Blog: A Burning Cross and a Grave Marker with the Name Barack Obama's on it

A local blogger shares his fuddy duddy views on racial prejudice.

That was, as a front-page article in the June 14 edition of the Baltimore Sun described what was drawn on a blackboard during class last week at the Eastern Technology High School by several students, who were suspended, not expelled, from school.

Was I appalled, shocked or flabbergasted at such a blatant instance of racial hatred, directed towards the president, in particular?

Not really. Mainly because I considered it as only symptomatic of the racial prejudice that still exists in the minds and hearts of many, where President Obama, by virtue of his reelection bid, is an easy target for venting their long-held disdain for him personally. But not so much because his performance in his first term, as it is because of the color of his skin. 

And which has become more virulent and pervasive than when he first ran for the job, and with the vitriol and questioning of his very character will only intensify with each passing day before the election. 

Getting back to the instance at hand, I’ve grown hardened to hearing of where the minds of our young have been inculcated into believing by their parents that blacks are to be looked down upon and regarded as inferior human beings; and that it’s perfectly alright to taunt and demean them in every way.

For that inherited legacy of  bigotry, as I call it, is often as deeply ingrained in a family’s tradition and psyche as a politician’s lust for power, one that can’t be eliminated by laws, education or by the art of persuasion. 

And that won’t disappear or lessen until such time as a more enlightened society is able to cast away the narrow-minded prejudices of the past, and view one another through other than rose-colored glasses.

But in the meantime, we mustn’t lose sight of the advances made so far in this country, in terms of providing equal rights and opportunities for African-Americans. A far cry from when prejudice towards them was firmly implanted in the antebellum South, when it raised its ugly head in the tumultuous civil rights movement, and when schools and colleges were integrated, both in the North and South.

And turning back the pages of history even further to 1863, when the so-called ”New York City draft riots,” which were the culmination of working-class (mostly ethnic Irish) discontent with new laws passed by Congress that year to draft men to fight in the ongoing Civil War, soon degraded into a  “virtual racial pogrom,” where upwards of a thousand or more blacks were murdered on the streets and their homes burned to the ground.

The riots were the largest civil insurrection in American history, that is, preceding those that followed Martin Luther King’s assassination.

So, I can only say in closing, I’ll try to cling to the hope (nay pray) that all the anger and epithets directed at our president doesn’t turn to acts of violence in the remaining time before the election, nor, if he’s reelected, afterwards.

Have a nice, carefree weekend. And be sure to count the black sheep as well as the white ones jumping over the fence in your dreams.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Rebekah June 17, 2012 at 09:41 PM
I send my gratitude to the author for the compassion and common sense( and certainly he is not afuddy duddy ) that this article expresses, he continues to speak for me, as I sometimes, too, find myself a 'stranger in a strange land' when blantant predjudice and non - acceptance smacks me in the eye. Here two recent examples : There is a local cleaning company that boldly advertises "NO LANGUAGE BARRIERS" in a mailer I just received, are these not code words that harm our Latino sisters and brothers who are the hardworking employees of such companies; also, a video in our library, 'Islam, What the West Needs To Know' defiles the Muslim religion in an unsophisticated,technically and textually,display of ignorance. My attempt to have this film removed or just reshelved with other documentaries focused on world religions and off the entertainment shelves were refused by library authority. I understand that there is enough hate and violence in the world without our participation and I gladly side with the writer of this blog on the benefits of displaying an open mind and more importantly an open heart, it is a Grand place to find oneself on a beautiful Sunday.
Rebekah June 17, 2012 at 09:50 PM
For all my former Eng professors at McDaniel, can I get a grammar 'retake' in my above comment( sentence 3 ), make that "My attempts to have this film removed or just reshelved with other documentaries focused on world religions and off the entertainment shelves were refused by library authority." !Disculpame!
Buck Harmon June 18, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Think about what white man did to the native Americans....largest holocaust in the history of human beings...the real root of our countries beginning. The Indians were doing just fine until the white man came along...without government or written law... the evil must slowly evolve away, we can't regulate it..
David A. Grand June 18, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Couldn't agree with you, Buck. Thanks for jolting my memory of the permanent blot on our nation's history.
David A. Grand June 18, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Sorry, for leaving out the word more at the start of earlier comment, My age must be showing after hitting the 81 mark a week ago.But like I've always said, one's age is only a number,


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »