Friday, December 28, 2007

Andy Rooney

I got this in an email from my cousin. Roughly translated: this is probably already made the rounds and I'm the last one to hear of it. But this is the kind of talk that needs to happen on a regular basis. Hard talk. Telling it like it is. I may not agree with every aspect of what Rooney is saying, but I really appreciate that someone is willing to travel crossways across the grain. In particular, I like his views on the hypocrisy of reverse racism. Whites in America have become docile house pets. We watch the Mind of Mencia, laughing until our drink comes out the nose holes while he flips white people the bird. As I've said, that's all well and good, but have the cojones to take a little of your own medicine. Not gonna happen. Not in this lifetime.

Here it is:

I don't think being a minority makes you a victim of anything except numbers.. The only things I can think of that are truly discriminatory are things like the United Negro College Fund, Jet Magazine, Black Entertainment Television, and Miss Black America. Try to have things like the United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America; and see what happens...Jesse Jackson will be knocking down your door.

Guns do not make you a killer. I think killing makes you a killer. You can kill someone with a baseball bat or a car, but no one is trying to ban you from driving to the ball game .

I believe they are called the Boy Scouts for a reason, which is why there are no girls allowed. Girls belong in the Girl Scouts! ARE YOU LISTENING MARTHA BURKE ?

I think that if you feel homosexuality is wrong, it is not a phobia, it is an

I have the right 'NOT' to be tolerant of others because they are different, weird, or tick me off.

When 70% of the people who get arrested are black, in cities where 70% of the population is black, that is not racial profiling; it is the Law of Probability.

I believe that if you are selling me a milkshake, a pack of cigarettes, a newspaper or a hotel room, you must do it in English! As a matter of fact, if you want to be an American citizen, you should have to speak English!

My father and grandfather didn't die in vain so you can leave the countries you were born in to come over and disrespect ours.

I think the police should have every right to shoot you if you threaten them after they tell you to stop. If you can't understand the word 'freeze' or 'stop' in English, see the above lines.

I don't think just because you were not born in this country, you are qualified for any special loan programs, government sponsored bank loans or tax breaks, etc., so you can open a hotel, coffee shop, trinket store, or any other business.

We did not go to the aid of certain foreign countries and risk our lives in wars to defend their freedoms, so that decades later they could come over here and tell us our constitution is a living document; and open to their interpretations.

I don't hate the rich, I don't pity the poor.

I know pro wrestling is fake, but so are movies and television. That doesn't stop you from watching them.

I think Bill Gates has every right to keep every penny he made and continue to make more. If it ticks you off, go and invent the next operating system that's better, and put your name on the building.

It doesn't take a whole village to raise a child right, but it does take a parent to stand up to the kid; and smack their little behinds when necessary, and say 'NO!'

I think tattoos and piercing are fine if you want them, but please don't pretend they are a political statement. And, please, stay home until that new lip ring heals. I don't want to look at your ugly infected mouth as you serve me French fries!

I am sick of 'Political Correctness.'

I know a lot of black people, and not a single one of them was born in Africa ; so how can they be 'African-Americans'? Besides, Africa is a continent. I don't go around saying I am a European-American because my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was fromEurope . I am proud to be from America and nowhere else.

And if you don't like my point of view, tough...


Alan said...

But ... hey Scott. wtf? I guess i could answer Andy Rooney back, but what do I say to you? Does all that represent how you feel?

Alan said...

Wait, let me say it another way. I recognize you said this;
"I may not agree with every aspect of what Rooney is saying, but I really appreciate that someone is willing to travel crossways across the grain."

But then you said this;
"In particular, I like his views on the hypocrisy of reverse racism."

I can offer you the following view--

The examples Rooney mentions were created because America was sending a message to blacks by excluding them from mainstream society. Negro women aren't as pretty as whites, negro kids aren't as smart as whites. So black people made their own pageants, their own television stations, supported their own children to help them get into college. That isn't reverse racism. They aren't institutions made to hurt whites or "keep them down"--they were made to help blacks. I hope you can see the difference.

And when Rooney makes fun of those institutions by saying "United Caucasian College Fund, Cloud Magazine, White Entertainment Television, or Miss White America" it's really unnecessary, because those things already existed in America for decades, if not hundreds of years. There just was no need to use those titles because it was already widely accepted that blacks weren't allowed to attend the same colleges as whites, so they weren't going to get any scholarship money, the magazines weren't covering black life so they were already about whites, and blacks weren't featured on television in any leading roles, not romantic, not action, not as newscaster. So the medium of television started out already being White Entertainment.

"It was not until 1970 that a black woman, Iowa's Cheryl Brown, won a state title and made it to Atlantic City as a contestant" ... "The pageant's long history of excluding women of color dates from its beginnings. At some point in the 1930s, it was formalized in the notorious rule number seven of the Miss America rule book. Instituted under the directorship of Lenora Slaughter, rule number seven stated that 'contestants must be of good health and of the white race.' As late as 1940, all contestants were required to list, on their formal biological data sheet, how far back they could trace their ancestry. In the pageant's continual crusade for respectability, ancestral connections to the Revolutionary War or perhaps the Mayflower would have been seen as a plus." ( so for about fifty years it already was literally Miss White America.

So I'm a little disturbed by Mr. Rooney's lack of research, or maybe that he just didn't care enough to figure out the points that I've just written here.

But that's nothing compared to how worried I am that you won't care about the points I made here either. That maybe my concerns do not matter to you. I mean, I can try to accept that, but it would be hard.

Scott, black people can't create any institution in this country that will hurt you or your family based on your skin color. We will never have that much power. The white power structure that built this country and still is in full effect will never allow it. But the damage done from the hundreds of years of legal inequality had to be addressed somehow, and that's what blacks did.

And it troubles me that e-mails like this one is getting sent around, as if some warning needs to be sent out.

I don't know. I hope I made sense here. I just know that I think the world of you Scott, and even if you had penned Rooney's opinion with your own hands, I'd still want you to be my friend.

Scott said...

Alan - I'm really sorry to have caused you stress over this, Alan. I'm not black so I can't appreciate all that it takes to be recognized as equal in this society. I grew up in Akron, Ohio where racism is rampant, especially amongst the older members of my family. I felt it was wrong and resolved to be different. But I still have the seeds that were planted back then. My sons have never heard any of the terms used to disparage or belittle someone of different color. They will hear those terms, and I will be ready to crack down on them when they do. My wife is Italian, and her father in particular has endured quite some humiliation. Apparently in New England the Irish and the Italians clash. Who knew? Not me, that's for sure.

What I get sick of is the landmines that I have to navigate through life. Being white, and being sensitive to all that the station enjoys relative to minorities, carries with it a certain and expected guilt. Like I should be ashamed. It was rubbed in my face in an episode of Mind of Mencia. The whole episode was about how the white man is represessing the Hispanic, and it was belittling to the view point that we want to protect our southern border because we are racists and such. Then Mencia goes off on a racist rant about whites, then flips off a white member of the audience. He's damn lucky that wasn't me sitting in the front row.

That's is my problem in a nutshell. We're supposed to sit back and watch our country overflow with the impoverished of the world way beyond what we are economically capable of handling, but no, we're racist. Every time, we're racist. Then I'm forced to watch shows like Mencia and I'm supposed to laugh because I'm white.

I understand that there are necessary institutions that help minorities get ahead. And I'm glad they exist. I was able to get a loan from the state of Alaska to go to college. Without it I would be pounding nails today.

What I mean about reverse racism is simple. If I had done what Mencia had done, picking on Mexican people who are just trying to do best for their children and for survival, I would have been ostracized. It takes someone like Bill Cosby to say anything critical of black society, and someone like Mencia about Hispanics. If a white dares to open his mouth, he better live in a walled castle.

That is what I liked about what Rooney said. And like he said, it's an opinion. Without discussion there is no growth.

Scott said...

To some of your points, I should add that black women win pagaents today, and as far as I know, and correct me if I'm wrong, but there is no segregation any more in colleges. A black that applies has the same chances as a white, based solely on academic achievement. Am I naive? I think what you are quoting is the way it used to be. And in entertainment, I hear about Beonce more than I do Britney, and the former is a hell of a lot prettier than 99.9 percent of the celebrities going. Not to mention more talented. The music world is owned by black entertainers. This is not the same society of fifty years ago. Not even close. Maybe Rooney is tapping into the idea that there may be an overcorrection occurring now, that some of those institutions have achieved their goal.

Alan said...

Whew! Wow did you give me a scare.

I hear you now. Thank you for taking my reaction in the spirit that I gave it.

And I see your point. It does seem like its open season on whites, while whites can't ever do the same or its called racist. I imagine I'd be ticked off too. My only offering is that the minority world still feels the threat of the Bad Old Days. Like the Jewish do, we can't ever forget. Because like you also said, racism from whites can still be heard in some pockets of the country. BIG pockets, you know? Those are the kind of landmines are unique to people of color. Our ears prick up whenever a white person says "those people" much less the famous, infamous words. So I think the humorists lash out in fear. And too, they want to make money. Whatever's edgy, whatever makes an audience laugh, whatever draws attention and thus crowds. Maybe a day will come when we've put the fear away and a careless word won't trigger a nationwide panic, but I think it'll take a few more generations to pass. Segregation still existed within your lifetime and mine, yet it started with the first auction block in 1655 (, so it might take a few hundred years to equalize in our minds. Well, that, and having blacks do more than be entertainers in this society--because that harkens back to the Bad Old Days too. We've got a Beyonce, but do we have a Hilary?

Well, damn, Alan! You just want it all! :D

Scott, I love ya, man. I'm sorry Mencia pissed you off.

Beth said...

I don't agree with all of what Rooney had to say, but some of it felt very close to my own thought. I'd like there not to be a white/black anything. I'd like my children to NOT see a black kid and just see a kid. Not in a naive, I eat Grape Nuts kind of way, but in a "people are people" kind of way.

I don't want to close our borders because I am a racist. I want our borders closed because America has to deal with its poverty and health care issues FIRST. Let's deal with those, let's deal with welfare or corporate kickbacks and then when we're solvent, then we'll solve the rest of the world's problems, but not before.

I do believe if you live in America, you should speak the language. The city where I shop is heavily hispanic populated and I get very tired of having a group of hispanic women talk around me while I'm standing not knowing what is being said, to the point where I had my whiz kid daughter learn spanish (she now speaks it fluently) so these situations stopped occurring. That's just not right.

If I move to Mexico or Spain, I promise I'll learn your language because it's the language of your land.

Beth said...

And don't get me started on rap music. My daughter loves rap music as I did in my youth, but she's not allowed to say the "n" word and hates the "n" word, so she has to bleep herself. Something is just so wrong about that. I think of Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, damn, the list is endless, and I think, would one of those groups perform their "n" word filled songs to those people? Or would they be ashamed?

I don't want my children using those words and I don't want that crap played in my home, but I swear to God, that friggin' word is on every single song and if it's not, then "ho" will be. I don't want my daughter equating herself to a ho. She thinks I'm silly, says, "Mom, I know I'm not a ho, it's just a word," and I say, "the 'n' word's just a word too, right?"

Sorry for the rant.

Scott said...

Alan - I'm relieved that you can be objective. And that's all I'm really trying for. Of course we will see things differently, but at least we can talk about it.

Beth - Use of the n-word, and the fact that there is a well-understood expression known as the n-word, and that it is ok for blacks to bandy it about and is cause for slicing and dicing in the streets for a white is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about as it pertains to reverse-racism. I'd prefer that it just be ommitted from the lexicon altogether if it can't be used equally. I don't like the term when I hear it from anyone, unless it's in a Tarantino film. Seriously, it's become like the word Voldemort in the world of Harry Potter.

I like how you said you would like us to see one another as just people. Exactly.

Alan said...

Good news! We're sick of the word too. :)

Our young people still need education, without a doubt, Beth, so let your daughter know about that article. Parents like you two are doing more good than you could possibly know.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

What Alan says about entrenched racism is very interesting.

Here in England, we claim to be multicultural with rights for all 'minorities.'

But, in every office I have ever worked in, the whites wear white collars and everyone else wears blue collars. There are token employees of diverse ethnicity in white collar jobs, but no more than are apparently 'necessary' in the eyes of the white directors.

So, despite parliamentary claims to the contrary, I still live within a system of white supremecy; white people live in the suburbs, they get the best schools so their kids get the best education, then the best jobs. Other ethnicities live in the poorer inner cities, and their kids attend schools with more pupils and less money, so the kids have less chance of getting a great education. And what jobs are there for people without the chance for a good education?; Blue collar.

The problem is rooted in our slave trade history, and I fear we may never overcome it.

And so the cycle continues.

Peter said...

Yeah, I usually don't agree with a lot of what he says either but I think I pretty much agree with everything in the snippit you posted. That's awesome.

Beth said...

Scott, I tagged you for something, but no rush, no obligation, just wanted you to know.

mr. schprock said...

Remember, March is White History Month. Every day we'll celebrate the achievements of Vanilla-Americans...

The post was interesting, the comments were even better. I agree with a lot of the things said. Alan stated his case extremely well.

The Zombieslayer said...

Agree with most of what he said, except Bill Gates didn't invent shit. He didn't invent windows, basic, dos, the internet browser, the internet, or anything else Microsoft would like you to believe they invented.

They just had a better marketing department than Apple did, which is unfortunate because now 90% of the people in the world work on sucky computers, and I keep having stupid relatives come up to me and say "you're a software engineer, could you help me with my computer?"

Now, I wouldn't call the United Negro College Fund racist. Racism is a strong word. The KKK and La Raza are racist organizations. A lot of people might disagree with me on this one, but if the United Negro College Fund can exist, then by all means the Poor White Redneck College Fund should exist. And yes, it actually should. This country has a lot of poor whites that suffer just as much as poor blacks.

I've seen this first hand. I've personally been "indirectly" asked by white rednecks to take their daughters out, because they knew I was their best shot out of poverty and I treat women well. So much for that all white rednecks are racist b.s.

And I strongly believe in the English thing. Let's be realistic - a nation should speak ONE language in public. In private, do anything you want. But in public, meaning in law or at a place of employment, if you can't speak English, it's going to be a problem for you and your customers (and the company you work for).

Of course I strongly believe in what he said about guns. I can kill a man (or woman) with pretty much anything. So can you. Killing someone is easy. A gun is actually a horrible way to kill someone. It's too loud, draws too much attention, and is too easily traced back to the shooter.

And don't get me started about political correctness. Half my early blog was making fun of it.

The Zombieslayer said...

For the record, the best way to end racism is stop looking at race, period.

I'm tired of it when Time and Newspeak magazine keep bring up Barack Obama's race. His race doesn't affect anything. Truth is, I like the guy, but he's too liberal for me on economic issues and I don't like his stance on gun control so I won't vote for him. And Hillary Clinton, you never hear the end of when the media says she's a woman. I know she's a woman. I don't need to be told she's a woman. I'm not voting for her because she got an F- from Gun Owners of America. It has nothing to do with her gender.

The most powerful person in the media right now just might be Oprah. She can make or break an author. If she likes an author, they get a bestselling book. That's some serious power there.

Is everything equal? No. Not yet. I'm sick of being asked by my employer my race. I don't want to be asked when I'm applying for a school or a scholarship either. And what am I going to say anyways? They always say "select one." What the f***? What if you have more than one? So, does my father or my mother not exist?

Don't ask. Don't tell.

When it comes to race, if I were running the show, employers will only be allowed to ask one question - are you an American citizen? If not, can you LEGALLY work in the United States of America? That's it. Don't ask race. Don't ask sex. Don't ask sexual orientation. Don't ask marriage status. Don't ask age.

Same applies for schools, except I do believe in discriminating against out of state people for state colleges, because they haven't been paying taxes in this state.

Beth said...

I really loved what zombieslayer had to say on all points.

Tee said...

I loved reading the comments to this post. I love that at least on this tiny corner of the internet in today's world, there is a handful of people who don't necessarily agree on some very controversial topics, but were mature enough to discuss them intelligently.

Color me impressed.

I can see the arguments from both sides of the fence and I think everyone made very valid points.

And for the record, Scott, I know I mentioned to you long ago how cool I thought Mencia was. After a time I began to feel uncomfortable though. I don't know if I'm getting older, more prudish, more mature, or what. But I watched Mencia and became incredibly annoyed for multiple reasons - including ones you listed.

I don't watch Mencia anymore. I'm proud to say that his style of "humor" doesn't appeal to me in the least these days.

Scott said...

Thanks for all the great comments ladies and gentlemen. It was taken aback at first by what Alan was saying. At first I was scared I had offended him, and then was relieved that he wasn't totally put off.

This is very controversial, and it was interesting to hear what everyone had to say about it.

I love it when a black leader comes out and says that this country presents opportunities for all people who work hard. Larry Elder comes to mind--and Bill Cosby.

As for you, Tee, I thought of you after the Mencia comment. I just want you to know that I never thought ill of you at all because you were the one to turn me on to the show. It was a particular episode that bothered me, so badly that I never tuned in again. It might have been a little funnier had I seen another one first. If I'm expected, and rightly so, to view people as equal no matter their skin color, then I feel at the very least, after all these years, that I should expect the same in reverse.

Thanks to Toast, Zombie, Beth, and the ever invisible Mr. Schprock for adding to the conversation.

Scott said...

And Peter too!

Wow, you actually commented!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I think I'm with zombieslayer on the point about not considering race an issue. People who talk about race are buying in to a sort of group-think. Sort of hard for older people to get out of this sort of mindset, though.

Anyhow, happy new year, Scott.

magnetbabe said...

Sorry I'm late to the discussion, a lot of interesting things being said.

I couldn't help but be very disturbed by MOST of what Rooney had to say, regarding both race and sexual orientation. I don't think Rooney is "telling it like it is", I think he represents an antiquated way of thinking that is best left behind as our society evolves.

I agree with much of what your commenters had to say though, and I really think that there needs to be much more open and honest dialogue on race and ethnicity in America. You are not the first person to raise these issues, Scott, and overly PC people simply pretending they don't exist do nothing to improve the situation.

While I would absolutely love to see a day where we don't need special organizations to boost the education and opportunities of minorities, unfortunately Alan is right. This mess took hundreds of years to make and cannot be undone in one generation. The good news is I wasn't born during segregation, and to my children the concept will seem even more abstract.

Scott said...

I disagree that Rooney represents any sort of idea that needs to be left behind. He should well and good say what he feels, and if he doesn't like homosexuality, then it is indeed his opinion. He's not saying to have homosexuals strung up, which to varying degress is what I think most people hear when he says what he says. He's saying that he thinks it's wrong. Disagree. Fine. Discuss.

I don't think he should be admonished for, yes, telling it like he thinks it is. It's time to stop stamping people down for their opinions.

magnetbabe said...

I realize what I wrote earlier seemed to be stamping on Rooney, and to an extent I was. Sorry, Andy. Turns out, Rooney didn't actually write this stuff. I found this while looking up Andy Rooney on Wikipedia. But sadly is does still seem like Andy isn't the most sensitive guy when it comes to respecting races and ethnicities.

I stand by my assertion that racial relations in this country need to be discussed openly and honestly in a respectful way. Things like "I feel there is a double standard when Carlos Mencia flips a white guy the bird just for being white whereas if I did something similar as a white guy I would be beaten up". That is a valid complaint, and the notion of reverse racism is an opinion that you have concrete examples to back up. That is absolutely worthy of discussion, and I would happily engage in a dialogue with someone if they wanted to.

HOWEVER, taking it one step further is where you and I part ways. Opinions that are not grounded in reason and are instead the influence of ignorance should be stamped out rather than given a forum. One could say that in the first comment here Alan stamped out "Rooney's" opinion that the United Negro College Fund and Miss Black America represent reverse racism, as he very should have. That was an ignorant opinion that "Rooney" was either too lazy to look up the history of or too racist himself to care. Or just trying to cause a stir, in which case it worked.

The statement about homosexuality didn't directly imply that the writer thought homosexuality was wrong. But in a similarly dangerous manner, it displays tolerance of people who think homosexuality is wrong. To me, shrugging your shoulders at someone attempting to exert moral authority over a population of people is not acceptable and rather than simply taking it at face value as opinion I would argue that this thinking ought to be stamped out rather than perpetuated throughout society. To me, "homosexuality is wrong" accepted simply as opinion bears an unsettling resemblance to the "opinion" that "evolution is just a theory", another opinion that should be stamped out rather than tolerated a minute longer.

In summary, just because people have the guts to express racist, sexist, ignorant or intolerant opinions doesn't always mean those opinions are worthy of intelligent discourse.

magnetbabe said...

Also, FYI

Scott said...

Hey Nat - Sorry it's taken so long to reply. The weekend and stuff.

I think I will post my reply to your comment. I need to time to lay out my thesis! Normally I don't fall for internet hoaxes. I should have known that someone of Andy Rooney's standing wouldn't be so brazen.

Have a good weekend. Good luck to your Bucs, by the way.

Anonymous said...

This is false and not by Andy Rooney. Research the facts. This is a liberally edited version of a popular rant that has been incorrectly attributed to him.

Alan said...

Why hello there "Anonymous"! Speaking of researching the facts, perhaps you should give that a try. We've already done so and the matter is settled. Mmkay? Bye-bye now.

Anonymous said...

well, this was a very interesting read, the above educated discussion. One great thing is that humans r unique n responses depend on their surroundings, experiences, etc. but atleast if we agree on a fact like: "To God all are equal and He wants us to live like brothers" and this is really imbibed in all and lived true to spirit then maybe things will be better off. Besides, i respect all and want to know your views on my experiences: I am a Kashmiri and live in Kashmir in India. kashmiri people look different than most of Indians or Pakistanis or Afghanis or Chinese, it is well established that they are pure Aryans, this time as I look around I see that 70% people are fair coloured, 20% are whaetish and 10% blackish. Of the 70% fair people, 12-15% are blondes! I m not wheatish and on the fairer side, yesterday my dear cousin (and best fiend also friend since childhood)(I am now 19) who is blonde, and i had a fight and after that he said look at ur colour and placed his arm next to mine and said: look u poor sick non-white, go to hell! I was rooted and shocked, i m still gutted and don't know how to react and what to say to any of my relatives. I m not ashaned of myself or angry at someone else, I just want to say to God that if my cousin really meant what he said then why did u make us bond so well from childhood, i m crying and don't konw coz I think I am not mature enough. there must be something good God wants us to do in a world with people of different colours. take care everyone.