O.K. boys and girls of Red State, let’s play that exciting new PC parlour game: “Who’s the Racist?”!
Man #1 is an adult Caucasian male who works for his father’s comapny. His dad owns and maintains very low rent housing units (the owner of which is sometimes known as a “slumlord.”) He will inherit this property (and the tidy earnings pertaining thereto) when his conservative father passes on. His conservative son will inherit it when he passes on. Many of his tenants are minorities, usually black. If rent isn’t paid on time, or if it’s more convenient to evict when the lease expires, the tenant goes – no questions asked. Man #1 insists that this is all perfectly legal and probably moral, too.
Man #2 is also an adult Caucasian man. He works as a therapist and has spent his career in the so-called “helping profession.” He has worked for drug-treatment centers, community mental health centers, half-way houses and all the rest. He even earned his masters at an HBC (Historically Black College). His father and mother were born in near poverty and inherited nothing. He will inherit only a small, three bedroom tract house, maybe 1700 sq ft. His grandmother lived in a rent subsidized apt during the last years of her life, his mother lives on a fixed govt. annuity and he himself has lived on foodsatmps in the past – even in a men’ shelter for a time.
Man #1 lives with his girlfriend in an all-white suburb. He pays no rent and is happy to leave the depressed part of town where his (dad’s) rental housing is located and where his folks still live. He worries about them because across the street a bunch of shiftless slackers drink, use drugs and commit crime. He is actively seeking to evict them as well and purchase the property – no doubt to turn it into another profit machine for him and his family. He himself has never lived anywhere except under his own, his father’s or his girlfriend’s roof. In the suburb, his white neighbor’s abhor a new plan by the local housing authority to buy up private property and move in former residents of housing projects. Subsequently, it is believed, surrounding property values will be decimated, people who can will leave, the tax base will disappear and their once beautiful city will become just another burnt-out urban shell.
Man # 2 lives in a mixed neighborhood, with open homosexuals across the street, down the street and next door. He is perfectly happy where he lives and likes most of his neighbors. There is some crime in the area, but he trusts his neighbors and believes they will watch out for him. He was startled to learn that some local black folks are opposed to the housing authority’s plan as well and for the same reasons – they have hard-earned equity, too. As a result, what man #2 has heard about opponents to the plan being racists is now shaken .
Man #1 attends an all-white church in another all-white part of town. He is active in his church and dislikes all the lipservice fellow churchmembers give to “helping the poor.” He believes post-conception birth control is a fine idea and that public funds can be used to promote the common welfare. He does very little actual volunteer or service work himself.
Man #2 attends a mixed-race, inner-city church where the minister is black. Even some inter-racial couples attend. The church itself is actually the last piece of a domestic missionary service work which includes: buying up surrounding slum property, restoring it to like-new conditions and moving the original families back in; assisting local residents access social services; and providing direct assistance such as clothing, foodstuffs, transportation and the like. Church members provide tutoring for the children, afterschool daycare, recreational opportunities and so on. Man #2 volunteered for Habitat for Humanity many years building homes for mostly poor black people, delivered Meals-on-Wheels to mostly poor black shut-ins for many years, tutored black children at the local inner-city elementary school – suffice to say, Man #2 is a real bleeding-heart do-gooder. Man # 2 believes post-conception birth control is racist because pregnent black women from the inner-city are most likely to have an abortion.
Man #1 becomes hostile when his beliefs are questioned. He often lashes out with personal invective. Friends he has known for twenty years become an enemy if they have the audacity to disagree with his political views. As long as political decisions don’t affect him personally, he is O.K. with it. As far as possible in today’s world, he surrounds himself with like-minded people and rarely hears a non-orthodox word.
Man # 2 likes to engage those with opposing views in civilized, rational discussion about the issues in an effort to discover the most beneficial solution. He is concerned about political decisions which he believes harm others, whether they affect him personally or not. He is surrounded by people with differing views and he considers them friends. He is in touch with his feelings and wouldn’t think of questioning the motives of others. He often entertains opposing opinions and sees them as challenges.
Man #1 is a member of an all-white service fellowship, the vast majorty of whom believe as he does. Those few members that may hold a different view keep their heads down and their mouths shut for fear of social ostracism. If members of another race do wander in, they are treated w/overwhelming politeness and handled w/kid gloves. The fellowship’s members are anxious to the point of obsequiousness to prove they are welcoming and “not racist.” They mostly believe minorities are somehow inferior and must have special help to make it in this world.
Man # 2 is a member of a mixed-race service fellowship with regularly attending minority members. Anyone is free to discuss their thoughts w/o fear of being shunned socially. Non-white members are treated like anyone else – neither patronized nor ignored. Members mostly believe minorities are as good as anyone else and can make it on their own w/o special favor or privilege.
We report – YOU decide.