Vail Daily letter: Attacks are racist |

Vail Daily letter: Attacks are racist

Patrick Espy
Vail, CO, Colorado

I’m a little surprised that national pundits didn’t seem to see the racism question coming when congressman Wilson, from the deep South, called the president a liar.

I have lived most of my life below the Mason Dixon Line and known profoundly racist people in every state that I lived (Georgia, Alabama, Florida) and every state that I spent substantial time in (Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee).

Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in these states has probably heard African Americans called a certain name many times.

It is a deeply rooted historical and cultural reality that African Americans in this region are considered fundamentally inferior.

Such jokes are so common there that some people don’t seem to realize that they have used the word. Again, I lived there and now visit there frequently.

I have been both sickened and amused by hearing people say that they aren’t racist after telling a racist joke. The being because “it’s just a funny joke.”

I can guarantee that blacks in the South don’t get jobs, on occassion, based purely on their race. I have seen it in the hiring process that others used when I owned a business in the South.

President Johnson said that the South will be Republican for generations as a result of the Civil Rights Act that he signed. This is another issue.

Where are these people registered? In the South, those same people are overwhelmingly Republican.

They have always argued that racism can’t be a part of the Republican Party since it was Lincoln who “freed the slaves.”

Well, yes and no.

First, the Republican Party was the liberal party at the time.

Second, the slaves that Lincoln “freed” were limited to the Confederate States, meaning Lincoln “freed” the slaves in states where he clearly had no power to free them.

He did this in the hopes of a mass uprising of slaves against their masters.

What is important to know here is that we must address the fact that racism doesn’t just exist, it is tradition in the former Confederate States.

The animosity that is aimed at the president does clearly have roots in traditionally conservative Southern thinking.

I know that it exists in other parts of the country and political parties other than the Republican Party, but my life in Southern states gave me clear and consistent examples of racism being alive and well in the South and in the Republican Party there.

We have major political issues to address in our country and to ignore the fact that the most angry opponents of the presidents proposals are frequently racists.

What did the pundits think the racists would do when an opposition to the president sprung up? Stay home while righteously indignant nonracists protested?

Trust me. They are in the crowds.

I wasn’t surprised to hear congressman Wilson say “You lie.” Only that he didn’t add, “boy.”

Patrick Espy


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