We’ve Got So Very Far To Go
By Jamie Kirk
I am writing this article literally as news is breaking about the insensitive public comments made by Roseanne Barr. So, forgive the tone and the lack of political correctness. She is a raging idiot. Let me be perfectly clear; I don’t care what she said, she just said it publicly. She may have tweeted what many folks think, the issue is, you moron, they are NOT (well was) a top female comedian with the highest-rated network show. Keep your racist and unkind comments to yourself. Your apology fell flat and was likely just an elementary act of damage control.
Obviously, I am on social media, and obviously, I have a TV, so obviously, I can’t ignore what happened or not read the differing points of view based on what Roseanne said. This short and sweet article is not about me using this forum to express “my” point of view, it’s simply to highlight we are not nearly as far as we think we are when it relates to racial equality, gender equality, or behaving like a decent human being.
How in the world do people feel they can call the POTUS a lunatic on a new program? How in the world do people fee it is acceptable to make fun of children with special needs? How in the world do people think it is acceptable to abuse their position of power? How in the world do people feel it is “okay” to run a commercial by which you insinuate you will shoot someone if they don’t treat your daughter right? Killing an innocent teen because you “thought” he had a weapon? All of these examples are recent – very recent even – and show a lack of sensitivity, a lack of human decency and are actually just plain dumb.
Here in Atlanta, more importantly in Midtown, we are excited by seeing same-sex couples at a restaurant, we think it is cute for a transgender to be working at the local Starbucks, and we even do a secret “awwww” when little Johnny has two mommies. However, if we go about 12 miles in ANY direction, those same feelings of love and acceptance are countered with angst, discord, anger, disbelief, hatred and disdain. In many areas outside of the metro city limits, that includes Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, (okay, maybe not San Francisco), Dallas, DC, Asheville or Nashville, they are less than impressed with liberation, tree-huggers and folks that appear free-spirited. They tend to stop and stare at anyone that does not have a Volvo, 2.5 kids, a white picket fence and a four-legged animal running around the perfectly manicured lawn.
Unfortunately here in Atlanta, we get disillusioned by the perceived freedom we see because it appears to be – what’s the word I’m looking for – normal. Newsflash: the definition of normal is the usual, average, or typical state or condition. Seeing a same-sex couple in a fine dining restaurant with a happy anniversary cupcake is not normal in Loganville, Georgia. Nothing against my peeps from Loganville, but the above is not a typical state or condition. I am not using the word normal as right or wrong, good or bad; our normal is far from the definition of our friends and family members 12+ miles away.
Okay, I will not go down a rabbit hole and mention how the all too frequently police brutality instances are beyond comprehension. I am not going to go on-and-on about how certain neighborhoods have had occurrences of inappropriate graffiti on their homes. Maybe I’ll write a full article about the homeless problem and lack of empathy from some small business owners that don’t want a certain element within 50 feet of their awning. There are just so many examples of how disappointing we are in our fight for equality and human rights.
Even though lots of folks are fresh off a trip from Pensacola, heading back from DC or crossing the border from their first international trip of the season, we must come back to reality. And the reality of the situation is that we have lots of work to do here at home. As a community, we have to take action. We can’t continue to be comfortable because things appear to be “okay”. Things are still fucked up, continue to be fucked up and will stay fucked up until we consistently call out the Roseanne’s of the world and let them know ‘no more’. Your ignorance is going to cost you everything you love. Be it racial, gender, age, or sexual discrimination (comments or actions), you won’t win. Love will win, you won’t. Not now, not ever.