Ok, so the National Enquirer broke a story the other day stating that Dog the Bounty Hunter was a total racist. (Shocker.) I got my news from D-listed, but since Michael K. lists sources, I know where it came from and that he's not just making stuff up.
Ordinarily I am not one to buy into the level of tabloid reporting done over at the National Enquirer, but since they had audio to back it up, and that the story itself was not totally far fetched made it an easy sell. I mean it's not like they were pitching up a meatball like, "OJ Simpson DNA Found in Berlin; Remorseful OJ Admits Responsibility for WWII Holocaust" -- I mean yeah, OJ is responsible for a couple of deaths, but not 10 million.
Anyway, back to Dog...
While I don't watch that mess, I am familiar with his program, and I think we all know even with the TV on mute and rapidly-formed opinions based on sight alone, the odds were going to be pretty strong that something as trashy and backward as racism would be something for which that ol' Dog would totally be a plausible fit. (I hope that sentence made sense... I'm not going to go and diagram it to make sure its all grammatically correct... You get the idea that basically Dog is an easy sell as a racist.) When it comes to a description, I think one of my favorite midget pan-Asians, (yes, Elaine, I have more than one favorite midget pan-Asians) Elaine, said it best, "You know, when I see a grown man wearing a homemade sleeveless shirt, two arm bands, and fingerless leather gloves, with long flowing blond pompadour slash mullet hair, I think to myself, 'Good heavens, what a wonderful man, apparently he is too busy saving puppies, building houses for the homeless and walking elderly people across to the street to worry about what he looks like.'"
Anyway, based on the news of this racial tirade, I got to thinking about race issues in my office. There was a recent firing based on some racially charged remarks, so there are issues going on there... As for me, I'm not going to pull out the "I'm not a racist! I have black friends!" card, because while my own circle of friends and even my family is a veritable rainbow and really seems to run the gamut of ideologies as well, I also know that there are some racist and otherwise prejudiced assholes in that mix too, so there really is no genuine accounting for it. I know plenty of people who have "friends" or significant others of varying races who, despite their claims, are still WILDLY racist. I give the statement of having black friends as an indication of not being racist about as much weight as saying, "No, I am not racist! Last week, I totally watched a movie starring Morgan Freeman! And I really like that Jamie Foxx guy..." You see just how pithy and pathetic such a remark like that is when it's boiled down to the bullshit it really is.
The fact is that while I don't think I'm a racist, someone out there might disagree with me, but that's not the issue. The thing is that I am very firm in my belief that there are more than 6 BILLION people on this planet. And while I haven't met the overwhelming majority of them, I feel safe in my assessment that there are plenty of awesome people out there, and there are plenty of trashy folks who embrace backward ideologies due to upbringing, background, generalization of bad experiences, and nine times out of ten, flat-out ignorance. The fact is that both the awesome ones AND the trashy ones come in ALL colors, creeds, shapes, and sizes. All people are capable of racism and general ugliness, and I might be wildly inappropriate in many ways, but I frown on displays of that kind of hateful behavior. There really is no excuse!
ANNNNNYYYYYWAYYYY.... Enough seriousness, let's move on with the program.
So, one of the more enjoyable things about my work week is getting to go to lunch with some of my coworkers after the weekly staff meeting. (It's pretty much the only reason I drag my tired ass out of bed early enough to sit in that lame, boring-ass meeting.) There is a rotating group of folks who head out to lunch at assorted restaurants and kibitz about our cases, our lives in general, and whatever else you can dream up. Well over the course of the last several weeks, the rotating group has shifted somewhat. And for the last month, I have found myself to be the lone caucasian at the table. Now, this couldn't matter less to me, and it sure as hell doesn't seem to matter to anyone else at the table, but in fact was always someone else at the table who has pointed this fact out every week.
But this week we had our lunch at a Cracker Barrel because Tarita wanted, "...something with a mess of gravy on it!" In case you've lived in a cave without modern technological communications tools like Osama bin Laden, you've probably heard that Cracker Barrel was fairly recently accused of racism. I would track down an article detailing all of this, but either you know of what I speak, or you can just hustle your ass over to google and track one of those articles down for yourself.
So, since this law suit emerged, the folks over at Cracker Barrel have tried to add a certain degree of "ethnicity" to their setup. This includes not only merchandise in the store area, as well as memorabilia on the walls in the dining area. Well in our little group of roughly 8, where I was the lone pale face, we found that we were seated under a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We had a giggle about that, and a few other things, at which point Sheree mentioned, "Well, you know, Liz, we had to bring you along so that they wouldn't think we were going to bust up the place and stage a rally." High comedy.
We then ordered our meal, and I was ridiculed for not ordering corn bread... I had enough carbohydrates on the way without adding to it with corn bread, but just trust me when I tell you that I will tear the shit out of some frickin' corn bread! My friends, co-workers, and compatriots understood this point. Once the food came out, despite my order being somewhere toward the beginning, and the server starting with Ms. Carolyn who was directly next to me, I was the last person served at the table. This prompted me to ask my tablemates, "Guys, was I just a victim of discrimination? I mean I was the last person served at this table! I am betting it's because I'm white! I bet they did something to my food too! And they are probably having me towed from the parking lot as we sit here!" This got a healthy laugh, and then Tarita noted, " OH WAIT! They better not be towing you from the parking lot! You rode with me! And if my car isn't out there when we're done, they're going to have another lawsuit on their hands!"
I know that racism is an incredibly deplorable thing, and that it is no laughing matter on the whole, but when you get intelligent people together who all share a sharp wit and an awesome sense of humor about life, sometimes you just can't help but laugh. We're all good at laughing. And as it was stated by Natalie Portman in Garden State, "If you can't laugh, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you want it to be."