Thoughts about racism

Today, right now, Starbucks will close 8,000 stores across the nation for an afternoon of anti-bias training. What Starbucks will attempt to do in just the three hours is undo centuries of generational racial bias in this country. Sounds like a pretty heavy task. In the meantime, television “star” Roseanne Barr compared a black woman, Valerie Jarrett, to a monkey in a tweet recently and then later apologized for making “a bad joke”.

It’s easy and even convenient, to blame this new age of racism on Trump. The reality is this, though the racist rhetoric seems to be more public and in your face since Trump took office the truth is it is the same as it has always been, ugly and just as prevalent as it was 100 years ago. Why it seems more widespread has more to do with “us” than “them”.

The “them”, the racist, the bigots and the white supremacist never went away. They weren’t in hiding for eight years during Barack Obama’s presidency. They didn’t keep their mouths shut or their opinions to themselves for eight years, we just weren’t paying attention. They held just as many rallies and spread their hate-filled propaganda across the internet to anyone that would listen. Some of us just weren’t listening or watching.

The biggest difference today than yesterday? We didn’t see “them” on the national news at Barack Obama campaign rallies being held in high-school gymnasiums in Iowa or Alabama like we do with Trump. That’s the difference. They didn’t go undercover. They never left. We just didn’t see “them” because we weren’t looking for “them” until Dylann Roof reintroduced us to the face of hate and racism in Charleston, SC on June 17, 2015.

I am not a Roseanne Barr fan. Her low-brow comedy simply doesn’t appeal to me. When I was seven years old I probably would have found fart and belch humor funny. But at 57 I am looking for something a little less juvenile to make me laugh. Deplorables would call that my elitist, liberal, sense of humor. I call it being a grown-up.

I didn’t watch her first show and I haven’t watched one second of the new Roseanne reboot. Trump supporters and Trump himself have given the show high-praise. They claim that the sitcom offers a portrayal of a segment of our American society often ignored by the liberals in Hollywood.

Now, I don’t doubt that the Roseanne and Dan Conner family do represent a slice of America. I also don’t doubt that the Roseanne and Dan Conner’s of the world voted for Trump. But Roseanne Barr isn’t Roseanne Conner, an American working-class mom struggling to get by on a limited household income in the drab fictional town of Lanford, Illinois. Roseanne Barr has an estimated net worth of $80 million and lives on a macadamia nut farm in Hawaii. About as far away from working-class as you can get. So why would she put out such an ugly, racist tweet? Is she simply taking a page out of the Trump playbook and playing to her base?

I will blame Trump for one thing that he has accomplished between “us” and “them”. He has made the divide wider and deeper. He has created two very distinct sides. He has also created allies, though they wouldn’t admit it, of groups that would appear or should be on polar opposite sides of the spectrum, white supremacist and Evangelicals as an example. Evangelicals will hold their breath until they turn blue claiming that they aren’t racist while white supremacist are okay with being lumped into the Evangelical fruit basket. They can’t both be right, or can they?

I don’t consider myself a racist but my children will point-out labels that I use to identify people rather than just being a person be it short, tall, gay or black. They know, as I know that I don’t use these descriptions as a means to degrade or slight someone. It is simply how I was raised to identify people. That doesn’t make it right but it also adds clarity to someone you was raised in a home with acute racial bias or insensitive’s. I say mental disability, they say retarded. I say Hispanics, they say Mexicans. I say homosexual, they say fag. I say black, they say…….

While I was writing this post ABC cancelled the Roseanne Show. Entertainment president Channing Dungey said in a statement that “Roseanne’s Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show.” I agree wholeheartedly with this statement but there will be Americans that won’t, about 35% of them that won’t. I am sure Trump will chime in (see below) at some point about the controversy. His base will both expect and demand it.

The sad aspect of this is that there is a segment of our population that agrees with what Roseanne Barr tweeted. People fear different so they resort to hate and ugliness. They go to extreme lengths to protect themselves from people who don’t look or believe as they do hoping that distance, violence or projected hatred will make the problem go away. And they marginalize, as Trump does, assuming a position of strength and superiority when in fact they are in the minority.

The face of America is changing. Certainly it is not happening quick enough for many of us but it is changing. I doubt we will ever bury racism. But I do think the end of white privileged is fast approaching. I like to believe that Trump is the last gasp. He probably isn’t but I suspect it is getting close and that is what the Roseanne and Dan Conner’s of the world are scared of.

UPDATE from the “What about me? What about me? Look at me! Look at me!” Baby-in-Chief; “Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?” – Trump tweet 5-30-18



About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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14 Responses to Thoughts about racism

  1. Nan says:

    I have NEVER been a fan of “Rosie” and now I know why. What a low, ugly, disgusting example of a human being. Hooray that they canceled her show! Now if tRumpsky will just stay in his own backyard …

    It’s truly difficult to live in “these times.” I suppose all we can hope/look for is better days and “pray” they arrive sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 3 people

    • My oldest and her husband spent the weekend with us. They are both heavily involved in their church. I say that so some right-wing, conservative christian doesn’t thinks they are left-wing, liberal, atheist. They love God and they care deeply for God’s creation which includes everything and EVERYBODY in it. I learn a lot about the world today viewing it through their eyes. They hopeful but concerned, concerned that the Trumpets are breeding like rabbits, breeding more hate, hate with guns, hate with gas guzzling trucks, hate with no respect or concern for the future. And they aren’t breeding because they think there are already to many humans on this earth.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful post. The fact that ABC canceled the show within two hours of Brutal Barr’s tweet gives me hope. They didn’t wait for days of outpouring anger. Disregarding the financial element, they acted swiftly against the bully and stood tall. Hey, 35% … listen up.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes I was pleased as well. Will be very interesting to see what the extreme right has to say about it. I was thinking, no one, at least a sane no one, could possibly support comparing a black woman to an ape but sadly there are people out there that agree with her characterization. Michelle Obama dealt with it as the First Lady, when a West Virginia county employee called her an “ape in heels”.

      As I have said before the Deplorable base suffers from to much cross pollination. It simply isn’t good for the brain to marry your 1st or 2nd cousin.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Author Flawed to Perfection and commented:
    Great insight from a great writer. I hope the 35% get ABC’s message loud and clear – most of us will NOT tolerate this kind of racist bullying – or any kind for that matter.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Scottie says:

    President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

    Matt Dillahunty also has said several time if you want to know what is wrong with church X just ask church Z, and if you want to know what is wrong with church Z just ask church W.

    These prove your points as well now as they did in their own time. I do not think using certain words make one racist, it is the intent when using the words. I do not like having words off limits but I do agree with not using some words when they will hurt or harm others. For example the word “fag” was used to hurt and harm gay people for years, and in my youth the word “queer” was used to cause hurt. Today these words are being used and claimed by the gay community and people at large in ways that takes the sting and hurt out of them.

    I wonder if racism in this country is an education issue? Have we failed to show clearly that all humans are one species? Or is that one of the problems with having churches trying to undermine evolution to such a degree they have? Also is that a race issue in it self? The fact is the idea of race is a social construct. Genetic testing has shown there is no pure race, the fact is we are all mixed to some degree. I do not understand why some people claim that an attribute that is relatively recent in the time scale of the human existence, and includes the same DNA codes as the originating hominids, is somehow superior. It is a difference that makes no difference.

    But the problem is real. I really had thought we had grown beyond it. I felt we had gotten better. Then came tRump and his crew and not only the bandaid was ripped off the wound but the scab and stitches also. I do not have the solution but I know we better find one. This country will explode if we do not. I remember the end of apartheid in South Africa. We won’t have as good an outcome. If we do not get a handle on this race hate in all its forms and depths, it will be blood in the streets and no one will come out of it unscathed.

    Sorry my thoughts were expressed in so wordy a fashion. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Your thoughts are always welcomed be it one word or a hundred.

      My father, who was raised in the racist and segregated South, was dirt poor. He picked cotton with black men who were also dirt poor. He told me that at 16 or 17 he had an epiphany out in those hot fields. That a poor black man sweated just as much as a poor white man and the only thing that separated them was how other people saw them. He said, in God’s eyes they were the same. But in the eyes of the “rich” white folk my Dad was somehow better because he was white. Society created those differences, not God at least not my God or my Dad’s God.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Nan says:

        It’s amazing how skin color is such a divider when we all pee and sh__ the same. (Sorry if this offends …)

        Liked by 3 people

        • Someone, somewhere can find a reason to divide us. Blue eyes versus brown. Short versus tall. Rich versus poor. Presbyterian versus Baptist. Its how we keep score. Its how we justify our own self-worth. Trump does it everyday. He is always on the “right” side of whatever it is he is versus against.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Scottie says:

        I have even more respect for your father now knowing he worked in the fields. I tried to pick vegetables in my junior year of high school. I couldn’t do it. I was a country farm boy and yet that work tore me up. So after three weeks I asked to be shifted to the furniture division offered for us kids in a SDA church school kids. Factory work was far easier than picking produce of any kind. I have often stated I admire those who can do that work. They are tougher than I was. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Tony Burgess says:

    I fear that Trump has taken the bandage off any sort of healing that happened in the 8 years of the Obama administration and wants the wound to fester and get infected with hate and evil.

    Liked by 3 people

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