Many right-wing commentators insist again and again that there is no more racism in America if we have a black president and black attorney general.
On Friday, Maher said, “He’s just asking conservative to say ‘We admit there is a problem.’ Can we get that?”
Unless people are walking in Klan robes and burning crosses in the middle of the street, he said, conservatives are loath to admit that there is any evidence of racism anywhere.
Here's a further example as CNN host Don Lemon's finds himself having to justify his own experiences to a White Conservative commentator.
“It’s not paranoia,” replied Lemon. “Ben, simply just from… a place of, it’s not entitlement, but you’re at a place in society…”This is often how people who haven't walked a mile and shoes of a black man react. They think there being oversensitive or whining.
“Oh, I came from poverty, so I don’t think I’m entitled,” interrupted Ferguson.
“Yes, but you’re still have a certain entitlement as a white person that many people of color don’t have.” Lemon replied. “You don’t see that?”
Ferguson countered, again, with his humble beginnings, but Lemon interrupted. “Scratch that, scratch that, I should say a place of privilege,” he said. “I should say a place of privilege, not a place of entitlement. And you’re filtering it through a place of privilege that you don’t understand. Your privilege does not allow you to see certain biases and certain circumstances in society. And what I said on the air yesterday, let me finish, what I said on the air yesterday was that I hoped that you would sleep on it and at least think about it before having a knee-jerk reaction to what the President was saying — the most powerful African-American in the world — telling you that there is an issue and you’re telling him that his circumstances and what he sees and what he lives is not valid. And that is insulting to do that.”
“Well, I didn’t have a knee-jerk reaction,” said Ferguson.
The problem that Don is trying to describe is something that actually goes far behind racial issues. He's talking about the Social Advantage gained by the Network Effect of a Majority.
In economics and business, a network effect (also called network externality or demand-side economies of scale) is the effect that one user of a good or service has on the value of that product to other people. When network effect is present, the value of a product or service is dependent on the number of others using it.We can see, outside the realm of race, that as more and more people adopt a similar perspective, point of view or tool, they gradually exert pressure on those who stand apart or outside that particular group. As time goes on this becomes more pronounced as more and more people begin to cater to the needs of that majority making the access, functionality and facility of those who remain in the minority more and more difficult.
The classic example is the telephone. The more people who own telephones, the more valuable the telephone is to each owner. This creates a positive externality because a user may purchase a telephone without intending to create value for other users, but does so in any case. Online social networks work in the same way, with sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ becoming more useful as more users join.
It doesn't require conscious bias for this to occur, it's a completely natural phenomenon, so when you put this in the context that Mr. Lemon was trying to describe - there are Natural Social Advantages that occur as being a Member of a Majority Faction. It happens almost invisibly to those within the Majority, but those outside that group - it's very, very obvious and visible. This can also happen whether the majority faction is black, or whether majority faction is gay - the majority always has greater leverage and the ability to abuse that leverage.
Think of it as being like a Cultural Monopoly whose natural tendency is to strangle and stifle opposing or differing cultural factions.
First of all we need to recognize that the ultimate minority, is the minority of One.
It's incumbent upon us to realize, with this in mind, that the responsibility does fall onto the Majority not to abuse their social networking advantages in order to protect the freedom of all individuals regardless of their demographic faction.
To put it another way, it's not just on the backs of Black people to make White people comfortable accepting them. If we are to be a "Free Nation", then that means - within the limits of reasonable social interaction - that we have let each other, be each other.
Unfortunately that's not what I currently see happening in the country when the idea wearing a Hoodie automatically means- you're wearing the "Uniform of a Criminal".
Wither Freedom of Expression art thou?
When you add Confirmation Bias into this, you have a truly toxic mix. So as Don Lemon points out and Bill Maher says - You don't have to have people walking down the streets with White Hoods, to have Racism, Preference, Bias and Bigotry at play.
20 Years ago some friends of mine documented this their own way in their Video "Funny Vibe". I still think they nailed it.
While you're pondering that Join Color of Change Campaign to Repeal Stand Your Ground Laws and get your asses Registered to Vote [Share the QR below], because at certain point - as I said yesterday - we have to start thinking what happens #AfterTrayvon