Look. Maybe it’s just that I spent a weekend drinking and talking about writing and the art of avoiding being a pussy with people who don’t have the particular problem of not being able to separate their own personal bullshit from, you know, the things that happen in the world, but I am just about full up to my fucking ears with this sudden need tovalidate the feelings of people like this.
On the other hand, I am sick to death of black people as a group. The truth. That is part of the conversation Obama is asking for, isn’t it? I live in an eastern state almost exactly on the fabled Mason-Dixon line. Every day I see young black males wearing tee shirts down to their knees — and jeans belted just above their knees. I’m an old guy. I want to smack them. All of them. They are egregious stereotypes. It’s impossible not to think the unthinkable N-Word when they roll up beside you at a stoplight in their trashed old Hondas with 19-inch spinner wheels and rap recordings that shake the foundations of the buildings. . . .
Here’s the dirty secret all of us know and no one will admit to. There ARE niggers. Black people know it. White people know it. And only black people are allowed to notice and pronounce the truth of it. Which would be fine. Except that black people are not a community but a political party. They can squabble with each other in caucus but they absolutely refuse to speak the truth in public.And this is the single biggest obstacle to healing the racial divide in this country.
Glenn’s commenters do a pretty good job of taking apart most of it, but the part I’ve bolded there is what I want to talk about. Because, fucking seriously? The inability of somebody to adequately call somebody else out for having clothes and a car which are not to your taste is the single biggest obstacle to healing the racial divide in this country? Fucking SERIOUSLY?
Fifteen miles south of the center of Chicago is an almost entirely black town in which I spent a great deal of time as a reporter. I used to drive down and carefully stop at stop signs, only to realize I don’t really need to stop at stop signs here, because a couple of years back, just about the whole entire police force was indicted for selling badges and influence, so ain’t nobody there to pull you over for failing to stop at a sign so rusted it was just about ready to fall off its pole. The town’s only librarian lived in a house with broken windows. The library was two rooms at a school, with donated books.
In this town, when I worked there, there was neither gas station, nor bank, nor restaurant. No stores, of any kind, not a single one. The schools have chains on the doors and the windows when you’re lucky open all the way in the summer and close all the way in the winter. If you’re lucky. Sometimes you’re not, so you either swelter or freeze. Don’t ask about air conditioning. The principal paid for a new coat of paint out of his own pocket, and an eighth grade boy, class president, told me he knew kids from other towns thought he and his classmates were losers. Thirteen years old.
But the inability of somebody to say that young black men this needy creep saw on a street corner should pull up their pants, that’s the biggest obstacle to healing the racial divide in this country.
It is long past fucking time we stopped equating things which are vastly unequal. The Chicago Tribune this morning has announced that we must all begindealing with our feelings, and it’s all very nice, that some people are going to feel better, but it is past fucking time that we cease to make feeling better our highest national objective, over, you know, DOING better. Yes, there needs to be greater understanding, tolerance and compassion. However, I don’t think the way you start the process towards that is equating decades of systemic discrimination which affects every aspect of someone’s life with having to see people wearing things you don’t like them wearing, or playing loud music or putting shiny hubcaps on their cars.
I don’t think you start a conversation towards racial healing with rewarding people who think their contrarian tendencies make them brave, who think it’s some kind of sincere rebellion to spout a bunch of ignorant horseshit, by making it important that they feel better in their ignorance. There’s a huge gulf between acknowledging white resentment is real, which Obama did, and putting sentiments like the above on a level of being the single most important obstacle toward healing the racial divide. Because, fucking no, okay? Fucking hell to the no, it doesn’t work that way, and if we are going to have this conversation, that’s where it needs to start, with telling this dude who thinks the biggest obstacle toward healing the racial divide is that he can’t say the N-word without risking getting his pasty ass beat, telling that dude to take his feelings and shove them in one of the many, many places where the sun doesn’t shine.
ps. Bravo’s Top Asshole up there is also a good time in that he demands all black people repudiate a short list of black people he finds offensive, in order to prove to him that they’re worthy of his love, or something. This kind of demand never fails to remind me of the abusive parent who tells the kid he’ll stop beating the child when the child stops being bad. It’s never true, it’s never fair, and it never fails to turn my stomach, so again, fold it four ways and go play in traffic.