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Posted: January 9, 2011 12:00 a.m.

Politically incorrect and proud

And a pleasant Sunday morning to one and all. I’ll make this one short, sweet, simple and to the point.

Come along for the ride, won’t you?

I’m a white, heterosexual, Southern, Christian male. I was raised in a small Georgia town during the last days of segregation, a member of the very last class of this state’s public high schools to be graduated before the Federal Government enforced mandatory integration in the fall of 1969.

I am well aware of what life was like in Georgia during the days of "Jim Crow," not only from my own experiences, but by virtue of being raised by a Southern family steeped in tradition dating back to when the first Harwell arrived in Virginia from England in the 1700s.

I spent my entire professional life as a teacher and coach in the integrated public schools of my native state.

Having also been gainfully employed in the private sector, I’ve worked with people of varying national origins, creeds, ethnicities and race.

I’ve experienced the full spectrum from segregation to integration, and watched as our educational system virtually collapsed and American society was virtually taken captive by the ramifications of Affirmative Action policies filtering through both the public and private sectors of our nation.

In the airline business I saw minority members promoted to positions of supervisory capacity without regard to qualification, the outcome of lawsuits demanding the right for minority representation in company management.

In the school business I’ve seen the paddle taken out of the classroom teacher’s hand as lawsuits in the 1970s sought to ensure that white teachers did not paddle minority students disproportionately.

I’ve seen schools forced to promote minorities into administrative positions, regardless of qualification, simply to provide representation of racial diversity in administrative capacities.

I’ve seen and lived and experienced life in public schools since I began teaching and coaching in 1973, and have watched as minority members were allowed to wear clothing displaying atrocious, disparaging remarks against white people, while at the same time white children were sent home if they wore any kind of clothing to which minority members took offense.

I’ve seen the word "Dixie" removed from virtually every slogan, every advertisement, every reference to life in the Deep South.

The University of Georgia Dixie Redcoat Band had to change its name in order to be politically correct.

Bands, choruses, choirs and the general population shy away from performing that grand ballad of the South, "Dixieland," in order to be politically correct.

Our heritage, our history, continues to be eroded on a daily basis by those who would revise history, erase anything offensive to special interest groups, and our officials do nothing for fear of lawsuits or disastrous public outcry which could end their careers.

When he was a candidate for our nation’s highest office, then-Senator Barack Hussein Obama made a speech in which he called for an honest, forthright, open discussion about race in The United States of America.

His speech was hailed far and wide as the presentation which defined his candidacy, which would bring forth a bright new day in America, which would allow us all to talk honestly about the deep-seated issues of race which simmer just below the surface in virtually every walk of life in this nation, particularly in the Deep South.

But then the candidate Obama became President Obama, and things suddenly changed.

Anyone remember the president accusing police of acting "stupidly" when they arrested a black man reported to have broken into a house, who would not identify himself nor cooperate with the white police officer?

The president later apologized for the pre-emptive strike before getting the details, but his knee-jerk reaction put the lie to the thrust of his grand speech.

Now the big news is that Mark Twain’s works are being "sanitized" to remove all disparaging workds referring to African-Americans.

Apparently it’s OK for black comedians like Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan to use the "word" and spout vulgarity left and right, offending anyone with even a rudimentary sense of decency, but it’s not OK for a white person to use the word.

Well, guess what. That’s just wrong.

Just as I resent that television programs bleep out four-letter vulgarities, but allow God’s name to be taken in vain, I resent the fact that a black person can call another black person the "word" and get a laugh, while a white person using the same term is branded a racist.

That’s just flat out wrong, you see.

It’s a double standard and it’s wrong.

Freedom of speech applies to everybody, white people included, or to nobody.

But what do I know? I’m just a white, heterosexual, Southern, Christian male.

And I’m just sayin’.

 

Nat Harwell is a long-time resident of Newton County. His columns appear regularly on Sundays.

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