Thursday, May 8, 2008

Race Politics and Ideology

I grew up in a small town in rural Georgia. I can still remember walking past the water fountains in the court house; two of them side by side. Removed were the signs over them directing the thirsty person from which one to drink, but the the two fountains were still there almost as if monuments to a not so distant history of segregation.

As a child in the 60's I was too young to know the significance of two fountains; that there actually was a time when people, just because of the pigment in their skin, were treated differently; and by differently I mean badly.

Fast forward forty years and my how things have changed. America has progressed quite a bit; there is a Secretary of State, and a Supreme Court Justice, and a presumptive nominee for president, to name a few, with dark pigmented skin. One might conclude that racism is itself in the process of becoming history. This would be true too if racism were defined today as it was forty years ago; that definition being the oppression of blacks by whites. Many have discovered however that there is power to be gained by convincing blacks that not much has changed in the last half century. Since it is obvious that things have changed, the very word racism necessarily morphed into something totally different so that today it has a different application than did the same word in the sixties. It is now almost indistinguishable from the word ideology. Granted these two words have different meanings, but in the political realm on the topic of race relations they overlap and merge. This is evidenced by Bill Clinton, a white man, being called the first black president, and by Clarence Tomas, a black man, facing stiff opposition from blacks to a life time appointment to, I would argue, one of the most powerful positions in this land.

In conclusion, even though I voted for a black man for president (Alan Keys, I liked his polices) before doing so was cool, I can't help but to feel that I, and many others like me, will be seen as a racist because we oppose Obama due to his policies. If and when this happens I will have to remember to not become defensive because in the current sense of the word it might be true. It just goes to show that when old words get new meanings it causes confusion and communication breaks down; this I fear is something we can expect an abundance of as we make our way though this election season.

19 comments:

Penless Thoughts said...

So glad to see you post! I, fortunately, grew up in New Mexico and racism was not a part of my upbringing. I was shocked when I actually traveled to Tennessee in the late 50's and saw it first hand.
Susan

Sarah Scott said...

Good post. It is extremely sad that in the current political and social climate, your skin color has the ability to protect your poor ideas and performance. If you fire someone who is a terrible worker and that person happens to be a minority, you are branded as racist. Likewise, if you refuse to vote for someone with a frightening agenda who happens to be "of color", you are seen as a bigot. I don't care if a candidate is green, purple, black or white; I will vote for the person who is the most likely to protect the constitution. For me, this removes Obama from the realm of possibilities.

janelle said...

This is interesting. Racism does indeed have a new meaning...but sadly I can still see traces of it even within my family. My younger sister is 13, adopted, and half black half white. When she was about three or four, we were at Cape Cod vacationing. We had people move down the beach because of my sisters skin color, their pointed, angry glances testing my parents patience. Thankfully, she was too young to understand what was going on.

Even now, ten years later and down the road, she will still face types of racism, hidden in different sheeps clothing. She will face getting into college easier to meet certain quotas...or getting a job because she's female and black. This is racism redefined.

danny wright said...

This is true Janelle. Some might call the "breaks" some get reverse racism. But I think it's racist to give breaks due to skin color. It says to a person that because you are thus and thus you can't make it, but because we are thus and thus, read better, we will make it easier for you. This has to wreak havoc on a person at his core. I think ultimately this is why King was force for good in this country, and not a circus side show on life support from the media elites.

Incognito said...

Great post Danny... indeed racism has morphed into something else, and often it has nothing to do with color. There are some blacks who are equally racist. I, blessedly, have never been a racist.. perhaps because I was raised abroad, and I resent being called one by my liberal colleagues in the theatre industry simply because I refuse to vote for Obama.

I would have no problem voting for a black or a black woman as president.

danny wright said...

That's the thing incog, conservatives wouldn't have a problem voting for a woman or a black, Your colleagues are not only judging you making them judgemental, but they are also pre-judging you which makes them prejudiced, and so also hypocrites.

BTW can you say where abroad you were raised?

Pat Jenkins said...

utterly profound and moving dw. and your truths will never be accepted because racism has become a buisness for many.... brillant again my good man!!

danny wright said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement Pat, and from someone who "know's it all"!

Incognito said...

Hey Danny,
My older sis was born in France, I was born in the Philippine Islands, then we moved to Venezuela, Korea, Fiji Islands, Ireland, Ecuador, Okinawa and my parents moved on to many other interesting and not so interesting countries, which I got to visit.

THEBIGDODDY said...

One of the things that you might want to stop saying is that you would vote for a "black" man or woman for this or that.

It doesn't mean that you AREN'T a racist either, depending on how one would define racist.

Also, being a "racist" isn't the absolute worst thing, you one could be called.

"Racist" has become the new "Nigger" word, one where it's meaning has been lost and bastardized.

For example. If a white couple adopts an African baby, does that mean they are NOT racist or have racist proclivities and behaviors? The answer is "no". But the answer also could be "yes".

For example, saying that when "blacks" get breaks because of the color of their skin (which you might consider to be also racism against whites) can be considered by be racist by some non-whites.

It may not, in fact, be racist at all to "say" that, though that could be one of the things that a racist SUSPECT might say.

So back to the Body of Christ, because when it comes to matters like this, we SHOULD be and DO better, but we absolutely do not.

The key, for SAVED people, is not to be named amongst people who say anything scandalous or foul or dirty or unseemly or "racist" about anything, and you won't have to feel the need to say whom you would or wouldn't vote for, or how many friends you have of a different persuasion. We should compare spiritual THOUGHTS with spiritual WORDS.

In my opinion, the problem is not "racism" but carnality and cowardice and being to friendly with the way of heathens and the way of the world.

danny wright said...

Big Doddy

This is an article about the word racist. It shouldn't suprise anyone that I would include race as a discriptor.

Other than that I honestly can't figure out what you're point is.

I'm not sure if you realize this but you kind of sound angry and arrogant. If you have a point, this demeanor detracts from it.

THEBIGDODDY said...

My POINT is that if you're a so-called Christian, who is TRULY walking in the spirit, you shouldn't ever be NAMED amongst anyone who is racist.

The Bible says you should compare SPIRITUAL things with SPIRITUAL, and were are to discern between the two extremes.

If RACISM is of the world, and we're not, then being named, amongst such people is something a disciple should avoid like the plague.

That means if your favorite pundit or blogger has promotes or IGNORES the unseemliness of the world, then you should either speak out against those behaviors like we did with Senator Obama regarding Jeremiah Wright.

Race Politics and Ideology is real, and even well-meaning people can miss the lesson that Christ has in it for us..if we are careful to listen.

And it's typical that a white person would call a non-white ANGRY and ARROGANT.

Shall I give you the complete list of words used to describe non-whites?

The body of Christ and the people are failing to uphold the "love your neighbor" commandment given by Y'Shua to the multitude. Once we do that, then we won't ever be named amongst those who love evil, hate good, and despise sound doctrine. We'll get there..

danny wright said...

doddy

Do you love those who hate you?

THEBIGDODDY said...

I hate what Father Yahweh hates and love what Father Yahweh loves.

If that which is contrary to the Oracles of Yahweh exposes itself, I will speak out against it, and that is not exclusive or race or politics.

Incognito said...

BIG DODDY: "And it's typical that a white person would call a non-white ANGRY and ARROGANT."

Um...and how would Danny know you were non-white? There are no references anywhere, either in your profile or your comments that would indicate you are not white.
I find that comment quite telling.

THEBIGDODDY said...

Nice try.

It's not that hard to tell by the few things I wrote.

Incognito said...

BIG DODDY: And what things might those be pray tell? I had absolutely NO clue, until you mentioned it.

danny wright said...

Doddy

Peolpe have said simular things to me about my "tone" in commenting, and they didn't use words like "Kind of" and "I'm not sure you realize it". Due to the aninomity of this medium I wasn't aware of their hue; not that it mattered. Sorry about returning the favor, I was just trying to help. But in any case, thank you for prooving the veracity of both these articles.

THEBIGDODDY said...

How did I prove the veracity of those articles?

Who did I accuse of being "racist"? Show me where, in my responses, where I did such a thing. I'm trying to teach you how to avoid being named amongst those, not accuse you of being anything. I'm not an Obama supporter and so he is not the fulcrum for my post here.

What I told you was to stop being concerned about being CALLED a racist and be more concerned about walking in the Spirit.

What part of what I wrote here is difficult to understand:

"The key, for SAVED people, is not to be named amongst people who say anything scandalous or foul or dirty or unseemly or "racist" about anything, and you won't have to feel the need to say whom you would or wouldn't vote for, or how many friends you have of a different persuasion. We should compare spiritual THOUGHTS with spiritual WORDS."

If you don't want to be accused of being "racist" this or "racist" that, you should avoid carnality in word and deed.

Again, I wrote:

"The body of Christ and the people are failing to uphold the "love your neighbor" commandment given by Y'Shua to the multitude. Once we do that, then we won't ever be named amongst those who love evil, hate good, and despise sound doctrine."

If you're like me, then you will avoid Race Politics, but combating it with the Word - in EVERY context. Not what Ann Coulter says, not what Al Sharpton says, not what Pat Buchanan or Thomas Sowell or any other unsaved person says, but with the Word and Sword of the Spirit.

What about what I'm writing is so grievous to you?

So my question to you, Donny, is what if some random non-white person came up in here or in person and called you a racist, what would your response be? I guess that would be a question for anyone really, because you all aren't hearing me.