So Dennis Prager pens an article for the National Review that I am not even really sure is for real. But included in his screed against “The Left,” this rather strange and obtuse sentiment that many often whites express—this longing for a return to decades past, to the way things “used to be.” Prager places the scene of our national moral demise at the hands of “The Left” beginning during the mid-60s. I wonder what else was going on during the mid-60s and before that??? Hmmm……..What was life like for certain melanin enhanced Americans of African descent during this pre-mid-60s period that Prager thinks we need to get back to??? In movies, commercials, situation comedies, etc, White people have absolutely zero consideration for the plight of Blacks during these times for which they long, preferring to pretend as if they, their parents, and their grandparents weren’t engaged in the overtly vicious form of the same racism that persists in slightly less overt form today.
It’s like that Pepsi commercial about the first halftime when the football players, including one lone brother, all line up together at the beginning of a play, and then everyone starts hanging out and having a ball when the white girls and the Pepsi show up. Given the garb in which the players dressed, leather helmets and woolen uniforms, this game would have taken place around the early 1900s. There is no way there would have been a brother on that team to begin with, and he most certainly would not have been blithely kicking game to any of the white girls as depicted in the commercial without serious consequences.
White people routinely depict times when they were lynching us by the thousands, hosing us down in the streets, murdering and terrorizing us with impunity, and displaying overt racist hostility as sanitized eras where life was grand, and where, as Prager states, “there were places in America where Americans could enjoy life and enjoy one another without politics.” Really? Tell that to our elders and ancestors. Where “Americans could watch sports events without athletes showing contempt for the American flag and National Anthem.” I’ll just translate that one for Prager—“[w]here negroes knew their place and could be rightfully punished for getting too uppity.” I will give these absurdly obtuse and ridiculously narcissistic individuals one thing—for them, these genteel, simple times is what life was like. Presenting a reality free, feel good reflection of these times allows for the maintenance of the illusion of America as a bastion of equality.
Whenever I see an advertisement about the one hundred years this or that company has been in business, or see a sign reflecting that some organization was established in 1838, I immediately think about my elders and ancestors, and how they would not likely have been allowed to patronize said businesses due to the owners’ barbaric racism. And I am therefore, not impressed.
So whether Prager was being deliberately ignorant or just plain old regular ignorant, the end result is the same, and is a recurring theme throughout American history—the callous disregard for the extraordinarily damaging impact of racism on Black Americans.