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Racism at CPAC.

I'm not. And it's time for your shock to subside, too. There's a reason that people like this guy make complete fools of themselves in public. I'll tell you why, because I grew up with it.

I'm not sure if he's said it publicly, but in my correspondence with Tim Wise, he's noted that sometimes it's us, the white, liberal southern guys, who wind up with the largest cache of recognition for both blatant and not-so-blatant racism. And if he's right, it's because we've made it through decades of experiences that make displays at CPAC look like a meeting of Social Acceptance Club.

So you want to know why people like that guy exist? It's because his mindset is taught, enforced, reinforced, and bolstered in social institutions throughout the South. This sort of insidious hatred may be commonplace elsewhere, but I'll speak only of the area with which I'm most familiar.

A couple of years ago, I attended a church service at a large, well-attended Presbyterian church in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina. I was there with my girlfriend, and this being at the height of my personal theological exploration, I was highly skeptical of what I might hear. I'd been engaged in an intellectual struggle that many people that age tangle with - to God or not to God? I expected my disgust or distaste to center on comments made by the pastor on what theological item or another.

Then the children's sermon happened. All kids aged eight or younger were invited to the front of the church. A man who identified himself as an associate pastor began to speak. His words were aimed at the malleable kids, but they were loud enough for all to hear. He explained that this church was a pioneering institution in a city where slaves were openly traded on the streets. I knew better than to think I was about to hear some story of inspiration, though.

Rather, he went on to describe that church's role in the slavery movement. His characterization of the church made it sound so pure, until his details gave away the game. The church loathed slavery so much that it had donated its bell to the Confederacy so that they could make cannonballs. Imagine that sort of resolve? Wanting to do away with slavery so much that you volunteer to produce the very artillery designed to keep people in bondage.

He went on to describe the church's founder, who, according to that esteemed minister, was a model citizen. I began to think about the possibilities. Could it be? Was I sitting in the church started by a brave man who fought the slave machine in the hideous streets of beautiful Charleston? As it turned out, this particular church founder had actually owned slaves. But he was one of the good guys. I heard the clincher shortly there after.

Yes, kids, he did own slaves. But he made sure they were treated well.
My face dropped in noticeable disgust, and I let out an audible sound somewhere between a "huh" and a sigh. The little heads at the front of the church nodded. And there wasn't any noticeable outrage in the pews. Just another day at the office in racist South Carolina.

A few years before that, my sister was getting married in a beautiful church a hundred miles up the South Carolina coast. It was Belin Methodist, a setting more known for its startling inlet views than its theology. The officiator of the wedding paused during the rehearsal, as he decided to provide a history lesson on a man named John Belin. That man, as you might guess, founded the church. In front of about a hundred people, this associate pastor told the story of John Belin, and it went something like this:

John Belin was a good man. He owned slaves...(pause)...but he treated them well.
It's a fiction often repeated in homes, schools, and churches across states like South Carolina. The notion that you can rip a person from his home, drag him across the ocean, and put him into forced labor, but if you give him food and a roof, you're treating him well. The notion that a man can be treated well while having his basic dignity and humanity violated is both absurd and disgusting. But it's a routine opinion where I'm from.

After all, who wouldn't want to live under the hand of vile racists? The opinion is often buttressed by claims that "we" did "them" a favor by bringing them to the United States. Some things stay with you. I can still remember the first time I heard a classmate, aged seven, tell my teacher that she was wrong, and that the Civil War was really the War of Northern Aggression. I can still remember too clearly the words of an elementary school classmate who opined in class that we had actually helped those people by giving them a free ride to America.

You don't have to be a child psychologist to know that children don't come to these sorts of opinions on their own. Those opinions are pounded into them at home, where dads tell jokes about starving a black man by hiding his food stamps in his work boots. They're reinforced in Sunday school classes, where otherwise respected "teachers" tell kids that the Christian thing to do was to treat your slave well. After all, those were the times.

It's a historical fiction repeated often in conversations about the country's founding. Confront one of these racists about why the country should rely upon the moral opinions of men who thought it was alright to own other men, and you'll be corrected quickly. Those founders might have owned people and exploited those people for economic gain, but they didn't like it.

Is it any surprise that gains in racial equality have been slowed and stifled over the last few years? In our communities - homes, churches, schools - across a large chunk of the country, many kids are taught to not even be ashamed of the racist slave heritage. If we can't get these people to admit that slavery is an abhorrent stain on the legacy of this country, do we have any chance of convincing them that disproportionate arrest and prosecution rates are another form of Jim Crow? How can we convince a South Carolina state legislature that passing voter ID laws to disenfranchise black voters is wrong when they're not even convinced that slavery was all that bad? You know, as long as you treated your slave well, it wasn't all that bad. And as long as there's a line - even if it's 10 hours long - in which a person can vote, it isn't all that bad, right?

People like this very small man at CPAC do not surprise. In fact, they are the norm in places all over the South, where overt racism does not even earn a person status as a social pariah. I played golf with a person - a friend of a friend - over Christmas who stated his opinion that he might try to cheat on his taxes this year, because, you know, 99% of niggers do it.

Right there, in my cart, I was left a bit shocked, and more than that, wondering how in the world I was involved in a golf foursome with a person who thinks it's fine to characterize an entire race of people as dishonest while using the most hideous word in the language.

But there I was, reading putts with him, a guy who undoubtedly learned in elementary school that slavery was just "a way of life during that time." I realized quite quickly that his mindset wasn't the outlier. In fact, it might have been the default in some of the backward towns across the Confederate South.

When you see the people like the man at CPAC, don't be surprised. Realize that this is what we're up against, and the liberty of all people depends upon our ability to ensure that these mindsets are not institutionalized in the laws of either our nation or our states.

Originally posted to Coby DuBose on Criminal Injustice, Race, and Poverty on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community and Barriers and Bridges.

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

    by Grizzard on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:48:56 PM PDT

    •  Reminds me of when I had to get Mom out of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, historys mysteries

      denial that her dad was indeed an alcoholic when she said he only got falling down drunk and abusive on weekends and he did not drink on Christmas. She finally saw the light and came out of that denial.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:49:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As I have extended family (37+ / 0-)

    not even in the deep south but in the Baltimore area and know that many of them are raving racists -- I am never shocked by what Republicans think or say -- no matter their age.

    What does shock me is how incredibly stupid they are about the concept of YouTube.  I always have a sick feeling when I hear my voice played back -- e.g. conducting a deposition or presenting an appeal.  I'm not saying stupid things but I still feel sort of off.

    I do wonder what truly ignorant racists think when they see themselves on a viral video.  I know they still believe their shite but do they hear how utterly out of tune they sound?

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:05:17 PM PDT

    •  I could be speaking uncontrovertible truth (22+ / 0-)

      And I would still feel awkward hearing myself on Youtube.

      I tend to think the exceptional lack of self-awareness that leads someone to have these opinions would also lead one to total unawareness about how they come off speaking the opinions.

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

      by Grizzard on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:07:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are correct (7+ / 0-)

        and, oddly enough, while I understand racists since I know so many -- I can't comprehend the lack of awareness on video or audio.  Deeply disturbing ignorance.

        " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:10:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have started to do something as I get older (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          side pocket, Shotput8, Outraged Mom

          and like I have often said, since my parents..if I even hear a whiff of racism, that person is out of my life.

          I got lucky as my parents advocated for civil rights but not so with some of their relatives and even some friends of theirs. We found out their friends were people they tried to help, enlighten and reach out to.. I found that out after they died.

          So I started saying Life is too short to tolerate haters in my life and in my circle and in my world. I understand those who cannot or do not want to do that but I had to.  I am stronger emotionally and physically and it is better for my health.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:58:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think that they watch those videos of themselves (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RockyMtnLib

        with their own friends and families and therefore have their attitudes reinforced.

        "Only a Vulcan mind meld will help with this congress." Leonard Nimoy, 3/1/13

        by nzanne on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:57:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is so significant; self-awareness goes hand (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RockyMtnLib

        in hand with a more embracing, big-picture outlook that is almost always progressive.  It is possible to hold progressive views & not be all that self-aware, but it's very hard to become highly self-aware & remain conservative.

        Sometimes I can't believe it; I'm movin' past the feelin'...

        by Leftcandid on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:04:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  After my parents died, my sister and I have (4+ / 0-)

      started to avoid and basically end our relationships with family members who are bigots, racist, mean spirited.
      It got easier as we found once my mom died, most of her family began to ignore us anyway. It was like they loved their aunt and uncle, sister and brother but forgot their deceased ones had children. There has always been some jealousy because we have college degrees and some fear of us because we are outspoken.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:56:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's exactly how it is (0+ / 0-)

        with most of my extended family.  My dad was an only child & his father died only six months before he did, so it was harder to keep in touch with mostly much-older relatives.  My mom died twelve years ago and other than my youngest aunt & her husband, who moved to my city a few years after Mom died, I have very little contact with most of the family... all but one of my first cousins friended me on Facebook, and I send birthday cards & Christmas presents to my grandmother, but that's it.  Haven't heard a word from most aunts & uncles since right after Mom's death, and the one uncle I did speak to occasionally defriended all of us the day after the election (that was more ridiculous than upsetting).

        Over the years I've wanted to needle most of them by pointing out that I know plenty of whites who really would be better off as sharecroppers than clinging to their federally-funded jobs, but I guess it's just as well I don't have the chance ;)

        "Conservative principles" are marketing props used by the Conservative Movement to achieve political power, not actual beliefs. -Glenn Greenwald

        by latts on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 02:56:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's like defending child molestation. (36+ / 0-)

    "Sure, he kidnapped the kid and maybe raped him a few times, but he had a roof over his head, had food, and I'm sure the guy actually did love him."

    I'm the son of a pastor, was raised in a semi-conservative home (although surprisingly my mom is more conservative than my dad), and live in rural Virginia.  Racism is so rampant here.  Invite a black person to a white church around here and see what happens.  (They'll make sure you know that your friend is not welcome in their church.)  The towns are still segregated often, too!  In my town, the blacks live on one side of the railroad tracks, the whites on the other.  Lots of people belong to the Sons of Confederate Veterans or whatever they're called as well.  (I think it may be a front for the KKK, as they tend to be quite racist when they converse with you and think that you're conservative too.)

  •  I have a hard time believing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic

    that is a majority viewpoint, even in the south,  but if it is, it won't be for long.  Racial attitudes have and are quickly changing in the South.

    OTOH, there is nothing wrong with judging people throughout history in party through the prism of the time they lived in.  Washington and Jefferson both owned slaves, but even many liberals, including those of color, have much respect for these men.

    •  I don't disagree with your last point (53+ / 0-)

      But there's a difference that I think is important. I'm talking about looking to those people for guidance on how we should live/govern TODAY.

      If the conversation shifts to, "But the founding fathers wouldn't have liked this...(insert social issue)," I have to note that, well, perhaps we've evolved enough in our thinking that we shouldn't be looking to people who owned slaves on issues of how to treat gay people?

      There's no reason to demonize a person from the 1700s for owning slaves. There's, at the same time, no reason to act as if 1700 was a time of great American values. The beauty of America is its ability to change and evolve.

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

      by Grizzard on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:10:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No disagreement there. (12+ / 0-)

        I see it as a huge moral failing, mostly due to greed.  It also humbles me; I wonder what people will think of us 200 years from no.

        •  Poorly, I hope (6+ / 0-)

          I hope that in 200 years they look back at this page in history and think of it as still the Dark Ages of Morality.  And that no human difference of any consequence--as most surface differences are of no consequence--matters any longer.

          Or that technology has come so far that, like Varley's writing, we switch genders and everything else on a whim and who the person is and what they do matters, not what they look like.

          (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

          by Lonely Liberal in PA on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:28:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In the culture of obedience, it is not immoral (7+ / 0-)

          to hate those who don't obey. Obedience is a virtue. When it is the first and only commandment, doing what one is told is not only good, but whatever has been done cannot be wrong. The right is doing what one is told and doing what one is told is right. There is no doubt. There is also no arguing with that.

          Remember how situational ethics used to be decried? That would involve judging the morality of an act by its results. The culture of obedience wants nothing to do with that. Intent is the only thing that counts and intent depends on obedience. When the cause is obedience, then the result has no significance.

          Want an example? Dubya intended to bring democracy to Iraq. That hundreds of thousands ended up maimed and/or dead has no significance. Dubya was on a mission from a higher power and all those who obeyed his orders did good. If they were horrified by the actions they carried out, that's a sacrifice which civilians are supposed to honor and are wrong not to share. Indeed, the reluctance to share in the sacrifice that the culture of obedience demands justifies resentment.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:21:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  you are correct. (14+ / 0-)

        Racism is horrible and living in the middle of it makes one hate it more.  That war is not over.  The Civil War.
        The south for the most part want their slaves back and they really believe that black is a second class person.
        The don't believe in equal rights.. ( not the older ones) and they will never change.   Not without some divine intervention IMO.   See, they treat pets and other creatures kinder than they do the color black,  They don't have much use for Northerners either.  The Union took away their magnolias and dreams of having a slave serve you and what ever goes along with service,  They see AA as pets and not even human.  I am not shocked at Mississippi or Alabama or any of this language and attitude.. I was raised around it.   I have even seen KKK cross meeting.  I think our neighbor took us to a rally.
        I apologize for those type of hateful people.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:34:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I used to read student essays (15+ / 0-)

          from Virginia and Maryland as part of my job.

          I came across one that was all about what would have happened if Robert E. Lee had been the victor in, as this student called it, the War of Northern Aggression.

          It was quite scary, to the point I showed it to my supervisor. She read it, and told me not to worry about it because she had seen much worse, and she wasn't going to get into the dangerous place of telling a Southerner that they lost the war and they should get over it. She was just happy the kid had done the assignment.

          Other Virginia teachers told me that they don't want to be teaching all this modern stuff. (That's what they called it!)  They said their students don't talk that way, their parents don't think that way, and they weren't going to put their jobs in danger by teaching "controversial" ideas. I grew up in Maryland, and we never learned any alternate histories of our state or our country.

          It made me wonder what people in Virginia are teaching their children about the history of that era. It seems very skewed toward a hateful, ignorant view of anyone who dared change their comfortable antebellum ways.

          "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

          by Brooke In Seattle on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:30:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  speaking of alternative history (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, Black Max, Cassandra Waites

            The movie CSA (2005) is an excellent view of "if the South had won the war":

            Set in an contemporary alternative world where the Confederate States of America managed to win the American Civil War, a British film documentary examines the history of this nation. Beginning with its conquest of the northern states, the film covers the history of this state where racial enslavement became triumphant and the nation carried sinister designs of conquest. Interspersed throughout are various TV commercials of products of a virulent racist nature as well as public service announcements promoting this tyranny. Only at the end do you learn that there is less wholly imagined material in the film than you might suspect.
            http://www.imdb.com/...

            I did skim over how the CSA would have dealt with WWII.  The idea that the Nazi Luftwaffe would be parking their planes in North Carolina was not broached.

          •  Chocolate mints on slave ship pillows? (0+ / 0-)

            How far will the creative re-writing of history go? Will we next be hearing about the luxury accommodations of those 'lucky' newly enslaved Africans as they were being transported to their new life in Dixie?

            http://www.awesomestories.com/...
        •  My sister says AL, MS are far worse than Georgia (0+ / 0-)

          from the stories she hears from both her black and white colleagues..who tell horror stories of being raised there or having just moved from there to suburban Atlanta.  Granted, there are parts of Georgia that are very racist. But then again, sister says it is easier to confront most southern racists because they are quite overt and proud of it. But confronting it in the north where she sees it is tougher as the people are in such denial and it is a whisper thing in the north.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:07:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Neither MS or AL have (0+ / 0-)

            any cities or universities that are really impressive-- Millsaps College in MS is pretty good and Birmingham's reasonably pleasant, but that's mostly it.  Well, Alabama has part of NASA, so thank the feds for that.

            (Note: I'm originally from MS and my SO is from AL; he has family near Atlanta.)

            Atlanta's a pretty major city, although the suburbs are dominated by what I think of as the most annoying type of conservatism-- wanting the amenities, higher income, & generally cosmopolitan feel of a city while being too chicken to actually live in one.  I imagine backwoods Georgia's about on a par with similar areas elsewhere in the deep south.

            "Conservative principles" are marketing props used by the Conservative Movement to achieve political power, not actual beliefs. -Glenn Greenwald

            by latts on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:06:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  . (5+ / 0-)

        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.
        The Founding Fathers do not have authority over us.

        liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

        by RockyMtnLib on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:02:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the Founding Fathers do not have authority over us (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          There is no reason why this country must be anything other than what we want it to be.

          I think it's important to pull the Founders down off their pedestal.  There's so much more to be learned about them, about what they created, and about where we need to go by dropping the myth of selfless visionaries and cardboard archetypes and instead deal with them as who they really were: mostly wealthy men of their time with agendas.  A lot of them were straight-up romantics who were trying to re-create their own myth: the myth of the Roman Republic as some paragon of civic virtue - when in reality it was an ossified oligarchy and an empire in denial that died in the throes of civil war between elites and populists.  A lot of them were conservatives who utterly failed to anticipate even self-evident social and economic change: thinking and even hoping that we'd remain an agrarian backwater forever.

    •  Racial attitudes..are quickly changing in the S.? (7+ / 0-)

      It's now 2013, which means they haven't quickly changed...if at all.

      Republicans...What a nice club...of liars, cheaters, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses. Der Spiegel -6.62, -6.92

      by CanyonWren on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:22:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mostly the urban South -- and in part because a (10+ / 0-)

        whole bunch of educated Southerners and Yankees are settling there. Step outside the city borders and you're in the belly of the beast, from what I've seen. One wonders if Lincoln had lived to oversee Reconstruction if the old South might not have turned out to be as much of a historical anachronism as it has.

        Either way, writing's on the wall. Just have to wait 'em out, with any luck...

        "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by Kombema on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:32:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right after finishing her Psychiatry residency, a (21+ / 0-)

          friend moved to a town 40 miles outside of Charlotte to satisfy a public health service obligation.  Most of her patients were court ordered into therapy for anger and violence issues.  Well the deep mind and soul probing wore the young doc down and she marked of the weeks and months until she could escape.

          After her last afternoon appointment on her last day at the rural clinic, she hopped into her already packed car and drove straight to Charlotte.  She has lived and practiced there for the last dozen years.  She says that racism and misogyny exists in many of her city patients too, but in the rural area she was in, it was a visceral all-encompasing hatred, with the added bonus of people feeling it was perfectly reasonable to use violence to express their hatred.

          Her opinion is that racism and misogyny cannot be easily fixed since most who hold such attitudes don't want to be fixed.  The only solution is to get to the children, and try to educate them, and the old haters  will have to die out.

          •  Yes, but the old haters (8+ / 0-)

            are often teaching their children what THEY want them to be taught, passing that hatred and ignorance on to yet another generation.

            "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

            by Brooke In Seattle on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:33:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's true, but as we see from the polling of (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CanyonWren, Cassandra Waites

              young people, only some it is sticking. Just have to wait for the old bigots to die off, and socialize the kids who are not completely propagandized by the Jesus Camp white supremacist mentality.

              "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

              by Kombema on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:33:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes that is the frightening aspect of it, Brooke (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CanyonWren, Cassandra Waites

              I so agree. My son thinks one of the answers is that the kids leave home shortly after high school for the military or college or a job out of state.. ..so they can see people and ideas different from them.

              Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

              by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:12:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Of course the haters try to teach their progeny to (0+ / 0-)

              hate, just as the tolerant try to teach their kids to be tolerant.  

              I grew up in a union, democratic household, and while we rarely invited other kids to our church (only if their families were members too) I would get invited by other kids and their parents to fundy-style religious services and bible studies all of the time.  It would irritate my mom to no end!

              So yes, the conservative whacks will try to hold onto their own, and even recruit others, but as the last election shows, the younger generations are way more tolerant and open minded than their parents and grandparents.  I think this is what is behind the fundy homeschooling trend and attempts to take over local school boards.  

              On an individual level, we can make sure that we make time for the kids, teens, and young adults in our lives, to give those drowning in the hate of a wacko family that there is another point of view.  That is something we can all do.

        •  Yes transplants to the southern urban and suburban (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CanyonWren

          regions has been a positive thing  overall, depending on who the transplants are. I think it is has worsened things in places like AZ or when some of the older, conservative , more bigoted people move south.  

          But for the most part, the northern translants to the urban south like Atlanta has been a good thing. My sister says many of her friends are not natives of GA but from NJ, NY, PA . We saw that a lot especially 2o and 30 yrs ago..a ton of our friends and classmates moving south for jobs after the steel industry and mining industry and other jobs in PA went belly up.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:10:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  are they? (6+ / 0-)
      Racial attitudes have and are quickly changing in the South.
      not convinced - at least not in parts of the South.

      Obama lost votes because of his skin color in various southern counties.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:41:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It depends where in the south, as for instance, (0+ / 0-)

      my sister has spent 30 yrs teaching at a high school that is very diverse and so is her town. The majority of people who have doctoral degrees are African American and the highest incomes in her area are minorities. She is white but much beloved in a school where there are 33 different ethnic groups represented and where most of her students are either African American or Arabic or Hispanic.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:03:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you have a hard time believing that? (0+ / 0-)

      Look at who is being elected in the South, what they are saying and how these politicians are working to make life harder for the poor, minorities and women.  I am guessing it has been a while since you have been in the South or at least the South outside the metropolitan areas.

      The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

      by Do Something on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:12:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jefferson was thoroughly corrupt (0+ / 0-)

      in his ownership of slaves. He figured out that their value had a "natural increase" of 4% per year and boasted of it. After he was President he received a large bequest from a friend to buy some of his slaves who would be able to make lives for themselves, provision and transport them west to live in freedom. The considerable  remainder would be his to keep.

      Jefferson turned it down.

       Washington at least freed his slaves at his death.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:08:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a test (20+ / 0-)

    1. Go into a Burger King or Hardee's or Shoney's somewhere in the South (I did it in North Carolina). Order a meal and sit at a table fairly central.

    2. Dawdle over your meal; this may take 30 minutes or more.

    3. Watch the tables with 2 or more white folks.

    Sooner or later, you'll see someone (a) lean forward, (b) look over his/her left shoulder, (c) throw a quick glance over the right shoulder, and (d) say something in a very low voice.

    What will you bet the word 'nigger' was in that sentence?

    Happened to me with my cousins and I've seen it many times - and I'm not from there and not close to them in any way.

    It's how it is.

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:36:54 PM PDT

    •  I've been told this, basically, as well (9+ / 0-)

      In some places it's assumed the average White person has those attitudes so as long as no Black people are around those attitudes can be openly expressed.
      Friend from Tx relates how in neighborhood gatherings in small circles the N word would be used freely.No Black neighbors I assume.

      •  In some places, "public" is a euphemism for (5+ / 0-)

        people who should be kept out and "gated communities" with homeowner associations are the descendants of segregation via deed restrictions.
        The enforcers of residential segregation? Real estate agents. They are the gate keepers.

        Somehow, being exclusive makes people feel good.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:03:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it was like that with one realtor in the town I (0+ / 0-)

          grew up with in the Northeast. 40 years ago.

          There were two other realtors and some Black people in our neighborhood so clearly the racist realtor didn't get all the business.

          I found this out when I sold my parent's house about 10 yrs ago. Woman in her 70s, old neighbor of us/my parents, pointed me to her so called "right" realtor.

          I was gratified when I sold to a minority family.

    •  Five years ago my uncles (3+ / 0-)

      visited here in the Denver area while my dad underwent surgery. One uncle lives in an Indianapolis suburb and the other lives in the Dallas area (both grew up in Dallas).

      While sitting down for lunch in the cafeteria somehow the subject of hospital workers came up. My uncle who still lives in the Dallas area looked to make sure no non-white was within earshot then made his disparaging comment about "those Mexican workers".

      He's also the type of guy that, if you contradict him in any way, especially if you're younger, will jump your shit right there and then.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:48:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep, almost guareenteed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      Usually a little more subtle than that.  Like the conversation I overheard in an antique store in Charleston last week between two older gentlemen.  They were talking about their past, their time in the Navy, people they knew from the same region in Georgia where they grew up and then one of them looked at the other and started on about how the government was giving his hard earned money away to the lazy and the other one said "don't even get me started".  Nuff said.

      The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

      by Do Something on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:20:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Having also grown up in the South your point is (18+ / 0-)

    very well taken.  It is one of my frustrations when I hear complaints about the failure to enact more progressive legislation more quickly.  I've seen and talked to those southern democrats and they aren't anywhere near what we think the Democratic Party should be.  In the last few elections it's been increasingly clear that those "democrats" are now more comfortable voting for Republicans.  But still, there is a terrible racism in this country.  It is clearly more easily noticed in the South.  But the treatment of this President has made it so very clear that it is everywhere at all times.  

    "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

    by stellaluna on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:38:55 PM PDT

  •  I think I've got the way to shut that argument up: (32+ / 0-)

    "They treated them well?  Really?  Were they treated well enough that YOU would like to be treated that way?"

    OR

    "They treated them well?  Really? Were they paid?  Could they move freely?  Were they taught to read and write?"

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 09:40:14 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, that was my thought too (10+ / 0-)

      I'd certainly go up to the pastor after the service and ask him why he felt the need to mention that the founder "treated his slaves well".

      I'd ask him how he'd like it if he were kept in a place where he was not free to travel, with somebody else controlling everything he did in his life. If he'd like it working for nothing except food and not so great shelter, with no chance in making his life better or that of his children? But he'd be treated "well", so what's not to like?

      Hey, you keep your lawnmower gassed up, and if you "treat it well", you clean it out regularly and change the oil every Spring. You do that to keep it working reliably, but that doesn't mean you consider it to be a human being.

      It's clear to see where this Southern disrespect of our President comes from - it's origin is not hidden very deep. Excellent diary.

      "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

      by orrg1 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:30:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A pastor is a person who has subordinated (9+ / 0-)

        him/herself to an institution. Obedience is a virtue. What is probably not readily apparent is that there is a big difference between choosing to be obedient and being coerced. The use of force to coerce "good" behavior tends to go unrecognized.

        Germans have a common saying, roughly translated as, "if you aren't willing, then I will have to use force." You see how the potential victim of coercion is not only given a choice, but implicitly made responsible for the use of force, a negative.
        Why is this shifting of responsibility from the perpetrator to the victim accepted?  I think pride is to blame. The victim prefers accepting blame to feeling helpless. Being obedient then satisfies the illusion of being in charge -- the commander of one's own soul. It's an insidious strategy, but it does explain how the culture of obedience rules.

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:56:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes I know how I am and like my dad said, (0+ / 0-)

        Cheryl likes to steer things up....LOL..( he was from the south but a civil rights activist )..but I would tell him...

        Dad you taught me silence means consent, you taught me steer things up.  

        He would laugh and say, Yes.

        But I am the type who would either try to confront the pastor after the service but more likely call him the next day at the church office or write or email him but probably call and confront. As after a service, sometimes hard to get a pastor alone as their job after service is to greet everybody and go through a receiving line per se quickly.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:16:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  it's just southern hopitality... (12+ / 0-)
    It's because his mindset is taught, enforced, reinforced, and bolstered in social institutions throughout the South
    .

      i've only been living down south for 6-7 months, but the racism and bigotry is palpable.............wtf

    •  I have never lived in the South (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica

      I have wondered if I could.

      I am curious about your experience as someone who just moved there, specially about racism.

      Can you elaborate in a diary?

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

      by Shockwave on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:35:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i'm sure i could but i don't think i'd be believed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Shockwave

        you see i am born and raised catholic from the burbs of Chicago (birthed at a Catholic Hospital too)

        i had a very liberal upbringing (both parents big D Democrats - and my mother was an elected official in the town where i grew up)

        i moved south to Arkansas at the ripe old age of 56, into a small town with a population of 2000 (my first and only move ever away from my hometown)

        culture shock does not begin to describe how alien i find the enviroment in which i am living

        i have limited my contact with locals as i found them to be very intimidating (always talking guns or religion)

        maybe i should start a journal..............

  •  "Excuse me, I find that word offensive." (61+ / 0-)

    Or drop a "Jeezusfuckingchrist, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard!" on your golf partner's ass next time.

    There are so many ways you can address these bigots when they get too comfortable and spew their racist crap in front of you. Get creative.

    A very long time ago a coworker used the n-word. I told her I found it offensive and not to use it around me. Her reply was "That's the way momma and daddy raised me" to which I replied "Well, you're an adult now and it's way past time for you to figure out that your mom and dad were wrong."

    It has become ever more necessary to call out bad behavior.


    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:04:42 PM PDT

  •  where DO you find your words ? (8+ / 0-)

    your voice is so direct.
    it just won't let go. have to keep reading to the end.
    it's so good that you're speaking.
    some will listen well.

    There is no Article II power which says the Executive can violate the Constitution.--@Hugh * Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.

    by greenbird on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:12:16 PM PDT

  •  Ever hear, "we gave those people rights they never (9+ / 0-)

    earned." - hmmm? Interesting construct. White people granted Black folk their humanity which entitled them to human rights. Mighty generous, no? Yes, we've always treated 'em good. Why are they so ungrateful?

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:24:49 PM PDT

    •  I had a similar argument... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max, rasbobbo, a gilas girl

      ...with my best friend's dad once in the form of LGBT equality. It infuriated me that he argued that equality would come from straight people giving it to us and not from LGBT people fighting for it; the reason that we're not equal already is that straight people (not all of them, of course) are standing in the way. My best friend later told me jokingly that she thought I was going to punch her dad (or something like that). Normally I just halfway grunt when her dad goes on and on and on about something, but this was something that directly affects me, and he, in his straight priviledge, thought he was obviously right instead of trying to learn something from my life's experience as a gay man.

    •  This is what I hear all the time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rasbobbo

      that's always been the position my racist Southern kin have expressed.  And it helps to explain the true disdain that white Southern bigots have for liberals...

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

      by a gilas girl on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 01:34:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And yet Shelby County, Alabama declares (8+ / 0-)
    M I S S I O N   A C C O M P L I S H E D
    All better now, Justice Scalia.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:08:20 PM PDT

  •  To be a Republican. (3+ / 0-)

    Your either an ignorant bigot or ignorant of their bigoted views and policies.  

    Either way your ignorant.

    If Conservatism was so great you would think they could find a sane person to represent it. Since the only people who represent it seem to be insane. I'm waiting for the day conservatism is labeled a mental illness

    by SharksBreath on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:23:27 PM PDT

    •  Ignorant of their ways (4+ / 0-)

      or indifferent.

      "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

      by Steven D on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 06:40:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Alternative To Ignorance (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catfood
      To be a Republican, you're either an ignorant bigot or ignorant of their bigoted views and policies.
       

      My take is that virtually no Republican is actually "ignorant" of these bigoted views, but many higher income Republicans 'ignore' these views purposely because they want to maximize their income by affiliating with the party that will add to their already existing income advantages through lower taxes. In other words, greed trumps, as it usually does, any understanding or empathy towards ending racism.

      I say this fairly often, but there is a reason that the Church, so many centuries ago, included 'greed' as one of the Seven Deadly Sins.  

      As defined, "greed" includes the lust for power; this certainly illustrates the mendacious lengths that many conservatives will go to in order to win elections.

      Put it all together and, despite their usual bravado, such folks are tremendously insecure about their place in the world. If they had confidence in themselves and their world views, they would reject racism and its mechanism of having to have someone to look down on in order to boost their own flaccid self-esteem. IMO, anyway.

      Can one expect the legacy of traitors to include any grace in ultimate behavior?

      ...meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

      by paz3 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:01:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not shocked he exists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    I'm shocked he wasn't thrown out the door in such a public forum.
    Maybe I am a tad bit too violent, but if someone says something like this in front of me, there is a high chance someone will become a  flying object.

    GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 11:54:12 PM PDT

  •  I lived in NC for five years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orrg1, wishingwell, Black Max

    I'm not shocked that there are racists in the South. I'm not shocked that people say slave owners treated their slaves well.

    I'm saddened, but not shocked.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:12:45 AM PDT

  •  I had War of Northern Agression History (15+ / 0-)

    in 4th grade.  I kept the handouts for years - there was no approved texts, so we had these mimeographed sheets in a booklet.  I learned completely different battle names, reasons for war - the works.  I would show them to other teachers when we moved periodically, just to show them how far behind education could be.  

    When we moved from Germany (DoD school) to Alabama ("good" public school) the school called my parents to report their concern because I was friendly with black students in my class.  The teacher started paying the black kids not to talk to me and completely isolated me from all the kids to "teach me a lesson."

    It is inherent in southern white culture to see blacks as less than human.  Col CatLady will take in any stray cat off the street - but a black man on the lawn would be ventilated.  And he's a "soft" racist - we weren't raised to call people "nigger" or to look down on anyone but civilians.

    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

    by Mortifyd on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:14:30 AM PDT

    •  what decade was this, Mortifyd? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Cassandra Waites

      that you got targetted by a teacher for talking to the Black kids.

      •  1980s grade 4 - 6 then we moved again (14+ / 0-)

        But it continues today.  I'm a visible Jew in the south - so there are two kinds of people who smile at me in public places - fundaloons and blacks.  Fundaloons suggest I move to Israel at the earliest opportunity when not trying to convert me - black people treat me like a person - down here, I'm not white either.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:24:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I admit that I've sometimes been glad that (0+ / 0-)

          I'm fair enough to "pass". Also experience a twinge of guilt with that thought.
          I remember a child first finding out about the Holocaust being glad for my fairness, relieved that my Jewishness wasn't "visible".
          I didn't experience any targetting due to my religion as a child but my town was about 1/4 Jewish and I live in the Northeast.
          I heard quite a bit thought when I was living in the UK in the mid 80s...in casual conversation even amongst people who didn't know eachother, showing how well accepted it seemed to be. This was amongst educated people.

          You are younger than I. I' m saddened that when I was in high school overt racism was so alive and well in parts of our country. Don't talk to the Black kids.
          In our high school we were about 15-20% Black. The Black kids kept to themselves except on sports teams. There were student-enforced "Black tables"in the dining room and White kids weren't allowed (by the other kids) to sit there. I tried to sit with my friends on the track team but they had to come join me because I couldn't join them (Black kids could sit anywhere)
          ah memories.

          •  I'm very fair actually (0+ / 0-)

            former blond, blue eyes.  But I wear a kippah always, I sometimes wear tzitzit, I have a beard.  I don't want to lose myself. I don't want to be mistaken for a hate filled redneck because the rest of my family are.

            I am a southerner.  I was born in the south, raised by southerners - but I was raised primarily in Europe and it impacted my world view dramatically.  My brother is 4 years younger than I am and completely a redneck boor and proud of it.  The times we lived abroad were not critical ones for him like they were for me.

            I didn't have a Jewish identity as a kid - family secret time! - but I remember seeing how they were treated (hence family secret time) - and I lived in the UK for a bit (boarding school) and absolutely the UK is just a horrific hotbed of antisemitism.

            I wasn't allowed to sit with anyone at lunch - I had an end of the long tables to myself, period.  NO one was allowed to sit with me in grade 4, so it was just automatic after that.  No one eats by That Kid.

            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

            by Mortifyd on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 06:54:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  if anyone gives me the "War of Northern Agression" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max, starfu, Mortifyd

      BS I reply with "are you referring to the War of Southern Insolence?". It's fun to get them going.

    •  Jesus P Christ on a cracker!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mortifyd

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:31:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  one of the worst postings of my life (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        schnecke21, Cassandra Waites

        My education was severely impacted, socially I was completely destroyed and never tried to make friends after that - and that was one of the schools where beatings were permitted - they didn't even need to send home a slip to ask if they could beat your kid.

        My grade 4 teacher put me in remedial everything, despite my being in the gifted program and having come out of an experimental gifted SCHOOL in Germany.  That woman hated me.

        My grade 5 teacher was senile and forcibly retired at the end of our year.

        My grade 6 teacher read catalogs all day and had the class mock me when I was traumatised by the death of one of my friends in the gifted program who was at another school. (We met once a week) Literally had me stand in front of the class and led them in laughing and calling me a baby for crying over a friend.

        And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

        by Mortifyd on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:43:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know that's extremely painful (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          so thank you for opening yourself up and sharing your story. I'm trying to organize my thoughts for a diary I want to write about bullying, which is a really touchy subject for me.

          liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

          by RockyMtnLib on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:26:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  eh, not so much painful as sad (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RockyMtnLib

            I just look at it and wonder if I had parents who gave a shit - what kind of education I might have had - what I could have done.

            Instead I'm in their spare bedroom at 43 watching Torchwood on my laptop and teaching myself Korean because I have lost the ability to function well enough to hold down a job and support myself - and waiting to see what kind of state services I can get in a republican state. HA.

            And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

            by Mortifyd on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 06:57:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This isn't just in the south. (22+ / 0-)

    I heard that when I was a kid when they told us in elementary school that the founding fathers were slaveowners.  "But they treated their slaves very kindly."

    Slavery is evil.  I'm going to try to be fair-minded about this and assume that not EVERY single person who was involved in slavery in some way was an evil rat bastard.  There probably were some otherwise nice people who owned slaves, etc.  Otherwise.  

    But "treating your slaves kindly" is a contradiction in terms.  It's semantically meaningless.  It's like saying, "I rape women kindly," or "I molest children kindly," or "I use puppies for target practice kindly."

    I'm sure that if you point this out, the next argument will be something along the lines of, "Oh, but what would those slaves have done without their master?  Nobody would have hired them and they would have starved!  It was kinder to keep them on as slaves."  Thomas Jefferson himself made an argument like that in justification of his continued slave ownership.  

    That's probably where the CPAC guy was going next with his line.  Why, those slaves should have been grateful for what they got!

    The truth is, no slave would have needed that sort of "kindness" if he hadn't first been enslaved.  

    I really wish they could get that CPAC guy on Rachel or some other show so somebody rational could draw him out on just what he's thinking.  Just give the guy a microphone.  He looks like the kind of guy that loves attention.

    •  As I've Always Understood It (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      latts, Dumbo, Cassandra Waites

      "Treated them kindly" simply means "didn't administer lots of beatings." I heard that phrase a lot as a defense against notions that slaves were routinely and savagely beaten.

      Of course even if that were not the case saying "they weren't beaten as much as you might think" is such an incredibly pathetic defense to the institution of slavery that someone should be ashamed for saying it out loud.

    •  It's a nuanced kind of evil. (0+ / 0-)

      In Jefferson's time, how could he have truly washed his hands of slavery?

      It probably wasn't economically viable to run the plantation on paid labor, so his options were to give up the plantation or continue using slaves. He could have closed the plantation completely and sold the slaves, but then they'd still be slaves. He could have sold the plantation with the slaves, but there again... they'd still be slaves. None of these actions would have reduced the amount of oppression.

      Or Jeffferson could have freed the slaves and then used his remaining fortune to transport them to the North and set them up with jobs and housing in a city where they'd be accepted as free people. That probably would have been the right thing to do, but the personal cost to Jefferson himself would have been immense; he'd be voluntarily removing himself from the aristocracy to become, probably, an ordinary lawyer in a Northern city. Huh, now that I write that out... sure, why not?

      I do wonder what would have been the principled and practical thing for 18th-century or 19th-century slave owners to do. I'm curious about what options they realistically had, as individuals, to avoid contributing to the evil. People are really wrapped up in their culture and class so they might not act on the things that seem obvious to you and me today.

      I am absolutely not saying that slavery was anything other than purely evil. I'm just considering the practical options available to the principled, albeit wealthy and privileged, people of the time like Jefferson.

    •  How do we know? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo, schnecke21

      Good point.

      But the other interesting question is:  How do we know they "treated them kindly"?  It's not like anybody ever arrested the slave-owners who weren't so kind.  Nor are there a lot of historical diaries from slaves that would allow for comparisons.

      My guess is that mostly the "treated them kindly" claims come simply from the slave-owner's general reputation (in the white, slave-owning community) -- i.e. he was "a good man", or a minister, or a respected community leader, or a president, so "of course" he must have treated his slaves kindly.

      Thanks for the posting and comments.  As a northwesterner, these comments were an eye-opener to me.

  •  During the '08 election (6+ / 0-)

    I was friends with a family in Los Angeles, getting their kids into the acting business. They were from Virginia and had made enough money that they could afford to do that. The father as far as I could tell was as color blind as could be. He threw around off-jokes but he was a super people-person and I'd always see him joking around and helping and befriending people regardless of ethnicity, class etc. His wife and younger son, however, were another story. I overheard a phone call with her sister (I think) - her brother in law was a sheriff and was providing security at an Obama rally. He complained that he had to protect Obama when he'd like to take a shot himself. Then they talked about Obama a bit, and the wife said "where I'm from, they just know better than to do that." She meant that black people know better than to run for office. I found out later that her brother had been a grand dragon or whatever for the KKK. I could tell this lady was very uncomfortable in LA, especially with her husband bringing all sorts of "those" people around all the time.

    •  Wow, sad it was also the younger son , hopefully (0+ / 0-)

      her husband and neighbors and people she meets in LA will be a factor in helping her see the light and changing her mindset.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:24:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not only is is promoted (12+ / 0-)

    ...any contrary view is socially oppressed to the point of excommunication.  Shunning liberals is a means of social control in the South.

    But it is the non-South's toleration of Southern bigotry that has permitted it to continued to exist.

    The South is the nation's mascot of racism.  Racism elsewhere can be excused because of the existence of the the South and bigots like the apologist for slavery.  BTW, there is a non-Southern libertarian argument sympathetic to slavery based on the notion of a lifetime contract.  So don't get too regionally proud.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:53:19 AM PDT

    •  O/T, but Libertarianism is as deluded as Communism (4+ / 0-)

      they are both theories based on a logic that is taken to extreme and do not take into account the complexity and unpredictability of human nature. I know some very smart people who have been seduced by elegant Libertarian logical constructs. On the other hand, some Libertarians are complete idiots who have no understanding at all. Rand Paul comes to mind for some reason.

      "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

      by orrg1 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:41:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point is that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DBoon, latts, samddobermann

        ...libertarian views have Southernized other parts of the country through their deluded logic.

        It's not just human nature that is complex.  The physical world is pretty complex as well.  And then there is the ecological world.

        The fixation on "freedom" and "contract" without social context is the logical fallacy of libertarianism IMO.  Communism falls apart at the point at which you have to use money to simplify the decision-making about prices and quantities.  There is a straight-forward argument from Marx as to why this inevitably leads to state capitalism, such as in the Soviet Union and China.

        But the Southern argument never rises to that degree of awareness.  Heck, neither did William Buckley.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:24:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you run across a libertarian like that (0+ / 0-)

          Tell them to look up the definition of "inalienable."

          An inalienable right is one which can neither be taken NOR GIVEN AWAY. You cannot sign away your freedom.

          Libertarians worship contracts as the ultimate authority unfortunately. Constitutions are secondary.

    •  Remember in that fact based movie about the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max

      Evangelical southern family in Arkansas ( Sandra Bullock won the Oscar for best actress) where the tutor was the first Democrat they ever met.

      Who would think we would adopt a black son before we ever met a Democrat?

      They were surrounded by rich and Evangelical southern Republican whites.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:26:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This guy was bad (7+ / 0-)

    ...but the biggest racist actions of the moment are the emergency managers in Michigan.  Snyder is doing stuff that the Governor of Mississippi would love to do but can right now because of the voting rights act.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:03:12 AM PDT

  •  the narrative misses that African slaves (5+ / 0-)

    were banned for about half a century before the Civil War in 1807.  This meant a black market in slaves from the Caribbean but that dried up after the British banned slavery in 18http://en.wikipedia.org/....
    http://www.politicohttp:com/...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    After that, industrious entrepreneurs started breeding slaves domestically.  Yep, breeding people like animals, even to the point of keeping books on who was bred to whom, such as thoroughbreds and quarterhorses are bred.  You can still find some breeding journals for sale on auction.  Here are some slave related documents that have sold in the past years:

    http://www.liveauctioneers.com/...=
    (warning some of the documents may be offensive to some readers)

  •  Good post (0+ / 0-)

    but this chafed a bit:

    sometimes it's us, the white, liberal southern guys, who wind up with the largest cache of recognition for both blatant and not-so-blatant racism.
    Substitute "people of color" for "white, liberal southern guys" and this statement would ring a lot truer. I have trouble believing Tim Wise put it in this way.
    •  I think (4+ / 0-)

      that Grizzard meant that a white southern liberal who pays attention sees how much overt racism there is,  but also know the reality of the two faced bastards that never slip up in public and just how many of those people there are.  It is a far cry from being the object of that racism.

      •  This (14+ / 0-)

        of course, is what I meant.

        The conversation that takes place in "like" company would not take place in "mixed" company. And seasoned racists have learned how to code their messages.

        I once told my mentor, and a guy I consider my big brother (he's a black guy), that he helped me make it through the sea of racism in our hometown. He replied, "Man, I never thought it was that bad."

        My point was that white people show their real colors in like company, where they feel comfortable. I think we've moved far enough that being overtly racist and rude to an actual black person is considered out of bounds even in rural SC. But that doesn't mean there are any real social consequences associated with being a full-blown racist the minute the black guy leaves.

        Of course, that's a part of Southern culture, too. The idea that it's acceptable to say anything you want about a person as long as that person's not there to hear it.

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

        by Grizzard on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:50:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Slavery was enshrined in the Constitution as (9+ / 0-)

    the law of the land. Involuntary servitude continues as punishment for crime. And children continue to be the property of their parents. Which is why the Convention on the Rights of the Child cannot be ratified by the U. S. Senate.

    Property rights trumped human rights and still do. We are, as Dubya said, an ownership society. Owning things, including other people, makes up for not being secure in our own bodies. Or, is supposed to.

    But, I would argue, it's not based on race. Skin color just happens to be an easy identifier of people to subordinate. It's a tradition, a habit. There isn't anything the targets can or cannot do about it. And that's what makes it so difficult to deal with. Women have the same problem. When Southerners talk about "family values," that's a euphemism for men being the head of the family and, ipso facto, being obeyed. More telling than the treatment of blacks at CPAC was the assertion that the speaker did not know women being critical of men in public was in the Republican tradition. Men perceive themselves as hen-pecked when women return the favor and tell them what to do. Since it is risky to retaliate, they take it out on the children and any neighbors that don't count. Putting someone down makes insecure people feel just a little bit better, not much.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:38:24 AM PDT

  •  Surprised? No. Appalled? Definitely (14+ / 0-)

    I've lived my entire life in the South and racism is still going strong. Bondage should never be considered a "perk." The reason slaves were fed and clothed was that they were an investment; it had nothing to do with being a humanitarian.

    The picture of the little boy above in a robe and hood sickens me.

  •  What's unfortunate to me is that (12+ / 0-)

    you didn't tell that person you were offended by his statement.  Perhaps you didn't want to make waves.  Well, that's a problem.  I've told many people not to use derrogatory terms in front of me (my husband's family from Texas, to be exact).  My husband from Texas has told countless people not to use derrogatory terms in front of him (our son in law told him to suck up - nice guy).  

    While visiting my husband's brother in Texas a black couple pulled up next to us in a cadillac and he remarked, "they got that car with drug money."  I asked him if he knew them.  He, insulted by my question, said no.  So I asked him how he knew they purchased it with drug money.

    This is what you have to do with these people.  If you say nothing, you condone it and it perpetuates.  Say something next time.  Find your courage. You can do it - we all can do it.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:18:26 AM PDT

    •  You've inferred an awful lot (6+ / 0-)

      from what wasn't written. I chose not to include my response to him (though I did include the details of how his comment made me think) because this is not a diary about Grizzard the great anti-racist crusader.

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

      by Grizzard on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:38:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand, but (0+ / 0-)

        how are people going to learn to have the courage to step up and say something?  If you responded with courage, you need to state it so others can follow your lead.  We need leaders in America.  Leaders will help to stop this racism instead of saying nothing an perpetuating it.  If you said something, have to coiurage to tell us.

        being mindful and keepin' it real

        by Raggedy Ann on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:59:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes I speak up every time because I was raised (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Black Max

      that silence means consent and to speak up is the courageous and moral thing to do even if it means we lose friends and even if it means we are shunned .  

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:31:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wish I had found the courage (0+ / 0-)

      to stand up to it. Not just my uncle about whom I commented above, but my cousin, 8 years younger than me, who, when he was 21, threatened to kick my ass after I told him I'd be willing to date a non-white. When he said that he had the look in his eye that said "and I mean business so don't fuck with me". He probably would have snapped me in two if I said another word.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:49:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think a song from South Pacific is relevant (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfromga, Pale Jenova, side pocket, latts

    so let me post a clip of Mandy Patinkin singing it

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:43:01 AM PDT

    •  Great musical. :) -nt (0+ / 0-)

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:52:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  actually experimental evidence (0+ / 0-)

      is showing that is wrong. We seem to have an inborn aversion to the "other." Babies show a preference for those that are mean to the "other" so it does seem to be tribal preferences.  That would of course have some evolutionary advantages if you recognized and favored your "tribe."

      You have to be taught to love and reach out
      Accept that differences are what life's about
      You have to be carefully taught.
      You have to be carefully taught.

      Apologies, Oscar.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 01:38:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Somehow this song: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Over the Edge, A Citizen

    Was always playing when I drove up to my Mother-in-law's house when we went to visit at the time when I had a car. Now my MIL isn't a bad person really, she adopted three kids, two of which were special needs. She was a foster mother and cared for dozens of kids over the years. She does her best to be polite and hide her racist streak. But it's there. I've heard it, and seen it. Luckily she doesn't show it around my kids, because that would start a civil war in the family; they would speak up and then I would have to.

    I wish I could do something to change her mind, to make that casual racism go away. I'm not even sure she sees it as racism. For her it's just the way it is, the way it's always been. Unfortunately she's managed to pass it along to her daughters. Fortunately she didn't manage to pass it along to her son. Maybe because he's the 'most disabled' of her kids and has had to deal with prejudice of a different form all of his life. If she had, I doubt he and I would be together.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 06:05:33 AM PDT

  •  Racism in the North (5+ / 0-)

    is different from racism in the South.

    In the North they stab you in the back (figuratively.)
    In the South they stab you in the front (figuratively.)

    I can only speak about my own experiences.

    My early childhood was in California. Diverse and wonderful. When we moved to the East Coast, that was when I found out I was a "minority". Later as an adult, work moved me to the south.  

    Having spent most of my life in the North, I was a little apprehensive about the "horrible" South. To my surprise, it was actually quite wonderful. Oh, yes, there were sprinkles of "those people", but the wonderful thing is that you always knew where you stood. Their yes was yes and their No was No.  

    The North treats minorities like the President treats the Progressive movement.  

    •  Yes, agree about racism in the North (and West) (0+ / 0-)

      In the North, if you call a racist a racist, you will get a "political correctness" accusation. In fact, "politically incorrect" often just means racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.

      By the way, (some of) my ancestors owned slaves, and I remember my Grandma telling me "they were treated so well, when they were freed they didn't want to leave."

      Well, maybe . . . but even my ten year old mind was thinking, "I wonder what those slaves would have said about it."

      (By the way, my Grandma, while partly racist--she did not like Mexicans and was afraid of black people--was not a slavery defender. But I have met slavery apologists, even up here in Ory-gone.)

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:47:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Conservatives are claiming the (5+ / 0-)

    pro-slavery folks were liberal plants sent there to give CPAC a bad rap. I seem to recall them claiming the exact same thing when a couple of GOP Convention attendees were caught throwing peanuts at a black camerawoman. Either we liberals have a very active black ops (no pun intended) department or the GOP has a race problem.

  •  The fact that they have to use a disclaimer (6+ / 0-)

    "but he treated his slaves well" is proof that slavery was an abomination.  Look you don't treat people like cattle.  Believing that feeding and housing them in lieu of an honest day's pay while denying them the right to marry, raise their own children, own property (because they were the property), read, write and then as in the case of some breed them.  Breeding people as if they are livestock!

    All this Monday morning quarterbacking about how great slavery was is pathetic.  The highly esteem southern folks who founded some city or another, funded this college or that, started a particular organization ...if they were slaveowners that money, that legacy has blood on it.

    Instead of saying s/he "treated his or her slaves well" own it.  Parts of this country was built on the backs of slaves.  What makes it even more disgusting is that their descendents 100+ years after slavery enjoyed various opportunities denied to the descendents of those "well-treated" slaves.

    Now I have never sat around telling Jewish people to get over the Holocaust or trying to convince them that it wasn't as bad as all that.  And until now I never understood why some people felt the need to excuse slavery but thanks to this diary I get it now.  If I lived in a city built by slaves, where all the famous people were slaveowners and the statutes in the park were of Confederate soldiers, my school was named after dead generals who were on the wrong side of history and the house I inherited from my grandmother that is exactly the same "on the other side of town" yet is worth 5 times more thanks to redlining ...I would need a cover story too.

  •  plenty of bigots up here in NH as well. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magenta, snowwoman

    no place in the nation has a monopoly on ignorance.


    "Just because you win the fight, don't mean you're right," - Funkadelic

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 06:15:36 AM PDT

  •  "So You're Shocked... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Pompatus

    Some Young, Southern White Dude Defended Slavery at CPAC?"

    No, not really.

    Adopt a homeless cat and have a friend for life

    by dave1042 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 06:31:46 AM PDT

  •  One of the most visible and memorable examples (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    of how hatred and racism are taught (in this case by a white supremacist mother) was the pop musical duo Prussian Blue - pre-teen twin girls who have since abandoned what they were taught but still think the Holocaust is exaggerated.

    I remember reading about these girls and their musical group when they were in full swing about 10 years ago. It was frightening how the minds of these innocent kids had been twisted beyond human recognition by their mother.

  •  I realized at age 9 never to be surprised. (6+ / 0-)

    When a good friend of mine at school said, "Hitler wasn't so bad. He only killed Jews."

    What some children learn at home clearly is tragic, but not astounding.

    Even at 9, I knew enough that while I could be civil to this girl, the close friendship part of that relationship was over.

    www.stacysmusings.wordpress.com

    by Magenta on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:33:01 AM PDT

  •  justifying his behavior by those of others he has (4+ / 0-)

    no respect for? That's rationalization at its finest.

    over Christmas who stated his opinion that he might try to cheat on his taxes this year, because, you know, 99% of niggers do it.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:44:07 AM PDT

  •  the Dixiecrat takeover of Repubs is complete now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    no denying it

    its out there for all to see & all the mitt romney 1%rs can't put their Frankenstein monster back in the basement

  •  Sadly, even north of the Mason-Dixon line (0+ / 0-)

    examples of egregious racist attitudes are just below the surface.
       I've heard stories of local police officers giving blacks incorrect directions, sending them into the next big urban area instead of the local, rural attractions they were asking for help to get to. I hear the "n" word thrown around as a casual description of black acquaintances who would be treated quite genially to their faces.
       That played a part in ending a long-standing friendship recently. Guy thought my frustration and disgust was funny.

  •  And they wonder why "the blacks" are angry-- (0+ / 0-)

    I was raised in the south and you're right. It's a way of looking at a whole race of people as just not that smart, of needing the white mans help. My H.S. American history teacher told us that the plantation owners were good to their slaves, as if the very word slave weren't a blasphemy. But this was in the Sixties. You'd think--hope-- by now some progress has been made. Surely those throwbacks at CPAC don't represent the majority of conservatives. Aren't they just the scum at the bottom of the barrel?

    "Let's stay together"--Rev. Al Green and President Obama

    by collardgreens on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 07:50:43 AM PDT

    •  Seems Not To Have Changed Much (0+ / 0-)
      Surely those throwbacks at CPAC don't represent the majority of conservatives. Aren't they just the scum at the bottom of the barrel?
      Acceptance of these types states otherwise. I hear no condemnation from conservative CPAC attendees. As the saying goes, 'a fish rots from the head down.'

      The black folks I know say that not much has changed in the South; in part based on feedback from relatives who live there. (I'm in NW Oregon.)

      My daughter lives in Texas, and has for 20 years or so, and she also reports the same experience.

      You, of course, are talking conservatives in general, but the unofficial capitol of conservative America is in Jackson, MS, yes?

      ...meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

      by paz3 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:58:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's very oppressive where we currently (6+ / 0-)

    Live, Southern AL.  Some Southerners who live in more diverse areas often tell me that I can call people around me on what they express around me and they believe that that would end it.  It doesn't though here at this time. They are angry here, very angry about this black Peesident and every other leader in DC who isn't white will a Southernesque mindset.  They are doubling down on racism and hate because the status quo they are comfortable with is becoming too disrupted.

    Trying to live scripted lies leads to everyone being oppressed though.  Women here are also not to speak their mind or know how to mow a lawn or even the simple task of hooking your trailer up so that you can something to the dump.  My God, my husband deploys, how the hell do you function around here and stay within the social norms?  I give up!  Fuck these people, my paycheck comes from Barack Obama anyhow so fuck them.  I don't owe these people anything more than what the Constitution clarifies and how that is interpreted by our leaders.  Oh yeah, and the rebel flag?  To most current soldiers that is the flag of the enemy, it is a flag of sedition.  The war is over, the Union Army won, all these soldiers that are most of your economy around here..... we are Yankees!

  •  Trust me, it's not just poor white southerners (8+ / 0-)

    I grew up hearing this shit all the time in outer borough NYC, among people of different ethnicities and religions, including my own, Jewish (which is both an ethnicity and religion). Ironically, most of them were themselves members of historically discriminated against ethnic minorities.

    I heard shit like:

    "We did them a favor by taking them out of Africa, where they all lived in trees in a culture-free state of barbarity, and bringing them here, and gave them culture and a chance at a good life."
    "They all animals. I mean look at them, they all look like apes."
    "They're all lazy and live on welfare, and have lots of babies so they get bigger welfare checks and never have to work."
    "They're mentally deficient and will never catch up with whites."
    "Why do you think most criminals are black? It's in their nature."
    "We should ship them all back to Africa, where they belong."
    Apologies for reciting all this filth, but this is what I heard (but certainly not ALL I heard) growing up, and it disgusts me now as it did then. I still hear it from time to time. It's all over, way beyond the "redneck south".

    Btw, our own beloved Thomas Jefferson helped spread many of these vicious libels in his one and only book Notes on the State of Virginia:

    In "Laws" (Query XIV-14), Jefferson described the rise of slavery and justified it, by referring to what he called "the real distinctions which nature has made" between people of European descent and people of African descent. He later expressed his opposition to slavery in "Manners" (Query XVIII-18). In "Laws," Jefferson expressed contemporary beliefs among many Americans that Africans were inferior to Whites in terms of potential citizenship; as a result, he supported deporting them for colonization in Africa. Jefferson claimed his solution was related to the common good for both Whites and Blacks. He proposed a three-fold process of education, emancipation (after the age of 45, to repay the slaveholder's investment), and colonization of free blacks to locations in Africa. He endorsed this plan all his life but never took political action to make it happen.
    ...
    In "Laws", Jefferson wrote:
       "It will probably be asked, Why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the state, and thus save the expense of supplying, by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will leave? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions which will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other race."

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:20:53 AM PDT

    •  My former In-laws from England (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      said much of the same crap: "Maybe they are just genetically inferior?" He also tried to argue that the N-word was not always a racial slur . . . which in Europe is partly true . . . but here in the states it has a lot more hurtful power. And yes, it has a different meaning when Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy says it, but I still don't have to like it.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:51:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Look Like Apes? (0+ / 0-)
      "They all animals. I mean look at them, they all look like apes."
      Note this: aside from skin color, whites look more like apes (chimps, gorillas, orangutans). Thin lips, straight hair.

      Talk about "wishful thinking" projection...  

      ...meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion, and expect them to rise for the occasion ~ Van Morrison

      by paz3 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:16:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd say it's really quite besides the point, no? (0+ / 0-)

        It may as well be lizards or turnips. They point is they mean to diminish their humanity and dissociate themselves from any species connection.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:29:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Too hard to hate people as a group (0+ / 0-)

        When it's easy to hate them individually.   I have nothing against any group in any means, nor can I find a ground to equate any group with any specific look etc.

        But let me know someone individually, of any race, creed or color.. and I will either like them or not.  

        That's the American way.  

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 04:13:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  While racism certainly exists in the North (4+ / 0-)

    One could even argue that it's fairly common in the North.

    That being said, I've never seen it so much a part of the culture as when I lived in the deep South.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:22:25 AM PDT

  •  I think you are right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, blueoregon

    that racism is bred in early, at church, at home, in every unmixed social setting there is in the south.   I think becasue of the negative actions during the civil rights marchers, white southerners in particular learned to hide their feelings  and know not to say things in public, but really let loose in private around white folks who they assume agree with them.  

    That said, I have relatives up north who were born there, lived there all their lives who are every bit as racist as most white southerners.  The  difference seems to be not having the cultural support of the history of the confederacy so there doesn't seem to be the widespread assumption that every white person will agree with them.

    There's still a long way to go everywhere.   But I have personcally seen more effective racism when it comes to lack of job opportunities, social interaction,  education etc down here than I ever saw up north.

  •  Yes, I am shocked, But not surprised. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snowwoman, wishingwell

    There is a difference.  

    In 1869 I would expect to hear "He was a nice man, but.."

    OK.. Fair enough.  Wrong, but it was the prevailing culture.  That doesn't make it right by a long shot, but you would expect to hear that then.

    This is 2013.  
    We have an African American President.  
    We have an African American Attorney General (Who should resign, but we have one).  
    We have had an African American Secretary of State (A terrible one, but we had one).
     We have an African American Ventriloquist for Scalia sitting on the Supreme Court.

    This is Revoltingly shocking.  But not surprising.  I have been at some meetings with people I am scared to think about, and I try to show them the error of their ways.  And fail.  Sickening.

  •  defending slavery was debate topic in School (0+ / 0-)

    in Jr High School I was assigned a topic to debate with another student...

    she was to take the position that slavery was bad for the africans...I was supposed to take the position that slavery benefited africans

    I made a half-assed attempt because I was assigned to do it...but I wish I had told my parents to write a note to the teacher...or maybe complain to the principal...or just refuse to do it.....but I was just a 7th or 8th grade kid who thought "this is stupid" and went along anyway

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:54:42 AM PDT

  •  Ironically... (0+ / 0-)

    I am usually the social pariah, for not laughing at the racist jokes, or for disagreeing with the conventional 'wisdom' that minorities are [stupid, lazy, crooked, dishonest, felonious, inferior, takin' our jobs.....]

    I live and work with these idiots. I grew up among them, and often wonder what kind of genetic accident kept me from ending up just like them.

    If it ain't broke, don't break it.

    by Executive Odor on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:15:31 AM PDT

  •  I read an article yesterday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max

    a guy in France who was just convicted of slavery. Apparently, he paid €4500 to sneak a 14-year old girl into France from the Côte d'Ivoire to help him and his wife take care of their two kids and with the housework and cooking. He only got caught when she got tired of being whipped with a belt, and went to the police. His penalty: a suspended sentence of about a year (he got credit for 6 months of pre-trial detention), plus a fine and fees of €5000.

    http://lci.tf1.fr/...

    It wasn't clear from the article, but it was implied, that she came willing, probably seeking work as an au pair, and only after she realized that she was being treated as a slave did she object. I think that this switcheroo is actually not that uncommon in several regions of the world (another one I've read about, probably much worse than France, is Saudi Arabia).

    Anyway, although limited in frequency and practiced in obscurity, it appears that slavery is alive and well today.

  •  You are absolutely right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, Black Max, latts

    I am in and grew up in the Deep South, and know that overt racist attitudes have been pushed underground, but they are there, nonetheless. People who do not live in the South are just not aware of how much the attitude of "Whites are Superior, Blacks/Browns are Inferior" permeates just everything. Children are conditioned to this attitude from birth....literally. It's almost in the genes. Outsiders think , wow a black man or woman was elected mayor of (fill in the blank), or now this state or that state has a Black congressman/woman. What Progress! I'm here to say that "The Progress" you see in mainly a veneer. If a Black/Brown person is elected to this, that, or the other....it's without real power, because all the institutions that confer real power are still held in White hands. Banking, industries, businesses, state govt, the people who make the real decisions about the economy, education & social issues in the South --- those people are still White. There is NO power structure here for people other than Whites to make a real difference.  

    We are taught, and will explain to outsiders when pressed....that yes indeed, slavery was a vile institution, but really, a few cruel, bad-apple slave owners have become the "face" of slavery in the South, when actually most slave owners were benevolent and pretty darned nice to their chattel. Yes, Slavery is inherently evil, but it was here, and doggone it, it was not as cruel as has been portrayed. It was just the way things were then, and whites were not evil doers, just nice people caught up in an evil system.

    Many Whites born & raised in the South....absolutely, to very core of their being....know they are superior to other colors, because of their whiteness. Everything in their world tells them that. They look to the outside and see that things are a'changing, but they don't feel good about it. How would you feel if your whole hierarchy of caste, where you are not at the bottom of the barrel,  was threatened?

    This whole world's wild at heart and weird on top....Lula

    by anninla on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:36:59 AM PDT

  •  I believe your post sums up the mindset of (0+ / 0-)

    millions of whites in the South, who are convinced they were overthrown and invaded by Yankees and seek to throw off their oppressors to this day as they stockpile their arsenals and long for their hero, Robert E. Lee, to be given the honors he richly deserves.  These folks have never stopped fighting the Civil War and still want to secede and would love to be able to AFFORD to own slaves, let alone have a right to do so.  This, alone, is why having a black family in the White House is truly their worst nightmare and they blame it on the descendants of their former slaves having the right to vote.  No wonder their heads explode if they are ever exposed to this president making a speech or his wife handing out an award on national TV.  So sad and horrible they're still teaching racism to their children.  So terrible for this country.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:40:14 AM PDT

  •  In the end it's all about fear (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Black Max, blueoregon

    I've lived in the South (NC) since my birth in 1953.

    My parents, secretly and then openly after the 60s, taught me to judge people by their character, not their skin color.

    Yet later in life when they got older, ugly covert racism erupted even in them. As older people slowly but inexorably lose the ability to control their environment they often become prone to ever-growing fear and the need to find scapegoats.

    In the 1950s and in almost every decade before that, the older white male reigned supreme in this land.  He decided how much freedom and power anyone else had, always reserving the best of himself.

    As that power erodes away fear comes stepping in to replace it.  Racism and all the other isms are symptoms of the very real fear of the white culture in the USA that their time is past, and that instead of a multicultural paradise the "other" cultures will treat them as a minority just like they did when they were on top.

    The perspective of people who believe that resources are scarce and only those with power can have freedom are very different from yours and mine.

    This diary and the anecdotes about hidden and overt racism in the South and everywhere in the United States are true and very disturbing.  

    The root of the problem is deeper, though.  It is fear.  The fear of the loss of power.

    "A hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance." -- George Orwell, 1984

    by Treats on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 09:44:43 AM PDT

  •  So Grateful to my Grandmother (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrissieP

    I grew up in Charleston, and my father grew up in a small town about 45 miles outside of Charleston. My great great grandparents were slaveowners.  I remember asking my grandmother about her grandmother, and all she would say was "she was a wicked woman. She owned slaves. And slavery was bad."  And that was the end of the conversation.

    Now in all honesty, my father's relatives were anything but liberal and enlightened. But at least, I never got the "great lie" of "yes there were slaves owned by the family but they treated them well."

  •  Shocked? Huh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus

    This is the annual RW circus sideshow meeting, pardon me, CPAC convention.  

    I'd be shocked if some crazy CPAC bastard wasn't talking up slavery.  

  •  Difficult... (0+ / 0-)

    It seems very difficult for people to not disown their ancestors, yet understand and agree that their ancestors did often behave in inhumane ways, in ways we would not accept today.

    What is most confusing is why people make slave-owning into an essential part of the character and identity of their ancestors, instead of making it into tragic flaws of an otherwise moral people.

    We do not disown the Constitution because Jefferson and other slave-owners wrote it.  The NY Times had an op-ed "The Monster of Monticello".
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Jefferson was always deeply committed to slavery, and even more deeply hostile to the welfare of blacks, slave or free. His proslavery views were shaped not only by money and status but also by his deeply racist views, which he tried to justify through pseudoscience.

    Instead, we acknowledge our debt to Jefferson for the good he did, and we weep for his flaws.  We recognize him as human, not born a saint, nor living or dying as one.  We recognize that he fell short in some areas even from many of his contemporaries.  We are not about to tear down his monument.  It reminds us of a great man, and it reminds us that even the greatest of us can be morally blind.

    Why is it so difficult?

  •  Not surprised a bit n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "FK the deficit. People got no jobs. People got no money." Charlie Pierce

    by RubDMC on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 10:48:26 AM PDT

  •   Thanks, Grizzard! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    starfu, latts, janetsal, joanbrooker

    Your diaries are more than diaries. They are stories, histories and I really appreciate this one because it is a true unvarnished story of how we so easily tell ourselves lies.

    Eons ago I saw Athol Fugard's play "A Lesson from Aloes" - playing off off broadway with James Earl Jones in one of the roles. It was one of the most memorable plays I think I have ever seen. It was about apartheid in South Africa, as you may know, Fugard's home country.
    The play turned the lies of racism on their head. Its final beautiful words, if I can recall, were about how racism not only harms the person it is practiced on but it turns its poison back on the practitioner to deprive the racist of the cultural, emotional, personal growth they would find if only they didn't limit themselves to the smallness of their isolation from the richness and diversity of the other people around them.

    Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots. Mikhail Gorbachev

    by eve on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:07:50 AM PDT

  •  Abraham Lincoln addressed this bullpuckey (0+ / 0-)

    about slaves being treated well and actually having it better as slaves than as freepersons.  I'm paraphrasing, but Lincoln said (more eloquently) that among these whites extolling the wondrous treatment of slaves, he'd never heard of a single one who volunteered to be a slave.

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

    by Subterranean on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:19:52 AM PDT

  •  Elvis got it, this song says it all... (0+ / 0-)

    I have asked this to be played at my memorial service when I leave this life.

    It always brings tears to my eyes..such meaning to this about  peace, understanding, tolerance...

    I have heard it said by those who worked with Elvis, that he was way ahead of his time in the south with his embrace of diversity , mainly because he loved soul music and his musicians and friends were often minorities.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:28:25 AM PDT

  •  i throw up my hands every time i hear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCaliana

    the Fundies excuse anything. Free Will is a christian concept. Taking away anyone's free will is, in effect, stealing from that person. You could make an argument slavery broke a few other commandments as well, but let's stick with stealing. I understand free will is used to excuse job discrimination and housing discrimination but, for the most part, fundamentally, taking someone from their homeland, chaining them up and selling them off as property is the epitome of stealing someone's free will. Christian hypocrisy is why i'm no longer a christian. I grew up in the SF/Bay Area as well, in the 70's-80's and since Reagan was elected, racism has gotten more pronounced and uglier with each year, imo.

    Sequestration? GOP=Family Values, my ass.

    by blueoregon on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:39:56 AM PDT

  •  Washington owned slaves, but he treated them (0+ / 0-)

    well--after he died, of course :)

  •  Preach it brother! (0+ / 0-)

    When you grow up around people who joke about busloads of black kids driving off cliffs, the bar for what's "tolerant" and "liberal" is set so low as to be in the sewer.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:39:18 PM PDT

  •  Where's the rest of the damn clip... (0+ / 0-)

    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

    by mim5677 on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 12:50:58 PM PDT

  •  Institutionalized Racism (0+ / 0-)

    Grizzard is right. I grew up in Northern Alabama. Born in 1950 I lived in a small town with no black people as residents.  This town has been memorialized by the sign that once was on the outskirts warning black people not to be caught within the city limits when the sun went down. I personally witnessed the institutional racism as well as the cultural indoctrination as I grew up.

    I was once roundly chastised by an acquaintance (he was no way a friend of mine) for picking up the hat of a black man that had blown out the window of a passing automobile. It occured while on a 10 mile hike on I-65 to get my hiking merit badge. I had thought the scout slogan was for all scouts to apply to all situations. I was obviously seriously mistaken.

    Make no mistake, even when I go home to Alabama today, I find the situation as not materially changed. It has only burrowed more deeply into the background...but it is always there.

  •  I'll never forget what my Momma told me (0+ / 0-)

    That she raised me not to be prejudiced and unfortunately, she succeeded.
    Born and raised in NC.

  •  There is an excellent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    organicus, Val

    article at Salon about slavery and the civil war. It is about the revisionist southern based version of  history, that says the civil war was not about slavery. It was a states rights issue, and slavery was brushed under the rug, replaced by the lost cause of independent southern nation,  and is referred to by many southerners as 'the war between the states. Schools, churches and southern organizations like the  United Daughters of the Confederacy,  from the end of the civil war to this day are still vindicating the 'Lost Cause'.  It's an interesting excerpt from a book called  “The New Mind of the South”

    The South still lies about the Civil War
    By Tracy Thompson
    http://www.salon.com/...

    Die-hard defenders of some version of the Lost Cause today say that the South has always been the victim of “political correctness” in school textbooks, and that this continues to this day. The truth is just the opposite: for decades, publishers of school textbooks went out of their way not to offend delicate Southern sensibilities in their treatment of the Civil War. One longtime publishing executive told me that when he got into the business in the 1960s, it was common to see two different versions of school history textbooks—one for in the Deep South and one for everywhere else, “and the difference was how you treated the Civil War.” By the mid-twentieth century, even textbooks that did not repeat the UDC party line still tiptoed carefully through the minefield. Take this passage, for example, from a widely used 1943 high school history textbook, which depicts a slave-holding South of stately mansions and benevolent slave owners: “The confederates . . . believed they were fighting for the democratic principle of freedom to manage their own affairs, just as the thirteen colonies had fought in the Revolutionary War.” The same textbook describes the Ku Klux Klan as a group that “sometimes” resorted to violence in its effort to retake local governments from the hands of incompetent former slaves. A 1965 textbook used in Alabama public schools taught another key point of the lost cause creed—that slavery was a benign institution: “In one respect, the slave was almost always better off than free laborers, white or black, of the same period [because] the slave received the best medical care which the times could offer.” .............................

    To this day, it’s possible to stir up a hornet’s nest among ordinary Southerners by asserting that slavery was a primary cause of the Civil War; at the least, it will earn a native Southerner the accusation of having signed over his brain to those Ivy League intellectual snobs who despise all things Southern. The conviction that the South went to war primarily to defend the concept of states’ rights “is in [Southerners’] families, in their churches, in their schools, in their political structure,” Pitcaithley said. “They’ve been taught that over generations. It so embedded that—as you have found—if you suggest otherwise they look at you like you’ve put your pants on your head.”
       

    •  State's Rights... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, Val

      ....is still the mantra of the die hard racist southern Confederacy defender. I heard it all the time growing up.

    •  Dixie had used blackmail and terror for years (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      to force other USA citizens not merely to bow to their wishes, but to refrain from discussing too bluntly, their "peculiar institution" :
      in 1856
      A group of Dixie Senators formed a terrorist mob and surrounded Senator Sumner (a fierce anti-slavery northern Senator) so their designated hit-man could beat him near to death with a metal tipped cane, ON THE SENATE FLOOR, while they stood by to prevent any of the horrified witnesses from stopping this.

      Abolitionists who were merely beaten and had their farm or newspaper business burned to the ground were the fairly lucky ones. The total number of non-slave US victims who were murdered during this sad period will never be known.

      Even worse, the casual torture and killing of any slave who attempted to stand up for themselves, never mind actually trying to organize other slaves in protest, was so common that even guessing a number is hard.

      The election of Lincoln showed that this Dixie domination was going to be increasingly challenged by the rest of the USA and even a fair number below the mason-Dixon line.

      Naturally Dixie pride dictated that a long and bloody war was preferable to the possibility of less than 100% control over the issue of slavery inside Dixie ... forever.
      In fact there was a major percent of the Dixie voters that did not approve of slavery before the war and loudly opposed the decision to start the war. Many had to be bypassed or frightened into silence to allow the CSA to be born. Even during the war, a major part of the Union forces had been born in the South,and many who still lived down South were secretly pro-union. The war was used as a pretext to reinforce the slave-owning class by calling any objection to slavery unpatriotic, but in fact much of the  grassroots grumbling from hard working small farmers had been going on for decades.

      So in effect the war WAS fought over "states rights": the right of US citizens in the North to make political choices despite fear of Dixie intransigence coming from an arrogant and deeply entrenched plutocracy.

  •  Here's another one that gets told (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    organicus
    "That the Civil War wasn't necessary because slavery was about to end anyway.  It wouldn't of lasted another 30 years."  
    Heard that one a lot when I was growing up in the South.   The most valuable single asset in the country was slaves.  It wasn't going anywhere.  In fact the South's goal was to export their model to the West (mining) and Latin America (plantations/agriculture).

    The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones! - John Maynard Keynes

    by Do Something on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 05:27:06 PM PDT

  •  Perspective: Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall... (0+ / 0-)

    Change takes time. Please consider the linked content in this thread:

    Seneca Falls, Selma, and Stonewall...

  •  I was horrified but not really shocked (0+ / 0-)

    All I can say is they are doing us a favor by being so open about it.  Please, racist dogs, proceed. They got out the vote for us in the last election.  Maybe they can help us  in 2014.

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 08:08:38 PM PDT

  •  I treat my car well because it's my property and (0+ / 0-)

    cost me a lot of money.   I suspect slave owners did the same.

  •  Thank you Grizzard for another wonderful (0+ / 0-)

    post and an enlightening perspective.  I'm so glad it was still here today.

  •  Slavery has many forms (0+ / 0-)
    The notion that you can rip a person from his home, drag him across the ocean, and put him into forced labor, but if you give him food and a roof, you're treating him well.
    Slavery by that definition existed from the dawn of human existance (except the ocean part). But Western Hemisphere slavery made it racial and commercial. Slavery was a state of social existence that could be changed in most societies that used slavery and not tied to "race" as we understand it. And slavery was not the foundation of the economy in Europe and Asia the way it was in the US or Brazil. We built the riches of this country on the backs of slaves (cotton was the biggest export here for a century or so) and created, through our democratic system, a horribly racist infrastructure to support those results. The racial aspects of that disgusting system remain, but the economic justification is gone. We are perpetuating a sick racist system that was passed on to us by our ancestors

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

    by slothlax on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 11:19:43 PM PDT

  •  In every trucking job for over 30 years (0+ / 0-)

    I have ever had guys will come to you and use racially charged words. I always tell them not to use those words in my presence. It will happen 2 or 3 times until the word gets out.The interesting thing is that about 30% get a guilty look on their face, about 30% just quit without the guilt and about 30% hate you for life. Guess who the die hard Republicans are. I find in interesting in a psychological way. Resentment and anger are very much part of the equation. The hate is certainly fear based

    Join the War on Thinking. Watch Fox News- John Lucas

    by Jlukes on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 06:35:30 AM PDT

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