Saturday, April 10, 2010
I was raised in Virginia, and still go back there several times a year to visit my family. I think it's a beautiful area - shares a border with Washington, DC, just a few hours from Appalachia, looks out to the Atlantic Ocean. The North is strange and full of spies (many of my friends as a child had spies for parents, working at the local CIA or in the Pentagon or any of the dozens of unmarked buildings in my hometown) and the South is mostly without money and made up of former plantations. When we go south to visit my dad's family, we go to the black neighborhoods of Hampton Roads. Chain stores, wooden houses with porches, fried chicken, churches. When we return home north we are amongst chain stores, brick houses with porches, patties and pupusas and Indian food, and churches. This is home to me.
And Governor McDonnell. And why shouldn't it be? Our ancestors fought to keep this home. Whose ancestors? Who cares? God bless America where states rights still exist and we have the privilege of celebrating the treasonous and genocidal human-rights violators that were defeated by our current government. This is what distinguishes us from those barbaric anti-Hitler Germans, anti-Mussolini Italians, anti-Apartheid South Africans, anti-Junta Argentines, anti-Ottoman Turks. And so forth. Yo, they wish they could get free like this.
Yes, of course we should study this moment in history - but not from our contemporary perspective as United States citizens working to unlearn racism and somehow wrestle free of the indelible legacy of slavery which has currently manifested as prisons, crack, AIDS, dirty mind tricks, sub-par education, no options, feelings of stupidity and inadequacy and ugliness, disrespect, shame, erasure from history. Yes, we should study this moment in history which has actually destroyed our communities and continues to, which has made some people and companies very rich and continues to, which legally established a social order along a hierarchy of despair and continues to. But, no, we should not study this moment in history from the perspective of liberated peoples of 2010, but from the perspective of treasonous and genocidal human-rights violators. Ah, Confederate History Month.
Well, played, McDonnell - a brilliant idea!
And to create such a straw man just before you add another requirement to the list of tests nonviolent ex-offenders must pass in Virginia to be able to vote! Absolute genius! Someday, 150 years from now, we will hopefully have a month to look back on you, and your idiot legacy. And, actually, what we will find is that it's not just you. It's a lot of people who, because of racism (invented by your ancestors, not mine) and concurrent decision to kidnap millions and either kill them or try to kill them, I am forced to share a country with. You are my countrymen, you idiots, you embarassingly ignorant and out-of-date jackasses, you loud and hard-of-hearing monstrosities. When we look back on this moment in history, we will find it wasn't just McDonnell, not at all. That's what frightens me.
I wanna go back home...
Video by Huffington Post's Ben Craw