The mainstream conversation of whiteness, blackness, and everything in between disregards a substantial grey area in ethnic identity.

Image for post
Image for post
Artwork © 2020 Richard L. Entrup

Normalization of certain things and cancellation of other things are in full, simultaneous swing. By the 21st century’s new norms, long-commonplace terms like race and gender are now seen as misconceived, slightly illusory concepts, especially amongst millennials and Gen Z. In light of race being re-contextualized, perhaps we can evade the conventional black-white binary, we can now have civil discourse about race relations in a wide, analogous ethnic spectrum of different backgrounds.

That’s not the case, yet.

According to Pew research, about 6-in-10 Americans (55–60%) say race relations in the U.S. are generally bad, and we can only guess what the trajectory of race relations and relevant policy issues will look like in the future, because between humanities courses and the internet, intersectionality and the struggle for marginalized communities is foremost discussed and debated in the online hellscape. Leading these conversations is often left in the hands of cultural and social justice “experts” to decipher fact from opinion, fostering a profane reliance on figureheads and pundits for wisdom, whose sole interests lie in the national conversations they influence with their seeming omniscience, and the people pitted against each other as a result. …


*clears throat*

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: ISTOCK/Harvard Graduate School

There has for some time now, perhaps half a century, been a high hostility manifested in a brief stage of life where young people spite their adult supervisors for the detrimental and counter-productive habits and beliefs that are felt to have ruined life as we know it. An international mass of overburdened, young turks seeking real world change should get some slack, no? I would like to address the two primary groups clashing with and deriding each other…

To Boomers/Gen X:

The upheaval you see before you is the culmination of an overdue course of action on white supremacy and racism against “the other”, namely the black community in times like this, mixed with bottled stress from the Coronavirus pandemic. The George Floyd-Derek Chauvin incident alone has sparked what I see as a turning point in American identity, and the cultural trajectory seems obvious now. This doesn’t stop at police brutality against minorities (and the mentally ill/disabled); this stops at what we refer to as Eurocentrism, the worldview that’s centered on Western civilization or a biased view that favors it over non-western civilizations. My generation ultimately wants a full-stop end to the free market and laissez-faire oversight. This mission does not just eradicate competition in the economy and the market; it goes for creative circles, namely the art and music scenes. The enemy is not economical capitalism; it’s competition. My generation doesn’t like THAT c-word; it implies the obvious, that the merited will prevail through the worst settings. Americans are, compared with populations of other countries equally keen on meritocracy, a system that rewards the power duo of ability and effort with success. Americans are more likely to believe that people are rewarded for their intelligence and skills and are less likely to believe that family wealth plays a key role in getting ahead. But as far as the music scene is concerned, I feel there is a large absence of standards, a stark indicator of how further we’re getting past the old school, I guess. …


Genocide Awareness Month: Memorial in Isolation #StayHome

As a secular humanist, I don’t view religious affairs in a narrow prism of American nationalism; it’s not as simple as Anglo-Christian dominion. There are different fashions and different factions that are capable of carrying out wicked atrocities.

Image for post
Image for post
The site of Auschwitz concentration camp.

Germany and Turkey are two international friends of ours with skeletons in their closet, the difference being that the former has acknowledged their crimes and have gone to the extremes in instilling collective guilt to school children. In the late 19th century/early 20th century, the European powers had been very concerned with how Christians’ livelihoods were impeded by the Ottoman Empire onto those living in the Middle East. They were considered 2nd class citizens that often faced forced conversions, while Europe was also concerned with giving Russia too much influence. Eventually, Turkish and Arab forces formed the Hamidiye, a relatively small military group that perpetrated the first wave of Armenian massacres in the 1890s. After the Ottoman Empire lost large holdings in Europe, lost attempted coups, dealing with a giant influx of Non-Christian refugees from the Balkans, they used these factors as grounds for “deporting” the Armenian minority into “safer locations”. …


Image for post
Image for post
Brad Pitt expressing his grievances at the verdict of President Trump’s impeachment trial.​

Winter has bore a new annual tradition of post-announcement Oscar grievances in the form of sneers, jeers, and sometimes cheers towards the nominees and towards the aberrant actions and thoughts of certain names. They’re not just met with immediate applause or animus there in Dolby Theatre; they’re met with it on their phones in the 48-hour feeding frenzy that takes place in Twitter. Spike Lee’s display of poor sportsmanship at last year’s ceremony is a far cry from the more superlative example Marlon Brando’s written refusal of his 1973 Oscar for The Godfather, having Sacheen Littlefeather speak advocate for the good reputation and name of Native Americans on his behalf. The ceremony’s appeal was of record-setting pity in 2018 with less than 30 million viewers engaged. The bare craft of acting is now less of a deciding factor. A performance demonstrated by Charlize Theron or Daniel Day-Lewis would bring to light the creative merits, but the academy’s cabal of judgement has other cares than that of the craft. …


Image for post
Image for post
Credit: TravelZoo.

Drew Carrey once described the difference between Las Vegas and Atlantic City as being conned by a beautiful call girl and mugged by a crackhead. I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but a quick run from Atlantic City’s Marina grounds, being Harrah’s, the Golden Nugget, and the Borgata, eastward to the shoreline casinos will underpin Carey’s crackhead remark just fine. It helps present the beach as a concept and commercial attraction, given a very famous and historical one, as a mere eminence front for the drifting souls under the poverty line there, rather than an undoubtable place of childhood paradise. …


“We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom”. An audacious line from Roger Waters, Pink Floyd’s lesser-collected front man next to David Gilmour, “Another Brick in the Wall” was a formidable anthem against a menacing archetype; the mean, suppressive grade school teacher, a character formed from the eyes of a British schoolboy surrounded by the calamity of the Blitzkrieg. Fast forward, as it stands today, the words “read” “success”, “pride” and exceptionally, “challenge” hang over the upper walls of school libraries and classrooms like Pinocchio figurines in an Italian deli. They were installed there by people once like their academic dependents; curious and actively seeking academic excellence, in a place where poor character and lacking initiative will cost you. Nevertheless, in an ethics-based standoff between the young and the old, neither teacher or student holds the high ground without an eventual exchange; a romantic scandal here, a violent scuffle at recess there, and a shooting in the worst of outcomes. …


Image for post
Image for post

As a model for the 21st Century, human solidarity reigns supreme in the face of adversity and subjugation, and behind the forces of justice lay the preachers of tolerance. They’re people alike you and me; constantly seeking fairness for all. Amidst controversy immigration protests and counter-protests in North America and the U.K., the focus on impressions given by terrorist threats past and present irks everyone. To combat the mistreatment brought on by those with power and privilege, advocates for social justice uphold the importance of the well-being of the innocuous minority, and chastising for any reason is transgression. While it’s a well-accepted fact by secularists that no monotheistic religion has ever been formed to be one of openness or world peace where there are multiple religions, the believers whose American history is stained with malice onset by the wrongdoing of extremists are in awkward positions amidst a white, Protestant Americans. …

About

Richard L. Entrup

Richard is a video editor, digital artist, and sound designer in the New York area. He writes critical and polemic essays about various topics.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store