jess and moss

6

You know what the worst part about this is? It’s the party they’re having in the West Wing right now at my expense. They like to win, and then they like to gloat.
I’m sure you’re wrong. There are very serious men and women at the White House. There’s no cause to gloat.

I gotta tell you, this is a classic white people move; this call for “unity.” And I say this as a white person myself. We love to tell people who are pointing out racism; who are protesting inequality that they’re the ones trying to tear us apart.

Us white people, we don’t have to live with racism. We don’t have to see it. It’s transparent to us. We can choose not to look at it. As long as we’re not saying the n-word, or writing “whites only” above the water fountain, we think we’ve done our part.

Our skin color means that we can choose to look past wealth disparities, or job discrimination, or discrimination in the legal system, or cultural hegemony, or any of a thousand other ways that we’re given the upper hand by our laws and culture. But people of color know what’s really going on, because they live it. Even rich people of color who get to be on tv, like Randy Moss.

And if people of color say something about racism, we say back that they’re attacking our unity; that they’re not doing their part to hold the country together; they’re not turning the other cheek enough. But why is holding the country together their job?

This whole, “You’re promoting division” thing is a trick. It’s a feint.

Protesting racism doesn’t tear us apart. RACISM tears us apart.

Listen, here’s the deal fellow white people:

(People of color, go take a break. Relax. Go have a sandwich. This part is between me, Trent Dilfer, and all my other white people out there.)

White people - It’s not people of color’s job to protect us. It’s not their job to make us feel better. It’s not their job to end racism. Ending racism is our job! WE made it, let’s unmake it.

When someone tells you about racism; when someone protests racism, when they point out racism, they are not the source of the problem. RACISM is the source of the problem. And WE are the source of the racism. And we have the power to change it.
—  JESSE THORN, commenting on Trent Dilfer’s finger wagging at Colin Kaepernick, and white people’s responsibility in ending racism. Related post »here

The Outshot: Randy Moss’ Face

A listener named Clement Chow saw me ranting about this face on Twitter, and suggested I write a piece about it for my show Bullseye. So I did. You can hear the piece at 54:40 in this episode of the show.

I’ve gotta talk for a minute about Randy Moss’ face.

Because I know this is radio. I can’t just show it to you. But you’ve gotta believe me. It’s amazing.

Maybe you don’t know who Randy Moss is - he was a football player. A wide receiver. Now he talks about football on TV. 

The other day he was talking on ESPN with Trent Dilfer. Dilfer was a quarterback.

And for context here: Moss is black, Dilfer’s white.

The two of them were talking about Colin Kaepernick. He’s the 49ers quarterback who’s been taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racism in America.

And Dilfer said this thing I’m about to play for you, and Moss made a face. You’re about to hear Dilfer talking, but it’s important you imagine the look on Moss’ face. Like you wouldn’t believe this face.

(Dilfer)

Moss’ face was like… eyes narrowed. Brows furrowed. Mouth pursed. Stare at full blast. Full on-laser beams shooting from his eyes. He looked like a cartoon character with steam coming from his ears.

And maybe it was just the “I’m really paying attention face.” But oh boy did it look like the “You must be playing face.” The “you gotta be kidding me” face. Or the “This dude can’t be for real face." 

And this face went viral.

Because listen to this.

(Dilfer)

What does that even mean? The unity of the team is more important that racism? I mean, seriously?

(Dilfer)

This is a classic white people move. The call for unity. I say this as a white person. We love to tell people who are pointing out racism, who are protesting inequality… that they’re trying to tear us apart.

But Randy Moss’ face says it all.

Because us white people don’t have to live with racism. We don’t have to see it. It’s transparent to us. We can choose not to see it. As long as we’re not saying the n-word or writing "whites only” above a water fountain, we think we’re cool.
Our skin color means we can choose to look past wealth disaprities, or job discrimination, or discrimination in the legal system, or cultural hegemony, or any of a thousand other ways we are given the upper hand by our laws and culture.
But people of color know what’s really going on. Even rich people of color who get to be on TV like Randy Moss. And if people of color say something about racism, we say back that it’s an attack on unity. That they’re not doing their part to hold the country together. They’re not turning the other cheek enough.
But why is holding the country together their job? That’s what I think that face meant. 

This whole you’re promoting division thing is a trick. It’s a feint.
Protesting racism isn’t what tears us apart. Racism is what tears us apart.

Protesting racism doesn’t tear us apart. Racism tears us apart.

So Randy Moss made that face. That YOU MUST BE OUT OF YOUR MIND face.

Here’s the deal, my fellow white people. And yeah, people of color, relax for a minute, take a break, have a sandwich. This part is between me and Trent Dilfer and all my other whites out there.

White people: it’s not people of color’s job to protect us. It’s not their job to make us feel better. It’s not their job to end racism. Ending racism is OUR JOB. We made it. Let’s unmake it.

When someone tells you about racism, whe someone protests racism, THEY are not the source of the problem. The RACISM is the source of the problem.
And we are the source of the racism. And we have the power to change it.
So Trent Dilfer: I believe you that you care. I bet you’re a good dude. I thought you seemed smart and brave when you played for my favorite team, the 49ers. Most of us are good people of good will. I believe that.

But let’s be real right now. 

Don’t want racism to get in the way of football? Let’s work to end racism.
Don’t want racism to tear our country apart? Let’s work to end racism.
If we really want unity, it’s time for US to step the heck up. Unity is within our reach. If WE step up.

You know who already stepped up? Colin Kaepernick. A brave multi-racial black guy with white parents who knows exactly how this stuff goes down on both sides of this divide. In a way that you and me Trent never will. In a way that none of us white people ever will.

Kaepernick’s telling us something. He’s asking us to do something. Let’s listen. Let’s take action. Let’s take responsibility. This is our problem. And there’s no better time for change than now.

OK: that’s all I got for white people right now. Sorry for the haranguing. I want you to know I’m not perfect, and  hope you know I love you.
OK, people of color I hope you enjoyed your break. I love you too. Welcome back.

Now everybody: I have one last proposal for unity. Let’s all go check out the look on Randy Moss’ face and laugh our asses off together.