“Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”
Richard M. Nixon
People may shake their head at me, but I’ll be honest with you, I admire Richard Nixon. Sure, there was the whole “crook” thing, there was the whole impeachment thing, there was the whole Watergate business…but so what? He was human, he had a job to do and, well, no matter what your political vantage point is at this juncture, he was just a guy doing a job. Granted there were some shady things going on, but really, isn’t that everywhere? Aren’t people artificially coloring our produce to make it look fresher, aren’t bartenders watering down our overpriced drinks, aren’t we as writers often apt to stretch the truth a little bit.
None of that mattered though, nobody thought back to see where this man came from, they just focused on the bad, never the good. Honestly, that’s what I see in many people nowadays, and it hurts. There was no going back to a normal life for Nixon, and actually, while my dad was in the marine corps his primary job was to guard the house where Nixon resided in San Clemente. There was still turmoil over the scandal, but what people didn’t remember were the positive aspects of his career as a politician. The most important one, at this very scary time in America, was the civil rights movement. Nixon was front and center to see the south decide to embrace the fact that every living human being had equal rights, no matter who the fuck they were born from.
The cool thing about him was that although he was pretty well spoon fed by funders, he was still honest about where he truly stood. Where is he now? What can he do for this nonsense going on in the State of South Carolina?
I’m not a political person, and I never try to take one side or another without investigating every single aspect of the issue. I don’t usually write on current events, and very VERY rarely do I drag some sort of earth moving spin on any of my writings, but this shit is ridiculous. What the fuck is wrong with people, and why is it such a big deal all of a sudden? Did I miss something, are minorities suddenly an enemy. If so, somebody please explain to me what it is?
I grew up in an amazing place, although it was severely lacking diversity. I think we had two mexican kids and maybe MAYBE one black kid in the entire school (k-8). We were in Wisconsin, were were the epitome of a melting pot with last names with too many “z” and “y”, not enough vowels, and usually a pain in the ass to pronounce. All of our heritage was from other places. Nobody (aside from the Native Americans) were really from there, and nobody really touted any sort of banner of history in regards to where we lived. We just lived there, we called it home, it wasn’t something to get wild about. Except, of course, that one time in 1967 riots broke out in the booming tourist town of Lake Geneva. The problem with this, however, was that nobody really knew what they were fighting about. They were a bunch of young kids, mostly up at summer homes, that would typically reside in Chicago. Lake Geneva didn’t have a huge police presence so when a race riot broke out in the quite little lake community the police did what they felt they should do…put those naughty white kids from Chicago in a barn and call their parents.
It wasn’t something that was fueled by racial hatred or even anti-war, as one rioter admitted decades later “We didn’t know what we were rioting about. It was fueled by beer.”
Huh. Beer. The police chalked it up to young people letting off pent off steam. Those were the days, when all we had to worry about were some angst ridden teenagers throwing beer bottles, sobering up the next day, and then saying to themselves “oh shit, that was NOT good.” I’m a fan of beer, and honestly, if anything in the world would make me NOT want to riot, that would be it.
The point is, the civil unrest is ridiculous here in South Carolina. What ever happened to that whole “give peace a chance” business, and the whole “all men are created equal”. It turns into an Animal Farm mentaility here for some people and they decide that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” What exactly is the hierarchy? What determines it? If I were to lay in a tanning bed and get as dark as possible, would that cause me to be “less equal?” If my name was something with an ethnic tinge to it, would that make me more likely to get shot? How do I fit into the whole scheme of things.
South Carolina, to me at least, has become a manifestation of Animal Farm, Walden, and some sort of horror film with rednecks and chainsaws (the name eludes me). The problem is that not EVERYONE here is like that, there are decent human being that love people no matter what. To use a bit of Animal Farm again: “Several of them would have protested if they could have found the right arguments.” What is the argument these people have, exactly? Where does this hate stem from? Is it something genetic, if so, why aren’t there awful race riots in states like, I dunno, Nebraska. In order to protest, you have to have two things, a spine and a valid argument. It seems this state is full of spines and nothing to back it up (ha pun intended).
I’m not promoting the burning of the Confederate flag. I understand it is a part of history. Hell, we proudly hung the secession flag on our home for years. People would scoff, but at the same time, it symbolized individuality. For us it was a beacon of the ability to overcome oppression. It was actually my idea, and I’m not even from here. The fact that I’m in South Carolina right now is just a luck of the draw, but I can’t deal with some of the hate that people here can harness. I’ve never met so many people that will smile to your face and stab you in the back at the same time. It’s not everyone, there are some awesome people, but from what I’ve encountered, especially in the media lately, there is so much hate in this state I just don’t get it.
I once made the statement that I don’t see anything more attractive than a black man in a suit. Immediately I was told that was wrong and I shouldn’t think that way. Why the fuck not? A good person is not derived from their skin, it comes from their heart. A white man in a suit can screw you just as easy and the black man. There are fringe populations, of course, but there are those fringes in every race, every culture, every nation (except maybe Monaco). Those that are stuck in the lower level of living lifestyle usually have no choice but to keep on living life the best they know how. Their power to survive, even in tough conditions, is admirable. Those people deserve to live life and be happy. People who judge should, well, I can’t stand it. People who judge should stay the fuck away from me.
Stop the hate, stop the killing, stop the madness. We’re all one.
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”
Leave your hate alone.