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 firstname.lastname@example.org.