I joke. I kid. I make my pennies-a-day salary writing humor. But there is one topic I won’t joke about because I just can’t find anything funny about it.
Ok. Maybe I find it funny when comedians poke fun, but they are more skilled than I. I’m not gonna touch it. Yet still, I couldn’t help but chuckle a little when Chief tossed out some ridiculous things people could say about their own beliefs:
“We’re not racists. We’re just really slow runners.”
Maybe it was because we’d recently seen Django Unchained. I don’t know what led to the topic, but we tossed a few more out for fun:
“We’re not racists. Our cat is black.”
“We’re not racists. We just think the SEC is better than everybody.”
Ok. That’s about as far as we got ‘cause like I said, I don’t find much funny about racism. And for all my fine “Yankee” readers, if you think prejudice is extinct in 2013’s New South, you’ve got some mighty fine rose-colored glasses to shield you from the scorching truth.
There has never been another subject that stirs me up as a writer more than this one does. I don’t know why. Oh, hell, yes I do. I lived in Mississippi, the fire of racism that boils the cauldron of hatred and imagined superiority. The Eldest and Sweet Pea lived in the coals of this ignorance when they lived with their father.
It’s a humid July Saturday night in Panola County, Mississippi. Three teenagers party all night.
It’s Sunday morning, 6:30 a.m. Hot, because it always is in July in the south. Johnny Lee Butts set out for his 4-mile morning walk.
Later, his body was found lying in the road 172 feet from where, according to statements, Matthew Whitten “Whit” Darby ran over him with his white Monte Carlo at an estimated speed of 55 mph to 70 mph.
Johnny Lee Butts was African-American. The driver and two passengers were Caucasian.
I spilled eleven years of my life in the county where this heinous murder happened. Officer D.A.R. is a police officer in Batesville, ONE of the two county seats. Fitting, for an area where as recently as 2008, when The Eldest attended high school there, they still held separate proms disguised as “private parties” where the attendees were rather bland. I’ve met John Champion, the District Attorney. I’ve driven past David M. Bryan Sheriff’s Complex more times than I have fingers, toes, and extra fat on my hips. I served a year on Panola County’s Grand Jury, voting for indictments of Panola County’s alleged criminals.
I could make your toes curl with recitations of the experiences of racism I’ve witnessed first-hand in that Mississippi county. But I won’t. CNN already did that for me. I could give you my thoughts on whether or not this senseless murder was a hate crime. But I won’t do that either.
Because my Mama taught me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Subscribe to Crumbsnatcher Tales by entering your email in the box on the right, comment on this blog posting, like it on Facebook, or Follow @MamaBreadBaker on Twitter and you will be qualified for a chance to have your blog showcased Sunday in Mama Bread Baker’s “The Spotlight’s on You!”
© 2012 CThacker