the more things change… (a throwback)

ah, racism…

…at least we got rid of that in the last twenty-one years, right? right? (checks social media feed)

well, shit…

02/22/2003: “good ol’ times and good ol’ boys?”

one of the things that used to be a friendly disagreed discussion topic in my family…racism. or what IS and IS NOT racism, i suppose. my family always waits till late in life to have kids. my grandmother was in her late twenties when she had her first kid, and my mom was almost thirty-one when she had me. as a result, there are pretty big generation gaps that make views on things such as race, which has come a long way in the last couple years (although some would argue to the contrary) a little…um….interesting.

take my mom, for example. sweet woman. sweet as the day is long. and, she was an elementary school librarian, so she dealt with ALL the kids. and the faculty. all colors in all places and all were cool in mom’s eyes…she’d judge you by your ignorance and stupidity, not your pigment or your sex…and did so till her dying day.

that being said…

my birthday is juneteenth. which for those NOT in the know (since it’s not a nation-wide thing) (2024 NOTE – it is now!) is a holiday that is celebrated in the african-american community because that’s the day that NEWS of the emancipation proclamation hit this area (no cnn back then, ya know). and the cake on my first birthday? a round layer chocolate cake, with the sides painted with green icing, the top with pink icing, and the top was sprinkled with chocolate chips, so i looked like a giant slab of watermelon. i found out about this when i was a teenager and asked my mom, “why a watermelon”? she said, “ya know…’cause it was juneteenth and all.” “what? ’cause watermelon is a summertime fruit?”, i responded. “no…because of the DAY of the summer…you know…”. so i push…”what? ’cause it’s a BLACK holiday?” “i NEVER said that…it was because it know…juneteenth.” i let it go. she didn’t see how this was racist.

the same “…what do you mean?” attitude was seen when we’d discuss minstrel shows. “it was just harmless entertainment” i was told. when you tried to point out that is was looked at as “entertainment” because of racial stereotypes, and that LYNCHINGS were looked at as “just harmless entertainment” in their own time, you just got blank stares. they said it was “no big deal” and “blown all out of proportion” when clearly it wasn’t…now we can see where it was wrong, figures into the whole “gimme my forty acres and a mule for my four hundred years of oppression” equation and it’s behind us. it’s not done. we have evolved. with nary a donkey or land plot in sight, but never mind that now.

2024 NOTE – i was told my whole life about this ‘400 years of oppression’ only to find out the first boats landed in 1619, so it was technically only a few years ago we hit the ‘400 years’ mark…way to round up!

UNLESS, you are a ka on the ut campus. then, it’s not racism…it’s “tradition”. and that’s different…or so they claim.

see, the ka fraternity is the fraternity that still flies the confederate flag…and not for all the right reasons (like being a fan of the car off the dukes of hazard, for example). no, they adhere to much of it’s history, and in fact, consider robert edward lee to be their “spiritual founder”. was general lee ever a ka? nope. and they know this. he’s just their supreme role model. or, as THEY put it (had i mentioned i have my own copy of the varlet, the ka pledge handbook? just checking) “his ethics are the focus of our service and his ideals are in our blood”. his ethics and ideals? they must mean his constant drive to succeed, his will to win, his courage and honor in defeat and his ability to move many men to follow him and his morals…

kinda like how he led so many to their deaths to defend a white boy’s right to look down on a brotha and own him as property as he so chose.

wait…that whole “pro-slavery” thang of lee isn’t MENTIONED in here. just how we need to BE like him…and apparently that does include lee’s “unmentionable” qualities.

see, the ka’s of ut were suspended about ten days ago when pictures surfaced from their “gin and juice” party. this was a party where the members…who are predominantly the sons of doctors, lawyers, congressmen, and other people of influence, were dressed in black face with cartoonish chains around their neck and afro wigs in gest of what they consider your “typical nigga”. and this was only one of MANY ka parties and theme nights and such around the country that has come under fire in recent times. the article in the paper mentioned at least half a dozen more in the last couple of years where these issues have arisen…and i remember there kind of being that “tone” amongst the ka’s when i was at swt…and that was nearly ten years ago.

living your life as a “southern gentlemen” is all good. i try to abide by some of the principles myself…believe it or not. but some of the “traditions” need to be let go. or, to echo another lee quote from the ka bible, “let the past be but the past”. traditions are good…but knowing when to let go of them and move on is called evolution. maybe one day darwin will stand side by side in the fraternal hierarchy here…but in the tradition of one of MY spiritual leaders of late, daniel ocean, i know where the smart money lies in this bet. and for once it’s NOT on the house…at least not in a good way.

Replies: 1 Comment

The ironic thang is that most of these fools who dream of reclaiming a fictional and idealized old south that never existed come from the freakin suburbs. Its not like these guys come from ruined plantations in East TX or something.

Toothache said @ 02/22/2003 07:58 PM CST

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