Racism: What it Is, What it Isn’t, and Why America’s Racial Paranoia Sucks Ass

To get the full affect of this article, you’ll need to be familiar with the old Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). If you are too young (or too old) to remember it, just search the web for “Mike Tyson’s Punch-out NES” and you’ll be able, with a mere few clicks of a mouse, to know all you need to know. But I dare say, most of us are familiar with the classic boxing video game.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-out was re-released some years later as just “Punch Out,” and the top guy, “Mr. Dream” (still with Iron Mike’s moves, body, and strengths), was the guy to beat. The re-release happened due to the expiration of Nintendo's appearance license with Tyson had expired. This was just before Tyson’s reputation fell right off the balcony of decency in late 1991 and has just recently started to recover (or be forgotten).

Punch Out was a great game, one of the few on the NES that I had the patience and desire to work at and actually win. I would play the damn thing all day long. I used to eat bags full of Tom’s Nacho Cheese Chips while drinking down a pitcher of tea sweetened with two cups of sugar as I spent hours wasting away playing. By the time it got old, I was nearly finished with Nintendo games and onto playing games with people’s minds to get them to believe in Jesus Christ and Christianity.

The times have changed again. Now, I’ve quit trying to get people to believe in Jesus. Jesus and Tyson mean the same to me. Tyson is a better actor than Jesus (yes, amazingly, he was quite good in The Hangover), but a mentally unhealthy obsession with Jesus occupied a greater portion of my life. I now think of them both from time to time, and neither matter to me…but I digress.

I tried to play an NES Mike Tyson’s Punch-out simulator on the trusty ole’ Mac last year, but found that the furthest I could get was Soda Popinski. My desires for the game are, of course, gone. But I love Punch-out even today because it was from a simpler time, from a less paranoid time when America was not headlong obsessed with the odorous assault of racial sensitivity.

Perhaps you’ve never thought about it, so think about it for a minute now—if Punch Out had been created today, would it have been released? It would certainly not have been. If it had been released, it would have been banned. As it is, it’s a “racist” game, full of degrading stereotypes and “insulting” attacks against gays, Russians, South Pacific Islanders, Frenchmen, Indians, the Japanese, and Spaniards.

There’s Glass Joe, a Frenchman who is such a wuss that no matter how good you get at the game, you still enjoy tearing into him and whipping his ass because there’s nothing he can do about it. He’s the easiest guy to beat, and he looks like he’s in the ring only because his firstborn son is being held hostage and he has to fight to save his life.



Then there’s King Hippo, seemingly a South Pacific Islander with scary eyes and a nearly animal body, who is so fat that his pants keep falling down when you pop him in the gut. You are supposed to wonder how much toilet paper this guy uses, just as you are how his arms can block hits so well over that massive gut.



There’s Piston Honda, a Japanese technical fighter who says “BONZAI!” ever so often, and he jiggles his arched, oriental eye-line as he’s about to start punching. He tries very hard to be “extra” Japanese. You just know the computer programmers were sitting around and having fun with that one.



On Super Punch-out (the arcade version of Punch Out), there was “Vodka Drunkinski,” an inebriated Russian who chugs his favorite beverage between rounds. For the standard NES, his name was changed to Soda Popinski (can’t encourage the junior high crowd to break into mom and dad’s liquor cabinet, can we?)



Great Tiger wears a big turban with a stone that twinkles so that you know when to hit him, but you’ve got to block his magically-endowed “tiger punches” if you want to beat him and make him retire to fulfill his real destiny of running a gas station for 80 hours a week in America.



There’s Don Flamingo. He’s the smart-but-sissified Spaniard who looks and acts the intended feminized part. He dances around and he throws flowers. Today, he’d be kicking back in Starbucks wearing a black turtleneck shirt. He’d have a lot of gel in his hair too.



An IQ of 80 or less says that there’s no way this game could be released considering today’s inflamed political landscape. No way, no how! But is Punch-out a genuinely racist game? Like so many popularly classified “racist” notions today, it isn’t.

Only if you reason like Commissioner John Wiley Price is Punch Out a racist game. Dr. Price is a stupid bastard in Dallas, Texas who decided in a city meeting on traffic tickets that it was racist to use the term “Black Hole.” Even in astronomy or science classes, it’s a racist thing to say. Why? Because using “black” to describe anything can imply something negative, and according to him, is like saying “black sheep of the family,” which he thinks means the same as “black people.” It’s derogatory, says the moron.



And the bigoted douche continues…



Poor Dr. Price. He’s so fucking stupid and bent on reverse-racial hatred that the chip on his shoulder cuts off his whole left arm. He’s too fucking retarded to realize that “black” was associated with “black" in the sense of "no light." Black holes are so strong that they don't even give off light, hence, we call them "black holes," not "white holes" like he wants them to be called. It's not hard to understand.

What about black clothing, a black cloth representing death, grieving, misfortune, etc. How about “Black Friday”? Is that racist? It comes from the 60s when people found that shoppers spend so much money on the Friday after Thanksgiving that broke stores go from “the red” into “the black” of better profits. But to Price, evil whitey will never stop. If this son of a bitch had his way, he’d re-write every science textbook currently being used in public schools and remove the word "black" altogether.

Mr. Price needs a gang of five white men to beat the hell out of him and hold him down and make him spit-shine their shoes with his tongue so that he can know the distaste of what real racism is. His definition would change, I promise you.

But count on the race-baiters, the race-hustlers, the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world, and others of the mega-lib persuasion to feed us this kind of crap. They, along with many of the newly educated crowd that graduated high school around 2004 or later, know nothing except how to academically argue the “pro” position on pot smoking. They don’t know anything else. They’ve been raised to think less critically, but more judgmentally. They’ve also been raised to think that racism is the worst of sins, even if they themselves don’t believe in the concept of “sin” (and they usually don’t).

Yes, Punch Out uses stereotypes. So the fuck what? Stereotypes can be used badly, but they can also hold kernels of truth, however inconsequential. In the case of Punch-out, the stereotypes are silly and meaningless, inside jokes from a time when – I don’t know how else to put it – people didn’t freak out about shit!

And how many protests did you hear from the French, from the Japanese, and from other racially bruised ethnicities when the game was released? Oh, that’s easy…like…none. None. Why? Because that’s where people were in the 80s. People hadn’t yet developed the ass-plugged habit of taking themselves too seriously and demanding that everyone else do as well. They weren’t consumed with an unhealthy and narcissistic fascination about self-esteem and that sacred catchall cow known as “cultural sensitivity.” No one took the game seriously, and that’s the way it should have been as we are talking about A FUCKING VIDEO GAME!

Nobody took issue with it. But what about kids who went to school and started mocking the Japanese for their eyes or the Spaniards and French-blooded for their “wuss” qualities? They didn’t. Never happened. But that doesn’t matter to a liberal. Everything is about them. Everything reflects on them and on the “roots” of some. Any remotely perceived negative imagery brings a shady overcast of demeaning slander. That’s why Disney has done away with “Song of the South.” You can’t get it anymore.

Mark my words…we are going to look back on this period in our history and be in complete awe at how paranoid and egotistically skull-fucked we were. It’s going to be a running joke in less than thirty years from now. Everything is fucking racism today; the movies can’t stop focusing on it and preaching a by now tenderized and tepid message of tolerance. When is this backlash going to pass? It’s a bad flu, but like a bad flu, it will pass (or it could kill us first). I’m convinced it will pass.

And everything today can be racism. Say you don’t like rap and you might get called a hater. Say you prefer to date or marry someone of your ethnicity only and you WILL get accused of it (I have been and I’m not a white-only dater). Being called racist is the big “trump card” insult of the influential thinkers of our time, way worse than being called a “commie” in the 70s.

Stereotypes can be (and often are) true. I can say them to make a point or even to build an argument, so long as I am aware of the limitations/exceptions.

There is a situation at work. Someone is stealing food – sometimes already bitten-into food – from the employee break room. What class of people might you think it to be? Is it someone from Human Resources, Accounting, Security, Retail, or perhaps Housekeeping? The answer: Housekeeping. Why? You already know why. Has to do with income/poverty level concerns. Is that an unfortunate fact? Yes. Am I going to suspect that’s where my thief is likely to be? Yes. Is it possible that I’m wrong and it is someone from another department? Yes. Is the income level a factor that I should ignore in my thinking in the name of showing “equality”? No, if you’re smart; yes, if you’re a good liberal. You’re dumb as goddamn hell if you think so. Liberal thinking, the kind that has to be used to reinforce one’s convictions of “equality,” makes common sense reasoning a laborious exercise at best, which is why most liberals choose not to apply it.

It is a statistical fact that there are more black males in prison than in college. It is common sense that the poor are more apt to steal food and petty items than are the non-poor, and many of these poor are from a minority background—all statistical facts. Not liking it and trying to get others to not state it won’t erase it. I can’t use (and wouldn’t want to use) a statistic or a stereotype to bestow guilt, but I can (and will no matter what) use it to pursue any suspicions I may have. That’s called logic, and it has no desire to join any special interest groups.

The case of the late football commentator Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder is of particular interest. Snyder was fired from NBC for saying: “The black is a better athlete to begin with because he's been bred to be that way. Because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs. This goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trading, the owner – the slave owner – would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid.” Snyder himself was later socially bludgeoned into apologizing for the comments, but what Snyder said wasn't wrong. Ask any anthropologist and they’ll tell you (off the record).

People pursue liberal lines of thinking because of indoctrination, because they feel that they have to, which is why we need to do as many statistically based exercises in common sense reasoning as possible. Which vehicle is less likely to be stolen—a car with or without 22-inch rims like the rappers drive? It’s a no-fucking-brainer, an undisputed fact. If you can’t see it, please quit reading and go drink a gallon of bleach immediately.

The big thing that people hate but can’t get rid of is that racism is UNIVERSAL. It exists in every life form, and it will shock you just how. Plants of the same kind grow better when kept in the same soil. That’s right; grow jalapeños and habeneros separately and each kind of plant with its “own kind” and the results will be far better (I speak from some knowledge of horticulture, but mainly experience). The same harmony to be found in the soils where plants of the same kind grow better together is found in close-nit communities with matching racial demographics. Communities desire “their own kind.” It’s a fact like any other, though we wish like hell that it wasn’t so. Segregation was never a good idea, but you aren’t going to get rid of racism. You can only work around it.

Every white parent of the last few generations has given the same speech to their children, that minorities secretly desire to live apart from their privileged white counterparts. Terms like “their kind” are used in these conversations, prefaced with the phrase: “I don’t want to sound racist, but…”. And every white child has been warned that minorities are trying to “take over” for “payback” from the days of our great, great grandparents.

By contrast, every minority parent of the last several generations has taught their children behind closed doors that it is the whites who can’t be trusted, who doesn’t have to work as hard, who can get jobs easier, and who will put down all others when push comes to shove to promote themselves. Phrases like “they will never understand” are the choice phrases. The white man puts everyone down. With every group, the ugliest of words are used in clipped and hushed tones. Racial slurs are only racial slurs to the out-groups, never to the in-groups.

In all U.S. police academy training, the cadets receive instruction on what not to do with certain ethnic groups. It’s basic racial sensitivity training; Mexicans should not be put on their knees and spoken to from behind (that’s how they execute people “under the table” in Mexico). Blacks are to be expected to have an inherent fear of the police. It’s almost expected that the younger males will run when stopped while walking the streets in many areas. And in prisons, race means absolutely everything. You “stick with your own kind” as a matter of life or death. I don’t care if you were a card-carrying ACLU lawyer, not following this rule would get you shanked in the shower!

Just as with plants, we prefer and elevate those of our kind who are most like us. Our genes would have it that way. It’s a matter of propagating the best gene arrangements. But reason and compassion, seasoned with the spices of time and progress, have finally allowed us to go a different route. This means making greater efforts to extend to those who are not like us the same courtesies and rights that we would to those closest to us and who remind us of ourselves.

But we humans, we go overboard. We see so clearly only after the damage is done. The witch hunts of New England, the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, it had to happen before we could call it out. We haven’t yet evolved the ability to stop or else slow the fuck down long enough to think: Do I really have anything to worry about? Am I going too far? Am I a victim of an alarmist episodic fever that will pass given time? Nope, we don’t think. We charge ahead, full steam, and then we hit the iceberg. And then we just relax. All you have to do is assess the damage. That’s the easy part.

(JH)

4 comments:

  1. An insightful article on racial attitudes in modern America. I really like the contrast with the stereotypes in Punch Out (great game, lots of memories). I played PO on an emulator a few years ago, and like you, I couldn't do as well as I did back in the Nintendo FamiCom (the asian counterpart for the NES). I don't have much trouble with Soda Popinski but Don Flamenco 2 is a killer! Cheers!

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  3. While I sympathize with the spirit of this post (that racial paranoia has gotten a bit out of hand), the general tone of this article diverges from political and cultural commentary and into inflammatory personal attack a bit too much when you speak about Dr. Price. If you want the climate of racial paranoia to go away, don't feed into it by saying that a prominent black man should be beaten into the ground by five white guys!

    In addition, I take issue with this: "Every white parent of the last few generations has given the same speech to their children, that minorities secretly desire to live apart from their privileged white counterparts."

    I'm afraid that, as a white guy, my parents never said any such thing. In fact, my parents never even acknowledged the existence of racism, either positively or negatively, while I was in my formative years, and so it has never really occurred to me to dislike others based upon their race.

    The analogy to peppers is scientifically flawed, and (I must be honest) you are using your old minster-tactics of twisting science to fit a preconceived worldview. Those two species of pepper do not grow well together because they are different species. Humanity is one species. Humans are quite genetically homogeneous, with mostly just surface differences due to environmental factors. White men do not naturally emit pheromones that cause black men to vomit, which would be the situation analogous to the pepper scenario.

    I realize that this response is some months after the original post, but I felt compelled to respond nonetheless.

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  4. rarr said...

    While I sympathize with the spirit of this post (that racial paranoia has gotten a bit out of hand), the general tone of this article diverges from political and cultural commentary and into inflammatory personal attack a bit too much when you speak about Dr. Price. If you want the climate of racial paranoia to go away, don't feed into it by saying that a prominent black man should be beaten into the ground by five white guys!

    Joe: I don't want him to be beaten, but if it happened, I'm sure he'd have a bit better perspective. And what can I say? I have a deep hatred for racial paranoia.

    rarr said...

    In addition, I take issue with this: "Every white parent of the last few generations has given the same speech to their children, that minorities secretly desire to live apart from their privileged white counterparts."

    I'm afraid that, as a white guy, my parents never said any such thing. In fact, my parents never even acknowledged the existence of racism, either positively or negatively, while I was in my formative years, and so it has never really occurred to me to dislike others based upon their race.

    Joe: Ok, so you and your family are the rare exception. What I said is almost always true. People build ties on similarities, racial ones all the more. It's not "evil," it's just nature saying: "You are like me, so I prefer you." But it's never that overt.

    Honestly though, I'd be real surprised to find that your - or any other - parents were such excellent examples of evolved racial excellence so as to never let out any expressed differences between themselves and others.


    rarr said...

    The analogy to peppers is scientifically flawed, and (I must be honest) you are using your old minster-tactics of twisting science to fit a preconceived worldview. Those two species of pepper do not grow well together because they are different species. Humanity is one species. Humans are quite genetically homogeneous, with mostly just surface differences due to environmental factors. White men do not naturally emit pheromones that cause black men to vomit, which would be the situation analogous to the pepper scenario.

    Joe: no, no, no. While I can appreciate your keen mind and desire to keep old "preachin' Joe" from coming out and getting all rowdy, an analogy serves the purpose of the user/maker of it, and in this case, it refers to differences. As a learned individual, you should know that the way science divides up "species" is based on sets of traits. The same sets of traits are far more peculiar and volatile in human beings, and even lesser ones, as we are a complex species. Race matters, and I backed that up with the prison illustration, which you didn't touch.

    My point stands: Humanity defaults to instinctive and primal behaviors that exist in racial barriers.

    So the points made fall right in line--my ranting tone and jaded aura notwithstanding.

    (JH)

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