Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Brutally Honest Discussion on Race

We live in a divided America. As much as everyone wants to say it's divided by race, it's more realistic to say we're divided by beliefs. Black and white conservatives get along just fine, because we see past race and focus on the core beliefs and values that truly make up a person. Liberals focus on superficialities and use fear and race as a means to divide and control their minions. The Left weakly attempts to call us out as bitterly clinging to guns and religion (items in the Constitution that were guaranteed as rights by our founders, and Constitutional items are things that true Americans see as part of one's character) while the Left clings bitterly to the idea that all blacks should vote Democrat, any blacks that vote conservative are Uncle Toms, and that whites should always be blamed for anything bad that happens to blacks, because personal responsibility for one's own actions is a foreign concept to them and only Mother Government can save us all. Racism and allegations of the same is now used as the ultimate argument-ender. Losing an argument? Cry racism and blame someone else.

Some people, like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, make a damned tidy living playing the race card and then hiding behind their status as alleged men of the cloth. However, Jackson is a known adulterer and Sharpton first got famous promoting a case of rape that the victim lied about.

Ever since that sad, tragic night when the names Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman entered our national spotlight, empty-suit talking heads yammering in front of TV cameras have been talking a great line of crap about how we need an honest dialogue on race in America. They themselves never actually start the dialogue or contribute to it in any way, but they bluster and pontificate as if they're solving the problem single-handed. Black leaders calling for an honest, open dialogue come across as race baiters and whites calling for it come across as kissing ass to be politically correct and ingratiating themselves so as not to be seen as racist. "Hey look at how not-racist I am! We need a dialogue!". Then they drive their Mercedes back to their lily-white gated community where the only black faces they see are on TV.

Remember, Zimmerman crawled in through a window and murdered sweet baby Trayvon as he slept in his crib.
 Note: I don't call myself a European-American. I'm a white guy and I'm an American of mixed Anglo-Slavic heritage. I don't use the term African American. I have a guy down the street whose dad was Air Force and they were once stationed in Morocco, so since his brother was born in Morocco that makes him, a white guy, African American, right? Actress Charlize Theron was born in South Africa and is a naturalized American citizen, so she's African American. I heard a black guy from England filling out a questionnaire once and under race they wanted him to put African American. He refused, stating that he was neither African or American. We're Americans, black and white. Period.

African American. For real.

I've pretty much had it with being labeled a racist for committing evil crimes like being a middle-aged white conservative, or disagreeing with the Progressive Liberal Marxist in the White House, for not rioting over the Zimmerman verdict or wanting to lynch an acquitted man. I'm tired of being fed a line to attempt to make me feel guilty for being white. I'm tired of being fed the boo-hoo story of how Whitey keeps the black man down. I'm tired of the double standard that says everyone can make fun of Caucasians with impunity but if you make fun of blacks it's racism. You can call white folks every derogatory name in the book that exists, from Honky to Cracker, and it's all supposed to be perfectly acceptable, but the entire world will come crashing down upon your white head if you ever even uttered a slur against blacks in your lifetime. And twenty-five years later, folks will make it front-page news and destroy your means of income. Just ask Paula Deen.

I'm not defending Paula Deen; her over the top syrupy accent grates on my nerves and I'm pretty sure she ladles it on extra thick for TV audiences hungry for the stereotypical southern accent who don't know any better. She spent all that time, money, and effort trying to get Obama elected and re-elected, and his tolerant peaceful understanding voter base wants her nailed to a cross and set alight. Liberals readily eat their own.

I was born in Washington DC a year after there were huge racially charged civil rights riots in the nation's capital following the assassination of MLK. The riots, in fact, canceled my mom's birthday party. Up the road in Baltimore there were more riots, and riots in Chicago. Amazing how folks in liberal strongholds love to riot when they don't get their way, but I digress....I grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood and the schools were completely integrated. We all got along and played together like kids should. Just a few short years after the riots and us kids were blissfully getting along. At 14, I moved to Maine, and admittedly it wasn't exactly racially diverse but no one treated the few black students at my school any differently. I served in the Army with troops of all colors and religions and backgrounds. We trained together, we ate together, we lived together, We all bled green.

We all bleed green.

I spent several years back in Maine, even farther north in the state than I'd lived before, and yeah, it was overwhelmingly white. I could honestly go a month without seeing black folks. It was kinda weird but not anything I really thought about. It was just a basic fact; there just weren't a lot of black families in the Bangor area. In 2000, I moved in South Carolina....and the town I live in is about 60% black. We're one of only two white families on the block, actually. And now, 13 years after moving here, I've actually discovered some interesting differences between blacks & whites in my area.

First, there's Live vs. Stay. When I ask where someone resides, I ask "Where do you live?", I tell people that I live over off Sidney's Road. My parents live is a subdivision over in Appian Landing...When black folks ask you, they ask where you stay, ie: "Where you stay at?" and they'll tell you, "I stay over in North Charleston and my baby momma stay in Goose Creek.". I find this interesting, this "live" vs "stay" thing. To me, a stay is a temporary thing, as in "I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night" but I live in my home on a permanent basis.

Okay, so let's go to the store. When I come to a crosswalk in front of a WalMart, I slow down & stop like a good citizen. I've found in my experience, especially here in my town, that white shoppers will often stop to ensure you're stopping so as not to get run over, and they often walk faster to cross without holding up traffic. Not so with many black patrons, who I have found will more often than not slow down, take their sweet ass time, and look at me with a glare that basically says I dare you to hit me. In fact, I often just get dirty looks from many blacks I encounter here in the South no matter the situation. The mere fact I exist makes me the object of scorn.

When I go to the store or anywhere with a public parking lot, I just pull in nose-first and then back out later. About nine out of ten times when I see black folks pull into a spot, they back in. Around here, when the average young white kid wants to show off he gets a pickup truck with mud tires and bumper stickers for Browning and Salt Life. The average black kid showing off has monstrous wheels worth more than the Crown Vic painted up like a bag of Skittles that's riding on them, and you can hear the stereo 3 blocks out.

All backed in

Pretty sure a white guy owns this
And yes, by all means, tell us what size those wheels are too. Because we care.

While I see white guys on sport bikes and the occasional black guy on a Harley, by and large black folks prefer tricked out sport bikes and white guys prefer loud Harleys. Here in South Carolina, we have the annual Bike Week that caters to custom chopper and Harley owners regardless of color, but there's also a Black Bike Week that caters to just blacks regardless of bike style. That's not racist much, is it?

Bike Week at Myrtle Beach, all Harleys and custom choppers

And Black Bike Week is all about sport bikes

This enterprising fellow has the best of both worlds, a blinged out chopper. Pretty wild combo.
 I'm not a fan of NASCAR but a lot of white folks are. They'll get a ball cap with their favorite racer's number and main sponsor logo on it, or maybe a tee shirt. What they generally don't do, however, is wear those expensive NASCAR logo jackets. Blacks wear those almost exclusively even if they've never seen a single race in their lives and couldn't tell you what driver is associated with the logo and number on their jacket.

I can count on one hand the number of white people I've seen wearing one & have fingers left over.

Speaking of ball caps...Oh, boy, the ball caps. Everyone, black or white, loves a ball cap to show their affinity for a favorite sports team. Give a white guy a ball cap, and nine times out of ten the first thing he does is grab the sides of the bill and roll them inwards, or in some cases wrap the bill around a soda/beer can and rubber band it overnight to get the proper curve in it. Lots of whites will also wear a ball cap till it falls apart; in some circles a faded cap with a small rip in the fabric on the bill is a proud symbol of being a longtime fan from way back. Conversely, it seems that if you're black, the object of the game is to keep the hat looking like it just came off the rack at Lids at the mall. The bill is flat enough to land a plane on. The official NFL/MLB/NBA stickers, and all other factory-applied stickers, remain in place, never to be taken off.


It's like you lose street cred if the stickers come off.

Conditioning and breaking in a ball cap takes effort

Even the Pope rolls his brim

Oh heavens no.Never remove the stickers....unless you're white. We all need to know your hat size.

Okay, we get it. It's a new hat and it's authentic, not a knockoff from the flea market vendor stall. On another note, it sure is bright here indoors with those sun shades on, no?

It's summer and it gets hot here in SC. I wear shorts, like most people. As a white guy, my shorts come about even with the bottom of my kneecaps. Shorts, by definition, should be shorter than pants. Black guys, however, refuse to wear shorts that come up past the lower shin. They barely go past the tops of their socks, or in some cases they wear tube socks that are up UNDER the bottom of the pants. These are no longer shorts, but longs.

Yeah, those are so much cooler in summer. Your ankles thank you.

Seriously, you look like an idiot.

YOU LOOK STUPID. Just sayin'.

This of course leads me to Sagging. To "bust a sag", one wears their pants pretty much cinched under their ass cheeks with their boxers showing. It's a custom started in prisons to let convicts know whose ass was open for business so to speak. Now all the cool ghetto kids wear their pants this way. Granted, it's not just a black thing; some white kids wear their pants like this and they look equally as stupid.

When I go to a Chinese place, I like to change it up a bit. Some spicy General Tso's Chicken, Crab Rangoons, some Lo Mein, and I love sushi & sashimi at Japanese places.... for some reason all I ever see black folks around here order is pork fried rice and chicken wings. Seriously? You have Hunan, Szechuan, Cantonese, Mandarin, dozens of menu choices and exotic dishes, and you get what amounts to fried chicken and rice? That ain't Chinese food. That's chicken & rice with MSG added.

All over the world, classically-trained Chinese chefs are crying.
 When it's hot and sunny out, I wear a hat. Since I shave my head, sweat will often bead up on my head and I will use a cloth to wipe it away. Locally, black folks will just wear a towel or wash cloth draped over their head in lieu of a hat. Hell of a fashion statement.

When I use my cell phone, I hold it up against my head for the duration of the conversation unless I put it on speaker & lay it down while my hands are occupied doing something else. Almost daily I see black people yelling into the phone in front of their faces like a walkie talkie and then hold it up to their ear for the reply before placing it back in front of their mouths again to continue loudly talking before hanging up without saying goodbye.

Thank you for sharing your conversations with us.

When I go over to someone's house, I generally call first to see if they are even home, then I pull up, get out of the car, and knock on the door. My black neighbors drive me nuts with their people pulling up and simply beeping their horn until either the door opens or the driver realizes no one is home. Could be 7AM. Could be midnight. Could be 3AM. Doesn't matter if someone might be asleep or the peace is being disturbed. They just pull up, often with some form of bass-heavy gangsta rap vibrating the windows, and blow the horn rather than get out of the damned car and knock on the door.

Family is very important to most black Americans and I find that a wonderful quality to be admired. But t-shirts?

Everyone loves a family reunion. Seeing folks you might only see once a year as we've scattered across the country, catching up, reminiscing, taking pictures. At least, that's how my people do it. Black families take reunions seriously, and will make tee shirts like this is a concert event. They'll also make tee shirts for funerals. I even saw one memorial funeral shirt with a photo of the deceased in the casket. It was surreal to say the least. As we differ in life, so we differ in death, even to the point where around here, there are funeral homes that only have black clientele and some only have white clientele. Growing up I never knew there to be racially divided funeral homes. And around here,whites go to the cemetery in the traditional black hearse & limo and blacks go the opposite, opting for white hearses & limos.

What's in a name? Lots. White folks looking to be unique tend to give their kids names that are usually family surnames like Landon, Kaden, Braden, Grayson, Tanner, Hunter, etc. Black folks just invent names, like Ladanian, Keyshawn, Trayvon, LaShonda, Jacquetta, Kawana, or LaQuesha. Oddly enough, Hollywood types of both colors just use whatever the hell comes to mind, like Peaches Honeyblosom, Pilot Inspektor, Ivy Blue, and North West.

And lastly, if a cop needs my help and asks me a question, I'm going to answer truthfully to the best of my ability, both as a proper law-abiding and upstanding citizen and as a man who was once in law enforcement myself. Most white folks I know will do the same thing. To be honest I think that most black folks would too, but there is a pervasive phenomenon in black society where it doesn't just frown upon cooperating with the police but actively discourages it through threat of violence and grievous bodily harm. To them, if you talk to the police you're a snitch, and snitches get stitches as the phrase goes. Last week three black teens beat a white kid to within an inch of his life on a bus for telling authorities at school they tried to sell him drugs but the mainstream biased media ignored it... Last month in a local Walmart a black family was in front of me at the checkout and the father, a guy in his mid to late 40s, kept giving me a dirty look after I read his tee shirt that said "I don't talk to cops because I don't speak Pig Latin". Hell of an example for your kids, there, homes.

Again, I'm not intending to stir up racial hatreds. These are just random observations from my daily travels, from living in a 90% black neighborhood, from working with a crew at work that is 80% black, and from being a middle-aged white guy in South Carolina who happens to pay close attention to what goes on around me. I'm sure that to my black neighbors, all the things I have observed are perfectly natural and normal everyday occurrences and that most of the things I do are odd in their eyes. So be it.

Just remember, the man who said he wanted his kids to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin? He was a Republican, not a Left-leaning Democrat. And the Klan was started by Democrats.

"There is a class of colored people who make a business
of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the
hardships of the Negro race before the public.

Some of these people do not want the Negro
to lose his grievances because they do not want
to lose their jobs.

There is a certain class of race-problem solvers
who don't want the patient to get well, because as long
as the disease holds out they have not only an easy
means of making a living, but also an easy medium through
which to make themselves prominent before the public"

Booker T. Washington
Educator, author, orator, and
advisor to Presidents of the United States.

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