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View Diary: So You're Shocked Some Young, Southern White Dude Defended Slavery at CPAC? (249 comments)

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  •  Before this dovetails into an irrelevant (161+ / 0-)
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    discussion of concepts not really covered in my diary, I'm not accusing people of being unaware of racism in America.

    But I do think many people are unaware of where this stuff breeds, mostly because they were lucky enough not to see it on a daily basis where they lived.

    I think my perspective can add to this conversation, and that's what the title of the diary is meant to convey.

    "I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil." ~Bobby Kennedy

    by Grizzard on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:57:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Every time you get into a conversation... (37+ / 0-)

      Every time there's a conversation about this online, you get people who say that they don't know why people think that the South is racist, and that the North (including the Pacific Northwest and California) are much more racist now. It's usually someone who identifies himself as black saying that.

      I'm not going to say anyone is a liar without a much better reason than that. And I'm not going to deny anyone their own personal experience. But it's awfully hard to understand how that can be someone's personal experience when I look at the actual scientific data... hate crimes, voting rights curtailed, employment, poverty...

      It is very strange to hear, over and over again, that New York/San Francisco/Chicago/whereever is much more racist than anywhere in the South, when one has given the numbers even a cursory glance.

      •  maybe racist Southern Whites (33+ / 0-)

        don't show it much.
        Friend's sister from TX said it's not unheard of to hear the N word at neighborhood potlucks/bbq's...it's just not said when Black people are around.

        I've never heard it, myself,in similar circles up North. Maybe the racism in both places looks different.

        •  Northern racism is less overt (41+ / 0-)

          Dave Chappelle has riffed on this, I've lived in Boston for 20 years and there is some racism but it is not overt. It's things like the busing riots in 1975, led mostly by whites from South Boston. It's things like the Red Sox were the last MLB team to integrate, a full 12 years after Jackie Robinson, when they added Pumpsie Green. It can be as simple as someone on the T never giving their seat up to a Black lady but always for a White one. Or it could be the sordid history of the Catholic Church which supported slavery.

          •  The Catholic Church has a mixed history in the US (20+ / 0-)

            If you look at the history of the Catholic church in the US, it's a mixed bag.  Southern Catholic bishops threw their lot in with the confederacy shamelessly defending Slavery while clergy in free states often participated in the abolitionist movement.  Worldwide the Catholic Church's history on slavery is shameful but Popes in the 19th century had finally come around to the notion that slavery was indeed a very bad thing.

            But that said the tensions between European "ethnic" communities and African Americans remain.  The draft riots in NYC during the civil war pointed to an Irish community that wasn't' pro-slavery but didn't want to be forced to fight and was frustrated at competing for jobs with free blacks.

            •  Thanks for the info (10+ / 0-)

              I had never analyzed the Catholic church influence in the South before or after the Civil War.

              The Catholic church seems to still be struggling with their role;

              Catholicism and the Old South

              The Old South, Tate shows, had the only truly European civilization ever known in America. That is in the sense that it was a civilization rooted in its own soil. It was one that produced men who measured their success in life according to non-material standards, perhaps the chief of them being honor. It was an agricultural civilization, and a hierarchical one. That by itself was enough to make Pius or even most ordinary Catholics of the day sympathetic to the South. Certainly the Catholic Bishops of the South were sympathetic. There is no record of any failing to support the Confederacy. One of them, Bishop Patrick Lynch of Charleston, South Carolina, became President Davis’ envoy to Ven. Pope Pius IX.
              And this;

              Catholics in the South photo ScreenHunter_84Mar160920_zpsb05d56b6.jpg

              It seems to me that at best. as in the case of the Catholic church during the Nazi era and the Argentinean Dirty War, stood by during the Abolition movement and the Civil War.

              Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

              by Shockwave on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:24:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's as with many things nuanced (5+ / 0-)

                Notice I said the "clergy" up north being involved, not the bishops.  Catholic bishops gave lip service to the idea that slavery was wrong but did not involve themselves in the abolitionist movement as that was a "Protestant thing".  

                But Catholic Irish radical Daniel O’Connell did influence the US Abolitionist movment and it appears some Catholic communities in the mid-west were assisting runaway slaves, perhaps German Catholics felt differently the the large Irish Catholic communities in the east.

                It's like so many times before - the leadership is cowardly but amongst the rank and file there are some heroes.

          •  Yes living in the NE most of my life, what we see (21+ / 0-)

            and hear are whispers, people in a corner of a resturant or bar or at a party or picnic making racist statements in whispers and loud tones.  

            But the racists here in the northeast, I think, tend to be in deep denial because they work with a black guy, their neighbor is a black woman, their boss is a Latino, they play softball with a minority and go out for a beer.

            In the North, there is more of the ....

            I cannot be racist, I have a friend who is black.
            Syndrome going on..I see it a lot.

            That is very very common here in PA  for sure, saw it my whole life. It is not open, it is very covert, done in whispers.

            Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

            by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:26:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I grew up in the Northeast, (4+ / 0-)

              Where we had one -- literally, one -- African-American child in our entire elementary school.  Yes, there's racism in the North.

              "We *can* go back to the Dark Ages! The crust of learning and good manners and tolerance is so thin!" -- Sinclair Lewis

              by Nespolo on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:50:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  wierd we always had about 5 Black kids (0+ / 0-)

                in our classes. But I grew up in a suburb of a big city.

                Then again some Northeastern states only have about 5% African Americans in their populations. That is in fact one in 20 if you have a class of 20.

                I'm not arguing there is no racism in the North. Just that not having a lot of Black people may not necessarily mean that on its own. Perhaps you know more, something like your town kept Black people out.

                •  State vs county (0+ / 0-)

                  Sure, but the places where black people live in those states, white people send their kids to suburban schools with few blacks. Its standard operating procedure

                  There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

                  by slothlax on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:35:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I don't hear racist whispers very often (0+ / 0-)

              I think a handful in my entire adult life. But perhaps I am not sensitized to them. I also have lived in neighborhoods with very mixed ethnicities in the city.

              Once in a while I do hear a 'hintishly" negative comment about Black people in a backhand way. Such as comments about certain neighborhoods, for example. The last time I recall this was after the election in Nov...something was said hintishly about Obama by the owner of a diner I was talking to. I questioned him about it directly and watched him wiggle.

              Primarily it seems to me that less educated and older (older than 50) people might have that attitude.

              Among people older than 50 (and especially over 65) and especially less educated people I do see that "I'm not racist I have a Black friend" mentality. You pegged that one.

              I dont' see much racism in people under 40...do you find it has a generational skew?

          •  *nod* (9+ / 0-)

            Yup, as a white person who's lived exclusively in the North all my life (Connecticut, Iowa, Ohio) I hear this from black people pretty frequently: some variation on "in the South at least they're honest about it."

            Not to say that the North is more racist, or (depending on who you ask) that the sides are equal, but that Northern racism is a lot more likely to be subtle, implied, or deniable. A Northern white person is very unlikely to say the N-word, but they might make vague excuses for avoiding places where black people are. They won't overtly wish for re-segregation, but they might quietly move to a mostly-white outer suburb.

            I'm really saying, just because I'm in the North doesn't make me immune to racism.

          •  It's a struggle though to think how a racist (0+ / 0-)

            owner (Red Sox) is somehow associated with a city. At the same time that family owned the red Sox, another white guy owned the Celtics, who were the first team with an all-black starting 5, and the first with a black coach. neither really reflect the attitudes of the city of Boston (segregated and racist).

            There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

            by upstate NY on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:28:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I notice you use "reflect" in the present tense (1+ / 0-)
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              that Boston today is segregated and racist but tie it to all to the all white Red Sox decades ago as if they were in the same time frame.

              MA (greater Boston has 2/3rds the populaton of MA) elected the nations first Black Senator (since Reconstruction?) in the 1960s. MA also has the 3rd Black Governor in US history, currently And you mention the Celtics..

              So, it is complicated to say "boston today is segregated and racist" I think, in the way that it is MORE SO than other places.

              MA is also far behind in promoting women. We' have NEVER had a woman elected to be Governor OR Senator (until Elizabeth Warren). While CA has had 2 female SEnators for decades.
              I think one issue with MA/Boston is that things are slow to change. I am sure we are racist as well but not sure if we CURRENTLY are MORE racist than other cities

              •  I was in JP this week (0+ / 0-)

                It looks as segregated there as any northeastern city. Are you saying it's not?

                There are two kinds of people in this world. The kind who divide the world into two kinds of people, and the kind who don't.

                by upstate NY on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 04:12:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I'm in Boston too (0+ / 0-)

            born here and lived here most (not all) of my adult life.
            I don't notice people not getting up for Black people.

            One thing to Boston's credit. We (MA) had the first African American Senator since reconstruction, in the 1960s. 2/3 of the population of MA lives in "greater Boston", ie within about 25 miles of Boston.

            Because of busing Boston got tagged as a very racist place but its more complicated. People think that busing was only about race...it sure was ugly and a lot of racism surfaced but remember, these two neighborhoods of Whites (Charlestown and Southie) were poor and working class neighborhoods. They felt that the elite were forcing them to send their out of the neighborhood to WORSE schools. They did not think of the greater good and fairness...but most parents wouldn't if their kid was being forced to go to a worse school and forced into a 45 min busride to do that. (that the worse schools were in the Black areas is notable, however). The anger came out as racism in the classic way that poor Whites have stereotypically held it.

             I am not sure Boston is more racist than other Northern cities then but especially now, since busing was over a generation ago anyway. City of Boston overwhelmingly went for Brooks, IIRC, during his election. That was in the era of busing...in fact, a decade before.

            We haven't had a female Senator or an elected female Governor yet. There is someothing old fashioned or slow to change about Boston that goes beyond just race. (you spoke of integration of sports teams).

            I do agree there must be racism in Boston. I just can't compare it to other cities and using busing like many people do is sort of symplistic. Two neighborhoods of disempowered poor White people feeling forced against their will to put their kids in worse schools. They erupted with racism but I can't say that if we picked similar neighborhoods in other cities and did the same thing it would not result the same way in the 1970s, thought people surely would rather think that their citizens would not react that way. Racism was alive and doing well in our society back then even more than now.

      •  Well, I don't disagree with you as far as the (30+ / 0-)

        really disturbing data, but one thing that gets forgotten is that the South is not a monolith and has always had progressive Meccas. The other thing to keep in mind is that the South has a significantly higher percentage of AA's in its population than the rest of the country. And, in recent years, blacks have migrated back to the South in significant numbers. This isn't because they're stupid. I'm a white lady, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that black communities have been pushed out as Northern cities have gentrified. Racism is structural. If black communities aren't allowed to thrive in the North and elsewhere, and there are more deeply entrenched black communities in the South, then it's perfectly reasonable for many blacks to feel like they are living better lives in the South.

        Again, I'm a white lady, so I can only speak to what I've read and heard and seen and not to what I've experienced. But I don't buy it that blacks are naive to Southern racism. Southern racism isn't that subtle. Neither, however, are the stop and frisk policies in NYC. It is certainly possible that day to day harassment is worse in Northern cities than in the South, even as the South is horrifically racist on other fronts.

        •  Yes my sister says the same thing, living in the (8+ / 0-)

          south for 30 yrs but growing up in the north.  She says part of the problem is some of the southern whites she knows cannot get past the civil right and live in the past.
          She says racism is more overt and she is outspoken against it.  She says her suburban Atlanta is very multicultural and diverse and she is a white teacher at a school where most of the staff is African American or Lation and the student body represents 30 different ethnic groups.

          She wants to retire back here in PA but we both say she will miss the diversity of the town where she currently lives in Georgia because it is so multicultural and 60 pct African American. The key administrators are black as are most of the top students receiving academic scholarships.

          Interestingly it is the Afrcian American teachers who hold the doctoral degrees and the African American parents who are professors, doctors, lawyers more so than the white parents.

          She only wants to retire in the north because I am her closest living relative , now that our parents and a good bit of our family are deceased. But I told her she will encounter covert racism and denial of racism here..she says it is more overt in other suburbs of Atlanta and she finds that easier to confront and tell off people than when it is covert.

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          by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:32:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have lived and worked a lot of different places, (15+ / 0-)

        talked to a lot of different people. I was born in Missouri, grew up in New England, did my first year of college in Minnesota driving back and forth from Boston or taking a bus. I served my basic in Fort Polk and my AIT at Fort Sill. Its amazing the conversations you have with people who hear a different accent in your voice.

        My sense is that everywhere I have ever been wildly different people from extremely different upbringings have been carefully taught to hate.

        Over the years I have visited my share of construction sites, offices, boardrooms, cad pits, prisons, boatyards, small isolated fishing communities, large urban medical campuses and both farming communities and industrial facilities that depend of foreign workers for their survival

        I have lived among a lot of different people speaking a lot of different languages.

        I'm pretty sure that hatred for minorities exists everywhere and includes negative attitudes not only toward blacks, latinos, and native americans, but also toward anybody who isn't us.

        In the third world a couple of millenia worth of hospitality toward strangers has evolved overnight from poking fun at the clumsy social skills of the arrogant ugly americans, western tourists, journalists or foreign workers to shooting them on sight.

        Labeling the rich as 1%er's is a bit of framing that seems to have found an available niche to expand into

        I have talked to people I met while hitching rides on jet trainers, riding freights on the Seaboard line, hitchhiking across the gulf coast driving across the plains, vacationed in the Bahamas, exploring burial mounds in Bahrain and souks in Khamis Mushat; waiting for travel  connections on wharfs and in bus terminals, airports, train stations,  jeepnee and truck parks and every kind of bar you can imagine. They all think there is some group the world would be better off without.

        I have talked to people with whom I played golf, shot pool, played bridge, gone fishing, worked my ass off; the hatred  is not thinly disguised or limited to racism. The polarization between Republicans and Democrats isn't about tax policies.

        There is hatred out there for catholics, protestants and jews as well as muslims, wiccans, moonies and atheists.
        Mainers hate the summer complaints, In South Boston they hate the Wops, In the North End they hate the Mics.

        In Brownsville they may cross the border to eat lunch in Matamoros but not be happy about people from Matamoros crossing the border to eat lunch in Brownsville.

        Its one thing to put a casino on an indian reservation, another to put a mine or a pipeline on one. The same attitudes and values apply to people living in tribal areas in Cape Cod, Phoenix,, Kabul, Ab Ha, Hawtah, Libya, Cuba, Venezualia, Somalia, Yemen or Searsport.

        What do you say to people who think only now with the technological advance of rapid global communications is the hatred beginning to get pointed in the right direction, toward you?

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:52:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, MLK Jr. said it also (3+ / 0-)
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        .. his worst times in many ways were in Chicago and Detroit. Check out murder-by-cop in Oakland and LA. I think it's just that racism is more institutionalized and overt in places in the south, but it's still insidious elsewhere.

        If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

        by rhetoricus on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:23:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  They just say that to make themselves feel better (1+ / 0-)
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        greengemini

        Some people cheer their home state the way they cheer a home sports team.  Nevermind that they didn't choose where they were born, they have some weird pride in their place of habitation because THEY inhabit it.  See, because THEY live there, well, it must be a wonderful place!  And don't you point out any shortcomings, especially if they're true.  Southerners don't care if you say they have bad food, or if you complain about them having cold weather, because those things aren't true.  Complain about the racism, and suddenly they whip out the trope about there being racists EVERYWHERE, yes even in San Francisco there are racists so you see SF is the same as the deep south.  Don't paint with that broad brush, you damn yankee!

        I hail from a shithole named MI.  A redneck state packed with rubes who consistently vote against their own interests.  Do I care if anyone points that out?  Of course not.  But it helps that in the civil war era cemetaries here in MI, the gravestones mark those who fought for the free union.  I suppose if my ancestors where a bunch of rapist slavers, I might be overcompensating as well.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:28:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've Never Seen this Argument (11+ / 0-)
        Every time there's a conversation about this online, you get people who say that they don't know why people think that the South is racist, and that the North (including the Pacific Northwest and California) are much more racist now. It's usually someone who identifies himself as black saying that.
        I've never seen anyone Black here at Daily Kos or similar sites say that they don't know why people think that the aSout is racist and [non-Southern regions of the US] are "much more racist now."  

        All of us know the South is racist.  Whether from personal experiences or the experiences of our family and friends.

        What we have also said, however, repeatedly, is that the North, East and West are just as racist.  Usually this has to be pointed out whenever someone comes in South bashing (often, here) and trying to make it appear that racism is a southern problem instead of an American problem.  We have also said that, unlike the South, in the rest of the country there is a lot of "polite" racism, where white folks front when they are around people of color but when you get them all alone the truth comes out. And said, that if you go by how we're actually treated, some of us can understand what some of the old folks have said, which is at least in the south you know where you stand so it's easier to deal with it.

        In other words, you completely missed the nuance in what you read.   Happens a lot in discussions of racism, but I wanted to make sure you understood.

        To the extent that I've ever heard something close to the argument you said was made (i.e. other places are far worse) that argument has been made only by whites being defensive.  (As defensive as those not from the south are about their regions and their racism-free claims.)

        •  let us please underscore this: (4+ / 0-)
          ...and trying to make it appear that racism is a southern problem instead of an American problem
          This seems, always to be key.  People want to locate racism in one region and pass on the ownership in that way.

          If you want to truly address racism, that kind of region-bashing isn't going to work.  But it will help to make you feel superior.

          I suppose it depends upon your true goals.

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 01:21:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've seen the argument that the North is worse (0+ / 0-)

          than the south now, before. But not that often.

          More often I see the argument that the North is equally as racist it's just more overt in the South. I think sometimes during those converstations so much data is given, ie examples, of Northern racism (trying to convince progressive Northern Whites that it's bad up here too) that people leave feeling that the Black person commenting is arguing that racism is worse in the North than in the South. The person may have expended more effort to illustrate Northern racism in the converstation.

      •  You want some numbers: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samanthab, unclebucky

        How about these numbers?

        Unless you count SPLC has just more black people whose personal experiences you aren't supposedly going to deny, then you have some data before you. Voter suppression laws are just one measure. I would also submit to you that it isn't just African-Americans, but all people of color ans well as sexual minorities who have had these experiences.

        I look at the SPLC's map and am shocked to find that the state with the most active hate groups, isn't in the South. I also find it interesting that Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi have a few less hate groups than New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

        While there are a number of ways to look at their data, my point isn't who has more or less. My point is that there doesn't appear to be any state or region that can claim superiority when it comes to hate. I think people should be more circumspect when talking about the subject.

        "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

        by sebastianguy99 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:46:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep, I think the most SouthernIST state... (0+ / 0-)

          of the North is Michigan. Maybe parts of other states, too.

          In Michigan, Detroit is resented by the rest of the state, it seems. Perhaps that's because the car industry attracted cheap labour which supplanted some other people, I dunno.

          But clearly, the good ol' boys are thick up there, and you wanna be careful of espousing any Progressive or diversity-friendly opinions there.

          :)

          Ugh. --UB.

          "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of East Somalia!"

          by unclebucky on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 04:01:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I am surprised by the acceptance of it (29+ / 0-)

      That the racism could be so overt in front of relative strangers.

      Maybe they assume they are among like minded or don't give a shit about the weaklings who don't like it.
      Actually I have seen some of it iun other places too... if they see you are white they assume it is safe to say something racist in front of you.

      I think of my friend who went to a reunion of friends in S Carolina recently. They's known each otjher for decades, sang together, loved each other...
      One of his beloved friends after a few drinks couldn't stop talking about the horror of having a n***er in the White House, "No offense" he'd mutter at my friend (who is black)

      He was stunned. Other friends there blamed the drinking  but my friend could only blame that for the saying it part, not the feeling it part. Most of the group of friends were republican and they just didn't talk politics anymore. All were white. He had never wondered about their connection before and has a new wariness.
      He said they were raised that way... but didn't know they stayed that way or reverted with age

      I guess if you need someone to feel better than it is easier if you can identify them by a visible marker like skin color.

    •  Visiting potential in-laws in SC (17+ / 0-)

      My girlfriend's grandmother joined us for dinner.
      After listening to me for a while, she asked:
      "Are you a nigger-lover, boy?"

      Nope, I'm not shocked.

      "If you don't use your majorities, you lose your majorities."

      by SteinL on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:13:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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