Sunday, June 8, 2008

About Obama: Afraid of Real Change? I thought so...

Voters in 2008 are engaged and that's great for the country. It’s also shining a spotlight on an issue that I see and hear even where I live. I may get a bitch-slap for this, but when was the last time you followed primary races in states like Oregon, West Virginia, Kentucky? If nothing else, we can at least admit that racism is with us in 2008, no matter how the media tap dances around it.

This says it all for me: WV male voter; "there ain't no white man around here who'd take orders from a black man." Enuf said.

No one in the media has the brass ones to address the real black elephant in the living room. Those Hillary supporters threatening to vote for McSame because she isn't the nominee haven't thought this through, or perhaps have no relatives in Iraq or Afghanistan. Or don’t give two figs about a woman’s right to choose. And how about more judges like Scalia and Thomas? The other reason I see is race.

Understand, I was raised in the segregated south, well, New Orleans doesn’t count, really, but anyway, even in NOLA black folks knew the limits and boundaries when dealing with white folks. In NOLA we were more likely to have black neighbors and there was a good deal of harmony and goodwill. Not to mention great food.

Although there were unwritten societal “norms” I must say they were often ignored.

I moved to NYC in 1963 just as the civil rights movement was exploding in the Deep South. I was amazed at the hypocrisy I found there. Whites would treat blacks cordially and friendly like, and then explode in anger after the encounter.

I remember they were referred to as --- Attitude Niggers! (Blazing Saddles 11 years later referred to “Uppidy Niggers”)

I must say I was surprised to find so many well-educated blacks in the city. Remember, down south everything was “separate but equal” which we all now know was not true. Hell, even in NOLA there were separate, but almost identical beach/amusement parks. The whites had Pontchartrain Beach (on lake Pontchartrain) and the blacks had Lincoln Beach – on the very same late, but miles apart. Both had the same or similar attractions on their respective midways.

My childhood home was a small subdivision, originally built for the military officers at an army base a few miles away, off the thoroughfare that was the only access to Lincoln beach. The home was a block from Lake Pontchartrain and the local airport. In summer, I spent most of my time in that lake snorkeling, tubing (auto tires had inner tubes back then) and as I would make my way back home on weekends the traffic was moving at a snail’s pace bumper to bumper; black families were dressed for an afternoon at the beach or midway and then maybe dinner at a restaurant with views of the lake and sunset.

The drivers were always courteous and many would say, as I darted between cars to cross that two-lane road, that I was one lucky kid to live so near the lake. I knew that. My grandfather and I would go shrimping (yes, that’s what it’s called) and crabbing in the lake. Many great memories, I can almost smell the crabs bubbling in water seasoned with a bag of Zaterains Crab Boil, lemons, and onions.

Fast-forward to 1965 and my first visit to NOLA since moving to north. In two short years fishing, crabbing and shrimping were off limits due to “human waste pollution” and the smell off the lake was unbelievable.

I also learned that Lincoln Beach was closed. With the integration of Pontchartrain Beach, I guess it lost business. I drove my nieces and nephews to the Lincoln Beach site (they were always ready for a tiny adventure) and everything was still in place. Turnstiles, buildings, even the skeletal remains of most of the rides and attractions.

Over the years the site remained untouched, undeveloped, and was left to rust away. I have no idea if anything survived Katrina. I know my childhood home did not.

Black New Orleanians opted to take their chances and mingle with the white residents. Now, I have no doubt that initially there were problems, but with Lincoln Beach closed there was no turning back.

That’s how I feel about this election year. There is no turning back.

If bigoted, racist people are willing to accept another 4 years of lies and deception – not to mention the probability of an attack on Iran- well, they deserve what they get. Just remember, WE will be forced to live through those 4 years, unless you have a secret compound in the mountains of Bolivia.

Ask yourself; why are these people adamant saying they would vote for McSame over Obama? Clearly the media isn’t asking, but the subtext is undeniable that voting away our freedoms is a hell of a lot more acceptable than putting a black man in the Oval Office. We deserve better than a lying Bush two and I hope we are strong enough to make the right decision come November.

I don’t want to have a beer with my President. I want responsible leadership and the rule of law to be restored in the land.

Yeah, I’m pissed at the stupidity and arrogance, in pain, missed the Sunday evening dining group, and worked 12-hour day. I am going to post this, have a festive cocktail and put an ice pack on my back.

And so it goes.


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