Friday, June 19, 2015
In South Carolina---When Will the Lynchings Begin Again?
My roommate from Morristown packed up his bags and moved down to South Carolina after a long stint with Verizon and working as a police officer. His move marked an end to a long stint as my partner in housing up north and it was time for a change. He soon left the safe comfort of New Jersey and took residents in the state where the Confederate flag flies high over the state house. I visited him just months after he moved and was propelled into his lifestyle of eating meals at Cracker Barrel and establishing a new home just south of the Mason Dixon. While visiting the city of South Carolina I was appalled by the Confederate flag that dangled so prominently in front of all to see. Was this really before my eyes? It was hard to believe that a state like South Carolina could be still living in an era that almost seemed a throw back to days of lynchings and white supremacists. My ex roommate seemed to think nothing of it and why not? His mentality of thinking boiled down to a police officers mindset that was dedicated to racially profiling and apprehending many black suspects during his tenure of police work. I could only imagine what his real feelings and thoughts must have been as a moderate thinking Jewish boy from the sticks of New Jersey. Was I really living with a one time "Cracker"?
All in all he was a descent guy but his longevity of referring to me and George Bush as "Papa Bush" made most of my blood boil at some of his sidebar notions. His mentality of thinking was more like a rent-a-cop policing my days in a rented house in Morristown. He certainly had his own notions of what might be a rather "white" thing to do after some of my camera equipment was stolen from the apartment during our tenancy....He was no Saint and it became clear to me that his move to the Lynch Mob state was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to him. I had already been used and spit out by the Republican Party during my months prior to meeting and living with him. He represented a "kinder" "gentler" member of the white supremacists that you might run across in back woods South Carolina and only fell short of carrying a gun while we lived together. I felt more like his token Jewish roommate than a true friend, but his hospitality persisted as he welcomed me to his new home in S.C. and took me on the grand tour of prominent "white person" eateries that aligned the state. It wasn't until I saw the image above with the all mighty Confederacy rising again at the center of the state house that I truly understood what it was like to not only be a white American but in his eyes, a more token member of the Jewish party that was politically and correctable an attempt to win favor with the new right wing. After it was said and done and the votes were in, I was later only to be spit out like some mutton in his eyes and never heard from again. His corporate teeth had already played with me like some mouse and cat that tosses about it's pray before the kill. It was all so politically motivated and well thought out.
In the end, I left South Carolina thinking to myself, when the next lynch mobs would rise again never to look at our rooming situation the same way and only come to believe that I had served my purpose well in the public's eye and his long standing with "white" corporate America standing as a testament to his "kinder, gentler" demeanor...We haven't spoken again ever since. I guess it was time to finish up what he had begun chewing on during the course of our friendship.
Shalom roommate...and enjoy your Cracker Barrel....