Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Callin It Like I See It

Last week, I had a conversation with a friend who is a U.S. Citizen, but who currently lives in the U.K. with her husband and children. When we had concluded our discussion, she said, "I hope you write a blog post about that."

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?"

My answer...was....

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))

33 Comments:

  • At 8:07 PM, Blogger kristianekat said…

    This is a very interesting post - and I applaud you for your honesty and candor.

    I live in a region of the US that is VERY blended - I live just outside of Washington DC. I don't think twice about having a black president. Honestly, I don't really see him as a black man. I've become a bit color-blind by living around people from so many cultures. And, he's probably more similar to our current white political leaders than he is to any typical black man.

    Thanks, Blog Antagonist, for giving this situation a new perspective for me.

     
  • At 8:10 PM, OpenID wheelsonthebus said…

    You're really going to piss some people off, kiddo. But I for one think you may be right.

     
  • At 8:14 PM, Blogger flutter said…

    You know what I think I don't get? Why should it matter who is what color anymore? Why is it about that he is black or she is a woman? Why not just the person most qualified?

     
  • At 9:10 PM, Blogger TheMama said…

    I have goosebumps. I too applaud you candor. And I'll let you in on a little secret:

    It happens up here in the North too. I am lothe to admit what I have heard coming out of the mouths of members of my own family. Not just about race, but gender, religion or lack there of, sexual orientation...

    And I too hope that this will become a demarkation point for the US. With every fiber of my being I hope it.

     
  • At 9:53 PM, Blogger Major Bedhead said…

    I remember busing in Boston in the 70s and believe me, that attitude is not confined to the South.

    I really hope you're proven wrong, too, because a McSame presidency will seriously have me thinking about moving to Canada.

     
  • At 9:53 PM, Blogger margalit said…

    I think it might be the people you know, because one of my BFFs lives in Atlanta right by Emory and we've had this same talk, and she hasn't heard anything like the things you've heard. Of course she works for the Jewish Federation and her friends are all within the large Jewish community or in her very liberal neighborhood, but if I put you and her together in a room, you'd probably get a totally different view of the same city.

    I haven't heard one negative remark about Obama's color. We're pretty colorblind around here, and we've all been laughing hysterically at Fox's remarks calling Michele Obama a "baby momma' and referring to the bump as a terrorist handshake. We SEE how silly it all is.

    My other southern friends don't really see it either. It's not happening in Nashville or in Oklahoma or even in Florida. So I have to respectfully disagree and wonder if it's just the people you know, and not the south at large.

     
  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger KT said…

    Well said! You are a brave woman to "call it like you see it". And you remind me that we don't live in a color blind world. More people need to be reminded of that so we can stop turning our heads and pretending we do. Maybe then we'll see change.

    And as always......your post is very well written. You never disappoint.

     
  • At 10:00 PM, Blogger KT said…

    Also....wanted to point out that I have family in Louisiana. Educated. A lawyer. A dr. An accountant. I see the racism as well. And it's not hidden. It's out in the open. When I visit it's discussed at the dinner table. When I was last there, I brought a friend with me. A racist comment made by my uncle thoroughly embarassed me in front of her. I definitely see a difference in the north and the south with regard to racism.

     
  • At 11:17 PM, Blogger SUEB0B said…

    I hope you are wrong, too. I have racists in my family but generally they are too stupid to vote.

     
  • At 7:21 AM, Blogger Guinea Pig said…

    You're wrong and right. First thing . . . Clemson college had nothing to do with Wallace. It was the University of Alabama. I know because I grew up in Alabama and had to face the shame of association again and again.

    You are right that black hate still exists. In hushed tones.

    You are probably not right that he won't get elected. But assassinated? I think that is more likely. And I'm APPALLED. It takes a bunch of people working together openly to stop an election it only takes one clever assassin to take out a president. Statistically that is the more likely event. Plus it has been awhile since an assassination attempt. That is what stopped Powell from running, his wife's fear of his assassination. (Or at least that is the rumor I heard--don't know them personally of course.)

    Another thing I *think* you've gotten wrong: I was raised by those hush hush black haters. And I'll vote for Obama and hope he kicks some political bootay. So there is hope that just because it still exists, it is dying off slowly.

    Bringing this to open conversation is very good. They can only keep this hate going if it is hidden and nurtured. Light will assassinate the hate, eventually, hopefully, theoretically.

     
  • At 7:28 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    My very white, very Irish Catholic aunt married a black man in the early 1960's here in Connecticut. I have two cousins from that marriage.

    You would think that our entire family would be much more sensitive to racial discrimination issues as a result.

    You would be wrong. I have an extended family filled with prejudiced, small-minded people. One actually lost her civil service job 2 years ago due to a repeated racial slur.

    As for Margalit's statement "It's not happening in Nashville or in Oklahoma or even in Florida", if it wasn't so short-sighted, it would be laughable. Just a few examples:

    http://www.wsmv.com/news/15395914/detail.html

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0DXK/is_8_28/ai_n15383447

    http://www.nbc6.net/news/14213138/detail.html?rss=ami&psp=news

     
  • At 7:58 AM, Blogger Leigh said…

    I'm in the south (Georgia, actually) and I know that some of my extended family will not vote for him because of his color. (Actually, they won't vote for a democrat period, but if he were a republican, he still wouldn't get the vote.)

    I would vote for a black man in a heartbeat...provided that I agreed with him on the issues. I don't agree with this one, so I will not be voting for him. Sadly, since I don't like McCain either, I am in quite a quandry.

     
  • At 10:31 AM, Blogger Mysit said…

    I'm in West Texas, and I could have written this exact post (only not nearly as well). I see it and hear it all around me....every day. I don't think he will get elected. I didn't think Hilary would either. And I think that folks in other parts of the country will be stunned at how much the Republicans will win this one.

    And it makes me sad. I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. I'm the mysterious "in the middle" candidate that doesn't have a party to represent them. But I personally have no problem with either a black man, or a white woman, or a yellow woman as president.

    Yet I'm the minority around here. And it's not just the hicks either - doctors, engineers, scientists - these are the people I'm around. They are the ones who still feel this way.

    We've come a long way - but not near far enough.

     
  • At 10:55 AM, Blogger the only daughter said…

    My other southern friends don't really see it either. It's not happening in Nashville or in Oklahoma or even in Florida. So I have to respectfully disagree and wonder if it's just the people you know, and not the south at large.

    The ribbons of hatred, bigotry and ignorance curl over and around every corner of this great nation of ours. National television news outlets, printed medium, and word on the street, many, many streets serve up evidence of this every single day. And as you point out, hatred is practiced, taught in many homes--upstanding, pillar of the community, homes.

    Will American elect a black man (even a 1/2 black man) president...Ab-so-lute-ly not.

     
  • At 10:59 AM, Blogger Amy Y said…

    I love it when you get political in this joint :)

    I, too, worry more about him getting assassinated than I have any other candidate. And I worry that you might be right about his electability.

    In Colorado, I do see some racism, but most of it is toward the Mexican community ~ the "illegals". And my Indiana family is a mix of racism towards Mexicans and African~Americans.

    I'm with Flutter, though. I just don't get why it matters why they are anything but qualified. I'll be voting on the guy who better represents me and my passions and my goals for our country. I could care less if he was purple with green warts all over his face, as long as he did a good job.

    I thought we'd made improvements in the last couple generations and that when the baby boomers die off, racism will be mostly dead and gone.

    But it seems to me that people need *someone* to bully... to rally against so they'll feel like part of the "winning team" ~ whether that's a team that shares your political views, your religious views or your racist views. It's disgusting.

     
  • At 1:07 PM, Blogger cndymkr / jean said…

    I hope you're wrong. I hope that people will see the man and not the color. I hope that, win or lose, it will be because of his political views for our future.

     
  • At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Lisa said…

    The sad thing is that he may not get elected because of his political views and his lack of experience- in other words people don't want him as president whether he was white, black, or pink. But, if he losses this election everyone will think it is because of the racists who don't want a black man in power. I will not be voting for him because I do not think he will be a good president- if Hillary had won the nomination I would have voted for her. But, since he won't be getting my vote and I live in the South, I guess I will be clasified as "not voting for Obama because he is black".

     
  • At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Racism is everywhere whether you want to see it or not. Some just refuse to acknowledge it. Because my opinions of people have nothing to do with color, it is odd to me that those who do have a problem with color aren't embarassed to admit to subscribing to such shallow thinking. Talk about ignorant!

    It's too bad this discussion is even happening. This may seem far fetched, but it disgusted me when the media made such a big deal about the NFL football coaches to be "the first African American to lea a team to the Super Bowl, the first African American to do this, the first African American to do that". It was downright embrarassing!!! How about "Congratulations on a job well done!!" In my opinion, that type of hype was the same as saying...."Not bad considering your handicap!" If I was one of those coaches, I'd have been offended.

    Regarding Obama.... again it's sad that ignorant people will be voting based on such shallow issues instead of the real ones. I live in NY and it seems to me that this country is falling apart and whether you're black, white, democrat or republican we need CHANGE.... soon!!!

    Although it is my opinion that Hillary would've done a better job than Obama as President (I mean let's face it - she practically ran the country for 8 years already)I do believe, maybe incorrectly, that the country as a whole is more ready for a black president than a woman president. Maybe that attitude is opposite in the south. Time will tell.

     
  • At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Mandy said…

    I am a white mother with black kids living in KY. Believe me when I say racism is so alive and so real and I agree with all you said. I do hope you are wrong though.

     
  • At 3:43 PM, Blogger Amanda said…

    I am in the south... south eastern NC to be exact.

    I am pleased you wrote this post. I find your political points of view interesting. Keep writing...

    Now to my "2 cents"...

    I, personally, do not think people should marry outside of their race, but it is not because I am racist. (although I'm certain some would disagree) I find many black men attractive... very hot and sexy! I have black friends... very close friends.

    When a mixed couple has children it makes their lives very difficult, especially the lives of the children. It's not fair that people treat them so badly... but it doesn't change the fact that they do. Our country, on a whole, is racist. I don't know that it will ever change. I have an inkling of hope though.

    That being said... I will not be voting for Obama. It has nothing to do with his race. I won't be voting for McCain either... so I don't know what I will do.

    On another note... it's nice to see the ones who are commenting being mature and not causing a big fuss over your entry. Keep doing more of the same... it's nice.

     
  • At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Andrea said…

    I hope you're wrong. Because personally, I don't give a shit what color his skin is. We NEED change in this country and in our government, and I don't think McBush will provide anything but more of the same of the last administration.

    Man, I hope you're wrong. But this is a very articulate post. thanks for bringing up the topic. Sometimes bloggers have to risk taking it on the chin to get the discussion going, too. Bravo, BA.

     
  • At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well written.... I wish I could have put my pen to paper so eloquently. Write on....

     
  • At 8:27 PM, Blogger womaninawindow said…

    Guinea pig made reference to the sleeping giant that i was talking to a friend about the other day. I kinda think Obama will be elected and I do believe he should be elected. i just hope that those ijits full of hate keep their trigger fingers busy on their guns or their bibles or their remotes, or however they entertain themselves. The world needs America to surprise itself! It would be refreshing...The whole colour/race/gender question makes NO sense. Like Flutter said, the best person for the job! To hell with the rest.

     
  • At 9:58 PM, Blogger Geri said…

    Shame on some of you out there!!! If you are so willing to accept this ignorant, BS then you are perpetuating the racism!!! Be brave, stand up and SAY it's wrong when you hear that stuff, or see it. Be the wall which they will have to crash against. This is NOT the 60's and we CAN do better. But we ALL have to be willing to be brave and proactive. My only grandson is a mixed child. A wonderful,intelligent,sweet little boy, that my very bigoted family took to their heart,so his being changed their worldveiw. Stand up, change yours!(and vote!) Sorry, it's obviouly a hot button with me.

     
  • At 3:52 AM, Blogger Kathryn in NZ said…

    Ummm - just my two cents worth from a non-US point of view:
    we're all been wondering down here if the US could really bring itself to elect either a woman or an African-American - and wondering how they would cope when not to would mean continuing with the Republican govt.
    So it's a real insight to get the chance to see some real, US people view point. Thank you BA

     
  • At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The real danger in all this comes when we make broad generalizations about anything. I lived most of my life in southern Louisiana before moving to the west coast of Canada. Racism plays out differently in each culture and area. We are "short" on Black people here but heavy on Indo-Canadian and Asians. I had no "background" to be prejudiced against these groups so was puzzled by the interactions and comments that happen here. In life's irony, I find myself on the receiving end of exclusion as I am one of the last white people in my neighborhood which has shifted from predominantly white to predominantly Indo-Canadian. It is a valuable lesson for me to experience what amounts to a very mild form of "being different." Prejudice occurs in many forms. Anytime we lump folks together with identifying labels, we open doors for prejudice. Not all southerners are ignorant racists and hicks. Not all northerners are nice. Every nationality, gender, creed, etc. has it's cream and it's spoiled milk. And I am coming to understand that no matter how much I want to be friends and neighbors with all the new people in "my" old neighborhood...they are not going to include me. Interesting predicament for a white, middle-class southern girl living in the far north.

     
  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Shelley said…

    I haven't ... wow, I haven't had that experience at all. Interestingly, I live squarely in the heart of "John McCain is Our Favorite Son" country, (Phoenix, AZ), and I haven't heard one single person say that they wouldn't vote for a black man. I've heard people say they wouldn't vote for a democrat, but nothing about his race. Maybe it's just the people I'm around, I don't know. What I do know is that I'll vote for Obama, even though in this state, my vote won't count for diddly. (Thank you, Electoral College!) I'm kind of stunned that that sort of thinking is still so prevalent. I don't even know what to say about that.

     
  • At 1:17 PM, Blogger Jeff said…

    Interesting post, Blog Antagonist, but I have some reason to hope you are wrong.

    I grew up a country boy (as Kiy loves to remind me!) from rural Virginia. I've been pleasantly surprised to find that many of my family and old neighbors are considering voting for Obama.

    It isn't that they've all become magically enlightened about racial equality. The old biases are still there. But a lot of these folks finally realize just how incredibly destructive Republican rule has been to the their own hopes and needs. I think a lot of them will end up voting for Obama because it's so clearly not in their own interest to vote Republican.

    The bigotry may still be there, but it's no longer strong enough to lead them into self-destructive behavior in the voting booth.

     
  • At 10:50 AM, Blogger Claire said…

    I couldn't care less if the man is black; he is not qualified, so I won't vote for him. However, as one poster noted, McCain isn't a good choice either so....

     
  • At 1:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i saw a confederate flag bumper sticker on a van where i live in the north - frightening - the caption read "heritage not hate" is it a joke i have never been to the south and i dont know anything about the confederate flag so maybe i dont get it electing obama will not change anything by itself although it would surely be better than electing the 44th white male to be president in 220 years of all white male presidents it might make you all feel good about yourselves but it wont make any of you less racist on the contrary maybe it is a damper for real change a distraction from all the immeasurable harm that has been done against people and communities all across the country and planet just in recent history and sanctioned at some level by the population you are all racist shitbags i mean seriously in 220 years and 44 presidents where does the us get off preaching about democracy freedom equality and shit to others it has always been one group never sharing power never acting in good faith towards the other group(s) it has acted no better than anyone else

     
  • At 3:37 PM, Anonymous Melissa said…

    I, personally, do not think people should marry outside of their race, but it is not because I am racist. (although I'm certain some would disagree) I find many black men attractive... very hot and sexy! I have black friends... very close friends.

    When a mixed couple has children it makes their lives very difficult, especially the lives of the children. It's not fair that people treat them so badly...

    I think that if you have to qualify anything that you say with 'I'm not racist' then maybe you need to take a deeper look into the mirror.

    BA I applaud you for opening the door for a discussion such as this even if I don't completely agree with your view.

     
  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger NatzG said…

    Bravo for calling it like you see it, no matter the fallout!

    I kind of know what you mean too. I was born and raised in South Africa. And know only too well the bigotry that continues, even in the face of a black government, even when apartheid is no longer fashionable. I remember the discomfort when 'friends' and family assume my white face means I am racist, as they are, and vomit hatred towards my black countrymen.

    I do hope though that you are wrong. It shouldn't be about sex or color. It should be about who is the most able.

     
  • At 1:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's interesting no one sees the prejudice seeping from Michelle Obama's lips & actions, the appalling enterprise of Black Entertainment TV, Miss 'Black' America, Ebony magazine, etc. etc. I've had the conversation several times this year that until someone focuses on the fact that Obama has a black heritage, I (and so many others I know) can seem to almost forget it. I don't look at him and see a black man speaking, I see a man who doesn't seem to have the experience or foresight for the job for which he is applying. Like another post said, I am in the same quandry (not having whom I would choose to vote in the race), but the only time I think of race being an issue is when someone, like this blog, makes it an issue.

     

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