God hates hate.

2 11 2008

The picture up above got me thinking about indoctrination.

One the one hand, I feel sympathy for the Phelps clan. Their father (and patriarch) has been accused of abusing them emotionally and physically. I have no idea what it must be like to be beaten, literally beaten, by the word of God in a man who considers himself a supreme agent of the Lord.
I have no idea what it must be like to, as a child, come to the understanding that if you wanted to live, there were just certain things that you had to do.

I do wonder what it’s like to be the adult that that child grew into. At some point, when she was able to get away, that woman decided not to. She’d buried the memory of that child’s very existence. She does not question the rhetoric with which she has been branded.

And now she’s got a chance to brand someone of her very own. I wonder if that kid has had to come to the decision that it’s either the fags or him.

It all just makes me think about a friend that my brother and sister and I used to have when we were children in Florida.

There was a little boy who lived next door, JimBob. That was his real name. We all thought that it was funny. Two first names like that. We used to share everything that we had with JimBob. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, eggs, cookies, milk, shade… all of those things that kids share. JimBob used to tell us about how he and his dad like to go hunting and that he’d never had friends that looked like us before. He told us, once, about how his father and mother had told him all about n*****s. That they were dumb, and lazy, and untrustworthy. That they were useless and ill-mannered and were always trying to take from good white people. He told us that he hated n*****s. We were his best friends and he wanted to warn us about them. He was glad that he’d never met a n*****, he didn’t know what he would do.

Now, I was raised that if someone calls you a n***** you hit them first and ask questions later. I was glad that JimBob hadn’t called me a n***** because I didn’t want to have to hit my friend but I knew that I had to tell my parents.
My parents said that JimBob’s parents were racists and that we should never EVER go onto JimBob’s side of the fence. They explained to us that racists are people who don’t like Black people simply because of the color of their skin and that they make up all kinds of silly reasons to reinforce that dislike.
They said that because JimBob was good to us we could still be his friend but the moment he stopped being good to us was the moment that we weren’t friends anymore.

JimBob and his parents moved away a few months after that. He was, till our last conversation through the fence, a sweet boy, a kind boy, a boy who hated n*****s because his parents had trained him to even though he didn’t know that the n*****s his parents were training him to hate lived next door.

I often wonder about what became of JimBob. I wonder if one day his parents presented him with a “you or the n*****s” ultimatum. I wonder what he chose. JimBob must be about 27 today I wonder if, now that he has an opportunity to join us on the other side of the fence, he can.

I wonder who he’s voting for.

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