Do we perpetuate inequalities by drawing attention to sexual/racial “firsts” …?

..like the super bowl coaches, Speaker of the House, and various awards at ceremonies for “specific” groups?
I’m fed up with those who would have us believe that having the first African American coach win the super bowl is something to be celebrated. Who cares? Seriously, are we to be expected to have the same “glorious joy” when the first Chinese American coach wins? How about the first Latino American coach? What if it was a women (holy crap did he just say that? Yes I did)? How about just not giving a crap about what race the coach of a team is? Does it somehow become more of a landmark event or elevate the status of what is, in reality, just a game anyway? Along the same lines, drawing attention to the first female Speaker of the House is just as ridiculous. I couldn’t care less. Does it somehow add something to the event? I say No, No, and No again. Before certain people decided to start making a big deal of it I was completely unaware that it was “the first” African American coach to win the Super Bowl but, of course, it had to be “highlighted”. If it could have just gone “Unsaid” it would have actually meant “MORE” as far as overcoming past discrimination than it did by being brought up “”AGAIN””. How about just having “The Achievement Awards” to recognize all people? Highlighting individual (race/Sex/whatever) awards only perpetuates segregationist views.

If you think it’s necessary to highlight the achievements of “a people” who were somehow wronged in the past then I say you are just part of “the problem” (yes, the problem). It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about African Americans, American Indians, Japanese Americans, Irish Americans, Women, etc., etc. The more often we bring it up the less likely it is that we will ever be able to co-exist in a completely unbiased state of harmony. By the way, just when was the last time you saw an Irish American being highlighted for being the first of their kind to do (insert anything here)? No, I don’t actually think the Irish were “wronged” as much as the Africans who were brought here as slaves but they were “wronged” none the less during their first years in America. I’m also pretty sure the Japanese who were put in camps during the war feel “wronged” as well but I sure don’t see a big deal being made about each new accomplishment a Japanese American has. Why don’t African, Japanese or Irish Americans have special Casinos or fishing rights like Native Americans? Why don’t Native Americans, Japanese or the Irish, have their own versions of the NAACP, or “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” commercials? The answer is that you can’t please all of the people all of the time and “some” people will never feel “compensated” (no matter what is offered) for wrongs that were, for the most part, committed against someone other than themselves many generations ago.

In a way it’s like blackmail, consider the following: Person A has something (a picture, for example) against person B and, at some point, decides to play his/her “card” and demand a “payment” ($50K, for example), for it. Three months later person A demands another “payment”, then another, and yet another, seemingly never being satisfied that the payment was “enough”. Similarly, the Native American, Female, Black, etc. “card” seems to get pulled at various times when members of those groups think it can be used to their own benefit to get “payment” from someone (typically the Government). These groups perpetually ask for under the premise that their groups have not been given “enough”. This begs the question; when is it “enough”?

For example, just the other day I saw the “inequality card” being played for a topic I’ve seen repeatedly. The argument is that “there just aren’t enough Black CEO’s in fortune 500 companies to show diversification”. Incidentally, I’ve heard the exact same quote with reference to Women and more recently, with regard to Latinos as well. Oddly enough, I haven’t heard it used in regard to the Irish or Japanese though, how strange. It would be very interesting to follow these groups into the future and see if they would raise the same arguments “in reverse”. Specifically, if and when their “group of people” (Black, Women, Latino, etc.) became the majority of all CEO’s, would they argue that for “diversification purposes” there needs to be less of “their own group” and more of the “other groups” as CEO’s? I doubt it.

In my opinion, the best way to get past the racial, gender, and (insert any other topic you can come up with) discrimination is to just stop bringing it up so much. While we’re at we should get rid of separate associations, foundations, etc. as well as those special rules for some businesses (casinos for example) based solely on Race. These types of “Segregated associations and Special Rules” only serve to perpetuate the very things they are intended to overcome.

I agree with, and understand, the point that we have to remember the past in order to learn from our mistakes as it pertains to everything from human injustice to war miscalculation but, in my opinion, until we get to the point where we don’t make a special effort to highlighting the first “(insert group of people here) to do “whatever”, we will never be an unbiased society and never “get past” “our past”. Let’s get over it.
I’m sorry for those of you who think it’s to long. Sometimes you actually need to write more than 2 sentences to make a point.

Agree 100 percent. And I’m not racist in the least. But to give awards based on being the first/best of anything just because of your race or gender DOES perpetuate racial/gender separation.

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9 Responses to Do we perpetuate inequalities by drawing attention to sexual/racial “firsts” …?

  1. 360 pic says:

    O HECK NO! I’M NOT READING ALL THAT!References :

  2. Gabrielle says:

    wow – you’re wordy. I’m moving on…References :

  3. Amari says:

    Why are you mad? Get over it.References :

  4. confuscious says:

    Agree 100 percent. And I’m not racist in the least. But to give awards based on being the first/best of anything just because of your race or gender DOES perpetuate racial/gender separation.References :

  5. Infra-Red says:

    Atrocities should be forgiven, but never forgotten.References :

  6. BoxyBrown says:

    I stopped reading after the first paragraph. Keep it short otherwise it will just look like your ranting

    To answer your question the first of anything is worth being noted. Its not like people had a parade for those coaches.References :

  7. Just Ask Ashley says:

    You have the luxury of taking your skin colour, your personal achievements and your very life for granted only because you’ve never heard your grandmother tell you of the time when she witnessed her brother being tied up to a tree upside-down, naked, while he was bashed unconcious, spat on, urinated on, then torched on fire by men wearing white hoods.References :

  8. slinda says:

    No way am I reading you essay. but my answer to your question the way I perceive it is that we fight against racism by pointing out these first. The more often people who are held down by society she individuals who have overcome those social restraints and accomplished significant things the more likely it is that they will also attempt to do these things. It is always difficult to be the first. The individuals who accomplish these types of things are extraordinary people but they make room for ordinary people to enter a field that was previously closed to them because of their race or gender.

    The most important thing is that individuals in these oppressed groups see people like themselves being active because society in general gives them a view of their group as inactive.References :

  9. STFU says:

    Drives me nuts too, especially in this day and age where we are supposed to be colorblind, how can we be when they keep reminding us they are black.References :

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