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Race, zombies & reality

Philadelphia seems like a radioactive-contaminated site following the infamous Philadelphia magazine cover story, "Being White in Philly."

For those who wonder why writer Robert Huber spoke almost entirely to white people, here's copy from the cover: "In a city that is largely poor and segregated, white people have become afraid to say anything about race. Here's what's not being said."

OK, from the jump it had a white focus, so that's why African-Americans, gypsies, Asians, Hispanics and Eskimos were not included.

The article concluded with these words:

"Meanwhile, while I drive through North Philly to visit my son, I continue to feel both profoundly sad and a blind desire to escape. Though I wonder: Am I allowed to say even that?"

The over-the-top reaction in some quarters (many journalists among them) shows the answer is no. Maybe you can think it, but don't say it and don't write it.

A few weeks back, Saturday Night Live spoofed the AMC series, "The Walking Dead." Zombies. The walking dead. They're all the rage now. Along with sexy vampires. Sheesh.

Anyway, four (armed, white) survivors are standing in the ruins of a building when a zombie (says his name was Lyle, played by Kevin Hart) surrenders and insists he's not a zombie, even though, suspiciously, he talks and walks like a zombie.

When one of the white people says he's a zombie, Lyle replies, "This is so racist, right now." When they catch him eating the adult woman in their group, Lyle says, "Would you rather I just eat some fried chicken or some watermelon?"

That shames the whites into apologizing. The skit was liked by many, called racist by others. It was a double-header, apoofing the TV show and white guilt, or nervousness about being perceived as racist. Here's a link to the skit:

The Simpsons is not called racist when it mocks minorities because it's "entertainment." Does SNL get a pass, Too? If it's racist, it's racist, isn't it?

Remember the parody of a white guy Eddie Murphy used to do? Was that racist? Maybe it was racial. I do know it was funny. But, yes, it's different if you mock a member of the majority. Will that change in a couple of decads when whites cease to a majority in America? Of course not. And it shouldn't.

Yep, we may have some racism  in America (and nearly everywhere else). People seem to have an innate need to look down on someone else (or bully them) and to identify with their own tribe.

Orthodox Jews look down on less observant Jews, Catholics and Christians killed thousands of fellow followers of Christ in Northern Ireland for hundreds of years, Hutus slaughtered Tutsis, Sunnis and Shiites blow each other up, and as far as "civilized" Europe in the 20th (and 21st) century, don't get me started.

The sad fact is people want to be higher on the ladder than someone else.

Sorry, but that seems to be human nature, everyone wanting to be at the top of the food chain. We have to deal with that, but I don't think it's going away. What we have to do is make sure people can't use their feelings of superiority to deny anyone else opportunity. Hard to do, but that's where The Law comes in. I define civilization as the acceptance of Law over human nature.

I don't really care if you hate me because I'm Jewish. I wish you weren't that way, but if you are, keep it your problem and don't make it mine. I only care when you try to interfere with my life, my aspirations, my ability to compete.

Same with racism. You hate black or brown or red or yellow people, that's your problem. Try to interfere with their lives, aspirations and ability to compete, that's my problem too, and a problem for every right-thinking Philadelphian.