The Worst of Us | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Worst of Us


Brad "Kamikaze" Franklin

We've seen the ugly side of America. We've seen what we can devolve into, and I don't think most of us like it. The presidential election brought out the worst in many of us, and now, I'm stuck trying to explain the actions of thousands of disgruntled voters to my kids.

Let's be honest with ourselves, shall we? Race is still the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. Try as some might to chalk it up to policy, the actions I've seen seem to be a reaction to a deeper issue.

When white kids at Ole Miss burn an Obama sign and shout racial slurs, they are deemed "mischievous" kids who are "exercising their freedom of speech." Had it been black students yelling "whitey" or "honky" and burning Romney signs ... well, you know what would have happened: The police, sheriffs, perhaps even the National Guard would have intervened. Black students would have been arrested or expelled. In subsequent weeks, we would read about those "thugs" who caused a disturbance on the peaceful campus. Why is that?

Then there's that one Black Panther--one--who shows up (alone) at a polling place, and FOX News is ready to call out the National Guard. Why is that?

Michelle Obama says in a speech, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country," and gets reamed in the conservative press. Yet, as we speak, people in all 50 states have filed petitions to secede from the U.S. as the result of Barack Obama's re-election. They join a lot of Republican voters who are suddenly no longer "proud" of this country. Why is that?

When Bill Clinton won a second term, we didn't hear any large-scale secession requests. Don't feed me that bologna about how "different" the Clinton and Obama world views are: They are both centrist Democratic presidents whose platforms were more palatable to African Americans, Hispanics, gays and poor people. Both ran on the premise that it was time to level the playing field.

To me, the only noticeable difference is the color of their skin--that and plain old fear and outright ignorance. This ignorance makes pundits associate welfare with black folks when, in fact, there are more white Americans than blacks on government assistance (by percentage, the rates are about the same).

It's embarrassing, quite frankly, that as a member of the human race, I have to raise my kids in this fractured, damaged climate. How do we come together when no one wants to admit how and why we are still so far apart?

And that's the truth ... sho nuff.

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