Just call it what it is: Racism

Sunday, September 1, 2013

We got a message last week through Facebook:

"I'm writing the T-G to inform you that [name of organization] is planning to hold a demonstration in Shelbyville on [date] against Southern Demographic Displacement."

Well, isn't that charming! Kind of retro, I think. Nowadays, most people are PR-savvy enough (or, perhaps, self-deluded enough) to couch racism in some other issue, to try to make it sound like it's not that they hate people different from them, you understand, it's just that they're concerned about the economy, or security, or historic preservation, or what have you. It's kind of refreshing to have someone come right out and tell you they don't like people whose, um, "demographics" are different. At least you know where they stand.

I'm not sure how they feel they're being "displaced," however. No one is forcing them to leave. Small-minded bigots are still free to live in America and even to hold small-minded demonstrations.

Clicking through to the Facebook page about the event, I see that they're going to start in Murfreesboro and then move to Shelbyville. Their ire was apparently triggered by the documentary that was done about immigrants in Shelbyville a couple of years back. Our demographic mix is constantly changing, and I'm not sure it's the same now as it was when the documentary was filmed -- in a tight economy, some people may have moved elsewhere looking for different kinds of work, or what have you.

The Facebook page for the displacement protest reveals that the organizers are at least somewhat conscious about public relations. They give attendees a list of things not to wear (no T-shirts, and no belt buckles with messages on them) and says not to bring protest signs, as the organizers will be distributing official, on-message signs at the event.

Sadly, hatred of immigrants is nothing new. The surname "Carney" is Irish in origin, and in the second half of the 1800s there was sometimes virulent prejudice against the Irish, especially those who were Catholic, with many of the same arguments and accusations you hear leveled against today's immigrant groups.

No one individual, regardless of race, creed or national origin, should be able to break the law. Each individual, regardless of race, creed or national origin, should treat his or her fellow citizens with respect and should be a positive and productive member of society. But in this country, we hold individuals responsible for their actions. When you generalize, when you demonize a group of people based on their skin color or their religion or their country of origin, you are practicing racism. When you complain about people with different surnames, customs and appearances moving into "your" South and making you uncomfortable, you betray everything that has made America the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Last week we celebrated Martin Luther King's historic speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

"I have a dream," he said, "that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

We have made progress towards that dream, but we obviously still have a ways to go.

--John I. Carney is city editor of the Times-Gazette and covers county government.

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  • People who live in glass houses should be able to see the light. Unfortunately, too often they put up blinds that not only hide the light but also insulate them to their own little world.

    -- Posted by devan on Wed, Sep 4, 2013, at 1:37 PM
  • You don't bother to tell anyone who the organization is or what they are about, instead you blog about your liberal opinion and do your best to discredit this organization before they arrive.

    The website for this organization is:

    http://www.freetennessee.org/

    Yes they are asking for a dress code, do you know why? I know you think that you already know it all, but let me enlighten you....They do not want trouble, they are standing up for our State and for those that have BROKEN THE LAW by not being here legally and they are doing this in a civilized classy manner! They are going out of their way to see to it that no trouble makers of any kind follow them! Yet, you blatantly call them racists & haters!

    You are the one spreading hate instead of the TRUTH!

    Illegal immigrants and refuges are a huge problem in this country and our debt is out of control, we can not take care of everyone.

    We do have Tyson in our small town, which we all know bring refugees in for cheap labor and when they are used up they are sent on their way and are ready for another set of refugees to move in. There is a right way to come into this country and there is a wrong way to come into this country! I don't believe Tyson should be the ones to determine that, they are just as corrupt as Obama and the rest of our government.

    The documentary that you speak of in your blog I can only assume is the one regarding muslims, since you didn't bother to tell that in the blog either. Just exactly how did you come to the conclusion that is why this organization is coming to our town?

    So, you believe it is ok for illegals to come into our Country and take advantage of our system, while so so many others wait in line and follow the law and wait to come here? Or how about the many that have already stood in line and followed the law and live in our country freely?

    What is wrong with you? It's not racist to believe that people should come into our country legally. Most people have no problem with people coming here legally, that is what America is all about, live the American dream! Not shatter it by abusing our system and then laugh in our faces, because they got away with it!

    Our country is in serious trouble right now if you'd pull your head out of your *** you would see that. It's a sad day when an illegal immigrant can get food stamps and health care before the elderly do.

    I would love for you to explain to me what your definition of being a racists is please.....

    You have offended me to no end and I think you are a very small minded person with a very liberal brain who believes if anyone doesn't believe just like you believe...well then they are a racists.

    You John Carney can kiss my AMERICAN PATRIOT ***!

    -- Posted by Reliable Sources on Tue, Sep 10, 2013, at 9:21 PM
  • Once again I have to point out John Carneys hypocrisy and elitists liberal hate of the First Amendment and the right to peaceably assemble. Again, John feels threatened that someone elses voice may be heard and quickly must do what he can to discredit them up front. Yes, I know, this is a pathetic attempt by him, but bless his heart he did his best. So lets take his hateful dribble a little at a time. The Demographic Displacement of Middle Tennessee is a fact. I invite you to go to the Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee or the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalitions websites. The existence of these State and Federally sponsored "Coalitions" will gladly explain to you how they intend on flooding these regions with refugees. Why? You ask. Cheap labor on the face. If John was any king of journalists he would know this, but we've come to expect nothing more from him. When Tyson was busted for employing illegal immigrants, their next obvious choice was these refugees who are "legal". What was the demographic of Shelbyville 25 years ago? My guess would be that it was mostly white/black. In order for them to get a job, they usually have to take someone elses job. I can't imagine why anyone would be upset at that fact(Sarcasm). These refugees are brought to Shelbyville by the bus load and dropped off regularly with no regard as to their well being at all. They are dropped into a world that wants them here about as much as they want to be here. I challenge John to go and talk to a few of those refugee Tyson employees with more than 5 years continuous employment. I would be willing to bet John that he can't find any with that many years of continuous service to Tyson. Talk to them. They hate it here. That is why they don't stay here and usually will move on to Muslim havens such as Dearborn, Michigan or Columbus, Ohio. Bus in another load at starting wages and bam, CHEAP LABOR!!! That doesn't matter to John though, he is an elitists liberal and will label those that think or feel differently from him as the most hateful vile thing someone can call someone else. Racists. John doesn't mind judging and labeling these peaceful citizens whom are looking to exercise their right to assemble to make their voice heard as racists. Well, isn't that charming of him! Kind of "progressive", I think. Apparently, in Johns small minded bigot filled hypocritical paper, if you are concerned about the economy, or security, or historic preservation,YOU ARE A RACISTS!!! Hey John, when are you gonna write that "Editorial" regarding all those racists on the Shelbyville Historic Zoning Commission and how they FORCE those of color to preserve our racists hateful history? NOW THAT would be refreshing! "Sadly, hatred of immigrants is nothing new."- John Carney. This is as ignorant and moronic as Johns self ID. Really John? Are the immigrants bringing themselves here? Are they protesting the illegal immigrants and refugees themselves or the government who brought them here? Can the illegal immigrants and refugees fix the government? What an idiotic premise. "No one individual, regardless of race, creed or national origin, should be able to break the law."-John Carney. OOOHHH REALLY? Well now! "But in this country, we hold individuals responsible for their actions." Do we John? If we did actually do this, we wouldn't be having this discussion would we? Yeah, that's what we thought. "When you generalize, when you demonize a group of people based on their skin color or their religion or their country of origin, you are practicing racism." Well, well well. LOOK WHO'S THE RACISTS! "or their country of origin, you are practicing racism." WHERE ARE THESE PROTESTERS FROM JOHN? The United States of America. WHAT PART OF THE U.S. JOHN? The South. No lack of persecution from John "The Hitman" Carney. How dare they address Government grievances those SOBs'!!! Looks like John 'The Hitman' Carney just betrayed everything that has made America the land of the free and the home of the brave. Free speech and the Constitution be damned in the small-minded bigot filled Times-Gazette!!!

    -- Posted by Reliable Sources on Tue, Sep 10, 2013, at 9:24 PM
  • Could it be that the reason you are so sensitive to being called a racist is because of all the effort you have expended trying to hide it? I mean, come on, even if the organization sponsoring the event is above reproach, the fact that you do not trust the participants to have a voice of their own is very telling of the type of people the organization relies upon.

    You apparently know that a large percentage of the participants will have ulterior motives which the organizers would rather be diminished. Maybe you agree with them, maybe not, but if you are so eager to include them, you must not be too terribly opposed.

    Aside from that, if you are the best spokesman they have, they are necessarily ignorant. While I appreciate the length and passion of your comments, they lacked a degree of rationality. I can't begin to list the occasions of faulty logic, but the last one is a good example....

    For "The Hitman" to be guilty of racism or persecution directed toward people living in the southern US, he would have had to make generalizations about them. He did not. He did imply that the group demonstrating was trash, but that is not racist. You see, where you are getting confused is by assuming that any insult directed toward people like yourself is representative of being an insult to an entire region, which you happen to associate with. Unfortunately, most of the region does not reciprocate any association with you, so therefore, he is only implying that a small subsection of the people in the region are garbage--specifically the group sponsoring the event, and apparently, you personally.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Sat, Sep 14, 2013, at 3:29 AM
  • Mr. Carney, I'm a Scot-Irish, with some Jewish and Arab Muslim ancestry (my father's side) and Saami, also known as Lapps (my mother's side) I'm also Catholic, and I'm coming to Shelbyville to join the protest. I'm totally against Tyson bringing in aliens who do not have the religious and cultural values shared by most decent Americans. The Mexicans that were first brought in were basically ignorant of their ancestral religious beliefs, and they tended to go downhill morally by becoming involved in crime and dysfunctional behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse. The Islamics? They will never assimilate into our culture, because their religion and culture won't allow them to do it. They want to Islamize America and turn it into a middle Eastern hellhole like back home. Mr Carney, you may be a "Catholic" who wallows in diversity, I don't, if that "diversity" demands the erosion of my ethnic group, religion, and culture.

    -- Posted by ScotIrishSaami52 on Sun, Sep 22, 2013, at 2:25 PM
    Response by John Carney:
    I did not say I was Catholic. I'm not. I merely pointed out that the Irish were discriminated against (using many of the same worthless arguments you're using) and that Irish Catholics were especially discriminated against.

    I believe that any individual who is involved in "crime and dysfunctional behaviors" should be held responsible. But when you point to a racial or ethnic group and imply that it's the norm for that group to hold such behaviors, as you have done here, you are engaging in racism.

  • Why does John Carney oppose the demographic and cultural survival of the Southern people?

    If he investigated the numbers he would see that over the last decade the percentage of the population in the area which is Southern has been significantly reduced by policies he supports. He insults patriotic efforts to defend the local people while they are being pushed aside. Middle TN deserves better than the anti-Southern media represented by the Times-Gazette and Mr John Carney and David Melson.

    -- Posted by PalmettoPatriot on Sun, Sep 22, 2013, at 2:42 PM
    Response by John Carney:
    Oh, come on. This isn't about southern culture. This is about fear of immigrants -- hatred of anyone who has a funny-sounding last name or worships differently or who was raised speaking a different language and is still struggling to learn English.

    It is not "anti-southern" to be in favor of individual freedoms -- such as the freedom of mobility, to live where you like and apply for a job in order to feed your family. (The fact that immigrants have those freedoms does not, in any way, shape or form, take them away from you. No one is being "displaced" by the arrival of immigrants, despite your whining.)

    It is not "anti-southern" to insist that people be treated as individuals, judged on their own individual merits, rather than be lumped together and maligned collectively because of factors such as race and ethnicity that they cannot control.

    It is not "anti-southern" to oppose hatred. I love my city, my state, my region and my country. I also recognize that part of what makes America great is an atmosphere of individual freedom, individual accomplishment, individual diversity and individual responsibility. I do not want to give any one group or individual -- certainly not you, and certainly not the League of the South -- the power to define what "southern" is or ought to be.

    This isn't about anyone's "demographic and cultural survival." The presence of Somalis down the street does not force you to change the way you worship. The presence of Latinos down the street doesn't force you to change the way you speak. The presence of some other ethnic group doesn't mean you have to give up anything that's culturally significant to you. The notion that immigrants are somehow a threat to your culture is nothing more than a way of trying to disguise your racism in some sort of higher purpose.

  • I don't know why, but I find the logic of idiots amusing. Please post more.

    -- Posted by memyselfi on Mon, Sep 23, 2013, at 12:43 AM
  • John Carney, you say this is about fear of immigrants. That may be your fear but it is not mine. I do not fear Somalis; I simply do not want to be displaced by them. And if enough of them come they will surely displace us, just as Cubans and Yankees have displaced Southerners in south Florida and Mexicans have displaced southerners in much of Texas. You make fun of us rather than address this fact. It demonstrates your unwillingness to take on the issue. Why are you afraid of talking about our displacement as a people? Why are you unwilling to take your own people's side?

    You write about 'individual rights' but you ignore the right of the Southern people of TN not to be replaced by your immigrant friends. Why do you put the good of a foreign people whose religion, values and identity are entirely alien and hostile to us ahead of your own people? Why are you anti-Southern?

    -- Posted by PalmettoPatriot on Tue, Sep 24, 2013, at 12:49 AM
  • You... are not being displaced. How are you being displaced? How does the presence of other cultures harm you? Has anyone asked you to move out of your home? Has anyone prevented you from going to church, or listening to your favorite music, or eating your favorite food? Has anyone done anything whatsoever to displace you? No. That's my whole point, the one I've been repeating over and over. No one is displacing you. Displacement is a spurious argument.

    If any individual harms you in some way, you've got every right to seek redress from that individual within the limits of the law. You just don't have the right to blame *all* of the people of a certain race or nationality for the actions of *some*.

    And I am not "anti-Southern." I was born and raised in the South and have no desire to go anywhere else. I am anti-racist. I also don't think I have the right to define for other people what "the South" is or stands for. You apparently do, and so anyone who happens to disagree with you is "anti-Southern."

    -- Posted by jcarney on Fri, Jun 19, 2015, at 7:39 PM
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