Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day Sixteen: Southern Hospitality

White Dems: Here's What They Think of You

When I first began this blog I wrote critically of James Taranto and his Wall Street Journal op-ed page. I haven't really paid any attention since then but, while perusing the refuse that passes for Taranto's commentary, I spotted this:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jim Galloway calls attention to an NAACP press release alleging 'acts of intimidation and retaliation' rising out of the election of President-elect Barack Obama:

-African-American parents are reporting that their kids-from elementary to high school-are being verball and physically harassed by their white classmates while their teacher turn the other way.

-Teachers and principals have told student that they cannot in any way discuss President-elect Obama and the election or they face disciplinary action, even though prior to Nov. 4, teacher held regular class discussions on the upcoming election..

-Both African-American students and employees are reporting that they're receiving all kinds of slights, cold shoulders, and uncomfortable stares from their white classmates and colleagues.

Slights, cold shoulders and uncomfortable stares! Oh, the humanity!

Leave it to white right-wingers (try to say that three times in a row) to be completely dismissive of black concerns, and of their own cruelty. Of course, if their kids are in any way inconvenienced by school administrators, teachers or students, look out! But when our kids are catching hell based on their skin color, it's a non-issue.

Yet, there's always something worth salvaging from hate. I've always argued that white contempt can be used as a learning experience. People, this world, this country, can be ugly, particularly when white folks feel slighted. The negative, widespread, Obama-victory-related experiences of African-Americans should remind us all that the color line is still an issue for many. My feeling is that black parents ought not to be celebrating Barack's victory so much that they neglect to prepare their children and themselves for white animosity. Our kids need to know what's in store for them, black Pres or not. Leading up to November fourth, one of the things that I kept telling friends and family is, in the event of Obama winning the election, a whole lot of white folks are going to run back to their only source of comfort: white supremacy.

In spite of the fact that Barack is only one man, I believe that a whole lot of white Americans, particularly those in the undereducated South, are looking at this in much the same way that they viewed Reconstruction. Many of these whites are frightened. They can't believe what just happened. They assumed that white guilt hadn't reached the point at which a black person could actually make it to the White House. I was listening to the radio the day after the election and the local public radio station was interviewing disappointed McCain supporters. To hear them, you would think that Satan had won. One man actually said that he was "afraid for my country." Another woman said that we were headed for a socialist society. They said everything but what they meant, which was, "I can't believe a nigger is going to be the President of the United States."

And those of you who might remind me that if not for white voters, Obama wouldn't have won anything, ought to keep in mind that these same white voters aren't about to receive my congratulations for doing something that they should have done a long time ago. Suddenly white folks want to receive credit for voting in favor of their own self-interest. Voting for the reform candidate when the incumbent party has spent the last eight years flushing the country down the toilet is the least that you can do - and is certainly not tantamount to challenging the bigots among you.

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At 7:42 PM , Blogger Clifton said...

The reaction down here to this election has really been a reality check. The real scary part is that he hasn't really started being the president yet.

It's the guilt that makes them as frightened as they are.

At 10:33 PM , Anonymous B said...

my brain is broken, so i won't comment tonight. but uh...tick tick tick

At 10:42 AM , Blogger Keisha Kornbread said...

This is so true. It's amazing how people are reacting to the soon to be president's election win.

Most people thought racism was almost dead, especially these white people. President-Elect Obama's win has hit some nerves and we are seeing just how ugly it really is. We've come a long way, but we are hardly anywhere near the middle of the road's end.

At 3:20 PM , Blogger BLESSD1 said...

Agreeing with you guys on this one. A black-republican told me last week that this could have happened long ago, and that this shouldn't surprise anyone b/c the Civil Rights movement accomplished it's goal; racism doesn't really exist in the U.S. anymore. I didn't even want to further engage him in debate b/c if he couldn't see or could dismiss the blatant displays of racism that still occur daily in this country, then he truly was beyond any aid that I could offer in any capacity. I just hope that it doesn't take his being a victim of a hate-crime himself to open his eyes.

At 11:28 AM , Anonymous b said...

The fact is, as long as there exists the capacity to hate, there will exist racism, or homophobia, or religious intolerance, or anything else you can muster. Each one of us have our preconceived notions about groups of people whom we, in truth, probably know little to nothing about. Where it becomes dangerous is when we accept these irrational views as being theories of substance.

It becomes frightening, because there are people who in tandem with these irrational views, possess charismatic personalities, and therefore, influence the weak minded, particularly those who have not taken a definitive stance against bigotry.

If you're making $500k a year and don't want to pay more taxes, I can understand a vote for McCain. But if your name is, say Joe, and you're, I dunno, an unlicensed plumber that owes the government $1200, I might call you a bigoted douche.

As much as I consider making a move away from the urrea, I come to realize how different it is from the South. Sometimes, those extra taxes I pay to live here are well worth my peace of mind.


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