Pennsylvania is not ready for a black QUARTERBACK, let alone a black president!" comedian Bill Maher
MY name is Greg Purcell and I AM a Racist:
At first that statement may sound like a boast. It's not. It's just that I am finally confessing a sin that many progressive white people have NOT come to terms with. I stand before you with the shame of an alcoholic at his first AA meeting, admitting that I have a problem that is, many times, out of my control.
First, as an autobiography, I am a 51-year-old white male who was raised in the north by a hard-core southern family. I am an avid Obama supporter, living in the South Georgia area. As a rule, I tend to enjoy the company of southern black folks more than that of the local rednecks. I have even dated black women in the past, but like the recovering addict, I still spend each day struggling with my own inherent negative racial stereotypes. For example, if a young black teen gets into an elevator with me, I unconsciously put my hand on my wallet. If the hip-hopper looks like the white rapper Eminem, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminem, It doesn't bother me as much.
This type of attitude in myself concerns me, but it also underlines the inner racial problems that exist even among the most progressive white people.
Finally, I want to apologize in advance to my black friends for any remarks in this article that may seem racist or offensive. Like Obama said in his one frank speech on the issue: America NEEDS to have this discussion!
The mainstream news media is pushing the idea that racism is not a major issue in this campaign. I've heard it said that only a small percentage of the electorate would NOT vote for a candidate because of his race. It’s been suggested that America is past that. I strongly disagree and fear that if the Democrats believe that, they are in dire straits this election season!
First, a true personal story: (this happened three months ago near Savannah,Georgia)
My stepdaughter was dating a 28-year-old local white boy. Like the fiancée of our future president's daughter, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1051911/Meet-family-The-f--ing-redneck-pregnant-teenage-lover-man-wants-president.html he's another self described "fuckin redneck". She and her two teenage sons were riding in this young man's pickup truck, and since there were 4 of them in the cab there were only seatbelts for three. He was driving up an inclined ramp at a high rate of speed, approaching a bridge over the river. There was a "t" intersection just before the highway actually crosses the bridge and an oncoming motorist pulled out and hit the truck broadside.
The old pickup containing the four of them rolled over the embankment, end over end, spilling gasoline and broken glass everywhere. It came to rest upright, but at a 45-degree angle. The driver and my stepdaughter were temporarily knocked unconscious, but my two step-grandsons were frantically trying to exit the gas soaked wreckage. A passer-by saw this mishap, stopped his vehicle in the middle of the road, darted across traffic, down the embankment (ignoring gas and broken glass) and began to help the teens climb out the window because the door was smashed.
I need to interrupt this story for a fact that would be insignificant in any other description of a heroic rescue:
The man who risked his life to save my wife's daughter and grand kids was BLACK.
About that time, the 28 year old driver regained consciousness, and instead of thanking the good Samaritan for saving all of their lives, the first words out of his mouth were: (I apologize in advance but this needs to be quoted with no censorship:)
"Get the f*ck out of here, you goddamned f*cking n-word!"
The kids told me that they were so appalled and embarrassed that they ran up the hill to thank the man for helping them and to apologize for the redneck's racist comment. Since then I have been ashamed to be white.
Perhaps it was an isolated incident? I don't think so. I hear the "n" word and racial presidential jokes on a daily basis. Ironically, most of them start with the phrase: "I'm not a RACIST but..."
Here are a few gems: it won't be the WHITE HOUSE anymore if Obama is elected"...
Obama will enslave the white people".
One highly educated young white man dating one of my stepdaughters tried to explain that slavery “was not as bad as it was described!” His reasoning for this repulsive statement was: “because slaves COST so much, most plantation owners took very good care of them. They were almost always well fed and never beat!” (I swear this is a true story!)
A local redneck was selling T-shirts with the monkey "Curious George" on them and the caption "Obama 08".After Ebay pulled the auction due to copyright violations, THIS replaced it:
I also keep hearing a lot of jokes locally about how quickly Obama will be SHOT if elected
EXAMPLE: "Black guy says to St Peter: 'I was elected the first black president!'..St Peter says 'WHEN?'...About 25 minutes ago'"
This issue NEVER makes the mainstream media. Even Christian Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, speaking to a gathering of the National Rifle Association, reacted to an unscripted crash backstage with the ad-lib quip:
That was Barack Obama. He just tripped off a chair. He was getting ready to speak. Somebody aimed a gun at him and he...he dove for the floor." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_S76OnHlys&eurl=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/16/huckabee-talks-about-some_n_102178.html?show_comment_id=13098290
The next day Huckabee apologized for the unfortunate comment and the issue was immediately dropped.
Incidentally it has been my argument to the local rednecks that if Michele Obama is(as they say) an unpatriotic "black power" Muslim anarchist because of her "first time proud of my country" slip, then the same reasoning should be applied to Huckabee’s gaff. Would his remark make Mike Huckabee a "racist extremist who is advocating the assassination of a black presidential candidate?”
Perhaps if Hillary Clinton had made the comment it would have gotten more airplay on Fox News (oh..wait...she DID say something along those lines!)
Last summer, my wife had surgery, and during her recuperation we received the care of a home health care nurse. One of the people the agency sent was a wonderful and compassionate "50 something" white male nurse who introduced himself by saying that he was a "born again Christian, who believed in the power of God to invoke healing". He asked if we would be offended if he said a prayer before he started his duties and we, of course, did not object. Later, while he was finishing a dressing change, The TV was on in the background with CNN reporting the details of the Jena 6 march in Alabama http://www.democracynow.org/2007/7/10/the_case_of_the_jena_six
He turned to me and said
I can't believe THOSE PEOPLE are making such a big deal over a NOOSE IN A TREE!"