If you haven't your fill of repulsive behavior from drunken white football fans yet this morning — because apparently that's all the rage now — this video should be enough to take the taco. Warning: You're about to be disgusted. (Seriously: That's a legitimate warning. Turn the volume on your computer down low, or put on headphones.)
We asked one of our favorite new voices in this little online "community" of ours (and huge — and white — LSU fan), the Cajun Boy In The City, to address this for us. Because we're petrified.
I really don't think that even on a day of unparalleled verbal excellence that I could summon the eloquence to accurately describe how much seeing this video pains me deeply. As an LSU fan, a native Southerner, a native Louisianian and as a HUMAN BEING, it stings in places that rarely get touched. I feel dirty by mere virtue of having watched it, but let me at least give a shot at making a larger point and, in the process, attempt to defend those of us with above room temperature IQs.
Irony being the prickly lover that she is, I felt compelled to touch on race relations in America, something that I rarely do, in a post about the Obama candidacy on my personal blog a few days ago. Going back and reading what I wrote after having just watched this video frustrated me to the point of wanting to punch myself repeatedly in the genitals.
As a child of America, a child of the South, a white child of the South at that, I think that I speak for a great number of us when I say that we want to support a black candidate for the presidency. It's a desire that springs forth from way down, down in that place where the body meets the soul, and it's rooted in part by feelings of guilt, though largely unwarranted and somewhat irrational, over the injustices perpetrated upon blacks by our ancestors. It pains us when people from other places stereotype us as being a bunch of backward hicks because of things that happened long before we were even born. It pains us when we hear reports of pockets of racism that still occasionally take place, such as the whole Jena, LA saga, because these unfortunate incidents only serve to reinforce that stereotype, even though these sorts of things are fading quickly with the passage of time. Older southern Americans that were raised in pre-integration America, thus more likely to be steeped in the ignorance that breeds racism, are dying off. The younger generations are, and there are of course exceptions to this as there are for every rule, much more tolerant and accepting. We went to school with black people. We have close friends that are black people. We have entered into romantic relationships with black people.
The times, they are indeed a-changin'.
Um, yeah, so much for that I guess.
With all of that said, I will say that having grown up in a small town near New Orleans that I can attest to the horrendous depths of despair that life in the New Orleans area housing projects had become for many people. To describe it as epidemic would be a gross understatement. Just picking up the local newspaper or watching the local news was all too often an exercise in human tragedy, we're talking complete lack of respect for human life or authority, and lost within the idiocy displayed in the video are legitimate concerns that many locals have had for years over that. But Jesus, there are certainly a million better ways to express that concern.
In the end, I would hope and pray that anyone seeing this would keep in mind that these people don't speak for the majority of us. It's sad and disheartening and downright revolting I know, but please don't paint us all with the same broad brush. Now excuse me for a moment ... I've got some self-loathing genital punching to do.