I've been reading and listening to stories of the increasing levels of racial violence in this country and I'm more than concerned.
There is racism in the USofA. There are a few people who are not only unable to get past the lizard-brain reaction of "Different! Dangerous!" but who are entirely unwilling to even try.
Bigotry is so easy. No having to think about complex policies or accept any responsibility. And, look! Important People are saying it's true! Brown people are evil! (Don't tell me that the rightwing political speeches against "illegal immigrants" were anything other than thinly disguised racism.*)
Today, the racist voices are all over the country and the racist voices are getting louder. Not, I think, because there are more racists these days, but because people are scared. They don't understand why the "American Dream" failed. They're looking for scapegoats and it's easier to blame the brown face next to them on the bus than it is to understand the failure of the neocon policies.* *
And, more than that, those voices are getting louder because an opportunistic political campaign, devoid of strategy or solutions, is courting them.
A day or two ago, I didn't think McCain and most of his inner circle (not including Palin) were actually on board with running as the party of unfettered racism. I just think thought they started something without knowing where it would lead, and now they don't know what to do about it.
Now I have my doubts. There's been more than enough time for McCain to come out strongly against the hatemongering, but with his wife, his campaign advisors, and his VP pick all contributing to the problem, I'm starting to accept that he's not going to speak out against it--not really. Not until he sees if it's going to work, anyhow.
(I'm a bit worried. Every time I think a Republican campaign has scraped the bottom of the nastiest barrel in the pile, they come back out a couple of years later with an even skankier barrel they can dip from.)
* Most illegal immigrants working in this country are working at jobs that "Americans" are too good to do. The illegal immigrants are the faceless people picking our vegetables, cleaning our houses, and washing dishes in our restaurants. They're the maids who clean that budget-rate hotel room, the busboys who pile up the wreckage of your fine steak dinner, and those annoying lawn-care guys out mowing the neighbor's grass at 5:00 am. These are not people taking "our" jobs unless you're saying that you dreamed of your son or daughter growing up to be a migrant farm worker.
I lost my job, not because of corporate greed and fiscal mismanagement, but because those terrorist immigrants keep coming up here and washing our dishes and picking our fruit! They're destroying our way of life!
* * These are the soundbite citizens. They take in most of their opinions from the thirty-second news coverage on the 6:00 evening news (and god help us all if they are FOX viewers) or the headlines and first paragraphs of the daily paper (they always mean to read the articles more closely later, but there's never time) and they build these snippets into a world view.