. I talk one way on the phone with my cable provider and another way on the phone with my cousin.

          So why can’t white people, kids or otherwise, understand that certain speech and words are off-limits for them? They *choose* not to understand although they do the same kind of code-switching in their lives that I do in mine. For white people, nothing is ever off-limits when it comes to people or things or speech they consider to be beneath them. It’s just another form of appropriation. It’s just another way of standing on my neck.

          • nillalatte

            I hear your point. I ain’t arguing if it’s okay or not, I’m just bringing this cultural phenomenon/shift that is in place and being brought about by music/lyrics (not rap specifically (thinking about Loyal by Chris Brown), but more prevalent.

            • afronica

              *daps* I hear you, NIlla. You’re just saying it’s out there, right or wrong.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Music side steps all the deaths, rapes, mutiliations, beatings, and hatred to give everyone a nice beat they can two-step to.

  • CamCamtheGreat

    Meh. I guess I’d just prefer my racists non-existent. Overt or covert, it matters not to me.

    On another note, I’m not quite sure where I stand on the confederate flag front. I understand the history behind it and all, but I have to think that maybe folks put too much meaning into something that’s just a damn flag. The Civil War has long been over and everyone knows which side won. So why should I really care if someone decides to rock the flag as they see fit? I say let a sore loser be a sore loser. Then again, most folks today who identify with the confederate flag do so as some sort of symbol of their Southern and/or “redneck” pride and don’t associate it at all to the Confederacy. To them, it has more to do with where they’re from or the culture they identify with than the flag’s troublesome past. Wouldn’t that be similar to the “re-purposing” of the n-word? If people can claim that “ni@@a” no longer carries the same meaning as it once did, can another group of people not say the same thing for a flag? And if I happen to see someone sporting a Rebel flag and I immediately prejudge them as racist, am I no better than someone who sees sagging pants and immediately labels someone a “thug” or worse?

    Like I said, I’m still not quite sure which side of the fence I’m most comfortable standing on with regard to this issue. On the one hand, the sight of someone unabashedly rocking the Confederate flag does give me pause at times and prompts a side-eye at others. But then again, the level of reaction that the sight of the flag elicits from me has decreased substantially over time and continues to do so. Maybe I’m just not ready to choose a side. Perhaps I never will?

    Yeah, I’m gonna need some more time with this one.

    • Andrea

      I liked Mr. Wise’s essay where he said
      “Those who wave the Confederate flag, for example, insist they are merely trying to fondly remember part of their history. Yet if blacks
      (including, to be sure, more than a few Southerners) broach the subject of their ancestors’ enslavement and its lingering effects on black America today, they are viewed as wallowing in pity. But what, other than wallowing, and most certainly pitiable, can we call those who insist on waving the standard of a defeated government, some one hundred and forty one years after it fell? Really now, let us move on indeed!”

      • JOhn Crawford

        I agree with that, and I would like to add this:
        If one can’t rock the Swastika because they “had Pride for the Non-Atrocious acts of Nazi Germany and Refuse to Accept the Actual Atrocities and History”, Personally, NOBODY should be rocking the Battle Flag of the Confederacy. Period. Black folks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, or Ever.

        • afronica

          Yeah, I don’t remember going anywhere and seeing a swastika painted on a barn roof or used in mural. When swastikas appear, people denounce and declaim and get busy erasing that ish. As it should be.

    • http://trulytafakari.com/ dara

      They’re flying a flag that represents treason to their united country and still call themselves patriots.

      • CamCamtheGreat

        Well yeah, that shows a wealth of idiocy and hypocrisy, but is it inherently racist? And should I even give a damn?

    • http://theurbanpolitico.com/ Shady Grady

      I think it is inherently racist. Or so ignorant as to not make much difference.

      http://www.theurbanpolitico.com/2012/09/lynyrd-skynyrd-heritage-not-hate-dodge.html

      • CamCamtheGreat

        Interesting article. I feel that many (can’t say “most” cuz I haven’t polled anyone) Confederate flag enthusiasts feel the same way Gary Rossington does: it just doesn’t mean the same thing to them anymore. Many people today (especially the younger folks) were brought up in an environment where Rebel flag imagery was very prevalent, but aren’t necessarily racist. I think it has more to do with lack of experience with non-whites and a lack of empathy in general than actually hating one group of people or another.

        I’ve found that many people whom I might have suspected were racist or prejudiced at one point were actually just suffering from a lack of empathy. Color wasn’t the defining factor; it was, instead, an experience that differed from their own that they couldn’t wrap their heads around. To them, the opinions and views they gained from their personal life experience were fact and anything in opposition to that was automatically wrong and to be discredited. My boss is one of these people. Some people really just can’t imagine themselves in someone else’s shoes, even if for a second.

        Then again, I feel like a lack of empathy is what’s really at the heart of every single issue humankind has ever had and ever will have. If we could fix that, every other issue would fix itself in turn, trickling all the way down to world peace. But we can’t just change other people’s minds as easily as we’d like to; “free will” and all that. But obviously that’s an entirely different conversation.

        Edit: Don’t get it twisted. I’m not advocating for Confederate flag enthusiasts or giving an entire group of people the benefit of the doubt. I’m just exploring the idea that maybe Confederate flag doesn’t automatically equal “racist.”

        • http://theurbanpolitico.com/ Shady Grady

          Fair points.

          Maybe not automatically in 100% of the time but in my experiences, can’t speak for other’s, it’s so close as to not make a lot of difference. I think that what Rossington says publicly is likely different from what he says privately. I mean I don’t really care if someone wants to find a way to say they’re proud of being white and from the South but Confederate regalia just isn’t the way to do it imo.

          • CamCamtheGreat

            I see what you’re saying. And I agree on some points. But you can’t just automatically assume someone is lying because what they’re saying goes against your pre-conceived notions. Since it is impossible to know what anyone besides yourself is thinking at any given time, you have to take people at their word until they have done something that proves otherwise. Until you have evidence of someone like Rossington being/saying/doing something racist, you have to assume they’re telling the truth. An inconvenient fact of life, but a fact of life regardless.

            • http://theurbanpolitico.com/ Shady Grady

              I don’t have the book right in front of me now but in “Dixie Lullaby” former LS guitarist Ed King and his wife talk about Rossington’s fondness for racist jokes, which even for the times (early seventies) they thought a little over the top.

              I don’t think some symbols can be reclaimed. In the 50s white southerners started putting the Confederate Battle flag on state houses even more than before. The more dishonest/intellectual of them would claim they were only protesting a too expansive federal government. But everyone knew they were lying.

              • afronica

                I also think it matters who is doing the reclaiming. If Southern blacks were making a ruckus about using the confederate flag, I’d think they were touched and not by God, but I’d at least listen to what they had to say about it. If you want to flip a symbol of hatred about you, that’s subversion. If you want to elevate a symbol of hatred your ancestors proudly waved, it ain’t flipping any script.

                • http://theurbanpolitico.com/ Shady Grady

                  Indeed. That’s a good point. Outside of that nut in North Carolina and Kanye(?) I haven’t seen too many black people trying to reclaim the confederate flag.

    • afronica

      “Wouldn’t that be similar to the “re-purposing” of the n-word? If people can claim that “ni@@a” no longer carries the same meaning as it once did, can another group of people not say the same thing for a flag?”

      I never thought of equating those two reclamation projects. I need to chew on that equivalency a while. But in one instance, oppressed people are taking a derogatory term used against them and converting it into a term of affection. In the other, people are taking a symbol of oppression and converting it into a symbol pride. I understand that some Southerners consider themselves to have been oppressed before, during and after the Civil War. But unless they out themselves as downtrodden Southerners, no one can tell them from victorious Northerners, so nah, I’m not really buying their pity party.

  • Shomari

    I 100% agree with this and I think it applies to anything controversial, not just racism. I hate it when it gets out that someone has a controversial view and then back tracks just because of the bad publicity. If you think vaccinating your kids is wrong, stand by that. If you believe that the NBA draft lottery is totally on the up-and-up, then let it be known. I personally believe that Drake is a great rapper, i’m not backing down. I own that ish.

    • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

      Someone is tight about the Cavs getting the number one pick again, huh? LOL

      • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

        When you have a Draft Lottery dynasty there’s gotta be a change

        • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

          Well, I think this is God’s way of saying “sorry for how Lebron left. Have some picks. :)”

      • http://negrolibre.tumblr.com/ Negro Libre

        I just don’t see why the conspiracy theorist are lamenting it was rigged…why Cleveland?

        • http://www.twitter.com/IluminatiNYC Todd

          The working theory is that this is to make up for Lebron James rolling out on Cleveland. Still, that’s a funny way to show it. If Cleveland doesn’t make the playoffs this year, though, someone needs to be fired at, not merely fired.

        • Damon Young

          That’s the thing about draft conspiracy theories…regardless of who actually won the lottery, there would be a working theory in place to “explain” it.

        • http://uphereoncloud9.com/ Wu Young, A.O.M

          If the conspiracy was an actual thing there would be multiple New York Knicks dynasties. There are none.

    • NomadaNare

      I like how Drake being a good rapper is in the same category as not vaccinating your kids and that you have enough self awareness to put him there.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        I like how admitting either one draws as much distain as saying you admire Hitler’s intelligence

    • JOhn Crawford

      As a Clevelander, I seriously HATE that the Cavs got the #1 pick again. I’m a Lakers fan since ’98 after Jordan retired from the Bulls