Monday, November 17, 2008

Less a prank and more a symptom…

A bitch just read this article about the surge in racist acts post-election. The article is brief and describes the acts as mostly pranks that “haven't posed any real danger to society or the president-elect”.

Although this bitch agrees that there is a difference between a physical attack and someone spray painting racist graffiti on a wall, I have to disagree with whether that shit is a real danger.

Racism and bigotry eat away at society. Symbols of racism and bigotry that are not taken seriously create the feeling of freakish agreement…that other people feel the same way and that the expressions of hate is okay.

But the real power of these so-called pranks is how they jump up in a person’s head.

A cross-burned under the cloak of darkness in front of a person’s house makes the victim question every stranger…her or his neighbors…and wonder who hates them that much. The victim wonders why their house was spared and what act will be next.

So, a bitch has little tolerance for those who casually dismiss acts of hate…who try to explain them away as unfortunate jokes of youthful misbehavior.

These acts have power and that is why they are being investigated and monitored.

But ig’nant acts of hate also identify a disease in need of treatment.

They can inspire the silent to publicly voice their support and those who are skeptical that racism still exists to question that opinion.

And they can empower communities to get about the business of doing the inner work required to advance beyond hate…beyond tolerance…toward respect.

All that is possible only if folks incidents or hate for what they are…less a prank and more a symptom of something real that has been festering below the surface.

And we have miles upon miles yet to walk…

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

You wrote: "So, a bitch has little tolerance for those who casually dismiss acts of hate…who try to explain them away as unfortunate jokes of youthful misbehavior."

You can call me a bitch too,'cuz I completely agree with you! I've been known to make my husband extremely nervous by confronting people who have pissed me off by making bigoted comments. The last time was in a bar. And yes, the guy I challenged backed down. He left, too. lol

Dusty said...

They can inspire the silent to publicly voice their support and those who are skeptical that racism still exists to question that opinion.

Hate is hate, no matter the scale used to judge it..and it's ALL bad and wrong as well as degrading to America as a whole.

Thank you for your words of wisdom Shark Fu. ;)

Rachel said...

And we have miles upon miles yet to walk…

For my part, I will be right there with you.

I gotta make some Obama/MLK art (not the same person, obviously, but it is my feeling that Obama has become the new leader for the new generation). Especially the MLK art... he's still my hero, still inspiring... and will keep me centered during the struggle.

...And if my estranged father says anything racist at Thanksgiving I will resist the urge to punch him in the face.

Anonymous said...

No surprise here. The right-wing-ologists have been predicting growth in extremist group membership and in "lone wolf" extremist violence. I do hope that local and state police are wise enough to listen to the experts in the Secret Service, FBI, independent watchdogs, etc.

I expect that abortion clinics and synagogues are in for it as well. There was an uptick in all varieties of right wing violence after Clinton was elected.

NancyP

Vincent said...

awesome blog. therefore,

You have been nominated as a candidate on America's Next Top Blogger.

http://bloggingourway2bombay.com/2008/11/17/americas-next-top-blogger/

probz should go vote for yourself like 100 times.

SA said...

Completely agree. I don't see how anyone can just write this off as pranks or whatever. It just shows what a person is really thinking/feeling deep down inside. As we get closer to Obama's inauguration the more this crap will happen.

Post-racial America my ass. We have so much further to go it's sad.

Anonymous said...

O Great Angry Black One:

What do you make of this article:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/08/blacks-hispanics-nixed-gay-marriage/

Of special interest to you is the quote:"Inner-city black neighborhoods voted stronger for Prop. 8 than the Republican suburbs. An amazing analysis," Mr. Pugno continued. Blacks voted 70 percent in favor of Proposition 8 . . . according to exit polls released by the National Election Pool.

Exactly who are the Haters here?

Shark-fu said...

O Not Even Sorta-Slick and So Obviously Trying to Stir Shit Up One..

You need to take that mess elsewhere...I don't tolerate bullshit here.

That anti-equality fools are trying to deflect responsibility and divide communities is beyond obvious.

That y'all seek to do so citing the washington times is just fucking pathetic.

Get thee behind me, ig'nance!

Homer said...

This has been on my mind a lot- the acceptance of people calling homosexuals "perverts" or "not normal" in letters to the editor and in online comment forums in my local newspapers. This, and the ongoing campaign by fundamentalist churches to demonize homosexuals seems likely to spur anti-gay violence.

One aspect of this is that the Mormon church has been surprised about the backlash against them by the gay community and their supporters. I guess we were supposed to sit quietly after rights were taken away and be obedient. I am pleased that isn't necessarily the case.

Rileysdtr said...

Not having read the ballot language of Prop 8, is confusion possible? "Vote Yes on 8"? Usually when there's banning afoot one is supposed to vote "No" on something... we here in Illinois may face a revote on the Constitutional Convention ballot initiative because of potentially misleading lanugage.

Anonymous said...

Anon, use a nom-de-blog as a signature in the body of your post.

And Get A Grip, and read a few of the posts immediately after the election when this whole stupid black voting on 8 thing got started on the basis of tiny poll sample. Mouthing off instead of educating is a good way to ensure that voters don't change their mind.

NancyP

Anonymous said...

Well said, Shark-fu!!!

Living here behind the Zion Curtain, I've watched this whole anti-gay stealth shit go down. It's really nasty that the right-wing squareheads want to try to use divide-and-conquer tactics to set folks of color and gay people against each other.

The money came from right-wing haters. Without money, anti-gay civil rights legislation dies in a pool of indifference. Stirring up unenlightened individuals of any color to help oppress gays is flat-out wrong, and it appears that the Mormon church is starting to pay the price of this folly (demonstrations, vandalism - all happening HERE). Unfortunately, cowardly individuals are trying to use blacks as scapegoats now that their little game is going sour.

Haters, own up to your hate! Take responsibility and own the fact that you're sad little people who can't stand up without knocking someone else down. Or perhaps grow up and realize that civil rights for all doesn't really hurt you one bit.

Failing all that, enjoy the damage while you can. Prop 8 and all the other hate-props will be reversed soon - count on that.

The Bear Maiden said...

You know, when you're digging up a long-dormant patch of earth to plant a beautiful garden, you have to weed, and move rocks. And sometimes when you move those rocks, all kinds of nasty, pasty-looking, light-abhorring critters crawl and slither and burrow, trying to get away from the sunlight that will surely kill them.

Blech. But with some ladybugs and a little compost and some seeds, you soon have zinnias and marigolds and sunflowers.

proudprogressive said...

I make a renewed vow to fight ignorance on all of its fronts with renewed vigor. Democracy Now has some upsetting news today - there is nothing prankish about the dangerous things being said and written in many places.

Blantant racism and homophobia is to be expected but what we hopefully will see are more allies united in their hearts if not organizations interupting this insipid dangerous - hate.

I vow to interupt it when i see it, hear it or read it. I will continue to do this with my whole heart. And shine a light on the ignornance , so like cockroachs they will scatter but also be seen - if this were underground , as i am sure some of it is - it is still dangerous.

yours truly - proud progressive TG

DailyFare said...

Amen, sister. I'm concerned about the societal casualness that these reports are generating.

I would be frightened for the country - morale at home and abroad - if someone were to take a swipe at the President-elect.

Minnesota Matron said...

Words ARE actions, whether we speak or write them so I think words that fuel racism, homophobia, sexism are dangerous acts that pose real, physical threats to people. Words train. Language inspires. Words edify, educate. Motivate. Direct.

Consider words doing all of this to someone full of hate. Danger, definitely.

Super blog.

Veronica said...

I am late to add a comment to this topic, but I just wanted to share this with you.

In the 1960's, my father (now 70)was a college student and actively campaigned for Kennedy as a member of the Catholic Student Association. He went to national rallies and actually addressed one on behalf of his university. Then he went to Vietnam. I was born between his first and second tours of duty, and I have never known the "Kennedy supporter" dad.

He was always Republican as long as I knew him - voting for Reagan, Bush #1, etc. I even remember him referring to Bill Clinton as "Slick Willy".

Well, something happened a few years ago. We live in Texas, and I know he was not impressed with "W" from the get-go. However, I did not realize that at some point he dismissed the Republican party.

This year, he actually CAMPAIGNED for Hillary Clinton, going so far as to be a delegate to the state convention. By that time, of course, the general consensus was that Obama was going to be the candidate. I was a bit cautious about how far my dad was willing to go to support the Democratic ticket. See, he has not always been the most "enlightened" individual. I remember a year we went without talking because I was dating a Hispanic man. (The feud lasted longer than the relationship.)

Well, something almost miraculous has occurred. My father has seen the light. After the state convention he posted an Obama sign in his yard, put Obama stickers on his car (NEVER put a sticker on his car before, except NPR), and signed up to be a poll worker to watch the process and ensure fairness. When he got home (my kids and I are here temporarily), we stayed up to watch the returns and he actually wept during the acceptance speech.

He was never a "white supremicist", but I would not have hesitated to put the title "chauvinist", or perhaps "racist", to him.

Maybe there is hope for the rest of the world.

--VR

Unfortunately, I cannot access your blog from work (public school) because of the word "bitch" in your title, but I check your site whenever I am at my sister's house. Keep strong!