Racism, Racism Everywhere

When I first heard on Monday that Dave Matthews, the musician who has entertained hundreds of thousands of people since first erupting onto the scene in 1994 with his eponymous band’s album Under the Table and Dreaming, gave an interview to CNN in which he voiced agreement with former President Jimmy “Dhimmi” Carter that racism permeates every level of American society, I couldn’t help but shake my head in disappointment.

“I just see it everywhere,” the singer said.

Not that I should have expected anything else, but I like Dave. In fact, during my high school and college years I probably saw him in concert a half-dozen times, if not more. It’s always disappointing to see someone like that get all wobbly under klieg lights, open their mouth, and say something so patently wrong.

Then again, was he wrong? Could racism truly be everywhere in American society?

County officials in Arlington County, VA certainly seem to think so. Or, at least, if racism isn’t everywhere, then it’s still definitely present in the high-occupancy vehicle lanes on Interstate 395. That’s right — the HOV lanes are racist.

According to a Monday report from the local, D.C.-area Fox television affiliate, Arlington County filed a lawsuit in August which asserted that the lanes–use of which requires nothing more than a car, and three people in it–unfairly benefit wealthy white drivers while discriminating against minorities. Don’t take my word for it — read this excerpt from the Fox report:

Buried in the lawsuit filed last month, county attorneys argued the HOT lanes, “encourage and enable a financially-able, privileged class of suburban and rural, primarily Caucasian residents from Stafford and Spotsylvania counties operating single occupancy vehicles (“SOV”) unimpeded access on toll lanes.”

In other words, it benefits wealthy white people.

A few pages later, the suit claims the Federal Highway Administration and the Virginia Department of Transportation failed to do the proper environmental analysis and that “their actions also constituted civil rights violations as they discriminated against minority and low income communities.”

Arlington County Chair Barbara Favola says the race issue only arose because the environmental review includes socioeconomic impact.

“It is not our intention to play a race card. I think that’s a very divisive approach,” Favola told FOX5.

Of course the county didn’t intend to employ the “race card.” Of course not. They only argued that the HOV lanes give white, wealthy drivers an unfair advantage on the Interstate. They only argued that the failure to do environmental studies unfairly violated the civil rights of and discriminated against area minorities. Nothing race-related there.

So maybe Dave was wrong after all. It’s not like racism is truly everywhere. It’s just in tea parties, and South Carolina congressmen, and in northern Virginia high-occupancy vehicle lanes. It’s not like the weather is racist or anything.

Wait!

According to a report published yesterday in the Arizona Daily Star, the heat in the Phoenix area isn’t just small-o oppressive, but is actually big-o Oppressive in that it unfairly discriminates against minorities in low-income communities. That’s right — the weather is racist.

Researchers at nearby Arizona State University, according to the Daily Star, released a study in which they found that less-affluent neighborhoods in the Phoenix metro area were unfairly focused upon by the desert heat due to lack of trees, an abundance of pavement, and high population density. But don’t take my word for it — read an excerpt from the report:

The researchers report in a new study that conditions in less affluent neighborhoods — from high-density housing and the lack of trees and landscaping to converging freeways — help create pockets of extreme heat that persist day and night. In fact, for every $10,000 that an area’s income rises, the average outside temperature drops one-half degree. In wealthier neighborhoods, lush yards and trees help cool the air more quickly after the sun goes down, shortening the hours of the heat waves.

Oh, but don’t forget this next part, because racism–even at the hands of that racist weather–always demands justice:

“It’s an environmental-justice issue,” said Darren Ruddell, a geographer who led the study. “The people who are most vulnerable are also living in the worst conditions. It’s a double whammy.”

The researchers said they hope their findings will spur discussions about better managing land, water and energy use, factors that will grow more important if the predictions of climate-change models come true.

“If we can identify the areas most at risk, we can try to help them,” Ruddell said. “We could redesign neighborhoods, build cities differently, improve warning systems and ultimately reduce our vulnerability to heat.”

So that’s it — racism must be everywhere. No getting around it. Dave Matthews was right.

Perhaps white, middle-class libertarian-leaning conservatives like me should start carrying around a flip sign like those which can be found on construction sites from coast-to-coast:

I HAVE GONE
0-1-4

DAYS WITHOUT AN ACT

WHICH COULD ONLY BE

A MANIFESTATION OF
MY
INHERENT RACISM

Every night, as I finally wind down and prepare for bed, I could remove it from around my neck, hang it up on the wall, and think of our president with pride as I flip one more card, signifying another day gone by during which couldn’t possibly have said or done anything which could have been perceived as racist that day.

I didn’t argue a point in one of my law classes with an African-American classmate, even though he was obviously wrong. I didn’t honk my horn at that wise Latina in the Wal-Mart parking lot as she backed her rusty Oldsmobuick into my luxurious late-model minivan. I didn’t drive in the HOV lane, despite having four people with me on my way to work. And, most important of all, I cursed the weather for being so pleasant in my neighborhood, apologized for the darned weather to all of my black friends, and regretted each of the four hours I slept the night before with the window open.

Have we all gone completely insane? As far as I can remember, the Age of Obama was supposed to be one of racial tolerance, where everyone is equal. For crying out loud, there’s a black man in the White House, and one who along with his wife was educated at some of the finest schools in the country. People who look to charge others with racism to compensate for their own personal inadequacies need to get over themselves.

That goes for the county officials in Arlington County, VA. That goes for Jimmy Carter. That goes for the editors at Newsweek, the folks at the Arizona Daily Star, and for the researchers undoubtedly spending taxpayer-funded grant money at Arizona State. And that goes for worthless liberal so-called journalists like Maureen Dowd, who less than two weeks ago accused South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson of being racist by insinuating that he had meant to address the president as “boy,” even though Dowd herself had actually addressed Barack Obama as “boy” during the 2008 presidential campaign.

I’m tired of it. It cheapens the debate over matters of truly incredible consequence and importance, and it hurts those who actually are being subject to race discrimination. My feeling is that it is a natural consequence of the empowerment felt by those obsessed with social-justice due to a man obsessed with social justice currently residing in the White House. As a result the fringe shakedown movement usually reserved for the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, it seems, has gone mainstream, and now everyone is sporting those pin-stripe suits so popular among the race-baiting crowd. Figuratively, of course; I have no idea what Jimmy Carter was wearing when he made his idiotic remarks following the Joe Wilson outburst.

Regardless of its roots, the artificial, astroturfed divisiveness must stop before someone truly gets hurt. When Dave Matthews says that he sees racism everywhere, he may very well be right. Obviously, the mainstreaming shakedown artists in Virginia and Arizona see racism everywhere as right. The problem, however, is not the conduct and actions perceived by these people as racist — the problem is that racism is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholders are dishonestly and intentionally trying to stir things up for political and other extrinsic gain.

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Comments

  1. Bodenzee says:

    Of course racism is alive and well. Just look at the Whitehouse.

    Obama is more racist than any Caucasian that I know.

  2. Anonymous says:

    There has been so much written and broadcast lately by the MSM about (alleged) racism towards Obama that it makes me sick. Hell, MSNBC deliberately depicted a man with a gun at a protest as white. It turned out he was black, but to my knowledge MSNBC never corrected it or apologized.

    A few nights ago I was reading Politico, "For CBC, the joy is tempered by worry", and just the title made me feel ill. You see, I'm a deep south lily white guy that played college football back in the 60's. One of my best friends was a black member of my freshman football class. There were no drive through fast food places back then and I will never forget him having to sit in my car while I went into the local Dairy Queen to purchase burgers and fries. I will never forget both of us having to dine in my hot ass car while everyone else was inside dining in AC. He never complained, he never blamed me, he invited me to his home, his parents treated me as a member of the family. Now, that's a class act.

    Last I heard he was successful with a beautiful family.

    What the heck am I trying to say? Well here goes, unfortunately someone will undoubtedly say I'm racist. "I wish Obama was white." Why? Because, then I could criticize what he's doing to this country without being called a racist. Why? Because, then I could attend a tea party without being depicted as a right wing nut. Why? Because, black Americans have waited so long for this moment and they deserve so much better. Why? Because, I miss my friend.

  3. Celia in TX says:

    This should be so very insulting to the black community. As if blacks cannot be affluent? As if whites cannot be poor? What gives? What a lie.

    I just bought Kevin Jackson's book today. Wonder what Kevin's take would be on this article…..

  4. Gail B says:

    Anonymous at 12:00 a.m.–

    Good point! It might be a good thing for a lot more people to be saying that they wish Obama/Soetoro were white so that they, too, could tell him what they REALLY think about his lack of leadership in the right direction for this country. Your comment has made me wonder how many people have withheld their thoughts for that same reason–to not sound racist! Then, maybe only a few, because crying "racist" is the only thing they can use unless they just lie!

    Jeff, I am beginning to wonder if I live in a black neighborhood! There are no white tree trunks –just those with dark bark.

    I have a question: If the politicians are up there in D.C. to represent the People, why are they lying to us? There has to be a reason to lie about something. Anyone who would lie will also steal. As Glenn Beck says, "Hmmmmm."

    Oh! Meant to tell you this–An old friend and neighbor of mine back in NC and I had a discussion about "the Obama stuff" a month or so ago. I talked with her again while all this was going on about ACORN. Again, she told me, "Well, I haven't seen any of this on the news that you're speaking of. I just can't believe that this is true."

    I told her that the mainstream media didn't WANT her to see it. If it isn't true, though, why did Congress vote against additional funding for ACORN, and why have governors of many states, including Sonny Perdue of GA, order contracts ended with ACORN and its affiliates? She's coming around, but slowly.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This really isn't off topic…….

    Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Redneck?

    Here is a little test that will help you decide.The answer can be found by posing the following question:

    You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knifecomes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you.

    You are carrying a Kimber 1911 cal. 45 ACP, and you are an expert shot.

    You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?

    Democrat's Answer :

    Well, that's not enough nformation to answer the question!
    Does the man look poor or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack? Could we run away?
    What does my wife think? What about the kids? Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
    What does the law say about this situation? Does the pistol have appropriate safety built into it?
    Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children? Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
    Does he definitely want to kill me, or wouldhe be content just to wound me? If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
    Should I call 9-1-1? Why is this street so deserted? We need to raise taxes, have paint and weed day and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
    This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some of my friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.

    Republican's Answer:

    BANG!

    Redneck's Answer:

    BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!BANG! BANG! BANG !
    Click….. (Sounds of reloading)
    BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!BANG! Click

    Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hydrashocks?! '

    Son: "Can I shoot the next one?!"

    Wife: "You ain't taking that DAMN THING to the Taxidermist"!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Arlington County Virginia is considered a little far out by people who actual live in the area. They always vote democratic and they have a mixture of white, black, asian and others. They are extremely liberal and know exactly what is best for everyone else. The Pentagon is located in Arlington along with lots of hotels, office buildings, restaurants, etc. If it were not for these businesses, this county would suffer. As for the roads, Arlington County fights any expansion of the road system as an incursion into their territory which is why Route 66 up to Arlington is 4 lanes lowering down to two lanes causing immense traffic jams. Inside of the two lane area it is HOV-2 so you will be ticketed if you go on to the highway with only a single driver (this does not stop many people here)or you have to own a hybrid. Arlington County has 395 going through it and this has an HOV-3 lanes in addition to the 4 regular lanes in each direction.

    I personnally would not describe Stafford County or Spotsylvania Counties as affluent white communities. These are people who moved further out to be able to afford housing in the Washington DC area because the cost is cheaper. I would be willing to bet Arlington County white citizens have a higher income level than Stafford. They would not be able to afford the taxes in Arlington if they did not. Also, the metro and metro buses run from Fairfax County to DC and Maryland so many choose to take this form of transportation. However, those in Stafford do not have the metro. They can take the VRE which runs less often and then you have to transfer to a metro to get to where you want to go. Also, the 395 HOV lanes only have entries at certain key points. There are few entries to 395 in Arlington before you are in DC.

    Racism is not the issue here. This is just another ploy by Arlington County to keep people off the roads and protect their population. Minorities frequently use the HOV lanes. If you need to form a carpool the state of Virginia will help you and give you names and telephone numbers of others who are in your area seeking the same thing. Also, many people "slug" and there are slug lines for people to pick up one or two or three people to make the HOV requirements. You have to take responsbility for your own life and this is just another prime example of liberalism over common sense.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you anonymous 9:08,
    That was great! Very funny and very true at the same time.

    I never thought of myself as a redneck before, but know I can say I'm a practicing NY redneck.

  8. Dee says:

    I keep wondering when I will be able to disagree with this administration without being called a racist. I don't care what color BO is, I don't like what he is proposing for our country. I have black friends. When my children were growing up they played with the black and Philapino children in the neighborhood. Those children ate at my house. I voted for the black candidate that was running in our state for govenor. I am tired of not being able to express my disagreements without being called one name or another. I'm surprised that they feel the weather is racist. I thought it was George Bush's fault. When I look out my window, I realize that I would be tagged a big racist because of all the trees in my yard that were there when we bought the house years ago.
    Thank you all once again for your thought provoking articles and comments. If I'm going insane, at least I know I'm not alone.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I suppose now we will start hearing discussions about moving people living in the poorer, "hotter" neighborhoods to the wealthier "cooler" neighborhoods. Is that what this is all about? Is this the justification to start moving people out of their homes? This is pretty scary.

  10. suek says:

    You need to understand the tactic…

    The "racist" thing is a argument stopper. It serves two purposes – first purpose is diversion. If you deny you're racist, you have just allowed the accuser to change the topic from whatever it was to racism.

    Second, the Alinsky rule is "make them live up to their own rules – all of them, to the letter". It's "against the rules" in America today to be racist. So, if the argument is either you agree with me or you're racist, you either accept that you're racist or you agree with "me" (whoever "me" is). Since you can't accept that you're racist, you must agree with "me". And of course, if you can't agree with "me", then that just proves you're a racist.

    I think the solution is to just accept the designation of racist – it doesn't really change anything in how you think or act. Or just ignore the accusation and try (I said _try_) to get the discussion back on the original topic. Good luck with that.

  11. Anonymous says:

    To Anonymous at 12:00 AM:

    "There has been so much written and broadcast lately by the MSM about (alleged) racism towards Obama that it makes me sick. Hell, MSNBC deliberately depicted a man with a gun at a protest as white. It turned out he was black, but to my knowledge MSNBC never corrected it or apologized."

    Are you telling me that Michael Jackson only needed to purchase a gun and he would have been instantly "white" according to MSNBC?

    He could have saved himself years of self destruction.

    Why, oh why, didn't MSDNC tell him how he could have saved himself????

  12. Anonymous says:

    computers and the internet are racist.

    As I type black letters are forced to appear in the form of words that I want them to say. These black letters have no free will and must do my bidding. Ha HA Ha obey me black letters.

    Some people will see racism where ever they look and make it appear as if by magic from absolutely nothing. What is odd of course is the fact that only minorities look for it, can see it but can't be it and benefit the most from it. How about you just get over it and move on with your life?

  13. Gail B says:

    SueK–
    That was good! Thank you.

    Additionally, I have been told not to "play the Constitution card."

    So! When being called a racist, WE can say, "Don't play the race card; it was worn out before Obama/Soetoro unconstitutionally usurped the White House. If you can prove he's eligible instead of offering your opinion, then I will be interested in hearing what you have to say. Meanwhile, a person with, at best, unknown CITIZENSHIP is ineligible."

    Natural-born citizenship is not a matter of Door No. 1 – Kenyan, Door No. 2 – Indonesian, or Door No. 3 – naturalized.

  14. Anonymous says:

    you got to that parking lot 2 minutes before i did.. how come you parked your car there …. dont you know i wished to park there? ARE YOU RACIST OR SOMETHING? :-) hilarious!!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    new name for the MSM: THE FRINGE MEDIA.

  16. Anonymous says:

    i like the article. this is exactly how we must now treat this unfortunately it will now force more proof of claims of racism, thanks to obama nd his method to win the white house.

    Claims of racism as a response to any criticism of obama has been teh norm from all his obviouisly PAID bloggers, and others. whta a shame, especially when you see it coming from the mouths of professional democrats and Carter, etc.

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