It's time to move on from racism

Monday, October 20, 2008 | 8:34 a.m. CDT; updated 11:03 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 29, 2008

There's no such thing as a harmless little bit of racism. If you have never experienced it, then I can understand you might not recognize it or possibly mistake it for something else. But you can take my word for it, those who have experienced it, know the feel of it, the smell of it and the taste of it. And it does no good to tell them that it wasn't there.

So much for the presidential campaign and I'll say it again, I'll be glad when it's behind us. Even without that element, the divisiveness the two-party system generates leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Add in the financial crisis and it's very difficult for some people to overlook even the slightest incident of rudeness these days.

In my part of the world, people are very contentious. It doesn't take much effort to get them snapping at each other. Personally, I don't mind walking on egg shells. I learned a long time ago that living with bottled up anger will hurt me more than it will the person causing the trouble. I just keep hoping people will realize in the greater scheme of things, being adamant about their political opinion is not worth hurting other people's feelings.

Actually, a lot of people still have not gotten over the anger they felt during the civil rights era. And that's on both sides of the issue. Having to go through a replay of all that drama is not something some of us want to do. I wish those who are still needing to get it out of their system would do so privately and allow the rest of us to get on with our lives. Some of the people I run into behave as if they have been waiting for this chance for the last 40 or so years. Sometimes, it seems that these bad attitudes are going to be reenacted like the Civil War at every opportunity.

Since either a Democrat or a Republican will be the incoming president, I would say that in most respects not a lot of things will change. The color of the person's skin will not change the way things work in Washington, D.C. The lobbyists will still be at their jobs attempting to make laws that favor their employers. The president will  start planning his next campaign on day one and the political parties will begin raising funds. It won't take long for the bitter partisan war to rear its ugly head and we will be back to business as usual. As ugly as the rhetoric is getting, it may take longer for the public to get back to normal. As long as there are those using the media to keep the racial flames ignited, the fire will continue to spread. Of course, there are individuals who like it this way.

Watching hatred spread pleases them, because they want everyone to be as miserable as they are. Too many people getting along together makes them feel threatened. They can't imagine living a life without someone to hate.

With many worrying about their jobs and their retirement funds, it doesn't take much to incite their fears. Unfortunately, we have to live with the consequences of the trouble being stirred up. Frankly, it seems me, most people have enough personal problems to deal with without having to listen to politicians who will say anything to get elected.

Still, it's disheartening to realize some people still have racial angst that others want to believe they got over years go. It's disappointing for some to know these people have been hiding it for all these years. Other people understood it was still there, deeply hidden. You really can't fool all of the people all of the time. So when some of these rabble-rousers go around accusing some Americans of racism they are not necessarily just making trouble. A lot of it is still there, hiding deep in the human heart.

I don't plan to vote, feeling as I do about the two-party system. Most people that I know believe most white Americans will be unable to vote for an African-American to be president because they are secretly racists.

We shall see what we shall see.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at

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Ayn Rand October 20, 2008 | 11:12 a.m.

"I don't plan to vote, feeling as I do about the two-party system."

Wow. Absolutely amazing. A prime example of how the media ignores the fact that there are other parties -- not only in their jobs, but in their personal lives, too.

Rose, see and You ought to be ashamed of your ignorance. Because of people such as you, the other parties struggle to be heard above the shrill whine of the Republicans and Democrats.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 20, 2008 | 11:56 a.m.

There is no two party system as you imply but there is a multi party system that allows everybody to be represented.

So are you blaming the other more active parties for your party's failure to put up good candidates and to run next to the big dogs of politics? Because that is exactly how you come across here.

If you are blaming the government because your chosen party cannot get enough donations or air time then you need to look at Barack Obama and his choosing to go away from the funding that would have been allocated to him by the Feds. Instead he went with the other method which is allowed to all politicians running for office.

Stop crying about the system and get off your duff and vote if you do not like it so much. A no vote does you no good.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 20, 2008 | 12:03 p.m.

Independents put up solid candidates, Charles. The media and fools (not mutually exclusive) ignore them at their peril:

"Back in 1954, only 22% of voters identified themselves as independents, according to the American National Election Survey. Fifty years later the number was nearly double. Now, two out of five Americans can't name anything they like about the Democrats, and 50% say the same about Republicans. More than 40% of college undergraduates identify themselves as independents, according to a summer 2008 survey by Harvard University's Institute of Politics (IOP)."

So if the Missourian wants to continue its slide into irrelevance, just keep covering the politics in a way that ignores the views of so many voters -- and readers.

(Report Comment)
John Beaumonte October 20, 2008 | 12:27 p.m.

"I don't plan to vote, feeling as I do about the two-party system."

That's the way Ayn, that way when the Democrats win you can still continue to whine. You can still vote for an Independent but you're probably too lazy to get your behind to the polling place.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 20, 2008 | 12:30 p.m.

John, the quote that Ayn had in the first comment was from Rose's article.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 20, 2008 | 12:46 p.m.

John Beau, maybe you and Charles can take a reading comprehension class together.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 20, 2008 | 2:24 p.m.

Ayn Rand you miss understood what I meant about being a independent voter. To me independent is not about any party philosophy,lines,doctrines or any such rhetoric by far but it is about looking at the main issues that concern you as a citizen and voting on those issues whether it results in a one sided ticket or a completely split ticket.

The points is that you the citizen/voter are voting in the way you honestly feel,abandoning all party lines and philosophies and actually voting as you want to instead of as a group of people want you to do.

That in IMHO is being a true independent voter and a real concerned citizen.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 20, 2008 | 2:27 p.m.

Ayn Rand you need to go back to reading comprehension 101 IMHO.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 20, 2008 | 4:25 p.m.

Chuck, if you would learn how to write clearly, people might understand you. For example, you need to realize that run-on sentences are annoying. Also, learn what commas splices are and how to avoid them.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 20, 2008 | 8:21 p.m.

Ayn Rand hey where does it say that exact sentance structures are mandatory on the internet. Just because you are not intelligent enough to decipher cohesive thinking is not my problem.

What do they teach you in school these days? In my day it was all about being able to read into all styles of sentance structures put before you and to understand the flow of the thoughts presented.

Thank you though for your comment.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 20, 2008 | 9:34 p.m.

Charles, the Internet is too full of information for us to waste our time on the incoherent ramblings of a simpleton. Your thoughts flow like diarrhea!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 21, 2008 | 4:39 a.m.

Maybe you should meet me in person some time over morning coffee and get to know who I am before you come on here judging who I am by what I type. You just might get to like me as alot of my close friends do.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 21, 2008 | 5:39 a.m.

That's the thing -- we have met over coffee. Maybe I'm one of the people you accuse of being a backstabber in your blog. Think about it.

(Report Comment)
John Beaumonte October 21, 2008 | 7:25 a.m.

John Beau, maybe you and Charles can take a reading comprehension class together.

My apologies Ayn, I went back and re-read the article and caught my mistake. Thanks John Schurtz for the correction.

Ayn, sure, I'll take a reading comprehension class so long as you're sitting there behind me. You're extremely rude and closed minded. How old are you, ten? Nope, I've experienced ten year olds that have more common sense (and humility) than you've been displaying.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 21, 2008 | 7:50 a.m.

John Beau, you seem bitter, probably because you made yourself look like a fool by flying off the handle for a mistake on your part. No need to drag yourself down even further by sticking out your tongue.

(Report Comment)
John Beaumonte October 21, 2008 | 8:44 a.m.

Perhaps that's it - however, you on the other hand are just perfect, aren't you?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 21, 2008 | 11:35 a.m.

John Beau, reading before writing is not perfection. It's the bare minimum. More proof that when you lower the bar, all that you get are people tripping over it.

(Report Comment)

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