Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Truthful Talk About Race

I couldn't help but shake my head as I stood in my kitchen the other day and watched Obama's remarks, in response to the Trevon Martin verdict, about women clutching their purses.

I'm not going to get in to the case...only into Obama's proclamations that ranged from his would-be son "looking like Trevon" to him actually being Trevon at one point.

I am quite sure that I have been in more Trevon-ish neighborhoods than Obama has. If you compare my childhood and his...where I went to school and where he did...I am pretty sure I come out on top in Street Cred.

I grew up in a family with 5 children and countless foster children all living on a Philadelphia fireman's salary. As you can imagine, funds were not abundant. I took public transportation (SEPTA) to school through neighborhoods that I am pretty sure have no Hawaiian equivalent. The Hood, if you will.

Women don't grip their purses when they see a Black teen in the neighborhoods I traveled through because, well, everyone was Black.

In 8th grade I used to take 3 buses to get to school. My second transfer was at Broad & Olney. Each day I would walk by a group of Nation of Islam 'evangelists' equipped with a bull horn. EVERY SINGLE DAY as I walked by them, they yelled into the bullhorn, "THERE SHE GOES. THE WHITE DEVIL. THE BLONDE HAIRED, BLUE EYED, WHITE DEVIL. TAKE HEED MY BLACK BROTHERS!" I was 14.

How's that for a terrifying race experience for a young teen, Mr. President?

In a Popeye's Chicken not too terribly far from my house, my mother and I were refused service. Because we were white. And we were told so.

Would that ever happen to a Black mother and daughter in 2013?

Despite these and many similar incidents, I have never blamed any race for the ignorance of a few.

It was not the remarks booming through a bullhorn or two racist cashiers at a chicken joint that ever prompted me to lump "Blacks" together as a group. It was the reaction to the Zimmerman trial and Obama's ensuing remarks that finally pushed me to go there...

To go to the "THEY."

"THEY" will stand behind anyone that's Black. Thug or no. Murderer or no. And that IS a difference between us.

And that's sad. No, of course not all, but the majority.

Don't celebrate Trevon.

There are TONS of WORTHY Black teens that deserve that recognition. Give it to them, not Trevon.

Celebrate Temar Boggs and Chris Garcia:

That's what has been the biggest travesty of this trial/debate for me...Well, that and the complete media black out on the actual facts of the case...


Fearthuinn min an Saille said...

And that is exactly what I was thinking when my afternoon pedicure was interrupted by two white guys talking about a mixed race guy's experiences growing up in middle class white Hawai'i (though, I never lived in the inner city because I'm one of those "racist" white breadbasket rural folk).

The only time I've been called racist was here, in GA, because a black man got upset that I asked to see his ID when he presented an unsigned credit card at my register. Apparently, he chose to ignore the 5 signs leading up to it stating, all unsigned credit cards must be presented with ID. The white woman in front of him gave me both, so I didn't have to ask. But I'm racist because he didn't and I had to ask.

I'm also pretty sure that Obama would echo a few sentiments from the TV trailer for "The ATL" movie. Not knowing that those two kids were driving through an actual upper middle class predominantly black neighborhood, while trashing all the white folk that only live there in the movie.

Foxy Wizard said...

Great article, ALa. I love it when you post.

I grew up in Third world countries south of the border. I was always the only white kid in all Hispanic schools. The first few years, before I learned Spanish, I could speak to no one. Every day was war. Recess was hell, because I'd usually end up surrounded with 10 or 12 Mexicans poking me with sticks yelling "Gringo Palote, te sumo el garrote" which loosely means "American, I'm gonna stick this stick up your ass." If I fought back, I was punished at home for not "turning the other cheek".

Racism? Yeah, I know about racism.

I was a teen when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was marching. I would get into great arguments with my father, because I supported what MLK was doing and he didn't. Throughout the years, I have been a champion of Dr. King's commitment to judging a person, not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I also became an ordained minister. My ministries have always consisted of helping people who were down and out get on their feet again. White, black, Hispanic, Indian...race never mattered to me. We are all God's children, I reasoned. I fed, clothed and housed them all.

Now I see Obama, the ost racist of all people, tearing down everything Dr. King, along with people such as myself, have worked tirelessly to build. No one can deny the incredible strides we have taken over the years in the areas of racial relations, and yet, here come Obama, Jackson and Sharpton. They have set us back 50 years.

And the most amazing thing of all is how easily people are manipulated into this new race war. I questioned our spending? I am labeled a racist.

Sadly, it appears I have been fighting for equality all my life, not realizing some I have been fighting alongside with were fighting for revenge. i find it very sad.

So clearly this whole Trayvon-Zimmerman thing is a fabricated crisis designed to get us at each others' throats.

leah. said...

i just think it is funny that a president whose entire election campaign was built on "uniting", is now so eager to play into the "us against them".

SoLow said...

I have to take this opportunity to tell (what is now) a funny story.

I was on sea duty for a while in the Corps and we had a change of command while I was on board. The new XO was a fitness nazi and decided to have a pullup bar installed just inside the door to the head (bathroom). His rule was that anytime a Marine entered the head, he had to rep out as many pullups as he could. Somewhere along the way, one of my white comrades made a remark that, "...the black Marines weren't doing their pullups..." That didn't go over so well with our (black) platoon Sgt, Gunny Clifton. After days worth of various punishments, we were forced to camo-paint our faces before exiting the ship for liberty in Pearl Harbor, HI. As the Gunny said, "Nobody's fuckin white or black anymore - you're all fuckin GREEN." I can only imagine what the squids thought seeing us in shorts & polo shirts, with camo paint from the collarbone to the forehead. Wasn't too funny at the time, but now I can LMAO at it. :)

Foxy Wizard said...

I love that, SoLow.

Foxy Wizard said...

Leah, I remember when Obama just came into my realm of reality when he first started running for President. I listened to one of his speeches. it was awesome. It was great. He said all the right stuff.

But something just didn't sound right. It didn't pass the "smell test". Dealing with drunks and addicts over the years, I have learned to trust that sixth sense, and his message just didn't ring true.

Here we are, eight years later, and I hardly recognize our country. I hope we survive as a civilized people.

jim marquis said...

Ala, I think you may have missed the point of what Obama was saying. He would gladly admit he didn't grow up in the ghetto or whatever. His point was that outside of their own neighborhoods, young black males are always viewed with some degree of suspicion. I'm sure your youth was no bed of roses but I'm also sure you (a pretty blonde girl)never had that kind of racial cloud hanging over your head.

free0352 said...

Black racism is real and its worse than white racism. Jim would know this, if he ever spent any time in Black neighborhoods, one of which I lived in as well.

But I doubt he's ever done anything but get lost once and accidentally driven through one.

Foxy Wizard said...

A few years ago, I worked at a college in the Admissions Department. For whatever reason, the staff was 85% black, mostly women. How they treated each other was beyond belief.

But I'm sure that observation makes me a racist.

Tater said...

I'd usually end up surrounded with 10 or 12 Mexicans poking me with sticks

Well Foxy if 10 to 12 bothered you, why on earth do you want 10-12 million more in this country???


CrabbyOldMan said...

Amen Tater!

I have long believed that there are unemployable whites that you want nothing to do with and unemployable words that you want nothing to do with. For the sake of discussion, let's say that 25% of the whites are undesirables.
Whatever the actual ratio is, it is the reverse in the case of the words. I'd say most of the reason is because of what public policy has been.
There are a lot of insights in Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery. I strongly recommend that book to anyone who has any interest at all in social issues.

ALa said...

@Jim: My 14 year old very white, very blue eyed son gets followed in almost every store and especially the mall. I think it's often an adults don't like/trust teen boys thing more than a racial thing. At least in this area... They are all suspect regardless of the hue of their skin.

free0352 said...

Almost everyone is employable. No arms or legs? Mentally retarded? Okay, I'll buy it. You're mostly unemployable and any employment you get won't be very good. There will be little to no chance of advancement.

Then again, Steven Hawking did well, but I admit he's a special case.

Most people aren't terribly disabled. They're just fucking lazy. You can collect up to 60k a year in welfare bennies if you know how to work the system. That doesn't count what you make working under the table.

Hunger is a very powerful motivator. I'd say if we removed the safety net we'd have a 50% drop in unemployment within 30 days. Being hungry will make you figure it out. People do amazing shit when they are hungry.

Illegal immigrants actually prove this. Of all the employed people in America, the employed illegal immigrant clearly has the deck stacked against him the most. And yet, they make it so well they not only support themselves but often send money home. If they can do it, Americans can do it. I know there are leech illegal immigrants here, and I'm all for cutting them off the dole too. In fact cut them off first. But lets face it, most of the illegals come here to work, and they pull it off.

free0352 said...

When I was a teen boy I was constantly stopped by the police and followed and suspected. It was because I either had long dreadlocks or an f'n mohawk, and dressed like a punk rocker. The people following me couldn't see my A average in school, being in student government, playing sports, the fact I was so straight edge I wouldn't even drink alcohol let alone do drugs, etc... I remember cops thinking the Xs on my hands meant I was a gang member. I remember pissing an officer off once when I exclaimed "Dude, that means I'm straight edge. I'm basically your fucking wet dream of a kid. The worst crime I'll ever commit is skateboarding on the sidewalk or violation of the fire code when a friend's band packs too many kids into a venue."

But I didn't get mad about it. I looked a certain way and understood that I could easily be misunderstood for one of the nihilist self-destructive punks who drank, broke shit, did drugs etc. I just laughed that stuff off.

Treyvon Martin tried to beat a man to death for it. I think that alone shows the character -or lack there of - that kid had.

CrabbyOldMan said...

Free0352 and I are in the same camp when it comes to welfare/employment.
I will add that it would be necessary to make them scared to steal at the same time.

free0352 said...

I think armed citizens make them plenty scared.

CrabbyoldMan said...

That's true if the personal injury lawyers think that you're not worth suing.
On the other hand, if you have any money at all...

Foxy Wizard said...

Tater, they're already here.

Tater said...

I know Foxy, so let's get rid of 'em. Eisenhower did (Operation Wetback).


Wasn't all that hard either.


Xavier said...

Amazing stuff from the 'leader' of the free world. So was he telling us that he would have cold-cocked someone for having the audacity to be in the same neighborhood as him? That he would have then jumped on the fallen man and beat him senseless?

Foxy Wizard said...

Tater, it will never, ever, ever happen. Never. Ever. for about ten reasons I can think of right off the top of my head. But keep dreaming.

Sorry, Bro, but we will always disagree on this one.

free0352 said...

On the other hand, if you have any money at all.

A nonstarter in my state. Sorry if yours sucks and doesn't protect against that with stand your ground. Consider moving.

I was just thinking, that what with how much Obama has raised taxes, it is entirely reasonable for someone to clutch their purse/wallet when Barack Obama walks by. He certainly has proved he wants in there.

Zelda said...

"Individualism is the antidote to racism."


CrabbyOldMan said...

Foxy Wizard and Tater, this is a classic case of being asleep at the wheel and letting a small problem become a big problem.
I have always thought of the lack of foresight as the Pearl Harbor mentality. We have a bad case of it.

Foxy Wizard said...

I have stated for probably 8 years on this blog that Conservatives needed to look at reality and start making some concessions or they'd have to swallow something much worse. No one listened. Now we won't have closed borders AND 20 million illegals will get a path to citizenship. Oh, well...

CrabbyOldMan said...

Does anyone besides me see the comparison between Detroit and the reconstruction era South?

Fearthuinn min an Saille said...

Yes COM. It's an active conversation down here, since Atlanta is the "bastion" of Northern Democrats and is headed in the same direction (funny, we're building a new stadium, too). Everything is moving out of Atlanta, for good reason. Wealthy neighborhoods are seceding and our Rep controlled State gov't is letting them.

CrabbyOldMan said...

What I find hilarious is how hard it is to find a word who doesn't get all dewy eyed at the mention of Martin Luther King. Yet most seem to be scared shitless of being judged on the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.
I'd bet the farm old Marty would be enraged today by both the leadership and the rank and file. If everyone would have known in the 1960s what the results would be 50+ years later, Marty's movement would have gone nowhere at all.

Anonymous said...

Virtually everyone is employable? Really? You must not see the applicants I have seen. People who don't have the decency to dress for an interview. Who cannot, under any circumstance, spell. Who arrive 10 minutes late for an interview. The applicants who freely admit they were fired from their last job for being lazy and not performing their job. No Free, not everyone is really employable.

free0352 said...

What I mean by unemployable is someone who physically can't work. Not a lazy bum who choses to suck at life. Look, if you were born blind with no arms and legs pretty much no matter how hard you try getting a job is nigh impossible for you. For the people you mentioned, they're just willful scum bags. And I don't feel sorry for 'em. I say hunger will motivate them.