lThis reality has escaped me for some time.
I peered at it initially when Barack Obama became President, and some of the old guard cracker-ness echoed beyond coffee talk.
Being the black sheep in communities I was raised, I was relatively unaware that these seething cauldrons of hate existed.
I was always the token white boy. Either because of the neighborhood, or that I was a ball player and gravitated towards predominately urban culture.
There was an even greater disparity when I moved to Malibu my sophomore year of high school, as a Tennessee transplant, slightly overweight, with a southern accent accentuated by my retainer; and middle class.
Regardless, my friends where my friends and my family was my family, regardless of their color, religion, sexual orientation or economic stature.
But things changed…
As my dear mentor Walter Hill so eloquently stated, “we have a tendency to overcorrect”, and boy have we.
As the Obama Presidency came to a close, and throughout, the wave and chants of the misperceived oppressed white man became louder and louder.
The ideas that we were taking our country back from a true democracy, respect around the world, conscious and calculated restraint of pen and tongue; as well as low cost health care, reduction in unemployment and a 8 year climb to get us out of the whole the previous administration landed us in because of a fake war.
I’m still confused about what part of that America needed to be made great again?!
The reality is, there is still a living generation, and maybe two, that holds on to the George Wallace belief systems.
That some how the white, straight, anglo sexton population is superior and needs to “rise again”. Does this remind you of any historical mind sets? Does Nazi Germany ring a bell?!
It started with the birther movement, then it was the calculated and intentional blockade of anything Barack Obama was attempting to do by both Congress and Senate.
When left with no other options but to use executive order “they” cried foul. That it was an abuse of power. A dictatorship.
Then things took a turn for the worse.
The rise it mass shootings. Coupled with the disproportionate rise in shootings of young unarmed black men by police and armed civilians.
The racially driven violence in the country was reaching a fevered pitch as Donald Trump began his campaign for President.
While not spoken directly, his entire pitch was directed at the elite wealthy, and middle/lower class white that felt they were “losing” their country. When in fact they were losing opportunity they were too proud to except.
Pride in reverse is a motherfucker.
Then there became “marches” by white nationalist aka white supremacists, David Duke endorsements, “The Wall”, separation of parents from children who where then held in cages, to armed assaults at the border upon asylum seekers.
Have you ever walked a few thousand miles to make your way illegally into a new country just for shits and giggles?! I doubt it. Those taking extreme measures, are fleeing for their lives.
It is easy to call asylum seekers criminal or demonize them. Blanket statements with broad strokes are easy. It keeps you from having to sort through the mess and come up with a meaningful solution made up of many parts.
I don’t know what is more troubling to me, that racism has reared its ugly head at a time in our history where equality should be the norm. Or that this level of racism and racist were here all along. Cowering in the shadows until they had a sympathizer in the oval office whom they felt had their back while they spewed hate.
Maybe I was ignorant. This was so far from the world I live in, that it’s still shocking to me that it’s happening and real.
But what really spawned this piece was the Senate race in Mississippi, among other southern states.
No matter how blatant, venomous, disgusting, ignorant and racist Cindy Hyde Smiths comments were, the narrow minded, misled, loyalist majority stood by and cast their votes for her.
To see anyone, in any state, back someone who would be so brazen as to say something that foul is beyond me.
Lets be real though, we have all said and done things recklessly, drunk, out of anger, or behind closed doors that we would not want to get out and that certainly don’t reflect who we are in our hearts.
But to be so fucking dense that you say something like this as a public figure representing a state and its people, and supposedly their best interests, is galaxies beyond anything I can comprehend.
And then to double down and stand by it That takes a real iron clad set of balls, cold heart, and minuscule brain.
The boldness of these type of folks is only enabled by their voting majority. And even the term “majority” is misleading. With gerrymandering, re-districting and the electoral college, the majority is not represented by the total number of votes cast for a particular candidate.
Our whole system is fucked. This is nothing new. But to see the swing it’s taken, in 2018 of all years, is heart breaking. And it confirms that in one way or another our entire country and history is based on one form of oppression or another. It just depends on what side of that coin you happen to be on at any given point in time.
But it’s time for that to change.
Our “elected” leader at this point in time stands for nothing and everything around him is falling. There is no rallying cry. There is no joining together, one nation under God. There is strife, dissension, separation and destruction. As is the case for all the openly bigoted and racist, who coincidently all happen to be be Trump supporters.
They are pulling the building down on themselves. Fueled by fear and draped in paper thin armor made of false bravado. It will not protect you.
For all of those who have cast their vote for Donald Trump, Cindy Hyde Smith, Brian Kemp, or the like, you have made your mark. You will be going down on the wrong side of history as the party of racisms last gasp before it was stomped out permanently.
Love will prevail. Equality will prevail. And History will prevail in documenting your failed attempt at tarnishing our forward progress.