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October 21, 2008

O Nigger...Nigger, Where Is Thy Sting?

O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, where is thy victory?

- Corinthians

What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.

- Romeo and Juliet

Gin up the Outrage-O-Meter, peoples! The Reichthuglican racists who are hell bent on depriving The One of his rightful place at the right hand of His Heavenly Father in the Oval Office are at it again:

So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er."

This is just too funny.

Almost as amusing, in fact, as trying to tease out some semblance of coherent thought from Colin Powell's endorsement of The Lightworker. But I digress...

Talk about undermining your own narrative.

What is it, exactly, that we're supposed to believe here? That these ignorant, racist Pennsylvanian voters hate and fear "niggers" so much that they're willing to put one in charge of the United States of America?

O "nigger", where is thy sting? When you insist on trivializing a painful symbol of America's racial past by constantly injecting it into every aspect of popular culture it loses some of its moral authority, doesn't it?

Especially when you keep reminding everyone how fragile your feelings are, and how they must never even spell the term in front of you lest you be crushed by it even as you brandish your ability to say it over and over and over again. So exactly what is the "lesson" here?

Methinks that one positive aspect of an Obama presidency, should that happen in November, is that a lot of narratives are going to get deflated very, very fast. Pretty stupid argument: "We're going to vote for the black guy because he's all... like hopey and changey, even though we're racists and racists won't give people of other races a fair chance in life unless some massively expensive and intrusive government program forces them to."

You just go on believing that. I'd be horrified, but I'm too busy trying to figure out whether I'm supposed to be afraid, shocked, or whether all this constant finger pointing and fearful searching out of the last vestiges of horrible racism in Amerikka in the name of unity is doing anything to bring us together as a country?

Or is it driving us farther apart?

Change we can believe in.

Posted by Cassandra at October 21, 2008 08:06 AM

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I have had blackiness rubbed all over my old white ass in the last few months every where I go. Obama supporters have been accusing and threatening, not just aggressive and in my face. Grandfather would have used the word "uppity", but that's probably in the forbidden racist-code-words list, like "niggardly", "colored", "Negro", "clean", "articulate", "well-spoken".... There will be bloodshed in the streets following this election, precipitated by Obama supporters, win or lose. I believe Katrina-style shopping (looting), I mean redistribution of wealth and plasma tvs, will be widespread. I'm buying more ammo.

Posted by: twolaneflash at October 21, 2008 12:20 PM

I hope you are wrong.

I continue to believe that the vast majority of Americans (white or black, rich or poor) are good, decent and essentially law abiding people. I've known all sorts of folks in my long life moving around the country and it always seems like a few bad apples in every crowd get a disproportionate amount of the attention while most folks go on about their business.

You know what I think?

I think that if there are any blacks who do take advantage of an Obama victory to make trouble, I think you would see a real backlash... from other black who were every bit as outraged as you are feeling right now.

One thing that has happened since the 1950s is that the world has changed a bit.

The military is a bit more integrated than many parts of American society, and what I hear from many black parents is that they are disgusted with a lot of what they consider trashy popular culture foisted on them by Hollywood (sound familiar?). They don't want it contaminating their kids.

When I was in NCarolina, my neighbor sent his kids to a private parochial school b/c he didn't want his children exposed to thug culture. His kids said "yes Ma'am" and "yes Sir" and were more polite than 99% of young people you'd meet on the street. His daughter went on to be a lawyer and his son got straight A's at school and was a delight, though definitely all boy :) He played with my son every day after school even though they went to different schools.

I babysat the gunny's kids up the street - two adorable elementary school kids - and the only problem I ever had with them is that they were *too* polite. So I think you'd see a real sense of outrage in the black communtity if that sort of thing started up.

I really do. And it might be the healthiest thing to happen to this country for a long time because it would no longer be perceived as an 'us vs. them' thing.

Posted by: Cass at October 21, 2008 12:35 PM

I also think (and that is why I intentionally posted this admittedly uncomfortable post) that we have been scared to talk about these painful subjects for too long.

Yes, we have divisions. But I think we are stronger than we think as a nation - more sensible and more able to work through our problems.

I also think that no one should ever call another person the n*** word. It is not a word I ever allowed my kids to use or suffered to be used in my presence.

But sometimes I think that covering things up and censoring them is very unhealthy too. If we can't talk about things, we don't deal with them and we don't find out that often, they don't loom as large when dragged out into the open as they do in our fears.

Posted by: Cass at October 21, 2008 12:39 PM

Please note that I called 'bullshit' on the story that you are quoting in the first sentence of the damn post. Calling a story bullshit is not the way to 'gin up the outrage media'

Posted by: fester at October 21, 2008 02:07 PM

I continue to believe that the vast majority of Americans (white or black, rich or poor) are good, decent and essentially law abiding people.

The vast majority of the inhabitants of Chicago, Los Angeles and Newark were -- and are -- good, decent and essentially law abiding people, too. But that didn't stop those who *weren't* from engaging in violent "self-realization".

Times change. People *don't*.

Still 'n' all, regardless of the outcome of the election, I hope you'll be able to :p at me for being cynical...

Posted by: BillT at October 21, 2008 02:46 PM

Fester, if I gave you the impression I was commenting in some way on your post, I apologize.

I linked to you because I saw this story first on your site (out of very, very many places where I did see outraged posts about it). Thus, it seemed only fair to send what little traffic I had your way - which isn't much! I intentionally didn't quote you in order to avoid just the impression you cite. I figured my readers were smart enough (if they clicked on the link at all, which many don't) to read your post and see that you had indeed called BS on it.

If they did not click on the link, then there could be no misimpression to correct. If you object to my linking to you, I'll be glad to correct the problem. It wasn't mean maliciously, but rather the reverse.

Posted by: Cass at October 21, 2008 02:57 PM

I guess what I'm saying, though, is that even if that were to happen it might have some interesting results...

...such as people forming different alliances for once ...

Alliances based on ideology or morality rather than skin color for once. That whole Martin Luther King Jr, content_of_the_character rather than color_of_the_skin thing?

Bill Whittle's "Tribes"?

Even if 'the worst' happened, it could be way cool. We are strong people and this is not the end of days. Have faith in your fellow men and women.

Posted by: Cass at October 21, 2008 03:06 PM

Yikes! "meant", a few comments above, not "mean" :p

In a hurry.

Posted by: Cass at October 21, 2008 03:08 PM

I think 99% of the differences we commonly refer to as racial are, in fact, cultural differences. Furthermore, I think that because to this day there isn't all that much mixing (sadly) on a social level between blacks and whites beyond the workplace, we don't realize how much we have in common.

Even polls tend to focus more on our differences than our similarities and that is sad. They ask questions phrased to divide us, when often if they were phrased differently (or more astutely) it would emerge that we often don't think that differently on most issues. Our perceptions about some things may be different but our values aren't all that different.

But that's not surprising.

There is an old saying: walk a mile in another man's shoes before you judge him too harshly. Liberals sometimes take that axiom too far, but conservatives (myself included) sometimes don't want to admit there is any truth in that old saying at all.

But there is. We've all had our view of life changed by some experience, especially a painful one. As dismayed as I find myself at the thought that Obama might win because I so strongly disagree with his ideas about big government and income redistribution, I find myself wondering whether even some of the conflicts (and I'm talking more of the kind of conflicts we've seen during this campaign, with people constantly accusing each other of racism) might not ultimately result in people getting so sick of all this blather that a lot of it loses its awful power over us?

Posted by: Cass at October 21, 2008 03:18 PM

Like crying wolf? If everything is racist, that which truly is is diminished. Is this really a good thing?

Posted by: Donna B. at October 21, 2008 03:40 PM

"...walk a mile in another man's shoes before you judge him too harshly. Liberals sometimes take that axiom too far..."

I always thought it was because they *knew* that then they were a mile away and they have your shoes....

Yeah, I know, get back in the corner.

Posted by: DL Sly at October 21, 2008 04:46 PM

Is this really a good thing?

Of course it is a good thing. It's always very annoying when Americans have the self-confidence to make their input in tyrannies felt. Why can't they just let people in the rest of the world suffer in peace and quiet?

Americans need to be taught to ignore racism in the rest of the world and just focus on the real racism in America. Like against Obama.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 22, 2008 05:32 PM

Another obvious falsehood by the MSM. My wife and I live in the Chicago suburbs, not Washington, Pennsylvania.

Posted by: RonF at October 22, 2008 05:50 PM