Why Not Imagine Your Opponents?

Stephen King is as good as imagining as most, I suppose. Why bother encountering your opponents when you can just make them up?

Nobody cared about national security in terms of her abuse of Top Secret information in her emails; nobody cared about Benghazi. But they did care about racism, yo:
Felicia Gagnon Most of my customers at the Washateria were for him, so I decided I was, too. It wasn’t just going along with the crowd, either. He always had an answer for everything, and he took no shit. Also, he wants to keep the illegals out. My job isn’t much, but it pays the rent. What if some illegal comes along and tells Mr Griffin – he’s the owner – that she’ll do my job for half the salary? Would that be fair?

Andrea Sparks It wouldn’t, it absolutely wouldn’t. And I admired him for a comeback he made to Clinton in, I think it was their first debate. She said he paid no taxes, and Trump came right back, said: “That makes me smart.” I knew right then I was going to vote for him, because taxes are killers. That’s why no one from the middle class can really get ahead. They tax you to death. I am making a little bit of money, but I’d be making a lot more if they didn’t tax me so badly, and why do they do it? To pay welfare for the illegals Felicia was talking about. The beaners, the darkies and the camel-jockeys. I would never say that if I wasn’t full of this truth serum stuff, but I’m glad I did. It’s a relief. I don’t want to be a racist, it’s not how I was raised, but they make you be one. I work hard for what I’ve got, from nine in the morning until midnight, sometimes until one in the morning. And what happens? The government takes the sweat from my brow and gives it to the foreigners. Who shoot it into their arms with dope the drug mules bring up from Mexico.

Barker Amen to that, sister.
I have literally never heard anyone say "beaners," "darkies," or "camel-jockeys" except on television. And I live in a very white, very rural part of Georgia. I grew up in a part of Georgia that was ethnically cleaned twice! (Once in the 1820s, and again in 1912). If this kind of racism still existed, I'd run into it.

I did once encounter a guy running a gun shop in Gainesville who responded to my incredulity about his proposed prices by saying that they were the "Paco price," and then offering me a better deal (which, though reasonable, I was too offended to take). That was in the early 1990s, which was also the last time I heard anyone voice an objection to interracial dating or marriage. Even then, I remember how much it bothered me that it bothered him.

It's a different world, but not all of us live in it.


Eric Blair said...

Steven King is obsessed by racism, and his books haven't aged well, and they're all full of cliches to begin with, because I don't think he's ever had an original thought, and neither do some other people, as apparently he's being sued over that Dark Tower series he wrote because he allegedly ripped it all off from a 1970's comic book series.

Pretty much like that article, which I couldn't finish, it was so dumb.

Texan99 said...

We had a neighbor, recently deceased, who we all knew had to be diverted if he strayed near the subject of race in a conversation. He'd done some oil-company project management in West Africa when he was younger that had left him with a disgust for black people he really could not control. (He made no distinction between Africans and Americans.)

I was very shocked once when a member of my church mentioned to me, in a kind of nudge-nudge-wink-wink fashion, that "those kind of people" didn't belong in the White House. My shock must have been visible, because she never reverted to the subject.

Once in line at the train station in NYC I heard a man spit out the word "schwartze" in an amazingly vicious tone.

But these are the only three examples I can easily bring to mind. I know it's around; it's just not as common as some people imagine. I get nastier comments on my Republicanism, frankly, as a routine matter.

raven said...

I once knew a guy who despised Japanese people.
He spent a while on Guadalcanal with the USMC.

some things can color an outlook strongly.

Grim said...


Assistant Village Idiot said...

He's from Maine, where they don't have many black people, or even people who know many black people. Nor Hispanics, Asians or immigrants except French-Canadians. His understanding of all groups is founded on what he reads and what he imagines.

I once knew a reform-school boy from a very white Massachusetts town whose fantasy was to find a situation where he could shoot as many black people as possible without getting into trouble. He thought maybe he could go to Africa and do that somehow. I have also antisocial types use any insults, racial slurs in order to try to get a rise out of others. But never did they talk about "darkies," or "beaners" what are beaners?

Texan99 said...

Beaners are Mexicans, but I've heard the term used only once: by Tommy Chong in a Cheech and Chong movie. Maybe it's used more in California than in Texas, or at least was in the 70s or thereabouts.

jaed said...

Wasn't used in California in the 70s. 50s, possibly.

douglas said...

Oh, it was used in California in the '70's all right- mostly between chicanos, but not only. I mainly heard it in reference to them on the side (rarely), or jokingly between friends- one of them being chicano (more common).

Interestingly, chicanos as I knew them growing up are almost all gone now- the more recent immigrants are most of the Mexican-Americans now, and so many are intermarried. They had a very particular accent and it's a treat when I hear it anymore, as it's so rare now. Reminds me of my youth.

Texan99 said...

Half of my nieces and nephews married into Chicano families. One had a passel of kids, about half dark and Latino-looking, the other half distinctly guero, including one with fiery red hair. Huge, wonderful extended families, quite a treat for us. It's a huge part of Texas culture, of course, but never one I had much of a direct entree to until recently.

About the Japanese: I was so startled in my youth to encounter my first anti-Japanese sentiment. A friend's father came completely unspooled when my friend's sister married a Japanese fellow. It was news to me there was such a thing as anti-Japanese prejudice; I had always assumed it was a problem limited to black people, and then I learned it was a more general out-group issue. It explained what had always confused me about the plot of "South Pacific." That's not to say I don't understand the pull of endogamy; every guy I've ever been remotely involved with was as Anglo as I am, which is very. Still, it seems to me there's a gulf between drawn romantically to your own ethnic group and concluding that all other ethnic groups are inferior, or objecting when other people are attracted differently.