Somewhere In Utah

a one-stop shop for Jason Piccolo's photography updates. fine art color and black and white photography.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama Wins

I can't express the numbness I feel post-2008 Election.

It has been a long long road and frankly I'm exhausted.

Tuesday night, American took it's 1st steps into adolescence and elected the best man for the job regardless of color, creed, or prejudice. I'm not naive...there was plenty of prejudice out there.

Prejudice disguised or wrapped in 'simple' critiques or flat-out statements from folks that I pity in the long run. Take 'Charles' for instance.

'Charles' is a guy who I went to middle / high school with...He was gregarious and loud, always quick with a pun at someone's expense, and generally treated people who were different like total shit.

'Charles' is the 1st kid my age in middle school who used the word 'nigger' where I could hear it and understand its context. Now I'm sure I'd heard it in movies or in music but this was face to face. And it was in reference to our 7th grade teacher who was African American.

Recently upon reconnecting through one of those nostalgia social networking sites, he and I became 'friends'. I honestly can't understand why we 'befriended' each other...When we parted company at age 18 for college and whatever the hell he did with his life we weren't friends. We had 'mutual friends' but we had nothing for each other. It was a two-way street. As bigoted and ignorant as he was, I offered him nothing appealing in the friend department I'm sure.

So we 'friend' up on the site and political debate ensues as the election nears. His anti-Obama views were and are centered on race but he's either too smart to admit it out loud, or too ignorant to know what he's so upset about. I'd lobby for a healthy mix of the two, leaning towards the former.

It just ginned up a whole lot of resentment and feeling about how the kids in my area were raised...Meaning devoid of experience, culture, perspective. It's dangerous. It bred a generation of willfully ignorant and braggadocios blowhards.

But although I had no chance of getting out of my youth without falling in line with this type of short-sightedness...I did. I made it. And others did too, here and there.

And Tuesday we put Hope in the office of the President.

I'm no historian but as Dan Carlin would say, I'm a fan. The Civil Rights era has always been a central point to understanding the cultural and economic plight of blacks in the south. My congressman is John Lewis...I mean how much better can you get? (John Conyers maybe, but screw living in Michigan)

So I've always been someone who took it upon himself to learn more about what people endured just to go to a shitty public school near their home instead of being bused across town to the black school, or the psychological effect of having the Governor of your state BLOCK THE DOOR so you can't attend college because of the color of your skin.

The problem with this arm-chair Conservatives is that they blame people for systemic problems inherent in society that have been against them for generations. Education, equality in the workplace, and general discrimination on all fronts. Hurdles as opposed to the relatively smooth track that me and my Classmates had to navigate. We went to good schools. We came from good economic backgrounds. We could afford higher education to better ourselves.

And when others didn't or couldn't meet those standards and couldn't go the same routes we did, the failure is on THEM.

Not the system, but THEM.

It's preposterous and whenever I hear someone like 'Charles' talk the GOP talking points and feign like it's an original thought it saddens me. Not for any other reason than this person is willfully or systemically ignorant. And if they weren't, oh the places we could go with them on board the American experiment.

I'm just tired and exhausted.

Tired of the doom, tired of the gloom, and tired of the blame being put on the people who want progress.

"We shouldn't free the slaves, it will ruin the economy and our way of life" - WRONG

"We shouldn't let women vote, they're the fairer sex" - WRONG

"We shouldn't let negros vote" - WRONG

Historically this rhetoric has been applied to every major progressive benchmark. Doom and gloom...until it eventually happens. Then what? Does the world go up in smoke? Does the country implode into itself?


Chicken Little once thought the sky was falling.

But it doesn't.

And we grow up and put away our childish things.

Barack Obama is President of the United States.

Here's to hoping that people can act their age and treat him with the respect of the office and not their bigoted view based on the color of his skin.


ps - he's 1/2 white...does he at least get some extra credit for that?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

For someone Hell bent on attacking his friend Charles for being ignorant you should certainly take a look in a mirror. Our new president elect was most certainly elected by the black community based on the color of his skin, although that color is only half black. 98% of black Americans voted for Obama because he was black. That's disgusting! That's not what America's about at all, and yet pathetic polarized liberals fail to recognize that racism goes both ways and transends both lines of color. White Americans were nearly equally split in their vote for president, but not so in the black community. And while you claim this is such a great day for America, it's actually a very sad one. It proves simply that whites in America are able to see beyond color, while most blacks are not. Why this is okay, is beyond me. I am tired of the hypocrisy and BS of the polarized media and liberals who think racism is only a "white thing." It's actually still an enormous problem in this country, and the individual recently elected as president proves it. Making all southerners out to be backwards racists doesn't make you appear hip or intelligent....instead you come across as bitter and ignorant waiting for someone else to inspire you. Some advice: in the future try inspiring and thinking for yourself.

11:59 PM, November 08, 2008  
Blogger jason said...

First, let my retort begin by stating; This 'Charles' is not my friend.

Secondly, one of the greatest decisions I made in winter of 1997 was to look in the mirror every day and live with the decisions I made, and the actions I took.

Now, that said I NEVER said that there's not racism everywhere else. I have had my share of discrimination in my work, in my personal life, and elsewhere. But if someone is childish enough to think that any black on white racism isn't rooted in their historical treatment i can't even begin to explain to them the nuances of my viewpoint. Forcibly removed from their homes as PROPERTY to be bought and sold...Gaining their tumultuous freedom after a Civil War was waged around them...Being forced into 'legal' slavery after emancipation due to the share-cropping of the new south post Reconstruction...Then bleeding and bloodying themselves to be seen as truly free in trying to attain the right to vote, exercising that right, and then trying to socially maneuver about society without 'Colored' restrictions...

That will do a LOT for a culture's view of another culture.

My daughter (who's 5) upon hearing the pencil sketch definition of Slavery while at a living history museum this week uttered the words;

"Dat is horrible Daddy"

She's 5 and she gets it. And no, I don't sit down and read to her from the Liberal Koran every night, whispering evangelical dissent into her ear as she sleeps.

She's 5 and she understands the concept of basic Humanity.

Now, as to your 'point' that Blacks are the only ones who elected Obama...

Newsflash: Black Americans are still Americans. Are they not allowed to vote? Should they take the literacy test or own property to vote too Mass'uh?

John McCain still had the less effective plan for America. It put the mega-rich (which you are NOT) ahead of the middle-class and exceedingly poor. His party shit on the colored peoples and poor peoples of the world a million times over.

Newsflash 2: White Americans in fact VOTED FOR Obama. OVERWHELMINGLY so.

He wouldn't have won without them. Fucking IOWA went for Obama. THE whitest state in the Union. To knock someone for having more votes makes you sound more racist than you try and disguise.

How on earth can you type the words 'polarized media' when the nation's media is really only owned by a handful of companies who saw deregulation and GOP politics give them the lion's share of profits and corporate benefits after the 'Fairness Doctrine was erased by Reagan.

Grow up and learn what really happens in your country. Stop being an arm-chair patriot and learn who is really fucking you. The Nazi's were able to convince most of Germany that Jews were the problem through rhetoric and nonsense. They used the media to fire up the base until it turned into Kristallnacht...But you probably don't know what that is.

I never said that all southerners are backwards racists. I'm not and I'm one of them. So's my friend West, and my friend Mike, and countless others who were raised and reared here in the heart of the deep south...They voted for Obama and they have deep southern drawls and family trees that run from Atlanta to Raleigh to Birmingham to Oxford. There's plenty of enlightened people out there. I, unfortunately, have run into many who aren't. I was speaking of my personal experience...Not yours. Who gives a shit about what you think, it has nothing to do with MY experience. That doesn't make me 'hip' or 'intelligent' by recanting it, it just makes me honest.

And I'm not hip, I've never claimed to be. I'm a single Dad pushing 40. Go read someone else's blog if you want 'hip' and 'intelligent.'

I find it hysterical that someone listed as 'Anonymous' even had the courage to post a comment if they couldn't even sign their name.

I never said Obama 'inspired me'. He's a politician. His rise to the office of President is inspiring.

My inspiration comes from my daughter, my family, my lover, my friends.

You offer your 'advice.' How cute. Don't kid yourself that I'd ever take Anonymous advice, that's like looking to a politician for 'inspiration'.

Again, I can't stress this enough; Grow up. You, as you seem from one posting, are potentially a dangerous part of the electorate. Meaning you're uninformed, inflamed, and bitter, lashing out at folks for some false hypocrisy.

Read a few books on political philosophy, learn more about the historical repercussions of our meddling in the Middle East (from the 1950's), find out why Communism failed, what Fair Trade means vs. Free Trade, spread your wings outside your cubicle and learn about YOUR democracy.

And make no mistake; it is a great day in American when a black man can be elected president of a nation that once imported his race like they were spices...that once made them enter a building from a separate entrance...that once made them drink from separate fountains...and those last two were merely 40 years ago...

it IS amazing that 40 years after hoses were turned on people who wanted to eat at a Woolworth's counter luncheonette that one of their number can be elected president.


PS - And you probably are too ignorant to even know;

A. what a Woolworth's is
B. That they served food there.

12:46 AM, November 09, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People said you were easy to screw with and boy were they right! It was far too easy to get you to go off on a tangent that is completely off of point. No one said the first thing about slavery, which ended some 143 years ago, by the way. Don't take yourself so seriously. You're not that interesting and you're not very original. Get a life. Or rather maybe President Obama can get one for you.

12:03 PM, November 09, 2008  
Blogger jason said...

how are you 'screwing with me'? You've yet to actually make a coherent, original, or substantive point. Simply typing the equivalent of 'nuh uh' isn't a point. if anything you're living up to the stereotype you accused me of making.

And I fail to see where you got me to go off on a 'tangent'. Please enlighten me there too...

and about bringing up Slavery. Yes, someone said the 1st thing about slavery...ME...I did... Because it's relevant to the understanding of the issue. If you can't recognize that slavery and the impacts of the trade and culture related to it directly led to the turmoil in the 1960's you're not intellectually equipped to refer to the issues of the day let alone be critical of them. Being critical of an issue requires that you have some semblance of a grasp on that issue.

Did you google the 143 years ago number and now you have 'facts' on your side? Awww...I'm so very proud of you. But for the record, I know when Slavery ended. History was my Minor in college and I paid attention in middle school social studies.

and please...if you had any idea what i'm like in 'real life' you'd know i am the last person to 'take my self seriously'. But I do take history and race seriously. Being cavalier about history and race breeds ignorance and idiocracy.

i have already recanted here (and in 'real life') i'm not that interesting. but i must be just interesting enough to have you seeking out MY blog on the basis of the mysterious 'people' who said i'm easy to screw with.

and again, i would love to know how exactly are you screwing with me? please let me in on the vast inner workings of your whisper campaign of annoyance...I promise I'll act surprised when actually start 'screwing with me'.

And again (cause you probably do need reminding), you have yet to actually MAKE an actual point.

Please try to, if you'd like. If you can't form one of your own, I'm sure that President Obama can get one for you, comrade.



1:46 AM, November 10, 2008  

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