Sometimes you just don't want to wade in some pools, and that was how I felt about the NAACP's call for the Tea Party people to call out and expel the racists in their midst. It is as reasonable a call, as the call for groups like the NAACP to call out say the New Black Panther Party people (who are like a crazy/racist swirl of who knows what). Then, a Tea Party person decided that not only was he offended that the NAACP would even suggest that race played any sort of role in the actions of Tea Party people (impossible right?), but he also had to put his thoughts in a blog post that managed to prove the NAACP's point. Now that Tea Party person has been ousted. My guess is that people will now be satisfied that he was the only one with any hint of racism within the movement.
We move now to today, and the game of tit for tat has been elevated. A random Agriculture Department Obama appointee has resigned under pressure after it was suggested that she was being racist, during her tenure at the Agriculture Department, against white farmers, and it was all caught on video, and the video was of a local Georgia NAACP meeting earlier this year. Total bitch slap back to the NAACP, so there.
However, now it's beginning to look like the appointee in question was explaining, in a parable of sorts, how she felt back in '85-'86 about a white farmer seeking her help when she was with a non-profit, not the Department of Agriculture as had been suggested (once the unedited video is released, we will find out). The parable reflected on her decision not to succumb to her own racist and vengeful thoughts of not helping this white farmer. Instead, she decides to offer help to a person in need. Even that white farmer now corroborates that story, and adds that the appointee in question has been a friend for years.
Race remains an issue in this country, and we need to stop pretending that it doesn't. Most of us put up our respective guards, ignore the obvious one way or another, and assume the worst about whatever person (and concomitantly the group to which that person belongs) we disagree with. We all do it. Do I think we need some big "national conversation" on race? No. But I think we do need to talk with people we know, and at least try to sort things out in our own spheres. I've had some interesting and sometimes infuriating conversations with friends about race and history and current events. Some of those conversations have happened here. Some of those conversations worried me that friendships might have been frayed (I hope not). Yet, we will never get anywhere, if we refuse to understand, at the very least, another person's perspective.
I think that Attorney General Eric Holder was, in retrospect, correct in calling most of us cowards. It's not an easy conversation to have, and it is not fun. But, if we want to get to the point where we can "move on," and I mean most of us (the true racists never will move on), then we have to, at some point, have occasional discussions among friends, and hope that those friends will have their own discussions with their friends if the issue arises.
What we don't need is what we have been seeing and reading of late.