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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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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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I’m Not A “Cookie-Cutter” Conservative

Consevative Libertarian blogger Talitha McEachin

Talitha McEachin

I get messages & comments throughout social media (and email) fairly often, from people questioning the authenticity of my Christian faith, conservatism, my cultural tie to the black community or my level of empathy for issues related to gender. This is usually due to an opinion I have given, which is not in agreement with the consensus or, which is in agreement with someone I’m supposed to automatically oppose no matter what (as if anyone other than me will decide this). I normally only respond to public accusations & ignore the private messages sent most of the time, depending on how they are expressed. I’m not special or alone, most of us bloggers/writers with any level of an audience or followers experience this. I objectively look at things & I make up my own mind and try my best to do so without all of the biases that I may have, and we all have them – it takes effort & forethought to be objective. All I can do is be me, be honest & give my assessments as I see things, or muzzle myself when I feel there aren’t enough facts or there is too much gray area to draw a conclusion. With that said, folks, I’m not a “cookie-cutter” conservative, Christian, woman, Southerner or black woman, so stop expecting me to be.

If I disagree with the majority in any demographic I belong to, I’m going to say so freely & respectfully and I could care less who gets upset about that. That doesn’t make me any less of any of those things I named. Sometimes I agree with liberals, disagree with conservatives, stand up for men, admonish women, agree with the perspectives of other black people & other times I disagree strongly. Plenty of times I’ve agreed with the perspective of white Americans (skin color doesn’t determine veracity for me). I have defended Muslims from vitriol. If you find that you disagree with any majority in your personal demographics it’s OK….the earth will still spin on it’s axis. These people don’t sleep next to you, they don’t feed you or keep a roof over your head. If hard times come to you, they aren’t the ones you will call upon for help. Do not allow the “herd” to force you to go along to get along – speak your mind. Stand up for what’s right (no pun intended) based on your convictions because YOU have to live with your actions or failure to act, no one else…think about it.

Rant over…have a blessed & productive day!

 
 

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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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