Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tales from home: Sin makes you stupid

Talked to Mama on the phone this afternoon.

"Your Uncle (deleted to protect the guilty) was supposed to be back in the hospital today."

"What for?"

"They was gonna give him a colonoptomy [That's colonoscopy everywhere else in the English-speaking world. -- R21], but he refuse to go."

"Why is that?"

"He said he wadn't gonna let no damn n****r put they hands on him. Your cousin said that's on him, they cain't force him to go."

"Well, you know there's gonna be a black president now. Is Uncle (deleted) gonna give up his citizenship?"

Confirm us in our trespasses, and deliver us from African-American proctologists. Amen.

UNCLE DELETED IS 88 years old, and he'd been in the hospital a week or so ago because he needed a blood transfusion because he was bleeding internally somewhere. The colonoscopy was to find out where.

But he won't have it done because the doctor who was supposed to perform the procedure is black. This in the Age of Obama.

America needn't get its hopes up unnecessarily or pat itself on the back prematurely. In lots of places -- most especially the South -- the ugly past not only hasn't been forgotten, it's not really past. William Faulkner knew of what he wrote.

Likewise, there are reasons my home state of Louisiana was a backwater, is a backwater and seemingly will forever doom itself to being a backwater. One big reason is that Uncle Deleted isn't all that unusual there -- still. Another is that folks down there still think his kind of s*** is normal.

To be tolerated, even.

Unlike African-American proctologists sticking scopes up white butts.

THERE'S A REASON why my home state is on the bottom of all the good lists, at the top of all the bad lists and nowhere to be found on the short lists of corporate America. There's a reason why the public schools in my hometown, Baton Rouge, are 83-percent minority.

There's a reason why literacy and high-school graduation rates there lag behind almost every other state. (And the even worse scofflaws are likewise all in the South.)

There's a reason so many people are poor there.

The reason? Sin makes you stupid.

Its wake swamps all of history and extends well into the future. It has consequences for every segment of society, and it can turn its victims into sinners, too. (See New Orleans, City of.)

Imagine someone who'd rather -- perhaps -- die before his time rather than let a black physician mess with his colon. Imagine a whole society built upon that premise.

Imagine the mess my home state perpetually is . . . and why some of us find that "We shall overcome" sadly coincides with "We have left for good."


Colleen said...

As someone who has not yet left for good, I...have no comment.

Other than I have never heard the topic of the Civil War brought up as often as it is here. Or to some, War of Northern Aggression.

And hopefully whenever it happens, your uncle will not die before his time, because his time has past.

Although I know what you're saying.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we in Louisiana have more than our share of morons, elderly and otherwise.

We also elected the nation's first governor of Indian descent, a distinctly dark-skinned fellow, and we did it on the first ballot in a field that included a half-dozen big fat white good ole boys.

And Baton Rouge, as rednecky a city as you'll ever meet, has a very popular two-term black mayor.

Point is, your uncle only gets one of several million ballots.

The Mighty Favog said...


Explain, then, how Baton Rouge's schools went from 67-percent white to 17-percent white since 1981. Explain why many of the parish's public schools have been allowed to crumble in that time period, and why my alma mater, Baton Rouge High, got so bad it's going to, basically, have to be rebuilt.

Explain how Baton Rouge itself has gone from 60-percent white to minority-white in that same time period.

Explain, also, why the feds are recommending that Ville Platte High School be closed. Could it have something to do with the fact that it's been nearly all-black since desegregation in 1969 and voters have shot down three bond proposals to repair the school, which is on the verge of falling down?

Explain, also, Metairie sending David Duke to the Legislature, and then Duke coming within a whisker of becoming governor in 1991. Likewise explain John LaBruzzo's presence in that same House seat today, and his proposal to pay poor women on welfare to have their tubes tied.

Something tells me he wasn't conjuring up visions of dangerous white welfare hordes when he came up with that one. Too, explain the significant support his mad scheme received from white folk -- as the political and media worlds recoiled in horror.

No, maybe everything that's wrong with Louisiana isn't overtly caused by racism today. But I'll wager that most of it lies no more than one degree of separation from ol' Jim Crow.

Jay said...

This is why I, like Ignatius Reilly before me, don't leave Orleans Parish.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you can tell Uncle Deleted that the blood he got from his transfusion could have come from someone whose skin is darker than his.

Consider also that maybe 88 years old isn't "before his time".