I’m warning you now. This post is raw and uncensored. If you offend easily or don’t want to hear the truth, don’t read it.
Well, every time I think we may have a chance at becoming one nation, things will happen to prove me wrong. In fact, we will never be one nation until we get our mess together. There’s been a lot of talk and commentary from all sides about the race issue. The media is fanning the fire storm, the White House is tip toeing around it, conservative pundits are blatantly (in a subtle kind of way….right) fueling it and everyone else is acting like there isn’t a problem. Well I for one am tired of the nonsense. I’m tired of all of the politically correct bullcrap and the new not so subtle racial over tones being tossed around. I’m done. I will no longer sit here and remain silent. No more PC crap. Let’s have real talk. This isn’t about health care reform, taxes, socialism or any other smokescreens conveniently concocted. It’s about that four letter taboo word: RACE.
I grew up in New York in the 70′s and 80′s where things were still a tad hostile but getting better. I’d encountered maybe 3 racial incidents in my childhood and teens so I can honestly say I wasn’t exposed to the vehement hatred that people in the South experienced. For the most part, my parents taught us to respect and honor all races. After all, my family is mixed, we have to embrace diversity. With all of the achievements minorities were celebrating, I assumed we were headed down the right path. Yes, there were pockets of ignorance and racism. But for the most part I dismissed those incidents. Then Barack Obama got elected. In my blog I shared my emotional reaction to that moment. I felt “wow, as a country we have arrived. We are on equal footing now”. How wrong was I to believe that!!! Not only are there people who would have me because of my race(s) (remember, I’m mixed), but also because of how I vote! WOW!!!
Now before you think I’m going to go off on a blame that white man kick, back up and cool your jets. Racism is rampant in all races. Here’s my take. We are the Divided States of America. I read a blog post about us being “divided” because the politicians are making us that way. I beg to differ. They are components of the problem but it’s the people of the United States. We shouldn’t live in a society where everyone thinks, talks, and acts the same. That’s crazy. But when a segment of the pissed off starts allowing talking heads and assholes (like the guy with the Sherrod video…no need to say his name or give him press) deliberately trying to make something out of nothing, we have a problem. When we have people trying to blame a race or races of people for the country’s ills, we have a problem. When we have people who blatantly disrespect the President simply because he’s Black, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. Whether or not the President is Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Purple, Green or Orange, he is the commander in chief of THIS country. Deal with it. When people spoke out against George Bush, you had people calling for treason charges. But when they speak out against Obama, it’s OK. No President is going to please everyone. That’s just the nature of the beast. No other President in history has had their hands tied in the race discussion. Why is in now that because President happens to be Black, there can be no addressing race?
The Shirley Sherrod issue has really pissed me off. Not so much because of what happened to her. Yes it was wrong, people should think before acting (or at least get the facts), and I hope she finds resolution (and restitution). What bothers me is the fact that everyone is saying the race issue can’t be discussed. I was listening to Dylan Ratigan the other day on MSNBC and he commented that the President’s hands are tied (by his handlers…I added that) and he’s not allowed to address it. I say his handlers need to step back and let him address it. Why shouldn’t he? Because he has other things to talk about? Trust me, that stuff isn’t going anywhere. If we don’t unite as a country and start at least moving towards resolution and diffuse this hatred, we will really be the Divided States of America. Hear me and hear me well, the world is watching us. We are slowly devolving and self destructing. And some countries are loving it. They’d love nothing more than to see the Mighty USA fall to its knees at our own hands. And all of the jackasses out there pandering to this racist bullshit are giving them exactly what they want. Excuse the language but the point needs to be stressed. Am I asking you to forsake your opinions and views? NO. Am I asking you to sing Kumbaya and hold hands in the friendship circle? NO. I’m asking you all to be responsible and think. Irrational and unfounded fears have no place in intelligent discussion.
This race thing has been festering for decades. It’s gone from hate the *insert minority here* to *the white man needs to suffer*. It wasn’t fair to discriminate against Blacks, Hispanics, Women, etc. It certainly isn’t fair for the reverse discrimination. You can’t keep punishing the sons for the sins from the past of the fathers. There is no resolution in turning the tables and making it harder on white men, especially those who had nothing to do with the problems to begin with. Yes, I admit racism is alive and well. I’m not naive. But we need to get past the anger and focus on the conversations. We can have all the supplier diversity, minority certification programs and HBCUs in the world. But until we FIX THE PROBLEM there will never be resolution.
Dylan Ratigan of the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC asked the question “does it make you a racist when you’re more comfortable being with your own?” He went on to read my tweet response on air the other day in which I said
@DylanRatigan No your not a racist if you’re comfortable with your own. You are racist when you refuse to acknowledge & respect others exist
I went on to add
@DylanRatigan Not everything is a race issue. But intelligent conversations need to be had without automatically invoking race.
So when are we as a society going to sit down and have a real live honest diversity talk? We can’t keep having reactionary conversations.
The next day (July 23rd), he had a guest, MSNBC Contributor Toure on the show to start the dialog in which Toure likened race relations to a troubled marriage. I guess it was an honest attempt, but the execution was lacking. I give you an “A” for effort Dylan, but a “D” for execution. It was a good starting point and I thank you for trying. But, we can’t have real diversity talk unless we have real people discussing it like adults, giving each side to express their opinions. We also can’t have yelling matches that often play out in the media. We can’t have Jesse and Al running out every five minutes. Everything doesn’t have to be a racial issue. But if we refuse to address the elephant in the room, we can’t get mad when the race card keeps getting played. There will always be ignorant people out there. But if we do our jobs as parents, guardians, and employers to keep real honest racial dialog moving, we can get better with time.
I propose we have a real town hall type race relations dialog. With real people, with real concerns and ideas. Only then can we work on dispelling the myths and get to a place of understanding. We may not be a perfect society, but we cannot continue to lend a hand to our own demise. I love living here. I love America. It’s (some of) the people that bother me. It’s not a white thing, black thing, republican thing, liberal thing. It’s an ignorance thing. People please don’t destroy my country. It’s about time we got back to being a respected world power again. Like my Daddy used to say, “you can’t go cleaning other people’s houses until you clean your own“.
Rachel Maddow summed it all up very nicely. Take a look at her clip from last week and come to your own conclusions. It’s time people stopped listening to fools with air time and start thinking intelligently and forming your own opinions, and not the manufactured tripe that’s being served. And before anyone labels me or tries to figure out what side I’m on, I’m on neither side. I’m in the middle. Both parties give me a headache these days.
President Barack Obama, Dylan Ratigan, and any others with the power to make it happen, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss race relations. Any time, any place. You name it and I’m there. I propose we have the DivChat. Let’s get the conversation started!
Til Next Time