Jacksonville Rants

Racism in Jacksonville?

Bright Blue Lights of the Jacksonville Main Street Bridge
Bright Blue Lights of the Jacksonville Main Street Bridge

Republicans turn out for local elections in higher percentages of registered voters pretty much everywhere for local elections.  That is partially because they come from old money and are racist, but “it’s not really their fault, they were raised that way”.  Ah the shock and awe of the statement.  Racism is alive and well in our city, please don’t be naive about it.

I was recently a manager at a country club in town, and it did not take long for me to realize that old, white, and rich men are just as racist as they ever have been, and none of them are Democrats.  I heard N-word on a regular basis when the room was empty there was no filter for the men.  I found it funny when they would say the N word and have the instant realization that there might be one or someone that might not approve in the room.  They complained that the room was no longer men only for this reason.  The things they would say about the President were disrespectful, hateful, ignorant, and insane.  Now they did know I’m a Democrat and some of it was to shock me I am sure, but had I recorded it I could have publicly shamed them, assuming that they could be ashamed.

Most thoughts were probably not their own, but came from a steady diet of FOX News.  There is a justification for their desire to keep the money they have.  I could write a book on the characters of the Country Club, but I would not want to put them on a pedestal or give rise to the notion that it was funny or intelligent.   Now I did make some good friends, and can say that for the most part they behaved like “good” people.  But a good 50% of them had a warped world view in my opinion, because they have never had a day in their life that there was no money for food, or rent, or gas, or for the kids.  Because their parents had money.    Many of them were members of The Good Old Boy network, which has been the reason that people say white males have all the advantages.  I am white and male, so I can not speak to the other perspective, but I had no special advantages.  My parents had no connections, no ability to put me through school to build those connections on my own.  I would say it has more to do with your parents, and the ties to money.  I tell my boys the biggest lottery you ever win is who you get for parents.  When you know no different and you have no understanding of not having advantage, it is hard to understand the perspective of poverty. Maybe where they’re warped is that their privileged parents failed to expose them to the concept of empathy, and to recognize that who they get to be is down to good fortune, winning the lottery as it were, rather than entitlement.   See, these are not really the Republicans I dislike, they are a product of their upbringing.

The Republicans I hate, especially around here are the poor dumb rednecks that blindly believe the vileness and hatred and misinformation that FOX News & the Republican Party continue to broadcast and spew.  It does not take long to hear something false on FOX News if you bothered to check, and it is absurd that they call themselves a “News Organization”.  I think propaganda should be inserted before those words.  And now with Super PACs there is the ability to just put forth a constant stream of misinformation or just plain lies to dirty any truthful debate or candidate.  Reality and truth is sometimes hard to find, or peel away because the insanity of opinions that are voiced on the internet and TV.  Opinions are truly like the old proverb about everybody having one, and that will go doubly about my opinions for some.

I have understood for a long time there is always 3 sides to the story,  what you usually hear is one side.  The others can be very different, as with upbringings.  We are all racist to a degree, we all profile when we look at someone for the first time.  We’re guessing about who that other person is, and we can, and do make mistakes.  The question is when we do that, do we do it with an open heart or a disdain when we profile.  It seems the same with police violence and abuses on people of color across the country, they have a disdain for the people on their beat.  There is not the respect for this other human in front of them, they are not more important or less important than them, but most do not understand that.  That is something a Republican could never understand,  it’s he who has most, wins the game in most of their opinions.  Now I am broad stroking a large group of people and there are outliers in any group you look at.  Such as the ones Fox News and the Republican Party always use to their advantage like pointing out those who abuse systems for the poor.  To preach or imply that racism is dead is down right ignorant.  It is alive and well, it is just not flaunted, well not until last week when the disgusting murders in Charleston  were carried out by a young white male who thought that he could start a race war.   I am sure when you look at his parents you’re going to see  racist redneck Republicans.

The forgiveness and love that the families have shown is astonishing to me.  It is a sign of the great parents that this misguided racist killed.  I have a problem with forgiveness of actions this disheartening.  But it shows me that there are people out there that have a bigger heart than I, and that there is hope for our country.  If they can forgive that, once again, violent radical racism has struck their congregation, perhaps Republicans can accept that they can no longer say racism is dead.   After seeing the Country Club mentality I know its not.  I did think it would die off in the next 20-30 years literally when these fools die, but now with this kid maybe some form of racism will be around forever.  Seems to be that way across the world, whether it be religion, or country, disdain for another group of people because they have an opposing opinion or  different upbringing, will be the downfall of humans.  Empathy needs to be the lesson humanity needs to learn in the 21st century.  We have to understand that all are no less or more important than another.  And those that think they are important will always want to be thought of as important, so they try to perpetuate the system.  Will mankind ever get past their individual egos to make the changes needed for a greater good?


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Jacksonville has any water activity you could want!