The misunderstood discomfort many sub-consciously harbor towards others gets subtly exposed when these incidents of race surface. Just take a moment to think about it. Think about the number of cases and reports we’ve seen or heard since Barack Obama announced he was seeking the office of President in February 2007. Although other Black people have sought the office we knew something was uniquely different about Barack Obama. It’s sort of like what Public Enemy called “Fear of a Black Planet” syndrome has occurred. What are you afraid of? You say you’re not prejudice or racist, and then we make our words true.
What you are seeing today is an exposure of the Jim Crow from within us. This is not exclusive to any one group, because there are Blacks who are still getting use to the idea just like Whites are.
We are a racially timid and culturally intimidated society. We attack anyone who says otherwise. Anyone who has the courage to stand up and speak out is quickly told to sit down and shut-up by the purveyors of the status quo in addition to the ones being oppressed by their perceived status; racially timid, culturally intimidated.
The latest incident of racial profiling that featured Dr. Henry Louis Gates is just another red flag in what is obvious to many and remains in oblivion to others. This has been going on for decades and if you just have a conversation with your local neighborhood Black & Latino male they’ll be happy to tell you their stories. When they do, compare them to when you were in a similar situation. If they tell you about the times they were stopped by the police, listen to what they had to do and compare to that of your own. Stop discounting the experiences of others, because you haven’t experience it. It doesn’t mean it is not true or it doesn’t occur. Look at the patterns and commonalities of the stories and experiences you hear about.
I just like many others have heard the saying that suggests that if you just work hard and do what you’re suppose to do you to will achieve the American dream. That is true to an extent, but we can easily point to recent incidents to counter the American Dream with the Prove-It Attitude. During the 2008 Presidential Campaign we heard the “He’s a Muslim”, “He’s a Terrorist” crap from Palin rallies, essentially saying “Prove-it”. It was already proven when Hillary suggested the same thing, but that’s still not good enough for the fringe within the GOP, i.e. The Birthers (a topic I will soon cover).
Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination was immediately tested by the right and lead by Southern Republicans who remind me of the Democrats at the height of the Jim Crow era. When you hear the comments such as the ones that came out of the mouth of Pat Buchanan and Sen. Sessions you must agree with Sen. Patrick Leahy’s call to stop the racial politics. I can continue, but will conclude this thought by echoing Sen. Leahy’s message to his Republican colleagues.
What’s disturbing is how silent many conservatives are on issues of race? Those who are not quiet are destroying the relationship for the rest of you. I’ve been preached to about how wonderful the GOP is, but when the repeated incidents that involves race occur I hear and see the opposite by observing the actions and inactions of those who preach the gospel according to the right to me. I’ve said it before and will have to say it again. It’s not the Republican Party itself, but what it has become and allowed that makes the argument in favor of it to me weak.
I believe the American Dream can become reality, because we’ve seen it happen many times. But we have to be honest with ourselves when it comes to race, religion and politics. If not we will continue to pretend as if the naïve words of certain commentators that suggests that racism is over.References & Inspirations L.A. Times – 07/28/09 “Sonia Sotomayor Wins Backing of Senate Committee” Boston Globe – 07/28/09 “Gates, Crowley Meeting at White House Set for 6pm Thursday”