Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oh Rob!

A few weeks back MetroDad posted On racists, and such. I wanted to write something back about coming from a family of racists but instead I expressed my curiosity about the production value of the new MetroDad TV show!! Read all about it!! What it's gonna be like Little Mosque on the Prairie or Corner Gas? I wonder about things like this.

I appreciate what MD repeats from the gospel of Denis Leary, racism is taught. But how is it taught? That's what I want to know. This morning we crossed Oak street and a clutch of fellas were striding through the intersection in long coats and yarmulkas. I pointed them out to Miss Fancy pretty absentmindedly. I also said they were going to church. A Jewish kind of church called synagogue. I am ignorant as shit, eh? Why didn't I just say synagogue in the first place??? Part of me thinks being so totally self-centred about culture or religion is a way to teach racism. Idiot.

So 1.) What about you? Do you know how to not teach racism? and 2.) What do you think would be the best production value for MetroDad TV?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I use to fret that my kids appeared racist. Mostly when we would leave our small northern town and go to the city and they'd yell, "Hello, Oprah!" at every black woman they saw.


But am I truly worried about them being racists? No. I'm not racist. Their father isn't racist. We value diversity in principle and practice. Also I threatened to disown my mother-in-law if she ever used the N-word in their presence.

As for MetroDad's show: I hope that the main character is Asian-American. Two reasons:
1. I'd like to see if tv executives have learned anything since Margaret Cho's tv show in the mid 90s.
2. This would ensure that no one from the My Film Career Has Stalled So I'm Gonna Do A Sitcom Branch of the Screen Actors Guild is cast in the role. Yeah, I'm looking at you: Jim Carey! I see you hiding behind that potted plant Ray Romano. And NO, Winona Ryder, you can't play the role of wife OR inane sister-in-law who keeps dropping by!

9:54 p.m.  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

I don't know that it is so bad to explain things in terms that your child can get. If Miss Fancy knows about church, rather than start with "synagogue" it is reasonable to explain what that is. It is a Jewish church, for all intents (though with different lyrics...)

Your family background aside, I don't think your response is in error. Teaching our kids that people come in an array of colors, cultures, etc is hard but worthwhile. (Of course, right now we are focused on explaining that not everyone with an eyepatch is a pirate, so what do I know?)

10:09 p.m.  
Blogger mo-wo said...

I failed to leave the comment at MD because it is tricky to stickhandle being 'from a family of racists'. What do I mean when I say that?

My mom is a pretty troubled child of an immigrant. One of the kids who had to change her name for being too ethnic. Luckily she buried most of that by marrying an Anglo only to suffer through the 80's cachet for multiculturalism. I cherish the set of friends my mother has and shares with me thanks to her gregarious outgoing nature. But she can be pretty duplicitous about it all when politics orient her into us and them and she has to deal with difference in general.

My main response to the MD post was about allowing old folks to use terms like Oriental just because they don't really know better. This is something I had to put up with my Dad's family, including the N word. I was once severely reprimanded for arguing with my great-uncle over using that word 'affectionately'.

Now I think letting old people look stupid and ignorant because they're old is insulting to old people. My Dad is really getting up there and I tremble to think there is a lurking permissiveness that will let him turn on some (I'm resisting saying prairie) redneck bigotry just for kicks. And my in-laws? Well my FIL can create dead silence in a 100 seat ballroom with the sort of crap he thinks is funny.

Scared, stupid, old white people simply must be dealt with. Someone tell me how. I must say I am pretty freaked out that people are acting like just because Barack Obama got some "white guy's" job racism is over or something!

2:47 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Scared, stupid, old white people simply must be dealt with." Yes. I totally agree.

I'm not going to humour old people and their hate-mongering bigotry out of a misguided sense of politeness. B/c that kind of tolerance for intolerance perpetuates ideas and behaviours that I find repulsive. BTW, this means I have a v. frosty relationship with my MIL who thinks ordering "chicky flied lice" is the HEIGHT of comedy.

2:14 p.m.  

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