Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why can't we all just get along?

I decided to check out because I have no one to hang out with and I thought maybe I could find a group near me that would have some people with similar interests so I could make some friends. I hoped maybe there was something for people who liked nature, since we have a huge park here that is mostly woods, or maybe something for couples so Mike and I could make some new friends. Apparently not.

Now as you may know, I'm not racist. I don't care what race people are. If they act stupid it's not because of their race, it's because they are stupid. So don't get mad when you read me complaining about this.

I would say 80% of the meetup groups are for specific races only. I'm not just imagining that, because they have names like, "P.S. African- American & Latino Literati Salon", "MCCC - Married Christian Couples of Color", "Black,Thirty-Something, and Fabulous!", "The N.Y. People Of Color Genealogy Meetup Group", "Black Women of A Certain Age, NY Vicinity", "The African-American & Latino Literary Salon Meetup Group", "Arabs and Jews friendship", "BLACKANOMICS - NEW YORK", "New York City Brazilians and Brazilian Culture Meetup", "NYC Modern Orthodox Jewish Singles Club 30's-50's", "NYC Puerto Rican Culture", and on and on. A majority of the others are religious, which I guess is a little better because you choose what religion you are, so I could technically become Jewish and go to the Arabs and Jews friendship group. But I'm not going to.

So it got me thinking again, as I have in the past, about this phenomenon of every race except for white people being allowed to discriminate against other people. Usually white. And here is my point: If white people had groups named "White, Thirty-something and Fabulous!" we would get the crap beat out of us and be called white supremacists or Nazis. My favorite is "Whiteanomics - New York". What would that even mean? What does Blackanomics mean? Why are other races allowed to discriminate against white people? The first time I thought about this was while watching BET. Was I not supposed to be watching it? One may argue that every other channel is mostly white people, which is the case. I agree that there aren't really too many people on TV who aren't white. But it's not because white people don't want them to be. What would happen if white people made a channel only showing shows made by white people, with white actors, and wouldn't let anyone else on the shows? Again, they would be criticized or worse. Whats with this deliberate segregation? For so long, people of different races and colors wanted to be equal. And now that we all have the same rights, we have started separating ourselves, but in a different way.

If we are not supposed to discriminate against people, why are people still doing it? In this case that I'm bringing up, it's reversed, and I'm glad that we can all use the same drinking fountains and doors and bathrooms and go to the same schools. I have never even thought about race as much as I have since looking at these meetup groups. It bothers me that I am. I just don't understand why, a girl such as myself who would enjoy the company of these 30 something and fabulous women, would not be allowed to because of my skin color. Maybe they're just stickin' it to me. I certainly wouldn't join a group that only allowed white people.

I do understand that there is still discrimination in many areas of the United States and that is sad. But this is New York. Probably the most diverse city in the United States, if not the world. Everyone who came here is from somewhere else. Here are the stats:

White (non-Hispanic) 35%

Black 28%
Hispanic (any race) 27%
Asian 10%

As compared to the entire U.S:

White (non-Hispanic) 67%

Black 12%
Hispanic (any race) 11%
Asian 4%

If there is any city where people are equal, it should be New York. Our percentages are very close, and out living proximity is even closer. I'm pretty sure in my building alone there are people from at least 10 different countries, probably more.

Where am I going with this? Don't ask me. It's kind of a question that can't be answered. Not by me at least. I don't know why it's OK for anyone to discriminate against anyone else. White against Black, Black against White against Hispanic against Jewish against Arab etc. Whats the point? Let me and Wikipedia break it down for you into some bad-ass science:

In humans, melanin is the primary determinant of human skin color and also found in hair, the pigmented tissue underlying the iris, the medulla and zona reticularis of the adrenal gland, the stria vascularis of the inner ear, and in pigment-bearing neurons within areas of the brain stem, such as the locus coeruleus and the substantia nigra.

Dermal melanin is produced by melanocytes, which are found in the stratum basale of the epidermis. Although human beings generally possess a similar concentration of melanocytes in their skin, the melanocytes in some individuals and ethnic groups more frequently or less frequently express the melanin-producing genes, thereby conferring a greater or lesser concentration of skin melanin.

And that is how it all began. Sure, we're from different parts of the world and we all have different ways of doing things, different music, dancing, holidays, religions, and beliefs. But that's just because people are different. When we all began our long journey from what is now Eastern Africa, we all looked the same. Hairy and naked. It was only because of our environments that our skin colors changed, but as the groups separated, so did their beliefs and ways of doing things. I know this is a very simple explanation of millions of years, and that there is no way of ever fully understanding another person even if you accept them completely.
If we can't get along completely, here is what I propose: You know how some very well known black comedians make fun of white people? I think that is hilarious. We are a pretty ridiculous group of people. We take ourselves too seriously. We never really let loose. We can't dance very well. We're awkward. These comedians also make fun of black people. They make fun of everyone indiscriminately. I say, instead of everyone inwardly thinking about the things they don't like about other people, why don't we just make fun of them in a friendly joking manner? If you can laugh at yourself, this could be a great way to make new friends and not worry about offending anyone. I'm not a fan of political correctness. It makes for lame conversation, not very funny jokes, and a lot of inhibited feelings that could otherwise be brought out and resolved. I propose that we all start making fun of each other. Why not?

Seeing as I've already gone on way too long about this, I'll leave you with a picture that will remind everyone that we're all ridiculous and there's nothing wrong with laughing at yourself or anyone else who does something funny. Even if they're making fun of how you talk or what you look like.


  1. I wonder if some of those groups might let you join. I don't think meetup would allow discriminatory groups to post there, or if they found out they were actually discriminatory they would remove them. Maybe the group leaders aren't thinking this way, but I could see having a Blackonomics group (like for the advancement of small business in a black neighborhood or something) for instance, because it deals with a real issue, but whoever runs that group would also have to see the benefit of allowing whites to join their cause and get to know them.

    I've been thinking about this when it comes to gender, because I do like the idea of groups for women. I've been thinking of trying to start a women critics blog network of sorts. However I would never exclude a man from the group, unless he was joining it just to be an ass. What should be the criteria for joining a social group that's predominantly not "like you"? You care about the cause or culture, you actually want to interact with the people in the group and be involved, and you think you may have something to share as a different type of person.

    There is a site called She Writes that does not exclude men, but only the most feminist dude would join it right? So they can set themselves up a little defensively (since they really want the social company of women), and probably welcome the occasional male who decides he might be able to share something with or gain something from the group.

    Perhaps the Black and Puerto Rican groups have set themselves up this way. We had ethnic social groups in college, and mostly white kids stayed away from them, but if they wanted to join they were not turned away.

  2. I bet you're right, that just because it's defining itself as a group for specific people doesn't mean they won't let others in. But I don't think I'm going to push the issue. I don't even know why I went on for so long about all this. Maybe I should just start my own group for everyone and call it "people who like people" or maybe "late 20's, some beige color, and fabulous."

  3. Hahahahaha, so would the late 20's grounp still allow an early 40's? I know you would!

  4. Of course I would. But you have to be a female screen printer to join.