Saturday, October 08, 2011

Lindsey Graham feels for white guys in the South, like Perry

From the Houston Chronicle:

Responding to the flack Texas Gov. Rick Perry is getting for the racially insensitive name of a Throckmorton hunting lodge, his fellow Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R- S.C., says it just goes with the territory, with the territory being the American South.

Graham said on “The Mike Gallagher Show” that, “If you’re a Southern white guy, this is part of your life”

More here, with audio.

First off, Perry's not a Southerner; he's a Texan. Yeah, there are similarities, both cultural and relating to history, but Texas is not the South: slavery was mainly based in East Texas, so the entire state wasn't as intensely permeated with anti-black ideology, and there is also the longstanding presence of a third culture, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, which changes the overall white supremacy dynamic significantly. This is not to say that there is no racism in Texas, far from it. Rather, it's to observe that, for Texas good old boys, there have been for many years countless opportunities to reject racism. And Perry has apparently failed to take advantage of these opportunities.

I mean, the guy's only eighteen years older than me. Certainly, as a kid growing up in the 70s I felt strongly the white resentment coming quickly on the tail of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s. I heard the "n-word" often. I heard, and sometimes told, racist jokes. But by late elementary school, I was figuring it out. Indeed, by that point in my life, most of the racist comments I had heard when I was in second and third grade were starting to fade away. By the time I was in high school, racists were definitely in the minority, at least the publicly self-avowed ones. And whaddaya know, that's also the point in history, the early 80s, when Perry's family first leased his now infamous hunting lodge named "(N-word)head."

If I understood it then as a teenager, how could Perry, as a grown man in his 30s, not understand, too? This was not a part of mainstream Texas culture. I felt no social pressure to conform to white supremacist attitudes. This is not a part of my life, and it is, therefore, not a part of Perry's life. Unless he wanted it to be. Graham's implication that Perry should get some sort of pass on his blatant racism for cultural reasons is personally insulting to me, and to the entire state of Texas.

Actually, to get back to Graham's original statement, about Southern men, it's insulting to millions of whites in the South who have rejected racism, too, which was probably harder because the region was ground zero for the brutal oppression and exploitation of African-Americans, and the cultural legacy of that lasts to this very day.

Man, the more I think about this, the more fucked up and bizarre it gets. I mean, WTF?!? You get excused from having a ranch with a racially offensive name because you grew up in a racist region? No fucking way. Racism is racism wherever you are, and I think the vast majority of Americans, racist or not, understand that now.

Fuck you, Lindsay Graham. Fuck you in the ass. Sleazy piece of shit.