After viewing “Analyzing White America” by Paul Mooney, I was initially taken aback by the content. I never expected the rawness that Mooney brought to the stage and he hit the ground running with such a tone without looking back. A lot of the material made me laugh or at the very least smile because i found it to be identifiable with my own life and some of the surroundings that I was brought up in. The part that I found most amusing was Mooney’s suggestion that white people were happier before slavery was abolished. I believe racism is very much present in today’s world. When I was growing up, I can recall plenty of neighborhoods in my hometown that were considered “white” or even “black” for that matter.
In these neighborhoods, if you were not from that part of town, you were not considered welcomed there. Any parts of the film that I did not laugh at, there was no particular reason other than I simply was not amused by the material because there were not any parts that I found personally offensive. I feel as though the word “nigger” is so controversial solely because of it’s history and the origin of it’s meaning. This word was meant to degrade and disparage African Americans when it was originated.Today, people use the term in a different context.
The new meaning is one of affection but with it’s use comes this unwritten rule that white people are prohibited from saying it. I never could wrap my mind fully around the idea that I can say the word “nigga” in reference to a friend of mine but a white kid was not allowed to use it, in the same context, all because we are of different races. In my opinion, it’s not right for either myself or a white person to use the word in any context. In today’s society, everything is just as much about race as it was in the days of slavery. The only difference between now and then is that openly addressing the issues that we, as a culture, all have with race is socially unacceptable.
Mooney’s antics on stage were not without warrant. He recognizes that racism is still a major issue and he chooses to address it differently than the average person. Paul’s words are not meant to slander or belittle any one race, religion, or ethnice group, but instead he wants to make his audience to expand their minds and think about what it is he is really saying. Granted, his demeanor is controversial, I believe he achieves just that.