Reblog: Dear Brad Paisley by Loren @ Rant Against the Random.

Great blog as usual from Lauren at RantAgainstTheRandom. I wish I could write so eloquently. I tried to “reblog” and it just wouldn’t work. Please read Loren’s great blog post before you read mine. It will make more sense.  http://tinyurl.com/DearBradPaisley

———— my rant response to her rant ————–

I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.Here are more thoughts on continued racism today. From another white perspective. I can/will never say I am a “non-racist.” I don’t think any of us can.

The lyrics say “150 years” as if the pain was that long ago and it’s all “fixed” now? As if “time heals all wounds?”

• It was only 1955, the year of my birth, when Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus.

• It was in the 60’s when MLK lead the Civil Rights movement and said his “I have a dream” speech. Civil rights were still only a dream!

• In 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving, a mixed race couple, were married in DC where it was legal. Upon returning to VA, they were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating the state’s “Racial Integrity Act.” It’s been less than 50 years since it’s been legal for straight mixed race couples to even marry in all states.

Today, interracial couples still face discrimination and societal disregard. As do their children…their grandchildren.

How about our recent history when our politicians speak?

• 2013.  Rep. Don Young of AK, used the term “wetbacks” to refer to Latino farm workers in an interview.

• 2007. Senator Joe Biden, running for president, made a racial comment describing his presidential rival, Barack Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

• 2006. Then Senator Biden also said “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.” (and he wasn’t!)

• 2006: Former Sen. George Allen of VA, used the term “macaca” to refer to an Indian-American campaign volunteer who was filming an event for the senator’s Democratic opponent. “Let’s give a welcome to macaca, here,” Allen said. “Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.” (Macaca is a racial epithet against Africans)

• Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr., of East Haven, CT, was asked what he would do for the Latino community in light of the allegations of police harassment. His reply? “I might have tacos when I go home. I’m not quite sure yet.”

• State Sen. Jake Knotts, of SC, said of Nikki Haley and President Obama, “We already got one raghead in the White House. We don’t need another in the Governor’s Mansion.” He then went off on Haley’s parents, saying that South Carolina voters would find out “that her daddy wears a turban around Lexington and her mommy has a ruby between her head.”
Haley went on to win the GOP primary and won the general election to become South Carolina’s governor. (Is that what ‘southern pride’ looks like in real life? Yup.)

BTW, in EACH case, the sorry apology offered blamed non-whites for misunderstanding their remark. They never apologized for saying it. Of course, they also said they meant no offense which got them off the hook – with white voters anyway. How can anyone even pretend there is no offense intended by remarks like these? I’ll tell you who. White people! We all know they meant what they said. They “sorryed” after being called on it only. Did whites call them on it? NOPE. We colluded with the “no harm, no foul” response.

Racial bias exists, like it or not, admit it or not. (And most admit it, thankfully.) I have friends who notice when they are the only person of color in the room. Do we notice OR even think to wonder on their behalf, if it’s uncomfortable. OR do we just assume it’s fine because “we” are white and they can’t feel that way and well, we “don’t notice color” anymore?

Are we offended and shocked if they speak of it? How many minority individuals even feel comfortable enough to say it out loud? In all my years as a part of white majority, I’ve only heard ONE woman say it out loud in a room of all whites. And she said it was hard for her to say! All we need do is look at our own discomfort if we are the only white person in the room. If we notice and feel the least discomfort, even if it’s subconscious or unconscious and something we as the white privileged never want to admit to, we are racist. Even if we don’t want to be.

Let’s stop pretending it’s all over and “they” need to get over it!

Singing about this stuff, as if it were a LONG time ago and like “time heals all wounds” is decades away. Many decades away. Maybe a century away. Not a century or more behind us. We, as white people, can’t even pretend it’s all fixed. How dare we pretend it’s all fixed.

As long as this very day, we have even one state who makes anyone of any “non-white” color prove they are actually citizens, racism exists loud and clear.

Let’s not even begin to act as if it was 150 years ago and therefore is meaningless. Jewish people should never be “over it.” Blacks should never be “over it”.

If it affected your great grandparents…great great grandparents etc., it affects you. Racism itself AND the effects of racism, all isms, poverty (as well as wealth!) etc. are passed down generation to generation. Like it or not. Wanting to admit it or not.

I am a lesbian. I was around in the 70’s when we had no rights. In the 80’s when AIDS was the gay plaque.  Many, especially southern “Christians”  still profess it was god saying being LGBT is immoral. Being gay/lesbian is a sin in the south. It was announced on church billboards when North Carolinians were voting on LGBT right just last year. Still today, GLBT are murdered because of the gay. I don’t forget this past just because we CAN marry in some states now. Like the Lovings, I have to go to a different state to be non-federally “legally wed.” Even at that, a white lesbian woman, like me, has privilege over a black lesbian woman.

I am not sure ISM’s can ever really be undone just because laws are passed that makes it illegal to publicly discriminate. I know people, sadly some of my own friends, who don’t want blacks to get jobs over them if they are equally qualified. Many cry “reverse racism” if they are passed over for a person of any color. Loss of privilege means loss of power. We all know that. Nobody knows that more than whites. Esp white males who have the most power to lose. And know it. Fear it.

Federally, there are many black men in prison for killing white men. There are very few white men in jail for killing blacks or other ‘non-whites.’ Even the word non-white measures everyone else against us as we are the “norm.”

I live in Asheville, NC, a very progressive city, where teens fly the confederate flag on the back of their trucks every Friday night up and down Patton Ave – ask them what it stands for. It’s a symbol of racism – just listen to the epithets. It’s a sign of a time where they wish they could return.  There are NO black, hispanic etc kids in those trucks! Let’s not even pretend it means “harmless Southern pride.”

Today we have a black president. Half of the country still believes he is not “one of us.” Half hate him because of his race and only his race. I want to say most are in the south. THAT’s southern pride for ya!

What do you stand for? Are you from the south and unable to feel “southern pride” because any possible pride is ‘tainted’ and ‘abolished’ BY the very prior existence of slavery? Cause that’s the reality. My admittedly ‘yankee’ reality. I never ever used the word “yankee” to describe myself until I moved to the south. (because there was never a ‘confederacy’ in my lifetime in MA) but, in 2013, it’s alive and well in the south.  The still wish they had won the war. And in their minds, are still fighting it. Even the youth.

Do you still use the racist expression, “Let’s call a spade a spade?” Racism is NOT a thing of the past and this song represents all of the things in this country we should still feel shame about. Sadly, the “racial integrity act” is alive and well in the minds of too many Americans today.

How many black country singers are there? Not many. It’s still a white country club. There are just too many examples to deny huh?

Am I racist? Yes. Do I wish I could not be? Yes. Do I work as hard at not being as I could? Not by a long shot.  Thanks, Be.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s