Saturday, November 29, 2008

We may have taken a few steps

but we are not there yet. I hope that no one thinks the election of Barack Obama means that we have finally put race behind us in America. We are a long way from that goal. Click Read more! to see just how far we have to go.

A friend from a small town east of Denver told me this story.
A sixth grader told the art teacher that all the economic woes were Obama's fault. When the teacher pointed out to the eleven year old wheat farmer's son that it would be two months before Obama would be president, the kid replied "oh good then there is still time to shoot him."

That is just one more example of the casual racism that still inhabits so many minds and inhibits us from being what we could be. A writer at High Country News told his own story of the Persistence of Bigotry in America. This was from a rural community on the other side of Colorado. Paolo Bacigalupi writes about breakfast at a diner shortly after the election.
She turned to the other waitress, a soft woman with an apple-pie demeanor.

"What was that one about the Rose Garden?"

The other waitress came over, warm and motherly. "Why are they tearing up the Rose Garden at the White House?" she asked, smiling. A beat, and then, "Because they're putting in a watermelon patch."

"Wow, I guess that's sort of funny."

"You get it if you're from the South," she said.

"We've heard the stereotype," my friend scowled, but I didn't want him to cut short our little anthropological spelunking into casual racism just yet.

Reminder: Colorado voted FOR Obama. 54 to 46. At least San Miguel County, where Green Art Goodtimes in a County Commissioner proved to be more liberal than most.

The best thing for America would be for Obama to prove to be a damned good president. It won't be good for Greens, though, since he will have to act on many of our key issues to accomplish that. Then what will we do?

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