I am not pacing up and down fretting the possibility of COVID. I am respectful but not a fanatic. My wife is still talking to me, so divorce is not imminent but not out of the question if we are cooped up much longer. Yet the race thing and the concept of White Supremacy do cause me to toss and turn.
Both are volatile concepts which upon introspection are far more prevalent than we might admit. I will be judgmental just toward me so we can take any animosity out of the equation. Am I a racist? Probably. I don’t do so intentionally but my lifestyle and lot in life make it a subtle form. White supremacist? I hope not but there are inklings.
I have been lucky to have been brought up under wonderful circumstances. I have never had to worry about food or a place to live. I have been dead ass broke but worked my way out of it. If you keep your mouth shut and stay out of trouble you and your kids will be just fine. I am white and the world works to my advantage. Is this fair? In the long run probably not.
This thing called racism is actually a misnomer. Race is a word that is difficult to define. Today we think it is white vs black or brown vs yellow. Ironically we all belong to one race…the human race. Aside from body features and skin color we all operate the same way. There is no difference in how our hearts beat or our brains operate. Some would debate the last, especially with me but please work with me. Suffice to say we all bleed red.
The origins of our civilization are in Africa. People migrated hither and yon but the Dark Continent was where WE ALL started if ancestry.com could go back that far. As societies grew in different climes our bodies adapted to surroundings. If you lived in a sub tropical region your body tanned to protect itself from the constant heat and sunshine. The closer to the Arctic Circle the less sunlight and colder temperatures made us paler or as we would like to say “fairer”.
The Fertile Crescent is defined by the Middle East and Egypt and Turkey. By all accounts it is the genesis of farming, science and trade. If we compared apples to apples our wunderkind world today might blanch in comparison. Now I am not trying to give a history lesson but demonstrate how many of our ideas of hierarchy are somewhat questionable. I guess as time wore on we got good at keeping score as to who was smarter, stronger, richer, poorer and by putting others down, we raised ourselves up.
This is a social construct that is formed by opinion or subjective observance rather the actual fact. By happenstance some became entitled by birth right and aristocracies flourished. All along we must maintain the bloodline and not let inferior beings ruin the gene pool. Differences are exaggerated and you are suspect by color, manners, occupation, religion that are different from the ordinary, whatever the hell that is. In a word we became legends in our own minds.
The US was founded by white Anglo Saxon snobs. Northern Europe was nirvana and anywhere else was tolerated and used as means to an end. Throughout our history we are rife with prejudice against not only blacks but Irish, Italians, Jews, Asians, Poles et alia. The big difference is for the most part, almost everyone assimilated and crossbred and those differences subsided. For one group they didn’t.
Like it or not if we are honest with ourselves, blacks have been dealt a shitty hand. I am not gong to self flagellate but it has been difficult coming to that conclusion even though it has been staring me right in the eye for a long time. Other groups can claim indignation and to a large degree they are right. Yet if you honestly study the last four hundred years, blacks have been summarily put down and kept down by our so called equal system.
That is why there is such outcry today. They have had it. We have a white world. I have watched so many recountings by decent people who have been stopped for no reason. We yell, you don’t belong here. If two are equally qualified for a job we pick the lighter shade of pale. We say we are not racist but what if one or two or three or four move into your neighborhood or join your club?
You will come back at me and say they don’t know how to act or talk or dress? I have two responses. The first is, How do you know? Have you ever really sat down with a black person? Yes you can watch the amped up news clip and assume that is the way everyone is. But are they? Secondly, I guess I ask is who gets to set the rules? In your club that can be us but in the city county or state who gave you and me the right?
It scares me to write this. I am not concerned about recoil or retribution. I am just plain and simple uncomfortable. I don’t know where to start or even what I am trying to accomplish? What do I say or to whom? It is just something that keeps eating at me? When I read another article on the maelstrom we are in, do I dare keep going and let my thoughts go outside my comfort zone? When I claim to be a Christian can I really walk the walk and embrace, not turn my back?
These are all good questions and there are plenty more. I am starting on some sort of journey. I may fail miserably and just figure it is not worth it. Then again it may open a whole new world or at least my perception of it. And this kids is what keeps me sleepless in LaLa Land. It is what I do.
Ted The Great
In contemporary usage, the term white supremacist has been used to describe some groups espousing ultranationalist, racist, or fascist doctrines. From the 19th to the mid-20th century the doctrine of white supremacy was largely taken for granted by political leaders and social scientists in Europe and the United States According to 19th-century British writers it was the duty of Europeans—the “white man’s burden”—to bring civilization to nonwhite peoples through beneficent imperialism. Several attempts were made to give white supremacy a scientific footing, as various institutes and renowned scientists published findings asserting the biological superiority of whites. Those ideas were bolstered in the early 20th century by the new science of intelligence testing, which purported to show major differences in intelligence between the races. In such tests northern Europeans always scored higher than Africans. (Encyclopedia Brittanica) Judge for yourself.
Hitler espoused Nazism. It incorporates fervent antisemitism, anti-communism, scientific racism, and the use of eugenics into its creed.
In the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Jesse Owens won four gold medals and 18 black athletes participated and won medals also. The Fuhrer never quite explained how that worked. I do know it pissed him off.
The name, Dark Continent is derived from early explorers only discovering the east and west coasts. The thick jungles were foreboding and images of savages ran wild in their tales of their voyages. In actuality there was over two thousand years of history but it didn’t quite fit the narrative.
Writer’s Note: I was cited for my errors on the timing of the Dred Scott decision in my previous blog. My apologies to my readers for that. I try to cross-reference but sometimes I get it wrong. Mea culpa. .
Whew Lordy. Sending it to my kids… This could explain me to them. Good Procal Haram lyrics reference. By the way…are you following Emmanuel Acho. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8jUA7JBkF4 . Uncomfortable conversations with a black man. There are at least 3 episodes now on You tube.
Reading it a second and third time. Your sweet face and kind smile are just the tip of your iceberg. There is that big brain and ease with words. Thanks for sharing.
Nice piece. May send too granddaughter. How’s your back? P
Hi TTG Your first paragraph hit very close to home so I thought I’d stop and let you know. Hope things are well; we just closed on a house in VA blocks from the kids and grandkids. So everything is all right and all wrong at the same time. Thanks for helping keep me sane.
How about Pops, St. Patrick’s Day, in Florida, out for dinner with you and Peg?
Ted, I really liked this blog. You plumbed an emotion a lot of us are feeling — and you did it wisely and openly. Great job — Val Marier
Thanks Val. Got some really varied responses which hi what it is all about
Excellent piece Ted…..I am afraid many of our generation will never get it but as I interact more with my kids and grandchildren, they do get it and believe change is coming. I grew up on Long Island and lived and played sports with several black kids and rarely thought about our racial differences. They were certainly in the minority but it didn’t seem to affect most of us. When I arrived in Charleston SC in 1957 to attend an all white male southern military college, wow, what a cultural shock….didn’t understand it then and still am bothered by the experience…..we still have a long way to go, but I truly believe change is coming, perhaps not in my lifetime, but in the next generation and beyond…..keep up the good work Ted