Tonight, the preeminent issue across the Media spectrum, is yet another Police Slaying on yet another Black Man, under questionable circumstance. Race is the most polarizing subject in the 2016 Presidential election. Whether the topic is Immigration Reform, Health Care, Jobs, or Income Inequality, it all works back to Race and Ethnicity.
Earlier, on an MSNBC broadcast, I saw a middle-aged, White, Trump supporter say, “We never had any racial problems in this country, until Obama got elected.” My question is, “Where in the Hell had this stupid bitch been for the past 60 years?” Maybe she’s been in that comfy little bubble of Republican Upper Middle Class, a place where the only racial question in whether to hire the local Black Lady who cleans houses, or the much cheaper Ecuadorian Lady, why does such an excellent job, but is ‘Undocumented’?
Now, for my part, I’m named for a Doctor who headed the Marion County / Indianapolis Health Department for nearly forty years. A Man who was sometimes criticized by his colleagues, because he had no qualms about serving the “Colored” community for Births and emergency Surgeries’. Someone who gave classes for Midwives, the graduates of which were given his every contact numbers in case of complications. Upon my Grandfather’s death, the wealthy black Funeral Director, Dr Flanner, (of Flanner & Buchanan Mortuaries),* built a Free Clinic near Methodist Hospital, and named it the Herman G. Morgan Health Center. (* Part of the funding came from decades of Fees my Grandpa was supposed to collect for signing every Live Birth Certificate in the City and County, a whole lot of Quarters and Half-Dollars never taken, because he considered it a “privilege” to sign such important documents.).
As his Grandson, and Namesake, I was raised to judge people on who they were, not what color they wore for skin. A ‘Colored’ Nurse named Jean, taught me how to tie my shoes, count to ten, and color between the lines. So, when she walked me out to the school bus one cold morning, and a ‘Big Kid’ said, “I knew y’all were rich, but I didn’t know you had a Nigger Nanny”, I felt no qualms about punching him in the nose !
When I was a Junior in High School, and a Teacher told us, “White People will become a minority in America in the early 21st Century”. A lot of the kids just scoffed, like, ‘sure Lady. That’s gonna happen !’, but I understood that the demographics pointed in exactly that direction. I heard the same thing in Sociology 101 at Foothill College, in 1969, but I hated that Sociology class, and was damned if I would study a Science, where all the terminology was in German!
So, here We are, it’s about to happen, and even some moderate and sane White folks aren’t taking it well. Now, on the other side of the coin, I said many times in the 70’s and 80’s, that “White People can’t even organize a Club or Group about their own interests, without it being called a Hate Group, or Racist Organization”, and that fact is still largely true, but, most thinking people now recognize the reality of, and existence of “White Privilege”, a subtle benefit that is yours, whether you come from Trailer Trash, or can trace your ancestry back to the Mayflower, like some of us can. (That’s not to imply that some Trailer Trash Whites might not have deep roots ! ).
So, here’s some food for thought for all you white folks who resent the rise and inclusion of those who don’t look like Us.
Try to Imagine Our Nation without Our Black Citizens? Think about Sports, Entertainment, Poetry and Literature, History and Education, without the Contributions of that Irreplaceable, yet Small, (13%) of Our fellow Americans? Scary and Sad isn’t it?