(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.
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?
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