As many by now know, I grew up naïve as could be in an all-white suburb of very black Detroit. It was when I returned to Southeast Michigan, after serving three years in the Army, to go to college, that I found I had grown beyond my emotional ability to deal with or live in the bigotry that was too much prevalent in the state. In 1972 I relocated to the San Francisco Bay area, and lived there for three decades.
Regardless bigotry was extant, it was like that perverted very distant, six times removed relative every family has. What was dominant was the attitude of genuine acceptance, that I'm not one whit superior to anyone because of anything at all DNA connected. For 30 years, as a white-bread Caucasian, I was part of a racial minority; or as part of that genetic demographic, I wasn't in the majority. And it was GREAT! However Allen Park, Michigan certainly did not live the tenet, to me, it was how I'd been taught through elementary school that America was supposed to be; "E Pluribus Unum."
Beginning in early 2003, I resided at the south end of the Tampa Bay for three and one-half years. For a brief period, I was an independent insurance agent. At one gathering a mid-40-ish woman asked where I was headed in the afternoon. "The east side of 8th Avenue, in Palmetto."
The woman looked at me askance, as if I might be carrying some manner of infectious disease. "Ohhh, that's 'darkeytown.'"
However such sentiments coursed the veins of some, likely many, if demography is an indication, in Michigan, not in any of the years I lived there had I heard such verbal excreta, evidence manifested ugly of inbred ignorance. Not in any of the 30 San Francisco Bay area years had I encountered evidence that anyone even thought that way. But here I was in the South, and here it was; front and center. And on the backs of pickup trucks and flying from flag staffs in front yards were the "Stars-n-Bars." I couldn't leave that fetid trough of backwoods ignorance quickly enough. Those sentiments were not America, nor American. And those who could even feel that kind of bigotry were to me not the first part human, they were subhuman caricatures with sub-simian intellects. To my America, the country and the world would have been well served had they never drawn first breath.
The article below illustrates exquisitely what this country is up against. It also illustrates precisely why, if John McCain succeeds to the Oval Office on the backs of what is depicted below, I most genuinely have zero interest in reaching my next birthday in January. I want to live in America. And what we'll have will not be any America I care to recognize. It wouldn't be the one, as an 18-year old, I joined the Army to defend. It wouldn't be an America worthy of defending.
- Ed Tubbs
Palm Springs, CA
_Racist Incidents Give Some Obama Campaigners Pause_
By Kevin Merida
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 13, 2008; A01