My father tells me that his mother used to tell him something. When he was moping around a day after he got punished, he kept wanting to hash over the unfairness of the punishment, even though he was free to go out and play. "You just want to stay mad", she would tell him.
I'm old enough to remember SCAA. SCAA was soc.culture.african.american, the first and legendary black oriented USENET newsgroup. I was the FAQmaster of that joint and so I was something of an authority on its history. What killed this, the most popular and foremost venture of American blacks into the 'information superhighway' was its uncanny ability to attract every white supremacist possible.
We got fed up and left, but I didn't stay mad.
Yesterday, as I turned to the subject of race, I found myself engaged over at the Field Negro's blog. Suddenly some of those memories came back. The old debates about race that I had long gotten bored and sick of were in full flame over in the comment section. I almost forgot about that rotten taste in my mouth. Here's where the people who want to stay mad are. Why else would the proprietor of a blog refer to himself in slavery terms?
What I think is this. Every racist with enough nerve to speak out is speaking out, 24/7 and they are doing it where their targets are. Which is to say, if you want to find where the white supremacists and their apologists are, just go to your local black political website. That's where the people stay mad. That's where the wild things are.
So if you want to actually talk about how many racists are holding up non-photoshopped signs and extrapolate how many items of white supremacy make it onto the planks of the Tea Party - well, I'm sure there's some sociology department at Brown University where the grant money awaits that kind of hedge-fund mathematics. But if you'd like to count noses, just head to the web. There you will find people in realtime doing their dirty racist business. That's not where they ALL are, but that's where they show up every day.
I've had several occasions to fight the spectre of the Southern Strategy in intransigent and defensive minds, and several years back sponsored an internet racial snark hunt of sorts. I didn't get results so much as I got smacked around for defending 'them', them being all of the conservatives I hang out with who are 'obviously' racist. I'm not interest in combating racism online or in any political program. It's not as if it were criminal. I mean it quite seriously that I have to chuckle when the racist meme of the day sweeps through - like this fistfight on a bus in Oakland. When there's a crime, I'm pro-cop and pro- law and order as usual. That's all anybody needs to be, outside of church.