NROP: #ITakeResponsibility and all that jazz; Ways to make the world a better place.

(My apologies for not being able to respond to some of your comments from last week. I promise that I will do so shortly.)

As I was listening to an Internet radio station over the weekend, I found out that the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum will now be Lady A. The reason for the name change is simple – current issues related to racism. The group realized that they were being insensitive and not inclusive by having ‘Antebellum’ in their name, which they came up with almost 15 years ago. Their band’s first photoshoot occurred in an Antebellum style house, which served as inspiration for the name. The group wanted it to be a nod towards their influence – music from the South.

Ante bellum, from Latin, means ‘before the war.’ That, in the U.S., has come to mean ‘before the Civil War.’ Antebellum style is associated with plantation mansions and slavery.

When I heard about the news, I rolled my eyes. You might call me privileged because when I hear “Lady Antebellum,” I think of their songs and not slavery. However, that is not the only reason why this piece of news seemed slightly odd to me. Another part of me wanted to ask: “Why now?” Racism is a topic of conversation that has come up quite a bit in the past few years.

We have heard of photos of plantation weddings being banned from Pinterest.

We have read all about the ‘kneeling during the National Anthem‘ at football games.

We have discussed removing monuments dedicated to people who owned slaves. (Be afraid people. Even if you cure cancer, someone, 300 years from now, might decide that you do not deserve any recognition because you drove a car.)

Thankfully, Lady A does address that question in the article I linked up above. They apologize for not seeing this issue sooner. Basically, “better late than never.” Is it going a step too far if I tell you that when I heard the news, I immediately thought of my name? “Does it sound like a name a slave owner would have?” (This is off-topic, but feel free to share the meaning behind your name in the comment section.)

“Without republican order, there is no security or freedom, and this order is ensured by police officers and gendarmes,” Macron said.

It surprised me to read that the French President, Emmanuel Macron, refused to take down statues related to the colonial era. How would getting rid of statues help? What do you feel when you look at a statue? What do you think about when you do so? To me, looking at a statue I mostly about aesthetics. Are they on a horse? Do they have accessories? What kind of stance are they in? Etc. They, I briefly think of what the history books said about them and then move on. I do not dwell on their entire life. I did not know them. It would be different if it was a statue of someone who killed my family member. THAT would be personal. It is not.

Some might say that I do not care because “my people” were not affected by that person. Sure. I still look at statues of war criminals who killed my ancestors while eating popcorn. No, it is not because I am calloused. It is because it had nothing to do with M.E. Does that make me selfish? I like to think it makes me ‘reasonable.’

So far, we have talked about the weird news (Lady Antebellum -> Lady A), the unexpected (Macron), and now it is time to do the ridiculous. An opinion columnist for Yahoo backs the idea of reparation. He thinks that African-Americans should be paid reparations for potentially being slave descendants. The author lists a few reasons why this is a good idea. They all stirred up a reaction in me. I wonder how you will feel about it.

First of all, he mentions that since the government approved relief funds in the wake of COVID-19, then it has enough money for reparations. Next time, when the economy comes to a grinding halt, do not expect a $1,200 stimulus check because the government will know better. They gave an inch and you want a whole mile. This is why people stop their positive actions – because it is never enough.

Secondly, the author says that only about 40% of African-Americans own a home (vs. 70% of Caucasian). It goes on to say that people would not be inclined to loot and burn places if they had a stake in all of it. (I.E. If people owned a house they would not burn it.) Do I own a house? No. Would I like one from the government? Sure. Do I damage things just because I do not have them but others do? No…

Apparently, reparations are also needed because the unemployment rate among the African-American communities is higher than among the Caucasians. I said it in the past, and I will say it again – Yes, I would prefer not to work if I still had money flowing in. It is a harsh world out there but I will not blame you for me not wanting to work.

Clearly, there is a lot of tension in this country (and not only). So, what are some of the people doing to alleviate that strain? The Bachelor franchise announced that their next bachelor will be Matt James, who happens to be black. A former Bachelorette spoke up regarding that decision. In her mind, casting Matt James as the next Bachelor is like posting a black box on social media (i.e. it changes nothing). Rachel was the first African-American Bachelorette (season 13), while Matt is the first African-American (season 25).

The Bachelor franchise definitely chose Matt to be their next lead because “it was time.” I really dislike doing something just to make myself look good, which is why I frowned a little when I read about it. But I know why they did it. They wanted to stay relevant, and they wanted to show that they care. Whether it is genuine or not is a whole other story. Rachel essentially dissed #BlackoutTuesday, and I have to agree with her. While it does show solidarity, it changes absolutely nothing. It is an empty statement.

The funniest (not really) news of all is thanks to our beloved celebrities to decided to “take responsibility” for what is going on in the world. Like we have not seen their hypocrisy before…

In a two minute long video, a group of celebrities claims to “take responsibility” for things like “every not so funny joke,” for ignoring things instead of calling it out, for stereotypes, for remaining silent, for “turning a blind eye.” They further say that they “are done watching them [African-Americans] die.” They promise to not allow racist jokes in their presence. How noble. Right? Why did it take so long for you to get to this point? Did your parents not teach you to stand up for what you believe in when you were young? Mine did. But, I guess “better late than never.”

As an answer to that video, “Dear White People” (Netflix series) decided to post a video of their own (parody). One girl apologizes for “being white, and pretty, and desirable to men of all races.”

Do I take responsibility for my actions? Absolutely! Every. Single. Day. Do I post a video about it? No. I just do. I have been taught be humble and kind. I do not like stroking my own ego. I do not feel the need to have people tell me I am a good person. If I am doing something good, I know about it and that is what matters. If I do something wrong… I know about it, too.

Just as a side note: Albinos in Africa are being treated unfairly because of their skin color. Since Asians have a lighter skin color, coronavirus has been labeled as a “white man’s disease.” People with albinism have to go into hiding so as not to be persecuted, as they are labeled “corona.”

Do you feel that “Lady A” sounds more inclusive and sensitive than Lady Antebellum?

Do you take responsibility?

How do you fight injustice every day?

When do you think we will be able to focus on the present instead of the past?

Stay golden,

SGK signature.png.

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27 thoughts on “NROP: #ITakeResponsibility and all that jazz; Ways to make the world a better place.

Add yours

  1. When it comes to taking down monuments that remind us of slavery and other historical events, I believe that they shouldn’t be taken down. There’s no better way than to be reminded of what they signified, what they represent, what they now mean, and what we are today compared to the time when those things were “celebrated”. We should be looking at them differently instead of “censoring” them…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think it’s easier to be “reasonable” about the situation with statues when the boot isn’t on your neck. I come from a long line of privilege. I am a white, upper-middle-class woman who comes from a long line of white, upper-middle-class or better people. We are English and Irish, once you get past the the grandparents, for as far as the eye can see. Unless I go back to Roman invasions, there is no one really who has done to me and mine. I cannot relate much to oppression; I’ve never been oppressed because of my skin. There’s the whole “female” thing but it’s not equivalent. Women of colour have an even worse burden. For me, the statues are irrelevant. But I have that privilege. At least, that’s my opinion. I wouldn’t destroy them. I would put them in museums with write-ups about their complicated legacies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love your comment.

      Destroying the statue achieves nothing in the long term, the history has passed and is what it is. Erecting them in a museum with a detailed note with the truth of the matter concerning who they were and what they did would do so much for future generations in terms of education and awareness.
      Then again, I get the anger as a woman of colour, and in the moment physically destroying the statue will have done something for the protesting collective in terms of the material destruction of something that represented oppression.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. We are being asked to question so much. As far as celebrities making a stand, for Black Lives Matter or another chance to promote themselves. I agree with pulling down the statues these people represented evil and the spread of it. I do not believe in glorifying or honouring them. I am white with a long line of different European nationalities. I have always viewed everyone as equal regardless of race. I live in Egypt and the Nubians call me Corona and I have found ways of telling them about who they are. My Chinese neighbour is too afraid to leave her home, this is wrong. Sick minds are far worse than the Corona virus. I believe this is what the virus has done brought down the veils on evil so all can see.

    Goldie very good post very balanced view points.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is extremely personal for me.
    Each time I mention the war that destroyed my family, people tell me I am “lucky for being too young to witness the war myself” and “I should look to the past and appreciate what I have now”.
    But somehow I do get reminded each time about slavery of 200 years ago. Or even how sensitive my generation is about the WW2.
    One war is not worse than the other just because it gets more media attention!

    I always thought Lady Antebellum was a bit of an awkward name to be honest, but more because of the “Lady” part (that sounds weird, I know 😉)

    How do I fight injustice?
    I avoid (talking to) people, because I know everything I say makes me hypocrite anyhow. And I am tired of being blamed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh and there is this:
      I have long enough in DK and NL to see how Germans are treated by both countries.
      I lost the count of the amount of times my colleagues would make a Hitler remark.
      How’s that for racism or discrimination?!?!
      Newsflash: a regular German citizen does NOT equal Hitler!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The beautiful thing about history, is that we get to make our own. Slaying demons, as it were.
    Lady A is likely doing just that. Maybe it started as a message of not forgetting, but now just seems inflammatory. I think it’s a great change to make over the pile of privileged, white celebrities gaggled together trying to think of something to say for themselves. Better than posting a blackout pic on the socials.
    Reparations should be considered. I’m not suggesting anyone be gifted a whole house for nothing. However, just like there are educational programs tailored to people of color, I think there could be something just to remove some barriers to homeownership. Honestly, I haven’t encountered a home buyer yet that didn’t do so by significant help of their parents. It really is an issue where the previous generations’ misfortune directly affects the lives of this one.
    I see a lot of famous rappers and sports figures of color taking their oodles of money and helping villages in Africa get electricity and shoes. I also see them throwing money into scholarships, improving neighborhoods, and making a direct economic impact at home. Did any of those privileged white actors go help small business owners recover from the riots? I bet at least one sports figure has done something along those lines, and they don’t go looking for media sensation over it, either.
    I think the statues coming down is to be expected. Aside from riots, it’s a pretty standard act when a group of people are pissed at a government.
    Again, blacking out screens and such is a bit impotent for the situation. We really need forward thinking actions, like changing a name or putting your excess where there is not enough. The resentment needs to be put aside, and reparations have to be offered to get past it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I see what you mean reagrding home ownership. However, it’s not only a problem for African-Americans. I’ve had no financial help from my parents since I became an adult/ moved out/etc and never will. I’m facing the same issues but I am Caucasian. Am I at a disadvantage? Yes. Do I know plenty of people who are… mature and yet rely on their parents? Yes. What do I do? Live the best life that I can.

      This is not to cry about what I don’t have. It’s about circumstance. There are people from all walks of life in every group. Why help one more than the other.

      Like

  6. You have a lot of good points here. My big problem with so much of this is that I doubt that people really care more than they previously have, everything is about virtue signaling now. Does anyone care about the fairly generic name of a country music band? No. Does said band get some good press coverage for changing their name? You bet. Does the press coverage help their album sales? Almost certainly. Do black boxes on instagram make life better for black people? No way. Do they signal to all of your instagram followers that you have the correct opinion on race? Absolutely. Does The Bachelor get warms kudos for having a black bachelor? Yes. Does it change anything for black people? No.

    We live in a myopic, self-centered world. And we care more about feeding our own egos than genuinely trying to help people who are at a a disadvantage in our society.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are so, so right. Having studied rhetoric and the social psychology of virtue signaling, I have to agree 100% with you: for many people, it is not about doing something that matters, but about appearing to do something that appears to matter. And the reason we spend so much time and energy pouring into these appearances is because we are ultimately more interested in our ego than in achieving a tangible difference in the world. Spot on.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. So much to talk about on this post, but I will comment on a little. I think Lady A is capitalizing on free publicity, as people do in the entertainment business. Do you have a slave name? I don’t know. What I do know is you didn’t name yourself and, can change it at any time. But that wouldn’t change the world so leave it. (so we don’t get confused)

    Statues of important people that were slave owners don’t bother me, but they bring back memories to some of how it used to be. I’m currently reading a novel by Bettye Kearse. Stories of her Great Grand Mother came to life for her when she visited a museum with a plantation/slavery theme. Maybe we shouldn’t memorialize people in stone…since nobody is perfect. (like the guy who solves cancer in the future, but drove a car…a gas-operated car.)

    There is more to comment on… but I will pass the torch to someone else.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely! Any publicity is good publicity.

      I was never a fan of statues really. Unless they are more a work of art than anything.

      Thanks for reading and sharing some of your thoughts on the matter.

      Like

  8. I have to say that I don’t agree with reparations. First of all anyone who thinks the government has an endless money supply does not understand economics. The more money they print the less value it has, so the more prices go up. Have you noticed how prices have gone up since the pandemic. We have.
    Secondly I don’t think giving someone a free house gives them a stake in the community. I don’t think people put a high value on something that is free. I actually think that is one of the problems with public education in this country. If people had to pay for their children’s education I think they would make sure the children were attending classes and doing their assignments. We did not pay for our girls to go to college largely because we thought they would appreciate it more and apply themselves more if they paid for it themselves.
    Lastly I think that people who work a job and are able to support themselves will have more self confidence / feel better about themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Once again, spot on. And since my name, “Shiloh,” is the name of a Civil War battle, I might be in deep trouble pretty soon!

    The thing that has become increasingly clear as America has aged is that racism cannot be cured by policy. Racist acts can be outlawed (and they are!), but raci-sm is a condition of the heart that no amount of legislation, affirmative action, or political correctness can fix because they are all EXTERNAL. The human heart is home to all kinds of evil, racism being one of them. And these evils can only be eliminated by an INTERNAL transformation of an individual’s heart, when he or she recognizes the innate dignity of every human because of our common Maker. And, as you say, at the end of the day, we take responsibility for our own actions and the condition of our own hearts– and we should do so regardless of whether mainstream culture smiles on us for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. First I feel we have a long way to go to start healing… Things were buried and not dealt with but but they did not know they were seeds now we get surprised when bloom.

    It’s been 40 years after our independence and we have statues of Cecil John Rhodes and David Livingstone that people demand they be taken done had a movent that even wanted his grave exhumed and bones sent back.
    Recently had street names changed to current president and other heroes (but yeah the name change didn’t take,) likr seriously why not build your own road or airport or school or monument.
    There will always be someone who will be quick to take advantage of emotion and find publicity.

    ~B

    PS What’s with statues????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sending bones back? That’s on a whole other level of insanity in my book.

      There definitely is an issue but we are approaching it too emotionally and you just said it so well.

      I know! Why statues? I don’t remember when the last time when I passed one was.

      Like

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