I’m just now realizing how big the intersection between politics and race has become. It’s like a volcano that’s been puffing for awhile, and is getting ready to blow up. I knew that there were people out there who couldn’t bring themselves to vote for a black man [whatever the personal cost to themselves], but I didn’t have the expectation that someone I work with would have the audacity to almost come out and say it – to me.
Yesterday, I and another black female coworker were verbally accosted with rumors of Obama being a terrorist. This guy that we work with has always raised some red flags with me [TNTC, really, but most glaring were his backwards views about gays], but yesterday took the ever-lovin’ cake. I had just heard about Palin’s accusation that Obama is friends with a terrorist (Bill Ayers) and hadn’t heard any actual facts about it. So this guy swoops in on the convo and says that he heard they live next door to each other, and they’re friends, and that guy [Ayers] helped Obama get his house [in that neighborhood], and it’s all true. Because – and I’m quoting here –
they couldn’t say it on TV if it wasn’t true.
Yeah. For real. Then he says to me, “You’ve gotta watch Fox News, see? They’re the only ones that are actually fair. They have a Republican and a Democrat on Hannity and Colmes. See, otherwise, you’re just getting one side of the story. You gotta watch Fox News!”
I thought he was joking. Really, I did. I’d never heard anyone say out loud [not even a Republican, and I’m surrounded by them here] that Fox News actually is fair. And believe it. I asked him if he was joking. He wasn’t.
Then he just kept going – he doesn’t think that America’s ready for a black president. He thinks that all the white people will just think he’s only going to help black people [I suppose this might be due in part, to the fact that most people expect others to be like themselves and then begin to project their own characteristics on others. In this way, it can be inferred that those white people that assume Obama would only help blacks would – if they were in a similar position – only help whites.] He was quick to remind me that he wouldn’t have a problem with a black president – but other people might would.
After I’d had all the nonsense I could take, I went back to my desk. But our friend continued to pontificate, telling my female coworker that this whole financial meltdown happened because – wait for it – the terrorists helped Obama help black people get houses/mortgages they couldn’t afford, and now – since they’re not paying on them – we’ve got all these problems on Wall Street.
Yup. I know someone who believes that ish. Or at the very least, said it out loud.
I’m actually amazed at the lengths that some people will go to, to support their racism. These folks are deluding themselves, choosing policies that will actually hurt them but they figure they can live with as long as a white guy is running the show. Wow. Tell me how much has changed?
I wanted to talk about the whole financial debacle in more depth but it’s getting late…I suppose my basic point was this: how can you possibly suggest/promote new programs, or increase funding for current programs, and discuss the raging deficit – and then say you’re not going to raise taxes?
Where the *hell* would the money come from???
To me, that is why McCain looked like a ninny tonight. Sixteen years later: It’s still [or once again, actually] the economy, stupid.