A few years ago I sat in a luncheon at the capitol for a major civil rights organization. The key note speaker was one Mitch McConnell. I wondered to myself, out of all of the possible people we could have seen or heard, why him? Even if you wanted to hear a republican McConnell?? Anyway… about two sentences in to his speech he said he was so happy to be there, he had been a part of a march during the 60’s for civil rights, and he had been working with “you people” for a long time. He actually said “YOU PEOPLE” and thought it was ok. Not one person wasn’t polite, if you know what I mean. At that point I left the room for a while until he finished speaking. At that same conference I also heard Tim Scott speak. I didn’t know who he was at the time, he was quite an engaging speaker, tone deaf, but engaging. I asked a friend who he was and I was bemused. Why do we keep thinking that hearing this screed, entertaining any dialogue without clear ideas of who these people really are at their core. Both of these people have become increasingly odious, Scott useless, McConnell more evil and exposed for the ring leader that he is. The difference is McConnell wasn’t afraid to be a bigot openly and the group welcomed him to say that or hear it without any recourse. And Scott thinks he is being maverick, while being used. McConnell wasn’t afraid to say he knew what was wrong then or now. He comes out unscathed luckily for him, votes to keep the party line and money, and the insurrectionist rioters go to jail, maybe. Who knows what Tim Scott gets.
A few years ago too, I confronted a friend who’s posts on Facebook were full of dog whistles and blatant racial stereotyping. I wrote on his time line that his statements were racist. I also told him that many of the responses of his facebook family were offensive. He was incensed and privately asked me to take it back and take it down. I would not and I explained to him why. We can disagree politically about anything. But if we don’t gain anything from calling each other friends, and have no insight in to each others being because in your heart you characterize my people in ways that are degrading, I can’t do or say anything else. It’s not worth it. Over the years the one thing Republicans told me they hated most was being called racists. They hated being accused talking about and felt victimized by the “race issue”. But I often wonder what he thinks now that his party is openly racist, and proudly calls itself “the party of Trump”? It’s out for all to see.
Sometimes I hear my people talking “amongst friends” about laws and civic issues and what they think about the legislation that is being enacted. Taxes and crime seem to be the first divide when people get incorporated in to the system. Making a little money makes forgetting easy, and it’s always delightful to hear the enlightened knowledge of Charles Barkley. But several people feel uncomfortable or dismissive when I push back. They say “you’re too radical”, they say “you’re too Black”, LOL, moi? ! Oh, I had to pause for a moment to stop crying from laughing so hard. I digress. But I say go watch 13th, or Judas and the Black Messiah, or read Caste or just be real! I know you know the history, now think about the costs. The temporal advent of your being here on earth right now doesn’t make the last 400+ years unimportant or the losses we’ve suffered non-existent. You didn’t get here because someone else was too scared to take the risk. Your spirit doesn’t just die when you think about how much resilience and strength we witness every day and how little we have to show for it by being POLITIC?? Or maybe you still just see the crime and a few extra cents out of your income.
Give me a break. How long do you have to be abused and gaslit to break the chains?