Last year when Surviving R Kelly was on TV, I noticed the audience’s reaction to it via social media. Among the many tweets that I read, one in particular stood out. It was from a man who was a father of teenage daughters. As an observation, he said that his friends’ reactions to Surviving let him know who he could still be friends with.
Pleasure is an important part of the human experience. Yet there are men who prioritize satisfying their desire for physical gratification at any expense over a woman’s comfort and safety.
Certain white people bring a similar obnoxious sense of entitlement into their interactions with Black people.
Lately, I’ve been asking myself a question.
What is the meaning of America?
Success and the notion of excellence in all things are wonderful ideals. America has outstanding cities, gorgeous national parks, material goods, pockets of wealth and privilege.
There are people who defend the United States, and the mere thought of that country, with an incredible level of blind devotion. Yet any joy that one may hope to find in the American Dream is often rendered worthless when you ponder realities such as the death of George Floyd.
So again: What is the meaning of America?
In the quest to answer that query, it’s hard not to think of the nation’s roots. America’s origins are marked by violence and murderously taking advantage of others. To this day winning at all costs is portrayed as exciting.
Meanwhile, in the fight to dismantle racism, I’ve been engaged in an interesting discussion related to free speech vs hate speech. I don’t believe there’s any defence for a person’s right to use hate speech. Simply put, someone else’s desire to say whatever they like does not matter more than my survival.
Some may cling to the right to use racist language, or their predilection for perpetrating abuse. And racism is the ultimate form of culturally embedded abuse. Regardless of people’s preferred form of evil, they need to stop letting their determination to satisfy their egos override the rights of others.