Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Locked in Paradox

This is almost too easy.

University of Missouri student Benjamin Elliott, 18, was temporarily suspended from the school this week following his arrest on Saturday for allegedly spray-painting racist graffiti on a campus fixture reports the Maneater.

The offensive phrase was discovered early Saturday morning by a student who reported the find to officials, the Riverfront Times reports. According to the Kansas City Star, Elliott was arrested after campus security watched surveillance footage which implicated him in the incident. Campus police added that witnesses confirmed that it was Elliott in the video, but Elliott told police that he was drunk at the time and does not recall what happened.

More here.

This type of thing happens all the time, so when I first read this story I wasn't surprised. I mean, I went to graduate school at Louisiana State University where the white football fans fly purple and gold confederate flags on game day in support of an unpaid group of black college athletes. So hypocrisy and racism are old news to me. But then I had a look at the kid's mug shot...

Wait for it...

Seriously, homie? You're a racist white cat with DREADLOCKS?

Listen up, Benji. I'm sure you're a decent enough kid. You probably play World of Warcraft during your spare time. There's a girl at your school that you really want to know better. You skip class every once in a while and spend all day at the student center making inside jokes with your friends. And you probably locked your hair because you really identify with Bob Marley.

If Bob Marley were alive and saw you do what you did, he would most likely smack the sh*t out of you; not because of what you spray painted on a wall. He's seen that crap before. Rather, because you have chosen to make a definitive ideological statement about your distaste for people of color while adopting a headdress that is quite literally THE SYMBOL of everything for which he stood as a person of color.

Your ignorance nullified your perspective before your ideology was even heard. You are cartoonishly contradictory. Until you make some honest and difficult decisions about who you are and what your life means to this world, very few people you encounter will be able to take you seriously; on all sides of the topic.

The good news is you're 18. Consider this event your first quiz in "Life 101."

Learn something?


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