When I hear about a plane crash there are a few things that cross my mind.
I freak out and hope that neither a relative or a friend or a loved one was hurt or killed. I then widen the scope of my freakout and hope nobody was hurt or killed. If I then find out that people were indeed hurt and/or killed, I send out prayers to to them and their families. That’s what I do.
Apparently, an unfortunately large segment of Americans set aside whatever empathy they may
or may not have had for their fellow human beings and took to social media with bare naked racism in regards to the recent plane crash at the San Francisco Airport.
It is not very often that I am caught by surprise by racist antics from my fellow Americans. I was caught by surprise by this. It was the furthest thing from my mind. It had simply not occurred to me to 1) view the crash through a racial lens, 2) predict that other people would and thus be prepared for the internet shenaniganery that immediately ensued.
Public Shaming Tumblr documents the racism. If you can stomach it.
And speaking of public shaming. Elon James White, Managing Director of the amazing This Week in Blackness went on a one-man crusade individually calling out all the racist tweets he could find and putting them on notice.
I couldn’t have done it. That is just another example of why TWiB Rocketh Mighty.
Just recently we had a little discussion of sorts via comments on my Cloud Atlas Post, about my distaste and disappointment of certain portrayals of Asians in that movie. Their use of rubber eyelids on non-Asian actors in my opinion was a lazy choice typical of Hollywood, and a complete race fail.
If you think the reaction to an Asian airline crashing, and the production choices made on a million dollar movie are not related, then I pity you the shallow existence you must be living.
You aren’t Asian, Miz Awake, why do you even care about these things?
I care because I’m human, and when I see other human beings targeted with bigotry, hate, indifference and ignorance, I have to at least say something. I don’t have to be exactly like another living being in order to have empathy for them, to have compassion, to be able to recognize right from wrong.
And truth be told, I try to keep an eye on, point out, fight against the injustices I see effecting others, because how else to even begin to stop the madness? Or you could look at it this way:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
I actually personally don’t subscribe to that sentiment, in that it speaks a bit selfishly, but whatever gets people to stand up and take notice. I do the things I do, not because of fear that things will come full circle – Let Them Come – but because I fear for humanity, I fear for this country, and I fear the future.
We cannot as a nation become prosperous and advance ourselves if we continue to dehumanize large segments of our population. Our rampant xenophobia notwithstanding. We are becoming increasingly insular in this global community, and I can’t see how that is going to make our country great.
I know it is a sort of blasphemy to speak about America as if it is not Great. America has great potential. That is where our greatness has always been, in my opinion. We have not yet lived up to our potential.
I know full well that other nations have their issues as well, and I know there is no Perfect Place on This Earth. But if we think that having the biggest baddest armed forces is enough to keep us relevant and a so-called super power, then we need to think again. 9/11 should have been a wake up call, and it sure wasn’t. Over a decade later we have people on hunger strikes, being tortured by way of force feedings as a direct result of how we reacted.
We have an appalling death toll that is our responsibility as a direct result of how we reacted. I don’t even know how we can fix things, but I want to put it out there, that nothing – NOTHING – occurs within a vacuum, and our actions and reactions have global and lasting consequences. And lasting consequences for this country too, which should go without saying.