Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Walking Dead and the Difference Between Racism and Stupidity

Leave it to satire to point out something that the rest of society is generally too timid to admit. One of the great mistakes that we tend to make today is to sanctify people simply because they are the potential victims of mistreatment. They could be the worst human being on the face of the earth, but as long as they fit into a certain category which our society deems sympathetic, they will be treated as if they are handicapped. The problem is not that we want to protect people from indignity (which is of course a good thing), the problem is that we want to canonize individuals regardless of their behavior. In any event, to regard another individual as capable of great virtue (or vice) is not an indignity, it is rather the greatest of compliments. No one calls a dog a sinner, but a man can and should certainly be reproached if he behaves beneath his God-given dignity. Sadly, the cult of victimization is so rampant today that the distinction between justice and injustice has become utterly blurred. Making broad generalizations about a particular group of people may make them short-sided and narrow-minded, but that doesn't necessarily make what they are saying racist. It may even make them a jerk and a troglodyte, but it doesn't mean that they are necessarily hate-filled. True racism consists in the belief that an individual or a group of individuals is intrinsically unworthy of equal treatment under the law. Pointing out common behavioral differences is not racist unless the goal is to reduce the individual to nothing more than a negative stereotype. Pointing out statistics that are unflattering to a particular group is not bigoted unless the goal of pointing them out is solely to denigrate a group of people as if they were capable of nothing more. This particular SNL sketch very cleverly exposes this false notion of racial sensitivity and compassion, pointing out that while you may be busy worrying about how to avoid being a bigot, someone may very well be losing their life on account of the fact that you were more concerned with offending someone than saving someone.

Saturday Night Live - The Walking Dead - Video - NBC.com



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