A Response To MrMary’s Post: Racism In Southern US

So the ultra hip and equally awesome MrMary has yet another gem of a post up today about how a prom was ruined for a young girl and her date.

The reasons for her being asked to leave the dance was supposedly due to adult male chaperones having impure thoughts about her. This is despite the fact it was a fairly conservative dress that passed the muster of the other Christian chaperones and abided by all their requirements for appropriate dress codes. However, it then comes out that she is a white girl and her date is black.

As this event happened in the south of America, I agree with MrMary’s assertion that perhaps race had more to do with it than the old white men watching the prom would like to admit. Did the fathers present actually have qualms about her dress? It’s possible…the dance was one for homeschooled Southern Christians, after all, and some of them can be almost irrationally fearful of any “impure thoughts”. But given what I’ve personally seen and been told about some of our states, I’m willing to bet money that the entire story is far more insidious. I very much suggest you go read MrMary’s original post here:

http://aspoonfulofsuga.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/mrmary-responds-perverted-christian-dads-blame-teens-dress-for-their-dirty-thoughts-kick-her-out-of-prom/

For anyone who says that racism isn’t an issue in America anymore, they obviously haven’t spoken to a black person from the South. Yes, the North has it’s share of moronic racist scum too, but it usually seems they are less overt about it…not that this is better by any means, but at least the average Joe doesn’t smack you in the face with it.

Interesting fact: I was at Toyfair earlier this year (a game/toy convention for retailers held at the javitts center), and one of the guys I met while listening to a seller’s spiel was a cool black guy from South Carolina. We hung out for a bit, just walking around talking, looking at the wares, and he abruptly says “you know, it’s so much easier being black up here in NY”. Intrigued, I asked him why.

Apparently the rumors about certain parts of the South are true…he is a 28 year old man, but old white people call him “boy” to get his attention. He drives a fairly new blue-ish green car with no dents or scratches, but gets pulled over for innane reasons like driving too straight and never for anything ticketable. When he goes into a store, the employees will not-so-subtly follow him around and ask what he needs in a manner of “get your stuff and leave”. He works at a gaming store (duh) and even has white customers tell his boss that “there’s a black guy snooping around the shelves” when he’s restocking the games. The list goes on.

Oh, and did I mention that more than a third of his neighbors have the confederate flag flying somewhere on their property.

Naturally, I was disgusted and horrified. He had other stories too, very specific ones that leave the average, moral person wondering just how many times you can take the stinking dead fish of racist thought and basically slap someone across the face with it before they justifiably go off on your sorry ass. Yet he said that NYC was treating him so well in comparison that he was literally considering moving up here…after being in NY for a mere 48 hours. I informed him that there’s still racism here, it’s not all happiness and holding hands. There’s still racial profiling, and a host of other issues, especially in the really urban areas.

And then he smiled at me and said “Oh, I’m sure. But I have been looking around as we’re talking and so far nobody has given us dirty looks for walking around with each other. No one has come up to you to ask if you’re alright, or if I’m bothering you. No one has glared at us like we’re lighting a bible on fire. Heck, this morning I was getting a bagel and the cashier thought the white woman standing behind me was with me…and we all laughed about the confusion! My real girlfriend back home is white. I think we would like it up here much better.”

We both had to go meet coworkers at that point, so we said farewell. But even though I’m happy he was having fun and was able to relax in NY, I wrestled with the gross feeling of disgust for the BS he has to go through on a daily basis. When the hell are all my fellow Americans going to finally learn that racism is idiotic and hurtful?

When are we going to stop judging based on skin color and focus on merit?
Are we ever? What do you think?

As always, keep comments within the confines of my policy. And for the love of the Gods people…don’t be so stupid as to deny that racism exists or try to excuse such behavior. I’d hate to ban anyone from commenting here. Thanks.

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4 thoughts on “A Response To MrMary’s Post: Racism In Southern US

  1. Racism does exist. It is going away very quickly, but it’s not gone yet. There are still people where I live that will call a grown black man “boy”. These people are dying off every day, but it will take another generation or two in order for the problem to be resolved. The racist bigots will be racist bigots till the day they die, but we are making very few new racist bigots to replace them.
    What I personally find most interesting is this case that is reasonably obivously racism in action isn’t getting talked about in terms of racism. Getting expelled from the dance for [insert bogus reason cause I can’t say it’s because your date is black] is sexism against women.

  2. @GNL

    What I worry about in regards to racism is that the old generations will die, but they’ll have tainted their children before doing so. I can see racism just becoming more subtle and dangerous rather than disappearing completely.

    If she truly was kicked out because her dress (which is hardly different than what the other girls were wearing) “forced” the chaperone dads to have “impure thoughts” then yes…I see how it could be sexist. But again, I agree with MrMary in that the fact it was a blonde haired white girl with a black boyfriend dancing together in the Southern US probably means the bigoted old men made up some stupid-ass excuse to keep them apart.

  3. Creating real lasting social change isn’t like making legal changes. Obama can’t sign a bill into law that makes people stop being racist like presidents have signed laws stopping people from discriminating in employment.

    We are seeing a massive shift from overt racism to covert racism. Covert, subtle, racism is much less damaging than overt racism. You can’t just lynch people for having the wrong skin color, you can’t even kick them out of a school dance because of skin color. Some other excuse is needed. Now that racism is covert and subtle, it is almost impossible to train real bigotry into the next generation. It will be 100 years before all of the current bigots die off, but then we will have a much nicer society.

    And you can trust me on the covert racism being much less damaging than overt racism. I’ve been in the deep south long enough to have seen real unchallenged overt racism. That shit will make you sick.

  4. TarnsZ,
    Thanks for your responce. When I traveled through the south you could just feel it. It is one of the reasons I stay in NYC. Immigrant Africans, Caribbeans, and African Americans make up 25.1% of New York City’s population. We are not the same ethnically, linguistically, etc but it’s amazing to have that 1/4 people look like you. It’s a lot less scary.
    Even during the Civil Rights movement the needs of African Americans were very different depending on the part of the country one was in. There were two migrations out of the south into the northern cities and their were industries there. I feel that the mercantilistic class and rise of industries in the Northern States made racism not as oputwardly jarring and soul crushing as it Southern cousin.
    I think one thing that isn’t addressed much is the role that economics and class play using socio-cultural issues like race to perpetuate and enforce the conditions and attitudes necessary for overt racism to continue on in time. The attitudes are very much linked to political policies, economic practice etc. The rise of the private prisons, the war on drugs, the depiction of Blacks as welfare queens starting with Reagan, cutting of funds to poorer districts in major cities like Philadelphia NYC etc all these help perpetuate the hate.
    I am not so optimistic for the near future however. The economic situation like the growing disparity between rich and poor is exacerbating many of our already entrenched social ills.

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