NOT Politics As Usual

NOT Politics As Usual

By: Anise Smith

If you would have asked me a few years ago if I would ever be heavily involved with politics in any form I would have laughed as if I were watching Def Comedy Jam. I was JUST NOT involved with politics in any form, I didn’t know who candidates were nor did I care.  Actually, I was not as involved with politics during the last political campaign. This year is a game changer and will change the fabric of American.

There has been so much ugliness about this campaign that I think will change America as we’ve know it, for some.  One of the things that stand out in my mind most is the prediction of Civil War if President Obama wins again. A Civil War is huge.  One of the primary reasons that there was a Civil War initially was a fight between Slaves and Non-Slaves. The prediction of war solidifies that this election will create the same kind of atmosphere in the United States pre-civil rights movement.  Although the attitudes of those pushing for this civil war has not evolved, mainstream America has evolved. Most importantly this is 2012, NOT the 1800’s or even pre-Civil Rights Movement.

Five reasons that there was a Civil War:

1. Economic and social differences between the North and the South.

2. States versus federal rights.

3. The fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents.

4. Growth of the Abolition Movement.

5. The election of Abraham Lincoln.
Even if this election does NOT cause a Civil War, the gauntlet has been thrown and the aura of hostility is in the air like a big black cloud of doom. This is primarily the reason that this election is a game changer and that it cannot be viewed as Politics As Usual.

I was born in the 60’s so I was the first generation of black people to totally benefit from all of the strides that were taken to move black people from where they were to where they needed to be. So since I am one of the first generations to benefit from all of the marching, boycotting and evolution I have no idea or concept of any other way.

As a black person born to some of the opportunities gained during the Civil Rights Movement I believe I am entitled to these liberties, as any other American born citizen. After all, I was born in the United States of America, and I know no other country or way of life.  I have absolutely no understanding of life before this movement although my older family members would.  As such, my family raised me with stories of the era pre-Civil Rights Movement and I must say it was not a pretty time for black folks or the United States, historically.

A single father raised me, in a very tough Philly neighborhood. YES a single father in the 60’s, a very rare thing. We were working class and had struggles as most working class families do.  He was a cop in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Philly and he dedicated his life to law enforcement so his philosophy on doing right molded who I am as a person. I grew up with love of family, dedication to doing the right thing and love of country.  He taught me to embrace what it was to be an American, do the right thing, grow up, get an education, and buy a home and other things that are equated to being an American.  So that’s what I did. This is ingrained on me; it’s who I am. Therefore, the thoughts of anything different are a foreign concept to me as it should be.  So the thoughts of Civil War and rollbacks are immediately almost laughable, or would be if it were a joking matter. Civil war, Civil rights….That was then, right??

That was then, this is now… they say. Well, I never once in my life viewed, “what was then” as something that could be “what is now.”  I believe that the push for a Civil War would be a push to roll back the hands of time to pre-Civil Rights Movement.  This is the primary reason that I cannot view the kind of politics that are happening now as Politics As Usual because for me this political race could potentially be life altering for myself, friends, family and could very well change my entire concept of life.

I have seen more hate messages, images and dialogue than I’ve ever seen in my life. This is an indication that we are headed where we may not be prepared to venture because times have changed. THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW..or maybe not.

There are a few things that have changed since 1800 and these things will make it difficult to turn back the hands of time to this era.

People are educated: ALL people, including black people. Black people have been in this country for hundreds of years and have taken advantage of all services that all American citizens have available to them. Education is one of the primary reasons that things will never go back to an era before education was mainstream.
Technology: People are actively involved with technology therefore in tuned to lots of information globally. Technology really has made the world we live in a global world which minimizes the likelihood of keeping people contained, uneducated and enslave mentally and physically.

People: The growth of people intellectually will not allow for them to accept the practices that were so prevalent pre civil war and pre-civil rights movement.  People have evolved, people have friends of every nationality, every background type and most importantly they object to the practices of past. They object to hanging people, they object to enslaving people, they object to whippings and inhumane treatment of others based on another’s narrow view.  This is the biggest factor that rolling back the hands of time would never be accepted by the masses.

Law: There are laws in effect today that were not in effect during pre-civil war and pre-civil rights movement.

There are those that are for the RIGHT within my social media circles that speak of their candidate as if he is the best thing for the lives of all people. This is insulting to me as a person, as an American, as a woman and most importantly as a BLACK American.

I don’t expect that my friends, family or acquaintances agree with everything I say, my political belief or life philosophies. Disagreement in a respectful way can be a good thing and differences can provide thought provoking dialogue.  However I cannot be in accord with those that are in line with this new civil war movement, the people and parties behind it.

So “friends” that are pushing the message that is so lovingly embraced by YOUR people that want to roll back my rights, excuse the hell out of me if I am not on board with YOU, YOUR politics and YOUR philosophies geared toward altering my entire existence.   This election is a pivotal moment in history and that’s WHY it cannot ever be viewed as Politics as usual.

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  1. Gill says:

    That was well said and very educational

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