Saturday, October 01, 2005

Let's Call A Spade A Spade

The firestorm continues | Are babies not equally innocent?: "In a recent issue of the New Yorker, David Remnick explores the conspiracy theories that are circulating in the black community in the wake of disasters that have disproportionately affected them. Well, no wonder. When casual comments by white politicians reveal the extent of their racial biases -- and an intellectual fondness for genocidal notions -- grist is duly added to the mill. There has been among African-Americans a lurking suspicion that the family values movement is not about values but about how some groups, blacks in chief, are morally void, and therefore expendable. Is it any wonder that we postulate, when this view is popularized by conservative leaders, that it might help explain why inner-city schools remain segregated, underfunded breeding grounds for delinquency; why government policies make prisons a better investment than early education programs; why the death penalty, though embattled by DNA evidence, still remains unbowed in many states? And is it so surprising for us to ask whether the racist assumptions of Bennett and men like him were behind the federal government's dilatory rescue of the overwhelmingly black and poor residents of New Orleans?"

Growing up in the military I was always bussed to school. I had a somewhat different childhood than most little black girls growing up in the sixties. From 1960-69 I lived in two different places in France, Spokane WA, Ramey AFB in Puerto Rico, Offutt, NE, and ended the decade in Lompoc, CA. None of these places were exactly known for racial tension. As I've said before, for the first 12 years of my life the only black person I ever saw was my dad. I have had absolutely no exposure to the "black" culture. I identified with Steve Martin in The Jerk when he discovered slow dancing. I cannot sing, dance or play a musical instrument. I love rock music, specifically classic rock. Pink Floyd rules. I love science fiction and have since I first saw my first episode of Star Trek. I am a geek with an artistic flair in cooking and very proud of it. When the Bell Curve came out I wondered what the heck they were talking about since I had been responsible for making sure that the bell curve started at 100 when I was in high school. My classmates used to groan when they saw me or Bob Russ in class. By the end of the semester the bell curve would not be used for grading because Bob or I would have a perfect score and the next closest would be in the low 90's. As a matter of fact, unless you are speaking to me face to face or someone tells you ahead of time, you won't know I'm black. I enjoy messing with people's perceptions.

When you are at the top it is very difficult to understand why the people below just don't get it. All you have to do is try, they just aren't trying. Let's call a spade a spade here. This country still suffers from racism. There is no getting around it, you can pretty it up, you can make excuses but it still exists and in forms that ensure it continues to propagate and spread beneath the surface. Up until recently it had not been overt, unfortunately that seems to be changing. Hispanics have the numbers to change perceptions and be assimilated successfully in society. If you are black or Indian in this country you are considered to be the least of human, not worthy of preventative help only remedial. Treated like a disease in search of an antibiotic. Now there is an even earlier solution. Abort, abort, abort.

That will solve the problem. No more crime. I guess Mr. Bennett doesn't like Condoleeza Rize, Colin Powell, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Ella Fitgerald, Billie Holiday, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Barack Obama, Clarence Thomas, Whoopi Goldberg, and I know Chris Rock is definitely going to be on his short list and vice versa.

By the way, my mom is German, born in 1930 and lived there during the Hitler years. Up until the Katrina disaster nonrescue her proudest and happiest day was the one where she became an American citizen. My blond blue eyed Mom sees way too many parallels with her early life. As George Bernard Shaw stated "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history".

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