Diary

Rednecks and Racism

I guess my blog’s not worth going to, if I don’t provide a link.  Or is it?  I’m posting this here as a fourth stop. I guess you could say this is a vetted piece.  Red Staters deserve such consideration.  I’ve gotten few comments.  Could it be because people know there’s something good here, but they’re not ready for it?  One of the places this appeared previously was a site for African-American intellectuals.  Let me ask this:  Will it be a great Republican politician who reaches out to minorities?  Or will it start with a humble Rebublican doing that?

For brief periods of time, in various regions of the country, African-Americans and rednecks have been one. I think of the fact that one-seventh of all long-drive era cowboys were black. And they got along well with the other cowboys. We think of barroom fights when we think of the Old West. But real cowboys needed each other as they faced real dangers from the natural elements.

We face real dangers now.

It was an act of redneck common sense that freed the slaves. And Lyndon Johnson, a redneck if there ever was one, signed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act into law.

But who has really brought rednecks and African-Americans together? Martin Luther King? Not really. He was shot by a redneck. (Obviously not an intellectual one.) And his death tore apart race relations.

Al Sharpton? No, his persecution complex drove him to greatness in certain sectors of the African-American community. But it keeps him from reaching out beyond that.

Barack Obama? Sure, he won the Iowa Caucus. Then he won Iowa. And he gave McCain a real run in the real deep south. But his economic policies sap the spirit, not empower the will.

I have a feeling the leader will come from an unlikely place. Maybe a northern rural state? Maybe the person is a teacher like LBJ. Maybe he’s a gangling awkward-looking guy, like Lincoln. Maybe he’s a man of faith like King. Maybe he’s a conservative like Reagan.

Or a northerner like Garrison. Or a writer like Stowe. Maybe he’s someone who’s not afraid to rile his people, like Clarence Thomas. Heck, he could be any one of us. And all of us.