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My One cent On All This..

Essay by Al Blanco

 

I have read the discussions on here regarding cursing and racism and felt compelled to put my one cent in… I am Jewish after all, two cents is pushing it.

With regards to these topics, I can only write as it relates to my life experiences, my background and my upbringing.  In the New York area, people curse more than in other parts of the country.  I use curse words all the time, and as such feel no qualms about cursing as much when I write as when I speak.  Additionally, when cursing is used in art, I feel it ceases to be cursing and becomes part of my artistic license.  Furthermore, I would never use explicit language in inappropriate situations, such as to my boss or any other person I am not trying to offend.

I refer to women as bitches all the time.  That’s something we do in New York.  Sometimes it’s in the literal, negative sense.  Other times it simply is a reference to women and nothing more.  Women here know that.  I would never call my mother a bitch and that’s simply because I would never refer to my mom in any other method men casually refer to women, such as baby, hun, cutie etc.  In fact it would be ironic for one to hear me say bitch and think I am a misogynist because in reality I am very sensitive to the plight women have in this gorilla male dominated world.  

Cursing, like almost anything, can be done with class and wit and that is what defines its context.  In my opinion, the word cunt lacks any application in which it can be used with class or wit whatsoever.  To me calling someone a cunt is always crossing the line, and referencing a pussy as a cunt is always extremely low brow.

Something else that is defined by your experiences is your views of race.  By any standard, I feel I am unique in that arena.  In the broadest sense, I am an ethnic white, which is a white person who is not a WASP or doesn’t look like one.  However less superficially, I am several things.  My mother’s and father’s families emigrated to Mexico over a hundred years ago to escape Jewish persecution in eastern Europe.  I myself was born in Mexico and retain a green card to this day.  While I am white on the outside, on the inside I have my Mexican side and the Latin culture is such that you can look like anything and still be accepted.  To me I am equal parts regular white person, Hispanic and Jew.

With race more so than anything else, perception is reality.  I have been mistaken  for Puerto Rican, Greek, Italian, Arab and god knows what else.  When you have experienced real racism or prejudice, which I have, there is no way you can view the topic the same as someone who has never been treated in a certain manner exclusively because of their race, nationality or beliefs.  While white people will say things about Mexicans and Latins in general to me, not realizing I am Hispanic myself, most of the time I have to deal with anti Semitic comments.  To put in plainly, it sucks, because I don’t believe in any organized religion at all but I still get offended just the same.   Judaism is the only religion associated with it’s own race.  Jewish noses don’t just grow as a result of a circumcision, and while I don’t believe the views, I hold the blood in my veins nonetheless.

Having lived in the hood for a number of years, I have been able to clarify my perspective of race in America.  One thing is for certain, the disadvantages of being born black, brown or any color not white are still very real.  Couple that with having to live in the projects and that’s like starting a NASCAR race with an empty tank of gas. 

Racism is alive and well, and the upcoming election will serve as a litmus test to see how far the U.S. has really come in race relations.  I like Obama for the simple fact that I see him as a guy I can relate with.  He looks like the guy that might have handled my case at the unemployment office when I was collecting.  I feel he is a man who really cares, and furthermore is fully aware of the hardships average Americans are facing. 

My take on the nasty comments I have read on the site is this: I treat strangers on the internet they way I would treat a stranger on the street where I live: with decency. You can disagree with anyone, but don’t be a tough guy online that you would not be in real life.  Where I live you’ll get your ass kicked, maybe even shot for saying something stupid to the wrong stranger.  You are supposed to pick your battles, and if you talk shit online but are a pussy in real life you are pathetic, point blank and period.  I don’t subscribe to the Ann Coulter type of shock journalism, which focuses on personal diatribes.  To me that gives your hand away, and what shows is your inability to cleverly respond to the matter at hand, and as such are reduced to child like smears. 

In conclusion, I feel censorship is the blocking of legitimate opinions or ideas.  What is being done here is the blocking of illegitimate opinions and ideas.  To me that’s not censorship, it’s decency, it’s integrity, it’s class.  Instead of forcing this action to take place, people should just grow the fuck up and wise the fuck up. 

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