Racism. I don’t want to talk about it.
I started this blog primarily to have a place to voice thoughts and feelings about what was sure to be an historic election. From the comfort of our living room, John and I heard Obama’s speech at the 2004 convention. We were almost certainly multi-tasking at the time, but we quickly engaged. As the speech ended, we looked at each other and knew: he’s going to be President, and we’re going to help. We had been waiting for this man and this message for a very long time.
Of course there is joy in that he’s African-American. But that isn’t why we would vote for him. It’s about the national conversation—talking, listening, finding common ground. About change that will stick. About civil discourse, not games. (In spite of the media talk, this is an election, not a sports contest.)
I’m not so naive that I believe that racism in this country has been eradicated, like a disease. But to have to face the fact that it is still so strong in some areas that people will vote against their own interest rather than vote for a person of color makes me queasy. To acknowledge that it may be so prevalent that “racists” need to be part of the political calculus makes me angry. And sad.
I don’t want to talk about it. So I’ve just gone silent. But an encouraging comment from Rosalie this morning brought me to express my thoughts—however inelegantly—and move on.
The Democratic Party survived the defection of the Dixiecrats over civil rights. The party survived again when the me-first Reagan Democrats took a hike. And the party will survive—in fact, probably thrive—when the racists leave. So in my freshest, most ringing prose, I say to Democratic racists, “Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.”
The very idea of an election strategy, a party coalition, built around appealing to racists is disgusting. Sure some will leave. Fug’em.