Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

The Pleasure of Our Company

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In a 1928 interview with the radio program “The World Tomorrow” anthropologist/novelist Zora Neale Hurston was asked about her view on racism to which she answered, “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It is beyond me.”

It’s exactly how I felt when reading the Huffington Post storyabout African American children being denied access to a private summer camp.  John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club of North Pennsylvania said”…there was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club” and a woman was overheard saying, “‘Uh, what are all these black kids doing here? … I’m scared they might do something to my child”.

I’m insulted by the comments but not surprised and although the sentiments make me angry I’m not incensed enough to call  and demand that African Americans be allowed entrance.   Not because I don’t think we aren’t good enough to be allowed in but because I think we are too good.  Why should I,  a member of a group who can who can walk in the sun without fear that spent  200 years in bondage, another 100 years under Jim Crow; is  a symbol civil rights to people around the world and the whole flavor behind anything that American’s try to export as homegrown culture worry about gaining entrance into someone’s petty-eddy little club.   As wonderful and spectacular as black people those white folks want to try to exert their “superiority” by keeping  little brown children out of their club?  I say fuck ’em; brush them off and keep stepping.  We can get our own and we don’t need to beg anyone for entrance into their he-man minority haters club.

I’m sure what I’m saying doesn’t sit well with many, including those who are white.  Perhaps they think I’m helping to perpetuate a separate America.  Well, I got news for you: we are separate.  If you don’t believe me ask the lesbian couple who are unable to marry because of who they love.  Ask the poor whites living in a trailer park who can barely scrape enough to get by month to month.  Ask the Black gangs who want to bang against the Latinos who want to get at them.  We are a country divided by race, sexual preference, and social status and no matter how many of us proclaim to love Barack Obama (or have resigned to tolerate him) should know that a presidency or the change of a millennium won’t change that.

Private clubs are legally allowed to extend membership to those they want in and withhold it from those they want to keep out, using  race, gender and sexual preference as a criteria.  For minorities, having access to private clubs is not just for social status but the ability to conduct business because often business deals are made on the golf course or in the locker rooms.  But proximity to money doesn’t necesarily insure that interactions or associations, especially if someone is a closet racist/bigot/homophobe to begin with. 

But this story has to deal with little kids and what we teach them about future race relations.  It would be nice for people to not selectively arrange their lives to decide when they will interact with minorities: yes if you are doing community service but no if there’s a chance you are on equal footing.  So in this case we have to teach our minority children that a slight from someone else is more of a reflection on them than it has ever been on us because sometimes when you are this fabulous others just can’t take the shine.


Written by rentec

11 July, 2009 at 5:31 am

Posted in news, race, social issues

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