Sunday, April 05, 2015

A Conversation with the Man Who Was Outraged at All the Racism Present in America

I was discussing taxes with an elderly man in France who, needless to say, was complaining that they were too high.
Everyday Meetings with Common Europeans
Then I decided to bring up a Republican, who had novel ideas on the subject:
Well, have you heard about Ted Cruz, who wants to do away with the IRS?

I was expecting some sort of (reluctant) sympathy for the GOP candidate from this invariable Barack Obama fan, but what I got instead froze the blood in my veins, as the reaction amounted to a primal scream, like the one in the painting by Norway's Edvard Munch.

• Oh, that man, that Republican, he will do away with the taxes, and then it will destroy the blacks and all the minorities!!


• The Republicans are racists, who want to destroy the minorities!!

Not again, I thought, and said as much. (The idea that Cruz is a member of a minority himself never seemed to cross the man's mind (then, again, that's part of the new narrative).) Don't you think that this racism thing is exaggerated?

• Oh yeah?! he said, getting emotional and starting to shake of anger. I have some clippings from newspapers!
…See here! See here!! Southern kids chanting racist chants!! Making death threats!!

(Does Oklahoma fit the description of a Southern state? No matter; let it pass; Because…)
Sure they chanted those songs, but isn't is true that there is a particular black man in the Senate, and that he was voted in by an overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of the Southern state?

Then I added, and Tim Scott's skin is darker than Barack Obama's!

• Hah! cut in my interlocutor, racism! you are a racist too!!


• You brought up skin color!!

I did not bring up skin color, for the love of Christ! You [you liberals] brought it up! Indeed, you bring it up all the time! We're not the ones who obsess about skin color! You are the ones who do so — incessantly!

You called Americans — or at least, Southerners — racists, so of course I point out that Tim Scott won with the backing of 760,000 South Carolinians, i.e., 61% of the state vote. In the context of the subject of the conversation (which you brought up), surely I am allowed to add that the color of his skin is even darker than Barack Obama's! And then there is South Carolina's governor, who is a woman of Indian extrac—

• I know it, I know it! he kept repeating, quickly and defensively, of Scott's status (I had previously pointed out Scott's status to him) — with an air of "So What?!"

So, basically, we have two "Yes, buts" here, dear reader:

The first "Yes, but" is mine; it goes like this:
T'is true that two dozen or so drunken frat boys were recently heard to sing racist songs in a bus…
But (!) on the other hand, don't forget:
A black man from the South is in the U.S. Senate, because hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Southerners followed the campaign and voted for the black candidate

(Related: Tea Party-Backed Black Republican Wins Senate Landslide in Southern State)

The second "Yes, but" is the European's.
T'is true that hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of Southerners voted for a black candidate…
But (!) on the other hand, don't forget (losing temper, at this point, almost tearing hair out):
two dozen or so drunken frat boys were recently heard to sing racist songs in a bus!!!


Tell me, dear reader, between the two "Yes buts" above, which one seems to be the most illustrative of, I don't know, say the Southern mentality?

Related: Witness the Unbelievable Amount of Racism That Exists Among Conservatives and in the Tea Party

Note 1: this Obama fan is also a Palestinian supporter, meaning he finds little to criticize among Arabs or Muslims. That the singing fraternity brothers, and that their song, didn't actually harm anybody doesn't faze him; contrariwise, the only people he criticizes after terrorists attacks in the West are the "provokers" like the Danish artists and the Charlie Hebdo satirists (and, of course, Bush indirectly created the terrorists); likewise, he isn't bothered much (like Barack Obama and John Kerry) when, no not Iranian fraternity brothers (or university students) but Tehran's leaders shout "Death to America!"

Note 2: But I hear it again and again — complaints in France, in Denmark, all over, about high local taxes and money spent on indolent people and on corruption and on graft and on wasting money or throwing it out the window.

Often, I respond with what is only half a joke, saying teasingly, with a wink, you know that you sound like a Tea Partier.

Much of the time, I then get a scream of protest; I am then told (in all seriousness) that no no no, in (that nightmarish hellhole of) America they do need more taxes and they do need more rules and they do need more government support!