Written and Illustrated by Koriander Bullard
Racial injustice has been illustrated to me very well recently.
MMA fighter Kimbo Slice died suddenly on June 6th. Reports are inconclusive, but ESPN is claiming he may have been waiting for a heart transplant at the time of his sudden death. Just three days earlier, Muhammad Ali had also died after a long battle against Parkinson's syndrome with the official cause rumored to be septic shock while he was hospitalized.
And just how did the internet offer their condolences?
By posting a meme of the two fighters in Heaven, being refereed by Harambe the Gorilla.
And why was the gorilla chosen?
Because Harambe died recently too. And Blacks and gorillas look alike. Ha ha” said the internet.
And who said we should get over it and like the jokes?
The Caucasians who made the joke, and then encouraged their non-ethnic friends to laugh at this “joke” which hasn't been funny since the 1930's.
Just a week earlier, my husband and I went out on a date night to watch the new X-Men movie, X-Men Apocalypse. On a post-film walk to the local Speedway for a soda, we watched a white pick-up truck slam against a bumper in front of the store, while a white car parked dangerously close behind it.
A large woman came out of the car, slamming the door behind her. She went to the pick-up truck, ripped open the door, and started screaming at an elderly man and the young lady inside the truck. Clearly fearful, the younger woman took a stuffed animal and ran inside the Speedway while the large woman shouted obscenities at her, then turned back to the old man.
Taking a deep breath, the woman screamed at the top of her lungs “I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU LEFT ME FOR THAT N****R LOVING WHORE!!”
She then drags the old man out of the truck to scream at him, while the younger woman sneaks back inside the truck and slams the door. The larger woman then races to her car, speeding up and blocking the truck from leaving safely. The elderly man drives onto the curb, turns the car, almost hitting another parked car, and has to see-saw himself out of the spot to get away from the mad woman.
As the old man tried to get away, I kissed my husband and snapped a selfie mid-kiss. The flash of my ZTE Maven caught the attention of the mad woman, who started screaming in our direction that the world was going to “Hell” in a hand-basket, because of savage N****r lovers. She was starring at my tan when she said it.
After the Jerry Springer fugitives left, I overheard someone saying from afar “Now yew don't mind people like her. Bless her heart, she's just ignorant. She don't know no better.”
I beg to differ. She appeared to be old enough to remember the 1980's. That makes her old enough to not only know better but to behave better as well.
Returning to Muhammad Ali for a spell, the internet has been re-tweeting a tweet from Donald Trump from December 6th, 2015:
“Obama said in his speech that Muslims are our sports heroes. What sport is he talking about, and who? Is Obama profiling?”
June 3rd, he's not only posting an “RIP Ali” tribute on his page, he announces the next day that he intends to attend the services for Muhammad Ali, and expects the family to embrace him.
His fans are demanding we like, accept, love and laugh at his words and cheer him on for supporting his racist, anti-Muslim sentiments.
This is where we are at with the state of racism in the United States. People on the internet are demanding and insisting we view these random acts of ignorance as “harmless jokes” instead of the clear and obvious prejudices that they actually are.
Left and right, we are being denied the right to protest this verbal abuse. When we stand up against prejudice, we're told we're acting “butthurt” and we're being too “soft” and easily offended.
The definition of rape culture and rape acceptance is that we are supposed to lie down, take this abuse and like it.
Now even a 3rd grader can tell you that this is not sexual assault, and certainly not even in the same ballpark as actual rape.
But this rampant, unwarranted, unwanted racial injustice is a rape on our senses as adults. Our minds are being assaulted, our senses attacked, and we are expected to accept and like it?
No. And no means no.
As Americans and as adults, our job is to say “no” to this injustice and fight back. To set a better example for the rest of the world and to raise our children to accept the fact that this is unacceptable and contradictory to America being the great melting pot as we are told it is in public school.
And yet ever since Barack Obama became president, this type of blatant, juvenile disregard for human tolerance, has become a plague. Not only are we accepting the abuse, we are teaching out youth to accept and produce the same, if not worse abuse in the form of these tasteless comments. It's gotten so out of hand, that hardly a year of Obama's twin term run has gone by without at least one news story about minors under the age of 17 being caught wearing blackface on school grounds as a
harmless prank” and rampant are the ills of tweens and teenagers on social media, mimicking their parents' monkey and gorilla jokes, simply because they are told it can;t hurt anybody, because it's a meme and not a bomb.
We are living in a backwards society. Strong are those who protest and stand against the current of racial intolerance, weak are the pebbles that float aimlessly down it's river.
Koriander Bullard is an author, cartoonist and human rights advocate. Keep up with her on Facebook!