A brouhaha has developed among a group of friends regarding the sending of e-mails the nature of which can only be said to be racist. This country needs more than a five cent cigar. It needs the infusion of young blood that can cut across barriers unconsciously erected in the minds of old white guys who have spent their entire lives hating anything and everything different. I recognize this hatred. It is the hatred of my father and his generation. It is the hatred that fueled my upbringing as a Protestant Irish kid living in a predominantly Italian and Polish Catholic neighborhood on the east side of Detroit. "Dago" and "Polock" as well as the "n" word were an established part of my vocabulary by the time I was ten years old. It is my opinion that all of this hatred was based on fear; fear of something different. Some of us have been unwilling, or unable, to let go of these fears, particularly when it comes to race.
Now the United States is at a historical moment. A black man is running for the office of the president of the United States. He is not only running for this office, but he is likely to be elected. It is no accident that Obama's campaign is led by the energy of young people who do not experience this fear, but this is a word of caution. There are real issues between John McCain and Barack Obama that should not be decided on simply because Obama is black. The blueprint of our society is constantly violated in a thousand different ways by older white guys in blue suits who will do anything to keep this black man from being elected. Karl Rove, the neo-nazi and apparently self-designated keeper of the white faith, has taken it upon himself to label Obama a "country club elitist" in a sinister attempt to plant seeds of discontent about the character of this man without overtly appealing to racism. If you don't think so, ask yourself why Rove doesn't stick to the issues which are real. This bunch of old white guys is used to doing this sort of thing. They did it to McCain in the South Carolina primary in 2000 by intimating that McCain's black daughter was fathered by him in an illegitmate relationship. It is an old trial lawyer's maxim that if one throws enough mud, some of it will stick. I have written about a constant barrage of anti-black e-mails in past blogs and the intensity has increased as of late. The bottom line is this and is directed at young people. Keep at it. Don't surrender your enthusiasm. Change is good. Hating anything different without assessing the truth is just plain dumb.