Read today in the Los Angeles Times:
“In response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last “great” — Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions, but said: “I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”
There will be those who say he misspoke or is being taken out of context and while I can appreciate an occasional dose of naïve loyalty, the American people deserve representatives with the awareness and mental fortitude to never…ever, ever, ever…make this kind of “mistake.”
There will be those who pivot and somehow blame this on the liberal news media and their apparent witch-hunt of U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. They will talk about “Fake News” and how we should get back to the issues, or better yet, “this election is up to the voters of Alabama to decide.”
There will also be those who say this is no big deal and this is clearly being blown out of proportion.
I’m not one of those people.
Let’s break this down, because that’s a pretty normal thing to happen when you run for the United States Senate.
In response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last “great.”
Not all heroes wear capes; some present themselves in the form of leaving time on parking meters, while others may be the flight attendant on a 13 hour flight who allows you sit in business class because the plane isn’t full. In this instance, this person (I’m going to do some more digging) is my hero. “When was America great?” has been a question I’ve asked since I began seeing those red hats. Should this question be answered based off the collective whole of the American population? Should we take minorities out? Women? I can’t answer this question, nor would I want to. I equate it to High School; sure I had a great time, met some of my best friends and learned a great deal about myself; but I would never go back. Perhaps it’s a mentality thing as opposed to an actual thing? These are questions I pose to the crowd, because I’m not entirely sure.
“– Moore acknowledged the nation’s history of racial divisions,
Acknowledging America’s racial division is important and necessary for the conversation to go anywhere. If you can’t acknowledge some terrible things happened years ago, how can you attempt to acknowledge the injustices of the present day?
“I think it was great at the time when families were united”
Shade. Oh the shade.
(I can appreciate it in most situations, except when aimed at marginalized groups or those who can’t properly defend themselves from said shade).
Roy Moore was born in Gadsden, Alabama to construction worker Roy Baxter Moore and Evelyn Stewart; he was the oldest of five children. The postwar building boom provided the Moore family with ample opportunities for growth and development. As Moore began his ascension as a judge, he would marry Kayla Kisor (He was 38, she was 24) and they would have 4 children. From my perspective, Roy Moore has been a part of a “united family” all of his life.
…but, what does a “united family” mean? Does that mean two parents and a few kids? With over 50% of marriages ending in divorce (this number is falling) and co-parenting/single parenting on the rise, the “normal” family no longer exists. As a potential representative of nearly 5,000,000 people, the notion he doesn’t understand this is astounding. Are families not united when same sex couples raise a child? Are families not united when outside influences cause incredible circumstances? Again, just questions to consider. The story of single moms/dads may not be his, but to act as if these families aren’t united in their own way is incredibly problematic.
— even though we had slavery — they cared for one another
There’s this asinine idea that my ancestors and the ancestors of those who look like me, raised families similar to their white counterparts when slavery was legal. Enslaved Black people were denied the security of a stable family. They were treated as property, with no legal ability to marry and more often than not, separation through sale ruined any idea of normalcy.
From a notice in 1895:
INFORMATION WANTED OF my husband and son. We were parted at Richmond, Va., in 1860. My son’s name was Jas. Monroe Holmes; my husband’s name was Frank Holmes. My son was sold in Richmond, Va. I don’t know where they carried him to.
“…I and five children…were sold to a [slave] trader who lived in Texas. I am now old, and don’t think I shall be here long and would like to see them before I die. Any information concerning them will be thankfully received by Eliza Holmes, Flatonia, Fayette Co., Tex.”
But yea, we cared for one another…
Our families were strong, our country had a direction.”
Our country was strong for who? Our country was moving in the right direction for who? Because if post –slavery reconstruction was progress, then we’ve got much bigger issues to discuss.
The aloofness and complete unawareness by a 70 year old white guy doesn’t surprise me. I’d get all sorts of traffic if I had a website dedicated to old white guys in positional-leadership making tone-deaf comments about race. Can I group this whole demographic together? Not at all, but the social acceptance of poking fun at “disadvantaged” old white guys continues to rise; I’m just taking advantage.
I do expect more from a potential U.S. Senator because he represents more than himself, more than his race and more than his own ideology.
Making America Great Again wouldn’t work for me or those who think like me. America’s body of work is ever-evolving and hopefully forever unfinished. While it’s important to remember the past, our wins and losses, it’s important to continually push forward as progress isn’t some finite moment in time.