Human beings like to commemorate or celebrate a past important event that occurred on the same date of the year as the initial event to either remind themselves of something they never want to repeat, or fondly recall a better time in their lives. This past week an anniversary came and went that should be a reminder of a shameful practice that lingered in America 89 years after Founding Father Thomas Jefferson wrote that “all men are created equal,” and the day should have celebrated that slavery finally came to an official end. The 13th Amendment ended slavery in America in 1865, and the day was remembered by a teabag leader who admonished African Americans to stop complaining their ancestors were indentured servants.
Americans are typically not welcoming to immigrants to this country, and many different groups who came seeking a better life were discriminated against whether they were Italians, Asians, Russians, Hispanics, Germans, or Irish, but they were never bought and sold, kept as property, or treated like Africans who did not come to this country of their own accord or to seek a better life. Despite historical records documenting the horrid treatment of Africans captured in their native lands, shipped to America, and sold to Americans who literally treated them worse than draft animals, there has always been a segment of the population attempting to delegitimize the horrors of slavery. Indeed, there are still racists in America who regard African Americans as inferior, and they celebrate and mourn their loss in the Civil War the Confederacy fought to preserve their right to keep other human beings to buy, sell, and toil to increase the wealth of white people.
Last Wednesday, on the anniversary of the official end of slavery in America, a teabag leader from New Mexico sparked a minor controversy when she suggested that African Americans take advantage of the horrid legacy of slavery to garner some kind of benefits from the rest of America, probably the government as if it is owed to them. The teabagger, Glynis Racine of the Lincoln County Tea Party Patriots took to social media outlet Twitter to send a message via an image suggesting that African Americans “bitch and moan about how the world owes them a living” because their ancestors were slaves. She also had the temerity to state Irish immigrants’ experience in America was worse than African slaves. The Tweet read, “American history month. Forgotten facts,” and was accompanied with an image that read, “White Irish slaves were treated worse than any other race in the U.S.,” and then “When is the last time you heard an Irishman bitching and moaning about how the world owes them a living?”
Racine deleted the Tweet fairly soon after posting it, but the damage was already done and exposed her as a racist. The implication that African Americans, all African Americans, “bitch and moan” about the world owing them a living is as outrageous as it is racist and infuriating. To make matters worse, Racine responded to her detractors and reiterated that Irish immigrants were treated worse than African slaves and said, “It’s time to move on.” Sadly, her sentiment is not isolated to racist teabaggers and is the kind of fear-mongering and race-baiting Fox News and every Republican candidate for president parroted throughout the primary season in 2012.
Some respondents to the Tweet remarked it is no surprise teabaggers are having difficulty attracting people of color to their racist political tent, but it extends to Republicans as well who have made it their raison d’être to demean President Obama as “the other,” “not one of us,” or that he should “learn to be an American” which is code for “he’s not white.” The sentiment that African Americans believe anyone owes them something was Willard Romney’s message throughout his campaign for the White House and he took great pride in telling the NAACP that “if they wanted more free stuff, vote for the other guy.”
The majority of Americans are sick to death of the racial animus Republicans, former Confederate states, and particularly teabaggers are polluting this nation with. Many Americans believed, errantly, that the election of the first African American as President was a major turning point in this country’s long history of racism, particularly towards African Americans, but the only turning point was bringing the lingering hatred toward African Americans back to life. Whether it is Fox News and Rush Limbaugh stoking racist hatred toward the people’s choice for President, or the rise of hate groups, white supremacists, secession-minded former Confederate states, or calls for assassinating the President, this vile racism must be addressed and reported by corporate-controlled conservative media outlets.
Main-stream media is just as culpable as racists at Fox News’ promoting racial animus for not reporting the blatant racism permeating Republican and teabagger ranks; particularly in the former Confederate states. Republicans in Congress, particularly the leadership, are just as guilty as any white supremacist because their obstruction, even of their own ideas, is based on little else than opposing, at any cost, the African American sitting in the Oval Office. Indeed, the Republicans have assailed this President as an “imperial president,” “dictator,” and “tyrant” for having the temerity to issue executive orders they never complained about when white presidents, even Democratic white presidents, issued them and at a higher frequency than President Obama.
Racine said “it’s time to move on” and she is right. It is time for teabagger racists, Republican white supremacists, and ignorant Confederates to move on and get over their hatred of people of color whether they are Hispanics, Asians, or African Americans, because the only people “bitching and moaning that the world owes them anything” are racists in the conservative movement who think the world owes them a racially pure, and white, America.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.