Saturday, April 21, 2007

Is anyone else offended?



I found this picture on a friend-of-a-friend's myspace page. The caption reads "I has a crayon".

The boy who is using it as his profile pic is white. He also has the quote "for a good time, call sheniequa (fa fo fo-na fa fo fo)" at the top of his page. Apparantly people think these sort of things are funny. His friends left comments under the picture that said things like "lol" (laugh out loud), or "lmao" "laughing my a** off".

I left a message saying how racist I think it is, and the boy responded with a a rant of profanities followed by the question "How is it racist?"

I responded with:

It's racist because it says "I has a crayon" instead of "I have a crayon". It's obviously mocking Afrian Americans and affirming the stereotype that they all speak ebonics.

He honestly doesn't understand. This kid truley believes that it's all just a joke and doesn't mean anything. He passionately denied having any sort of prejudice.



Sometimes I just get tired when I think about the magnitude of ignorance in the world. How can we change the views of so many people? Especially when they are in denial and refuse to acknowledge their own superiority complexes. It seems impossible. My little brother is about the same age as the boy in the picture...his could have been the smiling face being mocked by hundreds of people. It breaks my heart that this is the world he has to grow up in. He deserves so much more.

Am I reading into this too much? How would you respond to his question of "How is it racist?"?

17 comments:

Chris Brooks said...

Kels,

You are right, and he is ignorant. It is too bad that there are so many ways to reinforce all of the crap that society would define as "black" or "minority." This most recent event at Virginia Tech was so interesting; it breaks many of the assumptions and rules of who is doing the killing and who may to be to blame (a system that ignores people and punsihes pigment).

Keep thinking and listening. You are on the right track!

How's my Jesse and Peter?

Chris Brooks said...

I meant Punishes...not punsihes. :o)

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. I think that is it really cool that you think deep into things. You must be very smart. You seem like a very nice person.

Life in Fitzville said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Life in Fitzville said...

>How can we change the views of so many people?

One by one Kelsey.... and you are doing a great job of it. If we all try to teach them one by one, maybe someday they will all get it.

Kellie said...

Kelsey,

Good for you for saying something, particularly to a "friend of a friend". I think that can be the worst. It takes a lot of courage to call someone out when he's not a complete stranger that you can say anything to and not worry about seeing again. I don't think that there is necessarily anything you could have said to make this person see the racism in himself. However, I think it is important to say something, ANYTHING, to let people know that this sort of thing is not ok. Props to you!

Scarlett_333 said...

I totally agree with you here... and agree with the comment made "one by one"
-Nikki

Scarlett_333 said...

Oops, guess I should introduce myself first! Susanna linked me to your site and I am glad she did- it is really interesting! I am in grade 12, living in Ontario, and am really interested in learning about internation adoption, particularly Ethiopia. I want to adopt from there when I am older, but for now I am just learning, raising awareness, and writing a story set in Ethiopia.
I'm going to get back to reading more of your blog :)
-Nikki

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right, Kelsey. Good for you for standing up for your beliefs. Hopefully, even though he is acting ignorant now, maybe you will get him to do some thinking.

-Rebecca

Sharon said...

Kelsey,

That kid's post is tragic on so many levels. You are an incredible person for noticing the racism, caring about it and responding to him openly and publicly. You rock!

Sharon

Life in Fitzville said...

Hey Kelsey... here's another thing to be mad about. And maybe get some young voices to step up and complain. Urban Outfitters (you can check it on their website) has a t-shirt out right now with the slogan "Adopting is the New Black". I emailed the company on how tasteless I think this is, and I blogged about it as well. But with that store marketing to your generation, it's your voices that should be heard.

KelseyChristine said...

Thanks for the encouraging words everybody!

Sharon,

Ick. That shirt is ridiculous. I hope they get lots of angry emails/phone calls and take it of the shelves. I'm embarassed that I've shopped there now....

Jennifer said...

Kelsey,
I am so glad there are girls in the world like you. I am a former high school teacher who can only list a handful of girls who are as conscientious as you are. Thank you for giving my heart hope for my young children.
Jennifer England (a mommy of soon to be 4 who just happened across your blog- thank goodness for blogs!)

Anonymous said...

Apaarently you have no idea of internet trends and fads. In leetspeak, these kind of things are funny to not because of any racial discrimination, but because of the lack of correct language usage. There are more kinds of pictures depicting funny people or animals with the quote I has a " ". You are looking way too far into that and should do some research about different personalities on the internet.

annie said...

I'm actually going to go with anonymous here. Have you ever seen - I'm not sure exactly what the terms are, but they're these waste-your-time joking things, "cat macros" or "LOL cats" or some other stupid term - anyway, funny pictures of cats with stupid captions. I don't know the exact HISTORY of it or whatever, but somehow it's followed on to pictures with certain grammar rules broken in the caption are funny, and onto the "I has a ...X..." (think the 'O rly?' owl and things like "LOLlerskate" [hey, I don't claim to understand them!])
It COULD be racist - if the person who made/used the image is like "haha, black people are stupid!" or specifically chose a picture of a black kid because they thought that fit better with bad grammar - but in this case, I don't actually think it has to do with ebonics, anyway.
It all depends on WHY it was done the way it was done. My initial reaction isn't "Oh my gosh, how racist!" but "Oh, another one of those things. Whatever." Until you know what reasoning was used to make it, and whether any racist thought came into it, I don't think you can necessarily decide that yeah, it's racist.
(On the other hand, until you know their reasoning you probably can't conclude that it ISN'T racist, either.)

Jonas(Eye of Osiris) said...

Welcomes to tha internets! Obviously you have never been here before. Everyone misspells everything on purpose as a gag on adolescent lack of affection for proper grammar on the net.
¨
K thx bye

Anonymous said...

i second the fact that this is not racist, and really is internet venacular.