There isn’t much that Google doesn’t know about you and me. That idea is sometimes frightening; at others, it is just accepted as a fact of life in this age of technology. In the June 9th edition of The New York Times, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz wrote an article entitled, How Racist Are We? Ask Google . His article is recommended reading for anyone following the 2012 election; and recommended for anyone with an interest in how race affects us as a nation.
I grew up in Alabama in the 60′s; and, although I was white and young , I saw the dark attitudes of racism throughout my life there. It was, and to some extent still is, ingrained in the culture of the state. To Alabama’s credit, they are not the only state in the Southeast for which this is true. Sweet, gentle, Christian grandmothers would toss out the N-word casually and without thought, because that is what they had always known as acceptable. Men reacted with hostility toward any non-white male, regardless of race, because of the threat of the unknown. Culture was divided into two separate worlds; schools were divided into two separate worlds.
Attitudes started changing with segregation, but the change has been slow and now is most evident among the younger generation. I listen to my children, and see the racial mixture among their friends, and I can feel some hope for change in the future. It was these young people who flocked so readily to Barack Obama and his anthem of hope and change. My heart, along with theirs, soared with the possibilities inherent in the choice of the first African-American president! My children attended his inauguration with pride; and I watched on television with tears in my eyes.
Our Idealism wasn’t ready for what happened next, was it? We watched, as an intelligent and caring man ran head-first into a train of obstructionism and often not-so-latent racism. The Status Quo had to be maintained at all costs, even if those costs included the national economy, the health and welfare of the American people, and the idea of democracy as designed by the founding fathers of this country. One branch of government ground to a halt, another immersed itself in its majority ideology, and the third was left to take the blame for it all. The past four years have been an American Tragedy in the making.
We still have the chance to change the course on which this country is careening. It is an election year, and we have an opportunity to be heard. We have to still the cacophony of propaganda from both the left and the right, and listen to our own hearts about what is right for this country. Somewhere in the middle, we will find an answer, because that is how this nation was designed. When the system of checks and balances works, the voices from each viewpoint work toward compromise. It is at a point of compromise where we will find what is best for all Americans. Compromise is NOT a cop-out or a losing proposition. It is a basic tenet of the system upon which this country was founded. When we toss the art of compromise out the door, chaos reigns.
This time in history is too important for us to be complacent or inattentive. A passive response on election day could mean irreparable damage to our precious nation. Pay attention, search your heart, and vote your conscience.
- Can Google Predict the Impact of Racism on a Presidential Election? (theatlantic.com)
- Google searches paint a picture of how racism still infects America, hurt Obama (pri.org)
- Racists And Obama (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)