George Weaver: I have lived in the south for seventy years. I was in college at the height of the civil rights struggle. Fifty years later, I see this at a rally in Virginia. It appears that racial intolerance is so tightly woven into the fabric of our culture that an occasional unmistakable thread appears to remind us of its presence. This election has brought something ugly to our national discourse. There is a general lack of civility among us … even in our everyday discourse. It is a sad time for our country. (Photo Courtesy George Weaver)
Have any of you seen the PBS Special yet? Just a reminder that it airs again tonight, folks. Grab yourself some popcorn and a Cola and get comfy. Now, it’s not a popcorn kinda sit-down-and-watch movie but I want you to have your snacks so you don’t go to the kitchen and miss anything. Plus, if you go ahead and look for airtime in your local listing, you can see it before Monday’s debate. Or like I said before, visit the site and catch it online.
If I may ask you a question, well, I will. Do you think this year’s presidential election is more black and white than in 2008? I didn’t see it so much four years ago but as one of the fellas pointed out in the special, I, somewhat, believed also that after President Barack Obama’s election that we’d be living in a post-racial America. That at least we were on our way. Now, I feel like we’re on the bus with Rosa Parks and it’s come to a screeching halt. You may or not not agree. You’re certainly entitled. I just wonder why we keep finding ourselves here. If the ugly monster of racism lied dormant and waited for the appropriate time to resurface or have we been unrealistic about where we are.
Here’s another question. How do you see immigrants in the equation of America in relation to race and the political process? Does saying President Barack Obama make it possible for us to one day say President Julian Castro? Are folks afraid of this? When you have a president who looks like you, do you feel more empowered? Well, that’s four questions. As you can see, I’ve got more questions than answers.
If I may, I have a little story to share from some years back and it’s kinda funny but not so much in a sense. I’d found myself in this new neighborhood Then Husband and I bought a home. And let’s be real, folks, ’cause I know unblack folk do this too but being the peeper that I am, I was looking out my window and I did this for a few days, right? All I kept seeing were white folk walking their dog or doing that little sprint walk to exercise and I got to thinking, “Damn, I sure hope we ain’t the only black family here.” ‘Cause I’m telling you folks, down here in the south, white folk will spray paint your shit and hang nooses in your front yard, okay? This is mostly in deep southern areas and while I’m not, hell, seeing only my black self in the neighorhood early on, my radar went up. You feel me? I got to thinking, ” Now, I know damn well I saw some black folk next door when I looked at this house to buy.” I be damn if they hadn’t up and moved!
This is the history we’re reminded of and I look back on it and laugh now. Sorta. I wasn’t thinking along those lines when I moved in my new place. I evolved some kinda way. And I suppose I don’t think along racial lines until I’m reminded that I must. Like, if I’m filling out a job application or like the time my son, Mr Boy, was living in Athens and walking to work and constantly getting stopped for being black.
You know, these are the reality checks. According to one of the commentators, in the special, implying President Obama has been a shrewd manipulator of skirting the issue of race, I don’t think he’d be president if race was at the forefront of his agenda when we look at the social dilemma we’re currently in. For the former majority, whites I mean, race has been a non-issue for the most part, so interestingly enough, we’re discussing race more openly now… (deep sigh). I’ll reserve other thoughts for your comments. If you will, view the video below to add to the topic today, folks. And thank you again for joining the conversation. Also, check out other participants in the Race 2012 Project.
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