Four Statements

28Apr08

I hate rap, but I love Eminem.

I hate country music, but I love Charlie Pride.

I hate rap, but I love the Beastie Boys.

I hate basketball, but I love Bryant Reeves.

Are all four of these statements equally ridiculous? Removing sexual attraction from the mix, my instincts want to go with ‘yes, yes they are’, but, as always, there are two lines of reasoning one could employ in order to explain such apparently racist nonsense, while also disregarding the fact that statement #2 has most likely never been uttered and would likely be met with a response of ‘Charlie who?’ As well, statement four is more a sad attempt at comic relief than anything else — unless, of course, you happen to be Bryant ‘Big Country’ Reeves’ parents.

But I digress.

The first line of reasoning is simple: how can one arrive at a logically sound value judgment of an entire medium or oeuvre, be it sports, art or contract killing, while completely disregarding any and all of its defining aesthetic or structural characteristics to focus instead on qualities (i.e ethnicity) extraneous to the essence of the object in question? Simple — one cannot without making apparent one’s belief that race, religion or creed is the basis of any essential character. Now, I realize that a firm grasp of logic is no longer a prerequisite for citizenship within a quote-unquote civilized society (and probably never was, outside of ancient Greece), but this is ridiculous. The simple fact of the matter is, if you can utter any of the above statements with a straight face, you are either a liar, a racist, or maybe just someone who doggedly roots for the underdog, perceived or actual.

Dang! That sounds kind of racist.

But I guess we all are on some level and will be until the human brain can no longer distinguish between racial signs. This is not to say that we all wish death upon the ‘other’, but the mere act of assigning value to ethnicity is in and of itself a racist action by definition. So unless one has the luxury of having lived in an existential void for the duration of one’s earthly visitation, it is impossible not to bring the whole of history and ingrained parental/community-borne intellectual conditioning to bear on any racially charged line of thought.

Am I making any sense? Probably not.

Which reminds me, I had earlier made mention of another line of reasoning that would rubbish any notion that these four statements are intrinsically tied to race…

turns out there isn’t.

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