Thursday, April 2, 2015

#Adapting to @IWashington

I was somewhat done with Isaiah Washington after his homophobic rants that got him fired from Grey’s Anatomy. When I saw he got a new gig in The 100, I decided I would give him and it a chance. Maybe he had changed. Maybe he realized how callous what he did and said was.

He definitely changed. The dumb shit he says is now directed toward black people. In response to Chris Rock chronicling his multiple police stops within 7 weeks via Twitter selfies, Mr. Washington tweeted to Chris Rock this:

“I sold my $90,000 Mercedes G500 and bought 3 Prius’s. because I got tired of being pulled over by police. #Adapt @ChrisRock”

No.

First of all, you sold a $90,000 car, and you only got THREE Priuses??? You got ripped off, brother. You should have been able to get at LEAST four. Maybe the dealer assumed you had bad credit and would only finance three. Call it the #Adapt tax. And why three, anyway? Did you just want to waste as much money as possible? Do you harness them in a line and attach a chariot to the rear one and drive them that way? I am asking seriously; I don’t know how hybrid cars work.

What Isaiah Washington is saying is that to avoid further scrutiny by the public, specifically the police in this case, black people need to adjust themselves in order to dissuade negative attention and suspicion. So if you are a successful black man, and you got to where you are honestly through hard work, don’t get a nicer car, because people will think you are up to something illegal. This puts the blame on the black Mercedes owner, not the police trooper who thinks that a brown person could not have had such a nice car.

That is such a good idea! Don’t call out the inherent prejudice ingrained in society. Cow tow to it! Here are a few other things we as black people can do to #adapt:

  • When you go shopping, give the security guards a GPS tracker to make it easier for them to find you in in the department store. #Adapt
  • Are you walking on the street and you see a white person approaching? Pepper spray yourself so that you assuage her of any suspicion that you might rob him/her. #Adapt
  • When going to the bank, bring your own “REJECTED” stamp, just in case you want to apply for a loan. #Adapt
  • Are you a musician and won a national award for your work? Give it to Macklemore. Do it. NOW. #Adapt
  • When your white friends come over, replace your picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. with one of John Wayne or Ronald Reagan. #Adapt

This idea of “adapting” is obviously familiar to female readers. The same type of rhetoric directed at women when they are sexually harassed at work or school or walking or breathing.  Besides what they dress, women will be blamed for their own body types, as though a person has the power to make her breasts or butt larger by blowing hard into her thumb like in cartoons. “Maybe you should wear something less distracting” is the trope instead of, “That guy’s an asshole and needs to learn self-control”. Even if she makes the decision to surgically augment herself, it is still not a deserved invitation for the type of aggression that she will inevitably receive. Just as women cannot stop being women, black people cannot stop being black. Sorry Clarence Thomas.

So Isaiah Washington’s 3 Prius chariot may be a resolution to avoid borderline illicit police stops, but hiding from the root issue resolves nothing. No unfair ideology was remedied by just letting it happen. The “keep your head down” rhetoric just delays your head being cut off.  If we stayed keeping our heads down, there’d still be segregation in the South, women still wouldn’t be able to vote, and gays would not be able to marry in the US…okay, we’re still working on that last one, but they didn’t get as far as they did by #Adapting.

Also, The 100 is only mediocre.

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