This particular post may be a bit much for some of you. So this is a warning. There are some verbal bombs in this posting. It’s a “What-If?” post about a hypothetical interview between me and my father. My father, though, at the height of his alcoholism, when even on his best days, Miller Beer wasn’t far from his mind. This pseudo-interview would be me as if I was Ernie Johnson as anchor for the NBA on TNT with Charles Barkley, being played by my drunken father from the second half of the ’80s. The topic? The last couple of years of the Conservative Movement, specifically its response to the presidency of Barack Obama and its obsession with spreading fear and fomenting violence, as if Armageddon were on our very doorstep. Remember: you’ve been forewarned.
So I asked, “Do you think the changing conservative movement has been a positive influence on Americans in the past two years?”
My father: “That Reagan a good man dere, but most of those dum muddafuckin’ conservatives don’t know shit. Reagan think you dumb asses too, and he dead! I’m tired of yo’ muddafuckin’ asses sayin’ a bunch of stupid shit all the time! You tea baggers need to go bag some the fuck else where! You dum muddafuckas, and I’m tired of yo’ shit! I beat yo’ ass and keep beatin’ yo’ ass, you dum muddafuckas!” Father Files 1.April 2010
Me: “Wow! I mean, are you in the camp of those progressives and other folks who’ve been using the text messaging acronym STFU in their comments about the Tea Party and other reactionary conservatives? Do you really think that they deserve this kind of language and response?”
My father: “I’m a big shot muddafucka. I make fitty million dollas a week. Look at dis dum lookin’ muddafucka conservative — dat dum muddafucka cain’t do shit fo’ me! Muddafucka! Got thoughts nobody want! I buy an’ sell muddafuckas ’round here! I kick yo’ muddafuckin’ stupid ass! And I’m da boss of the bosses. No conservative tell me what ta do. You conservatives don’t know shit!” Father Files 2.April 2010
Me: “Well, okay. Do you have any final words for the folks who have become part of the post-Obama conservative movement, or do you really care about this at all?”
My father: “You dum muddafuckin’ conservatives — su my dict! You dum muddafuckas. I don’ giv’ no money to no dum muddafuckin’ conservative. If you a conservative, I don’ want you ’round me. You betta get the fuck outta here!” Father Files 3.April 2010
Hopefully most of you laughed and weren’t too offended. Still, I have a few points to make regarding this. Our language toward each other has become so coarse and rough that we sound like my father when he was in his mid-forties, drinking many more days than not, and angry at the world. We’ve reached the point where most of us — me included — refuse to take the high road. In our language or actions. The Tea Party or other conservatives who’ve become like rabid dogs really don’t have anything to say. Which is why President Obama is a Nazi/Communist/Socialist tyrant (by the way, all educated Blacks who are too uppity are Communists, going all the way back to World War I ). Or why health care reform is a form of terrorism, alternative energy the downfall of American civilization, and talking with the world the road to Hell itself. Many of these folks are — dare I say it — closeted bigots who were crushed by Obama’s election in ’08. But we live in an era in which racism should never be mentioned, especially by people who look like me. So I’m saying it anyway.
But for progressives to respond with STFU across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere? Conservatives, even bigoted ones who are tea-baggers and part of the birther movement, have the right to spout their idiotic ideology. I have a bit of experience with the bizarre form of Afrocentric Judaism that I grew up with or listening to folks spew their venom toward Whites in the form of Melanin Theory in the ’90s. We gain little to nothing with verbal bombs the equivalent of being in a bar with your blitzed father on East 241st Street in the Bronx in ’84 or ’85.
I must admit, though, that this hypothetical conversation (based on far too many real ones between ’82 and ’97) made me laugh a few sheepish laughs. Not of approval, but of understanding. Understanding that not everyone can maintain civility at all times. Certainly not me, and certainly not the likes of Tiger Woods. But try we must, even if the other side’s foaming at the mouth. Others, hopefully, will see that those who are foaming are in need of a rabies shot.