11/05/2008

Racism vs. Intense Emotion


On this the first evening since the election I would like to share something that is conflicted within myself and touches me deeply. There is no doubt that we have just come through an historic and transformative election day. Only time will tell the full implications of the chain of events that are now set in motion in our country. They may turn out to be very great and they may turn out to be very grave. In fact, they may turn out to be both at once or some shade in between. The reasons that people made their choice for Barack Obama are certainly as varied as the shades of color in the fall landscape. One of the reasons was racism pure and simple. Racism is infinitely destructive and as ugly a monster as has ever reared its head in our country. Racism has never been a part of my character and when growing up as a child was the farthest thought from my mind. I never fathomed that someone would hate someone else because of the color of their skin or that someone would like someone else because of their skin color. Unfortunately, I grew older and came to know people that acted exactly in that way. I can not think of a more foolish reason to decide to look on someone with favor or with disdain. Many people voted for Obama for this very reason and this reason alone.

Now let me share a story with you about where I work. I am a School Bus mechanic by trade and work for a public school district at the Bus Barn. Because of the part-time nature of driving a school bus many bus drivers are retired from another profession and now drive for some extra cash or just for something to do. Many drivers or bus monitors are in their 50's and 60's. I have a good relationship with most drivers and many are good friends that I respect and enjoy their company and stories of the life they have lived. One of these people, (whom I will call Mildred for anonymity), grew up in Brooklyn and moved here to the Kansas City area as a young lady. She married a man who was in the service and stationed in the very town that I currently reside in. He fought for our country and was a man of great honor by all accounts I have heard. The time was the late 1960's. He and Mildred went to some sort of ball that the military was having. She was elegantly dressed and he was in his dress uniform. After the evening they left the ball to go home. After a wonderful evening they decided to stop for an ice cream cone. He pulled in the parking lot and walked into the hotel/restaurant to get his young bride an ice cream cone. He was promptly told that "his kind" was not welcome there and that he would not be sold an ice cream cone. Furthermore, he was to leave immediately. This was my very town a short 40 years ago. This man, a soldier in his dress uniform, was rejected and discarded from even purchasing an ice cream cone not because of his character or his actions but simply because of the color of his skin. Even as I now type the horror of those words cause tears to well up in my eyes. He has since passed away and only Mildred is left with us. The memory of this event etched - no, seared - into her mind. She is a kind person and a good person and does not hate those with the same color of skin as the man who rejected her young soldier husband. She would lend me help as freely as I would lend her help. Upon seeing a man with same color skin as hers, the same color skin her husband wore, win the election to become the next President of the United States of America she was flooded with intense emotion. It's an emotion that is beyond my experience on this earth. It is an emotion that I can not even pretend to know. She did not vote for Obama because of his skin color but it is his skin color that brings this intense emotion to the surface. And she was overjoyed to the point of tears last night upon seeing a man with similar skin color, HER skin color, be chosen by millions of Americans to what is arguably the most powerful office in the world. Her husband could not even purchase an ice cream cone for her out of his love for her because of his skin color and now someone with that same skin color will be our President. How could I, or anyone else, begrudge her joy over such an event even though it is based on nothing but pigment? I certainly profoundly disagree with the choice of Obama as President but in the same breath, and to a greater extent, I celebrate the joy and intense emotion of my friend. Politics is politics. People is people and that's important.

26 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

I wont celebrate a socialist as my president..sorry.radical terrorist sympathizer..but my friend..I won't give up the fight...just yet! :)

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

I'm happy for the Libs that they got a black President. I always knew it was possible, but this is the wrong guy. His politics and policies are dangerous for America.

Mr. Obama wanted the job, he can have it. Soon he'll crawl back to Jeremiah Wright for spiritual guidance because after his first transitional briefing at the White House, Barry will realize he has bitten off way, way, way more than he can chew.

After our nation begins teetering on the brink, there will be a new Conservative movement in America as people realize that this sweeping new Liberal/Socialist movement was a bad thing.

nanc said...

well, in that case, if sitting bull were alive or a reasonable facsimile i suppose i'd be a little puffed up too - at least until the morning after when i'd be slapping my forehead wishing i'd had a v-8 - pride goeth before a fall - may we all leave ours at the door next election day.

the very best thing to come out of this election is now white conservatives have become the minority - let's start pushing legislation for some changes - perks - affirmative actions - more social programs for the downtrodden.

God help this cursed nation.

Salubrina said...

Papa Frank,

I can empathize greatly with this post. I have a wonderful partner teacher. She is an African American woman, but more conservative than me. She came to school joyous today, and hugged me heartily. She proclaimed that it was a new "birth" for America with the election of a black president.

I welcome diversity in my classroom, and in my government. I just don't think that he is the one for the job, mostly due to his past associations with such radical groups that seek to damage and destroy that with ALL Americans hold dear.

I applaud the country for making it a priority to become more informed and vote. I applaud men and women of color and ethnicity that sincerely have good hearts and minds and want to serve our country, whether it be in Washington DC, in our local communities, or overseas. But, I inwardly shudder as I think about the next 4 years, and the potential downfall we will go through because of his extreme beliefs.

good post.....as usual papa frank. feel free to put yourself on the presidential ticket for 2012. you've got my vote. :-)

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Z said...

I understand that joy Black America feels, too, Pops...I'm glad you addressed this. Funny, I'm no fan of Whoopi Goldberg's politics, but I watched a clip this evening of her on THE VIEW this morning and she apparently said something like "I have always felt like an American citizen, but after last night, I suddenly felt like I could put the suitcases away now.."

It made a little sense...it really did. Kind of touched me, believe it or not.

Your story is a very poignant one..the thought of an AMERICAN MAN being denied anything in this country is so anathema to what this country has always been; only a few can really ruin things, can't they.

Still, I wish this new Black President was one of character, not one who 'subtly' gives the finger to HIllary and McCain in front of thousands of people and on video...not one who lied from start to finish in his campaign...not one who has such different dreams for this country than even most of those misguided souls who voted for him.
Time will tell, my friend.

beautiful post....thanks.

The Hermit said...

I'm not impressed either way with Obama being black. If a person voted for Obama solely because he was black (and a lot of them did) then they are every bit as "racist" as someone who voted against Obama solely for that reason. To choose a President for reasons of ethnicity is criminal. To be overjoyed that someone was elected just because they share your skin color, well, enough said.

Brooke said...

Obama hangs out with people every bit as racist as those who turned away Mildred's husband.

Skin color doesn't matter one whit to me. CHARACTER, as Dr. King once said, does.

Ducky's here said...

There was a post on the Boston Globes bulletin board of voting experiences Tuesday that I found sincere and touching.

... When I handed the woman at the polling place (Roxbury 12-1) my ballot for Obama, I realized that I had waited all my life to cast this ballot and I started crying. As I tried to cover up my tears, she smiled at me and said "There's a lot of that here today, honey."

----------------------

And when he won there was honking and crying all over Boston. My eldest niece was on city hall plaza with her friends. This election engaged them, mightily.

A lot of things happened Tuesday and one thing that happened was the passing of the torch to a younger generation and this one is simply not going to have the same hang ups about race, sexuality and labels that have hobbled us for decades.

A lot of the work of the 60's in generating equality is done and people who went through it are happy.

It was a good night for the nation.

nanc said...

yes, pluckster - they can no longer have the sole claim to victimhood.

FJ said...

They get to start making THEIR own victims starting this January.

No mea culpa.

Shaina said...

PF - I had a similar experience emotionally. Directly after hearing the results I went to sit on the back porch for lack of knowing what better to do with myself. Through the door of our back neighbors I heard intense crying. Happy crying and the woman who lives there, who is maybe just a few years older than me and black was saying that she couldn't believe she was going to be alive while this became history. Nothing political mentioned, just pure emotion because a black man is going to be president. I can't even imagine, but I find the response completely justified.

nanc said...

just think - he could've had approximately 11 million more votes had his people NOT killed babies in the womb in the last 30+ years. but does he take up for unborn babies? no. he. does. not.

i'm sure hitler and pol pot had SOME redeeming qualities also. if their mothers were alive they'd probably be filling the rest of u.s. in on them. oh, and ted bundy was probably a peach of a guy.

this shell of a man deserves absotively NO respect from Godfearing people whatsoever - he's been sent as a curse.

if we go soft on him, we may as well sell our inheritances for a bowl of lentil soup!

nanc said...

p.s. - too many are ruled by emotions rather than reason.

Ducky's here said...

nanc, I hope you appreciate the irony of your last statement.

Z said...

Ducky, it makes you feel safe and secure thinking pimply faced kids voted for your president? Oh, and Farrakhan and Ayers and Fleger, and all those HATE AMERICA FIRST folks?
We need adults in the WH...we need people who don't stand before thousands and give the finger, however subtley, to Hillary or McCain. We need people who'd NEVER DREAM of throwing people off airplanes because they actually question them (the "it's easier with only one plane" lie ..yet another...died when people realized most candidates have had to use 2 planes for the Clinton and Bush and Kerry Campaigns, etc.), or never dream of so viciously researching and demeaning an innocent American citizen who dared challenge THE ONE.

Sleep well, ducky......at least someone your niece likes got it. That's something.

Ducky's here said...

First of all z, my niece is in the Masters Degree program at Boston College in Medieval Lit.

She is fluent in Old English and specializes in early female Catholic mystics.

She has an undergraduate degree in Literature and Music and she has more brains than you and your husband combined.

Unlike yourself she was able to approach this election with calm reason and I am proud of her and her friends who worked hard and helped bring integrity to the process.

Papa Frank said...

Ducky -- Please do not disrespect Z or Mr. Z on my blog. You're more than welcome to disrespect myself to your heart's content. Z's comment concerning your niece was this:

"Sleep well, ducky......at least someone your niece likes got it. That's something."

She was reaching out in kindness saying that it was good that your niece was engaged in the political process. Her "pimply faced kids" comment was not directed at your niece but rather at the throng of kids who fainted at the words of THE ONE.

I, for one, admire you taking an active interest in your niece's life and being an influential family member. Love for family does not reside in a political camp but is a wonderful part of humanity. I KNOW that Z share's that same sentiment.

Shaina said...

If there is anything I have learned about voters... we all want the best. The difference is how we see the best happening.

I see the country best run by giving normal everyday citizens, even ones I don't agree with, the power to run their own lives up to an almost ridiculous point and coming together on a some key factors, like national defense. I don't think the government is at fault for capitalism and it's many flaws, which happened to be the reason many voted as they did. Why don't people fault the privatization of our banking system, the same year (1913) the unconstitutional income tax was established? (http://www.tysknews.com/Depts/Taxes/fed_banking_fraud.htm)
Why don't people fault our involvement in NATO and other world government "alliances"? The farther we get from American citizens controlling their lives, the farther we get from freedom, and the more outsiders establish and shape our country and rule our lives.

Shaina said...

What about our two party system?

Stop attacking Obama, and attack the forces behind him, because they are there. He is just the front man.

Has anyone ever read the communist manifesto? And if you have, do you find it at all uncanny the similarities between what is happening to our country and the guidelines laid out there within?

Ducky's here said...

Ducky, it makes you feel safe and secure thinking pimply faced kids voted for your president?

---------------------

What was that Frank?

Now how would you respond if your daughters reached voting age, worked hard for a candidate and researched issues.

I wouldn't care what conclusions they cam to I would congratulate them for their initiative and my sense of you is that they would have been judicious and honest.

Myself, I wonder how z, can assume that an extremely intelligent accomplished person like my niece who happens to be left center cannot make a wise decision? She was also up with her friends in New Hampshire canvasing to defeat John Sununu and she got that done to0.

Shaina said...

Ducky - it doesn't matter how intelligent your niece is. She is only being shown the picture that she is allowed to see. The picture that media and popular literature and her own government paint for her to become "intelligent" in. This isn't about Democrat or Republican, or being smart or not being smart. This is about the rapidly approaching communism that both republicans and democrats have been aiding for decades. You guys are arguing the exact points the masterminds want you to argue. But no one is arguing the REAL issues, the enslavement of everyone, which they sell as the idea of justice and equality. So please stop playing right into their hands and fighting each other. This has never been a Democrat vs Republican election, a two party system should have told you that. And I know your first thought is... it's only democrats and republicans because they are the only sane parties trying, the others discredited themselves with their crazy ideas. But this is not the case, the democrats and republicans took over the election process, the debate process, and decided to purposefully create a two party system. In all honesty, this election was between choosing from their options and choosing another option entirely. But as most people believed, they could only choose between the two.

Ducky's here said...

See shaina, there you go again. How do you know what she was allowed to see.

You assume that because she isn't a robot who gets in line behind an evangelical dogma that she can't reason.

Popular literature? Read my description, she is studying medieval literature. How "popular" is that. She also can read old English in pre Latin alphabet runic script. Believe me, that ain't popular.

Her primary focus was health insurance (health Care is a much larger issue). She gave me a copy of Kant Patel's "Health Care Policies in an Age of New Technologies" and told me to read it.

She hasn't been spoon fed and if you tried to do it --- good luck.

Rapidly approaching communism? Are you serious? I really wonder what you were force fed to make such a remarkably short sighted far fetched statement.

Shaina said...

Ducky - why is everything so personal? I am not questioning her or your character. I am strictly referring to her education about the election. And the reason I assume things about her education in this area is because 95% of the population is educated regarding the election through the same medias. Only those who specifically seek out different education are going to find it. And with her obviously busy schedule and the intense nature of her studies I find it safe to assume she may not have been blessed by time to do such a thing.

As for your reference to evangelical dogma, I have no idea what grounds this statement was founded on. Please do explain because I said nothing of religion or absolutes. I merely opened discussion beyond Obama and McCain.

Also, I didn't make any claims about communism, just posed a question for thought which you aimed to discredit with no actual intellectual argument. If you want to talk about what I brought up, you are more than welcome to, but I would actually educate yourself on the subject lest I and others find your words of no consequence in the matter. I can respect and debate your opinions if they went beyond judging me as a person.

PF - Is this bothering you to have this under your blog? If so, I find that more important than any of the actual topics.

Z said...

Ducky, I can't blame your niece (though I never take college degrees to really indicate a propensity to make good life choices or moral choices, of course) for her vote. No more than I can blame you, except you're an adult and hopefully you loved America as it was for years; the leader of the free world. What happened to you, I have no idea. But, I can question her choice.

Why people need SO badly to bring America to her soon-to-be mediocre knees is beyond ME. Perhaps your niece didn't think her ideas through..to the future, or she's just bought into the same old AMERICA'S DAYS ARE COMING TO AN END..IT'S TIME FOR A GLOBAL COMMUNITY thing...she wouldn't be alone in that thinking.

Ducky....Socialism didn't work ANY time it was implemented. Obama's plan is socialist and you know it. HOw can you celebrate a man who wants to put OUR country on a par with despotic tyrannies just to show we're COOL and LOVE THEM?! Hoping that THEY LOVE US, TOO!? How can you celebrate a man whose party bigwigs have openly said "It's not fair for people with money not to share it" WHAT? And, since when did they NOT share it?

Thanks, Jason......I would never insult Ducky or anyone else's niece, you're right. I just can't help thinking, like Shaina said, that lefties were uninformed. This wasn't a normal Left/Right election where everyone had the same goal for America but differing ways of getting us there...this was about a man who loves America, fought and suffered for it, and believes in LESS government, the way our founding fathers planned it, believes in self-reliance, pride in self and country....versus a man who had no experience, lied one HECK of a lot, wants to change America more than celebrate it, and can't wait to run us into some state of mediocrity.

Thanks for your kind words.

Papa Frank said...

Shaina -- by all means continue the discussion here. That's what this arena is for and I'm happy to be the host.

Z -- You know I love ya.

Ducky -- thank you for being polite and relatively on topic. I enjoy your arguments as your opinions differ so much from my own. You don't learn much when you only talk to those who agree with you on everything.