You’ve Got To Be Taught

Recently, a news site posted an article about the Prez’s trip to Kenya. The comments are extremely telling- and disconcerting.

We are several years into this man’s presidency and the hatred of him has only intensified, many times. States trying to roll back voting rights and other hard-won civil rights legislation. Calling for re-writing history in the textbooks of our children to go easy on slavery etc.

Somehow we were taught this. From our parents, siblings, friends, our pundits, whatever.

Somehow somewhere a sizable portion of our country was convinced it is OK to portray our first Black President and his family as baboons, gorillas, Kenyan, Socialist, Foreign-Born- someone who is “other”, someone who is not like us.

Some are saying that they simply disagree with his policies. Then why characterize his wife as “Chewbacca”? When malign his daughters with filthy racial epithets?

Because we were taught, somehow somewhere we were carefully taught.

This was one of Helyn Chrobocinski’s favorite songs, though when we sang it things were much different. Civil rights was thought to have been a closed issue- things like voting rights and the right of a young black man to walk down a city street without being stopped and possibly murdered by the police who were supposed to be protecting him and his family was not in question.

Over and over again I hear people trying to justify the bigotry and hate that has flooded our public discourse since this man became our leader.

I think more than anything, the legacy of his presidency is not him or his policies- but the American populace, who have gone to such great lengths to “tell it like it is”, that illegal aliens are some type of sub-class who murder and rape (Trump is just “telling it like it is”, you know), that gays are immoral (because the Bible tells us) and that blacks shouldn’t have the right to live their lives without harassment from law enforcement (because you know if the police falsely arrest them, beat them to death etc then its their own fault).

Somehow we were taught, carefully.

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