Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Politics, Racism and Racists

Isn't it strange how we can see racism in others, but be unaware of it in ourselves?  Of course, I take some guff for my brass in pointing out to African Americans that they are racists, too.  Bernie Sanders was calling Trump an old-time racist the other night.  I guess, by default, I am lumped in with Trump because I have pointed out that Trump is more right about Hispanic crime than liberal Democrats and Independents want him to be.

Frasier Glenn Cross, a dyed-in-the wool bigot, was just sentenced to death tonight for setting out to kill Jewish people at two Jewish facilities in Kansas.  (He killed, instead, three Christians, whose lack of bigotry, had taken them to the grounds of these facilities).  Yet, how many of the Jewish people shouting about his anti-Semitic views would recognize their own bigotry when going into a "tiz" over a family member deciding to marry outside of their race and faith?

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of the students of the University of Missouri at Columbia this week.  They used a totally non-violent sit-in to topple administrators and open the way for real change to occur.  There was no cheapness -- no looting, no burning, no destruction of property.  It was a class act all the way.  National organizers could well take note and learn from them.

In earlier articles, I've suggested that celebrities get involved in calming the racial tensions.  Where are they when we need them?  Well, at the risk of having Gayle King say, "Oh, oh, you're not going to get a car", I'm going to guess that Oprah and her colleagues are out finding more movie themes inclined to fan the flames of racist feelings.  That's okay, Gayle, I can't afford the taxes on a gas guzzling SUV anyway.  Did I say, the racism being rehashed and misinterpreted in these movies just keeps the scabs picked off the wounds until the infection spreads and causes more and more problems?

We have the masses exposed to brief sound bites on hosted shows  --  with celebrities attempting to educate us about points they barely understand themselves.  Then the poorly taught listener acts out in the grocery or wherever, on his/her interpretation of a celebrity's poorly defined concept.

I can hardly go shopping these days without some incident.  Saturday I was at Aldis  --  again.  The incident happened there  --  again.  The young man entered the store right behind me.  I didn't see him in the store at all until the checkout lane.

My daughter had shared my basket.  She put her items on the checkout counter first.  I was totally intent on getting my groceries from the cart to the counter.  I was vaguely aware of someone crowding in on my turf, but didn't "surface" from my task.  All of a sudden the guy was right in front of me, touching even, grabbing for a divider.  I still didn't abandon my task, but I was getting a little tuned to the space invasion.  Then he began frantically saying he was sorry and moved back to the end of the counter.  I made some kind of a downward motion with my hands, meant to quiet him.  Then I reached for a divider and handed it over.  I said something like, I think this may be what you need.

As I finished my task, I turned and looked at the woman with him  --  probably his mother, judging from the age difference.  I thought there was mirth in her eyes, but I guess I was wrong.  When I moved forward, I heard her say, "Now that was racial profiling."  No, lady, that had nothing to do with race at all.

Had you been a white woman and it was a white woman's son that did that  --  and I had been the African American it happened to  --  I might have said to your son, "Yo Mama didn't teach you any manners?"  Instead, I used a gesture I might have used with a day care full of kids.  It was a gesture meant to calm and diffuse, and it did.  But you were hell bent, as are many African Americans these days, in turning nothing into a racial incident.

I clearly see Whoopi Goldberg sitting in one of her game show squares, a black person on either side, declaring, "Now, this is racial profiling."  Well, actually Whoopi, that wasn't racial profiling either, but it was closer.

Racial profiling is targeting a certain race or group of people, usually with the intent of harassing them in some manner, such as in police matters.

The problem with celebrities teaching their vague concepts of behaviors from the silver screen or the television is not only that they sometimes don't get the definition themselves, but they inflame the anger and retaliation of masses of individuals who are not nearly so smart as they are.

A little discretion would go a long way.  Or, if racial strife is what floats your boat, proceed as usual.

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