Monday, March 12, 2012

Things which do not surprise me

Chanting "USA!" is racist; chanting "Alamo Whites!" is not.

Alamo Heights is one of the oldest suburbs of San Antonio.  It's old money.  That '09ers have attitude problems is a joke almost certainly older than I.  They're the rich kids.  Children of privilege.  They get a lot of shit slung at them.

I'm honestly not terribly familiar with Edison or the surrounding neighborhood.  It's near West Side, and a quick glance makes it seem to me as though it's probably in one of the city's classically poor areas. 

So what you have here is less about race, really, than it is about money--as the article I linked to noted, Alamo Heights High School is now actually pretty diverse .  But race is an easy stand-in for economics.  I don't know why, to be very honest.  Maybe it's easier to see?  I know it's easier to make a living demonizing the other guy when it's simple to split him apart and to align yourself with a group based upon how everybody looks.  I mean, let's be real here.  Russell Simmons has about as much in common with ghetto blacks as does Mitt Romney.  (Yes, I know, I'm mixing my ethnicities here, but I can't think of any rich Mexicans who make their money off drawing false lines quite the same way Mr. Simmons does.)

If the students' claims are true--and I see no real reason to doubt them--then they are essentially being penalized not for being white (note, too, that several of the kids involved in the allegedly-racist chant were the exact same ethnicity as the "victims"), but for being well-off, something they no more have control over than the kids from Edison do.  They're being expected to answer not for any actual racism, but for making the poor kids feel bad.  Newsflash: Wanna make a poor kid feel bad?  Stick him in a room of rich kids.  The "offense" was committed long before anyone opened their mouth.  Again, it's not the fault of the Alamo Heights students.  None of us is to answer for the station of life we were born into.

Charles Barkley said--and I happen to agree--that poor is the new black.

By that token, upper-middle-class is the new plantation owner.


Albatross said...

Well said.

P.S.: I can't stand Charles Barkley. I'm reluctant to give him much credit for anything.

Dave said...

Once again, you have so nailed this issue.