We all remember the scene in the movie, “Gone With the Wind,” where the carpet baggers from up north descended on the south and told the former slaves that we’re going to give you forty acres and a mule because we’re your friends.
I became of age during the period after the sixties’ civil rights legislation was passed. While I never went to grammar school, junior high school, or high school with blacks, I knew that I would be going to school with blacks when I entered the University of Alabama. And I was fine with that. I reached out to the black girls that lived on my hall in the dorm. We would eat in the dormitory cafeteria together, walk to class together, go shopping together, and laugh and giggle together. One of the black girls that lived next door to me during my sophomore year remained a friend of mine until we lost contact when we were in our late twenties. I treated my black friends just like I treated my white friends. We were silly, crazy kids. Of course, there were some white girls that were uncomfortable with fraternizing, but my friends and I didn’t care. And yes, I considered myself a Republican then.
After graduating from college, I continued to reach out and make friends with blacks. Did the blacks reach out to me? No, but I understood that and still do. We’re now into the second decade of the twenty-first century and, as a white woman, I still have to suggest to a black woman who I see as a potential friend, let’s have dinner some night, I’ll call you. Most black women won’t make the first move at friendship. And I’m okay with that. Maybe in another twenty-five years that will change.
I had an aunt, my Dad’s baby sister, who was a strong, and as we sometimes would say in Alabama, yellow dog Democrat. This aunt was one of the most racially prejudiced people that I’ve ever known. Yes, she was somewhat of a “civil rights activist” in Tuscaloosa and supported hand-outs and goodies for minorities. She really felt that blacks were inferior and needed our (white folks) help. After she retired, she was telling me that she needed help cleaning her one bedroom apartment for a dinner party that she was planning. She interviewed three cleaning ladies before she chose one. As she was telling me this, she told me what each one’s skin color was. I can’t remember if two of them were black or one of them was black. Now, did their skin color really matter as far as this story was concerned? NO! She hired one of them and I don’t remember what the skin color of the lady she hired was, nor did I care. It just didn’t matter. Again, the color of their skin didn’t matter to me, a Republican, but for some reason, my aunt, a devout Democrat, felt skin color was important.
Needless to say, she was appalled when I told her that I had black friends and we went out to dinner together, were guests in each other’s homes, and even went on weekend trips together. And I will continue to emphasize, I’m the Republican and she was the Democrat.
When the barriers were lifted, my attitude was let’s get together and it’ll be all right. Of course there’s going to be cultural differences, but so what! There are cultural differences between me and some of my friends that are from different parts of the country. In fact, there are cultural differences between folks that live in Alabama and folks that live in Mississippi. There are also cultural differences between those who root for Alabama and those that root for Auburn. Cultural differences are always going to be present. Deal with your cultural differences without getting all puffed up.
Some of us are geniuses while some of us are morons. Some of us are capable of becoming doctors while some of us will end up selling cars. Some of us will rise to the top, some of us will be bottom feeders. God blessed some of us with talents, but we won’t develop those talents. Some of us who have limited talents will be over-achievers.
I’m a Republican and I say, let’s go after the American dream together, we each have our talents and capabilities and each of us have our hurdles to clear. Some of us may come from a family where the parents can afford to send us to college without us having to get jobs. On the other hand, some of us may come from a less fortunate background and we have to work our way through college. Some of us may be able to whiz through college and graduate studies only barely having to crack a book, while some of us may have to burn the midnight oil to get a B/C grade average. The level playing field that liberals love to talk about doesn’t exist in our imperfect world and nothing that they can do will create a level playing field.
Liberals love to say that because of their background, blacks and other minorities are at a disadvantage and need our help. And while we all need a little help from our friends at times, I don’t consider blacks inferior to whites and I never have, I instead, evaluate individuals as individuals and I’m a Republican.
And what if you do have a bad time somewhere? Let’s say that you’re the only black person in a department of all whites. The white folks all go to lunch together and they never ask you to go with them. They go out to happy hour after work and never ask you to go with them. And, they refuse to help you with problems at work. In this day and age, I can’t imagine a situation such as the one I just described, but let’s say it exists. At lunch, eat a sandwich at your desk while continuing to work and learn. Instead of hitting the bars after work, stay late and do some extra work. Work hard to solve the problems others refuse to help you with. Then you should be ready to get a better job and leave that place behind. Twenty years later when you are staring out the window of you corner office with a great view of your city’s skyline, perhaps you should remember the days you were snubbed and say, that experience made me strong.
I’m old enough now that I look back on bad experiences that I have had and say, because of that experience I’m a stronger person and I’m a better person. Do the right thing and be true to yourself.
The liberals/Democrats are going to say to you, a black person, “poor, poor, pitiful thing.” You’ve been discriminated against, not treated right, and held back. We’re going to do everything we can to make life easy for you. With our hand-outs, you’ll probably never get that corner office with a view, but you’re probably not capable of achieving it anyway.
I, the conservative/Republican says to you, a black person or other minority, let’s go after what we can get. We may get that corner office, or we may not. Because the barriers for you have been lifted, we both have the opportunity to go after it. It’s not guaranteed for any of us, but because the barriers have been lifted, we can all go after it.
And need I say, that with Republican policies of lower taxes and less government interference, more corner offices with views will be created. We may all get one and we can wave to each other from our offices. Maybe none of us will get a corner office.
To date, I have never had a corner office with a view. I suppose I could have had one if I had made different decisions years ago. However, I’d rather be in a cubicle in Birmingham, Alabama than in a corner office in places like Chicago, New Jersey, Detroit, Philadelphia, etc. Right now, I’m in the third bedroom of my modest Birmingham area home. The room serves as my home office and the kitty’s dining room and bathroom.
Wednesday’s post emphasized that Democrats were not the champions of the middle class, and I had hopes that this post would be an extension of that post. However, it went in the direction of emphasizing to minorities that the Democrats are not your friends, either. After reading the above, you may say, well I don’t consider Republicans my friends And that’s certainly plausible. Who is going to lift you up and provide for your needs? There is someone who will and will never let you down. It’s no one here on earth, though. Get my drift?