When I hear Repubs complaining that they are all being painted with a racist brush because of the actions of a few, I tend to sympathize. But not much.
Is there any rationale, any truth, any historical facts that would indicate that Repubs do in fact have a racist bent, especially Southern Repubs? Why yes, yes there is. Follow me here:
Repubs were historically known as the party that represented business. Democrats have always been known as the party that represents working people and the poor. That was never more evident than in the early 1960s, the partial evidence of which was that Democrat John F Kennedy overwhelmingly claimed the south in his 1960 election. Equally historically, most businesses and large industries were located in the North and the South was known for small time farmers and other forms of agriculture.
The South, however, with its history of slavery and Jim Crow racial segregation, was overwhelmingly racist. To this day, if you want to find statues of Confederate soldiers, you will find them all over the South. So, what does one have to do with the other?
The Civil Rights Act of 1964.
President Lyndon Johnson’s prescience in proclaiming (allegedly), that “We have lost the South for a generation” immediately after his act was voted into law by Congress was a harbinger of things to come. The South, known for its racism, had turned against its Democratic history and started voting Independent in 1968 (the segregationist George Wallace), but went overwhelmingly for the Repub (Nixon) in 1972, then again in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. I’d say Johnson was right, wouldn’t you? (there are many who claim that he never said it, but I digress). After being forced, by law, to allow blacks to vote, get jobs, go to school, drink at the same water fountain, use the same bathrooms, etc, the South changed its political affiliations within 8 years.
So, we have an area of the country with a history of slavery, the Civil War, Jim Crow and segregation, who, for the last 50 years, has voted overwhelmingly in favor of Republican candidates.
Like has been said many times before: Maybe not all Repubs are racists, but damned near every racist is a Repub.
I’ve recently been thinking about what it would take for me to leave my country to go somewhere else. I’ve wondered what it would take for me to give up everything I own, everyone I know, my family, the familiarity I have with my surroundings, etc.
It would be a very difficult thing for me to do, even though I have the privilege of belonging to a race that will likely be welcomed in most places in the world. Even though I have the privilege of the means to drive or fly there. To come in the front door. To not be rejected out-of-hand due to my skin color. To not be assumed to be entering that country for the sake of taking something from those who were born there.
With all that going for me, I’m still here. Not because I think that America is the only place in the world in which I could live peacefully. It isn’t. Not because America is the only democracy in the world. It isn’t. Not because America is the safest country in the world. Or has the best health care. Or the longest life-span. Or the most honest politicians. It isn’t and it’s not. I stay here because this is my home.
Now, imagine if you take away all the privileges I’ve listed above. The privilege to be welcomed. The means to enter legally, through the front door. The privilege that assumes that I have something to offer the new country.
Imagine if, prior to leaving, I know that I will be rejected for my skin color, assumed to be stealing someone’s job. Imagine if I already know that I’ve got to walk, along with my family, through miles of deserts with little food or water. Knowing that after traveling for days in the hot sun that I might be caught and sent back. Knowing that I, or my family, could die trying.
And yet, I still came.
If some of us would try to imagine the love that these people must have for what we, in America, offer. Imagine what courage it takes for someone to make that journey, knowing that he might be sent back. Or, even if he makes it, knowing that he will be hiding from the law, hated for his nationality, ridiculed as lazy and only wanting something for nothing, like welfare or food stamps.
How many natural-born Americans would go to those extremes to be Americans? Immigrants, both legal and illegal, apparently love America so much that rather than ridicule them, we should be throwing them lifelines when they wash up on shore. Or border patrols should be searching for them to help them cross, rather than turn them away. We should have provisions for them to come and do the jobs that Americans have proven time and again that they don’t want to do, and thank them for it.
If you think about how much you must want to be in a country for you to risk your future at best, or your life at worst, then you understand that many of these immigrants are the ultimate American patriots-and we should be welcoming them.
For my Repub friends:
Based on the latest revelations regarding Putin and his meddling in our election, there is one thing that you cannot possibly deny.
That thing is the fact that the ex-head of the Soviet KGB, the man who denies Israel’s right to exist, the man who is supplying Syria with weapons to use against us, the man who would not support us in Iraq or Afghanistan, the man who is well known for simply killing his adversaries, the man whose country has NUCLEAR WARHEADS POINTED AT ALL OF OUR CITIES…
The same man who is quoted as saying: “We don’t need a weakened government but a strong government that would take responsibility for the rights of the individual and care for the society as a whole”, which argues in favor of big government taking care of the people, the exact opposite of the Repub conservative agenda…
THAT MAN AND YOU both chose the same person to be our president, THAT MAN AND YOU both preferred Donald Trump over Hillary. THAT MAN AND YOU thought that Donald Trump would serve their agenda better than Hillary, and you saunter on by saying, “What’s the big deal about Russia?”
This happened this morning at my house:
I’m outside washing my car when my daughter returns from a trip to the store. “C’mon, grab a sponge, we’ll wash your’s too,” I said.
“Nah, it’s not that dirty, and I have things to do” was her response.
I said, “Yes, it’s dirty. It will only take a few minutes.”
She said, “I don’t feel like it right now,” as she started walking in the house.
I said, “Ok, I’ll do it for you.”
After a long pause, my 16-year-old grabbed a sponge and started washing her car, along with me. We then both dried it. Then she thanked me.
Later on she changed and went to the local hospital where she works as a volunteer with the elderly.
It reminded me that, especially with family, we don’t always need to be “teaching them a lesson” or some other lofty parenting cliche’ about taking responsibility for their things. Sometimes we just have to show our willingness to do things for them, for no reason whatsoever, that makes them turn into good people who are willing to do things for others.
It’s OK to let them get away with stuff every now and then, if you raised them to appreciate it.
Still thinking about Bill Maher’s use of the “n” word. (I hate calling it that. It appears cowardly).
I’ve always been of the opinion that the word, when used in a certain context, is not inherently offensive nor racist. That context is one where the actual word, its genesis, or its etymology, is being discussed, as compared to using it to describe another human being. I have never used it to describe any person, nor do I ever intend to. I used it extensively in my book Black, White and Grey, and, to date, have received no complaints.
But Maher was using it ironically, calling himself “the house n—–“. He was using the word as it had been used extensively during slavery and was doing so to describe himself in that context.
Yeah, I know, it’s always a slippery slope when you venture down that road, like when Don Imus tried to appropriate black speech by calling some women “nappy-headed hoes”. It wasn’t his place to try identify with another race by using their vernacular, and Maher is apparently guilty of the same thing.
When white people venture to show how much they “get it” by appropriating the language or cultural mores of black people, they always end up sounding like Al Gore trying to rap. It’s always a better idea to stop trying to sound like something with which you truly have little familiarity.
There is a black culture and there is a white culture. Leave them that way.
Remember those FB memes showing a picture of George Bush with the caption, “Miss me yet?”, during the Obama administration?
No, George, we didn’t miss you at all back then. But we sure do now.
Who would have thought that George “Cowboy” Bush would ever be considered a relative Whitehouse genius?
I guess it’s not always a matter of how good you are, but sometimes a matter of how bad the guy is to whom you’re being compared.
For whoever is wondering what, in detail, the entire Trump/Russian thing is all about, or has Repub friends who question its value, read on:
1. There is incontrovertible proof that Russians targeted and successfully hacked the servers of over 109 Hillary campaign operatives in 2016. This may or may not be a crime and is nothing that likely hasn’t been tried before, but never to this degree. Trump is not implicated in any of this.
2. This directly benefitted Donald Trump’s campaign, by disparaging Hillary with fake news stories (like Pizzagate where she was accused of running a child prostitution ring), but does not indicate that Trump, himself, did anything wrong. The Russians may have just hated Hillary so badly that they wanted her to lose. Trump is not implicated in any of this.
3. Now the question becomes, why. Why did the Russians pick THIS election to try to influence who becomes president of the United States. Now we start looking for correlation of occurrences.
4. Trump had, and currently has, billions of dollars of business in Russia. He has built golf courses all over Russia. His family wants to keep doing business with Russia. This still does not implicate him in any wrongdoing, but raises justifiable suspicions.
5. He owes $300 million to Deutsche Bank, which has recently been fined $6 billion by an American court for laundering Russian drug money. This still does not implicate Trump in any wrongdoing, but raises justifiable suspicions.
6. His cabinet is a who’s who of people who have done and continue to do business with the Russians. Every single person in his cabinet has a history of doing business with Russian oligarchs, Putin, and banks that have been well-known havens for Russian drug money, such as in Turkey and Cypress.
7. When you look at all of the above, Trump has been convicted of absolutely nothing yet, much as Hillary has never, after 8 investigations, been convicted of a single thing. But Repubs had no problem carrying the “Benghazi” and “Emails” banner for the last 4 years, accusing her of the most minor of crimes.
Trump has not been proven to have done anything wrong, yet. If you think that the facts I’ve stated above do not warrant thorough and on-going investigation of Trump and his minions, then you are simply the worst example of a partisan hack extant. Your opinion lacks any semblance of objectivity, and your opinion is irrelevant.