Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

THE NEW RACISM..(Reality can't be glossed over with humor)

"I've got your watermelon patch right here!"

by Robert Sayre II

As a Southerner born and bred, I'm no stranger to particular nuances and peculiarities of
life in these past-based states. But with the enticing allure of the pitch "It's so nice here in Donalsonville; everybody waves at you when you drive by," I moved to a small town in rural Southern Georgia, and my education began.

The pleasantries are delivered to your face , sure enough. Some times. Depending on whether you "mind your place" or not, though, disgust and disappointed shakes of the head are also dispensed regularly. It's the Good Ole Boy Network, and it's in full effect.

The twin mantras of "That's the way it's ALWAYS been done" and " That's just the way things work around here" are the
fiercely held tenets of these supposedly God-fearing and God-loving people. Don't upset the apple cart, and you may witness some superficial twinges of Christianity. But it won't be the creed of "Jesus loves us every one" or "Treat others the way you would treat Jesus Himself." No, it's definitely more of a polarized "public persona/private persona" sort of mystique they go for here. Or, more accurately, a "preferred company/mixed company" difference of presentation and attitude.

To set foot in Donalsonville (and--to be fair--we aren't the only town like this....that's the scary part) is to step backwards in time. The outside world is a mystical conjuring by which these good folks won't be swayed . Things are cozy and comfy here, with things just the same. And since no one complains, that must be the same as no one is
unhappy, right? Why, the 'coloreds' even have their own section of the newspaper, called--quaintly enough--The Ebony News. I kid you not. That's their version of progress around here, and they're mighty perplexed as to why some folks have a problem with that.

Now, if a man with dark skin commits a crime, he can be on the front page, naturally. But death notices, weddings, and church news, well, they can make do with their own separate--not equal--section. "All the white folks seem happy with that. So how is it a race issue?"

This is the New Age of Racism. Quiet. Unassuming. Aware enough that it is unwelcome in certain quarters, so
duplicity is employed to discern the right time and place to use oft-heard terms like "greasy niggers", or "Lazy fucking worthless niggers" or some such terms of endearment that Christ would surely approve of; the same mouths will greet Black folks in the street with glee and alarming levels of concern for their well-being. Somewhat more toned down if too many white friends are close by, but you get the picture. It's glad-handling to some, and the unedited truth for others.

When it was leaked to the actual newspapers an hour away in Albany that the KKK was coming to Donalsonville last year, a slow burn started. Shock and outrage that the Klan had already gotten a permit some months beforehand from Donalsonville officials--tho no one would cotton to who had ultimately been responsible for the blunder--spread slowly, enhanced by the existence of the small town grapevine and also a Donalsonville-designated online news forum site.

I knew ahead of the news that 'something' was coming when a tow truck driver I'd had need of was having a very bizarre (and none too subtle) conversation with some fellow sheet-wearers in public about how "The Thing" from Mississippi had come through, and they were "really gonna do it now" Well, the average male Southerner is a little 5 year old boy trapped in a 30-something or 40-something year old body anyway, but when you throw in secret codes and secret handshakes and special outfits, they just about lost their tea. They want you to know what's going on, but they want to make it seem dark and mysterious and special at the same time. We're not dealing with NASA personnel here.

But after the creepy gruesome feeling that was left from overhearing that conversation, I was leery of something happening. That's when I heard about the Klan and that they had gotten word in Bainbridge (where the head Dragon
was located, approximately 30 minutes away) that the Klan would be receiving help from other states for their Klan-Bake...including Mississippi. Oh, the proud shine of being a Mississippian that joyous day!

(to be continued...)

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