Friday, July 10, 2009

Racism in the 21st Century

Down here in south Texas we have a radio station (well, probably more than one) where the DJs are ignorant, stupid bastards. They play decent music some of the time, but I don't think I'll be listening to them any more. I think they must listen to right-wing talk radio in their off time, because back during the election they were allowing people on the air to propagate all the lies about Obama that were going around at the time, like he was Muslim and wasn't a citizen, etc. This isn't supposed to be a right-wing talk radio. It's supposed to play music from the "80's, 90's and today" but the DJs seem to like to inject their own political and religious persuations into what's supposed to just be music.

Now don't ask me why I continued to listen to the station after that. I guess because there just aren't any other stations that play music I like. Well from now on I'll go with the radio off before I listen to their stupid asses. The reason? Yesterday I read about some minority children that were asked by a private pool to leave. It sounded like they knew how many children there were, but when the members using the pool saw they were black and hispanic, they pulled their children out of the pool and went and complained. The people who ran the pool then refunded their money and asked them to never come back. They tried to say they didn't have the capacity to deal with that many kids. WHAT? You have got to be kidding me. I'm sure they knew how many kids were involved when they arranged for them to come. I'm sure the question was asked, "how many kids do you have?" I'll bet what wasn't asked was "what color are the kids?"

Now you may ask why I'm mad at the radio station? The DJs (who are white) dismissed this as being "overblown" and that there's no racism in the 21st century. Excuse me? I'm from western North Carolina, where there are still Klan up in the mountains. So what the fuck ever. You want to be so stupid and ignorant and think that, you can bite my ass. I know for a fact that country clubs discriminate against minorities, and find ways around laws so they don't have to accept minorities into them. So again, whatever. The DJs here are ignorant assholes and I pray they never know what it's like to be discriminated against. People are so quick to forget history. My mother, yes, my mother, went to a segregated school. She'll be sixty this year. That's not even very old. It wasn't even that long ago they were lynching black people in the south, in my mother's lifetime! And these DJs have the temerity, the cojones to dare to say that it's magically all gone? Fuck them.

You see, racism isn't gone. It's swept under the rug and that makes it more dangerous, because if we deny there's a problem, then there's never any justice. I believe there's an old adage, that sunlight is the best disinfectant. In 1955, when my mother was five years old, a fourteen year old boy by the name of Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman. His mother insisted on an open casket, so that the world might see the brutality of the killing. If we just sweep it all under the rug, if we don't take a stand and say, no, it's not right what you're doing, then we are just as guilty as the people who perpetrate the crime, whether it's discriminating from a job or beating someone or telling a group of elementary aged students they can't swim in the same pool as the rich white kids.

The greater crime here isn't the fact that the private pool kicked the poor minority kids out. The greater crime here is the ignorance that says there's not a problem.


  1. Amen. As long as we stay blind to our problems we insure they stay firmly in place!

  2. While I've never been under the illusion that racism was dead in America, as a resident of Philadelphia, where 83% of the population voted for Mayor Nutter (an African American man) and an overwhelming majority voted for Obama, I've gotta say I was pretty shocked to read about the pool issue in my city. Clearly, despite major gains for racial minorities, racism is very much alive even here.

  3. Gee, just this week, Tuesday (in fact) I stopped into the grocery store for some last minute dinner items (buns and onions) and I ran into one of those fat guys that think they are really burly and he had on his lower right forearm one the largest swastika that I've seen in a long time (well, since last month when I witnessed a non-shirted man with one emblazoned on his back mowing his lawn in the Upper Peninsula on our way back from Minnesota). People around here think that the problem is over since it was swept under the rug a few years ago (after the NSM received a certificate from the City of Cadillac thanking them for cleaning the park and the outrage that followed, rumors of an unsolved murder and all) but the group remains, they've just worked underground since then and they are now primed for a big comeback because, by golly, our local radio stations are spewing the same filth and the rebel flag is cropping up all over northern Michigan (WTF? I don't know)...

  4. @Sidhe, well isn't that special.

    I didn't even touch on the white supremacist movements in this country. If any think that racism is dead, all they need to do is avail themselves to look at the Southern Poverty Law Center's website, where they can see the fuck-off long list of hate groups that they watch, the majority are KKK and Aryan Nation/Skin Head/Christian Identity types.

    Hell the KKK had a march in my hometown back in, I think it was 1999. The city denied them a permit when they tried to march the next year because they had threatened violence.

    Racism isn't gone, and as long as people stick their heads up their asses and ignore the problem, it never will be.