So many of you have probably read this Chris Rock’s quote...
WASHINGTON TIMES – Chris Rock explained in a lengthy interview Sunday that he believes part of healing racial relations in America is by white people “owning” the actions of their ancestors.
The black comedian told New York magazine’s Frank Rich that racial progress in America is “nonsense” and that the only thing that’s changed is white people aren’t as crazy as they used to be.
“When we talk about race relations in America or racial progress, it’s all nonsense,” Mr. Rock said. “There are no race relations. White people were crazy. Now they’re not as crazy. To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.”
Mr. Rich asked the comedian if white people are “adjusting to a new reality?”
“Owning their actions. Not even their actions. The actions of your dad,” Mr. Rock said. “Yeah, it’s unfair that you can get judged by something you didn’t do, but it’s also unfair that you can inherit money that you didn’t work for.”
Now, I hate to be in the business of questioning comedians. Comedy is comedy, and just like any form of art, it shouldn’t be viewed through the lens of journalism. The problem here is that Chris Rock wasn’t doing comedy. He was giving a deliberate answer in an attempt to affect cultural change. So with that in mind, I’d have to ask…
Chris, firstly, allow me to ignore the irony found in you judging individuals based on the general actions of others. You know, the definition of “prejudice”. When put in the context of your “rant” against racism, the irony’s so rich that I’ll get gout. I’m talking serious uric acid build-up in my big toe, gout.
I guess the ultimate question comes down to: what’s the number? How many years back must individuals be held responsible for actions not of their own? Two hundred years? Three hundred? Give us a ballpark.
Also, is this standard exclusive to “crazy white people”? What about black, African slave-traders? You know, the originals? As a matter of fact, slavery still goes on in many parts of Africa today (unlike here in the less homogenized United States). Should all black people “own” these actions as well? Is it limited to color, actual race or geographic location?
The prejudices you hold today (against “white people”) is very much like the prejudice Voltaire held against people of color. It was wrong for him to be racist, of course, but one of his misguided reasonings (among many) was that he believed blacks to be less than humane, due to their treatment/enslavement of other Africans. The main difference in historical contexts between his racism and yours, is that he was unfairly applying a generality to a race of people currently abusing their fellow humans. You apply your generality based on that of past actions. Both are terrible. Yours is just worse.
I’m sure you’ve faced some discrimination in your lifetime Chris. I’m sorry that you’ve had to experience that, but I won’t apologize for those individuals. Just like you shouldn’t have to apologize for every jackass who forwards me your unwatchable “black people vs. n*ggas” routine. You like using the n-word. We get it.
You’re a funny guy, Chris. You’re also a hateful one. I’d say stick with what you know, but I’m scared as to which one you’d pick, so how about I just spell it out for you?
S-T-O-P B-E-I-NG A R-A-C-I-S-T J-A-C-K-A-S-S