Monday, March 16, 2009

Defending Paris Hilton

I don't know if Paris Hilton is a racist. I don't know if Paris Hilton is any kind But I've read online that people feel she uttered "racist" language, and that she is a racist because of a tape showing Paris and sister Nicky mouthing off.

I firmly reject any characterization of Paris or Nicky based on this tape.

First of all, a racist is a person who takes a prejudiced view of people based on their race, and acts on it in a meaningful way to the detriment of people in the inferior group.

Paris and Nicky Hilton with all of their money and power definitely have the opportunity to be racists. Whereas most white people have very little possibilities of racist behvaior, simply because they have so little power. Notice I'm not talking about prejudging an individual negatively based on their race, and having negative words or feelings. I'm talking about action.

But the above article doesn't describe the Hilton's acting against others negatively, it talks about dancing to a Biggie song, and saying crude, racially negative statements.

Biggie can say them. But Paris or Nicky can't?
No one has a problem with the music being created, sold, consumed, but then there are politically correct rules?

I don't know anymore about the Hilton sisters than this article in reference to racial issues.
Yet, this episode means nothing.

On the flip side, Paris could have been given $10 million to the most worthy charities that benefit only blacks for the last ten years, and her utterance of "nigger" and the like could destroy all the goodwill.

That is wrong. It is sophomoric.

It was wrong when it was done to Don Imus too.

President Obama should take the opportunity of his victory to establish new cultural norms.
While we have freedom of speech from government persecution, we need to cultivate a richer public square where people can be funny, entertaining, stupid, or whatever, and not be castigated as some form of evil.

I am always working hard to establish standards that matter. Part of this effort is to make common sense distinctions. Like family time versus late night. Like serious business versus pure entertainment.

People have a right to be insulting, and you have a right to challenge them.
I have a right to tell you to deal with real problems and leave Paris alone.

No comments: