Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Hey, I'm not racist...I'll have you know I have one black friend and he's very articulate..."

I published this post on July 4, 2009. I had started to write this post back in October of 2008. The hateful racist backlash had already begun as the writing was on the wall that Obama would win the presidency. I shelved this post mainly because the topic of racism is so broad and so far-reaching that I truly did not know how to begin to write about it much less find a conclusion. As far as we've come since the Civil Rights Movement is as far as we still need to go to truly say that, "All men are created equal." Perhaps having a black man as the most powerful man in the free world will unearth the last remaining seeds of racism and thereby begin a new field in which true love and tolerance will flourish.

The excitement that has been swirling since Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court has been nothing short of a compelling anthropological study of white conservative America. Both Limbaugh and Gingrich, cross-cultural icons and open-minded drug and sex addicts respectively, labeled Sotomayor as a racist. Reverse racist to be exact. For those of you who are not racist and/or are not familiar with the term "reverse racist", allow me to enlighten you.

The term is usually heard on Fox News or on Hannity /Limbaugh radio shows. It is a pathetic attempt at self-pity by white men when any minority person exhibits any form of empowerment or shows pride in their ethnic background; or when a minority person accomplishes greatness or earns a position of power and refuses to honor the "white privilege", such person is viewed as ungrateful and is accused of being a "reverse racist". How blatant the double-standard is in America: when a white male achieves the office of Senator, President or Supreme Court Justice, he has done so through hard work, dedication and intellect. When a minority person accomplishes the exact same positions, that person has "obviously benefited from living in America and should be thankful he/she even had the opportunity." Note to minority person: this is why you're held to a different standard. Mark Sanford and John Ensign will still have careers after their respective scandals. Minorities don't.

The central issue that seems to generate the most discussion is Sotomayor's comment from 2001 during a speech at Berkeley (terrorist factory) where she said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

So, is she saying that someone who has lived in a wider, broader and deeper spectrum of America, a latina woman who has been in the depths of poverty (usually reserved for minorities and typically where you find the most crime) and had not only been on welfare but eventually got to rub shoulders with white men at Princeton, would not have a better background to base decisions on than an affluent, white male who has never been within 10 miles of a (insert state) Department of Economic Security Office, who grew up in an all-white country club, who had never been in a car that wasn't made that same year (unless it was a vintage Mercedes) or who always thought the house in the Hamptons was "roughing it"?

Where could Sotomayor have gotten the juevos to say this? As Lindsey Graham so naively and racially put it, "And if I had said something like that--or someone with my background and profile--we wouldn't be talking about this nomination going forward." Ummm...yeah we would. Because white men have done that for centuries. They just never had to say it out loud. Our country was founded by white men, the laws were written by white men, white men were the only persons allowed to vote for the first 140 years of our country's existence, white men are 97% more likely to hail a cab in New York City.

So, yes, a Latina woman with an experience similar to Sotomayor's does come to a better decision than a white male who lacks that broad background of America's cultural landscape. We white males live in a fairly confined, narrow scope in America. When is the last time any of you took a stroll down the worst neighborhood in your city at night? Didn't keep the collar popped on the Polo, did ya? How about that liquor store on the corner in the ghetto...? Ever stop and ask for directions? No? Why not?

How many Fox News broadcasters are black? (Juan Williams doesn't count...Sheppard Smith is blacker than he is.) How many are Latino? Okay, Geraldo, but he's part-time.

But the right will respond that Michael Steele is the head of the Republican National Committee and I think I did see 3 or 4 persons of color at the Republican National Convention and they weren't just security guards...they were actually delegates. It appears as though they are making progress.

Sounds like they need a community organizer.

UPDATE: 7/14/09

The chairman of the Republican Party, house negro Michael Steele, just dropped this gem of a quote, watch the video in the link below:

Michael Steele decides he can "woo blacks to the GOP with fried chicken and potato salad"

Just when you think it couldn't get worse...the Republicans come through with a grand slam!

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