These days it been?fashionable to say things like “now all people will be judged by the content of their character” and “America has changed forever.” I’ll buy the latter argument because it’s?ambiguous enough to read anything you want into it. The former, however, I have laid?no false?claims to. In my own experience I still get the same corner-of-the-eye looks I have grown used?to in conservative Manhattan neighborhoods the I often find myself strolling through (the ones where you should have on a uniform or at least a?name tag if you do not want to be looked upon with?arched eyebrows after dark).
With good reason the media has been somewhat downplaying the racist activities of a creepy handful?of folk that have swept the nation in the wake of Obama’s win. Be clear, people have been attacked?both verbally and physically because of the unprecedented victory. Some (hopefully) small sections of the US are?actually disgusted?at the thought of a black man as Commander-in-Chief. So far Newsweek has done a story about this rising issue as has the Associated Press and this publication.
I’m disappointed in these incidents, saddened even,?though not hardly surprised. One man or woman?can bring a nation together?in the?name of unity the same way that individuals and groups can tear us apart in the?name of separatism. I remember?when the elders?of our families and neighborhoods would say?”the more things change the more they stay the same.” As a child you don’t understand how profound those words are, as an?adult you find yourself quoting them.
My family and I are praying for the safety of our next president. But we are also hoping that sanity prevails and that the talking heads aren’t right about a resurgence of hate groups and crimes. Because I’m a practicing pessimist, in the back of my mind – and in hushed?pillow-to-pillow conversations with my wife – I wondered if renewed hope could also bring about renewed hate. I’m not loving the early answer but in the grand scheme my ancestors have seen a million times?worse. Racism and hate are not gone, friends. The fight is not over. We must continue to work together to finish the job we started on November 4. Only time will tell if times are changing.?
You’re right – it’s definitely not over!
Honestly, I’m nervous. Not to the point of losing sleep, but I’m worried that Obama’s time in office could be Bill Clinton’s 1990s all over again, but on steroids. That is to say, a marginalized, VERY angry far-far right gathering strength on the fringes and feeding itself on a neverending supply of hate.
We know what THAT resulted in. An intractably angry regressive grassroots movement that stoked the anti-government sentiments of people like Timothy McVeigh. End result: domestic terrorism.
Hopefully, Obama will prove to be a good enough leader so that the rest of society will be apt to keep these people as marginalized as possible.
Signed, a proud member of the “52% Club”.
You are so right on. I’ve found myself wondering if there will indeed be a resurgence of hate crimes in this country due to Obama’s victory. I have always prayed for our nation’s leaders as a whole, but have now pray for the Obamas individually – not grouped in with the others.
I was out of town, but understand things were very tense here in Jackson for the first week or so after the election.
I think it’s a “two steps forward, one step back” kind of thing. We’ll get there eventually, hopefully without too many deep bruises.
I believe whether hate crimes increase, we take steps back its all forward progress. In any situation where forward progress is made there will be an equal or greater opposing force attempting to stop the movement. The key is in each of us not just our new president. United States as well as the world has seen the outcome of a nation that came together and demanded change. Now we must stand by his side as we all are in this together and look for the positive that this historical moment will and can bring. Also from that not let the media or any other outlet which sole plan is to create terror and fear rule our minds and hearts. This was a victory for every American who believes in the real reason for the United States of America, FREEDOM!
I’m a bit more optimistic. I believe that there will always be problems but these will be the last gasps of a dwindling group. It’s definitely progress. Even kids of racist, ignorant people will become accustomed to this new age – and it is a new age, but everything has not changed. But things HAVE changed… for the better.
We’ll always have the crazy fringe but they will get smaller by the year, month, and day.
My wife is shocked by the increase in hate groups and hate crimes. I’m not. Things have changed in this country, but we still have a long way to go. Each person must be committed to doing his own part to end the hate. Challenge racist comments instead of ignoring them. Stand up and be heard. Obama cannot do it alone.
And don’t forget the sea of white males buying guns. I agree, while America has made progress, much still needs to be done.