Posts Tagged Rednecks

Food For Thought For Bigots, Racists & Homophobes …

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Some time ago, I had a very interesting conversation with a lady in her sixties.  I barely knew her, and this conversation took place over coffee after I had given her a massage.  Somebody was so kind to have given her a gift certificate, and she laughed when I called her a  ‘massage virgin,’  as this was her first massage.  She seemed to enjoy it very much and invited me to a cup of coffee which I accepted.  We had a very nice conversation up to the point when she started to rave about then President Bush.  Now, I’m always careful with clients, not to get into deep subjects involving politics or religion, because they often don’t end well   :-).

Anyway, I did end up asking her why she was a Republican as they don’t do anything for people like her, judging from her modest home.  Her answer, I have to admit, took me a little by surprise, and left me speechless for a few seconds  ‘Well, I can’t vote for the Democrats, they are the party of the Blacks…’

I want to leave alone for a moment whether that’s factually even correct, but I did understand what she wanted to imply, and it ended my coffee break very quickly.  In this part of the country, you run into open and hidden racism quite frequently, so statements like these are not at all uncommon.  And the truth is, if somebody is prejudiced, it often shows in more ways than one, involving race, sexuality, nationality, gender, etc.  Some people never seem to find a way to get past their narrow-mindedness, whether caused by lack of education, ignorance, being brought up in an environment breeding these unfortunate character features, or a combination of all the above.

I always believe  the best way to deal with people like that is for them being in a situation where they have to confront these prejudices, like the daughter bringing home a black boyfriend; the son telling his horrified and homophobic parents that he is gay; people who don’t like foreigners, all of a sudden getting neighbors from Mexico…you get the picture… Then their inner demons have to be confronted:  Do I abandon my daughter because of her black boyfriend, and what if she gets pregnant…will I not love my grandchild because he is mixed?  Will I disown my son because he’s gay; will I not speak to my new neighbors, just because they are from another country?  Just some food for thought…

Well, to make a long story short… I hadn’t seen this lady for quite some time, when I just recently received a phone call from her out of the blue.  She wanted me to work on her back because she was in pain.  So I went over to her house and gave her a massage.  While I was putting my stuff together, I noticed pictures of a baby all over her place…a mixed baby…couldn’t have been more than a few months old.  As I didn’t remember seeing them the last time I was there, I asked her about the baby  ‘Oh, that’s my grandson Michael, my little darling…’  and then she went on for minutes telling me everything about him, and how wonderful the father was, and showed me a picture of him, a very nice looking black man, and went on and on… I was listening to her with a smile on my face… It’s nice to be witness sometimes to people changing their tune when being confronted with reality… and I was very happy for her.

Now I wonder whether she voted for the Democrats in the last election….    :-).

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‘Rednecks’ For Obama !!!

So, it’s apparent that Obama seems to be making gains with groups that were a little reluctant to embrace him at first (white working-class, seniors, Jewish, etc.) and he is on target to garner the highest percentage of the ‘white vote’ of any Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976.  Quite amazing if you think about it!  After some anecdotal evidence, I think there’s one group that has been overlooked so far and should be included in his ever expanding base.

While driving through a ‘redneckish’ part of town, I looked at a homemade sign in somebody’s yard, right next to a pickup truck and instantly laughed out loud.  The sign?  ‘Rednecks For Obama.’  Naturally, it was homemade, because I don’t think there are pre-printed versions (like ‘Women For Obama’ or ‘Veterans For Obama’  🙂 ).  It seems to me that some members of the self-described ‘Rednecks’ just recently warmed up to Obama.  If the prospect of losing your job/health care/house tops racism in this election, I think we’ve already made a small step in the right direction.   🙂 

This little incident was compounded by a field report from two Obama volunteers I read about a few days ago.  When knocking on doors in the rural western part of Pennsylvania, they ran into this situation:  White older woman opens the door and after giving her some info about Obama, they asked her whether she already knew who she was voting for.  She turned around and yelled at her husband in the next room ‘Hey, who we gonna vote for?’  ‘We’re voting for the N***er!’  And she turned around, facing the two volunteers and repeated as cool as can be ‘You heard it, we’re voting for the N***er!’

Now, when I first read the story, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry about this (I guess a little of both  🙂 ).  It definitely made me go ‘Huh?’  But, as I said, we might take a few baby steps in the right direction with some people in this election and that might just be a foundation we can build on.

Of course, then there’s this:

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