Friday, September 25, 2009

The race thing

I am the descendant of West African slaves and Irish immigrants with a few rogue Scots thrown in for extra spice. There are great tragedies and triumphs in my family tree. My ancestors paid a hell of a price for me to be here today and it irks me when people try to put me in a category box. I am not an African-American. I don't do hyphens. I've traced my mother's family tree back to the 1800s. That's several generations removed from Africa. My folks have been here a long time and have a mighty stake in this country though schemers like Jesse Jackson try to claim otherwise. I am an American, thank you.

Perhaps if Thomas Jefferson had supported his son-in-law's efforts to ban slavery, perhaps if Abraham Lincoln hadn't gone to the Ford theater, perhaps if more people had only listened to Booker T. Washington my kin would've had a different fate in this country but that's not how things went down and it can't be changed.

A lot of nice, well meaning white people voted for Obama thinking that it would somehow heal the race issues of this country. I knew that it wouldn't and in fact, I think the race thing has gotten worse. Say one word against Obama's policies and you get the racist card flung in your face. That's not right.

I don't know how to say this but here goes. A lot of black people hate you. Sorry. They hate you because their parents taught them to do it and the parents learned it from their parents. It was a survival mechanism back in the Jim Crow days. So today we have people who never went to a lynching, never knocked a black child down the stairs for kicks, never practiced placage with their black maid or committed outright rape, and wouldn't even dream of or approve of such things being loathed by blacks who never experienced any of that but believe today's whites are still capable of this.

What's the answer? Prayer, honesty and love for our country, I guess. In the mean times things are going to nastier. A lot nastier.