Really, Post Racial

OpEdWe are living in a ‘Post Racial Society’, isn’t that what those in the know want us to believe? Do you believe we are living in the fantasyland the pundits gleefully spew forth? Yeah, well neither do I but you have to give them credit for trying. It would be interesting, if a bit filthy, to open up their minds and see if they actually believe it themselves.

In the last few weeks, we were treated to some real cretins, lacking in any form of social grace or guile they have spewed the vile bigotry into our homes through the airwaves. Granted, at least one of them didn’t intend his remarks to reach our ears, they did though and we hung on every disastrous word. Interestingly, these two cases have nothing in common and their outcomes cannot be compared, except for one very specific point; they prove beyond a doubt we do not live in a Post Racial Society when it comes Power, Politics and Legislation, but we might be making baby steps as a society.

I am more than certain you know who I am talking about, but just in case you have been under a rock or meditating your navel in a cave;

Cliven Bundy, the man Fox, et al tried hard to turn into a folk hero until he suggested the ‘Negro’ were better off in slavery. Shock and awe, his words sent all his hero worshippers scurrying for cover, he said what they thought, ‘damn why’d he have to go and do that?’ The truth is, all those folks from Congress to the talking heads at Fox, they didn’t just latch on to ole’ Cliven because he made good sense espousing the Federal Government didn’t exist and his theory of Eminent Domain, there was another reason. I will get there, give me a minute.

Cliven_Donald

Then we had that wonder of the 1%, yes, you know whom I am talking about, Donald Sterling had his dirty laundry aired and it did not go over well. Players took to Tweeter, along with many others who had something to say about his low and ugly comments regarding his ‘ownership’ of those he contracted to play ball for him. Of course, some came to his defense with cries of, ‘he was set up!’ and, ‘he shouldn’t be penalized for what was a private conversation!’ Power is a funny thing though; ultimately, money talks and he didn’t have enough to override the entire NBA and public opinion.

So back to my comparison, these two loud and proud members of the old school and what they pronounced,  what so many think but don’t say aloud where others can hear. What was it these two wonders had in common?

  • Wealth (Somewhat to Obscene)
  • Race (Caucasian)
  • Age (Old)
  • Ignorance (Absolute)

What did I just say there?

They were both Rich, Old, Ignorant, White Men.

Simple as that. It is my personal opinion if we are ever going to achieve that ‘Post Racial’ society it is up to those of us who enjoy the privilege of walking down streets, through stores and through life without worry for our lives or our freedom to undo Racism. The simple truth is only White people can teach the next generation about racism, bigotry and prejudice; thus only White people can undo the harm it does both socially and institutionally.

Those who are victims of social and institutional Racism can teach us the harm it does; they cannot undo the harm, as they are not in our homes teaching our children from an early age. Legislative remedies go only so far in correcting institutional harm, what we see across our nation is proof of this truth, Cliven and Donald are two examples and the outcomes of their bad behavior are two examples as well. Another example is the reaction 800px-Barack_Obama_family_portrait_2011to having the first Black President in the White House.

Asses have been up on shoulders since the day this President won the election. As much as there are those who say it is not about the half of Barack Obama that is Black, the simple truth is what other reason could it
possibly be? This nation sees this man as a Black man, with a Black wife and Black children move into the House that slaves built and frankly lost its collective mind. Never, not in all the history of this nation as any President battled Congress for even a step toward compromise. Never, not in all the history of this nation has any President faced a Congress that would rather see the nation fail than a President succeeds in even a single agenda item. Not Race? Please give us credit for having some sense.

Back to old Cliven and Donald now, what has happened to them?

Donald got some comeuppance, his money wasn’t enough in the face of what would be lost by the league if players wouldn’t play and sponsors wouldn’t pay. Banned for life from games and a paltry (in the face of his bank) fine. Now the other owners are looking to force him to sell his team, will they succeed? Who knows, the man is eighty years old and likes to fight court battles, of course with confirmation he is battling prostate cancer perhaps he will let this one go.

LAcLIPPERS

As to good ole’ boy Cliven, well all his friends at Fox and in Congress, they deserted him like rats from a sinking ship, quick to let all and sundry know they disagreed with his ‘Negro’ comments. Who didn’t disagree? Yeah, those great patriots with their guns, you know the ones the ‘Militia’, the ones who drew down on government officials trying to do their jobs, who put women out in front as targets; yeah those. Now they are camping out on the side of the roads, fighting each other and terrorizing the locals with their roadblocks. Good old Cliven, he still owes the Government $1M plus still stands in front of the American Flag (of the government he doesn’t believe in) and fails miserably to understand what he did was so wrong.

Nevada Militia

Cliven lost his sponsors, Fox News. Donald his sponsors, commercial. Cliven should go to jail, along with his little buddies the militia. Donald didn’t do anything (this time) illegal, simply immoral and unethical. They are the same yet not.

An interesting read I have borrowed from Frank of A Frank Angle fame, one that shows perhaps why some are so terribly fearful of their place in this ever changing world, http://www.pewresearch.org/next-america/#The-New-Us

Moral? Yes, there is a moral. We do not live in a post racial society, not by a very long shot. We are getting there though, slowly the next generation coming up is beginning to say, “no more”. Society is changing, our outlooks and views are changing. The younger generations are beginning to question the ignorance and intolerance of those who came before them. Is it fast enough to undo the harm that is being done today?

No, not in my opinion and according to current projections we still have a few years to go before there will be enough of us who feel the way I do to make a real difference. What can you do? Start teaching your children what is right, stop ignorance now.

Comments

  1. ***What can you do? Start teaching your children what is right, stop ignorance now.***

    you hit the nail directly on the head, Val. It’s really that simple, isn’t it? xxxx

  2. You are so darn good at saying what needs to be said in an informed and well-put way, Val! When I was deciding what grade school to send Maycee to after we moved and I could not afford the private schooling any more, I was “warned” about sending her to the school she is at now. Why was I “warned” you ask? Because the majority of the kids are hispanic, from lower income, migrant families, and the neighborhood is “not that great”. We visited two schools: one that was a “school of choice” and had a “good” reputation, and we visited our school that she attends now and is zoned for attending. We met with the principal and received a tour, and both of us agreed it was the school for us. I have NEVER been a separatist, have always led as multi-cultural a life as I could, and make a conscious decision to pass that on to my daughter. So, at her “low-performing” and “not so good” school site, she is more active than she ever was attending the private school, has the best little friends, ever, and is a top achiever in her class, getting everything she needs and more from the school site despite the diverse levels within her classroom environment. Every day I am grateful I didn’t let other parents’ perceptions sway my own. And, as for the jackasses you wrote about-they disgust me, and I’m glad they were exposed! XOXO-Kasey

    • I am from the era of busing. When I first started attending school, we lived in a very middle class homo-genetic community outside of Seattle, it was close to my Dad’s work. Soon it became very snooty. Then came busing, I wanted to go the school known for their arts, drama and dance programs, not in my neighborhood but across the lake in Seattle and certainly not full of little white boys and girls.

      It wasn’t a fight in the family, it was where I belonged. But man oh man the eyebrows that were raised elsewhere.

      You did good, the more of us that think this way the better it will get.

      XOXO

      Val

  3. You said..” The younger generations are beginning to question the ignorance and intolerance of those who came before them. Is it fast enough to undo the harm that is being done today?
    No, not in my opinion and according to current projections we still have a few years to go before there will be enough of us who feel the way I do to make a real difference. What can you do? Start teaching your children what is right, stop ignorance now.aid ”

    Yes Val we may still have a ways to go.. But step by step We are making a difference. We are becoming a multi cultural society.. Here in the UK is a prime example … Yes there are still those who need ‘Educating!’ who are still narrow in their views… But as each generations grows, I hope the gap gets less and less..

    • Your and my hope Sue, may this be the wave of the future. I see changes in what is here, on the ground. It is leadership that must change and it is the media that feeds this horror story.

      • The Media Val are the Puppets… that dance to their tune…

        We are going to create a different kind of Music Val.. One in which everyone is part and can dance ‘freely’ not just those with the tickets to the elusive clubs..

  4. What a wonderful and well articulated post, Val. It is a great reminder as to how far we have yet to go, if we are to achieve true humanity in which we value everyone equally – not just when we think someone is listening or watching, but in our private thoughts and minds as well.

    • It is hard isn’t it, to hear what what these ‘leaders’ of business and community think and thus are teaching the next generations. I find myself, all too often, wanting to tear my hair out when they are given airtime. Then I realize, they voice what others wish they had the nerve to say, I am even more sickened.

      I know generations down don’t see the world this way. But eradicating this terrible blight, it just seems to take so long. In the mean time, leaders seem to want nothing more than to turn back the clock. There are days I weep for the entire world.

  5. Val, this was excellently written. My take on the whole racism thing is that it is not necessarily learned per say. It is a knee-jerk reaction of the emotionally and spiritually immature. It is judgementalism and snapping out at a group of people for perceived wrongs. We all get angry and frustrated but very few of us (myself included) are able to recognize that it is not productive to throw blame and hate. Unfortunately, our media perpetuates these immature attitudes because if we all accepted humility and stepped into the knowledge that we truly are all flawed and need acceptance it would create a nation truly with one purpose, the betterment of all our circumstances. Call me a conspiracy theorist but that is not a world the wealthiest of us want. If we don’t squabble against one another for the things that are wrong in our lives then we would be able to focus on the real issues and be able to solve them for all of us. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” JL I just see it as many of us go to the easiest response to a situation rather than doing the work and taking responsibility for our own failings. It is even more difficult to see that each and everyone one of us in this world is similar to ourselves, regardless of religion, creed, skin color, sex, sexual orientation. We all want to be accepted for who we are. We all hate the glaring light of judgement because that is the antithesis of acceptance. The path to all of us coming together and erradicating racism is a very difficult one due to human nature and what is at stake for the ones that benefit by perpetual division of society, not to mention the power held and weilded by those with the most to gain from maintaining the great divide. I’m not saying it is impossible but it will take a powerful move towards enlightened education and increased compassion on the part of each of us.

    • It is learned. We are not born bigots, we are not born prejudice. We learn these things and the first place we learn them is in the home. If you read my history you will find I have good cause to be a bigot, yet I am not. I do not snap out, I do not blame whole groups. Racism is learned.

      I appreciate your thoughts. I do.

      • Val, thank you and I also appreciate your thoughts. I want to say that I relish the opportunity to discuss this topic respectfully without it degrading into an agry insult fest. It is only when we are able to talk with each other civily, that we can grow and figure out how to overcome bigotry and ignorance. I do realize that bigotry is reinforced through training. My point was a little off. We are not born with prejudices. We are born with both good and bad feelings, traits, intuitions, etc. . . I’m not sure where I really intended to go with my original comment, except to say that racism is something we are all dealing with and that it is an internal issue being exploited by the media and the powerful in order to keep us all bickering amongst each other rather than coming together as human beings to build a compassionate world free from racism. It starts with judgement which is an innate human trait. Judgement served us well in the beginning of humanity. When we relied upon our skills to interpret the world around us. That is where I was coming from when I made my original statement. The world we live in now does not require us to use our judgement to survive as intense as it did. I am aware that learning plays an important role in building and maintaining racist belief systems. As a matter of fact, I feel racism is 99% learned but I also think that our inherent human traits are the framework that support bigotry. I respect your views and am glad that we can use them to carry on a discussion that could help change the world. Thank you for your insights. 🙂
        Much Love and Respect
        Tam

        • I do fully understand what you are saying. I simply don’t agree. Human beings, as it stands today have a different set of judgments they need for survival. Tribal traits are no longer in play except as an intellectual exercise. That exercise, it is based on economic and class systems, though most people do not realize it. These systems have long been in play, they have roots in a very ugly past. The only way this is eradicated is through our combined efforts.

          Racism, bigotry prejudice; all of these, they are learned. We are not born hating other human beings who do not look like us. We learn this, in the home from our parents. If we live in a homogeneous society, we learn to fear those who appear different. It is nonetheless, learned not inherent.

          We can go back and forth on this subject forever. I will put this into personal perspective though: I was carjacked, kidnapped and later shot and left for dead by three young Black men. It was a horrifying incident. I neither fear not hate all young black men, nor any black men because of this incident. The reason for this is likely because i wasn’t raised to fear or hate others, but instead to see everyone individually. So I saw them individually and I continue to see people individually.

          It is taught, from the cradle it is taught.

          • I do see where you are coming from and agree with much of it. I applaud your courage and thoroughly respect your point of view. This has been a very nice exercise in exchanging ideas and not fighting to convert each other to their side. Thank you for a pleasant discussion. I hope my thoughts have not offended you or anyone else. It wasn’t my intention.:) If I have I sincerely apologize.
            Thank you, Val, have a great evening. 🙂

  6. I wonder if we will ever see the day when discrimination passes away from the human race? I’m glad you are seeing some change in thinking in the US. If you take a careful look at the rest of the world though I think you will have to concede race discrimination is alive and well. It takes place within each country of the globe without exception. Racial discrimination takes place within each racial strain and colour and I’ve observed it first hand as I’ve lived and worked in Asia and visited Africa. Currently in the news are atrocities in Nigeria, Syria and Ukraine to name a few. Wealth and age doesn’t work for those countries it’s just ingrained. Maybe their constitutions talk about equality but it is certainly not practiced in the different countries I have knowledge of though I will concede ignorance does play a part and that is usually where education is lacking.

    • Ian, I know. It is everywhere. Whether in caste systems, tribal, class or otherwise imprinted it exists and is still strong. Nevermind we still also contend with gender and other horrible issues. I do believe we have some terrible issues worldwide, not just here in the US, I do concede this.

      But here in the US we had the Civil Rights Movement. We had strong leadership within that movement whose voices we still hear in our hearts and even in our Congress. Yet still we are moving backwards rather than forwards. We are losing ground in so many areas, it breaks my heart.

      Yes, worldwide there are so many heartbreaking issues. But how in the world can we be a beacon of light, that we claim to be if we cannot fix what is broken here.

  7. Racism is prevalent in every country. The big difference is, whereas previously, propagating news was the preserve of a few, now the internet offers fractured diverse platforms. Second, I see improvement in racial relations but perhaps the integration could be faster.

    I always prided my self on being colour blind – my extended family is a mixture of whites, browns and yellows – and all shades in between.. No blacks! Until January 2014 – when my daughter married this nice young Nigerian man – with our full blessings. Looks like Lisa and I imparted some right values.

    You know me Val – I’m not into cliches – but whatever I say here and in my blog – I live. I first walk the talk – and never talk and then hope to walk it!

    Peace,
    Eric

    • You Eric are a paragon, truly. I wish all parents could be as you and Lisa, I so enjoy the snippets of your family life and even more the wonderful love you have between you that has been the glue of your marriage. It proves to me time and again, morals, ethics and love work!

      You are so right, racism is everywhere in some form. S’pore is no different having experienced it first hand. I think I am troubled by America because I see us going backward so fast, all the advances we made in the last 50 years being washed away in this sea of hate and fear. It hurts my heart.

  8. While people like Bundy and Sterling have every right to say whatever they want and feel however they wish about other people and certain subjects, everyone else has the right to speak out if they don’t like it. As a writer, I’m a strong free speech advocate; meaning folks can say just about anything they want, short of threatening violence or committing slander. I don’t feel, for example, that the NBA should have fined Sterling $2.5 million just for being an ignorant dumbass. If we did that every time people said something stupid, we’d all be bankrupt!

    I think it’s curious that Sen. Rand Paul was quick to criticize Bundy, when Paul himself had questioned the validity of civil rights legislation. But, claiming that Black folks were better under slavery is just part of the neo-conservative ideology that attempts to gloss over the U.S.’s brutal legacy of racist oppression and genocide. We really have come a long way in the past half century, though. We’ll never rid ourselves of bigots and other idiots. Sadly, they’ll always walk among us – with guns and computers.

    • Agree that anyone can say anything they choose. Having the media outlet to do so, that is not their right. As to Sterling, actually the NBA was well within their rights to fine him, he harmed the league, his words potentially harmed finances and could have caused a player boycott, yeah they had every right.

      Funny what happens when someone says aloud what others think, isn’t it? They all run for the hills.

      We may have come a long way, yes. But bigotry is a learned behavior, it cannot be legislated away, you are right we may always have some among us I simply hope their numbers grow smaller.

  9. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

  10. Yes, I’ve always found it funny how some people think we are so post-racial. It’s still everywhere.

    • I nearly want to stop on peoples private parts with my stilettos when they say this to me. Truly it causes me true fury and raises up in me levels of violence I do not often feel. Ignorance is so easy to cure, thus I must often wonder just how much inbreeding must have occurred to create such stupidity.

  11. Children learn what they see; no doubt about that. And as long as these ugly attitudes and beliefs keep getting passed on behind closed doors (and sometimes open ones), like cockroaches, they are difficult to eradicate. As you point out, change is happening, but not nearly quickly enough. Ugly incidents like these show how NOT far we’ve really come.

    • The learn from us indeed. Mirroring our actions and attitudes, it is pitiful, they are holding up the mirror to us in an unforgiving light. I say this all too often, I mourn for this nation if we do not change our ways.

  12. Thanks for this important post, Val. I was listening to CNN on the radio last night and the heard the latest on Donald Sterling What an ass! It really amazes me STILL the degree to which congress has battled Obama. It really is sick!

    Have a great weekend, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Oh Kathy, it is so terrible right now. I wish I could say I am fascinated, I am nothing more than appalled. These cretins of a different age are disturbed, criminal even; some border on sedition in their desire to cause our duly elected President to fail. It is sick.

      Hugs back from the wonderful Red State of Tejas

      Val

  13. Many of us already know about these types of individuals, they will show in public that attitudes towards race has an even playing field and yet just underneath the surface we find the ugliness of the past, still alive and feeding their everyday thoughts.

    When will it be acknowledged that we are all of the same people, working with one another and welcoming equality in races, and in doing so showing that everyone can build a future worth having? It goes without saying that the past is never forgotten but as people of this world unite we grow stronger in unity, nurturing young minds and making sure that lessons of the past are learnt wholeheartedly.

    On the surface some might say that we are already there but when the cameras and the media are silent what are the true thoughts of some learned individuals, I say learned but in fact it is an underlying hatred of change and those that would have the general public believe that the past truly is in the past and that the present and future is of a multi cultural society working together for the good of everyone on the planet is just a smoke screen for their own bigoted ideals.

    Racial tensions need to be eradicated forever so that all men and women regardless of colour and creed can be allowed to live alongside their neighbour in a world without hate. I just hope this is sooner rather than later and that those speaking out in the world really do believe in their own statements for as a nation and a world we need to be steadfast and more importantly, on the same page.

    I really like this one Val 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    • You hit the mark Andro. I don’t know the answer except that it is on us to teach the next generation a better way. Certainly those who have the power (media) are failing terribly. It is horrifying how they stir the pot and create such terrible outcomes. I wish I could say it is getting better down here, where real people live and maybe it is, unfortunately not enough and not where it counts.

      Thanks my friend, for your words and your thoughts.

      • You are welcome my sweet friend, I think this is a global problem and just shows the poor attitudes of those that should be welcoming change. Those old ways are sick and twisted and need throwing out of our 21st century.

        We need authenticity on our screens not the say one thing and mean another types, for that is misleading and wrong.

        Have a really great Saturday Val 🙂

        Andro xxxx

  14. Well said, Val. Rodgers and Hammerstein certainly had it right when they wrote “It Has to Be Taught.”

    • Indeed it does. The odd thing is Elyse, based on reactions I think it is being taught. I think the younger generations are getting better, less ugly. So why is it so bad?

      • I’m hoping it is a last (or near last) hurrah as the old white racists die off.

        Some changed though. Not many, but it can happen.

  15. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Excellent post!!! Very well done. This, I need to reblog!!

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