Oct 7, 2017

FIGHTING RACISM!


You know, there has been a lot of ink devoted to the topic of race over the last few weeks. I started to write something a little bit of time back positing the question of whether we had as a society in fact turned the corner in terms of race. I didn’t finish the entry in its entirety but I will incorporate it here.

The thing that got me going on it all was the statement by New York’s current Governor, the honorable David Patterson, stating he had fallen victim to discrimination and the reason his polling numbers were so very low had to do with his color.

I found this not only laughable but quite insulting. Patteron’s term in office (an office he holds due to the fact Elliott Spitzer couldn’t keep it in his pants) has been marked by one gaffe after another. Coming on the heels of Spitzer’s gubernatorial turn that‘s really saying something because Spitzer was anything but politic and his administration managed in its short stewardship of the state to have more than a few scandals crop up before his resignation. Spitzer had all the grace of a bull in a china shop. Patterson meanwhile, (who heretofore had been held in high regard by his peers) has just made a mess of things.

The defection of members of his own party leading to the gridlock in the state senate just underlined his woeful lack of leadership. David Patterson may well be a nice man but he hasn’t been a good Governor and it has nothing to do with his race. Using his ethnicity as a crutch does a tremendous disservice not just to himself but to New Yorkers as well.

Patterson’s statement though is more troubling in another sense....
You know I wrote this back in 2009 or at least I had started it back then.

Race has become more of a topic now than ever before. We have athletes ‘taking a knee’ which strikes me as something more than a little hollow.

We can’t talk about race in our country. I mean honestly we can’t have a discussion about it that will move things forward because we can’t be honest about it with ourselves. Each side of the equation finds themselves to wrapped up in their own stand to be direct and for the discussion not to digress into simple name calling.

It’s really sad.

I mean, it’s a sad thing for all of us regardless of the color of our skin.

Years ago, when I first started writing on the blog I wrote a passage about a friend of mine, Kevin.

If you have a moment, go back and read what I wrote then because it is somewhat poignant:
Some people get up in the morning to take care of business, other people get up just to be in the way.
I wrote that way back in 2003 which is 14 years ago now.

You know in the last year I’ve had people (online) call me a racist because of my views not knowing my history or even the fact that I’ve a half brother whose father is... you guessed it, black.

I think things have gotten way, way better than they were. Seriously, I live next door to an interracial couple and watched their kids grow up. It’s not weird or odd or anything of the sort out of place that they’re an interracial couple. I mean they’re just people.

It’s not as if I don’t have my own character defects because I will readily admit that I do but at the same time I don’t think other people are perfect either and they bring a whole host of their own baggage to the table as well. Baggage that they may not want to admit to. Sometimes, you are treated poorly not because of color but because you’re kind of an asshole. Maybe that’s the problem in that you can’t tell whether it is because of color or just because you’re not a nice person to be around.

I don’t have a solution to any of this mind you.

I see these things that are going on though and it strikes me as way more divisive than anything else because the solutions aren’t only external they are internal as well and there doesn’t seem to be acknowledgement of that.

Then again, maybe I am just wrapped up so much in my own ‘white privilege’ I don’t get it but the thing is a lot of the time with the level of shit I have to eat on an almost daily basis it doesn’t really seem like much of a privilege at all.

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