Thursday, May 28, 2015

Where’s the Bleach?

You people are waaaayyyyy toooo sensitive!

Who people?

Black people.

Yes, Black people are very sensitive and sometimes paranoid.  When Apple came out with new emojis, Clorox tweeted, ‘New emojis are alright but where’s the bleach.’  Well, Black people took that as a racially charged offense; stopped everything and called or rather tweeted Clorox out for being racist.  I mean nobody had time to find TBT pictures.  Stuff was going down!  To avoid further backlash, Clorox eventually removed that tweet and followed it with a more remorseful one: ‘Wish we could bleach away our last tweet. Didn't mean to offend - it was meant to be about all the      emojis that could use a clean up.’ 

Clorox is not stupid.  Over there, they know how much Black people are crazy about clean clothes.  Meanwhile, I’m over here thinking, “Is that it?  People are offended by emojis!”  And I know for sure that there is no way that I would have been hurt by bleachgate.  Here’s why.  As a business major, I learned that the number one goal of EVERY company is to make a profit.  Looking at the photo of the Clorox bottle made from emojis, I know that Clorox was just thinking about Clorox and not about the new dark faced emojis.  Just like how Black people think that everything is about racism, Clorox thinks that everything is about Clorox.  Do you know how much more money Clorox would make if it had an emoji? 

Secondly, as an old schooler, I don’t think I’d have time to update or locate aon my cell phone.  If I have to go to the toilet, I don’t think that I’d be so busy that I can’t write the actual word.  Plus, we just are in the habit of giving way too much information.  If I have to go, BRB will suffice.  Who needs to know if I’m going to take a dump, eat dinner, have a quickie or take a nap?  I’m assuming that’s what an emoji like that would be used for.  I’m not technologically smart enough, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

But this is America; and this is 2015, dammit.  There are plenty of things that are actually racially insensitive.  There are plenty of things that are actually prejudiced against us, and Clorox trying to increase its bottom line is not one of them. 

For instance, outside my neighborhood, there is a miniature golf course called the Golf Plantation.  Can you imagine how people would cringe if that was called Auschwitz Golf Camp?  And please don’t tell me that that is quite a leap because just the other day, Coca-Cola got in trouble with the Jews.  As Fanta celebrated its 75th anniversary, it greeted us with a little history of how it originated.  As people realized that Fanta was invented because Coca-Cola’s German operation could not get the ingredients for coke to the bottling plants during World War II because of trade embargos with Nazi Germany, all hell broke loose. 

Of course Coca-Cola pulled the ad.  What, Jews don’t drink Fanta?  And if they learn the history after the fact, will Fanta taste differently?  What would happen if Black people decided that they would never wear cotton?  Or what if we decided to stop using sugar?   (Actually that might not be a bad thing with diabetes and all.)  Or what if we decided never to step on a boat, go on a bed or a ship because the first propeller was invented by Benjamin Montgomery, the corded bed was invented by Henry Boyd, and Benjamin Bradley invented the steam engine?  All these men were slave inventors whose creations alleviated the lives of others. 

Every Easter, millions of Black people go to church to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Easter usually, but not every year, coincides with Passover which is when the Jews celebrate their exodus from Egypt.  So it makes me wonder, why Black people don’t celebrate the anniversary of their freedom every January 1 to commemorate the proclamation signed by President Lincoln on January 1, 1863.  Oh, could it be because the proclamation was just an executive order and not a law passed by Congress?  I know it couldn’t be because over 600,000 people died during the Civil War.  I mean, for Black people to celebrate that proclamation would not seem insensitive in light of the demise of hundreds of thousands of people, right.  If that were the case, then there would be no need for us to debate the insensitivity of the Confederate flag still proudly flying on people’s trucks, in front of their houses and outside some federal buildings.

Although the swastika is over 3,000 years old, because of its use by Nazi Germany, it is now prohibited in many countries, if it is used as a symbol of hate; but its sight alone is just simply frowned upon.  And although its presence sends a lot of people into a tizzy, people like me have to endure driving by the Golf Plantation.

As a Black person, I can see why we have become so sensitive and paranoid.  With the police pulling people over just for being Black, driving a car that is too nice, driving in a neighborhood that is too polished; with police killing close to a thousand people each year just for being Black; with owners of basketball teams saying that they don’t want Black people attending the games; with frat boys singing that they don’t want Black people in their fraternities, I guess anyone can see why Black people can be a tad bit touchy.

I mean, long before our cause was being championed by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, women’s suffrage was a done deal.  After child labor laws were passed, people became cautious about taking advantage of youths working for them.  Although there will always be bigots, Italians, Irish, Jewish and Asian people don’t get near as much flak as they did many years ago.  But for some reason, when it comes to Black people, it’s like bigots have reverted to the Jim Crow era.

So it is understandable why Black people have to fight for every little thing, like Black woman forever stating that the color ‘nude’ does not apply to us.  And after many decades, I found out why Band-Aids are the color that they are – they were not made with Black people in mind.  As if we don’t get cuts too!

But these latter fights are easily fixable.  Either we don’t buy Band-Aids or ‘nude’ clothing and makeup or we make our own.  And there are generic emojis that one can use if one is not comfortable using a White faced one; but perspectively speaking, wasting time and energy about not seeing ourselves represented in emojis is time and energy we are not spending in seeing ourselves represented in leadership roles within law enforcement, legislative branches, corporations and civil service where we can actually make a difference.

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