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Fri

16

May

2008

Back On The Bus
Friday, 16 May 2008 09:24

by Jayne Lyn Stahl

Last week, I wrote a piece about a harrowing experience that happened on a bus in a sleepy little town thirty miles outside of San Francisco.

Well, a glutton for punishment, I decided to take the same bus again, to see if I would see my friend — the one with the noxious scowl for everyone who wasn't mighty white like him. ,As fate would have it, he boarded the bus minutes after I did, only this time he wore a cap with what looked like the confederate flag on it. Not that I know what a confederate flag looks like, mind you. The closest I've been to one is when doing a Google search.

In any case, I decided to sit at the back of the bus, so I could observe, without being observed, and as I went to sit down, there were not one, but two, swastikas drawn with black magic marker on the seat in front of me. One held the letters "W" and "P" inside it which, nearby, were spelled out as "White Power." The other was just a swastika that looked like it might have been drawn by a dyslexic.

I wondered, of course, if our friend in the confederate flag scratched the swastikas on the seat. Funny how your mind plays tricks what with all the adrenalin racing through — I thought maybe this fellow read my piece in The Huffington Post. But, odds are, of course, that's unlikely.


More likely, all the optimism I expressed about a new America, one without racial division, was being eradicated by one dreadful stroke — the swastika — shorthand for hate, and a simple reminder that it may be naive, after all, to think we've come so far down the civil rights road, there's no turning back.

Today, when reading an article about the racism some Obama volunteers encountered in Indiana, I couldn't help but think that the racial divide, in this country, is more insidious, and widespread, than we would like to think, and maybe too great for any one person to bridge — -even Barack Obama.

We must all hold our heads a little lower when we think that the bigotry, and perniciousness that has characterized the Ku Klux Klan can still exist anywhere in America. It is more terrifying to recognize how deeply embedded racism is in our culture, and that even the dissolution of artificial distinctions like "red state" and "blue state" won't be enough to make it go away.

As, indeed, Barack Obama will have his work cut out for him, as will those of us who want to see this kind of hatred go away.

To win the White House in November, Obama will have to enlist the support not just of the white, blue collar vote, but of the same angry white men who still like to think they won the Civil War, who think that diversity is something to eradicate; the ones who will, no doubt, overwhelmingly vote for John McCain, whose numbers are greater than any of us would like to imagine.

 
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PF said:

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What a confederate flag looks like
"Not that I know what a confederate flag looks like, mind you. The closest I've been to one is when doing a Google search." This is a startling admission, which suggests that the author consider spending some time outside San Francisco, or her apartment. Like too, too many Americans, she thinks that reading the corporate newspapers or watching TV reveals anything at all about what Americans are like or what they are thinking. This piece also exposes the kind of wishful thinking surrounding the Obama campaign. The man talks incessantly of military "options" and "strikes," of his commitment to a de-regulated economy, to a "post-racial America," yet his minions still think he is some sort of man of the people.

If he is elected, and disappoints his cultish following, we will be treated to endless essays on the "disappointment" with his presidency, the "death of optimism" and other such drivel. Understand this clearly: OBAMA IS A CANDIDATE OF WALL STREET. This is his only real constituency.
 
May 16, 2008
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