well lighted bridge panorama
It was not that long ago that black people in the Deep South could be beaten or killed for seeking the right to vote, talking back to the wrong white man or failing to give way on the sidewalk. People of color who violated these and other proscriptions could be designated “uppity niggers” and subjected to acts of violence and intimidation that were meant to dissuade others from following their examples.
The term “uppity” was applied to affluent black people, who sometimes paid a horrific price for owning nicer homes, cars or more successful businesses than whites. Race-based wealth envy was a common trigger for burnings, lynchings and cataclysmic episodes of violence like the Tulsa race riot of 1921, in which a white mob nearly eradicated the prosperous black community of Greenwood.
Accusations of racism are like any other accusation. They can be abused and frequently repeated so often that people suffer a level of outrage fatigue. Some relatively innocent people get caught in the cross fire of accusations and start to tune out what has to them at least, become just so much noise. For reasons that aren’t clear right now the pendulum has swung off in an odd direction in regards to racism. To point out that racism has become worse then the racism. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) calls Senator Obama uppity, then swears he didn’t mean it as a racial slur. Out of all the words in Websters Westmoeland could have used to describe his feelings toward another man who is half African and uppity just happened to fit the situation. A surreal coincidence. Geoff Davis (R-Ky) just happened to use the word boy, “That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,”. I’m from the south and you have to be suffering severe brain damage not to know that boy in that context is racist. As Brent Staples also notes McCain has used the word “disrespectful” to describe Senator Obama’s disagreements with assertions made by Sarah Palin, which have been proven to be lies. There’s some plausible denibility to McCain’s ad, our language, its context and use of tone frequently gives those that use such thinly veiled racism a back door to fumble their way out.
News services around the world, as well as some of our esteemed political leaders have been trying to help us understand the current financial crisis. The first one seems to have started on CNN, but it has been repeated several places: $700 billion dollars is enough to buy every U.S. citizen 2000 McDonald apples pies. That comparison just really brings it home for me. Sports analogies are always good, but then again there’s nothing like the weather, “Economic uncertainty has moved like a terrible tsunami around the globe”. Poetic license has a way of taking the sting out of losing your home or savings doesn’t it, “The financial crisis looks like fire on a distant shore,” Atsushi Nakajima, chief economist at the research arm of Mizuho Financial Group. To bring the round up of keen observations back home,
And so I decided to act and act boldly. It turns out that there’s a lot of interlinks throughout the financial system. – George W. Bush, September 21, 2008 (emphasis mine)