Sunday, December 05, 2004

MEN IN BLACK ARMBANDS: Poor Will Smith, deviating from the Only Allowed Line that September 11th is the worst thing ever to have ever happened to anyone, ever. Four months ago, he suggested in an interview with a German newspaper that September 11th hadn't changed his life:

“No. Absolutely not. When you grow up black in America you have a completely different view of the world than white Americans. We blacks live with a constant feeling of unease. And whether you are wounded in an attack by a racist cop or in a terrorist attack, I’m sorry, it makes no difference.”

In other words, Smith was suggesting that for some people in the US, they've experienced a level of personal suffering which will always inform their lives far more than absorbing the suffering of others second-had. You might think this is self-evidently obvious, but of course: you're not allowed to suggest that September 11th isn't the worst thing ever. And as soon as the people at
Patriotic Americans Boycotting Anti-American Hollywood (no, we're not making them up) had translated the article, they were outraged. Their take was, well, special:

It is interesting to note that, on a certain level, Smith is comparing American police officers, those charged with protecting society, with Islamic terrorists intent on destroying America and everything it stands for. Smith implies that racism is so rampant among America’s police that it is a threat equal in magnitude to black America as that of international terrorism. Instead of seeing 9/11 as a traumatic watershed event that contributed to uniting black and white America and healing racial tensions, Smith seems to believe that the terrorist attacks have had little impact on what he sees as the poor state of race relations in the USA.

Erm... he doesn't actually suggest that there are levels of racism "rampant" amongst US cops at all - clearly the "racist cop" is an example of why black Americans might be uneasy. But then people who believe that September 11th "healed racial tensions" in America (that must have been something we missed while reading the shit slopping about the internet about how terrible the Muslim, Middle Eastern cab drivers, unpatriotic immigrants and Arab employees of Dunkin' Donuts and... but you get the point.

1 comment:

Zuki said...

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