Friday, June 28, 2013

Archie Bunker I Am

June 28, 2013

Archie Bunker I Am – a personal perspective

I have been following the immensely popular national witch hunt known as race-baiting lately. I am amazed at the number of self-righteous individuals and no-balls-businesses rising to take the bait. I have marveled at all the new races popping up. If you are “for” something – it quantifies as a “race”. Even Democrats/Liberals and Republicans/Conservatives and oh my goodness Independents, Tea Partiers and Gun Owners have achieved near “race” status. Good grief!

I have watched the overwhelming and shameful crucifixion of Food Network star Paula Deen (the only reason I ever found to tune into that channel) since she admitted she used the N-word way back in the olden days of the late 20th century. Cries of racism are screeching across the land! The only thing accomplished by those who have abandoned and poisoned minds against Paula Deen is about half a dozen boycotts-by-me and a few more dollars in her coffers as I pursue her products. I am not alone.

Deen's alleged infraction occurred over 25 years ago. Racism, sexism, and just about every other sort of ism and a plethora of phobias came out of the closet in the 1970s and 1980s following the volatile 1960s. It was a different time. Lots of actions and words considered inappropriate and socially unacceptable today hardly raised an eyebrow back then. Of course, back then news was tangible not surreal. You cannot change history by punishing anyone who was a part of it just because you find it distasteful. Back then, I’d venture to say the most prolific use of the N-word originated with blacks themselves. Considering some modern black genre music lyrics, literature and commentary one could assume as much today.

Yes, I have used the N-word but not until I came to adulthood. As a child my maternal grandmother frowned upon the term just once when my brother uttered it and what my gentle southern grandmother did not approve of was officially taboo. We obeyed out of respect for the woman if not her reasoning which of course, we later realized was dead-on. It was not nice.

I am going out on a limb here and do a bit of race-baiting myself so get your finger ready to point and wag. The use of a racial slur like the bugaboo N-word is not necessarily indicative of racism. I am from the south, not the Deep South, although many of my ancestors, a few who had a hand in my raising were from the Deep South. No, I hail from that other south known as Texas. I have lived well north of my home state for over fifteen years and still, as soon as I speak the first question out of the mouth of a new acquaintance is an often impolite query what part of the south are you from? People who speak with a drawl and twang are somewhat of a novelty in some (let’s call them Yankee) circles but I don’t take offense or see it as something akin to racism – although judging by today’s standards - I reckon it is. Texan is a race you know (wink-wink).

Like I said, I am from racially diverse Texas. I started school during the civil rights era. I came of age during desegregation and women’s liberation. I witnessed the birth of civil rights and political correctness. I have friends of all ethnicities who are Caucasian – ok white, Mexican, Negro – ok black, Indian - American variety, Asian, British and of course that peculiar-to-Texas ethnic group – Rednecks. I am immediately suspicious of anyone using hyphenated Americanism. For those I count among my friends and extended family, distinction based on ethnicity (race- color -creed) simply does not figure in those relationships.

However, and this is where it gets interesting… for those whom I count as an enemy or a threat you can bet your boots race, creed, color, and whatever else I can think of to disparage their character most certainly does apply. Anyone who says they live their lives without voicing any sort of prejudice (consider what you are thinking about me right now) would have to put themselves on the level of my beloved grandmother and I have met exactly one other person in my entire fifty-some-odd year life who qualified.

I have probably been called every racial/sexist slur one could possibly apply to an opinionated southern white girl/woman. Most recently I earned what I consider a badge of honor during a social media exchange with the worst sort of poser (someone claiming to be a military Veteran who was not). Anyway, a person who decided to come to the poser’s rescue did what most people do who cannot legitimately argue a point. They got personal. I am now a B to the fifth power. Brow-Beating-Bigoted-Biker-Bitch. How about that?

So, fair warning: While I rarely employ such methods these days, if you cross my path in a negative manner – I guarantee if it is called for I will retaliate with a properly applied slur of some sort. What I am saying is: I have used the nefarious N-word about black people with whom I took issue. I have used wetback and other spurious terms to describe Mexicans. I have used a creative variety of racial and sexist slurs. I have used blankity-blank Redneck as well when it was called for. I have used the terms preacher and oh my goodness liberal in a derogatory manner. And here’s a biggy – I have used the term raghead and camel jockey to disparage any middle-eastern person who is what I consider an anti-American terrorist which in my world encompasses anyone who dances on the American flag, insults my country, breaks my country’s laws and has inflicted or intends to inflict harm upon Americans and most importantly American soldiers. Call me an insensitive American Infidel – I will own it. Here’s the kicker (that’s Texan for here’s the point): in my opinion, a racist is essentially a person who demeans all people of a given ethnicity. So use of a disparaging term about a particular individual or even a special interest group is not necessarily disparaging of the race as a whole.

This is why I love the First Amendment; there is no rule of law that prohibits a person from being racist in theory or in speech. There is no right that protects one from being insulted or offended by another. Prejudice and bigotry may not be socially acceptable but they are not illegal. If heinous speech and actions were a crime the members of the infamous Westboro Blaspheming Cult (posing as Westboro Baptist Church) would all be behind bars. If we held accountable those who engage in injurious speech all of our politicians would be up to their necks in self-imposed grief.

Those of us who refuse to live under petty-minded pretense, willingly and consciously refraining from the use of racial slurs or prejudicial language do so as a courtesy to the liberal-minded, hug-the-world, politically-correct individuals out there. Just because they think what I believe or say is not nice does not mean I give a hoot about that and I grow weary of curbing my tongue to pacify their over-rated sensibilities.

In the 1970s there was an American TV sitcom called All in the Family. The lead character in this show brilliantly played by the late Carroll O’Connor was named Archie Bunker. Old Archie was about as politically incorrect, socially unacceptable and bigoted as they come. He was not held up as a shining example of Americanism. I did not identify with him at the time. I did not have enough life experience. In fact, I found him extremely disagreeable most of the time and his illiterate abuse of the English language was amusing but irritating.

But a loud mouth, plain-spoken, unapologetic dissenter in the crowd is what I find refreshing these days. Paranoid political correctness, especially the sort which inhibits speech and the free and open exchange of ideas no matter how disagreeable is a disease. I resent willful destruction of the lives and fortunes of others over a WORD.

Sticks and stones people… the gloves are off. I am tired of being nice. Archie Bunker I am. Loud, proud and unapologetically outspoken.

Respectfully yours in unfailing allegiance to the USA,
Dissident Daughter
Because: Silence is the most insidious form of consent

1 comment:

All comments are moderated - thanks for sharing.