Thursday, November 6, 2008

Red State Paranoia

There's a lot of unnecessary tension and fear around the south. I'm afraid that for the first time in 20 years I will no longer be listening to any talk radio. I had already decided to stop reading my hometown paper's website because of the comment section at the bottom. Some of those comments come right out of the KKK recruiting pamphlet. I am not going to sit here and pretend that some of you are not just racists who are used to minorities knowing their place. That’s a real thing but I’ll be fair and say that not all of you voted for McCain just because of that reason. Some of you think McCain was the best candidate and that’s fine. Some of you however are real ignorant with a backwards and dangerous way of thinking. One of my close friends called me pissed off after listening to a talk show the day of the election. I calmed him down and thought how sad that was he felt that way since he’s a veteran and a model citizen. One of the things that makes life down here so confusing sometimes is that I have seen white guys come up to him and shake his hand to thank him for his service. We even got some free seafood one night because of it. We know it's not everybody but its enough to make you pay attention to everybody.

One guy called a local talk show and said people had a right to be scared since they were about to lose 200 years of freedom. I found that amusing since A. America is more than 200 years old. B. My people haven't been free that long. and C. I don't remember anything in Civics class that said if anyone of color gets elected president reverse slavery is automatically instituted. That was ignorant and I hope there aren't too many people living around me who think like this. Your isolated suburban area was still the same Wednesday morning just like my neighborhood was.

Listen, we are just as American as you. As a matter of fact, even if we wanted to leave we wouldn’t have a homeland to go to. There are black people from the south in the Middle East right now fighting. Don't you all cheer and pamper big black men that play football at your colleges? When 9/11 happened I cried just like you. When the Olympics were taking place this year I watched Michael Phelps and the other American athletes and cheered for them just like you. We were fighting and dying for this place when we couldn't vote, shop, work, or sit and eat in certain places. Obama winning does absolutely nothing to your freedom. It just makes me feel better about mine. That’s why most black people got emotional. We know the words to the Star Spangled Banner. It just sounds a little different when we sing it. That’s nothing to be afraid of. Just try to keep the beat, keep living your lives and hope the next president makes it even better. Calm down before something crazy happens.


Another Conflict Theorist said...

Peace Cliff,

This was real. And deep. What you've beautifully tapped into is the tragedy of being a black American. Frankly, as a group, there's no one more "American" than us. We've paid our dues and the dues of white folks. We'll just NEVER get the credit. Barack couldn't have adopted a more conciliatory position and many of these white folks STILL are deathly afraid of him. Their fear has guided this country for far too long.

On another note, I just finished listening to the Marvin Gaye clip for the third straight time. It's never been sung so beautifully.

Bayou Belle said...

Some of us don't fear his color. We fear his history of acquaintances. We fear our national security.

Another Conflict Theorist - if you continue to look at being black as a tragedy things will not get better for you. You have to change your perspective. Change the attitude within.

Bayou Belle said...

Sorry. Forgot to tell you Cliff how much I liked this post. So very well said!

Clifton said...

Belle, thank you for your comments.

I understand your concerns but what does that have to do with some people using the N-word and burning crosses in Alabama? If national security is the concern their message is getting lost.

Leigh C. said...

Somebody in Florida said on the way to the polls the other day, she saw an elderly Jewish fellow holding up a big sign that equated the election of Obama with genocide, due to the (erroneous)supposition that he would be more likely to help out the Palestinians in the Middle East once he was elected.

I have rarely heard such crap outside of neo-Nazi propaganda, and I certainly didn't think it would be coming from my own people. It's thoroughly disgusting, these blatant lies, and it only goes to show that, even though there is greater access to information than ever before, it is still appallingly easy to prey on people's fears and play them like instruments as a result. Everybody STILL has to consider the sources VERY carefully, and, of course, calm down!

Besides, Bush can still do some damage in this lame duck period. I hope to hell he doesn't, but this eight-year administration hasn't exactly inspired that kind of confidence.

Another Conflict Theorist said...

Bayou Belle - I'd almost considered going to bed without pulling up this wonderful blog. I'm glad I didn't. Coming here tonight has provided me with an opportunity to clear up your confusion sooner rather than later.

I don't look at "being black as a tragedy." I look at being black in America as tragic. The tragedy repeats itself every single time a black person, whose people have rendered a long, rich and splendid history in this country, has to unceasingly be viewed by the dominant culture as a threat simply because of the color of his or her skin. Frankly, it is your people who need to change their perspective, not me.

Also, I think your fear is misplaced. Sarah Palin sleeps most nights beside a traitor who advocated the succession of Alaska from the United States. I find it perplexing that you would be more concerned about a childhood "acquaintance" of Obama than a current acquaintance of hers. But to each his own, I guess.