Our post-racial Village

Posted: 01/05/2015 in Screwed
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You’re a good little liberal and all your friends are properly horrified about the recent story of the waiter who wrote “n*gg*r” one, two, three, etc. on his customers’ receipts to keep their orders straight — the same receipts they were given at the end of the meal.  Even in Texas, this was a bit much.  Your liberal friends are abashed, and so are you, although you’re not surprised.  Having grown up in Texas and having traveled the world, the continuing presence of racism in America long after it became politically correct to deny its existence was never a surprise to you.  What was a surprise was the ever-present assumption of strangers that you shared their wink-wink-nudge-nudge conservative “opinions” about all things.  You’re a white guy, so you must appreciate the joke about a black disabled midget hooker taking food stamps, right?  And if you didn’t, there was no reason for the stranger to be embarrassed at spouting out their most intimate thoughts, since you must be some kind of weird-o with no sense of humor and therefore beneath their notice.

When everyone you meet shows the same face to the world, you begin to appreciate Bob Segar’s remark about how “you always seem outnumbered so you don’t dare make a stand.”  So you adopted the outward appearance of a radical just to keep them from talking to you at all.  Yet people ignore the warning signs and continue to spout their sick drivel, although sometimes they’ll at least look around first to see if there is a group of black midget hookers standing close enough to overhear.  Well, an armed group, anyway.  Otherwise, fuck ’em, right? At least if you have food stamps — har, har, har.

Once Barack Obama was elected President dressing as a radical no longer served a purpose, other than to keep you from getting a decent paying job.  Everyone, liberal and conservative alike, went around, puffing up their collective chests and saying “See, what’d I tell you — racism is a thing of the past,” but you knew different.  You knew people didn’t change.  Yet any time you tried to warn your friends that there’d be a huge backlash if a black man dared set foot in the White House, they blew you off.  The overwhelming numbers by which Obama was elected proved their point for them.

So they couldn’t understand the Tea Party’s hostility, nor the GOP’s vehemence in opposing every little thing the President tried to do.  If you ignore the disease, there’s no way you’re going to understand the symptoms.  Of course, eventually, after six years of blatant racism on TV, radio, and Congress, even the most Polly of your Anna friends began to think you might be on to something.  But because they don’t truly understand, they now say to give it time, time for the racism to die out.  Once the old white guys are gone, then racism will disappear.  But you know it won’t.  It won’t ever disappear.  Because racism doesn’t exist because old men were taught hatred when they were young and it was socially acceptable.  You know better.  That waiter wasn’t an old white man.  You know that racism isn’t about hate.  It’s about fear — fear of the “not me”.  And fear never dies out.  It doesn’t even have to be “taught”.  Not when there’s always an obvious “not me” to point at and say “There!  That’s the problem!”

You know because that’s what you do in your mind, when you’re startled, or scared, and no one’s looking.  Even if you’d never admit it to your friends.  It’s still there inside you.  And always will be.  It’s in all of us.

Or is that just me?

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