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Small Town Georgia Travels, Racism & Politics

Small Town Georgia Travels, Racism & Politics
Friends,
I always check-in on social media whenever I travel within Georgia, or out of state for work, to help me log my travel hours accurately. When I do, a few people always message me if it’s a small town in southern Georgia, or most recently, up in the North Georgia mountains. They ask about the reception from southern whites in small towns because I am a black woman & they’ve heard of ugly racism in these places. I make these trips EVERY month for work & I can honestly tell you that I’ve never experienced any racism on a single trip. I’ve found the whites (and blacks, Hispanics, Asians) in these towns to be VERY friendly, helpful & inquisitive sometimes about the “big city” (Atlanta, Lord knows what they’d think of NY or LA lol). Some have never taken a flight in a commercial airplane. Many are farmers, or at least gardeners & you can buy whatever’s in season right from their land/trees. There are some of the best, home cooked, fresh food in restaurants run by some of these same farms. I connected with them because my Mom grew up on a farm in a small southern town in Alabama, where she and her 17 siblings worked extremely hard growing up, sometimes missing school to work on the farm. Meals were mostly what was raised, caught, made or grown on their land. Most of the people I’ve met don’t know who they’ll vote for this time around & have problems with both. I’ll actually be working with a local writer in Macon on a political newsletter for people in these areas. People wanted to know what I was writing. I’ve found that they care more about issues directly affecting them locally – the bigger stuff they tend to feel either apathetic about or powerless against. The former being mostly a result of the latter.
The only discussion of race (which was indirect) was with a few farmers who lamented changes in immigration laws in recent years, because the stricter changes ran off hard-working Hispanics who were here illegally, causing the farmers to lose lots of money in crops. The Hispanics who left were replaced by former convicted felons who needed work. The farmers get a tax incentive to hire them & the former convicts get much needed (and required) work. Most were black but a good number of them were white too. They complained about how the former convicts, no matter their race, worked less, harvested far less pounds of crops, took frequent cell phone & cigarette breaks and were generally lazy. They wanted their illegal immigrant workers back because they got way more work done in less time & were far more reliable. They also needed far less supervision. I got the distinct feeling that they’d vote for whichever political party had the best plans for managing illegal immigrants, allowing them to stay & work. I’ve sort of built relationships with some of these black & white small town southerners. Now, I’m in no way saying racism doesn’t exist in any of these places, I’m just saying that I haven’t experienced one drop of it & I’m not going to lie to make anyone feel good about a stereotype they hold. Sometimes racism is the persistence with which a stereotype is held, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, and on some level we all do (or have done) this.
Until next time or travels,
TM
 
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Posted by on August 5, 2016 in Politics, Society, Uncategorized

 

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Absurdity: Emmett Till & Trayvon Martin

Friends,

I have tried to hold back my thoughts on the wave of pundits & celebrities comparing Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till because it really makes me want to curse & I’m trying to keep my language clean. From the NAACP to Beyonce to Toure…many are making this very fallacious and absurd comparison. The two cases are nothing alike & I have no idea how the Martin or the Till family feels about this, but if I were a member of the Till family in particular, I’d be insulted quite frankly.

There’s no comparison to a mob of white men abducting a fourteen year old boy out of his relative’s home in the middle of the night & lynching him for talking to a white woman in 1955, to a Hispanic man shooting an unarmed seventeen year old black teenager in self-defense (according to the jury verdict), during a fight in 2012. Let me say that I’m not one who agrees with the verdict entirely in the latter case (but I accept it) but juxtaposing Trayvon Martin & Emmett Till….really? Recently, there were pictures allegedly released by mistake, of Trayvon Martin’s dead body & I’m starting to think this was done on purpose, in order to manipulate the public into falling for such a comparison when there is none, as well as to incite outrage.I will not disrespect the seriousness of Emmett Till’s horrific lynching in that manner & shame on those doing just that.

The only similarity is that both cases caused a national (and international) uproar but the Till case catapulted the Civil Rights movement and people of all races started to stand up against the racial discrimination & murders of black people in the deep South. Some of my friends from different political ideologies have asked me about this, mostly my liberal friends & those are my thoughts. If you see the evidence in the Zimmerman case differently, fine. If you decide to protest fine, but leave Emmett Till out of it. The Emmett Till name/imagery is being used to manipulate America into seeing Zimmerman as one who has “lynched” a young black man & I think that’s irresponsible, end of story.

Although both are both tragedies…they are not the same:

 

 Trayvon Martin

Trayvon martins bead body

Emmett_Till

Emmitt Till's dead body

bryantmilam2

GZimmerman

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in In The News, Politics, Society

 

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President Obama’s Cabinet Lacks Diversity

Obama-Winking-300x200You know, not that I really care that Barack Obama has filled his cabinet with white men (no women or minorities & I really don’t care because I try not to engage in identity politics) but some great points are made here. Let me say that I don’t care if the men selected by Barack Obama are purple, I am concerned about whether or not they are competent white men who best represent the American people. Far too often in American politics are the arguments center stage regarding racial, gender or sexual preference demographics, when the focus should be on qualifications & competence. I’ll take 20 competent white men over one incompetent woman or black person any day & vice-versa. This is the man who bypassed fiscal issues almost entirely & campaigned relentlessly on “women’s reproductive rights” & towards women in general, as well as Hispanics & the LGBT community. He didn’t bother to campaign to black people because he knew he could ignore us & we’d still vote for him in droves. That’s just what the black vote has become – blindly faithful to the Democratic party. Before any liberals start bringing up the GOP straw man arguments, I have stated many times before that I advocate for black people to register as Independents & look at each platform & forget party affiliation. It is so ironic to me, that the man who almost entirely campaigned on women’s rights, has a cabinet with no women or minorities. I mean, diversity is allegedly a concern of his, right?. Barack Obama is a charlatan & he’ll say and do anything to get certain votes then does whatever he wants to do. No surprise there from he & many politicians, for that matter. Can you imagine the media backlash that a Republican president would receive if he appointed all white men to his cabinet? As I said, I don’t care that Obama has appointed all white men, especially if they are qualified & competent, it’s just the double standard & hypocrisy that I detest. A white, Republican president who appoints no women or minorities would immediately be labeled a racist and/or a misogynist! George Bush appointed more minorities to cabinet positions than Barack Obama, now what does that tell you? The man is as fake on issues of diversity (among others) as a $3 bill. President Obama, after making such a huge deal out of “women’s rights” & diversity, put your appointments where your mouth is or leave it alone:

Roland Martin, Rosa Brooks & Reihan Salam discuss the lack of diversity in the Obama cabinet.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Politics

 

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Video:Bob is A Racist

Video:Bob is A Racist

I don’t have a lot of commentary for you all today just a short video which my friend Walter Myers III shared with me yesterday, so now, I am sharing it with you. This satirical video on racism is a so funny because it is very true! Please watch, share and enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Politics, Society, Videos

 

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