I’m not much a filmmaker, and in fact, I’m not really one at all, and if there are any doubts, this video montage I threw together should dissuade anyone from calling me that. This is not fancy or slick, but it brings together two videos I glimpsed in this cranny of the blogosphere over the past 24 hours. Laid side by side like a pair of jaded lovers, they illustrate the contrary concepts of big bad racism. On the one hand, you have the hot blonde co-ed from UCLA making some classically egregious and un-PC observations about Asian students on her campus (ostensibly, Chinese), and in the other, you have video nabbed from an accidental surveillance camera in Houston which recorded the tail end of an automobile pursuit and the subsequent pummeling of the “suspected” black car thief. I’ve interspersed scenes from both. I think this is actually a bit clever, if not charming.
Get it? The dichotomy, and the parallels? The irony?
Well, anyways, this video spans what I see as two points on the racism continuum. On the one hand, you have the thought-crime racism, the kind that rarely goes beyond the lips or transcends the falsity of the Youtube bandwidth. Generally harmless and occasionally amusing, and elaborately fantastic when issued from the mouth of a buxom babe, one can almost argue that this brand of racism is not really racism. It’s merely “opinion.” Whatever. Racism is racism. And on the other extreme, you have racism of the flagrant and physically destructive sort seen in the Houston video. Now there are people who would argue this is not racism either; that it’s only a case of police brutality (and there also those who would argue that it’s not even that…). They would argue we cannot conclude from the video whether the police treated the subdued suspect like this because he was black, a car thief, or a pursuit suspect. I would venture all of the above; the degree of racism involved varies from bad cop to bad cop.
We are all racists. My definition of a racist is anyone whose perception of a race’s behaviors differs or contrasts from their opinion of the human race as a whole. It is this difference in perception between the race in question and of the human race, this shaded area of overlap, that represents the racist zone. Any group you expect different behavior from as compared to any other race is consequently the focus of your racism. We are all racists. The putatively infamous racist of lore is the one who takes this nuanced view of a specific race or races to harmful and disruptive levels. In this respect, Blonde Chick is harmless since her anomie is confined to stupid vlogging. I bet she even has a few Asian friends among her Bruin coterie. The racism that plays itself out in police brutality is not so pretty and definitely lacks boobage appeal.