05 September 2007 @ 09:43 am
Get Your Head Out Of Your Ass  
This just really blows me away. Apparently, at the Germantown Performing Arts Center (Germantown being a suburb of Memphis, TN), some ropes hanging long backstage were cinched up and tied into bundles. This is nothing strange. However, a "minority employee" saw these bundles, and thought they looked noose-like. OK, well, I could see that, still, no big deal, right?


Being "noose-like," this employee was "offended." Why? Well, according to Memphis NAACP Executive Director Johnnie Turner, "It reminds me of the days when African-Americans were routinely hung from a tree." This resulted in the firing of the GPAC's technical Director and two other workers. 3 guys fired, for tying up some rope.

*blink* What? So, a bundle of rope, in a knot that is NOT a noose but only noose-like, is a reminder of a particular race being hung? Because, you know, no one ELSE has EVER been hung. Certainly, no other RACE has EVER been hung. No one's EVER hung a white man, or an Asian man, or a Middle Eastern man. No sirree bob, a noose is a racially charged reminder of a small period in history, characterised by a stereotypical image...even when it isn't actually a noose.

Fuck you. You know why problems continue to exist? Because we don't get over them. I'm not saying to forget what's gone before, after all, we all know that those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it. But jeezus, can we move on? Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, and we have to learn the difference...and the NAACP needs to seriously learn the difference. So, what next, are we going to ban the sale of cotton? Slaves picked a lot of cotton, does this person bristle at the mere thought of cotton socks? Are they going to burn down the Southern Comfort distillery? Where does this kind of craperoo end? Frankly, the NAACP should be working on people like this, letting them know that they are just NOT good for the movement. Turner should have taken this person aside and said "hey, you know, maybe you're over-reacting; this is a real stretch, and it just hurts the cause, you know?"

However, as someone in the article mentions, Memphis is a veritable hotbed of this kind of thing. I dunno what it is about Memphis, but every damn thing ends up being a racial issue, eventually. The city just cannot grow up, I swear. it's one of the things I DON'T miss about living there. Truth be told, most of the South really has grown up and moved on, at least somewhat. Memphis is like an wound where people keep picking off the scabs.

I hope those three guys sue the ever-lovin' pants off of the GPAC. If not, all they do is help ensure that this sort of thing is going to keep happening.

EDIT: As it turns out, this wasn't GPAC's doing at all. The actual City of Germantown stepped in and fired these guys. So, I'll modify my annoyance, and I hope these guys sue the pants off the city.
(Deleted comment)
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Roll: Burn The Worldarchmage on September 5th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
As it turns out, this wasn't GPAC's doing at all. The actual City of Germantown stepped in and fired these guys. So, no, no city defense attorney for me...but I'll help prosecute!
The Cynicdiscordian on September 5th, 2007 05:22 pm (UTC)
There's more. It turns out the decisions came directly from the city of Germantown

re_animating on September 5th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
What a load of crap. I'm sick to death of every little misunderstanding or offense being blown into a racial issue. It seems like every day, it's something new. Thumbs down to the GPAC for not handling this better. It infuriates me that people lost their jobs over a knot.
Blediffe Cannelldariens_haircut on September 5th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
Given the nature of the story as a whole, I'm quiet prepared to question whether the knots in question even resembled nooses. They didn't show any photographs of them. Only actual noose knots which they say resemble the knots in question. The whole thing is rather tenuous. Pretty much everybody interviewed asserts that the victims (the 3 guys without jobs) probably didn't intend any offense. Nobody goes so far as to decry the idiocy of the whole thing or the fact that if they weren't acting inappropriately, maybe they shouldn't have gotten fired.

That NAACP woman takes the cake. Her whole position and demeanor do not advance the interests of "colored people". Hey, I don't like the term any better than you do, but it is the last two words in the name that they chose. This crap only serves to subject her organization, and, by extension, the people who it purports to serve, to well-deserved ridicule. I'm all for treating people of all "colors" equally. That means that things like individual merit come to the fore. Judging from her performance in the video, she does not fare well when evaluated on her own merit.

If it turns out that the stage workers were in fact racist dumbshits and were trying to do something offensive, then maybe there is cause to discharge them. If only as scapegoats to avoid a lawsuit. But as it appears to stand now; it appears to be yet another case of "political correctness" run amok. CYA only goes so far before it becomes harmful in and of itself.
Blediffe Cannelldariens_haircut on September 5th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
"quiet"? Arrgh. I do know better. It was just a typo.
Nyke Youngnykeyoung on September 5th, 2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
And people wonder why I do not have any faith in humanity left.
Baracus Naturalmadeofmeat on September 7th, 2007 06:11 am (UTC)
Maybe we need places like this, to help remind the rest of the country to be more sensible. Shit, I'm sick of this, too.

When I were in collidge, some random pair of guys came up with a fictional "society of monkeys and squirrels." They demonized the fictional organization and pejoratively accused people of being members. One of their targets, a person running for student government, was black. OMFG RUN! Shit met fan in a most enraging fashion.