I am probably becoming all too comfortable with my coronavirus-imposed solitude. I have rather enjoyed turning my home in Lake Jackson into my own little hermitage. But how can one not get out and do something while the rest of the world rages in the streets in the call for justice. Something besides calling a U.S. Senator’s office and letting off steam to a 25-year-old aide.
It seems especially important to act because, frankly, so little is expected of someone occupying a slot in my demographic. White, Vietnam-era veteran, not rich but comfortable in retirement. A Texan living in the reddest of red districts, who has been represented in Congress by Dr. Ron Paul and Tom DeLay. Whose school district issued a diploma to Rand Paul, the close friend and colleague of Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Really now, wouldn’t you expect me to be ensconced in that mass of voters popularly known as “Trump’s base”?
Well, that’s not the case. And I feel remiss for not being on the street doing more.
But there is one thing I can do that will not expose me COVID-19 and it will not encourage more of those little carcinomas I have to watch for so carefully. It won’t hurt those aging bones in my legs, hips and back. And it is something anyone, at least a white person, can do without exposure to police violence. Better yet, it does not involve posting or re-posting memes that will embarrass my family. This is so easy no one else will probably even notice your action. Yet it may be the most effective thing you can do to combat racism in the United States.
I got the idea from an opinion piece I read in the New York Times the other day. The article by Dr. Kihana Miraya Ross carried the title “Call It What It Is: Anti-Blackness.”
4 thoughts on “The World Burns with Moral Outrage: What Is a 76-Year-Old White Man to Do?”
I have been having quite a conversation with myself over the last several weeks. This article has helped with understanding….that even though I have always said I am not “racist” I really didn’t know what that entailed. New phrases have come at me – “unconscious bias”, “racial bias vs racism”, “white privilege”. It’s a lot to unpack. I plan to do just that. It will be harder in our little corner of the world but, I see hope.
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Keep working at it Tom, I never thought that Texas would be listed as a toss-up in a Presidential polls but that is where we are. The Texas I grew up in was solid Democratic, of course those were Dixiecrats who became racist republicans. I am thinking that the Republican party is on its way to oblivion. I just hope that another slightly less liberal alternative to the DNC becomes available.
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JC55, I grew up in Bob Eckhardt’s district on the east side of Houston – still very much part of the Solid South. However, Eckhardt had a special district and he built a coalition of old South conservatives, labor and minotities. And he was a very progressive member of Congress. My Lake Jackson precinct (45) was still mostly Democratic when we moved here in 1982. But, of course, Reagan had taken much of labor into his camp and things were beginning to change. I served as precinct judge for several elections in the precinct in the 80s and early 90s. After I had enjoyed that for as much fun as I could stand, I stepped aside. By then, Republicans ran commissioners court and a nice Republican man took over the job. It gave me great pleasure to watch him work on election days after that. And as I sat at home sipping something cool and watching returns on TV, I thought of him packing up the voting cards (Do you remember chad?), the voting devices, locking the school and driving it all to Angleton.
As the Democratic party picks up more dissatisfied Republicans it will naturally tend to become more moderate. How much will that be offset by energized minorities in 2020? We can’t answer that one, but I think we can safely say that the moderating caused by defecting Republicans will not be in the direction of the mean, bullying, ignorant thinking Trump presents as the conservative agenda. That stuff is neither conservative nor Republican. Thus, good Republicans find themselves in the odd position of having to vote for Democrats as a strategy for saving the Republican party. Good people are always welcome to the party.
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Thank you, Tom.
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