Last night I popped open an e-mail from somebody I’ve known for roughly 9 years. We crossed paths in graduate school and I have, what I would have termed until yesterday, an extremely causal acquaintanceship with this person: meaning if we were at the same party, I’d go over and say hello but not much more that a superficial relationship at best.
“Hi. I believe in honesty. I just wanted to let me know that in light of the Trevon Martin decision, I found your link on FB to demonstrate latent racism on your part. I’ve seen a few of your posts about your cat who you call ‘the world’s dumbest animal’ and now this link about another person referring to a black cat in the same manner. This IS racism. I’ve expressed my concerns to you before regarding the names of your animals. Please consider these types of posts and naming of your animals going forwards. In Christ’s Peace. . . . “
What. The. Hell. Ok, get a grip you dumb ass New England Liberal, or more correctly, get your head OUT OF your ass. Lafitte is a cat. (You know, 4 paws, whiskers, tries to catch birds/mice and meows). He also is quite dumb. Cute but dumb.
Jackson IS named after Andrew Jackson. Yup, there are some aspects of the Jacksonian Era that are questionable, there are also some pretty good things (the start of the national banking system) and some quirky things (oh, big block of cheese, to the victor the spoils and that almost burning down of the White House thanks to a party). And depending on who you are, credit for starting the Democratic Party. If you knew something about history, you’d get that Laffite was Jackson’s side-kick in the Battle of New Orleans securing the port during the War of 1812 (albeit after the war had ended).
But here is the thing: they are C-A-T-S named after (one could argue) moderately important figures and legends in early American history. One is orange, one is black. I had Lafitte’s named picked before I even saw him. I got him because Jackson needed a side kick.
I’m not denying the very real racism that exists in this country: I’m not denying that as a person of European descent I do not fully grasp the complexities of racism (but when you want to chat with me about sexism, discrimination based on sexual orientation or disability, give me a call).
I am stating for the record, having a dumb black cat named after a pirate doesn’t making me a racist. But sending me an e-mail telling me I’m one, and then signing your e-mail using religion only re-enforces my entrenched beliefs about over the top liberal idiocy regarding issues and the looking for oppression around every corner in and demanding an apology.
Not everything has a hidden agenda people. Sometimes, you just name your pet after a few quirky personalities in history. It’s not like I named him Mussolini. Now *that* would have been offensive.
And for the record? The writer of the e-mail is a white, heterosexual male. Not that it should make any difference.