Racism at Books-A-Million (I Dare you To read This)

I don’t have to give a disclaimer.  I only do it to establish a common decency.  I do not identify with either the Alt Right or the New Left.  I despise Antifa as well as the David Dukes of the world.  I consider the KKK to be pond scum (that gives pond scum and insult).  I have little use for anyone who judges another person based on their skin color.  I teach my children that all human beings are created in the image of God.

I insistently teach my children that all human beings are created in the image of God. Blacks and Whites are equal.  We are all equally valued by God.

We do not talk about white pride in our home, although we are proud of our identity.    We are proud Americans.  Why wouldn’t we be?  America is great.  It is the greatest nation on Earth.  We talk often about American exceptionalism.  We talk about the uniqueness of America and her citizens.  Black people, brown people, white people, and a variety of others are all indissolubly linked to the making of our country. We celebrate that.

We celebrate that, unapologetically.

Because we celebrate our diverse origins and identity as Americans, we celebrate the Negro Spirituals and the fact that a true glimpse of divine beauty can emerge from horror, as well as the music of Tin Pan Alley, Motown, New Orleans, Chicago, California, and Nashville.

We love the Beach Boys, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and the Temptations.

I firmly believe that racism must be taught.  My children do not see any difference at all, in people, outside of appearance, between a Black and a White person.  My son, when given an opportunity to choose a baby doll, chose one skinh black sin.  He sleeps with him every night.  I didn’t teach him that.

I didn’t teach him that.

That being said, I was forced this week to bring up issues of race with my 6-year old daughter.

In what should have been a benign trip to Books-a-Million, my daughter and I overheard the words, “Donald Trump…hate…murder…racist..blacks.”   I had to fight the urge to set this utterly and undignifiedly uninformed employee straight, but I composed myself.  I could tell that my daughter carefully regarded these words, and then found herself taken aback.  It caused for her, a moment of cognitive dissonance.  She knows that in our home, all races are equal.  She knows that her Mom and Dad are both, NOT RACISTS.  She also knows that her Mom and Dad would not vote for a racist.  She knows that her Mom and Dad DID vote for Donald Trump.

I let it go.  Unfortunately, I could tell that my daughter carefully regarded these words and then found herself taken aback.  It caused for her, a moment of cognitive dissonance.  She knows that in our home, all races are equal.  She knows that her Mom and Dad are both, NOT RACISTS.  She also knows that her Mom and Dad would not vote for a racist.

But here is the clincher:  She knows that her Mom and Dad DID vote for Donald Trump.

Uh Oh!

Now, she is reasonable.  She can tell good from bad.  She’s young but shrewd.  She is well trained.  She has heard Trump on television.  She has heard my wife and I talk about him—often positively. Despite being 6, she has a pretty firm grasp on who this guy is.

Back to Books-A-Million:   After the comments she heard from the employee sipping on his Starbucks, typing on his iPhone, and wailing about corporate greed; next came the coup de grace:  She handed me a book she found that portrayed President Trump as a starfish with a sphincter for a mouth.  Out of his mouth (crevice) blew flatulence with words superimposed over a poof of smoke representing his breath.  She knew it was Trump because of the orange tint and the hair (clearly).  She asked me why he was shaped this way.

 

I explained to her, “Some people do not like PRESIDENT TRUMP.”  Then, she asked me in response to the comments about hate and murder she had heard.  “Daddy, why did they say those things about Donald Trump?”  I don’t know if it was cognitive or not, but she paired the hate she heard from the employee, with the parody and pictures she found in the book.  Most Ivy League students couldn’t perform such a feat.

Most Ivy League students couldn’t perform such a feat.

Call me a racist if you want, but here is what I told her: “Baby, some people are so bent on calling things stupid or racist, that they resort to calling people who they disagree with stupid or  racist—even if they aren’t stupid or racist.  They have been so effectively programed (by activists and politicians who benefit financially from stirring up racial conflagration) that they see it as a good deed to call these people these things.  To them, anything that doesn’t match what they have been programmed to think makes a light go off that says “Racist!  Racist! Racists!  Stupid! Stupid!  Stupid!”

I explained to her that I believe that the earth is millions of years old, but that I reject Darwinian theory.  I reject the view that says bacteria became bugs, bugs became animals, and animals became humans.  I reject it outright.  I told her, that among my peers, I am seen as anti-science (stupid).  I explained that the word stupid is invoked because Darwinian theory has a number of weaknesses that they cannot account for.  So, in defense of their view, they hurl the word “Stupid!”  I explained to her that the cries of Racism are simliar.

I went on to explain to her that racism is horrible.  I explained past and PRESENT slavery to her and told her about the history of America and its role in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and its role in ending it.  When I finished, I told her, “These racial programmers do not want racism to disappear.” Jesse Jackson has no intention of helping to ERADICATE racism.

Do you doubt me?  Are you kidding me?  If racism were to disappear tomorrow, there would go Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton’s meal ticket.  There is lots of money to be made in agitating grievances.

FOLLOW THE MONEY.

I will take it a step further:  If most blacks in this country were persuaded to believe that most whites wish for them nothing but success (which is the truth), the Democratic Party would go extinct.  Gone.  Nonexistent—like the dodo bird.

But I am brought now to an uncomfortable question:  Can the racial divide in this country be healed?   I think the answer is “Yes.”  I am optimistic.  I think it will take a swallowing of pride on both sides, white and black.  It will take admitting that slavery, though horrific, did cause horror and untold pain for blacks (the very ancestors of our friends).  On the other side, I think it will take blacks admitting that no matter how bad slavery was, and how horrific their forbears were treated, that whites today have no responsibility (it wasn’t us…it was our forebears).

For better or worse, we are both here, on this soil.  We are both Americans.  We both salute the same flag, and bleed the same Patriot red.   Whites have died for the freedom of blacks, and blacks for the freedom of whites.  Can we not celebrate that?!

I am a proud Southerner, but I apologize for what my ancestors may have done—or may not have done.   This doesn’t mean I disavow my ancestors or my heritage.  I am proud to be from the South, on my Father’s side.  On my Mothers side, I am proud to be from the North.  There were anti-slavery soldiers, both black and white,  on both sides.  I celebrate that! What it means is that I acknowledge that man by his very nature is flawed.  My ancestors were no different.

When we realize that MAN that man by his very nature is flawed, we see the reality of the whole situation.  My ancestors were no different–they were flawed.  Sinners.  Many of my Ancestors were victims of The Norman Conquest, the Irish Potato Famine, Decline of the Hapsburg Dynasty, Napoleonic and Czarist adventurism, and gratuitous insults and speculations about the intelligence of Europeans of Polish descent.Despite this fact, I live my life.  I am proud to be an American.

Despite this fact, I live my life.  I am proud to be an American.  God has shown ME grace.  For that I am thankful.  I wish to share it with others, no matter the color.

Perhaps you can as well.

 

 

 

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