Palaver from Persimmon Crossing
|January 9, 2007||Posted by Staff under Archive, Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Palaver from Persimmon Crossing
with Warren Faulk
Nobody can boast of having had more benevolently racist parents or grandparents than I had. Or at least nobody I’ve ever met. I grew up so deep in the South that we thought of people from Birmingham and Atlanta as yankees and city slickers to boot. To say that my community was racially polarized (we were not familiar with terms like these) would be an understatement. For some reason the lessons did not take on some of us. We did not inherit racist leanings or use race as a weapon in the game of life. At least not in ways that we are aware of. We are the ones who have been told for decades that we should speak up in social settings. Point out the bigot, make a scene, leave the scene, etc. Well…it just doesn’t help, or I don’t think it does. I’d like to see us try some different ideas.
Judging from the number of people I have heard say that they are racists, not because they want to be but because of who their parents were or the situations they were born into, I must conclude that there are many, many involuntary racists among us. People who just cannot break out of the mold no matter how much they might want to. These same people can often be found pointing out their own failings, seeming to be looking for forgiveness, pointing to differences in people and other things as excuses for their feelings and conduct, past and present. The message being sent may sound like the person wants to turn over a new leaf. The message received may be that ‘these are my reasons for continuing to conduct myself as a racist.’ Especially so, if the same person continues to tell the same story over and over. Perhaps the speaker would do well to assume that he does not automatically have an understanding audience just because everyone nearby appears to be of the same race as he.
The solution to involuntary racism for some might just be to leave the tired old excuses at home. Talk about something positive. Make a conscious effort not to pass the legacy of racism on.
Many of us, myself included, don’t like having the government tell us what to do even if the government is right. Of course, where race is concerned we have had plenty of time to do the right things on our own…and we have been a little slow on the uptake.
And this flag thing. I love my rebel flag. It is being tarnished now. Abused. Used in ways that I’d prefer it not be used. Time to show it the respect it deserves and retire it from the field of those banners purporting to represent the people of the states where it is flown. I guess I see flags, properly used,as representing common resolve, unity. This is us. Well the Confederate Battle Flag is not “us”, at least not all of us, not the way it is being used by some. I don’t see how any reasonable person can fail to see that some are offended by the forced use of the Rebel flag as representative of them.
And having realized this, why would anyone want to continue to cause their fellow citizens to be offended.? If we really want to be fair maybe we should make up a flag (a little different slant than presented in The Progress Report a few weeks back) for each significant ethnic group in a particular state. Let each select its own design. Take Georgia where I live. We might end up with the Rebel flag flying over the capital only 75% of the time, native americans would design and fly a flag for maybe 4 or 5 days out of the year and then african americans would unfurl a black, red and green banner and fly it for 55 days. I DON’T THINK SO! Can we really not see the point? Really?
At the very least we need to come up with some better cover stories. The ones I’ve heard so far are pretty transparent. Not up to the standards for our better Southern storytellers.
I think it would be a hugely positive gesture on the part of the majority populations of the states involved to quietly move these flags to more appropriate settings.
— Warren Faulk
And how about you? Tell your views to The Progress Report!