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Veiled Exclusion

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

June 22, 2010

By Perry Redd

I’ve had the pleasure of becoming inundated with responses to a video that I posted on YouTube® back in April. I video capture just about any and every event I’m blessed to attend. Some events I attend as a reporter, some as a participant and other events, as a spectator.  This particular subject of interest, I attended as a witness.  I wanted to see if the claims by right-wing leaning, conservative-voting, “Country-First”, Tea Party supporters was true:  that they are a big tent, consensus of America.

I made a commentary at the beginning and the end of the video clip.  My email has been swamped with responses along the same vein, giving me the suspicion that they’re a part of the same group.  That’s fine by me, because if my suspicions are correct, it confirms my opposition that they are not “big tent” at all, but more like a small but loud gang.

Now, I don’t mind the flurry of email responses; I actually welcome it!  It gives us a chance to dialogue on the most divisive and avoided issue in American history…race.  Unfortunately, many Americans fail to stick to the issue by name-calling and misdirection, but when we are focused on the germane point of discussion, we see the problem much more clearly.

I had the opportunity (if not the time) to respond to several of the YouTubers who were offended by my post and position.  The video showed a few hundred 2nd Amendment supporters at the foot of the Washington Monument on April 19th.  The gathering called for the like-minded ralliers to “Take Our Country Back.”  I took exception with the “our” many of the speakers referred to.  Who are the “our” they speak of?  My video showed that there lacked a cross-section of this country.  The rally was attended by a virtually entire white gathering of Americans.  I think I can safely assume who the “our” is…

Going back to “the Constitution as originally intended” is language that only white Americans can appreciate—and they know it.  No contemporary black American can earnestly embrace that ideal.  To be disenfranchised at the expense of another is never desirable.  This is the mantra at the 2nd Amendment rally.

It’s no secret that we have preconceived positions prior to meeting, whether in person or in blogs.  My position is that America is for everyone.  All should be included in the decision-making process.  Change for some, should amount to the common good.  No one will get all they want, so compromise through the use of democratic principles is the order of the day.  When people exclude (I cannot say that this group excluded anyone, because I was there!) other sub-sections of the population, then it is highly evident that their position is not consensus, it’s exclusive.

Those that deny that these racist connotations are veiled threats upon other groups, are disingenuous. Right-wing anger at the current administration’s attempts to right a tilted ship, have nothing to do with policy.  Their arguments fall outside of policy disagreements, they’re based in fear.  Fear of losing control and the power to dictate the agenda.  Shared power is foreign to them; so they must exclude the parties that may dilute their vision of America.  Veiled social exclusion is un-American.  Whether guns, immigration, healthcare or corporate accountability, we ALL have a stake in it, not just you!  That’s what I saw and listened to at the April 19th rally.  My witness is not limited to that event alone, but the climate of discourse over, not only the past two years of Obama’s reign, but through the course of my lifetime.  Speaking of Obama, actually, I am pretty much through with him.  He’s wimped out to the highest degree.  That’s all I need to say about that.

And for all of those who disagree with me, I can say, “that’s the American Way!”

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