Friday, August 2, 2013

So Tell Me What's Wrong With This Shirt

Available at Apocalypse Gear

Alright, I admit it. This design is supposed to be provocative. I would feel a wee bit uncomfortable wearing a shirt that says "Cracker American" across the chest in certain neighborhoods (and not all of them in America).  What I'd like is a reaction from my friends who read this. Tell me why this T-shirt (yes it's a "hoodie") should be offensive?  We'll start with my reasons as to why it should not.

Reason 1:  Sauce for the Gander

Apparently it is okay for a racial slur to be used by a person of the race in question to refer to himself or his fellows of the same race.  It is not okay for someone of another race to use that term.  Therefore if the term "cracker" is a disparaging term for white people, is it not okay for white people to use the term to refer to themselves?  If not, why not?

Reason 2: Neutralizing Hate

If someone uses hate speech against you and you turn such speech into a joke, does this not neutralize hate speech. So if someone were to use an ugly racial epithet against me, what if I ignored the hatred behind the word and made the word mean something else more benign. What if I embraced the word with pride.  Then, isn't the only reason anyone ought to be at all angry about that is because it robs the word of the power of hatred against my race; a tool they wished to retain?

Reason 3: Racial Disarmament

If I am not hurt, but rather am amused by the racial epithet "cracker" does that make certain people angry because I am not hurt by the racial epithet? Is this not why, when you ignore an insult or a slur, the bully using it inevitably screams at you, "Hey @#$$%!  I'm talkin' to you!" Is the source of their anger at the message on the shirt above because it shows that calling me a "cracker" doesn't bother me? I'd like to know.

Reason 3: Managing Agreement

So if I wear a shirt proclaiming proudly that I am a cracker, why should that make anyone mad? I am agreeing with them. I am quite obviously of the race called "cracker" by certain people.  I am proud of who I am, although I'm really Scotch-Irish-English-German-Cherokee, but "cracker" is far shorter. Shouldn't any person of any race be entitled to be proud of their race. If I agree with you that I am, in fact, what you say I am, (a cracker) should that not make you happy instead of making you want to get three or four friends and beat me senseless in a back alley?

These are questions that trouble me. If you have answers, I'd like to hear them. Really. And before I go, I want to point out that I do not think being a cracker makes me superior to anyone. Just equal as it says in the Declaration of Independence.

Only equal.

© 2013 by Tom King

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