23 September 2008

To quote, "Enough is Enough!"

What. The. Heck.

I just completed a survey through a company I'll not name, since I understand that they're just the agents of questioning. I'm also resisting the (STRONG) temptation to post screen shots, for concern over copyright and confidentiality infringement.

But some of the questions were just blatant race-baiting, and I was highly affronted. I'd say "offended," but it's not quite right... "smacked in the face-shocked" is probably the best term.

They had indicators to measure how warmly you felt about "black people." And "white people."

Huh?

You'll have to name the individual to get an actual opinion! For example, I think very highly of Condoleezza Rice, and very poorly of, say, Michael Moore. I think Rev. Wright and Timothy McVeigh are/were hateful individuals. I think Bill Cosby and Mother Teresa and George Washington are/were wonderful individuals.

Isn't judging someone based on who they are and what they do as a human individual, (you know, "the content of their character"), what Dr. King was fighting for?

Another question pertained to whether Barack Obama is "black enough."

Okay - first response: outrage at stupidity of color-based assumptions. How on earth are we supposed to all get along if we keep asking questions based on the premise that people still hold assumptions about others based on how much melanin their skin produces?

Second, as a "white" person, how would I make that call? What could I say that wouldn't be taken as an insult?

Third, since that's been a common criticism from the "black community" (read: a bitter editorialist who happens to be black), I'd have to ask what you actually mean by "black." Are you just judging on skin color, or are there socio-economic factors at work? Like, how critics say Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Walter Williams, etc. are "not really black" because of their positions - in society and on the issues? Could a "white" person be "black" if they fit those socio-economic factors?

Fourth, I know that there are still some die-hard idiot racists in this country, but I'd venture to say that the vast majority of us aren't badmouthing any particular color, or making sweeping (negative) judgments about individuals based on what hue their genetic make-up produces. (Yes, regardless of what recent surveys say.) So enough with the stupid, prejudice-imbuing, "when did you stop beating your wife?" questions!!!

Or maybe I'm wrong, and we're all just haters, and I don't get out enough.

1 comment:

Jennifer Dunn said...

Well-written.
I once answered a telephone survey, probably not the same one, but I felt as though they had baited me as well. And when their questions can only be answered with an A, B, C, or D in most cases, there's little room to qualify your answers, or explain that you in fact do not judge people by their physical appearance, but by the good or bad they do.

I don't know if this would be of any comfort or just added frustration: it's B, "somewhat likely" that the surveyor is some poor college student who is just reading the questions on the screen in front of him, and is not actually listening to a word you say.