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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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Clarence Thomas: “Northern Liberal Elites Are More Racist Than Southerners”

Friends,

Clarence ThomasRecently, conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issued a statement stating that based on his experiences in both the North & South that “Northern Liberal Elites Are More Racist”. Many of you have asked my opinion so here goes:

One the one hand, many on the right are touting this as proof that racism is not so bad in the South & is exaggerated by the left. One the other hand many on the left are saying that this is further proof that Clarence Thomas is a sellout & that he is once again trying to assuage & appease white Conservatives. Well, the mistake Thomas makes (and this is not to take away from his experiences in both the North & South) is that his anecdotal evidence doesn’t mean that his experiences are the rule. Neither does mine or any of us. At best, he can say that this was his experience & concluding opinion based on that but that others may have had (or had/have) a different experience growing up in the South & North. See the difference? I could name at least 60-70 people who are the same age as Thomas whom I know personally, who would & have said differently.

It must also be taken into account that Thomas grew up in a somewhat isolated, predominantly black community near Savannah, Ga founded by freed slaves. Most of the people he grew up with were black, so his experience would be different from a black person who grew up in Montgomery, Atlanta or Birmingham during that time. It’s intellectually dishonest (and irresponsible) on his part & ours to ignore that. People are using his anecdotes as proof that liberal whites “are” more “racist”, a word that gets tossed around so frequently that it has all but lost it’s potency. Now, on the other hand, my friends on the left, to call Thomas a sellout or “Uncle Tom” (a misnomer really) or accuse him of lying to lessen the experiences of racism in the South or exaggerate those in the North is unfair as well. You’re the same people who came to Obama’s defense after he issued a statement in the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict (and I agreed with you) that those attacking Obama’s experiences/anecdotes of racism/discrimination growing up were wrong to accuse him of lying. They weren’t there, they don’t know what he experienced & generally speaking, you simply cannot tell a person what their experiences was. Well, that same thing must be applied to Clarence Thomas! You can’t tell him what he did or did not experience growing up in the South or living in the North. He has no obligation to say that the South was more racist than the North just because he has black skin, especially if that was not his reality. His experience is his own & you can’t dictate it or take it away from him because it doesn’t follow a historical narrative. Please get that.
There’s an old saying in the South from that time, that “In the South they (whites) don’t care how close you get as long as you don’t get too high, in the North they (whites) don’t care how high you get as long as you don’t get too close” – Is one group of whites more racist than another? Well, it depends on who you ask but I say during that time you had some racism from both, most likely in equal amounts but not equivalent.That’s all I have to say to all about this. Until next time…

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2014 in In The News, Politics

 

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Remembering Nelson Mandela; The American Political Right’s Reaction

Nelson MandelaFriends,

I can’t tell you how very disgusted I have been with the sheer amount of vitriol directed towards former president of South Africa & freedom fighter Nelson Mandela by the American political right, immediately following his death. Let me say that I have no problem with objective criticism of his political philosophy at one time in his life & I find some things he advocated fallacious or morally wrong as well, but Nelson Mandela was no “terrorist” nor was he an Idi Amin as some are attempting to portray him as. I want to share the comments & the sharing of Newt Gingrich’s very poignant blog from Steven (which is where I saw it first) of a very good friend & mentor of mine Steven Barnes, a New York Times bestselling writer, screenplay writer, life coach & I could go on. I also want to recognize those few on the right who have stood up to the criticism of Mandela as well – Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved & Newt Gingrich have all spoken out in reverence for him & expressed their condolences. Here is what Steven had to say & I concur:

“I find the venom against Mandela on the day of his passing to be indicative of a total emotional disconnect, an inability to extend humanity to others. When even Newt Gingrich agrees, you know there is a problem.”- Steven Barnes
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“Yesterday I issued a heartfelt and personal statement about the passing of President Nelson Mandela. I said that his family and his country would be in my prayers and Callista’s prayers.

I was surprised by the hostility and vehemence of some of the people who reacted to me saying a kind word about a unique historic figure.

So let me say to those conservatives who don’t want to honor Nelson Mandela, what would you have done?

Mandela was faced with a vicious apartheid regime that eliminated all rights for blacks and gave them no hope for the future. This was a regime which used secret police, prisons and military force to crush all efforts at seeking freedom by blacks.

What would you have done faced with that crushing government?

What would you do here in America if you had that kind of oppression?

Some of the people who are most opposed to oppression from Washington attack Mandela when he was opposed to oppression in his own country.

After years of preaching non-violence, using the political system, making his case as a defendant in court, Mandela resorted to violence against a government that was ruthless and violent in its suppression of free speech.

As Americans we celebrate the farmers at Lexington and Concord who used force to oppose British tyranny. We praise George Washington for spending eight years in the field fighting the British Army’s dictatorial assault on our freedom.

Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote and the Continental Congress adopted that “all men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Doesn’t this apply to Nelson Mandela and his people?

Some conservatives say, ah, but he was a communist.

Actually Mandela was raised in a Methodist school, was a devout Christian, turned to communism in desperation only after South Africa was taken over by an extraordinarily racist government determined to eliminate all rights for blacks.

I would ask of his critics: where were some of these conservatives as allies against tyranny? Where were the masses of conservatives opposing Apartheid? In a desperate struggle against an overpowering government, you accept the allies you have just as Washington was grateful for a French monarchy helping him defeat the British.

Finally, if you had been imprisoned for 27 years, 18 of them in a cell eight foot by seven foot, how do you think you would have emerged? Would you have been angry? Would you have been bitter?
— Newt Gingrich

I salute, honor & revere the hero that Nelson Mandela was and my prayers & condolences go out to his family & the people of South Africa who are mourning him. I also salute the few conservatives who have the decency & courage to speak honestly about Nelson Mandela in spite of the vitriol & disrespect coming from their followers. Until next time…..Talitha McEachin

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2013 in Featured Guest blogs, In The News, Politics

 

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Right vs Left & The Black Community; Today’s Musings

Friends,

I know I’ve been away for several weeks and haven’t posted, because, as I shared weeks ago, I am steadily writing & working hard to meet deadlines for my upcoming novel, THE ELEMENTS. Today I had the opportunity to dialogue with other local black conservatives & I wanted to share my thoughts with you all (as I shared them on Facebook), so here goes:

I was speaking to a small group of local black Conservatives on a conference call today & we spoke about several topics, including race in America. We were speaking about some of the ills of the black community including the crime rates, the greater need in some communities for economic empowerment & other things like awareness on screening for things like HIV, breast/prostrate cancer…etc. Frustratingly (to me & one other) the conversation devolved to liberal bashing – specifically black liberal/Democrat bashing on the part of some, not all. It is so ironic to me that some black conservatives engage in this sort of thing constantly when the topic of race comes up & I saw a lot of that during the #Zimmerman trial & the year preceding it. 

Some will declare, “I’m just American, no need to identify racially” – I say to each his or her own in that regard & I’m certainly not the cultural police. These same people who make such statements will make a point on their blogs/websites & any media forum they are involved in to present themselves as a “black Conservative”. In other words, they self-identify by race when it’s convenient for them or will get them noticed more. They want to stand out & let’s face it, black conservatives on some level are treated like celebrities on the right. We are praised for standing out/up & going against the grain. Some love the notoriety that comes along with this in the black community, yet bash liberals for “always bringing up race” or identifying by race. 

We all (as far as I can tell) identify as black conservatives on the right (myself included) for different reasons or by instinct but until some start identifying only as conservative, race notwithstanding, I’ve had enough of their black liberal/Democrat bashing & admonishing when it comes to this topic, when many of us do the same things we accuse them of – right-wing style. I’m a lot of things, but I don’t bash blacks on the left to appease ANYONE, nor gain attention – I attack policies & ideology as I see fit & that’s why my liberal friends & I can have #calmversations. We debate but in a civil manner & I just wish there was more unity within the black community between black people on the left & right. One day, we’ll get there. I have hope.

Everyone have a safe, productive & wonderful weekend, be blessed!

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Philosophy, Politics, Society

 

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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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Today’s Introspection & An Excerpt from THE ELEMENTS

Friends,

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

Conservative libertarian writer Talitha McEachin

In light of all of the drama after the Zimmerman verdict and talks about race & racism, I wanted to share my thoughts from my Facebook page today, because this philosophy is at the heart of my reasoning for writing my current epic fantasy series:

“I will say this – that the racists of America, of all colors, are starting to realize, that they don’t have as many allies in the general population as they thought or once had…I can feel it & it’s a great thing. Racism concerns me deeply because I want the best for us as human beings, and it’s inextricably bound to some economic problems we have. We cannot progress as a species until we learn that we’re more alike than we are different.” 

And now here’s an excerpt from Book I of THE ELEMENTS (Chapter Six), Enjoy!

“Kgosi’s plan of attack is foolish,”

“What do you mean? The Lungi prophesy says that the Kishnu will begin to follow the Lungi way. My uncle is only pretending to fulfill this to take back our lands. He says their land belongs to our people and they drove us into the caves long ago – Ajuoga you have taught this yourself. It is a good plan,”

“Is it a good plan or is it foolish? There are gods – there are those before us. The Lungi believe this too. They say that their god gave a word that our people would come to him, after a war which the Lungi will win. Is this not the very thing Kgosi is doing? Does it matter that he does this with intent? He still does it Phenyo. There are better ways to have war than mocking a man’s god. We should let the Lungi be. Everything that we need is plentiful here, the land is good to us. We want for nothing. Kgosi is a fool of the worst kind – he spills the blood of our sons to show his power. His war is not with Nkosana, it is with the god of Nkosana. It would be better if he aimed his spear at the one whom he can see. Men are not suited for wars with the unseen,”

“That is why I want to lead a group of women there instead Ajuoga.I would like your blessing and a muthi for this journey,”

“You ask for my blessing and I will ask those before us for this, for you. You ask for my muthi and I will make a special one for you to drink. You will ask Kgosi to give this duty to you, and he will fill your ears with laughter,”

“I will show him that mine is a better way,”

“The women in Kishnuizwe have always been warriors in some form or another and you are the best – as good as most men and better than some, but Kgosi thinks too much of men Phenyo.Victory in war he preserves for men,”

“I want to ask the she-god myself …I believe she will give me the power to bend my uncle’s will to mine on this matter Ajuoga,”

“I have been waiting for you to ask for proof of the she-god Phenyo…so long have I waited for you to believe. Now you have at last asked to see her, though your asking comes wearing the cloak of disbelief,”

”If I did not believe there was a she-god -” Ajuoga stood and leaned over to touch Phenyo’s face and her hand felt for her nose then moved down to her lips. Using the tip of her thumb and the finger next to it she pulled a little at Phenyo’s lips and held them tightly, as if one more utterance would summon a known terror. Her next words were frightened, whispered caveats and she let go of Phenyo’s lips before she spoke them.

“No, No….No Phenyo! She gives us words only for truth. She does not protect those who use them for lies. You know this daughter. We speak only of what we do or will do or what is – never if I did or did not. There is a she-god or there is not!”

“There is,” said Phenyo, visibly startled

“I believe. I want to see her,” she continued. She may as well go along with it. Although Ajuoga seemed willing to show her the she-god, she had decided long ago, that no matter how obviously a figment of her mind, she would behave as though she were real. It was the respectful thing to do.

“Good! Now that you have asked you shall see daughter of mine. Will you lend me your eyes?…will you tell me what you see? I want to know of her face – again…the she-god. I want to know of her beauty! My eyes….my eyes….I only have eyes in my sleep! There was a time when my eyes could see…long ago…I was still a girl. The she-god came to me then but I did not believe! I saw her with my eyes and she took them with her when she left me Phenyo – she took my eyes! I refused to believe but I was only a girl. Will you be my eyes Phenyo? I want to see her face again!”

Ajuoga trembled as she rubbed her hands together. Her words rushed into one another in desperation then were slow, like a procession of beasts running with all their might, slowing down for a cliff ahead and slamming into one another’s flesh. For the first time Phenyo felt afraid in her company but reached for Ajuoga’s leathery face with courage and wiped away the tears with her fingers. Ajuoga seemed more like a stranger with remnants of familiarity to her now.

“Yes mother…from where will she come?”

“Shhh…only believe what you can see…daughter. Believe what you see,” Ajuoga stood slowly and spread her arms – the left one towards the ceiling and the other perpendicular to it. Though closed, her eyes shone a dull white through the lids and escaped between her lashes at the bottom, like rays of a partially eclipsed sun. The arch in her back straightened itself triumphantly against the rush of wind that flew into the dwelling, past Phenyo, then orbited both women. Ajuoga’s hair rose and fell as Phenyo’s neatly woven hair withstood the wind. Dust and small pieces of debris danced. Phenyo stood but wanted badly to abandon her flesh standing there, allowing herself to escape invisibly, unable to be followed or seen. Shiluba could be heard outside scurrying about and making high-pitched pleas. If the winds didn’t calm soon, the chimpanzee would seek comfort in the heights of the trees away from the izindlu.

“Ajuoga?”

“You are Phen-yo,”

“Yes…are you from those before us?”

“Phenyo…you are a fine woman indeed. I see why she loves you so,”

“You are the she-god?”

“Yes,”

“What have you done with mother’s tongue?”

“She is here still – and has not been harmed,”

“What do you want of me?”

“I did not summon you Phenyo. What do you desire of me?”

“What is your name?”

“You wanted to know my name? How can a she-god help you?”

“I didn’t believe,”

“I know – she knows. I told her you would not believe until you could see,”

“Whose blood belongs to you?”

“No Phenyo, I am not an ancestor of the Kishnu, the Kishnu are of me,”

“Then you are -”

“Phenyo, do you believe?”

“No,”

“Will you believe?”

“Yes,”

Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved by TK McEachin.
 
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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Fictional Writing, Philosophy, Society

 

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Zimmerman Not Guilty: My Thoughts

Friends,

crossesBy now you all know that George Zimmerman has been found not guilty. Here are my thoughts, as shared via my Facebook page & this is all I have to say:

“My heart is heavy for that community right now, the Martin family for their tragic loss & the Zimmerman family who will live in fear & the nation, because this case brought out the ugliest of ugliness on both sides. For those who think Zimmerman was really guilty, trust me, let it go. If he was lying & they got it wrong he WILL answer to a higher authority – there’s no escaping that. For those who are celebrating & support him, humble yourselves & do not give in to insensitive celebrating of a dead 17 year old nor should you throw this in anyone’s face. It’s a tragedy all around. The race-baiting, insensitivity & relentless vitriol from both sides means we have a LONG way to go as a nation. This case didn’t create any wounds or hatred, it revealed them. It brought them to the surface. THAT is the real tragedy – that we have a ton of healing to do in terms of race relations in America. It has only begun…”

God Bless…

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2013 in Breaking News, In The News, Society

 

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