Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Beer, bbq, and racism

There's nothing better than a good old fashioned heaping helping of family political discourse served up alongside beer and bbq over Labor Day to make a person want to move away to someplace else. The problem is, where do you move to? What color state am I looking for? I mean, I know what color state I'm in...

As you might imagine from a guy with a blog called Slighty Left of Center (heretofore to be referred to as SLOC), I sometimes have a hard time choosing sides and staying put for very long. Some issues have me colored red and some blue. But, in the case of the New Orleans tragedy, I can't see any place to stand except alongside the victims. I guess that's why I was so surprised to hear a handful of family members who were able to rationalize that the poor victims were somehow responsible for their fate. Nevermind the fact that the victims were sick, elderly, poor, or otherwise. Since they were black, it had been concluded they must've been too lazy or stupid to leave.

I was too disgusted to ask these same relatives whether they were in support of the troops that were (now finally) supporting the victims. I feared that particular dichotomy might well be the end of our otherwise delightful afternoon of sunshine and wiffleball. And, nothing gets in the way of wiffleball, not even important political problems.

What I can't help but conclude, if my family is any indication, is that people generally don't like other people very much unless they look exactly the same (and even then we have some cousins we can't stand). Which is the SLOC way of saying people hate other people. The hatred may be thinly veiled, but what else can you call it? I wonder what my relatives would call it. Probably realism. (Boy, isn't that fucked?)

I collapsed on the mound in Game 3 of the day's wiffleball series, surrendering a 10-run lead. I got the yips in the final inning and couldn't find the strike zone. Later that night I wondered, how long all the people who are SLOC will have the yips when it comes to calling bullshit on the hate. We've had the yips since 9-11. Even though we know we're right, we've stepped to the back just slightly, figuring that the conservatives just might need to do the fighting. But, that's proving to be a big mistake.

When will we shake the yips, find the strike zone again and reclaim this country? That's hard for anyone who's only SLOC to do. But, I know that this particular family gathering contained more sympathy than what was on display.

Are we afraid to lead or afraid we're wrong?


Blogger MidlifeMutant said...

It is a little hard to take, isn't it... blame the victim. Those damn children should have just gotten on their trikes and boogied on out of the city. An those people in wheelchairs, dahum, they roll don't they? So what that they have no place to go, no money when they get there.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Yeah, it's nuts. What I think we're seeing is that the true colors are coming out. The veil is being lifted.

All human beings are likely capable of more hate than any of us wants to admit. Hey, I hate the asshole who cut me off in traffic this morning.

But, the bigger kind of hate... the kind that inspires nations to war against other nations, seems to exist more and more between people of this same country.

10:26 AM  

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