Thursday, March 13, 2008

That's What She Said!

Note: The image for this post has been changed. In my anger, I had my artistic way with a photo of Geraldine Ferraro, which while funny in a juvenile way left me very uncomfortable. I have substituted a photo of a real hero, John Lewis, civil rights leader and U.S. Congressman for Georgia. I deeply admire Rep. Lewis and am proud to have had the opportunity to meet him, talk with him and shake his hand. Regardless of what Geraldine Ferraro has to say about him

Original Post: I'm a white collar education worker these days though I grew up in rural Wisconsin and live and work in a small Midwestern city ravaged by NAFTA plant-closings and a steady population decline, but not too long ago while an older, graying college student, I worked night-shift stocking groceries. Most of my fellow workers (the white ones mainly but probably even some of the black ones) would have bought Geraldine's race-baiting lines whole. And the one's Bill threw out in South Carolina. And I wouldn't blame them for doing so.

These folks are the working poor, badly served by our educational system, shat upon by our government except when it needs warm bodies for foreign wars, working multiple jobs just to stay even if they are lucky, and anyone who throws them a line on who to blame and hate for their current position in life is going to be listened to.

Everyone tries to manipulate and use these people and they know it. This goes for white and black, American and foreign born. And they are not stupid. They are hurt and angry. They see millionaires on TV crying because the paparazzi won't leave them alone, politicians spending 80,000 dollars on hookers, gasoline prices going up every day and they feel pissed and helpless - not a good combination. I ache for them. I work with their children and I see the hard effects of their lives staring me in the face every day. It's a goddamned hard world if you're not a rich bastard and these people know it.

As for Geraldine and Hillary, well, I think the Clinton campaign has been very systemic but none too subtle about playing the race angle. In fact, I think they veered away from subtlety on purpose, going for the gut reactions that would sway some of their perceived base away from Obama. Goebbels would be very proud of the Clinton campaign. They've learned well.

Note: I am scared to post this. It's really hard to say some of these things and I expect there may be a reaction from some quarters, but I am so very angry and I need to vent or I will explode. You should see what I edited out of this post...

Postcript: I really enjoyed my stocking job. It was hard, back- and knee-breaking work and the hours were rotten for crap pay, but the people were good to be with, even though I was the total odd-ball as usual. I waited two months before I cracked my first joke, but it was so nasty and dirty when it came out that it instantly ended my "initiation" period. The guy I was working with ran yelling through the store to repeat it to everyone else on shift. If you've never worked hard physical work with a bunch of guys, and been the odd one out in the group, you've probably never gone through it but believe me that you gotta prove yourself. We had about a dozen on shift, ten guys and two of the better sex, from 18-72 years of age. Yeah, a 72 year-old man had to get a second job to support his family! It happens, it happens. He was the best worker there, too.

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