Saturday, September 6, 2008

I Love The Smell of Napalm in the Morning

The forest is burning.

The thick smoke is burning my nose and throat as I gasp for air. That should worry me, yet I find it strangely invigorating. Once the forest is destroyed, I will be able to see clearly for miles.

The forest of lies is almost gone.

Lies have shielded this country. They've enabled us to remain in the comfortable shade and ignore the reality of race relations in America. Thankfully, the winds of change have blown an ember of truth into the forest and ignited a conflagration.

Fire is good for removing dross.

Things are better between "the races" but we're nowhere close to where we should be, and it seems that the world is regressing. Those are the facts. We've tried to ignore those facts, to pretend that it was only a small chunk of the population that clung to the outdated ideas of the past, but that time is past. The viable candidacy of a black man for the highest political office in our nation has made it impossible to pretend any longer.

Most of the population is sick, and they don't want a cure.

And it's not just the older folks, the ones that are dying off that are infected. No, they may have been the original carriers, but they have passed along their disease to their offspring, who have passed it along to others. They wouldn't call themselves prejudiced, they definitely wouldn't see their actions as racism, but they are wrong. How could they not be?

I had hoped that things would be better by now, I'd hoped that we would be further along so my son would grow up in a different sort of world. But, now I wonder. When a congressman thinks it's ok to call a black presidential candidate "uppity" to a reporter, that's a sign of severe sickness. When a lying, corrupt philanderer can take the moral high road without being challenged, that's a sign of an epidemic. And when 50 percent of the voting population is might vote for that same morally decrepit man, well, what can I say?

But, the positive thing about this is that it's becoming increasingly easier to identify the carriers of the disease. Either through their own revelations, or their unwillingness to truly condemn the revelations of others, we are all learning a lot about our fellow Americans. We are learning exactly what level of prejudice, discrimination and racism most people are "cool" with.

Sure, few people would put their feelings in those terms, but that's how I see it. It's frustrating and angering, but it also provides a certain sense of freedom. I know where everybody is standing on the playing field. I know what moves they are likely to make, I know how they truly feel. Their feelings may infuriate me, but at least I know about them. I know just how far they are willing to go in the fight for equality. I know when they are going to quit and what prejudiced mindsets they actually agree with, but haven't had the guts to espouse themselves.

In a strange perverse way, I'm enjoying this experience. Even as I feel beaten down and abused, I'm enjoying it. Finally, my suspicions have been confirmed. Now those with an inclination to look are finally seeing the world for what it truly is.

The smoke is a sweet perfume.

12 comments:

Eric's SoulFunkPunk Experience said...

Great post as usual BigMan, I will not be voting for Obama because he is not progressive enough for my taste but if the one legacy he leaves win, lose or draw that the illusion is off. And now we don't have to walk on eggshells about the hypocrisy of white america when it comes to race, they are beyond sick and any sense of reasoning.

The Conservative movement has effectively made racism a permament part of it's national character and it confrims what Derek Bell said in 1991's "Faces at the Bottom of the Well". I say this country had it's last legitimate shot at building MLK's beloved community in 1968 and it died first when King was asassinated and finished off when RFK died in L.A. Two months later.

These were the only two men that most Americans had any respect for and may have walked those tough miles in some sort of trust and patriotism but people like Buckley, Reagan, Helms and the GOP to this very day has made race and culture wars a central and social point of it's politcal policy and they have for the most part created a permanment racial mistrust for white America by Afro-Americans.

Truthiz said...

Big Man, I agree with you on all points but two:

As I see it, "the world" is not regressing. America is!

The world hardly knows what to make of the mindset of most Americans anymore. This nation is becoming quite an embarrassing spectacle_and the world appears to be moving on_with _or without us.

Regarding the "disease":

Yep, it is lethal and, sadly, still dwells within the hearts and minds and souls of too many Americans.

In November, the majority of White Americans will tell all Americans_and the World_whether the “disease” is incurable and therefore the patient (America) is dying?

Or whether there is reason to Hope again?!

I can’t say that I’m “enjoying” any of this. In fact, I’m very afraid for my country!

But I am always Thankful for “The Truth” no matter how painful it is_because it is “The Truth" that sets us free.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, I go on vacation for a few days and... :)

So let me see if I got this straight: the 50% of the population that may vote for McCain-- automatically racist. Niiiiice. Not much to say to that is there. This sort of ridiculousness is not what I saw in this blog when I started reading it. Now it's just unreasonable.

Also, truthiz, "As I see it, "the world" is not regressing. America is! "

Go to Europe some time. You'll see some _real_ racism. I've been to soccer matches in Spain where black players are taunted with monkey noises and bananas are thrown on the field. I cannot recall this happening in the U.S., not in my lifetime at least.

Ah yes, what a racist country, tsk tsk, 50% are intending to vote for a black man, the other 50% are racist. sigh. R, D, issues, meh, doesn't matter, it's all about race in the end right?

aegil said...

Big Man,
I've thought about your post all day. I'd like to tell you that there are still good people in the world, and that it hurts my heart to see your anger and your pain. You're not much older than my sons. But what it really makes me want to say, is, I'm sorry. I'm sorry my generation failed to make this world a better place for you and your children. I'm sorry, and I'm worried that McCain and his train wreck of a VP might get to run this country. I'm sorry for the hatred that I still see and feel from my own country. My family taught me to be proud to salute the flag, that I was lucky to be here, that I was safe here, that I could not be exterminated because of my religion here. I think about my best friend's mom - the only survivor of the camps in her family - who taught me to cook and clean, but couldn't hug me or her daughter. I think about my grandparents who risked everything to come here, and all I can say is, I'm sorry, and I want better for both of us, and for our children.

Eric's SoulFunkPunk Experience said...

Anon give me a break, it's whites like you that have created this chasm with your outright bitter indifference on any Afro- American that questions his country's actions. So what, 30 percent of registred White Americans are willing to vote for Obama and that's progress please. I wouldn't go on a site like this and raise my blood pressure because I don't agree with the posts and writer.

Why don't you go on Michelle Malkin, Shelby Steele or Thomas Sowell's website, you will find Minorites who agree with your worldview on racial issues.

Imhotep said...

Big Man, I feel you man. dealing with these unspoken indignities on a daily basis can really f**k with a brotha.

The country is experiencing terrible economic difficulties, many families are affected. Most of the rest of the world don't care for our international policies, they universally give us the finger. With all of that, 50% of these white mothafukas (many struggling)are voicing their support for more of the same. They like there forefathers believe that white make it right. These mothafukas refuse to come into the 21st century.

Eric, You're not voting for Obama because he's not progressive enough?! Tell me a white man you voted for in the past for president and I'll show you a white man who was not progressive enough.

This is a quote from Frederick Douglas about Martin Robison Delany that I carry with me daily.

Frederick Douglass said of Delany, "I thank God for making me a man, simply, but Delany always thanks Him for making him a Black man."

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Big Man, I've been thinking the exact same thing lately and you beat me to punch writing about it. That's fine - you did a great job expressing what I'll bet has become clear to so many of us. The racist elements in the media is a sham. Jon Stewart did a great show a few days ago showing the hypocrisy by contrasting statements made by Rove, OReilly, and I think Hannity on exact same situations but with different people. It exposed them as skilled liars as never seen before. I hope America is waking up.

And yes, the smoke you described is a sweet perfume to me too.

To Imhotep - I like that quote.

Deacon Blue said...

Anon...I really, really shouldn't respond to you. Because if you're the same "anonymous" who's been popping up around here for the past couple months (or whatever it is) and who initially seemed to be seeking understanding about why blacks are angry...well, if you ARE the same person, all I've seen is you continuing to entrench yourself deeper and deeper into a "denial" mindset.

But, because I'm a masochist about this kind of thing at times...

We shall see what happens on election day, but the fact is that this election SHOULD be a landslide (in OBama's favor), if race wasn't a key issue.

But all signs point toward this ending up as a close race (again, we shall see), and there is no reason for that.

Obama-Biden provides experience, poise, some level of change, class, style, grace and maturity.

McCain-Palin provides only one person with real experience to run the country, a lot of rash decisions and poor judgment, anger and bitterness, jingoism and a promise to continue the country on the same path it is currently languishing in.

If it turns out that roughly half the country votes for the latter, then what would be the most likely reason: the color of Obama's skin.

From an objective standpoint, given a choice between the Dems and the GOP this year, there should be no contest. Yet there still is.

Why?

Race.

If you can see that, then you've super-glued the blinders on.

P.S. This doesn't mean everyone who votes McCain is racist, by the way. Also, "racist" doesn't have to mean KKK-level hate. If someone votes against their real interests and future because of race, that person is racist...even if they say hi to black folks and other folks of color and treat them decently day to day. You don't have to have slobbering hate and nasty attitudes to be racist. You just have to be willing to ignore that white privilege is alive, well and still being misused.

Deacon Blue said...

Sorry, meant "if you CAN'T see that, then you have blinders on"

Big Man said...

Anon, you need to read a little closer.

I did not say that everyone who will vote for McCain is racist. How would I know that? What I do know is that by voting for him you are cosigning the racist and underhanded strategies utilized by him and his surrogates. Those strategies aren't even subtle anymore, so no one can pretend they dont' understand what's going on.

People who watch from the sidelines as prejudice and racism rule the world are just as guilty as those who participate.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

the organic chemist in me shouldnt say this
but get u some soap and gasoline

Truthiz said...

Big Man,

It's now Monday evening, Sept. 8th and after a few days of witnessing the Republicans and their Reich-wing minions continue to beat the heck outta Obama, I now believe you were absolutely CORRECT in your initial post when you expressed your Frustration with Obama's handling_or the lack thereof_the lies and mocking he's allowed himself to be subjected to on almost a daily basis.

Obama opted for a Non-aggressive approach and you took issue with it.

I deferred to his judgment on the matter, wanting to give it a little time to see how it's playing with White America.

Well, it's pretty clear that the Non-aggressive approach on ANY issue is a losing strategy. Barack canot afford to allow those cretins to define him, to High-jack his message and dominate the narrative.

He MUST take it to the Republicans and shove their words back down their throats Every. Single. Day. until they choke on them_and he must wrap the issues around their necks every day until election day!

And he's got NO time to lose!

Raving Black Lunatic