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June 04, 2008


Racism- Alive and Well in America

Jim McPartland



I hadn’t planned on telling a part of the story when I met Kim and Judy in ‘Learning New Vocabulary’, but a couple things have happened in the last week and now I feel compelled to.


During our discussion, we got into the job market and how much it sucks. I told them it’s sucked since 2001- March to be exact- got worse after 9/11- and has never been the same since. It may never be.


The people in power got more powerful and their fortunes have grown. Average Joe American has taken it up the shorts and, without Vaseline, it continuously hurts.


Judy has a ‘white’ first and last name. She says when she sends a resume in, she’ll get a call for a group interview. When she gets there, she says they call her name and somehow feels mislead that she’s not white- and the interview ends.


I told her I’ve hired many people and not once has race crossed my mind to either give or not give someone a job. She and Kim say I’m only 10% of the hiring managers and a dark pit forms in my stomach. I asked a basketball looking guy at the ESPN Zone later. He agrees with what they said- almost like its so common place, they’re used to it.


A day later, the West Virginia primary results come in. 85% of those polled said ‘race was an issue’. Basically they will not vote for Obama because he is black. West Virginia doesn’t surprise me- even Dick Cheney made a joke about inbreeding there this week- but 85%?? That’s an awful lot.


We then move on to Puerto Rico, which Hilary storms and 1/3 of the voters ‘don’t know enough about Obama to comment’. But they know Hilary. Not sure how, because they obviously lack current electronic communications. Hell, they’re lacking old forms. At least they didn’t use race as their excuse- yet.


It’s now becoming apparent to me that (generalities to follow)-


Hispanics don’t like blacks. I think it’s jealousy because African Americans were here first- and forced to come. Hispanics are killing themselves to get here by risking their lives cascading fences.


Whites still have a problem with both, especially Blacks. I know the South is still smarting from losing the Civil War and resent the North forced them to give up slavery- but it’s 150 years later and it’s time to get over it.


Blacks are just used to it and, except for an occasional ‘OJ/Rodney King Uprising’, seem content with the status quo.


I say this-


Obama is our chance to unite those of us who want to be united. Problem is some don’t. I’m not sure what to do with those folks, but my friend Bob (Gallo) McManus and I have invented a new country called ‘Bluewania'. I will describe it in the next blog, but reserve your tickets soon before the airlines charge $50 for each carry on bag.


Here is a concrete example racism exists-


My friend Sandy lives in Ashville, NC. Sandy tells me she’s meeting a bunch of what used to be die hard democrats- middle aged guys, fairly well educated- more cultured than their West Virginia neighbors (that’s not saying much).


She tells me they tell her the same thing- “I will NEVER vote for a (prepare for this—it's not my word—it’s theirs) nigger’. Why? “Because the Bible says I can’t’.


Does the Bible belt have a version I’m not familiar with? I know they want to push Creationism in school, but I didn’t think Racism went along with it.


I personally find that ‘N’ word much more offensive these days than the ‘f’ word. (Trivial Pursuit stat of the day- the ‘f’ word is an acronym for ‘Fornication Under Consent of the King.’ Medieval times where the King said it was OK with him to procreate- he and the Court Jester just might want to watch).


So we have generation after generation- claiming to be religious, following the words of Jesus- who somehow find a verse to say it’s OK to dislike anyone, never mind by the color of their skin? This is getting towards radical Muslims who hate us because the color of ours. Both are misinterpreting the books they claim to live by.


My fear is we are just starting to see true feelings surface. People that have suppressed emotion for many, many years. I’m afraid that it may rear its ugly head and the riots we saw in the 60’s will pale in comparison. The only comfort I get is there will be more cool white people (including GenXers) who try and explain why racism is wrong- only to be bashed in the head by a beer guzzling, 12 gauge toting, hound dog lovin’ fool.