Recently Parker Rice, 19, was exposed as the “ringleader” in a racist chant attributed to a group of Sigma Alpha Epsilon members. They sang proudly of their racial exclusiveness and violence against African-Americans. At least, Parker and his comrades were proud of themselves until the video leaked to the internet. Suddenly, I and others are expected to sincerely believe that Rice is “deeply sorry” for his actions.
I’m not buying it. People who are busted for truly awful behavior are rarely sorry for the actions; only the consequences. And it is my personal hope that those consequences are severe. I would like nothing more than for Parker Rice’s life to be ruined as a result of this heinous behavior.
Does that sound cruel to you?
It probably does, but as any minority American can tell you, it is people like Parker Rice that use positions of influence and power to do harm. It’s these type of people who are responsible for Affirmative Action. No, not minorities trying to get “special privileges”; a quota is established to keep racist and sexist bigots like Rice from establishing a “good ol’ boy” system which deprives men and women of a fair opportunity in the work place.
After killing teenager Jordan Davis, Michael Dunn ordered a pizza and a pay-per-view movie at his hotel. pic.twitter.com/V3CGMrTtwQ
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 12, 2015
I am not personally concerned with who taught Parker Rice to hate. Perhaps he learned it from his parents or his grandparents. Or Parker Rice spent a lot of time online amongst hateful anonymous cowards who gleefully toss around the N-word because they feel brave behind a computer screen. I don’t even care if he was strongly influenced by SAE.
I am simply glad that this person and others like him are exposed to the internet for the entire world to see. Because while people may stop debating whether or not Parker Rice is a racist troll in a week or two, the conversation will forever be reserved in the LONG digital memory of the world-wide-web. Assuming Parker Rice has any aspirations that will take him outside of the white-only, racist-enabling environment of Oklahoma, I imagine it will be very difficult to get around this controversy.
— Kevin Cokely (@KevinCokelyNBC5) March 11, 2015
He may struggle to find a place at a new “respectable” school, and he may certain struggle with getting hired or keeping a job. Don’t believe me? Just ask Justine Sacco, a public relations executive (yes, seriously) who was fired over a “joke” about going to Africa and possibly contracting AIDs. She tweet the bigoted remark before hopping on a 12-hour flight to South Africa. By the time Sacco landed, she was a top trend on Twitter and didn’t have a job anymore.
And that was just one off-color joke on Twitter. So the idea of being seen in a video making a racist fool of yourself can indeed have serious and far-reaching consequences.
— Irish Examiner (@irishexaminer) March 7, 2015
Before anyone gives me the “he’s young, he’ll outgrow it” line, consider the fact that we’re having this discussion in 2015. Generations of racists like Parker Rice have failed to outgrow their hatred and harmful behavior toward disenfranchised members of American society. Instead, they pass on this intolerable behavior to their kids, who grow up to repeat the process.
Since older Americans are clearly failing to end the cycle of intolerable behavior, humiliation and stigmatization of bigots like young Parker seems to be the only course left.
May the world leave persons so ashamed of themselves and so excluded from society that they begin to understand the helplessness and hurt they’ve caused other people—people who’ve done NOTHING but be born with a different level of melanin in their skin. It may be too much to hope that Parker Rice and his cohorts gain the slightest bit of empathy behind this scandal. I’m sure people reading this argument demanding that myself and others like me “get over” or ignore casual racism wouldn’t know empathy if it jump-kicked them upside the head.
But at least, continuing to call out and hold these type of racists accountable can be a starting point to improving things for the rest of humanity. That includes all of us who wish to get along and move forward without dealing with low-minded idiots with archaic beliefs. Hopefully the backlash against these type of individuals continues unabated, pushing them so far into a corner that no other sensible member of society has to put up with them.
If that means a downfall for Parker Rice, I’ll be the last person to weep for him.
[Image Credit: OHDOCTAH79]