Overt racism returning
“Get ’em outta here,” a certain presidential candidate shouts at one of his rallies, prompting his devout adherents to scream with delight and resulting in the taunting, cursing, shoving and even spitting on those being removed from the scene. One cannot help but note that those being taunted and removed are persons of color or of a faith other than Christian.
Overt racism is easy to identify. For the past 40 years such has been out of fashion and considered totally inappropriate for an educated, civilized nation. It is the way things used to be but not now. It is the way it was in the 1950s and ’60s, separate schools, separate water fountains, separate restrooms, etc. It’s people in the streets shouting “2, 4, 6, 8, we won’t integrate.”
After the 1970s, overt racism in the United States grew to be more of a taboo. This does not mean it went away; it simply transformed into a “latent” form. As I see it, latent racism is being racist while stopping short of using the “N” word.
I grew up in Southeast Missouri, known as Little Dixie because of the cotton industry and its large African-American population. My Baptist preacher dad and mother dared, in the 1950s, to speak out against racism and gave support to the “freedom riders” in the 1950s and early ’60s.
For a young teen in school to be called an “N” lover, to be shoved around in the halls at school and hear his parents cursed was a lesson in racial intolerance that my brother and I have carried all our lives. Never did we think we would see its ugly head rear itself in such a populist way in today’s political arena.
Sadly, in this time of growing racial and religious intolerance, especially regarding Muslims, our Christian pulpits are silent as the tide of hate, racism and intolerance seems to have free rein and even support from many sitting in their church’s pews Sunday after Sunday. Latent racism, resting just under one’s skin, is still racism.
In the current political climate, charged with division and strong emotions, latent racism is a powerful aspect influencing the race for the highest office of our great nation. Latent racism is just as powerful and evil as overt racism.
How sad that we, as an electorate, excuse our distaste for the “establishment” and the current state of affairs in our nation to ignore any presidential candidate’s use of hate or fear and to unleash “latent racism” to full blown “overt racism.”
She’d like more coverage of the arts
I keep waiting for some news venue to send a message to our children and their parents that the arts are just as important as sports.
When did it become acceptable for athletes to earn millions while teachers work two to three jobs to make ends meet? And as a community, why do we promote this way of thinking?
Every week I open my paper to see community sports covering two of 10 pages. Yet, local band programs seldom see a quarter-page, even after winning national competitions. Don’t get me wrong, I support local sports. I value the hours kids and coaches put in. But why do we continue to send a message to our non-athletes that their accomplishments are less valued?
Johnston County is blessed with amazing extracurricular programs. SSS alone has 65 kids in concert and, 114 in marching band, 24 in winterguard, 55 in percussion theater and 25 in jazz band per year. Yet there is no page in our community paper to consistently report on these. Aren’t we telling our kids and their parents that recognition by the community will only come if they are involved in sports?
Let’s send the message that we want to recognize and support all extracurricular activities that require hours of dedication beyond academics. The change starts at a local level. The change starts with the Smithfield Herald.
Benson chamber supports CSX hub
The mission of the Benson Area Chamber of Commerce is to promote and inform our membership and our community of new economic-growth opportunities. Standing behind this mission, the chamber board of directors “fully supports the placement of the CSX intermodal terminal in Johnston County.”
Our responsibility includes researching the project and its many facets, and that research has determined that CSX has greatly benefited the communities into which it expanded and their surrounding areas. While the project brought new job opportunities within CSX, other related businesses also relocated to the region to take advantage of the hub. In addition, the local community saw more investment in roads and infrastructure. Our chamber supports such growth.
The Benson Area Chamber of Commerce is fully committed to ensuring that our members, our community and this county have full benefit of the information needed to advance our economic growth. With that commitment in mind, we support this project and look forward to the strong economic impact it will bring to Johnston County and our great state.
President, Benson Chamber