Racist Rants in Post-Racial America

Racist Rants in Post-Racial America

Sharon Kyle and Dick Price
Publisher and Editor of the LA Progressive

After publishing the LA Progressive for this many years, I’ve discovered that I’d rather do almost anything except write. And so, it appears that is exactly what I do – almost anything.

But sometimes I just can’t get away from it — writing. Today is one of those days, thanks to the racist rants of one of our “readers”.

Here, at the LA Progressive, we get about 450,000 pageviews a month. With that kind of traffic, I’d be naïve to not expect to get comments from the lesser evolved souls living among us.

Dick Price (the cutie pictured with me here) is my husband and the editor of the LA Progressive. We employ a spam filter that catches a lot of unwanted comments. Of course, we have a comments policy but I’m not sure anyone reads it. So our main line of defense in the battle to prevent caustic comments from offending our readers is that we both check the comments that come to our site every day.

Yesterday, Dick took me on a date. We went to dinner and a movie – something we don’t do often enough. After being away from our computers for several hours, we returned to the office we share. Dick immediately checked the comments that had posted while we were out and began to mumble.

I know my husband. I know his good mumbles and his bad mumbles. When I heard him mumble yesterday I thought, “uh oh, something’s wrong.” When I asked what was going on he told me that someone had posted several nasty comments on an article he wrote about Romney and gun control. You may have read his piece, “Romney: The Gun Lobby’s Mitch.” He wasn’t sure he wanted me to read the comments and said he was going to delete them.

Well, when he said that, of course, I HAD to read the comments. I went to them quickly before he clicked “delete”, read them and then snapped a screen shot. I won’t share everything this person said but here is the screen shot I grabbed before Dick got rid of the nasty business:

Racist Rants in Post-Racial America

Screen Shot of Comment Posted on LA Progressive Thur Nov 8, 2012

 

Some of you may wonder why I’d post this garbage. In posting it, am I not giving this person yet another platform – aren’t I somehow giving him or her what they want, more eyes reading their vitriol? I wrestled with this. So I decided last night, when I read the comments, that I’d give myself a day before writing anything. I slept on it and woke up this morning with it still on my mind.

So here’s the thing. This person didn’t cause me to lose any sleep. He/she didn’t do or say anything that would surprise many if not most Black people in this country. It was this second image coupled with the racist comments that motivated me to write.

The second image compares the maps of the U.S. for 2012 Election with the map of Pre-Civil War America circa 1846. Racist Rants in Post-Racial AmericaThe 2012 map shows the states that voted for Barack Obama in blue. The 1846 map shows the states that did not institute slaver in green. The similarities are obvious but when I posted this graphic on Facebook, many of the commentors expressed surprise.

We get offensive racist comments on our site – sh*t happens. But it probably happens more often than the average non-black American would believe. Therein lies one of the major disconnects between White and Black views on the state of racism in this country. We see things through different prisms.

On the heels of the re-election of President Obama and after  posting the U.S. Election results graphic to Facebook,  I felt I’d be missing an opportunity to put forward the message that we are NOT yet living in post-racial America – and it’s going to take more than electing Obama to a second term to change that.

The person who posted the racist rant above could be a Black person’s supervisor, teacher, doctor, landlord — you get the point.

The veil of anonymity afforded to Internet users emboldens some to say and do things (think former Congressional Representative Anthony Weiner) that would otherwise cause them unwanted consequences especially if their veil of anonymity were removed. But anonymous or not, these are nonetheless reflections of their inner most thoughts.

It is a good sign of the times that in 2012, it would be career limiting for the person who posted those vile comments on the LA Progressive to voice those sentiments at the workplace. Yet, this same person can still discriminate almost as flagrantly as if he were living in 1846 and suffer no consequences. All that is needed is that he claim his actions had nothing to do with race.

Imagine (if you are not Black) how it feels to have this person or someone of his ilk in a decision-making position that affects your life – say your boss, your professor, or your doctor.

sharon kyle

Sharon Kyle

As the publisher of the LA Progressive, I have come into contact with countless people of all colors who abhor the ideas expressed by this racist ranter and his ilk. I am so grateful I have come to know so many of you. You affirm what I believe – we can change and heal this country.

Unfortunately, the racist ranter reminds me that we’ve got a long way to go.

 

Sharon Kyle

Published by the LA Progressive on November 9, 2012
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About Sharon Kyle

Sharon Kyle, J.D. is the Publisher of the LA Progressive which she co-founded with her husband Dick Price. Ms. Kyle is an adjunct professor of law at Peoples College in Los Angeles. She sits on the board of the ACLU Pasadena/Foothills Chapter and is on the editorial board of the BlackCommentator.com. Photo courtesy Wadeva Images. www.wadevaimages.com

Comments

  1. The person who posted those vile comments on the LA Progressive, could also be a progressive-leftist, whose goal it is to demonize those who oppose gun control. That has been a tactic of the Marxist-totalitarian left for over a century now.

  2. That’s bloody awful, but no surprise. What makes me the sickest is that it IS no surprise. I have long since stopped trying to understand the vitriol that comes out of such mouths and what causes it, but I know this. Self esteem issues, such as this poster illustrates himself perfectly, are the hallmark of people who were never taught, and do not care, to think. My dad told me once that many people as a rule don’t LIKE to think, largely because they never learned to do it for themselves, and therefore are pleased to have someone else do it for them. In this case, that function is carried out by so called “news sources’ that spew this rubbish to the willfully slow witted, who then recite it ad nauseum. It’s no wonder that many of these “sources” despise education. It would mean a dramatic decline in their viewer numbers.

  3. Sharon thank you so much for keeping on. As a seminarian I am working with anti-racism and learning how much I have to learn, even though I never thought I was racist. I’m aware of my privilege now and grateful that you can continually point out things I need to see. Thank you for your bravery!

  4. You should post the Filtered comments from time to time as a reminder

    1. To everyone we are not even close to passed/ post racism

    2.To other minorities just because YOU dont hear the voices of the racist doesnt not mean they are gone.

  5. I am well aware of the racism in america as must of it is fueled by the media..

    My first and second wife were / is Italian and i made the right decision both time for me.. We are both peaceful and successful people, but many of the individuals that we come in contact with are un-happy successful and un-successful people to whom blames other nationalities for their problems..

    I chose not to cheat on my wife and she made the same decision, I chose to go to work everyday and educate myself in more than one subject..

    But we are hated because we are happy,successful and inter-racially married !

    For me anyone that would have an issue with that is someone that is control by other people around them… They can’t make decisions for themselves because someone else has always taken care of their decisions from childhood to adulthood. My feelings are if you are un-happy and broke because of how your family and friends feel ! You are already an outsider from yourself…..

    Money can make you rich and sad ! The RIGHT wife can make you happy and rich and it doesn’t have a thing to do with color..

    With that being said !

    If you chose to be un-happy and broke, rich and un-happy but your family and friends love you , that’s the decision you must live with don’t go around hating and calling others names because you like where you are in life..

  6. Jerry Drucker says:

    LOVELY! Many thanks to both you wonderful persons.

  7. The only problem here is that it pretends we live in a very one-sided universe… that racial hatred is a one way street, from whites to everyone else.

    That would be a grossly inaccurate picture to paint. The difference is that racial hatred and bias goes every way equally. This should not be a surprise to anyone that does not have racist views.

    To people WITH racist views, they are surprised by this. The Black, Asian, & Latino bigot is easy to find.

    What we are talking about, in the end, is racial harmony.

    The difference today is that we keep pretending that it is a white only problem. Not so. In fact, we do such a poor job of addressing the entirety of the situation, that we socially accept and even PROMOTE racial bias and anger, as long as it is directed against whites, or in favor of any other skin color.

    This post, placing “the problem” on whites only, just feeds the overall problem more.

    It is part of an unfortunate dynamic where posts like this keep an accusatory finger pointed at a particular race, and keeps anger and hostility directed at them, their only crime, being part of a majority.

    And we can’t pretend that the black and Latino gangs don’t have severe racial hatred toward one another. Cheryl Green was murdered by Latinos because she was black.

    Some of the most deadly and racially hateful are the Latino gangs in LA, that openly sweep neighborhoods of blacks, for example.

    By pretending this is a white only problem, leaves a large opening for such racial violence, and is to the shame of everyone that turns a blind eye to it.

    Suggestion: stop lashing out at whites… it makes you look like the kind of person you say you are not. Instead, stand up for racial harmony.

    Don’t attack those with white skin, and don’t automatically support those with darker skin.

    They are two sides of the same coin.

  8. Stay Strong!

  9. As always , well said Sharon .

    I too am sadly well aware for how far America has to go yet , be strong , you and Dick are the kind of good folks America was built by / for / upon .

    I only wish this computer had a picture of my Sweet Lady to post….

    -Nate

  10. BTW, Dave looks better in his beard… and he sure looks happy for a self-loather… would this actually be a projection, maybe Hyphenated American is the self-loather?

  11. This kind of systemic bigotry is trans-generational, and requires serious early-childhood development interventions to break that cycle. But, that being said, Sesame Street has done more to engender racial and cultural tolerance than any programs or policies that religious institutions from the private sector have created. Without concerted and intelligent public intervention in the cycle of futility that gives bigotry a toehold in young minds, it will be very hard to finally put an end to our problems with prejudice.

  12. “… the lesser evolved souls living among us. ” a perfect description!
    Thanks, love the photos of the two of you. – Gary

  13. I always knew that a lot of people in this country had a problem with race. but as bad as it is, I had no idea the extent of it until America elected its first African American president. It’s not just what I see in the media, it involves personal interactions in my own life – among people I consider friends. I had now idea some of them felt this way. I have a message ti my fellow white people:

    http://tomdegan.blogspot.com/2012/07/message-to-my-fellow-white-people.html

    Cheers!

    Tom Degan

  14. Troy McClure says:

    I live in rural South Carolina, bastion state of more racism and rednecks than can be counted. I’m a staunch Obama supporter, but I’m closeted to some degree because of all those around me: family, friends, co-workers. I hear the awful comments, but I had somehow deluded myself into believing it was just pockets of ignorance, and not a wholesale philosophy still predicated on where slavery was in place in the middle 1800s. That is just amazing.

    All that is said to make this point: I would have NEVER said the maps would be so similar as this. And more importantly, how it is I’ve never seen these before? Are you the first person to put this kind of mind-boggling, in your face knowledge in words? Surely not.

    For a southern white guy, this is really eye-opening.

    • Dear Troy,

      All too often, my sense is that the LA Progressive is preaching to the choir. But every once in a great while I get a comment from someone like you and I smile. Thank you for your honesty. If you think this map comparison is eye-opening, you should see the comparison of slave states and prison locations. That will blow your mind.

  15. Another fellow traveler from DK. Keep up the good fight, and thanks for the map (from another half of an interracial marriage) : D

  16. Rich N Mdriems says:

    Hi — Saw your post highlited on dkos and came over to see the map overlay. No surprise. My family pics look a lot like yours and I appreciate what you and your husband are doing.

  17. Thomas Cleaver says:

    Has anyone ever noticed how white supremacists, whether they were former chicken farmer Heinrich Himmler or the idiot who posted this, or the dumb crackers I used to deal with in the South 45 years ago, are ALL the kind of “white people” who make the rest of us ashamed to be white?

    White supremacists are lower on the evolutionary scale than ameobas. Ignorant, talentless morons who know the only thing they might have going for themselves is the accident of their birth, since they have neither intellect, talent nor ability to fall back on.

  18. In the Atlantic, an article about the racist anti-Obama tweets made me
    realize that in the US million of people –mainly in the South,
    no surprise– still think of themselves as plantation owners,
    metaphorically speaking. (and calling you a “Negress” is yet another
    pathetic example of people “reliving dreams of past glories”– and the irony is that I bet the majority of their ancestors were never more than white sharecroppers )

  19. Well done, sister. You and your husband stay strong.

    • Thanks for the comment. I try not to let these people get to me. But I wouldn’t be human if it had no affect at all. Getting comments like yours makes a difference.

  20. Kevin Swanwick says:

    Karen – this is such important commentary. Thank you for sharing both your informed views and your experience. Still far to go.

  21. Thank you for writing this. I agree that many Caucasians just refuse to accept that these incidents occur every day and the racists have only been emboldened by the like of Fox News and other race-baiting organizations. The narrative about everyone who voted for President Obama is a welfare cheat and stupid has never been so apparent as in the days since his re-election which is so insulting and demeaning to those of us who chose to vote for him and other Democrats. The current election patterns in comparison to pre-abolition America is so telling.
    I am so sorry that you and others still have to experience this bigotry in 2012 and beyond.

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