I have written about this in the past but I think it bears repeating in this white nationalist era Trump is driving us too. I grew up in the South, Charlotte to be specific, a child of the 1960’s and 70’s. Schools in Charlotte were segregated but that changed when I was in the fourth grade. Before, I attended an all-white school, with all white teachers, cafeteria workers, even custodians. But in the fourth grade we had a few black teachers and black students bused to my neighborhood school. The following year I was bused to the black neighborhood school. It was, and continues to be, the only point in my life when I was in the minority.
Charlotte was working hard to change its image from the Old South to the New South. Banking empires were being created in the city center and the new power base knew that in order to compete on the national stage diversity and equal opportunity would have to become the battle cry. But not everyone in Charlotte was interested in a New South including many of my neighbors who moved out of the city limits into the county which hadn’t embraced the need for segregation just yet.
I missed the Jim Crow era in Charlotte though there were still remnants of it around. As a kid my interaction with “coloreds” as my Grandmother called blacks when she was being charitable was limited to Mr. Alexander the Post Man, Ralph the “Bag Boy” (obviously not a boy but a hulking man who gave me rides in the bag cart to the car) at the A & P and Walter, a man who showed-up twice a year to trim our bushes and who put six kids through college with just a pair of sharp shears. For a very brief period of time our family had “a girl”, a black lady who came to clean the house twice a week but my mother was uncomfortable with that. Not uncomfortable about having a black women in our home, but what having “a girl” come clean said about her and her respect for and the dignity of another human being.
So for the better part of my first 30 years of existences there were two races, white and black and for the most part we kept on our side of the street and they kept on theirs.
But around 1990 I began to notice a new color, brown and people that were referred to as “Mexicans”. I had experienced Latin Americans before but primarily as agriculture workers. The area that I moved too in the mid-1980’s was, at one time, a large producer of peaches. My family would grab a basket or two of peaches every year from one of the local orchards and watch the Latin Americans labor in the hot July and August sun picking the ripe fruit off the trees on narrow ladders.
But over the next few years these “Mexicans” began showing-up at the car wash, in landscape crews, on construction sites and in restaurants. Latin Americans were no longer relegated to picking peaches or tomatoes but they were building our houses and cooking our food. They became integrated into our personal and professional lives but remained separate and isolated from our social lives and this, I have figured out makes the Trumpers angry.
Somehow the white nationalist think the Latin Americans are taking advantage of them. Working jobs no one else wants to do and sending the money back home to feed their families. How dare they abuse the American Dream! Trumpers liked the good old days, the Old South when blacks mowed their grass, cooked and served their food, washed their cars, and said yes sir, and thank you sir, in English, and then went back to their neighborhoods, away from them. In the good old days, blacks knew their place in society. Trumpers like that, miss that, and are working hard, oh so hard, to bring it back.
Here is the thing all you followers of the stable orange genius can’t, won’t or are simply ignoring, without all those of “Mexicans” living, working and trying to cross the Rio Grande into this country the American economy would collapse, not with a thud but with a reverberating “Oh Shit”. If that crash ever happens my suggestion would be to put your head between your legs and kiss your lily white ass goodbye cause if the brown folk leave we are screwed. But you, Mr. and Mrs. Deplorable are too fucking stupid to figure that out. You would rather yell “Send her back” with all your other white friends because you think “white is right”. Well I am here to tell you, white ain’t right and white ain’t the future, tan is, light brown, dark brown. I can only hope that you will be dead very soon so that we, the real Americans, can move forward with the business of being real Americans and not racist Nazis pigs like you! Peace.