mardi, août 02, 2011

Calling out the bigots

After watching the crazy spectacle of American politicians competing with one another like toddlers on a playground, I confess that I was already in a cynical mood.

Whether you believe in debt-reduction, jobs creation, responsible government, or any combination of the three, this was shockingly, disgustingly irresponsible behavior. Pollsters tell us that most Americans feel the same about mud-throwing and name-calling that went on, bringing us this ridiculous agreement (which makes no one happy).

Seeing Representative Gabby Giffords walk into the House chambers brought tears to my eyes, as I'm sure it did to those of many Americans (perhaps including you).

But the fact is that Representative Giffords might not have gotten shot if we had gun laws that at least attempt to prevent people with mental illness from buying and owning weapons.

So yes, I was already incredulous.

In it, Princeton University professor Tera Hunter addresses the myth, currently being revived among some folk, that African-American children were more likely to grow up in two-parent families among antebellum slaves than under the leadership of President Barack Obama.

Who just happens to be a black man. Coincidence? You make the call.

In this commentary, Hunter takes apart the implication that black families were either healthier or happier living in slavery to whites. Hunter terms it a "broad and deliberate amnesia" about racial injustice and inequity.

This claim was taken out of the document, the Marriage Vow, signed by Presidential aspirants Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. But why was it in there to begin with?

To the politicians and others with a desire to appeal to the baser instincts of white privilege and stir the class warfare pot in tough times, I say -- cut it out.

We will not LET you go back.

We will not fight your warped, twisted, malevolent battles over skin color.

We will not let you turn us against each other.

I'm sure it struck others, as it did me, that most of the faces (with the obvious exception of Obama) negotiating this latest deal were white, older and privileged.

We don't live in a society that looks so mono-colored anymore. Apparently, that's scary to some. Very scary.

Blacks fought and died for the chance to live as free men and women. Many of our ancestors, including mine, marched and picketed and risked the rage of others so that we could work to achieve a society where skin color didn't matter.

We will call you out, again, and again, until we expose your myths for what they are-the last gasps of a fearful, soon-to-be minority.

May I suggest you do some work on your own families, instead of wondering whether those treated as subhuman were actually happier?

I'm sure they could use some help -- that separate but unequal strategy is SO 1860.

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