Friday, June 8, 2012
I didn't mean to get political
Today is the last day of my two weeks of full time employment. After today I go back to my 3 or 4 Saturdays a month and the occasional day filling in. Not tomorrow though. Tomorrow my sister is working, an arrangement made when I thought we would be doing a workshop that weekend. And next Saturday the store will be closed because it's the annual Juneteenth Festival. I guess the store will be closed on the 30th as well as that is the Freedom Festival, Wharton's 4th of July celebration.
The store is closed on those days because the square and surrounding areas are full of people and parades and booths and activities which is not conducive to business. People aren't on the square to visit the local establishments. When they come in the store it's to get out of the heat or to ask to use the bathroom. I don't know what the other stores do, but Miss Hattie's closes.
I like living in this small town even though it is very conservative, very religious, and, quietly, racist. Well, I don't know that it is any more racist than any other part of this country, and by 'this country' I mean the entire US, but I've recently had a few encounters here where the person with whom I was speaking let their racism bubble to the top, one even using the 'N' word, something I haven't heard in a very long time.
I don't like that word (or any of the words used to malign people with racial or cultural differences) with it's inherent connotations of shiftless, lazy, ignorant, deceitful, useless, especially when it's being applied to a person who is working to improve his life or a group of people who are gathering for a celebration of their release from slavery. I don't chastise the speaker for their choice of words when I find myself in an unpleasant conversation but I do speak up for the maligned individual or group.
I think white America tried to convince itself that racism was a thing of the past in this country when Obama was elected president. Considering the obstructionism from Congress he has faced since taking office, I'd say that racism is still alive and well in America. His opponents and detractors are quick to assure you their position is not about race, blaming him for the results of 8 - 10 years of Republican policies, but the fact is, the old white men in our government closed ranks the day he moved into the White House. They were quite public and vocal about their intent to make him a one term president before he ever got a chance to govern. Never mind that he has continued most of Bush's policies.
When your hatred of a black individual causes you to vote against policies that are good for the country and your constituents and prevents you from doing your job of representing the people who elected you, when your stated intent is to run that guy out of town on a rail instead of giving him a decent chance to govern, when you blindly blame him for the results of your own misguided policies of the last white man president who moved massive amounts of money out of the hands of the middle class and into the hands of the already rich, when you vote against bills that you previously supported because they might make that guy look good, that, my friend, is racism.
The hatred and vehemence spewing out of the conservatives these last four years is unprecedented and I for one will be glad when white people finally become just another minority in this country because I am sick to death of this attitude of entitlement and superiority.