The Rant 

I had to laugh when I heard the news stories about the Republican National Committee spending a wad of money on a party at a lesbian bondage-themed strip club in Los Angeles recently, among other fairly

outrageous expenditures of loot at a time when so many people can't even buy food or pay their upside-down mortgages. I guess if you are going to screw up as a political group, you might as well screw up good.

Oh, yes, I know what some of you are thinking: Bill Clinton and Monica in the Oval Office. Yes, the DNC has spent too much money on frivolous things as well. The RNC mentioned some of those spending sprees in trying to defend its lesbian sex-and-bondage party. They were events the DNC held at baseball games as fund-raisers and a going-away party for Howard Dean at a Washington, D.C., bowling alley. Hmm. Baseball and bowling vs. lesbian bondage acts. I'm not sure exactly what that says, and I'm not sure who had the better time!

At any rate, this has, of course, turned into a discussion about race in some quarters, because RNC chairman Michael Steele is an African American. Martin Luther King was assassinated 42 years ago in Memphis, Tennessee, while trying to help out some "garbage men" who were on strike, and just look at how far we have come: not so far.

Sure, we have our first African-American president, and that is progress — great progress that I wasn't sure I would ever see in my lifetime. But how many racists are there out there who want to see him fail just because of the color of his skin? And why is the congressional-primary contest between Steve Cohen and Willie Herenton already about race and pretty much race only? You don't have to read between the lines to know this; you just have to stand somewhere in line and listen to people talk.

I wish I knew of a way to make the issue of race go away, period. But I don't. If there's one thing in my life that I could achieve, it would be that race is never mentioned again. And racism that's subtle is just as bad as racism that is blatant, because those who practice subtle racism tend to think it is acceptable. They sometimes think it is funny. And yes, it comes from all sides. No one and no group is perfect. But I still can't believe that in this day and age, 42 years after King's death, it is still so rampant.

How many of our churches are integrated? Why on earth are the places where people go to worship God still so segregated? I know not all of them are, and the mega churches that run the television and print ads show every kind of person possible, but how integrated are they, really? Do we have to start a movement to get people from different races to attend church together? I'm not much on organized religion, but I think I might be more inclined to go if my memory of church wasn't of the all-white ones I had to attend as a kid.

If I thought I would have to make a living working for a company where there was no diversity, I would rather find a job digging ditches by myself. I wouldn't be able to stand it. It is such a losing proposition to be in circumstances where you're not exposed to a culture that's different. That's how you learn new things.

Oh, well. I didn't mean to get on such a soapbox. And what all this has to do with the RNC lesbian bondage-themed party I'm not sure. I guess I feel for Michael Steele because he didn't know about it, and there are so many people out there who are going to rake him over the coals because he is black. All I know is that the next time they throw a party at a lesbian bondage strip club, my invitation better not get lost in the mail!

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