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Monday, June 26, 2006
Why? Why is this funny?
I was having a conversation with an old friend on MSN the other day. She's a die-hard Argentina fan so we were discussing the game this past weekend (Arg vs Mex).

She says:
its so funny my friend's daughter, 4 yrs., was watching the game with us
and my freind was rooting for mexico
and so she pointed out one of them and asked her daughter, you like him? he has nice hair
so she said No Mama he's Black
and then she said and all of them are brown, i dont like them
it was soooooooooooooooo funny! HAHAHAHA!

Blocked. I didn't want to continue the conversation.

Nothing, I repeat NOTHING, infuriates me more than racism. I get angry at religious bigotry and my nostrils will start flaring at sexism, but racist remarks make my blood boil. As excited as I am about the World Cup, I am aware of the racism that accompanies it and often feel guilty enjoying a sport where black players are habitually taunted. (Nick Hornby in "Fever Pitch" touches on this in a much better manner than I ever could).

I never attended my college graduation. I didn't go because of a racist comment made during our rehearsal. It was early in the morning and I'm already terribly cranky in the morning, so I knew that anything would set me off. We were sitting in our seats as the provost was telling us something or the other. No one was paying attention. I personally wanted to be back in bed. Why in the world was I at a rehearsal? Why do I need to practice walking up on a stage, grabbing a diploma, and walking back to my seat? Where's the logic in that?

So the deal was that we sit and wait for our section to be called so we can go up on the stage and walk back down. They were going to start with the masters students first and then go through the undergrads in alphabetical order, which meant I had a long wait. So here I am, sitting, daydreaming. (I was, at that time, contemplating between staying in Egypt or returning to NY to start grad school...I had a lot to think about). The M.A. candidates that year included one woman from Ghana who had finished a degree in Political Science. She was very dark and as she walked up on stage you could actually feel her happiness, her pride in her hard work. There was a glow to her face. As she walked across the stage I heard from behind me,

"Hey, you know how we're going to know it's her during the ceremony?"


"We'll see her teeth when she smiles!"

Cackles all around me. I was pissed. Pissed at the comment and more pissed at the fact that people actually laughed. I didn't expect anyone to tell him off or anything, but I also didn't expect that THAT many people would get such a kick out of his comment. I turned around and told him that he wasn't funny and that I'm actually ashamed to be graduating with such assholes. And then I got up and walked out. A couple of days later I saw him at the registrar when I went to pick up my diploma. He apologized to me and admitted that the "joke" was in bad taste.

Now, I AM able to enjoy politically incorrect jokes. I'm even able to enjoy politically incorrect jokes directed towards women, Arabs, or Muslims (I've had many a hearty laughs at their expense). I'm not a tight ass. But there are lines that just should never be crossed.

Everyone knows this about me. In a testimonial to my Friendster profile (yes...I belonged to Friendster at one point, but I draw the line at MySpace) composed by Toots (who knows me too, too well) he says: a snarling wolverine, especially if you slight her a) gender b) friends c) the weak and the ugly. The plus side is you know she has your back. What's intriguing is that she's as sweet as a hostess twinkie and just as soft...if you can ever get past the snarling wolverine bit. Generous to a fault, curious mind and all about her creature comforts: mess with her food, her sleep or her head and she will engage 'cranky' mode and you'll be sucked in like a fishing boat in a whirlpool.

SO. End of my rant. Point is, if you're going to engage in any kind of injustice I suggest you stay at least fifteen feet away from me. Your safety can't be guaranteed otherwise.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 8:40 PM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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