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I’ve had it! September 18, 2009

Posted by Peeps in Musings, Politics.
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I am fed up with the word “racist”, particularly over the last few days.  Fed.  Up.

My father is black and my mother is white.  I look very much like him, but sound very much like her.  Add this to a private school education, and you get a person who tends to get funny looks from time to time.

The first time I heard someone say to me “you don’t sound black”, I didn’t think much of anything about it.  I certainly didn’t think someone was being a racist.  Merely ignorant.

When I was about thirteen, I was walking to see a friend on one of the hottest days of the summer.  While walking up a seriously uphill stretch of road, I came upon a kid selling lemonade.  A miracle.

I bought a paper cup of refreshment and kept on walking.  As I finished it, I crumpled the cup and stuck it in my pocket.  I’d been taught not to litter, and particularly not in the nicer neighborhoods.  As I was pocketing my trash, a police car turned the corner heading in my direction.  He pulled up next to me and I was promptly searched and asked what I was doing.

After he found the cup, and I explained I was just walking, he told me that he saw me hiding something from him and needed to find out what it was.

Again, this doesn’t  really strike me as racist.  I obviously didn’t belong in the neighborhood, and the officer was doing his job.

Then came the late 80s and the political correctness movement.  Not wanting to offend anyone is all well and good, but why make things harder than they need to be?  Black is a lot shorter to say than African-American.  And probably more accurate.

But the whole thing kept growing.  Now, if you use the correct word for one member of the shovel family, you get called a racist.  The same can be said for a lovely word that will probably never be used any more meaning someone stingy or miserly.  Someone in the office of the mayor of Washington, D.C. used that word a few years back and barely survived with his life.

And now we have the past year or so.  When Barak Obama announced as a Presidential candidate, all of a sudden people who disagreed with him were marked as racists.  As election time drew closer, people who were not going to vote for him were racists.

And finally there is the Joe Wilson saga.  You’ve all seen the footage of him calling the President a liar.  Very rude of him to do that so publicly.  But now, former President Jimmy Carter is calling Mr. Wilson a racist.  Seriously?

Stop it.  All of you.  Particularly you, Mr. Carter.  Just shut up.  Most of the people who have been using that word so indiscriminately have never actually met a racist in person in their lives.  It’s starting to remind me of what I’ve read about the McCarthy years, where if you didn’t toe the line and agree to everything the government said, you were a Communist.

Mr. Carter, your time in the sun is over.  I remember your administration, and you have no right whatsoever to speak badly of anyone.  Stop trying to be someone important.  You already messed that one up years ago.

All the rest of you, stop playing the race card.  I don’t care what color you are.  It’s not productive, it’s seldom accurate, and it’s going to cause more problems than it solves over time.

This is solely my opinion.  Of course, if you disagree with me, someone might think you’re a racist.

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Comments

1. Mazco34 - September 18, 2009

Wow, someone fell face first into the semolina!

And I’ll ask you the same thing that I ask the people at work when they go off on a tirade to me: “Feel better now?”

As for that word, I remember you aiming at someoone here and getting a very unbelieving look from the target.

Peeps - September 18, 2009

I always look to shock people. And no, I’m not feeling any better at all. People need to stop being idiots.

2. sjbraun - September 18, 2009

Wow – Peeps, you sound just as great as Toy Lady. I’m glad you ended up together 🙂 You have a unique perspective where you have experienced the world much as Obama has. And yet, you have come to some very different conclusions. I really enjoyed reading this; I agree with you totally.
Susan

Peeps - September 18, 2009

Thank you. I was very lucky to have found Toys, and I realize it every day. I’m glad I didn’t annoy you, I just needed to get that out of my system.

3. judy - September 22, 2009

I was very moved by your post Peeps. Very well written and certainly food for thought for those people who never go “there.”

I never knew you had a black father but why would I? My daughter has a father who is Ethiopian but she is very light skinned and you never knew that either. Who cares? Well, we know some who do.

Crazy curly hair and facial features but an issue was never made of this and probably wouldn’t start today.

I could not agree more with your comments and your speaking up. Thanks for making my reading here better today.

judy

Peeps - September 22, 2009

Wow, all these people agreeing with me is starting to scare me. Hardly anyone ever agrees with me until it’s too late. But I’m happy to have made you feel better while I was blowing off some steam.


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