blueollie

Our racist past (and Northam)

The discovery of Gov. Northam’s racist photo on his Medical School yearbook page (1984) (one man in black face, the other in a KKK costume) has lead to some intense discussion.

I will put something about my own past at the end of this post.

Of course, some leading Democratic contenders (Warren, Booker, Harris) have called on him to resign as did the Virginia Democratic Party. Pelosi hedged her bets:

Notice: “do the right thing” rather than simply “resign”, as many others have said directly. This way, she can say “I never asked him to resign”, as others have:

Now if seems strange that something that happened 35 years ago should cause so much anger now:

In short, African Americans are an essential part of the Democratic coalition. They are not a part of the Republican coalition; in fact, some of the baser appeals the Republicans make to those who resent public aid going to black people or resent black people questioning the impartiality of law enforcement.

Here are other interesting takes:

(links to threads)

And this comment:

Personally, I think that he will have to resign, though he hasn’t admitted it to himself as yet.

Now about my own past

Yes, I have done things that I am ashamed of, though blackface and KKK costumes aren’t part of that.

But I will talk about the atmosphere when I grew up. Yes, there was some racism on the Air Force Bases that I grew up on, BUT because the schools I went to were mixed race as were the teams I played on, I can honestly say that racism wasn’t a problem for me *at that time* in my life. But when I moved to Austin, Texas (not quite the silicon valley that it is now) and went to a lower middle class high school, the racism was very prevalent there. The n-word was tossed around on the playing field…and in the hallways. Kids tended to segregate…and yes, the black kids cut the lunch line and there were sometimes fights. Administration did NOTHING. It was a pretty sorry atmosphere even though the school was 55 percent Mexican American…many Latinos didn’t like blacks either.

So what about the Navy and the Naval Academy? Yes, there, the authorities gave us civil rights training, did the appropriate amount of finger wagging, but there was a more subtle undercurrent of racism there. It wasn’t “n-word” mostly, or at least all of the time….you see, that was too “uncouth”. It was more of the smugly told racist jokes that didn’t use the obvious n-words. And it was things like I am about to describe:

I had a friend and roommate (for a semester) who was from rural Alabama. He admitted that he didn’t like blacks (privately). But how others reacted to him: it was more like a “hey, what do you expect from a dumb white hick from Alabama..it is just how they are..” sort of thing with the rest of us (mostly white people). He WAS academically deficient ..a type of “rural white affirmative action” if you will..and couldn’t handle the academics, even though the rest of us tried to help him out.

I remember one time…we were at the dining table where they served us “family style”: pans of food were set on the table and passed around. It was ok to ask another table if you could have any left overs in the pan. One time a black guy with a stereotypical black accent asked if he could have some of that leftover fried chicken. We let him ..but immediately all of us turned to look at the Alabama guy because we KNEW that would set him off…and we were giggling and laughing…”you know that will set off that dumb hick!” sort of way.

One time I expressed a bit of disgust about his racial attitudes (to another friend) and was told “remember where he came from…did you see him in Chemistry, working with a black lab partner..they were getting along. People can change…”

Anyhow…there you have it. Racism, at that time, was pretty freely expressed in “private company.” That was true in certain circles in the Navy as well…and yes, even in the officer ranks (though I did not see it in the officer ranks in the Nuclear Navy). The time period I was talking about was from 1977-1985.

It was a different time, and things have improved..or so I would think, based on my own experience…though it could just be the company that I presently keep.

I do want to comment on one other thing:

Yes…having an honest conversation on race IS all but impossible due to people (mostly white liberals) being so eager to pounce with moral superiority. In fact, there are honestly held beliefs that, I think, CAN be challenged in an intellectually honest manner. I talked about that some here.

Workout notes: today, 6 mile run walk on the treadmill in 1:11
Yesterday 7 mile ride on an indoor bike, weights: usual PT, abs, planks, etc. pull ups: 10-10-10-10-5-10, (yes 55 total), 10 x 135, 3 x 185 bench, 10 x 135 incline, 8 x 165 decline, 10 x 50 standing military, 15 x 50 seated, 10 x 40 standing, 3 sets of 10 x 50 one arm rows, then the planks/bike ride.

February 2, 2019 Posted by | Democrats, political/social, politics, politics/social, running, social/political, weight training | | Leave a comment