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Diversity Fatigue Friday:A Guide To Collecting Racial Antiques July 24, 2009

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Last night I went to bed and cried.

I thought the kitchen table conversations I overheard between my mother and grandmother about how cruel whites are towards blacks were over.  To my dismay they are not. It is unfortunate that I am beginning to wonder if my fellow African Americans want those conversations to be over. Isn’t that what post-racism is about?

In 2009, I can walk on a bus and sit anywhere I please. I am told by the liberals that I owe this to the Democratic Party.

In 2009, certainly I would have to search high and low in a Macy’s department store for that “colored” rest room. Hurry up, I need to find it. Afrocity’s gotta pee.

Didn’t we elect a black man as our president? Aren’t two little black girls swing setting in front of the White House while a Portuguese Water Dog is eating caviar and slurping Evian Water from George Washington’s spit bowl?

What’s going on? CNN is running it BLACKS IN AMERICA PART 432.  What is this nostalgia for the pre-civil rights days that is plaguing liberals?

The hyped up ideological importance that has been given to race and gender over the last two years is proof that we have issues in America. Of course we do. We are not alone in this. Take a look at the women protesters in Iran.  Where ever there is difference, there will be division and conflict.  That can be differences in skin color, class, gender, religious beliefs etc.   It is also human nature.

When confronted by Sarah Palin women, particularly those who identified themselves as feminists faced the uncomfortable questions of gender loyalty.  Again I ask, as women are we more unified by gender than we are divided by political ideologies, race, class, or religious beliefs?   Judging from the woman on woman criticism waged towards Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, I would answer that question with a qualified NO.

Yes we are all women but we are individuals.

While one woman was raised by devout Baptist minister in Texas, a man who spent his Saturdays standing on  I-35  with huge posters of bloodied aborted fetuses;  another woman may have been raised by an atheist single mom, who grew medicinal herbs in her Brooklyn brownstone window box, while working a day job at Planned Parenthood in Queens.   Both women share identical genitalia in the sense that yes they pee sitting down, and they have a vagina. Does it mean that they will be best buds, trading feminist cards over gazpacho and tapas? No.

racistObamaImage9Let’s bring race into the  mix.  How can we not? Our president loves doing it so much.

I am African American, which makes me a person of color. President Barack Obama is Kenyan American, which makes him a person of color. In generic terms, we are both black.

I am a conservative. Barack Obama is not.

Can someone please explain to me why people assume that I voted for him?  The only ones who don’t are PUMAs and my Republican friends.

I am the one on the left with the white hood on.

I am the one on the left with the white hood on.

No one asks me if I am an Obama supporter because they see my skin color and assume that I am a liberal and a Democrat. They also assume that I am voting for Obama because he is black- like me.  Just once I would like someone to ask me what my political affiliation is- just once.  I should not hold my breath because it will never happen.  When faced with the raving Obamabot who bashes Sarah Palin in front of me or calls Hillary Clinton a post menopausal racist, there is this temptation on my part to blurt out “I AM A REPUBLICAN” . Scrap the temptation part. I have done it. What happens?  The O-bot launches verbal attacks against anything that comes from my mouth, they assume that I supported Bush, they assume that I am pro-life. In effect they put up a shield.  Or they attempt to convert me to liberalism.

No one leaves the party of ass without ripped clothing and hoof prints on their backs.  No one leaves without being stalked by the well meaning friend who checks up on you.

“Did you hear Obama’s press conference last night?”

“Yes, the one that was about health care? I saw it.”

“Isn’t Obama great? And my gawd what is happening to black people in this country. Racial profiling in 2009, I mean come on. “

“Well, I do not believe it was racial profiling, just an unfortunate event that was exploited by Barack Obama as a means to distract from the issue of health care.”

“I do not agree with that. Having Obama as president has proves that we still have problems with racism. Look at the nasty things he and his wife faced from right wing extremists like Sarah Palin- yelling KILL HIM at McCain rallies. I know that you are a Republican but surely you must agree that the party only attacks Obama out of deep seated fear of change and diversity.”

“ Hmm, I don’t see it that way. What I do know is that every since Obama’s inauguration, I have found is myself talking about blacks and being black more than I ever have in my entire life.  What I am seeing now is blacks being portrayed as victims of society again. I did not realize how oppressive it is to be black until Obama reminded me of it.”

Sorry readers, I can’t go on anymore. I have an underground railroad train to catch.

What year is this advertisement from, 2008?

What year is this advertisement from, 2008?

Autographed Letter Signed,

AFROCITY

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36 Responses to “Diversity Fatigue Friday:A Guide To Collecting Racial Antiques”

  1. Great post, great points–I will be thinking about this all day now. I have always wondered why feminist blogs tell us to get out there and support women (people with the pre-approved plumbing) as if we all have the same mind.

    There is so much irony in our American culture. These days you’ve got more and more people who tattoo, pierce, and dress very carefully to send a particular message to the outside world about exactly WHO they are and yet they/we expect everyone else to look at everybody’s commonalities to the point where they/we throw out such superficial things as color or gender with which to group people together.

    It’s like “I” am special and different but, hey, everyone else should be unified. We have been raised like that and continue to raise our children like that. Everyone one I know has a so-called gifted child!! No kidding!! Everyone’s child is a stand-out and ‘regular’ education is not nearly good enough. Same for sports and extracurriculars. And we push our kids up onto these podiums so they can get a chance at a good college or some other ‘sure fire’ path to success. Fear drives a lot of it. The fear of being ordinary. Everyone else has to be ordinary, but “I” or my kid am/is destined for better.

    Sorry for the rambling, but you got me thinking and now I’m short on time….see ya later!

  2. WMCB Says:

    Great blog, afrocity. I’ve been mulling over this whole Gates thing, and thinking more about the response to it than the incident itself. It is a prime example of our culture’s insistence, as you point out, that you “get on the side of” who you are supposed to get on the side of.

    There are several witnesses surfacing that are saying that Gates was indeed completely angry and yelling from the start.
    One was quoted in the Boston Herald as saying, “when police asked him for ID, Gates started yelling, “I’m a Harvard professor . . . You believe white women over black men.”

    Bill Carter, the man who snapped a photograph of Gates being led away in handcuffs, said police officers were calm and that Gates was “slightly out of control” and “agitated” when he was arrested. “The officers around kind of calmed him down,” Carter said. “I heard him yelling — Mr. Gates yelling. I didn’t hear anything that he was saying so I couldn’t say that he was belligerent.”

    Still, was there a better way to handle it than arresting him? I think so. But the idea that Gates was just as cooperative as can be, and did not throw any racism accusations until after the cops behaved inappropriately is looking less and less likely. It’s looking like Gates decided from the moment they showed up that some “white woman” had profiled him, and so responded with increasing anger filtered through that assumption from the start.

    I wish it could have been handled better, without an arrest. But I wasn’t there, and I’ve read several accounts from neighbors, etc, that say the cops were doing their best to remain calm, and to calm Gates down, and defuse the incident while still doing their job of investigating a potential crime.
    But if you’ve ever been really angry at what you perceive as a personal injustice, you probably know that sometimes someone telling you to “calm down” often just infuriates you further. Ask my husband – LOL!

    Just my personal opinion, that may change and evolve, but I think that the good man Gates, from the very beginning, in a split-second judgement that maybe stemmed from being tired and jet-lagged, and his admittedly vast knowledge of very genuine racial profiling, decided that this was one of those cases. From that point, anything the cop did was only going to make him angrier.

    And I think that a good cop, who actually taught racial profiling for the dept, and by all accounts did his utmost professionally to combat it, and had been unfairly slammed as “racist” in the past for trying and failing to save the life of a black man – got very very frustrated indeed with some guy yelling in his face and accusing and “profiling” him as a racist.

    The encounter polarized from there, to the benefit of pretty much no one but the media circus. Just my opinion, take it for what it’s worth.

    I have a problem with every racial encounter in this country having to boil down to and polarize along the lines of right or wrong, good guy or bad guy.

    From what I’m seeing, you have two basically decent human beings here, who both reacted very humanly to what they FELT was a deep and unfair personal and professional insult leveled by the other

    But the media is never going to say that. It will remain dueling caricatures, and PICK A SIDE, dammit.

    • afrocity Says:

      I heard they are releasing 911 call about Gates. Ihope the witnesses speak out to the media.

      • meeee2 Says:

        What surprised me was the number of people who have been totally incapable of refusing to take sides while they waited for all the facts to come out. Most people sided with Gates, believed it was racially motivated, and went deaf to any other possible scenario. Money and position seem to rule even the most remote onlookers.

        Now that more facts are surfacing, and eyewitness statements are coming out, it looks more and more like Crowley became a useful step stool for Gates to open dialog and interest in his new course, and upcoming documentary on racial profiling.

        They always say, “follow the money”….and “who stands to gain the most”. In this case, I think Gates is going to have this backfire on him. He didn’t help race relations one bit.

        National loud mouths are going to call me a racist one too many times…

      • afrocity Says:

        Interesting, I assumed that Gates would write a book about this experience. Little did I know one was already in the works.

      • kywrite Says:

        Re: the documentary: he said pretty much right off that it had never crossed his mind until the arrest.

        I have a hard time believing that, somehow.

  3. Afrocity… race will never stop being THE issue until it stops making money for people, and getting others elected to office. You know it has been more than 40 years since segregation, but the people I hear bring it up over and again are Democrats. My parents dealt with racism on their jobs but people I work with are afraid to even use the word Black. There is so much complaint about racist government policies, but any time I have any interaction with the government, it is a black face sitting across the counter from me.

    It is tiring and never ending. I almost NEVER hear conservatives bring up race, but I can hardly recall when liberals don’t.

    I am very very proud of my ethnic heritage. I like being Black. I’m not confused about my identity in any way. In fact it was my love for Black people that help draw me away from the Democratic Party. So when you board that railroad, save a seat for me.

    • WMCB Says:

      There is a whole cottage industry over race in this country, both blacks and whites, and when they say we need to “have a national conversation about race”, they mean they want us all lectured on how we all, black or white, are supposed to think and feel. A lecture is not a conversation, and their echo chamber is making things worse, not better.

      Let me tell them what a “conversation about race” looks like. Because first off, it doesn’t happen from some podium on a lecture circuit. It happens between real people, where we live and work side by side.

      It happened for me often when I worked night shift as a poorly paid nursing assistant at a nursing home, wiping butts all night long, along with a bunch of other mostly black or poor women. it happened while we talked about our kids, and our families, and our histories and our recipes and our carzy uncles. It happened when some mouthy old racist fart in room 214B decided he didn’t want a “n*gger” taking care of him, and I told him he could just lie there in his own shit, then, because that’s who was assigned.

      And we all laughed. And rolled our eyes, and talked about our grandparents, and how they hurt, and for me how wrong they were, and how they changed, and how the country changed.

      And if I was full of shit about something, these women told me so. And if I had no idea why a black person would think a certain thing, I asked, and they didn’t mind. And if I thought they were full of shit on something, I told them so.

      And we could do that, we could have that conversation, because we were all in the same boat, trying to make a dollar and put food on the table, and we had spent enough time wiping those old butts together to trust and respect each other. Nobody claimed a monopoly on absolute truth, or tried to guilt anybody else, or assumed we knew 100% how the world worked in terms of race, so we learned from each other. We weren’t afraid of each other.

      THAT, Mr. President, is a “conversation about race”, and it’s has been happening every day in this country for decades, between real people who have no political agenda, just their lives to share. And it’s done more good than all the lectures and sensitivity training and hogging of the topic by the “racism industry” ever will.

      So STFU and let us talk to one another, why don’t ya.

    • Kei Says:

      “Afrocity… race will never stop being THE issue until it stops making money for people, and getting others elected to office.”

      Excellent comment tBC, I have been saying that (a paraphrase of that actually) for years. When it is no longer profitable or advantageous to use it, it will go the way of the pet rock

  4. AfricanAgainstO Says:

    This whole police incident with Prof. Gates brought back a great experience I had with a Fairfax Police officer few years ago. My 8 month pregnant wife and myself were coming back from Costco on I -95 with my station wagon packed all the way to the top with diapers, wipes and all the bulk stuff when I felt a sudden thud. It was raining crazy on and off and I was hoping I just went over something. When I pulled over and walked out in the rain my tire had lost some threads and was happy that I was not going fast and that it did not blow up. Sally the ground was wet, my tools were underneath my grocery and I was not a happy camper. I finally moved and shifted all my stuff to get the tire and my jack to find out my jack was in no mood to cooperate while rain started coming down again. I95 traffic was whizzing by and every now and then I would get a blast of water in my direction. I started saying I wish I was back in Kansas – because people actually would stop and help. Suddenly I felt someone approaching me and it was a burly white Fairfax County cop. He asked if he could help – and I said please. He got that jack unhinged pretty quickly, knelt down on the wet ground messing up his uniform and got cranking on the tires. In about two minutes he was done, shook my hands and said good luck and I thanked him for his help. What saddens me is that I never bothered take his name and say thank you to the Fairfax county Police Department. This incident brought all that back – as a black person I have seen racist cops and I have seen real decent ones – like everyone else, they are human.

    • afrocity Says:

      This is a great story yet, we never hear about the good relationships between blacks and law enforcement. I wish the cop that was called to Gates home was of color. Would we be discussing this now?

  5. joanelle Says:

    Hi, Afrocity – great post – one of my business partners is a black woman, while at lunch the other day our conversation went much like your post. Her point was that “It seems like racism is back in vogue since Obama was elected”

    You’re both right – the press loves it and O uses it as needed.

    I’ll board that train with you, because I just can’t stand what’s happening in this country today – we have regressed.

  6. WMCB Says:

    OT, but this is cracking me up!

    Obama spoke to the Apollo 11 crew, and waxed eloquent over watching the splashdown from Hawaii.

    Only thing is, he was living in Indonesia at the time….

    ROTFLMAO! Gawd, can the man make up any more “personal history”?

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=104703

  7. WMCB Says:

    If we are going to muse on diversity fatigue, I want to take a moment to plug my city.

    One of the things I love about where I live, San Antonio TX, is that there is very little racial tension. Not that it’s never EVER there. It exists, in pockets, mostly along hispanic-white lines since the black population is smaller, but it is a very VERY small amount, and does not permeate the way it has in other places I’ve lived.

    The white vs hispanic tension in, say, LA is palpable, as are black/white tensions in other cities.

    San Antonio, for some reason, seems to be a place where people mostly get along, and don’t treat race as any big deal. It was a little surprising to me when I moved here. Some have said its partly because we are such a huge military town, with 4 major bases of various branches. Military people tend to have a higher number of inter-racial marriages and relationships than the general population (a fact a lot of people don’t realize.)

    San Antonio also has one of the highest numbers of same-sex couple adoptions in the country, despite its lack of a big visible political gay community. The gay couples here seem to just go about their business being families, not having “movements”. There is no “gay neighborhood” where they all hang out together, they are just part of the various neighborhoods like anyone else. And no one seems to care.

    It’s been kind of odd, actually, for me, moving to a place where everything racial or minority is not POLITICIZED to the hilt. But I like it! San Antonio could teach the country a thing or two on just getting along, living our lives, and not making race the center of every interaction.

    • afrocity Says:

      I have to run but you know I will be in Austin next month 😉

      • WMCB Says:

        I know! 🙂 I need an email or some way to get in touch with you, so maybe I can work out driving up. I don’t have a facebook acct, so can’t do it there.

      • Kei Says:

        Afrocity,

        What brings you to our state capital? I thought I read a post where you said you went to school here (Texas), did you go to UT or St Edwards? I wished I could meet you, I love your writing and your blog.

    • boldandbald Says:

      I am curious, WMCB, is San Antonio predominantly conservative or liberal?

      • WMCB Says:

        It’s mostly democratic, but not your east coast liberal type. A much more populist “fight for the little guy” sort of Dem. I’d say it’s blue but tending to more purple than anything. VERY patriotic, VERY pro-military.

      • WMCB Says:

        They tend to be fairly fiscally conservative, but not opposed to govt programs on principle, so long as they are sound and well-run. I honestly think that many of the “Democratic” areas of the USA outside of the big eastern and west coast states would go moderate republican in a second if the R party would get away from the oilsters and banksters and policing the bedroom crap.

        If the R party went a little more (not completely) libertarian and less holier-than-thou “values”, it could resurge massively.

        Same is true for the Dems. If they got away from the bankers and mindless entitlement, and became less statist (as many dems were years ago), and at least as concerned with individual freedoms as they are “the common good”, then they’d be better.

        My opinion is that most people in this country don’t want tiny govt – they do expect govt to help and set the scene for individual success. But most don’t want a massive state nanny, either. And they want accountability more than they want ANYTHING, and haven’t been getting it from either party.

      • I agree with you WMCB on the issue of how conservative/moderate the country is.

        On social issues for instance, they may be pro-life, but aren’t gonna burn down the world over it, or they may be pro-choice but want a lot of restrictions (parental notification, limitations on when, etc.). They may think homosexuality is an abomination before God and not want gay marriage, but probably would be okay with some sort of civil partnership law that basically let people do their own thing.

        Same is true for “size of government” stuff. Most folks want some government safety net, but not massive gov’t subsidies or corporate welfare. I think more and more people don’t trust gov’t programs because there is no accountability to folks far away in Washington who seem to do whatever without regard to the electorate.

        Actually most of these things are very conservative principles, especially a focus on federalism – power to the states and local people, less power to the feds, rather than what passes for moderate republicanism which is the same as liberalism, just spending massive amounts of money with no accountability more slowly.

      • WMCB Says:

        I agree, TBC. Regardless of how we label ourselves, conservative, classic liberal (as opposed to today’s liberal), moderate, R, D, independent, I don’t think MOST Americans are worlds apart on what they want to see. I firmly believe that most Americans are basically sensible and fair at heart. We don’t like being told that it’s “every man for himself, and screw him if he can’t cut it”, but we also don’t like being made to feel guilty for every ill that might befall anyone who has less than us.

        Most of us are out here in the middle saying to the politicians “Would you guys get off your high ideological horses and be PRACTICAL for once?”

        Most of us have no problems with a reasonable safety net. Most of us don’t want endless money handed out to whoever, out of our pockets, but we also have sense enough to know that we don’t want children starving on the street.

        Most of us know that no system is perfect, and the goal of either a) eliminating anyone, ever, from gaming and getting a free ride, or b) a perfect utopia where no want or inequality ever exists are BOTH fairytales. And we are willing to have something reasonable, kind of in the middle. That’s mostly fair for mostly everybody, with minimal laziness and gaming, and doesn’t break the bank.

        We want government to FACILITATE our achievement. Not refuse any responsibility for it, but also not mandate it or create it. We want govt to set the stage, but otherwise get the hell out of the way.

        And a heck of a lot of that could fall to the states, not the fed.

  8. bob Says:

    Heh, Obumble seems to have gotten his ass in a real sling over this Gates deal. The Cambridge police are ticked, black and white, and are forming ranks.

    It’s what you get for sitting in Rev Wright’s church all those years!

  9. johninca Says:

    Chutzpah.

    Old definition: you kill your parents and plead for mercy because you’re an orphan.

    New definition: the party of slavery, Jim Crow, Nathan Bedford Forrest and the blocking of anti-lynching laws taking credit for civil rights.

  10. afrocity Says:

    New Post

  11. Quantum Leap Says:

    We can’t let a race war happen. He wants it to but let’s head him off at the pass. We were all in a nice place before he came along. Let’s not attach any faults or attributes to any one race.
    A sucky person is that way regardless of color and a nice person is that way regardless of color. He doesn’t want us to be color blind. He’s living in the past with his old resentments and imaginings. He set this whole thing up with Gates. Gates lawyer and Jughead in residence are friends. Get it?
    This is a major race play as well as another limp ass distraction of his. He’s tanking fast. Take heart. Karma is real.

  12. Mr. Roach Says:

    This is sad. It may be somewhat understandable. Setting aside Gates’ misbehavior, encounters with cops can be unpleasant. This is particularly so for middle class people of any race unused to policemen’s gruff manner. If I think of all the jerky bosses, snobby classmates, and general schmucks I’ve met in life, they are many. As a white man, I just assume they’re all purpose jerks. But if I were black, it would not be totally crazy to wonder if this is how whites experience life? If this is because I’m black. If you add up all the jerkiness of life and see a racist pattern where there is none because you don’t know and are not aware that whites go through a bunch of this stuff too, I can see that making one paranoid. Gates was wrong and out of line. And it’s hard to get in the head of other people and see their experience. But Obama’s all wrong on this, and his insecurity about being black enough is at an all time high since he’s about as much THE MAN as anyone can be.

  13. anhinga Says:

    You are a breath of fresh air. It almost seems as if all the good will and Kumbaya created with election of an African-American president was undone by the man himself last night and he revealed his knee jerk bias. Those of us who thought the ONLY positive of an Obama presidency was the beginning of coming together of the races, are seeing that hope change. Pun intended.

  14. donnadarko Says:

    I no longer think the Gates situation was racial profiling. When you commented at TC yesterday, I didn’t see your comments until after I commented. Then the thread closed! That happened to me a lot.


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