Sunday, November 29, 2009

Racism or Just Ignorance

I saw a post from a friend of a friend yesterday that left me a little irritated and angry. So irritated in fact that I tried to take a nap and I dreamed of her in my home making racist comments and insulting my other guests. I guess that was more of a nightmare than a dream. The end result was I decided I wanted to have my own Blog with hopes that something I say might make a difference. Do I really think I have that much influence? Not really but I honestly do believe that most people are not truly hate filled racists. I prefer to think they are just poorly educated or thoughtless and that they really don’t mean to be insulting.
The Post was of a bunch of Confederate Flags and a very firm statement about her being “Southern” thru and thru and that her favorite was the “Bloody Flag” that is proudly displayed in the rear window of her truck. Is it just a flag? Southern Pride and all that? I hear about this controversy quite often living here in South Texas and I know many of these folks think that way but to me it is a symbol of hatred, racism , and slavery and when I see it I feel shame and embarrassment for the south.
Should I comment or even care – she is not my friend so I don’t have to see her posts but I do have to see her truck or others like it. I can’t help but think that the truck used in the 1998 dragging death of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas probably had a confederate flag sticker or two on it. I can’t not care, and I can’t just shut up, we have done that for too long. This is just one small example of the racism I see and hear everyday, as I am sure many of you do as well. Does it make it less hurtful to our friends, neighbors, or family members who are African American just because we excuse these people as ignorant?
As I was writing, it occurred to me that in a few weeks a mutual friend is going to visit this woman and was going to have her give her a ride to my home. I can’t have that. I can not, will not ever allow someone with a symbol of hatred or racism on their vehicle to display it in my driveway. Do you know this person or someone like her? Probably! Do you ignore when you see or hear these things? Will it ever stop if we keep making excuses for them? Maybe if I tell her why I don’t want her at my home she will understand – maybe not but if not, then I misjudged and it really is hate and racism. Do I want someone like that in my life anyway? I think I would rather have the respect and friendship of those friends and neighbors who treat each other as human beings.

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