Thursday, June 17, 2021

Overheard at Table 4: What Opinions Matter?

You are white and so your opinion doesn't matter.

Rita Moreno darkened her skin in West Side Story in 1961, so her opinion doesn't matter, either.

... these were two comments I encountered during the discussion of "In the Heights,"
 a movie based on the Broadway play... the director has come under question almost immediately upon the theatrical release for not having darker skinned actors in the movie.   

Regardless of the fact that Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have a wide variety of skin tones among the population.  In fact, a person can have two parent from both extremes of both melanin spectrums and not look like a blend, but rather, like one or the other.

We should be celebrating the fact that a movie has come out that portrays islander Latinos as something OTHER than cartel members, maids, or poor farmers escaping crushing poverty.  

But no, let's use it yet again to air grievances, but hey!  Apparently I don't have the right skin tone, so my opinion doesn't matter.  And Rita Moreno, how DARE she defend this director!  For Shame!

(I think my sarcasm can bleed through this page ...)

So.  That said.  What opinions matter?  If a Puerto Rican's opinion doesn't matter on a Puerto Rican movie, then what opinion does matter?  Does an opinion really matter only if it comes from the offended party?  Or does an opinion matter from any person who lives in the culture, and thus is affected by the currents within that culture?

But then ... if the White Supremacists weren't so balls-up evil with their opinions then perhaps there could be some sort of discussion, but since they simply want to use the same language of those claiming to be oppressed in order to maintain their control over the social structure, then perhaps they have de-legitimized the opinion of other whites.  I don't know.

All I know is that constant screaming at each other is unproductive.  And I definitely know that arbitrary decisioning over the legitimacy of an opinion based on skin color is, itself, racist.

Yes, children, to say a white person can not have an opinion about race because of their race is racist.   I know you hear that from the White Supremacists, but just because they are using it to be total assholes doesn't mean it's not a valid point.

Once we all can move past race, past the hurt and the race-baiting, past the deception and past the condescension and blame, only then can we move forward.

But that's just my opinion and it doesn't really matter.

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