Letter from the Editor 

The best bumper sticker I've seen in recent days read: "I Voted for the Irish Guy — Brock O'Bama." For the record, I voted for him, too. And I hope that by the time you read this, the Irish Guy is our president-elect.

That said, this has been the longest, ugliest presidential campaign I can remember. But maybe it was necessary to purge the U.S. from its final and biggest racial hurdle. If this country can elect a black president, anything seems possible, even burying some of the bitterness and anger of this campaign. I'm ready to say farewell forever to "Grampy McSame," "Caribou Barbie," and "Barack Hussein Obama, the terrorist, socialist, Marxist, etc."

The race was summarized by Will Ferrell, speaking as President Bush on Saturday Night Live, as being between "the hot lady and the Tiger Woods guy." Tiger Woods is an apt analogy, but, as a sports fan, I think more of Jackie Robinson, who transcended baseball's racial barrier by sheer talent and force of will. Robinson was advised by Dodger general manager Branch Rickey that he would have to be more than just a talented athlete to succeed. He would also have to be strong enough to avoid open confrontation when subjected to the hostility that would come his way. He did so with grace and courage.

Obama has managed to do the same, for the most part, even though his candidacy unearthed some of this country's most rabid racists. On the occasion of his grandmother's death, one day before the election, right-wing websites were filled with comments suggesting that Obama had "timed her death" or "terminated" her as a November surprise to win votes.

It was vile stuff, but purging racism from our culture isn't easy. We've come a long way from the days of Jackie Robinson, but only a week ago, two young white separatists were arrested for plotting to assassinate Obama and murder black school children. As I write this, white-power advocates are gathering for a "European-American Unity and Rights Conference" in nearby Olive Branch, Mississippi. One of the prominent participants is a Memphian who hosts a racist radio program called "Political Cesspool." Lord, deliver us from such cretins.

I think I speak for most of us when I say it's long past time to climb out of the political cesspool. We need to move beyond fear-mongering, racial divisiveness, and pandering to our basest instincts. It's time to put our dark days behind us and dare to hope for better times ahead. A change is going to come, God willing.

Bruce VanWyngarden



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment



Tiger Blue

#24 Navy 42, Memphis 28

Intermission Impossible

Broadway Actor Charles Holt Brings Memphis Upstanders to Life

Music Blog

Rest in Peace Clay Hardee

Politics Beat Blog

Fincher Paid to Defeat Flinn in 8th Race, Publication Says

Intermission Impossible

Looking for a Halloween Costume? Theatre Memphis is Having a Yard Sale.

Politics Beat Blog

C-SPAN's Coming!

Politics Beat Blog

Guns to Blast and the Stars and Bars to Fly Again in Bartlett


More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

  • Making Tennessee Great Again!

    I'm writing this from the restroom facility at Big Hill Pond State Park in southern McNairy County. On Monday, I commandeered the building, which contains the men's and women's restrooms, some racks of pamphlets, and two vending machines. There's no one here right now, but I plan to stay as long as necessary to protest the fact that the state of Tennessee is run by oppressive know-nothings who wouldn't know small government — or freedom, for that matter — if it bit them on their considerable backsides ...

    • Jan 7, 2016
  • The Death of Status Symbols

    • Oct 6, 2016
  • Back to Bettyville

    I just finished a book called Bettyville. It's by George Hodgman, who grew up in Paris, Missouri, near my hometown, then went to the University of Missouri school of journalism in the 1970s. After graduation, he went off to New York City and became an editor at various magazines ...

    • Apr 2, 2015
© 1996-2016

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation