Callin It Like I See It
I haven't, just because I've not had an opportunity to sit down and gather my thoughts about the issue and then express them in a cohesive manner.
Also, I tend to shy away from political rhetoric for a plethora of reasons but most notably, because I really don't feel that I am well versed enough in politics to opine convincingly, articulately and intelligently.
But I'm going to give it a shot.
Our conversation was prompted by this question from her: "Do you think America will really elect a black president?"
No. I don't.
I know. I'm in the minority. A lot of people in the U.S. are already treating Obama's victory in November as a foregone conclusion.
I do think we've made a hell of a lot of progress. The fact that Obama has made it as far as he has is a testament to that.
But you see...I am now a Southerner by marriage. Oh, I'm still an outsider. I talk funny and I'm a godless heathen to boot. Nobody knows my "people", so I'm a mystery. But I'm married to one of their own, so to satisfy the dictates of Southern decorum, I am accepted if not entirely understood.
So I hear things. I see things. Voices are not lowered when I am around, euphemisms are not employed. I am witness to the ugly underbelly of prejudice in all it's unvarnished truths.
And I will tell you this...there is a very large segment of our populace who will simply not allow a black man to come to power in the United States. They're all for progress of course...why, they think colored folks are just like the rest of us; except when it comes to marrying their children or leading their government.
That's where their largesse and their forward thinking ends.
You may think that it's just the rural uneducated, the rednecks, the hillbillies. But there are doctors, lawyers, teachers and preachers who espouse the very same ideals, albeit with a bit more circumspection and tact.
They are my neighbors. They are my peers. They are raising children who will one day shape the future of our nation. And they are teaching them to hate.
I don't believe they are in the minority, nor do I believe their numbers are confined to the Deep South. The South is just less apologetic about it, finding legitmacy in racism as a cultural legacy dating back to the glory days prior to the Civil War, when niggers and womenfolk knew their place.
It's their heritage, and who's to tell them it's wrong? They defend it with a rabidness would be admirable, if it weren't so dismaying.
Anyway...I think we, as a society, have been buying into the fairy tale of acceptance and tolerance, which has been supported and promoted by the political correctness bandwagon upon which we have collectively jumped.
But words are not actions, and words are not beliefs. Words are empty promises and meaningless blandishments. They appease and they adorn and they lead us into a false sense of living what should be instead of understanding what really is.
Here's what I understand; things haven't changed a whole lot since 1955, when Rosa Parks stood up to that man on the bus, or those two brave young souls walked through the doors of the University of Alabama in 1963, while Governor Wallace looked on in patent disapproval.
In 2002, a Whites only prom was held at Taylour County High School in Butler, Georgia. You had no idea did you? Are you shocked? You should be.
I understand that not only do racist attitudes persist throughout the United States, they thrive.
I understand that because of the dictates of and expectations placed upon polite society to appear tolerant, a black man may be a Judge, a Senator, even a Secretary of State...but not President.
Because that's just taking things too damned far.
And it's going to be a very, very long time before our human sensibilities catch up with our societal grandstanding.
But you know what? As long as there are people like Rosa Parks, Harvey Gantt, Lucinda Brawley and Barack Hussein Obama who are willing to take it on the chin for the cause of equality...then I have hope.
With apologies to Mr. Obama...I'm just calling it like I see it.
But I hope like hell I am proven wrong.
*My thanks to the commenter who corrected me about the University of Alabama. I knew that, I swear. I read several different articles about integration in the South while researching that piece and just...brain farted when it came to typing it out, I guess. That'll learn me to post while watching "So You Think You Can Dance". ((blush))