If you ask a smoker who the most intolerable people are to be around, it’s a reformed smoker. Know why? Because those of us who are won’t listen to your bullshit cognitive dissonance because we’ve already slain that demon.
You know what is the most intolerable thing for a racist? A reformed racist.
When I was 17, dad sent me to Spain to visit with my Aunt Betsy. I was ten when she found out this Spaniard she met down in Miami was going to get married and well, she weren’t going to let some Spanish hussy steal her man. So she got on an airplane and went to Spain. She packed a suitcase and left all of her belongings behind. We had to go pick up everything she left behind and bring it back here. She’s been married to the kindest man I’ve ever met ever since.
Jose had some kind of birth defect in his ear and it gave him hyper-sensitive hearing. He was already a famous sound engineer in Spain. He had pictures of him with Mick and Keith, U2, Bowie, Freddie and a bunch more. When I was there he was recording the Psychedelic Furs.
When you travel to another country, you instantly understand what Mark Twain meant when he said,
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Right next to the Prado Museum in Madrid is Retiro Park. Betsy had a friend named Ann who was showing me the sights. She had a full mane of grey hair and she was the most beautiful woman I had been in the presence of. Think Kim Bassinger in 9 1/2 weeks. We were sitting at the benches in this photo enjoying the spectacular view and I see a gorgeous woman walking with a dapper black guy. He stopped and pulled her hand gently and spun her to him and began kissing her passionately.
I’m from Kentucky and though Jefferson Davis was from the Bluegrass State, we fought for the Union in what the rebels call even today, ‘the war of northern aggression.’ Anything below the Mason Dixon line is considered the south and we have a certain “heritage” that still flows in the veins of descendent of the Civil War.
Now anyone from the South knows exactly what I am saying without saying it explicitly. What I just said there is a not-so-secret code spoken among white people like a wink wink nod nod that I too am racist and it’s okay to speak freely.
The other day, a Republican by the name of Carla Moloney resigned as secretary for the Beaver County GOP after a family member shared screen shots of these comments:
“Tired of these over paid ignorant blacks telling me what I should believe in. I will tell you what I believe in and that is our Flag the National Anthem and America period end of story,” she wrote. “You don’t like it here go to Africa see how you like it there. We are all Americans not African American not Hispanic American. WE ARE ALL AMERICAN.”
She went on.
“Steelers are now just as bad as the rest of the over paid baboons. You respect your flag, country and our national anthem. How many men and women have lost limbs or died to protect this country and you baboons want respect,” she wrote. “If you want respect you need to earn it and so far you haven’t. Stop watching, or going to a game and paying for over priced food, water and tickets. Let’s see how the baboons get paid when white people stop paying their salaries.”
Now I shouldn’t have to mention which word she’d rather use than ‘baboon’ because you know what it is. Carla’s little diatribe is reflective of the kind of language quiet racists feel comfortable saying around their kin and friends. I’ve heard that exact kind of language for I am ashamed to say, decades. When I was young and ignorant as can be, I didn’t see any harm in it because everyone I knew was like that.
I’d never seen a black man kiss a white woman before. I felt like I was walking through some mind-bending universe seeing every masterpiece the Prado had and buildings hundreds of years old on a splendid day and I was sitting with the most beautiful woman I had ever seen and my initial feeling of discomfort witnessing this private moment turned to utter fascination because she was smiling and laughing as he dipped and twirled her round. I looked at Ann and wished I had the nerve to do the same with her. He was singing as he walked away. I said to Ann, “so that’s what it’s like to be gaga in love.” To this day, it still makes me smile.
I sat up that night still reeling from jet lag and I began putting every racist I knew on a grid in my mind. Then I began recognizing their patterns and similarities and the first thing I noticed was they were all stupid. I’m talking dumb as stumps. Then I said to myself, ‘They haven’t been to Spain either.’ I just didn’t want to be like *them* anymore. I was never like them anyway. They let me know every single time I used my ‘fancy college words.’
Yesterday, Nike announced that Colin Kaepernick was going to be their spokesperson for the 30th anniversary of the Just Do It campaign. I still follow my hometown newspaper the Courrier Journal. They had a post about it and like a dog returneth to his vomit, I had to look. It was a horror show of quiet code of white people livid at Nike for their villainous miscegenation by employing that ‘anti-American N…..,’ I mean black man.
You see, in the south and most of America, if you’re black, you ain’t sposed to protest freedom when we let you be a millionaire playing in the NFL. KNOW YOUR PLACE YOU BLACK SON OF A BITCH! Even the President said what they were *all* thinking. So naturally, they all came out to play and they’re at full froth across Facebook and Twitter.
Well let me tell all you Bubbas and Tammy Lynns out there, having ‘a black friend’ does not inoculate you from being racists when you get home and start burning your Nike gear to protest Colin, it proves you are racists. ALL of you need to do some deep soul-searching because Colin and everyone else who looks like him, don’t have a problem, you do. And I’ll be gotdamned if you think I am going to see all the injustice my black brothers and sisters have to suffer because of your dumb asses and stay silent about it!
If you want to be something more than the rot on our society, then stop saying you aren’t racist just because you don’t say ni**er no more. If you don’t want to be called racists, then stop voting them into office and start making the world a better place where everything isn’t about putting the dumbest person possible into office. If you’re pissed off about a black man protesting the summary executions of unarmed black people then you are a dyed-in-the-wool Yee Hawing racist and I am tired of you embarrassing the country because you lack the courage to sever the chains of racism which were put on you by your parents.
It’s 2018 not 1818 and you’re missing so much more beauty in your life that the chains of racism rob you of. Believe me I know, I used to be just like you, then I went to Spain. It will make you change your lakes for ocean.