The days when I believed that racism would be a thing of the past by the 21st Century | Street Jazz

The days when I believed that racism would be a thing of the past by the 21st Century

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CAUTION: The quotes in this piece are from the “Hate in the Mainstream” section of Intelligence Report, the publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center. It would be nice to tell you that these quotes were from many years ago . . . but that is not the case.

A little boy said to his mother, “Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white?”His mother replied, don’t even go there, Barack! From what I remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!” - email forwarded by Wilton Manners, Florida, Police Chief Richard E. Perez to fellow department officials, as one of a series with racial/ethnic slurs. He was suspended for 30 days.

30 days.

I suppose if you spend your time going to fancy dinner parties and conferences, you might well be able to delude yourself into believing that racism is a thing of the past in America.

I also suppose that if you are a sitting member of the United States Supreme Court, you might be able to say with a straight face that with the election of a black man to the highest office in the land, that all of our problems are long behind us . . . why even talk about it?

I suppose if you are a journalist who spends most of their time as a talking head on of those dreadful panel shows (get rid of the journalists! Get some real people!) you might also find yourself parroting this line, and assuring us that America has, indeed, turned a corner in our race relations.

“I and my coworkers could rewrite the book on whether our urban youths are victims of racist profiling or products of their failed, shitbag, ignorant, pathetic, welfare dependent excuses for parents.” —Miami-Dade firefighter Brian Beckmann, who wrote this comment on Facebook about slain teenager Trayvon Martin. He was demoted.

I wonder if he even understands why?

When I was growing up as a military dependent in the 1960s and and 1970s, it was easy for most of us to imagine that racism would be a thing of the past by the 21st Century. We were, truly, the great American melting pot in action. Our lives were diversity in action.

And little did any us understand that Archie Bunker, the bigot who was satirized on All in the Family, would now be quoted on Facebook by those literally too stupid to understand that the show was actually making fun of Archie Bunker. And those like him.

But the years came and went, and the 21st Century arrived with a thud. Instead of jet packs and Moonbases we got leering faces on TV who assure us that they are not “Politically Correct.”

“Assassinate the fucken nigger and his monkey children.” — Libertarian Jules Manson, who ran unsuccessfully for Carson, Calif., City Council, in a misspelled Dec. 18 Facebook post - a post which earned him a visit from the Secret Service.

He probably brags about that visit to his friends.

We don’t really need to protect the voting rights of minorities, because America is a New America. We have learned from Selma.

Yes. Now we are more subtle.

Pundits who don’t get out very much assure us that the Republican Party is the party of old white people. After they are all dead, the GOP will be gone the way of the Bull Moose Party, the Whigs, the Know Nothing Party.

Well, if there is modern-day equivalent of the Know Nothing Party, if is the folks who write twaddle like that.

I'm sure it's just one of Michelle Obama's ancestors." - Rusty DePass, former South Carolina State Election Commission Chairman and ex-chairman of the Richland County Republican Party, writing on Facebook about a gorilla's escape from a zoo.

It’s sort of amazing, isn’t it, that these folks feel so secure in their racism that they can take to social media and express their contempt?

Twitter and Facebook will save us all, you know.

Well, maybe in beleaguered countries in the throes of great social upheaval. Here, they just seem to provide venues for every jackass who doesn’t have the guts to use their real name to spread the most horrific venom.

Still, without Facebook, I would never have known the clear links between Barack Obama and Adolph Hitler. I am grateful for that, I suppose.

But bigotry, ignorance and contempt for minorities something which is the exclusive province of the elderly?

We are so deluding ourselves if we believe that for even one second.


"The Swedes have pure genes, because they marry other Swedes. Finns marry other Finns, so they have a pure society. In America, we keep marrying other species and other ethnics." - Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade, on the July 8 edition of the FOX News show, discussing scientific findings that marriage increases longevity

I remember the 1960s all too well. The intellectual stalwarts who think the Voting Rights Act (and even Affirmative Action) are no longer needed simply do not understand the can of worms they have opened.

Then again, perhaps they can deputize members of the Tea Party to help keep law and order on Election Day . . .

"If I was the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating jungle monkey, I would have sprayed him in the face with [pepper spray]." - Boston police officer Justin Barrett, - later suspended - in a mass E-mail about black Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest in his own home by a white officer after a neighbor reported a possible break-in.

Welcome to the 1960s.

******

Quote of the Day

The universe is merely a fleeting idea in God’s mind - a pretty incomputable thought, particularly if you’ve just made a down payment on a house. - Woody Allen

rsdrake@cox.net

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