Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Started Saying it This Way, More Than a Year Ago. Some White Republicans Have a Fetish About Race Issues.

I see some of the white Republicans acting like they feel disenfranchised, sidelined, left out of the fun, if they can't charge others with racial insensitivity the way people who at least qualify as ethnic or racial minorities seem to be entitled to so charge. So they seem to go out of their way to either make a stink over some race tinged issue, usually so minor a one that is doesn't even show on a properly calibrated radar scope, or call someone a racist (usually a black, and that is the 'Whoopee, Gotcha,' moment they are most thrilled with, seemingly.) Almost unfailingly, they screw it up big time, or end up looking like the mindless, ignorant fools they really are.

Case in point: have you heard about the story about the white Dallas Republican councilman who was, it is said, and I quote,"I am extremely offended and hurt by these unwarranted comments," in response to the black Dallas judge for saying,"Black folks have been cleaning up white folks' messes for hundreds of years, so why should we expect any different now?"

White Republican in Former Slave State "Offended" by Statement By Black Man that Blacks Have Been Cleaning up After White Folks, for Years.

Just for context, the judge was making a little joke there about Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, and what a fine job he (a black) was doing reforming that office.

No one in the right mind would take offense to that (perhaps weak, yes) joke. So I look at the white Republican's whining about being offended as pure bullshit.

Either it is pure bullshit, on account that the statement does not present reasonable grounds for anyone to take offense. Or it is pure bullshit, as it is either directly or indirectly related to what I have discussed before, and that would be a semi to somewhat coordinated Republican attempt to seize control of the issue of race, and render the charge of being a racist or racially insensitive into something that has no power or at least clear meaning, anymore.

Let me go a bit deeper (as this is my pet peeve issue.) Firstly, let's debunk the charge that the remark was objectively offensive. Ok. ask yourself who has the right to be offended by the statement, either declarative, or meant as a weak joke that black folk have been cleaning up after white folk? Well? Would that be the whites who used to hire blacks as housekeepers and other sorts of domestic help? I can tell you this much. It would not be the blacks who's ancestors have had that kind of job (guilty as charged.) We (and to be clear, all blacks) all know exactly what the judge meant. That joke was not only weak, but more so, it was an inside joke -- hence why it is weak, viewed objectively.

So is there any other way it could have been both reasonably and objectively considered offensive? No a chance. Now there are some white chuckle headed Republicans out there who have adopted this weird, any time anyone on the other team mentions race, we will call them a racist and take offense, trend. That is neither reasonable nor objective. So that doesn't even work (but I have to admit white Dallas Republican councilman at issue, Mitchell Rasansky, could actually be that ignorant.)

And even if I have gone long on the matter time and again, here on the blog before, I will explore a little bit more this disturbing Republican trend to render the matter of race into something of less power and meaning. Whether or not this is being done in this particular case, with a clear objective to dilute the meaning of what actually is racially offensive or not, I belive that that end is highly desired by the Republicans. They seem to spend a lot of their time doing just that, and being sorta obvious about damping down the entire subject. And even the end of trying to trivialize race matters, in this instance, is just a by product of this particular white Republican's ignorance, what he did is another example of the purer form of what I call fetish behaviour. There are those white Republicans who just want to call a black man a racist so damned much, they will leap at any chance, no matter how thin the grounds, to do so (and if doing that just serves the ends of trivializing the entire subject of race issues, wooo hoo, that.)

Not that I am a fan of the Rev. Wright., but I saw the same sort of behaviour regarding him, as this one idiot is showing the Dallas judge. At least in the case of Wright, you had a sometimes very angry man, who sometimes lashed out with what he considered righteous anger, against the dominant white culture in America, and America's racist (and recent) history. Now personally I can not cut anyone who was born in America who is below the age of 75 any slack for not understanding the following:

(a) America's history towards blacks is shameful, degrading, and really was an abomination, until the most recent of times, starting . . . I hate to peg a date certain, but not really until the 1970's when enforcement of Federal anti discrimination laws became somewhat consistent, and

(b) every black or African American has cause for anger. Still. Not cause to be angry all the time, or most of the time, or even 5% of the time. But each and every one of us have our personal wounds, in addition to the group wounds.

Most of us are happy things are better, but they are not any where near well yet. We might be closer to the day when all people will be judged by the content of their character, not their 'skin.' But the reality of the day is this. We are still, and I mean as a society generally, only in the phase where a large number of the population knows that is what we are striving for, a society where 'skin,' or tribe, or ethnicity is not what we should pay attention to. Reality is we still do, and getting any closer to that noble goal famously if not firstly announced by Dr. King requires constant reaffirmation, and dedication to the work of keeping one's mind on the goal of having that kind of society, and away from bad influences, like lazy generalizations and comfortable prejudices.

And I don't want to seem too harsh here. I want to call anyone who thinks that at least half the country not only gets that that is what is required of all of us, but are actually more committed than not to working towards that goal, some kind of optimist. But then up pops another idiot like this white Republican in Dallas I have been talking about here. And that reminds me. We might be that far along. But personally I do not think we as a society are half way there yet. Not by a long shot. There clearly are many many people out there who clearly do not get it, or do not care, or both, and no amount of social pressure is going to make them personally commit to being better people when it comes to such matters. These people have no commitment to that goal, to that society, and have no intention of doing one ounce of the work at all.

But then I remember the part to be optimistic about, and that is the younger generations. They seem to be more 'enlightened' about such things. I dearly hope their seeming enlightenment is more than skin deep.


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