Friday, December 17, 2010


A few weeks ago I promised a Blog on Racism.  I chatted with a friend of mine, Cyndee, and gave her a preview.  I told her my story with passion and fervor.  I wanted to be really forthwith and honest and use all of the language that had so distressed me on my trip to NC in November.  She patiently listened and at the end gave me sage advice.  While words can be used to drive a point home, to shock, to comfort and to enlighten, those same words can now be google’d, yahoo’d and easily searched for on the internet.  And then she asked me if I wanted my blog to be potentially used and / or exploited by a less enlightened person.  That Cyndee is one smart cookie (or celery stick for us dieters).

I grew up in a household and family where the N word was used daily.  It was simply a mater of fact.  They were N’s and they had a town, referred to by both whites and blacks as N-Town.  Not a nice referral, but one that I heard repeatedly.  (Digression #1:  Our black section was on the North side of town.  However, I have found that in many cities in the south, the black section is on the south side.  This is just an observation and one that won’t win you a prize.  Ha Ha)

When I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s blacks were often given an extra word to go along with the N; and, that word was Damned.  Wow, as if one curse wasn’t enough, let’s add another.

I will be totally honest.  Until the early 90’s I was a frequent user of the word too.  Most of the time, I used it for shock value.  I’m not proud of my use of that word.  I rarely used the word to refer to anyone specific.  But even one time is too many.  I do understand why rappers use the word, for the same reason gay people use fag and queer to call out each other.  We endeavor to take the power out of the word.  It’s may not be the healthiest, but it is a way of trying to positively deal with a negative word.

Those were the “old days”.  Now we are onto a new frontier.  In the 80’s, NC farmers began to import workers from all over Mexico and Central America like ordering slaves from a warehouse.  They were cheap labor who would work for pennies on the dollar and who could be exploited without a fear of shame or retribution to the farmer.  At first, the workers came for the seasons.  And then the seasons became longer.  And now, their seasons never end.  And boy, are the people in NC angry?  You bet they are!  Not only are they being outnumbered by births, lots and lots of illegals have heard of the great Old North State and want to come and join their families.  “Pennies on the Dollar” trumps “No Dollars” everyday of the week.  (Digression #2:  Lynn’s father imported 100s of workers in the mid-80s.  He renamed all of them because he couldn’t pronounce their names.  And, it was just like Roots.  They were so proud to be able to rename their slaves, I mean workers.)

And to help make matters muddier, lots of these illegals are getting jobs from “legit” companies who pay them under the table.  And these companies use this tool to get their customers to pay them in cash.  So doubly the state and federal governments are getting no taxes and the illegals are getting work.  And almost everyone is willing to participate.  My relative bragged about the cheap roof he got from a fellow church member’s company who used a lot of illegals to put the roof on a fraction of the other quotes he got.  Of course, Relative had to withdraw a lot of money from the bank in cash to pay this churchman who was raping the government.  But, Heavens to Betsy, it WAS cheaper.

The disdain that was once heaped on the blacks is now being heaped on both legal and illegal immigrants.  And instead of the Damned N’s we are now older and less gentle, it’s now the Fucking M’s.  And it doesn’t matter if you’re from Colombia, El Salvador, Panama or Mexico, you are a Fucking “M” now!  (Incase you are not sure M equals Mexico or Mexicans.)

Wow.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  So my time in NC is still surrounded by racism.  How exciting?  NO, it’s not!

Now, racism is NOT only for the whites.  I see it from many sides.  And I speak or understand just enough Spanish to understand the Fucking M’s don’t like Massa either. 

Thankfully, not all of God’s creations go awry, but some do.  And, some fight back.

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