Monday, August 22, 2005

Blast From the Past II - The Hangman's Noose

All those in the liberal and progessive world who keep insisting that racist hatred of Black folk is "in the past" need to spend more time mining the news. I wrote about the "Whites' Only" signs at Tyson Chicken in Alabama last week. Here's some more fun in the news:

Hangman's Noose at Black Man's Door

Now, this is when I come right out and say it: had this happened to me, my family would have had to come get me out of county. The excuse made ("I put it at his door just to store it") is a crock of shit, and only the most deliberately obtuse would buy it. (My gut says that if indeed the perpetrator was ignorant of the symbolism, a highly unlikely situation since this person was born in the US -- and Iowa is notorious for quietly simmering racial tension, so he grew up with this -- then someone else put him up to it, knowing full-well what the likely reaction would be.)

Store it? How about in a bag? How about on the floor? How about in his mailbox with a note asking "What do I do with this piece of shit?"

Today's Quiz: What legitimate reason does a noose have to even exist at the US government's metal shop or anywhere else in the National Park Service? Since when does someone need a noose to do anything with metal or parks?

Answers: None. You don't.

Notice what happened, though, after the perfectly human response to this symbol occurred back in June (i.e. the brother started kicking the ass of the person who did it):

1) The two persons of color involved were both put on administrative leave - the victim *and* the perpetrator - but just for one day, each. Equal punishment for equal crimes? Psychic attack on Black person vs. fighting in retaliation. I guess in a world where Black folks are supposed to just put up with meta-aggression with a smile, one that is actually human instead of super-human is just as much a problem as the person who provoked him.

2) The National Park Service has done diddly squat to address the matter in the two months since this event, even after an EEOC complaint was filed.

I await with baited breath hearing the words "Get a Rope". That's the only place you can go from somewhere like this.

Let's see, in just the past six months the following have made mainstream news:

a) Whites' Only Signs posted: Tyson's Racist Chicken

b) The Return of the Public Servant Siccing Dogs on Black folks: Black Bait for Fishing Dogs

c) The Return of the Burning Cross all over the county: Here's just one recent example Racist Cross-Burning - Yet Again

(As a bonus, the burning cross is now become an equal opportunity terrorist symbol Anti-Gay Cross-Burnings)

Reviewing these stories in light of the number of hate crimes that haven't made the MSM leaves one incapable of doing much more than putting one's head in one's hands.

I've said it before and I"ll say it again: dismissing these things as isolated events fomented by rare, deranged minds is a serious mistake. I wish it were that simple. I genuinely think that these events, which are increasing in frequency, presage a return to the honest anti-Black racism that has been the ugly, unresolved legacy of the country and its history (as opposed to the dishonest stealth kind we've all been putting up with for the last 25 years since Dr. King guilted white folks to death.) There will be more of them. Except that now, the targets aren't just Black: our very diversity makes it far too easy to engage in the Hate of One's Choice.TM

Given that our government is failing to nip in the bud the racist sentiments against Iraqis that allow most folks to continue to justify our unjustifiable war of aggression, it makes perfect sense. You can't control hate, once it's out of the box.

(And folks wonder why many Black people amongst ourselves are asserting that it is time to circle the wagons in our self-defense again. /sigh)


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