DE FACTO HUES: “Shades of Racism and Political Divide”

Talking Drum: At Peace...For generations, indeed for centuries, we have been brought up in certain grooves of thought, certain traditions and habits, until our brains become wedged into a confirmed rut and we are unable to look at things from a new angle.”  (from “Finding the Third Eye,” by Vera Stanley Alder, Lucis Publishing, 1968)

The American people are a proven kind-hearted, considerate and generous lot.  But, many of us growing up in the segregated South, of the 50’s and 60’s, can readily identify the veiled attempts, among us, to promote presumptive racial superiority or obnoxious concepts of racial “purity.”

This includes the trashy corners and rabble from whence it oozes.  Knee-jerk reactions often follow.  And, instinctively, I’ve responded in empty-headed ways, at times.  But, when it comes to the office of the president of the United States, as it seems, since President Barack Obama grabbed our nation’s reins, such disgraceful behavior is unacceptable.  It’s an embarrassing reminder of how the culture of racism effectively paralyzes our otherwise great nation, from advancing its enriched product of human intellect and creativity.  And, associated opportunities-lost are staggering, no matter what politicians and pseudo-political leaders publicly deny. 

Privately, it’s baffling how a pluralistic nation such as ours, the so-called “Melting Pot” of the world, seems comfortable in flailing its dirty laundry on the lawns of such an office of international esteem.  Yet, recalling my own lifetime nasty experiences, it’s of no surprise to me.  This nation’s sickening and systemic preoccupation with race cuts straight to the bone of its core principles.  After all, why else would the constitutional “Bill of Rights,” introduced in 1789, still require a “National Voting Rights Act”– approaching two centuries later- outlawing discriminatory voting practices against African Americans?  

Equally baffling, yet consistent with professed beliefs, were the 2006 objections to renewing this law’s enforcement provisions by members of the Republican Party, ostensibly dubbed “GOP,” for “Grand Ole Party”- not “Government of the People” which many like to believe!  Back then, not surprisingly, the “GOP’s” futile argument against the renewal centered on a claimed overreach of federal powers which placed unrealistic demands on Southern States.  But, prudence prevailed and the Act was given another 25 years of life.  Yet, three years later, what was even more baffling was their oxymoronic “selection” (as opposed to “election”), of an African-American chairperson, for their “Republican National Committee,” to steer its course for the future!  

On the other hand, when I look back on various experiences in my own life, I could almost understand a few underlying reasons why the stupefying, selfish and partisan political decisions continue to polarize this nation, as we slide down the slippery slope of economic decline- like when Nero “fiddled,” as a flaming Rome burned to the ground.  If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us can probably recall our own dogged support of bone-headed decisions or behavior- by teams, groups or others we love- while confidentially acknowledging the wrong side of right we stood.  

From another viewpoint, it’s not entirely clear why our “political colors” wobbled onto the stage, during the 2000 presidential election, with shades of “Red” for Republicans and shades of “Blue” for Democrats (the reverse in other countries).  And, who knows when the terms “Liberal” and “Conservative” became so corrupted. But, from a tongue-in-cheek perspective, you might consider the spectral color chart. It shows that “Red” occupies a lower position than “Blue” or “Green.”  

Interestingly, astrologists say that the planetary color of Mars is”Red” and Mars is considered the “God of War.”  Musically, “Red” belongs to the lowest of the seven notes of the musical scale, “C.”  Most martial (military) music is in the key of “C.”  “Red” is heat and aggression. 

On the other hand, “Blue” supposedly occupies a higher position on the chart.  It’s the planetary color of Venus.  And, Venus is considered the “Giver of Love, Devotion and Harmony.” Musically, “Blue” is the “G” note.  And, “G” is the favorite key of many composers of romantic music.  Simply put, “Blue” is cool and comforting. 

While “Green” is not the color of major political parties in the United States, it is used as the “political color” in other countries, as well as the symbol of “Green Movements” (i.e., 2009 Iranian protests against election fraud, etc.), world-wide.  Generally, “Green” infers social justice and environmentalism, as well as consensus-driven decision making.  It occupies a position in the color spectrum just below “Blue,” but higher than “Red.” 

“Green” is thought to be the planetary color of Saturn.  Supposedly, it’s the aura of people who are the “harmonizers and pacifiers” of the world. Musically, “green” is the fourth note, “F,” of the musical scale.  The “F” note, often sprouts melodies of sadness but, its precious stone- the Emerald- is claimed to bring about a peace of mind.  The color, overall, is said to be associated with stability.  “Green” is renewal and quieting.  

Now, with the approaching 2012 national elections, the way I see it, we have clear choices.  We can stir in the cool colors of calm and less emotional agitation, within in the political mix.  Or, we continue our present course of political gridlock and indecision.

Using the color spectrum as a basis, this seems to be a process that even most 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders could base their decisions on.  Keep in mind that the constitutional requirements to be a Senator simply say that an individual must be: (1) at least 30 years old and (2) a U.S. citizen for 9 years, at time of election to the Senate.  Thus, facetiously, stretching the imagination a little further, perhaps it’s time to consider lowering the age requirement to elementary- or middle-school age levels.  At least, within these formative years, their brains haven’t completely “… wedged into a confirmed rut,” as contemporary political leadership seems to have done.  Besides, at this point in their brief life journey, they probably haven’t had the time and wherewithal to make silly signs and formulate scurrilous attacks on our president- not all racial, surely, but snippy and sickening, just the same. 

Frankly, the lunacy of these ideas may be just as sound as the unconscionable system of political representation and loathsome lobbying we seem to have now. But, with the outrageous joblessness and associated economic and social ills confronting this nation, if our assorted shades of racism don’t destroy us, our thickheaded partisan politics certainly will. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  Are the problems of our nation now mixed in the shell games of greed and political divide?  Has our idea of a Representative Democracy become some archaic gadget of the past?  Or, has the battered ship we’ve been sailing been blown off course by pounding Oligarchic winds?   Please tell us what you think in the ‘comments’ section below.  Also, you can now register, below, to be automatically notified of new postings. Thanks.   “Backstreet Djeli” w.d.s.

This entry originally posted by “Backstreet…” on 07/15/2010 at

One thought on “DE FACTO HUES: “Shades of Racism and Political Divide”

  1. You’ve made some really good points there. I looked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

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About William "Duke" Smither (a.k.a., "Backstreet D'jeli")

William "Duke" Smither, author of “BACKROADS TO 'BETHLEHEM': Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior, in the Shadows of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade,” is a Frankfort Kentucky native; Richmond Virginia resident. Retired Public Utility Sr. Investigator and nuclear site worker, Married w/ 3 children and 6 grandchildren; U.S. Navy Viet Nam Era & Cuban Missile Crisis Veteran; Member of "Cuban Blockade Survivors" & The American Legion; B.S. Degree (Business Mgmt) w/ independent studies in Ancient African History and African-American History. Post-graduate studies in Criminal Justice Administration. Former Sports & Feature writer for the weekly Richmond Afro-American Newspaper, during Freshman year of college. Retirement activities include: Freelance writer, playwright, actor and director of faith-based community theater productions; founder of "Backstreet's Blog" ("Talking Drum Dialogues") at and former contributing writer for "BlackPast.Org," the international, on-line reference center for African American History. His debut novel, “BACKROADS TO 'BETHLEHEM': Odysseys of the Maroon Warrior…,” is the first installment of a possible historical-fiction trilogy. A second installment ["Passage(s) to Saint-Domingue...."] is pending completion.