Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I know I sound nerdy;

Written early a.m. November 4th. Not published for reasons of attempting to stave off the cold I was catching through (literal) days of mostly sleep.

This is because I am a nerd.

It was very gratifying to be carefully guided to the ballot drop box at the library yesterday. To receive my stickery reward. (I love to see grown men parade around in their voter stickers like I once did with puffy Ewoks.)

It made me feel very happy.

This year I had an option to vote for a person of color for the office of the President of the United States of America. What an amazing thing, just a few decades from desegregation. Just a few years from venturing to Florida with my black ex-boyfriend and finding out, to my surprise, that Florida is in The South.

Being a mixed race person myself, I have encountered many awkward situations involving race, but I had never heard a over six foot tall nearly 30 year old man called “boy”. Never having heard someone say “nigger” (which I am almost too ashamed to write) outside of a TV or movie screen. It easy to forget or never even realize from New York and Seattle that there are still places like The South.

It feels like over night just enough people have evolved to understand what the truth is. Just enough to get a person of color on the ballot for a major party.

Maybe just enough to elect him? Enough to persuade the citizens of other countries and even our own that not everyone in America is stuffed with stale ideas and chubby morsels of hate like fat little worms?

I hope so.

I know that I’m not one of those die hard Obama fans (who will soon be gnashing their teeth when they find out that Obama is just a politician), but it is nice to have a little hope for a change. Not political or economic hope. Just a sliver of hope for Americans as people.


Shawn Robare said...

Maybe it's because I grew up with in a 20 mile radius of Disney World, but I think the "south" part of Florida ends just above Sanford/Oranldo area. But yes, I was shocked to see a giant rebel flag flying alongside the road on highway 95 while visiting my parents recently. I've lived in it most of my life, but I really hate the south...

qtilla said...

AH yes, you were in the safe zone.

Things were quite nice once we got to Orlando. But the drive through the rest was trouble.

Not everything in the South sucks, people there still have better manners.

Drew said...

Hurray! Someone's activated Drew's Asshole-rant mode. Let's see what weird tangents I go on, shall we?

As someone how has lives (by choice, wow!)and has grown up in 'The South', I guess I've got a little different perspective on this. Fact of the matter is, Racial prejudice is not so much being south of the Mason Dixon line, as it is being in rural areas.

Now, growing up, I've heard words like "Nigger" thrown about with abandon. It doesn't shock me. Everyone where I grew up (in deep east texas) knew people that thought that way were ignorant and backwards.

Heck, I heard those words said by native Washingtonians when I was out in some small town called Dupont outside Tacoma. Rural Washington and Oregon, from what I saw, were every bit Rural East Texas, save with a different accent.

One of the observations I had living up north was that alot of people up there are super-quick to criticize the south for being ignorant and racist and backwards, but apparently these people can't see what's brewing in their own back yards. I find it absolutely amazing how quickly one group of people are ready to deride others for attributes present in quantifiable numbers in their own demographics.

The fact of the matter is, these sorts of attitudes crop up anywhere where you have both a.)poorly educated people and b.)limited economic mobility. These things usually go hand in hand, and you can find them in virtually any place, north or south, outside of major metropolitan zones.

As per the flag, I've noticed a huge disparity between rural and urban perceptions on things revolving around the civil war, and a similar disparity between people raised in the north and the south.

Yes, there's alot of racists assholes who use it as something that's on par with a Swastika, and it has no place anywhere other than on the General Lee, out in public.

However, I find that alot of people wish to take a revisionist attitude towards history concerning that period, and it's kind of disturbing. One of the biggest examples I can cite of this is the ACLU lobbying to have the statues of confederate generals removed from the University of Texas campus.

Guess what though?

Those same generals donated all of the land that the '40 acres' is built on. That's the bulk of the University. They also donated a large majority of the money which founded it.

There's also a strong tendency to say that the war was about Slavery, which makes it extremely easy to demonize anyone on the side of the south.

However, when you state that the war was about the conflicts between an Industrial society and a Agrigarian society that were encompassed under the same system of government, and that it was a consequence of one society being forced to live under standards of the other with little consideration given to it's needs because of a perceived tyranny of the majority, things get a little more complicated.

So Yes. Let's totally forget where we came from because parts of it were ugly. If we try hard enough, we can convince ourselves as a society that we can do no wrong simply by forgetting the past. I mean, really... what benifit could we as a society derive from examining the mistakes of our past?

qtilla said...

I think it is adorable to take things to their furthest, illogical, and never suggested extents.

Drew said...

It's what I do best.

qtilla said...

I nap really well. That's what I do best. :)