Tuesday, March 3, 2009


A friend of mine sent me an email entitled "Proud to be White", supposedly a defense speech made by actor Michael Richard (Kramer on "Seinfeld:) when he was on trial for making racial comments in his comedy act.

Please see "Proud To Be White" if you actually want to read it; the gist of it is why can everyone else can ave Black/Red/Brown/Etc Pride, but when whites do it, it's considered racist, etc. etc. etc.

I am a child of the 60's - I remember the riots in Watts especially since my brother-in-law was a firefighter in Los Angeles and was there. I remember Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches - I particularly remember his death.

Even in my lily-white high school, our two black students wore black arm bands and spoke passionately about black power. And most of us white kids thought that was great.
But it wasn't until 1983 that I actually understood racial discrimination.

That was when I first experienced it.

Living in Hawaii was incredible, and I loved everything about the islands... until I tried to get a job. And then, for the first time, I understood what Blacks/Hispanics/Asians/etc. were talking about.

I'd walk in with my resume, briefcase and power suit, take one look around and try very hard not to focus on the fact that my face was the only haole one there.

And then not get even a little bit of encouragement during the interview.
And would not get the job.

I could even understand the resentment; well-educated haoles came from the mainland, took the higher paying jobs over the locals for a couple of years while they 'vacationed', and then went right back to Minnesota or Vermont or Texas, and the money would then go to another Mainlander haoles.
But again, I don't think you can honestly understand racial prejudice until you have experienced it.

I know progress is being made. When my kids were in school, they never mentioned any color of the rainbow when talking about their friends, who did turn out sometimes to be Black, Hispanic or Asian..

And I LOVE the fact that my grandchildren are going to ask when they grow up a little bit more, "Hey, why was the election of President Obama such a big deal?"

But we still got a ways to go, a lot of ignorance to overcome, and until whites become a minority of the population here in the U.S.A., I think we better hold on any "White Pride" marches.


Annette said...

According to Snopes, Richards never made any of those statements. You could blame his stupid tirade on the demise of his career, but it didn't help that everything he did after Seinfeld flopped terribly.