Archive for November 2nd, 2009

One Place Where This Old Guy DID Have It Harder

Nowadays us old folks say “Don’t talk down to young people” a LOT less than the last generations did. The fact is that we spend a lot of our declining amount of effort trying to learn to handle the cell phones, and computers and Twitters and Googles and Blue Ray and so forth, all of which are as familiar to young people as driving a car was to us.

But there is one area where I can tell you “how easy you got it” that you an identify with.

Try to put yourself in my place back in the 50s. A converted Yankee asked me in the 80s, “Did any of you Southerners realize in the segregation days that the whole white race was threatened?” I told him we did, and he kind of sniffed.

You see, he was a Yankee, and he had been converted by realizing that the while race was threatened. Southerners, being a less sophisticated breed. I can’t complain since this conviction STILL makes a Southern accent a deadly weapon in Washington, where anybody with a Southern accent can cause himself to be underestimated.

The Mantra is not easy today, but its logic was understood by most intelligent Southerners. One Methodist bishop, as soon as the 1954 decision was made, endorsed it by saying that we must get used to the white race disappearing just as Jacob was willing to sacrifice his son Esau — I think I’ve got em right this time. He ignored the point of that tale, which was that Jehovah had banned human sacrifice.

But, being a bishop in the South, it never occurred to him to doubt what the stakes were. I also suspect he expected his people to know the Bible well enough to see he was talking in code.

The Mantra was easy, but back then it was impossible. How could two or three Negro children in a Little Rock school presage the end of a whole race?

One of the standard mantras of the “moderates,” Southern integrationists, was, “Integration has nothing to do with intermarriage.”

The Southern segregationists said, “It has to be fought here or our race will end.” My sophisticated Northern buddy thirty years later was the kind who laughed at that kind of talk.

So the integration decision led to the intermarriage decision and Immigration Reform. When Immigration Reform was being debated, Ted Kennedy said. “If it starts getting out of hand, we can change it.”

Yea, right. But people believed it then. They laughed when we said, “A little bit of integration is like a little bit of pregnancy.”

So it is true that the few decent older people like me DID have one thing harder than you. Any form of the Mantra used to be laughed at. Today it is fearfully suppressed.

Sic ‘em, brats!