Bring It On!

Racism, Avoidance, and Hanging that Darky from a Tree

May 13th, 2008 | by Jet Netwal |

I read this entire article through, and really, while not what you hope to see, hardly surprising. That’s something Progressives would do well to factor. It’s not a Southern thing, it’s an American thing, and anybody who has had the good fortune to live in more than one area of our country is well aware of, racism is region-blind.

Victoria Switzer, a retired social studies teacher, was on phone-bank duty one night during the Pennsylvania primary campaign. One night was all she could take: “It wasn’t pretty.” She made 60 calls to prospective voters in Susquehanna County, her home county, which is 98 percent white. The responses were dispiriting. One caller, Switzer remembers, said he couldn’t possibly vote for Obama and concluded: “Hang that darky from a tree!” — Wapo

Overt racism is easier to deal with; more of us are distressed by it than condone it. Once out, it just lays there like a big pile of reeking poop, needing attention. When the campaign gets reactions like this, I’m actually pretty happy. It shakes people up, reminds them what racism actually IS. It puts it back into their faces. When you drive by a traffic stop that was the result of racial profiling, without seeing the intent, knowing the ugly, you can drive by with your psyche unmolested. Hearing people yell “niggers” at campaign volunteers on primary election day is a lot harder to rationalize away. This is where a lot of us are. We want racism gone, and as long as it isn’t in OUR faces, it pretty much is. That is about to change; we’re going to see a lot more overt racism between now and November. I never thought I’d consider hate healthy, but this country needs this. We need to stop seeing sparkle ponies and get a grip.

The campaign released this statement in response to questions about encounters with racism: “After campaigning for 15 months in nearly all 50 states, Barack Obama and our entire campaign have been nothing but impressed and encouraged by the core decency, kindness, and generosity of Americans from all walks of life. The last year has only reinforced Senator Obama’s view that this country is not as divided as our politics suggest.” — Wapo

The fact that Obama is focusing on what’s working is simple logistics. Is flaying overt racism going to move the candidacy forward? Not thinking so, at least not from where I’m watching. Can real progress be made by simply winning the Whitehouse and doing a decent job? Sure, that will influence some of the less blatant, the “show me’s” of the “us and them” crowd. (Changing them revolutionizes the next generation too.) Are some people never going to get it, for whatever short-sighted, low self-esteem, bigoted upbringing they had and now pass along?


Let’s accept that. It’s everywhere, and it’s real. By focusing on getting to the place where forward motion can be obtained is the first logical step in securing what this country is long overdue for… a genuine attitude adjustment. I’d like to see us in 8 years. I believe we will be better. Not finished, but hopefully seeing things as they are for a change– one change of many.

  1. 7 Responses to “Racism, Avoidance, and Hanging that Darky from a Tree”

  2. By Dusty on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    The graphic made me literally sick to my stomach.

    That individuals in this era can still feel comfortable using racist comments and epithets floors me. But then, it shouldn’t, I know. We might have come far on a national level because of laws that have been passed but on an individual level..not much as changed. :(

  3. By Lisa on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    That is a disturbing picture Jet.
    I was in the dentist office the other day and was talking to the receptionist who is Spanish and the topic of race came up and she was complaining about how the Black Panthers used to be and how bad they were and I told her they started out with the right intentions. for rotection.Anyway she concluded that we all have a little racism and if someone says they are not at all racist she said she doesn’t believe them. She said some Latinos and blacks can be just as racist as whites.
    I just found that unusual to hear that from someone who has experienced racism.

  4. By Dusty on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    And the topic of race just ‘came up’? Yeah right.. LMAO.

    Lisa…racism knows no color boundaries..this is NEWS to you, but not to the rest of us. Jaysus, get out more, or perhaps READ more ok?

    How many white folks have the African-Americans or the Hispanics hung here in the good ol US of A???

  5. By Jet Netwal on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    Dusty, I had a hard time with that graphic too. The faces of the men and boys… some laughing some smug, some, God help me, looking NOBLE…

    Our history. That poor young man, his family, his community…

    The fact that somebody can blithely say “hang the darky” in passing is horrifying.

    Lisa, hate is universal. You kick at people long enough and they hate you back. You get everybody hating each other and they are a lot easier to control; just play them against each other. Governments have been doing it for centuries.

  6. By Lisa on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    I know racism has no bounds what I found interesting is that a a Spanish person had said it.
    And Dusty I have been around racism on both sides. It got so I no longer felt welcome in my own own neighborhood.
    I don’t hate people for their color or ethnicity. Hey I cant’ stand my white trash neighbors. Is that okay to say?

  7. By Lisa on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    I meant my own old neighborhood.

  8. By Independent Mind on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    That photo is heartbreaking. It’s a shame that some people still hold that level of hatred in their hearts.

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