I have written and rewritten this piece for over a month now. I am a naïve human being. I have already admitted that. But I am still absolutely horrified when I am faced with racism. And I'm white. Right? My horror comes from having to witness it. My horror comes from knowing that the country I love is not at all the country I grew up believing I lived in. I am an empathetic person, but I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to live as a person of color in America and not only face racism, but be expected to deal with it because that's just the way it is. My heart keeps breaking. It really does make me want to never leave my house.
It seems like it is every week now when we hear about another unarmed black man who is killed. None of them had even been cited for having committed a crime and they are dead. Walking in the street instead of the sidewalk. Selling a loose cigarette. Being a child in a park playing with a toy gun. Driving with a broken tail light. As far as we know right now, the young man in Baltimore was deemed "suspicious looking." But we know that he wasn't being arrested for anything or considered to have been breaking a law. These are potential threats to the community so dire that, without any reason to expect there may be a danger, a murder will be deemed justifiable.
What, exactly, is wrong with my country? Every single time this happens garbage on social media will post something like this:
Because, you know, "they" should all just expect this to happen. If "they" knew how to handle being hassled by the police for no reason at all, "they" wouldn't have to deal with this type of thing..
From the Tea Party Facebook page. Because, yeah...
I used to think there were different levels of racism. I have known adults who would have an aside that made me raise an eyebrow and I would say to myself, "They're from another generation." There are also people who will congratulate themselves for working with our knowing a black person who they manage to tolerate and treat like a human being so they think they are not racists. They will say things behind their backs that are down right disgusting and stereotypical, but they will be nice to someone's face so they proudly believe they are free from criticism. And there are the people who will drop the N-word and talk openly about their ignorant hate anywhere as if there is nothing wrong with it. Those were the levels I categorized racism in. But now I realize all of them are equally bad. All levels contribute to a society that finds, on some level, tolerance for a group of people to be diminished. This perpetuates the problem. This is the problem.
The issues around the most vile racist speech have been evident to me daily lately on social media. As I work on my different pieces about the Tea Party I get messages from teabaggers on line. They have this thing where they say they aren't racists and have decided, however, that the Liberals are. They have been conditioned to repeat whatever they are told and not to think about how accurate any of it may be. They will not learn history, it is irrelevant to them. They will just gladly call me a racist while holding themselves in esteem. So I have decided to put them in my blog. And following their comments, I will add something that I found in their picture feed to prove they are racists. Many had blocked me before I had this idea, or I would have many more to offer.
Apparently, Al Sharpton is a race-baiter. We can assume, because this is a teabagger, that he doesn't actually know what the word means. Or, we can assume that he means it because he wants to condemn the Reverend for being pissed off about his community having to deal with this shit.
They all say Eric Holder is a racist. Because he insisted on having a DOJ investigation in Ferguson.
This guy is telling me what they all tell me. (Because they all get their talking points from the same place and forget that we are too intelligent to miss that fact). The reason Liberals are racists is because we support Welfare. You see, in their logic, the only ones who receive Welfare are black. And the only reason we let them have it is to keep them poor so they will vote for the Democrat who promises to make their lives better.
Here he really wants to make sure we understand just which group of people are the problem in America.
So he thinks the First Lady is a moocher. And she is supporting the protesters in Ferguson. Exactly what kind of First Lady would support a group of human beings using their Constitutional rights to assemble for freedom and equality? For Shame!
Why doesn't the media ever report it when a black guy commits a crime? LOL. Poor maligned white cops who never do anything wrong and keep being ostracized in the media. Its just not fair!
Because, you know, we are against him for his race. It doesn't occur to him, apparently, that we can actually differentiate by something a little deeper than his skin tone or heritage and dislike him for his rhetoric and proposed policies.
These are immigrants being detained. They look like gang-bangers to him. See? They're brown skinned. I'm sure he's right.
Now, before you lose your shit, like I do, when you see that these teabaggers have Dr. King or Frederick Douglas as their avatars, please realize, they really are as stupid as I have tried to explain. They have been told that Dr. King and Frederick Douglas were Republicans. I have explained American History to every one of them. I have forwarded them each this passage from Dr. King's autobiography.
How it never occurs to them that they are calling themselves the party of tolerance and equality while being the ones who are literally, to this day, trying to create laws to justify intolerance and condemn those in our society who are not white, Christian or straight is beyond my comprehension. Again their willful ignorance allows them to never ask a question or think to investigate what I tell them, they just assume I am wrong and go along with what they have been conditioned to believe and ignore any hypocrisy about their racism. But, in their minds, the parties never switched. Ever. I have been told repeatedly that this is a Liberal lie (we have so many it is often hard for me to keep them straight). And if you ask them to question how a man like Lincoln, who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation would be a Republican; or how Dr. King, who fought so hard, not just for people of color but for the poor and who was, in fact, a Reverend, would be a Republican, they have no answer. They don't need one. They have been well conditioned to believe whatever they have been told.
Not only are they intellectually incurious, but they are intellectually lazy. They have a handful of memes going around with quotes by Thomas Sowell, an economist. It is a glorious revelation to a lazy thinker to find something like this. They use it to prove they are not racist. They figure that if a black man agrees with them on something, that precludes their ideas from being racist. Of course, again, because they don't understand that people don't fit as neatly into the boxes the far right want to paint them into, it will never occur to them that a black man may agree with them on an outlandish and immoral belief. That is what it means to have a closed mind. That is what it means to be a teabagger.
I may never be able to find a healthy way to deal with having racists in my world, let alone my country. Maybe there are some people that have to maintain this kind of passion and anger so everyone else can be reminded when necessary. I realize I don't have the power to change their minds or heal the hate in this country. But I cannot just allow it to exist and be quiet about it, either. That is why we are where we are right now in America. Everyone needs to get a little more pissed off, I think. And everyone needs to take an opportunity to demand that outrage from someone else who seems to be lacking it. That is the only way I can see things getting better.
This has been one of the most emotional pieces I have had to write. I genuinely ache for the place my country finds itself right now. I had to delete a lot of things because I was just so upset with all of the killings over the last month that I really was just screaming and I turned out being incredibly hateful myself. To let us down a bit on my way out, I offer you a couple of giggles.
Enjoy. Kiss Kiss.
This one is just funny. I was talking about Ron Paul. Sent him a link to his many racist, anti-Semitic journals. This guy reported me to Twitter for spreading hate and lies. So. Yeah. LOL.
And this one is just fun because he was repeatedly calling me a prophet that night. As flattering as it is to be found to have such amazing insight, I feel confident that is not what he meant to say. I still have no idea what word he meant to be using? But its still a good time, either way.
UPDATE: In order to offer them something to consider, I forwarded a link to this blog to the people whose feeds I addressed above. They quickly replied to tell me who the real racists are. Thanks, guys. But I already proved my point and didn't need you to make it any clearer.
#AtoZChallenge #Racism #TeaParty #TeaBaggers #GOP #ThomasSowell