reappropriate

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Racism is art?

Hey, guess what? Some cops are racist. CNN is reporting that at least 20 cops in San Francisco got together and produced a spoof video for a Christmas party which "satirizes" the SFPD but ultimately makes sexist, homophobic and racist commentaries. But, what really gets me is how Cohen (I assume this is the primary police officer responsible for this and the one who was suspended) speaks out in his defense to the media and refers to Police Chief Heather Fong as "pulling the race card". Again, people, I do not have a race card. There is no ace up my sleeve that I pull out to get me out of tight situations. Sorry, my dear White friends, but this skin colour does not wash off -- the term "race card" implies that when it's inconvenient, I can put my race away and "blend". That just doesn't happen. Also, I find it really insulting that Cohen feels the need to resort to Fong' s ethnicity in his defense -- he doesn't call her any discriminatory names to the media, but the very fact that he is implying that she is playing the race card (and Mayor Gavin Newsom, who, along with Fong, spoke out today) did not suggests that her authority and outrage should be disregarded because of her skin colour. In this situation, she's not speaking out because she's a minority, she's speaking out because this video is fucked up and a PR nightmare, and yet Cohen is trying to make it seem like she's an "uppity" minority getting too big for her breeches. What's more brain-numbing is Cohen's other defenses of the video. He says, "we did this absolutely for morale purposes." Is anyone else disturbed that Cohen thinks that police officers' morale will be improved by showing skits in which his fellow officers run a homeless black woman over? (Oh, and shame on you, person who played "homeless black woman". You should know better!) Is anyone else frightened that Cohen thinks his fellow officers need a healthy dose of visual bigotry in order to keep their spirits up? Cohen defends the video as art and says, "It was just made for us, so shame on [Fong]". Because racism, sexism and homophobia is totally understandable so long as no one hears you.

7 Comments:

Anonymous BEG said...

Is that the definition of "race card"? The way I hear it used, by intolerant bigots, it's like it's some kind of "card" that non white ppl (read: almost anyone who disagrees with them...) whip out when they want to censor something so that they don't have to give a complicated reason beyond "it offends me!"

You know, like the same idjits who whine that PC destroys all sensibility.

Anyway, I don't think I've heard it used in terms of a non white person using it to "discard" such an identity?

Nice site btw. Got here through the Carnival of Feminists...

12/08/2005 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger phillyjay said...

It definitely is a PR nightmare.I watched the video and heard a guy describe the meaning of the video.He claims the video is about minority communities believing white people are policing them and don't care, while police feel no one is telling them "hey, you're doing a great job." This could of been an interesting topic if done seriously(or if that's what he REALLY wanted to do).I just don't see why the whole comedy bit was necessary with kind of topic.It's pretty bad comedy too.

What's up with all of these locker room type videos coming out all of a sudden.

12/09/2005 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous normal2 said...

i hope this isn't too long...

i don't know anything about this police incident but i get what you're saying about race being more than a card. i think you're right the term "race card" does imply that race is only a factor at the convenience of the nonwhite person. i never thought about that before...

but still i sort of love the phrase "the race card". because when i hear someone complaining about "the race card", i almost feel like they are conceding defeat and just whining about it. and i think it's good for people to see that despicable groveling side of whiteness. like if you're playing cards nobody complains about other people "pulling a face card". i mean can you imagine that? that would be so ridiculous. like someone's got a very strong hand with face cards in it and the person they are beating jumps up from the table and starts yelling "it's not fair! she's using a face card!" that never happens. and if it did everyone would just laugh at them.

it always seemed to me like the idea behind that term "the race card" was that it's this explosively powerful debating weapon that is just too powerful and so it's unfair to use it. and that's just so pathetic because the people who use that term are basically admitting that they're totally guilty but they think that shouldn't factor into the discussion because as far as they're concerned the debate is just a game and they think the rules say you can't play too hard against them and it's no fair to bring up reality. this is the absurd current state of white rhetoric.

"no fair! she brought up reality! waaaahhh!!"

every time they use the term "the race card" they are reinforcing the awareness that white dominance is morally defenseless and terrified of any direct confrontation.

i think nonwhite people should point this out to white people who whine about 'the race card': "yes the race cards are face cards. they're very powerful. but you don't tell me what cards i can and can't use. you use your cards and i'll use mine and if you can't win a debate with your cards then you gotta try to get some of mine. don't cry to me because my cards are too strong."

12/09/2005 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous tekanji said...

Jenn, Jenn, Jenn, why must you insist on keeping the white man down? Don't you realize how hard it is for them in this "PC Age" to keep up their morale when it is increasingly difficult to express their inherent superiority over minorities?

First, it was ending slavery. Then, it was taking away their God-given right to beat their wives. And now, now you want them to give up their ability to use humour to degrade and dehumanize others in order to boost morale and reaffirm their superior status. You should be ashamed of yourself, using reverse-racism like that.

Won't somebody think of the white man?

12/09/2005 04:12:00 PM  
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