Politics may make "strange bedfellows," as the saying goes, but there have to be limits, and every now and then I reach one of mine. In this case, for me, it's around the 2008 U.S. presidential election. As Peter Finch's character shouted in the film Network, this is one year when I am not going to "take it" anymore.
Less than two years ago, in late November 2006, I received an email from a reader describing himself as a White American, telling me that (in his opinion - the only one that really counts, of course) he's "never committed even one act of "racism"..." [his quotes] in his life. Bravo for you, dude.
In fact, he started his email telling me that he's voted Democrat all his life. As I read, I wondered, "What Democratic Party member-profile does this guy fit?" How many Democrats think like him? I wondered, Are Democrats like him just ignored, or even accepted? That was then and this is now, and I leave it to others more interested than I to answer such questions. (Don't hold your breath...)
In 2008 the Democratic Party took things a step farther and found themselves the "kind" of "black" (as so many white Americans seem to like to say) they could feel "comfortable" to back for president; one whom even Joe Biden could bring himself to admire.
So this is the year when some Black people with the privilege to vote in the U.S. - i.e., people from different ethnic and national backgrounds (continental African, Caribbean, Black American, Afro-Latino) have convinced themselves that voting Democratic will somehow be "pan-African." Not only are most White voters left clueless about pan-Africanism and what it's supposed to be, some of those who will vote Nov. 4th for the Democrats selected black guy are the descendants of the same people who enslaved my family: in Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, South Carolina - and elsewhere. I call them "slaveholder descendants for Obama." These slaveholder descendants will feel good about themselves and their motives as they cast their votes for the Democratic candidate, even while they avoid and still steadfastly refuse any contact with or acknowledgement of me, my family and the history, places and country (also names and bloodlines) we share. Then there is the guy who sent the email below. Are these people really all on the same page? Good question, and yet relatively few Americans seem to have the stomach to attempt any acceptable answer.
In 2007 I finally shared the message below with Democrats Abroad email list. As I wrote to Dems Abroad, there is no etiquette for how to bring up such subjects, and yet I also know that they need to be raised and addressed, and not just by persons who look like me.
From: Mike <email@example.com>
Date: Nov 25, 2006
Dropped by your blog today, looks like you have some interesting
things to say. Also dropped by youtube.com to see what things were
being said about Michael Richards... whew! Lots of white people
standing up for him, actually, lots of black people making good
I am a 50 y/o white man, have voted Democrat all my life, have never
committed even one act of "racism" in my life. I have paid taxes (lots
and lots) into the system, I obey the laws, and I have been an
extremely devoted Father and raised a fine son. Most of my friends
are white, and most of them have lives very similar to mine.
I want to say a few things here that will make you squirm, but befor
that let me say, I don't consider myself a racist. I would vote for
a black president, I would marry a black woman, and I don't mind the
fact that my neighbor is African American.
That being said, you want to know something? Black people terrify me.
Black men commit rape, murder, and other violent crime at 8-10X the
rate of the rest of the U.S. The mean IQ of African Americans is 85.
70% of black babies are born out of wedlock. Yes, black people terrify
me. And you know what else, Marian?
THOSE THINGS ARE NOT MY FAULT.
Yeah, yeah, we can talk about slavery, omitting the fact that black
people sold their OWN people into slavery, and also that slavery of
blacks throughout history has been committed MOSTLY by blacks on
blacks, and that those practices persist until today in Africa.
From my perspective, African Americans need to stop saying it's
someone else's fault and start assuming responsibility. During my
life I've gone out of my way to be really nice to black people, and
I've worked my ass off paying my way for most of your brethren. For
what? Almost nothing. African Americans have made very little
progress over the last 50 years. The fact is, black Americans are a
HUGE drags on the *soul* of this nation (not to mention the U.S.
economy). And that is what white Americans are afraid to say to your
face, because honestly, based on the stats you might try to beat us
I hope I am being honest enough, and direct enough for you. Thanks for