Wednesday, July 3, 2013


There is an article on Think Progress profiling how African American actor Levar Burton deals potential problems if he’s stopped for Driving While Black. And the comments at the end of the story really give the details of two big problems in America. One, racism is alive and unwell for Blacks and Latinos. Two, there are parts of the country where the cops need a refresher course on the bill of rights.

One example from the comments section is a good illustration. Cops are looking for a bank robber; black, about 5’6”, 200 pounds wearing a jogging suit. Who do they arrest? A 6’5” tall drink of water wearing a suit and tie and carrying a brief case. Well, they did have one thing in common. The cops got the black part right. When his mom asked him why he didn’t say anything to the cops it was basically “I didn’t want to get shot.” The commenter didn’t say which city this happened in.

One thing led to another after I’d read the article and a couple of other articles and some other stuff and suddenly something reared its really ugly head. All the shots that last few months of gun owners sticking up for their rights, carrying loaded guns in public, showing up where politicians (president especially) are speaking while openly carrying firearms seem to have two things in common. They’re overwhelmingly male AND they’re apparently all white.

White right wing militias train in the boondies and nobody gets too concerned except for the fibbies and maybe the local cops. Now imagine a group of African Americans and Latinos doing the exact same thing. All actions the same except for the skin color. Now imagine the explosions at Fox. The fulminations from the same folks who got all worked up because a couple of members of the New Black Panthers stood outside a polling place in their own neighborhood and were accused of intimidation. And I think the New Black Panthers have about two dozen members. Tops.

I’ve been trying to find out how many non whites actually belong to the NRA and got almost nowhere. Did find this article. Man attended an NRA convention with more than seventy thousand other members and managed to spot maybe a dozen non white faces. Which reinforces the impression that, protests to the contrary, the Bill of Rights might as well have Whites Only stenciled across it.

And considering the reactions of Texas politicians to the anti abortion protesters with two X chromosomes it might as well have White Males Only stenciled on it. And if the fundies ever get their way the Catholics who help them gain power will discover that their help is no longer required and hey your family hasn’t been here long enough anyway. Ironically, both Rick Santorum and Antonin Scalia are both first generation Americans. And Scalia’s dad is from Sicily which has been occupied by just about everybody over the last three thousand years. God only knows WHERE his genes have been

It was the sixties and the seventies, I was in my twenties and it seemed that this country was finally going to get its shit together and admit that we were all in this thing together. Now I’m in my sixties. We’re in a new century but we seem mired, not in the twentieth century but the worst of the nineteenth century. Attacks on the rights of women and minorities and sadly, an attempt to bring back the worst excesses of the so called Gilded Age.

It seems that those who don’t learn from the past are not only destined to repeat it but actually live in it. No thanks.

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