Posted by kabeezy-comic
on March 5, 2009 at 2:31 PM
I want to apologize for my first response, since I see you are taking
this more seriously than I had thought you were, so you certainly
deserve a serious, and very thorough response.
Let's break this down.
We must first observe that "borderline" is a construction. Whether
its an individual imposing boundaries on oneself of a collective
mentality of drawing lines of what's appropriate or not, we must agree
that there will always be dissent. Just like you are one who finds
dissent with my humor. As exemplified by the laughter in the audience,
and the feedback on my blogpost, there are those who did not find such
a "borderline" with my material (unless we are talking about the
borderline between emitting an audible chuckle and giving a full
applause! jk!) But really, don't you agree that these borders you speak
of were not shared by the entirety of the audience? Thus, when using
"borderline" as a reference point for how racist I was, perhaps you
could provide a clearer context as to what social norms and collective
beliefs you feel set these particular borders, so I can understand why
this is a significant argument that I should truly take into
consideration. With no frame of reference, all I can assume is
that these borders simply lie in the world of You. Am I wrong? Provide
me with the narratives of others...perhaps those who you were with. You
mention they were "Asian" and "Indian"...why can't they just be your
friends, and not friends of a certain race? Way to be racist Lila!
jk...but not really.
You found it offensive that I made a joke showing my dislike of
being associated w/ Middle Easterners. Have you ever been Indian at an
airport before? I have to take off my clothes behind security walls,
while my lighter skin counterparts (perhaps yourself?) get to walk
right on by and get on your flight, or maybe get a little snack at
starbucks yippy!! Of course, I don't like being mistaken for being
Middle Eastern, primarily because a) I'm not, and that's racist to
think I am because the way I look, and b) Middle Easterners are not
Indian, and hence it is rude to them as well for the same reason. The
choosing the category of Asian over Middle Eastern is a simple
reflection on the fact of the persecution that Middle Easterners face
due to past events that did not concern the vast majority of them as
individuals. Middle Easterners are often associated with incidents of
"terrorism" that they played absolutely no part in. Ask them. They
being associated with it. So why should I? So, Asian it is, take it easy.
Does it offend you that I use the word "brown" ? what color is my
skin? Are we above acknowledging the color of our skins now? Does a
lime get mad that I call it green to distinguish it from a lemon? If
fruit get mad about hearing colors, it must be hard being an orange,
ay? ay?? Look, I didn't invent the word brown, nor am I the first to
use it in regards to skin. Bottom line is, people understand what I say
when I use it. Should we get mad at an African American when he/she
calls herself black? Please, tell me what you think..
Again, on issues of skin color, yes I acknowledge the lead female
dancer on the Berkeley team as being "white" in an Indian dance event.
Earning the lead role, and not even being from the culture that the
dance originates? What a feat! The praise was implicit and explicit. I
did no such thing as downplaying her talent. I just made a racial
observation. Shall we not acknowledge such things out loud? I wonder if
anyone in that room noticed, inside their heads, that she was white, in
and Indian dance event. Okay, obviously everyone did. You didn't You?
Really? Okay, taking it a step further, how many people do you think
whispered to their friends that "wow, the lead dancer is white." I know
in my heart that there was at least 10 people who did so. I know
because I saw all those 10 people whispering backstage. So imagine
amongst the 2,000 in the audience, how many also made an audible
observation. But what, the host cannot say such things? I
believe that the laughter that resulted speaks for itself.
Hey , on the topic of racial observations, have you ever been at
Fry's and a "caucasian male" approached you to ask about cameras? Oh,
wait, have you ever been Indian? Really, should I have not been there
on that day when it happened to me? Or, no sorry, that is ridiculous,
of course i can't take back what happened, but i see what you are
trying to say, i shouldn't tell anyone about what happened to me...god
forbid i make another poor white person sound ignorant.
The moment we are censored from observing reality is the moment that we embrace ignorance.
Raced based allegiance is a reality...i am an observer of
reality...should we not make observations such to reinforce reality
even further? Should we not observe that 2 + 2 = 4, so to not reinforce
its harsh reality? You are making two invalid assumptions. First, you
assume that just because we observe something, we reinforce it. Not
true. MLK Jr. observed racial inequality and injustice, not to
reinforce it, but to address it, and change it. Result: the Civil
Rights movement. Secondly, you assume that these realities are
inherently bad. I'm not saying they are good, but it's your choice to
view them as bad. Obviously, not all white people are ignorant . But
let's face it, there are some white people (just as there are people
within all races), who are relatively less interested in the fine
details of cultures other than their own. Is this a bad thing? It is
what, it is. I am single, living at home with my parents at 24 years
old, and am
on the computer after midnight addressing an e-mail that attempts
to insult my choice of path in comedy, which I feel is my best choice.
Is that a bad thing? I'm having fun right now. And I'm not going to
lie, I'm drinking!!!
What stereotype of "incompetency" do you speak of? It is not clear
at all. Proofread, proofread. jk! Take it easy Kabeezy! But really, if
this were a term paper, you'd be docked a few. I don't go to Berkeley
so I have an excuse.
You declared that I attributed athletic and academic ability to
race. This is invalid. I made no statement of causation; I simply
acknowledged a correlation. You understand the difference right? Do you
see Indians on ESPN? Other than in the spelling bee? Why do you think I
wrote this joke? Because I wanted to make one in 2,000 people at a
distant future gig angry? No, because I observed it. It happened to me.
Noticing a pattern here? You seem to want to silence my narrative. Why?
I would never wish to silence yours, Lila. Heck, I posted it to the
whole world on my website.
Who mentioned inferiority? I just said, you don't see indians in
sports on t.v. Again, who said thats a bad thing? That was you. That
was you!! I made no statement of brawns over brains, so no need for a
person who feels they have more brains than brawns to feel bad...I've
always felt I have neither, so there. I suck at most sports, and I
couldn't even graduate community college. How do you think that feels?
Should I not be talking about this. Too real?
Beleive it or not, I construct borderlines too. After all I am
human. And the place where you crossed my borderline is where you
employed the use of the word "tolerant" in the context that you did. I
was shocked, given the nature of your letter, and the intentions I
thought you had. "Tolerant"? Really? Do you mean "tolerant" as in
"tolerant" of minorites and the opressed? "Tolerant" of African
Americans, "tolerant" of gays, lesbians, bisexuals? We "tolerate" them
as in we accept them? Is that what you mean? REALLY? You are going to
employ the use of the word in the context that reinforces the ideas
that such individuals are different from the norm, but yet we should be
so nice as to "tolerate" their difference? We the imperial hegemony
that resides within Berkeley shall "tolerate" the "Other"? Let's just
marginalize them with the use of the word "tolerant" while we are at
it! If Berkeley was in fact "tolerant" in the true denotation of
the word, then Berkeley would in the least "tolerate" the discourse that I presented at the show last Saturday.
your fervor in this cause of deconstructing my material only
suggests one of the following: a) you feel the need to rebel against
something for the sake of rebellion (common to Berkeley Freshman, are
you a Freshman?), b) you are taking low course load this semester (13
units maybe?), or c) a latent physical attraction to me, possibly
undetectable to even yourself at this point. In any of the above cases,
here is my number: (510) 299-0788.
I thank you for your attention,