September 23rd, 2009
Inspired by 9/18/09 Washington Post article by Eugene Wilson. Interview quotes from article “In SC One Road Divides Two Ways of Thinking” (Washington Post 9/22/09)
When the SC Senate voted 9 years past
To remove the Confederate flag from the State House mast,
You were one of only seven (36 voted for)
Who did not concur.
But the flag’s a long-standing tradition, you declare,
But it wasn’t that long that it was there.
It was put up in 1962 (38 years before)
Not at the time of the Civil War.
Probably to show opposition
To Federally-ordered desegregation.
The people in your District
Whom the Post interviewed
Say they don’t think you’re racist
And they aren’t either, they conclude.
They said they don’t like Obama
(Whom they then proceeded to attack).
No, they don’t like Obama,
But it’s not because he’s black.
“I’m not a racist,” one woman said,
“I’ve worked with the blacks all my life.”
But that three letter word
To me is a sign of strife.
Why do you say “the” blacks?
That defines them as a separate group.
Separate from you, but with which
To interact with you occasionally stoop.
I’m not saying she’s racist
(At least no more than Joe),
But why she kept saying “the blacks”
Goodness, I just don’t know.
Your district’s overwhelmingly white,
While your neighbor’s is black as night.
That’s an old gerrymandering technique
That itself of racism does reek.
Voting groups you want to minimize
Can either be spread out to reduce their size,
Or you can put them together in a cluster
So that one representative is all they can muster.
The rest of you can then run unopposed —
At least by people to whom you might be opposed
Now safely in their own district enclosed.