Somebody once said you never realize you have a drinking problem until you run out of wine. Take that alcohol away and that seemingly docile, agreeable individual might show you a surly, aggressive side that you didn’t know existed.
I think a lot of people who never thought of themselves as racist felt that way because they were in their comfort zone and left unchallenged for too long. Now that we’ve elected a black president for a second term, it’s like someone has put a cork in their moonshine.
Shortly after President Obama made history the media almost force fed us conversations about a post-racial America without stopping to think how ridiculous a notion it was. Now we’re seeing that not only is racism still around, it’s worse. It’s like a sleeping racist beast has been awakened and until we have THIS conversation we are going to see ever more blatant examples of race-based hatred.
Just this week in the news we covered two stories that sound like headlines from the 1950s.
A white man on a plane, upset that a baby is crying, yells out “shut that N-word baby up,” then slaps the baby.
A father of a newborn asked that no black nurses care for his baby. The hospital and the administration not only honored that request, but they put it in writing. The black nurse originally assigned to care for the baby, Tonya Battle, is suing the hospital. When she came our show Tuesday her story triggered a barrage of responses from our Text Tom Club.
There were lots of examples of the same kind of racism from people employed in hospitals, schools, stores, police forces, etc.
According to one listener, “I’m a commercial banker and customers have requested to not have black loan officers.”
Some also shared stories about black people who wanted to be served only by white people, proving that ignorance knows no color.
So what’s better: to pretend that these feeling and actions are isolated and can be contained or recognize that there’s a real problem and start dealing with it?
America has been self-medicating too long. It’s time to take a sobering look at the real issues and stop playing around.
I get accused all the time of playing the race card. Lately, I’ve been using the whole deck because I’m not going to pretend that this thing is even close to being over.
Add to all this, the NRA wants everyone to be armed.
The last thing we need is a bunch of angry racists with concealed weapons being egged on by Fox news reporters and the religious right. But that’s what’s happening and we’re in for some explosive times.