Friday, March 21, 2008

horse of a different color- fred

i guess i have a real problem with white folks crying over the words of black folks. i mean, seriously, did you actually listen to barack obama's speech? reverend wright's? or did you base your opinions on the ad nauseum coverage of the largely white news pundits working for largely white corporate sponsors? spare me the indignation. let's lay it all out here- naked and bare in the light- racism exists- whether you are black, white, yellow, brown, purple or whatever. white folks discriminate against black people; black people discriminate against asian folks; asian folks discriminate against latino folks..... and the circle of life goes on. so, before we get all holier than thou about how liberal and progressive we are- and how horrible it is for reverend wright to say 'god damned america'- let's get a bit of perspective.

i am a white woman. i have never knowingly in my life experienced racism, misogyny, or classism. i have never felt, in my life, less than or that i couldn't do anything i damned well pleased. i have pretty near always had what i needed and since i became an adult- i have had what i wanted. i lock my car doors. i lock my home door and windows. if i am walking alone, i cross the street when approached-- by anyone. why? because i am a woman. i worked in an inpatient psych unit and i worked in a field with kid's who had very troubled parents. i am aware of my surroundings and i don't really give a shit if you are black, white or purple- if there are more than 2 of you- i cross. men or women. i am lucky. how many people of color can say the same thing? how about talking to some of the native american tribes who live on reservations in this country. there are several here in new york state- these folks live in abject poverty. how about the legal americans who happen to be migrant workers or meat plant packers in this country? they don't live in gated communities where many may work as au pairs or lawn folks. you can feel self righteous that you don't behave that way if you want- but many in this country do.

if the white community wasn't so afraid of people of color- the limbaugh's and the ferraros and the falwells and the dobsons and the hagees wouldn't have a soap box to stand on. there wouldn't be quiverfulls of snowflake babies to argue over- and maybe we could all stop focusing on whether obama is black enough- or not black enough. is the man able enough or smart enough? is he strong enough? while the idiots in the msm are focusing on what exactly 'a typical white american' is- the bigger questions of why there are contractors working for the state department and is eugenics being used by the feds- and why is monsanto pushing genetically modified seeds around the globe when they have been failing everywhere- and what are we going to do to rectify the occupation of iraq- those questions are being left unanswered.

perhaps we all need to get our collective heads out of our asses and stop listening so much to the msm and seeking out the real truth. perhaps we need to acknowledge that the 'minority' communities are indeed communities insulated from 'america' by white america- and have succeeded in many areas in spite of us. don't believe in 'white flight?' take a look at detroit. that goes on everywhere. we incarcerate folks of color at a far higher rate than folks of non-color- and while they may commit arrestable crimes- the deck is stacked. don't take my word for it- google it. this isn't about making excuses for folks of color or giving them a pass. i believe in personal accountability. but it works both ways.

we left wing liberals are not different than the right wing in our views on race- we just hide it better. there are people of all stripes, genders, colors, religions, ethnicities and what not- working together and accepting each other as people. we are all people on the inside and out. we all have the same body parts- according to gender- we all have hearts and minds to use as human beings. but denial clouds judgment. read some blogs written by people of color- and it's an eye opener. these folks aren't asking for a handout. they aren't asking for special treatment. they don't need that and it is arrogant to think that they do. i think that the only thing that they are looking for is an honest discussion of race in america. is there frustration in 'minority' communities- yep. can't blame them. it has never occurred to me that i would ever be turned down for anything based on the color of my skin. but it has them. and it still happens.

so- when obama described his mom and grandma's reactions- he was describing my mom. i heard it- and i felt it on a personal level because i have seen her lock her car door when there were black folks walking down the street. not that anyone would have wanted our hunk of junk- but i digress. i have heard her use the word 'nigger' and it was in casual conversation. i have heard pollack and chink and wop jokes in my part of the world- and i have laughed at some. we're being honest. and i am not going to get up on my high horse and start preaching about how wrong it is to do that- because i already know it is. and i felt funny about it- but i laughed. i don't laugh anymore. and i don't go to my neighborhood block parties anymore because i don't sit back and let my neighbors go off about gay people and black people and anyone other than the white blue collar people who live here. and i am sure that they don't miss me. these are 'typical americans' and if you think differently, you live in a dream world.

there is no way that we will ever come together if we continue to divide ourselves up. as long as we are liberals and feminists and conservatives and traditionalists and christians and jews and muslims and women and men and blacks and whites and hispanics, etc. the 'ruling elite' will always rule us.

and that just makes us stupid.

For Gangs, Clubs
And Nations
Causing Grief In
Human Relations
It's A Turf War
On A Global Scale
I'd Rather Hear Both Sides
Of The Tale
See, It's Not About Races
Just Places
Where Your Blood
Comes From
Is Where Your Space Is
I've Seen The Bright
Get Duller
I'm Not Going To Spend
My Life Being A Color'


Dave Dubya said...

Our culture has long been such that there are so many different groups mixed together yet still segregated sociallly. Luckily there are many exceptions. Some cultures are more successful than ours.

The big problem is the fact that too many so called leaders, or at least outspoken agitators, drive the wedges deeper to advance their unfriendly agendas.

These professional bigots are the agents of epidemics of racism. They spread it like a disease. While progress is made, there are always those fear and hate mongering jerks spoiling it for the rest of us.

There is a natural human suspicion of others that are different. It is not insurmountable. We have the choice to address it rationally or emotionally. If we are rational we see more that we are alike. An emotional reaction only sees the differences.

enigma4ever said...

wow...that was some spoke it.... you felt it wrote it testified.....

the Truth Begins here...with each of us...and each of us having a talk with our hearts...looking into our souls...

differences...are sometimes what binds us.....if we embrace the Truth....


The Future Was Yesterday said...

"white community wasn't so afraid of people of color"

Everybody thinks I say this as a joke - I don't. Did you know white is a COLOR???? Include that color when you want to fix "inequalities against people of color." But no - to so many like you, "people of color" really only means one color - black. Discrimination starts only when you say "people of color" because you don't REALLY mean people of color. You mean one color.

"let's lay it all out here- naked and bare in the light- racism exists"

Noooo shit!! But it's really only one color doing it to another color, right? Bullshit!!

"'minority' communities are indeed communities insulated from 'america' by white america"

That is wrong: entirely wrong. Completely wrong.

"don't believe in 'white flight?' take a look at detroit"

Lets look at Detroit. I lived there for a few years. What you call "white flight" I call saving my white ass from getting killed from the gangs, drug dealers, and drug addicts. White people aren't allowed to save their lives? If you really knew anything about Detroit, you'd know that the majority of the auto plant population there was black, so spare me the "we never gave them a chance." They made the same money, could move just as I could. Why don't you move to inner city Detroit for a couple years, then tell me about "white flight???" You lambast the MSM, then spew the same ridiculous myths they do!

If you can stop the jerking in your knee, you should go to ER to see if they can do something about the bleeding in your heart!!!

enigma4ever said...

Stand Tall and Know that you have spoken the TRUTH here...and done it with wisdom and heart....It is very sad that Some People are not getting it...and that History is not being seen with an open heart or an open mind....

This is a very important time in our history...VERY.....


No said...

After hearing Obama's preacher speak, I'm more inclined to vote for God, most of what the preacher said, I learned in my Human Relations 101 class, for God's sake! It's the fuckin' truth!

Time said...

Obama's speech spoke the truth, and 70% of Americans saw it that way (according to the polls).

Mother nature will make America a non-white majority country soon. What will race relations be like then?

There is a difference between personal racism and institutional racism.

The saying goes, you can't be racist if you don't have power. That's only true if your speaking in institutional terms. There are individual racists, all over.

Can we claim institutional racism against whites, if people of color are in the majority, in government?

The unspoken objection by conservatives to social programs, is not just a difference of government economic ideology, but a racial preference towards colored people those programs service.

What they forget to mention (won't talk about)is, that a majority of the poor, are white. Democrats never talk about that fact either.

betmo said...

white may or may not be a color- black is a color- but it really wasn't my point to debate colors.

i know what i think in my head- and it doesn't always translate into the written form. my bigger point is- white folks in the western world have enjoyed being at the top of the power structure for hundreds of years. that's a fact. are there black or latino or asian or indian folks who are bad apples- surely. there are folks in those communities who are racist and prejudiced and bigoted just like there are white folks who aren't. i wanted to make the point that overall- non white folks still have reason to be frustrated. they have built their own communities independent of the rest of america because they are excluded. not every black family that moves into a white neighborhood is going to be a 'ghetto snipe'- and there is plenty of 'white trailer trash' to put the notion that we aren't all people with the same human tendencies to rest once and for all.

all i was saying- white folks really don't have much room to complain. the black communities are frustrated. the latino communities are frustrated. many white folks are frustrated- but if we don't air what 'typical white folks' and 'typical black folks' are saying and feeling about each other behind closed doors- how are we ever going to work on the myriad social issues facing ALL of us in america today?

blame isn't helpful but neither is pooh-poohing off the genunine feelings- right or wrong- that a large number of people of color in this country feel. only by being honest with each other can the dialog start on any level. getting defensive and trying to outshout the other isn't productive either. letting the other person voice their feelings- and then sitting down and talking- is the way to go.

that's what i was trying to say in a moment of my own frustration.

Sarah said...

It's funny - I've been keeping track of this whole Obama mess. I wasn't that shocked by what his pastor said. I've heard the same rhetoric before. Preachers do this kind of stuff every Sunday, on every single topic in the known universe. It's exactly why church and state need to stay separate.

My parents - conservatives who have racial views similar to another poster here - think Obama responded with elegance to the whole mess, which shocked me. Or as my mom put it, the man has guts.

Even Mike Huckabee was sticking up for Obama and his preacher! Now that blew me away! Even Huckabee gets it.

Excellent post, Betmo!