I watched Hidden Figures last night for the first time. I couldn’t watch it all. It made me squirm in the worst way. It pushed buttons in me that I hated because I saw my family in every white person in the movie and it disgusted me. It disgusts me that I was raised in that environment where everyone entertained the barbarous notion that black people are less than us. Racism is a sickness which only white people can cure.
When you’re young and you read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, it’s still an abstract, a fiction. You can’t wrap your mind around the sheer anguish and frustration it took to write it nor appreciate the magnanimity of it. If you’re lucky, you pick up a book by a guy named James Baldwin called “Another Country.” And if you’re even luckier, not to know that he’s black until you start reading him, so your perception is unchanged by it. You read and read and read some more and if you have any empathy for anything, you begin to feel it for him.
I was raised to be racist. I don’t think it is possible to grow up in the South and be raised not to be.
White people in the south think if they don’t say the N word, then they aren’t racist and they will tell you endlessly how not racist they are. They are all liars. Their words have no meaning because racism isn’t just a thought or a word, it’s in the deed. To bear witness to the actual deeds of systemic racism, one only need to go to your county jail and take stock by the numbers.
Is it only filled with 12% black people which would reflect the population percentage they represent? If you read this far, you know the answer already. I’ve read personal correspondences of my ancestor Henry Clay who drafted legislation to finance freed slaves a trip back to Africa. The Great Compromiser did not do it for hatred, he did it because he knew that blacks in the South would never be treated as citizens and thought they would be better off back in Africa.
Every single Baptist pastor I have ever met and many others have always managed to get around to whatever bible verse it is that says black people are the cursed children of Lot and that slavery is allowed in the bible. My babysitter as a kid was a black woman named Juanita. She was so kind and loved her. I remember her taking me to the grocery store once and some man called her a fat N word. I was maybe 4 or 5 years old and I remember her crying afterward. I knew better than to confront the pastors in front of my grandparents so it only bred more contempt for religion.
It also bred a very healthy contempt for “conservative intellectuals” who aren’t any different at cocktail parties talking about their superiority than Nazis talking about the master race. I know, I went to several as a child. There is some kind of defect in the brain of conservatives which inhibits their ability to feel empathy for their fellow man. They always bemoan the mythical welfare queens on their Obamaphones that are cheating the system and not Exxon Mobile getting $50 billion in tax breaks. Every black person knows the breed.
There is a very healthy contempt for poor people that has been fostered by those who aren’t poor.
It’s even worse for black people. “Sit in the back of the bus. Pass this here test to vote. Go to a school with your own kind. You damn well stand for the national anthem you goddamned Ni**er! You don’t get to be an equal citizen until you learn how to act!” And the goal posts are constantly moved by us.
Imagine if some Imam in Persia had never said that algebra was the work of the devil? Most Nobel Laureates in mathematics would be Persian. Imagine if we didn’t tell black people they were sub human by disenfranchising them? Or throwing them in prison at 3 times the rate we do white people. Imagine if we told them they were worth more to us as students than prison chattel.
The real fear of racists everywhere is that they will wake up one day and not be as good as the people they hate. The truth is that those we target as lesser are better than us already because if we had endured the systemic racism that they have, we’d have murdered every damn one of them. We did as much to the Native Americans.
I see that scumbag in the White House desperately trying to delegitimize every accomplishment of President Obama and I simmer with rage. I know I will never see the end of it in my lifetime. I hate that the little boy in this picture will have to deal with the most insecure and stupid white people who would love nothing more than to take away whatever hopes and dreams he might have because of the color of his skin. If you’re not sure about this, my fellow Caucasians, ask Tamir Rice.
Black people are never going to cure the sickness of racism because it’s our problem, not their’s. If we are to do anything about it, we must make it as taboo as hating gays. Shame them, block them, do anything necessary to protest against this evil sickness whenever you see it. It takes strong medicine to cure something that’s marrow deep. To achieve anything merely takes a degree of focus and the determination to let nothing get in the way of your goal. Ending this toxic administration should be our first goal. Winning by any means necessary is something we cannot lose sight of again.
Hidden Figures is a wonderful movie.