HawkHead wrote:Just to relate a story.
It would have been fall/winter 1995 - 1996 and the Packers were playing Dallas to see who would go to the Super Bowl. In the South Dallas really is America's Team. Everyone I talked to wanted Dallas to win.
I asked a co-worker who he was rooting for in the game and he said Green Bay. I asked him why and here is his answer word for word that I will never forget.
"The n*****s on Dallas think they run the team. The n*****s on Green Bay know their place."
That attitude was common. At the country club I played at they had 1 black member and he was from Virginia and allowed to play 1 round of golf a year at the club. His membership was free, what a deal for him.
Personally I'd prefer to deal with that kind of blatant, base ignorance than the kind of racism that I've experienced and witnessed in Madison.
My first month here was ridiculous. Of the dozen apartment showings I went on, four of them invovled gratuitous mentions that there were few, if any blacks or "Mexicans" in the buildings/complex/neighborhood.
I finally ended up in a condo in a small building off the Square and three weeks later I ran into my extremely intoxicated neighbor at bartime who spilled the beans about me being the main topic of conversation at the recent condo board meeting because "it was getting pretty dark on the third floor" (and I'm super white, I just have a lot of non-white friends).
I'd never actually heard someone attempt to preemptively sanatize their racism but it seemed like I heard "I'm not a racist, but..." at least a dozen times during that first month in Madison, and I continue to hear that phrase uttered constantly here to this day.
Those are racists who are actually in positions to make life more difficult for the targets of their prejudice, not just random dumbshit racists saying random dumbshit racist things in bars. I find the former a lot more toxic and dangerous than the latter, especially when its occurs and is so pervasive in a community that somehow prides itself on being progressive.
And its just going to get worse and worse as long as people continue to assess Madison based on reputation rather than reality. I'll take blatant southern redneck racism over the thinly-veiled Madison racism any day.