Post racial America was just a dream…the return of hate

Memories are short, then again thanks to technology we are living at warp speed. Captain Kirk would be rather impressed at our array of gadgets and while we still haven’t quite made it to Jetsons style living. The world we now live in is a vastly different place than it was just 20-30 years ago.

All of this fast paced living though, has a tendency to wreak havoc on our memories as we constantly consume knowledge and eventually it all melds together to the point that the happenings of just 3-4 years ago seem hazy.  Back in 2008, here in the United States, many of us were scared as we saw the economy teeter on the brink of collapse; it seemed almost weekly we were hearing about banks going under. We were at the height of the presidential election season and people were scared and looking for hope and for many it became clear that Barack Obama was that hope after John McCain and his running mate made a series of high profile blunders. Even the most hardened racist among us, started to care about only one color…green and how much of it they had in their possession.

In the wake of Barack Obama’s election, many proclaimed we were truly a post racial nation, after all America had elected its first Black president. However quite a few of us though weren’t jumping on the post racial bandwagon, after all electing a Black man president in the middle of a shit storm was hardly proof we had risen against the hate that is ingrained in the very fabric of this nation. I took to joking privately that some people probably figured that much like action hero Will Smith, maybe some people thought that Barack Obama would play the role of magical Negro and make everything all right again in America. I was told I was being much too cynical, where was my hope?

Well after almost 4 years where we have seen the rise of the Tea Party, a group that no matter what they say basically came about as a direct result of Obama’s election and whose root opposition to Obama seems based in his blackness. Hate speech has increased, even in the current election season; we have seen people at political rallies with shirts that are clear in their intention “Put the white, back in the White House”. Hate crimes have increased, there are far too many incidents for me to rattle off in this space but two minutes on Google will give you all you need. Racism is real, it’s ugly and for those of us of color, most of us never bought into the media manufactured spin that we were truly post racial.

For anyone who doubted what many people of color have said since 2008, the proof is out with the release of the AP survey that since 2008, anti-Black sentiment is on the rise. In other words since we supposedly went post racial as a nation, nothing could be further from the truth, average Jane and Joe White People are not feeling Black folks or even Latinos. The unspoken truth but one that has been discussed in dribs and drabs is that a growing segment of the white population in America is increasingly feeling as if they have become the new millennial nigger.

Sadly such thoughts may play a role in delivering the White House to a man who pretty much doesn’t care about any of us unless we are wrapped in the color green. Yet for many they would rather have “the white back in the White House” no matter what.

I wish I could say that all of this shocks me, it doesn’t, America is still a young nation and true maturity and growth takes time, but I suspect post racial America is not something I will ever see in my lifetime. We are still too close to the seeds of hate that that helped form this country, I think about that every time I think of my grandparents who were share croppers in Arkansas. We have come a long way but this journey is not even half way over.

The evil one, so they believe

I have been staying away from any hardcore discussion of politics since there are so many bloggers that handle it far better than I am capable of…but with the midnight resignation of Van Jones ( ex-green czar) and the hoopla surrounding President Obama’s speech planned for today to the nation’s schoolchildren. I felt it was time to say something.

First off, I have spent the past several days laid up in bed praying what I had was a bad cold and not a raging case of H1N1 which meant I have had a lot of time to watch tv. Kids, Glen Beck is one crazy motherfucker. I actually rented a video of his and tried to watch it, um…anyone who watches that man on a regular basis and believes him is a few brews short of a six pack. (I know rude as hell, but I have to call it like I see it) Personally I see Beck as an entertainer who would switch sides if it meant more pesos in his pocket, he is a stone cold loon and he admits he doesn’t really consider himself a journalist. He is just a loud-mouth ignoramus.

That said, he is as vicious as a pit bull and as fellow bloggers were reporting he scored a victory this round with the resignation of Van Jones. (feel free to Google if you want back story, too tired to get into it)Though I will say this, um,  Mr. President how come I feel there is a pattern you are developing of throwing folks especially Black folks under the bus? Just a question.

Now to the meat and potatoes, as you probably know by now, Obama is planning a speech to the nation’s school children. A nice stay in school, work hard type of message; this sort of thing has been done before by other presidents and while yeah, there may have been a few Democrats screaming it was a waste of tax payer dollars back when a Republican president was doing it, the outrage was nothing like what we are seeing now.

Oh no! I have watched the news, read the blogs and man oh man, there are some folks who really feel that we are gearing up to live under a socialist regime and that Obama will be subliminally sending messages to the kids via this speech. Um, who really drank the kool-aid? Yet when we take a look at the folks yelling and screaming about Obama and his socialist ways, I have noticed an interesting thing except for a few delusional Blacks that are probably hired, most of the folks yelling are white, they tend to look either very Christian or very working class and are quick to say racism is not an issue.

As my Granny used to say, youse a lie! Look Black folks know though our more liberal white brethren try not to admit it but all this talk of socialism is just a smoke screen. Fact is Obama could be less government more business, free Nascar passes to folks and you know what? People would still hate him, you know why? Because he is Black, technically he is only half Black but in America  we still have that unofficial one drop rule and you are Black so in this case he is pretty damn Black. 

The bottom line is Fox News, Glen Beck and all the crazies out there are exploiting working class white folks fear of the unknown..aka the Black man. Guess what? Its working too, these folks are riled the fuck up and I swear any moment I expect RAHOWAto break out because the real truth is the birthers and the townhall nuts fear change by a Black man. In many cases we are looking at folks old enough to remember when all a Black man could do was shine their shoes and now he is the damn president of the United States. Mind blowing I guess, if you are mind is that small.

So I say, quit lying and stop misusing words like socialism, believe me Obama is hardly radical in fact if I had it my way you would indeed feel a touch of real socialism but in this country that will never happen.

Burnt Out

Maybe it’s because the dialogue around the health care issue is starting to get ugly (when will folks just get real and say the issue is the fact that a Black man is in charge? Quit pussyfooting around) or maybe its because work is getting crazy…in any event I am in a rare place where I almost don’t want to know what is going on in the world. I wake up listening to my local NPR affiliate station and generally in the evening I  watch the local news station; I have always been a news junkie but lately watching or hearing the news feels so heavy.

In November after the election, I was filled with so much hope for this nation. Now though I think we are on a one way course back to a dark place. Birthers, town hall folks….I was so saddened when I heard about a protester at one of these discussions that held a sign up (sorry too tired to link it) saying death to Obama, Michelle and their girls. What the fuck is wrong with people? Seriously, if I were Michelle Obama right about now I would be saying baby, you need to quit….do a Sarah Palin and just exit stage right.

I guess we ought to be lucky though that the First Lady does not think like me but I can only imagine if I find all this nastiness stressful, how hard must it be for their family? 

All this to say I am feeling burnt out on world events and happenings yet because of my work its hard to escape the ugliness that exists in the world. I see families daily in so much need, families mired in generational poverty that at times makes me feel so silly talking about my own financial woes here at BGIM. After all, while my financial situation is a tad shitty at the moment, fact is I write these posts from the comfort of my home that is mortgage free. My freezer is filled with good healthy food and while Visa, MasterCard and that bitch Sallie Mae want their money, all my basic needs are met. The work I do is often good at keeping me grounded and making sure I don’t wallow in self pity too long.

Nope, truth is I am burnt out, its strange because if I didn’t like blogging so much I would say its time to say good bye yet I do like blogging. But most of what I write is about current happenings so not sure what that means for the future of BGIM. Any ideas? Maybe more posts on the simple life in Maine?

Well, have a happy weekend! We are expecting a heatwave so I suspect I will be logging in plenty of time on the beach this weekend.