Does anyone know what is going on in North Carolina? It seems that each day I'm shocked more than I was the previous day. First there was Barack Obama's stop at Fayetteville's Cape Fear BBQ & Chicken on Sunday. Let's just say it didn't exactly provide an image of racial equality and fellow Americans living as one in hopes of furthering the common good. Here's how the Politico describes the scene when Obama arrived:
Obama arrived at the barbecue joint around 12:30 p.m., where an older and majority white clientele of several dozen were eating lunch after church services. Many patrons applauded as he walked into the diner, but Diane Fanning, 54, began yelling “Socialist, socialist, socialist — get out of here!”
So how does Obama handle the situation? Like the pragmatist he is. Of course, it unfolds just as you would expect:
Later, Obama came to the long table where Fanning and other members of a local First Presbyterian church were gathered. He held out his hand to her and asked, “How are you, ma’am?” but she declined to shake his hand.
Fanning asked Obama about a North American union, and Obama responded: “Well, you know, I am opposed to it if it were happening. But it doesn’t seem to be actually be happening. The truth of the matter is there is no plans. I’ve talked to a lot of people, including folks down in Texas. There’s no plan to create a common government between Mexico, U.S. and Canada. That’s just not … that’s just not happening. I know some people have been hearing rumors about it. But as far as I can tell, that’s just not something that’s happening. We would never give up our sovereignty in that way. Any other questions?
In an interview, Fanning said, “I still think he’s a closet Muslim."
Wow. I find it at least a little comforting to know that the wack-jobs that believe these "closet Muslim" emails are the tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists. But here's where the article puts to bed any of the questions about the serious undertone to it was portraying:
Sheila Evans, 39, who is biracial, told Obama, “I’m so proud of you.” She told your pooler Obama had chosen a restaurant frequented more by whites, while one a couple of doors down had predominantly African-American diners on Sundays.
Not exactly a picture of race relations in North Carolina that would make you proud. In 2008, people are proud of a black man for going into the hostile white eatery rather than the more friendly black eatery nearby. Come on North Carolina. That has to be a joke. Right?
Then, Sunday there was that whole "Obama Bear" incident at Western Carolina University that prompted James to begin collecting firearms. (By the way James - probably a better idea to take a deep breath.)
Then, today we get the icing on the racism cake. Think Progress has a couple of videos of a decent size group of white McCain/Palin supporters protesting and shouting at a large line of people (almost entirely black) waiting in line to vote early this past Sunday. Here is Think Progress's description of the scene:
On Sunday, the Washington Times’s Christina Bellantoni stopped by a polling place in North Carolina, where she reported that a “group of loud and angry protestors” — almost all of whom were white — were shouting and mocking voters — nearly all of whom were black. Bellatoni noted that people “were shouting about Obama’s acknowledged cocaine use as a young man, abortion and one man used the word ‘terrorist.’ They also were complaining that Sundays are for church, not voting.”
Everyone should watch the videos. Then, if you're like me, you'll probably watch to watch them again to make sure you're really seeing what you think you're seeing. Shouting at people standing in line to vote? Does that really happen in North Carolina? Correct me if I'm wrong - this is 2008, not 1957. Right? As with most of you, one image comes to mind when I see all of these events unfolding:
I'll admit that I'm only 27 years old so I may just be naive to these types of things. If this type of scene normal. Did anyone see anything like this in 2004 or 2000? I've seen people protesting at polling stations before but they were much smaller groups and they didn't seem to be racially divided.