We all hear the almost daily stories and reports about acts of racism in our country. The most recent one being at the Republican National Convention, where a female African-American reporter for CNN was pelted with peanuts by a GOP attendee, who then uttered the words "now this is how we feed the animals." People say that a couple of drops of water won't hurt you. Farmers will tell you that when you get enough of those drops, it indicates an oncoming rainstorm. Like drops of water, our society is randomly whetted by racist incidences. But does the increased frequency of these "drops of water" indicate that America is facing a new storm of racism?
The GOP, and it's menagerie of followers -- everyone from old white guys and self-proclaimed patriots, to Tea Party movers and the religious right -- has seen and experienced it's share of controversy. But when America voted in it's first black president, we immediately saw a deluge of closet racists come out of Republican homes, fists pumping and flags waving. They carried the notion that America is "supposed to be Caucasian," and accused the president of everything from "being muslin" (she meant "Muslim") to "hating farmers."
Sure, we've seen this type of presidential rhetoric in politics before, but there is a slow surge in racially-motivated rhetoric that grows as we get closer and closer to election day.
It really shouldn't surprise anyone that this level of racism exists in America. What is surprising [and frankly saddening] is how widespread it is in Republican politics. In the case of the Tea Party, racism is not only widespread, it's actually welcomed and worn proudly.
Hearing about racism day in and day out can seem like "drops of water" on an otherwise sunny day in America. But it's time to stop ignoring the clouds on the horizon. The storm has been around us for years, and we need to start understanding that when racism gets comfortable in American politics, it is no longer "someone else's problem."
Because it only takes a couple of drops of water to become a rainstorm...