As an amateur Jewish writer and funny guy that walks the line of racism and racial humor, I’ll admit I’m at first sensitive to racist outbursts from celebrities, but I don’t put much stock into them.
I don’t believe celebrities that get caught on camera saying racist remarks are actually whole-hearted racists. I believe they make mistakes.
What people say and what people do are two entirely different things. And I feel the media focuses too much on words, and they expect too much punishment from those words.
For instance, do you realize how many Jews in Hollywood were made rich by Mel Gibson’s career…?
Given that, shouldn’t we take his ONE anti-Semitic outburst, years ago, with a grain of salt?
I’m Jewish, so naturally I love salt and will agree to that proposition, and I also feel this a great trade off: One racist rant toward our people in return for millions of dollars in movie revenue. If I were a Hollywood producer I’d hire 1,000 guys like that and put up with the meaningless racist remarks.
I say it’s “meaningless” because stereotypes never affected me. Only the ‘K’-word can hurt me as a Jew, and even that wouldn’t affect me. If you used that in my presence I’d simply ignore you and walk away. I’m above racism.
Yet regardless of how much money Mel Gibson made for Jews, that shadow of racism continues to follow him wherever he goes. It’s not fair to him.
A person who has one diatribe against a particular ethnicity is not a “racist.” That person is just an idiot, whether temporarily or indefinitely.
Hitler was a racist. Plantation owners that beat their slaves were racist. But Mel Gibson?! He just had a moment.
In my estimation, most everyone behind closed doors has said something slightly racist at some point in their adult lives, even if only in jest. And if you’re reading this and you haven’t, you’re an angel and probably really, really boring.
I don’t want to give you the impression that racist rants is the entire discussion of this week’s podcast. I only briefly discuss the racist rants by Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, and Paula Deen and why I feel we should forgive or ignore these people.
Sure the aforementioned might have taken it too far in a rare moment, but the best way we, as minorities, can counter racism is to show the majority that it doesn’t affect us.
A perfect example of how to combat racism was shown by Dani Alves, a Brazilian soccer player.
An opposing fan threw a banana at him during a game. In the past, such displays of racism would result in the game being stopped by the referee and the public announcer addressing to the crowd that racism would not be tolerated. But the game wasn’t stopped this time, perhaps because Alves never alerted the referee and didn’t make a scene out of it.
Instead of insulting the fan in return, Dani Alves picked up the banana, ate it, then kicked the ball back into play.
To me that’s brilliant. Dani Alves said “fuck you” to racism without making a scene or sound.
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