On Casual Racism

I’ve said that the library is the community commons. And as such, it reflects the community, both in its good and its ill.

I helped a young lady whom I knew vaguely by sight. I didn’t know her name, but she always seemed pleasant enough. She was walking with the aid of a cane as she had a cast on her foot.

We chitchatted, and as I finished getting her the book she was looking for, I asked how she’d hurt herself.

A car had run into her at an intersection. She had suffered several injuries. This had occurred months before, and she had gone through many surgeries.

Me being me, I said, “Well, I hope you sued the bastard”.

She told me that “the bastard” had fled the scene. His car had been found, abandoned, and it had been unregistered.

She said, “Which makes me think it had to be an illegal. My friend said that was racist, but it’s just the truth. Who else would do that and be able to live with themselves?”

I’d like to say that I flew into a righteous rage, stood up, pointed a finger at her, and told her not to darken the library’s threshold ever again.

Of course, I didn’t. She merely vocalized what I’m sure a sizable minority of my patrons think. We help the just and the unjust. It’s what we do.

But the way she felt casually comfortable to drop a canard like that—”it had to be an illegal”—is unsettling.

We’re used to seeing the most racist excrement on Twitter and comment threads. The anonymity of the Internet releases people’s racist id. They say things they’d never have the balls to say in real life.

Except, they are saying it in real life, to a near stranger, without batting an eyelash.

I don’t “look” Latino, or at least the stereotypical Latino. I’m not dark. I could be just another quotidian white guy. So I get told things because of my skin color.

In another incident, a “lovely” woman, whom I was always happy to help, went on the most amazing tirade about “those illegals” getting driver’s licenses in California. She had requested a book by a Latino author, then offered, unprompted, “But I’m rather tired of ‘Latinos’.” I told her, “Well, you must be tired of me, because I’m Latino.”

“You’re Latino? Well, I don’t know if you’re one of the illegals.”

Fortunately, my boss saved me at that moment. I was furious for several days. I finally experienced just a scintilla of what African Americans go through on an almost daily basis. All because I “pass” for a dominant culture white man. Had I been darker, had I “looked Latino”, she may have kept her opinion to herself. And I wouldn’t have known that this cultured, gracious woman was a racist.

Things which were kept hidden in the aftermath of the Civil Rights and Latino movements are now profligately expressed. There is a rancid nativism, a scurrilous chauvinism rampant in the country. Much of it is due to the election and re-election of the first African American president. (Voted for him twice.) But it’s obvious much of it is due to the ever-quickly changing demographics of this country. My city and county of Los Angeles are already majority-minority. “Their” country is slipping away, and goddamnit, they won’t let it slip without a fight.

But they’ve already lost. Because I’m writing this essay. Because the media is wondering if the Oscars suffered a precipitous decline in viewership because of @ReignOfApril‘s #OscarSoWhite. Because this very medium which I and countless others use circumvents the gatekeepers, gets information out when it would otherwise be ignored.

The casual racism is alarming, and must be called out at every instance. But it is also the flappy hand waving and stompy feet of a dominant culture which is fading away. The question is whether it will wither of its own accord, or mount one final Battle of the Bulge. A decorous decline, followed by a full blooming of the new, is to be preferred.

138 Responses to “On Casual Racism”

  1. February 25, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    GA TOD!

    • 3 jacquelineoboomer
      February 25, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      So glad you brought that here, LP!

      • February 25, 2015 at 11:21 pm

        Hey there old timer….how you been?

        • 5 jacquelineoboomer
          February 26, 2015 at 12:01 am

          I am fine, young timer – good to see you here. Wasn’t spotting you for a while and missed ya!

          • February 26, 2015 at 12:33 am

            Ya I started back at school in a radiology program that is time consuming & then my mom fell on the ice a month ago requiring several surgeries, but now I have some free time the next week or so…..I missed you as well!

            • 7 jacquelineoboomer
              February 26, 2015 at 2:18 pm

              So sorry to hear about your mom! Hope her recovery is going well. And so glad to hear about your new program at school – all the best!

              • February 26, 2015 at 3:20 pm

                It Murphy’s law….first I busted my ass in the grocery store parking lot (was wearing sandals in the snow, I deserve it)…then my dad slipped on an ice patch getting the mail….finally my mom slipped in the parking lot at temple, but she was the one that actually got hurt. She is doing fine now…it should have been a routine thing but she formed two blood clots requiring a second surgery. She and my dad are lounging in Miami now…so I have put aside any sympathy while I’m stuck in the snow 😦

                • 9 jacquelineoboomer
                  February 26, 2015 at 7:38 pm

                  Yes, don’t lose the empathy, just put it aside! I’m done with snow. Before moving to the midwest 4+ years ago, I had lived in FL for 17 years. What was I thinking?

                  And your story reminds me of my son. One day out of the blue he said, “Mom, we have to accept the fact that one day you’ll fall.” (I laugh to myself when he says stuff like this, because I feel the same inside as when I was 35!) And call up Murphy’s Law again, because that weekend HE fell twice in my driveway.

                  Poor baby.

                  P.S. Sandals in the snow?

  2. 13 Ladyhawke
    February 25, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    • February 25, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      The speech is glorious. Boxer is speaking not only for Democrats, she is speaking out for Americans. Her words are rousing and affirming much like those in the speeches of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts). Republican extremists are getting away with the closet thing to treason many of us have seen in our lifetimes. And it’s not only betrayal against the President, it’s betrayal against the U.S. Constitution and the tax-payers/citizens.

      • February 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm

        Above is an excerpt from the DailyKos post by byLeslie Salzillo.

      • 16 57andfemale
        February 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm

        THAT’s exactly the point, Ladyhawke. When expressing Democratic values, we have to connect them to American values. This is what Barbara Boxer has done, it’s what Elizabeth Warren does, and Bernie Sanders. PBO does it every time he speaks, but the MSM makes sure that no one knows it.

        To be a Democrat is to be the best of America. We must reclaim those images and form a powerful, visceral message. My God, we’re RIGHT, America is strong when it values the worker, the middle class, freedom, our education as the doorway to a better life. When we value the health of Americans, the family, the safety net, our immigrants. “Freedom” is not defined by what we take away from others, we are only free when we are inclusive.

        Boxer looked brave, righteous and strong. It’s the persona that the GOP projects. When Durbin said he was “disappointed” by Bibi’s slap in the face to our President and Democrats in Congress, we look weak. This is what has to change.

        • 17 jackiegrumbacher
          February 25, 2015 at 4:58 pm

          You nailed it, 57. This is the message I’ve been trying to deliver over and over to our local Dems. Stand up proudly for what you are and what you believe. Never be defensive. The GOP stands for every destructive and ugly thing in this country and it has a terrible track record of governing and yet they shout how wonderful they are from every rooftop and act like they’re always right and you’re always wrong. That has to stop and Boxer, Warren and especially our president, are showing the way.

          • 18 57andfemale
            February 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

            It’s what I call the “white noise factor”, jackie. 90% of Americans are not engaged like we are. All they hear are snippets and “white noise”. GOP white noise is strong, (wrongly) righteous, full of outrage. If you’re not paying attention that becomes your “truth”. It’s also, infortunately, what makes them feel safe. Every time a Dem loses a second saying, “my friend across the aisle” or “even Dems do it” or “I’m disappointed” they sound weak and “weak Democrat” becomes the message in the white noise. The GOP never gives an inch. Their entire persona is “strength”.

            Jackie, we have truth, history and the best values on our side. We should NEVER be defensive. We need to show appropriate outrage when called for. Look at c-span: EVERY GOP is trained on how to deflect questions, how to get a dig in at Dems or PBO, how to talk over other guests. Every one of them. And we can’t get our act together as a party to train our spokespeople? WTF?!?!?

            Boehner is actually one of the most brilliant messagers they have. He sounds like he believes what he says, always gets a dig in, always with outrage in his tone.

            But Dick Durbin was “disappointed” in Bibi today. GOD!

            All Dems need to do is watch PBO’s tapes and study his speeches. It’s all there. I know the MSM is against us, but if we looked and sounded strong, it would be more entertaining and it would get more coverage. We have to grab EVERY opportunity and use it to our advantage. Why don’t we have Dem leaders who get this?!?

      February 25, 2015 at 3:46 pm


  3. February 25, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    I just read your powerful post, LL. Thank you for sharing….I agree with every word….Growing up in Alabama for most of my life..as someone of Indian heritage…I experienced some of the same things.

    • February 25, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you LL for posting this experience and yes, it is a taste of what AA’s go through almost daily. I can image that young woman’s comments was like a punch in the gut not knowing she would say something so insensitive to someone she hardly knows and not knowing that your heritage could be Hispanic since like AA’s comes in a variety of shades-brown to white complexions.

      February 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm


  4. 23 MightyPamela
    February 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm

  5. 24 Linda
    February 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Bibi against the WORLD !!!!!!

    Israel’s Netanyahu Slams World Powers Over Iran Nuclear Talks

    JERUSALEM (AP) — In his sharpest criticism yet, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that world powers “have given up” on stopping Iran from developing nuclear weapons in ongoing negotiations.

    Netanyahu’s comments, at a meeting of his Likud Party outside of Jerusalem, come as he plans to address the U.S. Congress on the nuclear negotiations.

    The West fears Iran could build an atomic bomb with its nuclear program. Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes. The Islamic Republic is now negotiating a final deal with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, with hopes of on a preliminary deal in March and a follow-up pact in June.


    • 25 nospin
      February 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      from the comments section of the article Netanyahu is not fooling anyone.


  6. 26 yardarm756
    February 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Beautiful piece LL. However, we have to be realistic.The power that was attained through violence and deceit, will not be relinquished peacefully.

  7. February 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks so much for another wonderful piece, LL. It’s all so grim that people feel comfortable and confident enough to openly talk like this – as you said, you expect it from anonymous nutters on the internet, not in face to face situations like you experienced. And their assumption that you will share their views because of your white skin….. Jesus.

    • 28 EricFive
      February 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      The really sad part is that her assumption is probably right more often than not (either through active agreement or agreement through silence/lack of push back)

    • 29 jacquelineoboomer
      February 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      Hi, Chips. Great piece, LL.

      I’m an antique white woman and when I moved into my current residence (in a culturally diverse area) four or so years ago, my seemingly very nice white neighbor (a little less antique than I, but a lifelong resident of the neighborhood) started chatting me up. One of her first comments was to mention the places I could go in my new town, in her attempt to help me “learn the sights.” With her arms flailing, or so it looked, she’d point N-S-E and W and relate various locales I should go see. At one point, she said, “But you’d want to stay away from [whatever area – I’ve forgotten], because it’s mostly black.” Let’s just say I’m a free thinker, so I told her I tried not to be prejudiced against black people, and asked her more about that area. She said, “Yeah, I try, too.” Then at some point in our non-relationship, around the last election, she said she didn’t care what anybody thought, but that George [W] Bush had a good heart and had tried his best. Let’s just say I told her a little of what I thought of Bush, that he was an idiot, and I was 1000 percent supportive of President Obama. She said something like she didn’t really know about Obama and didn’t vote. And thirdly, about six months ago, when a home across the street was for rent, she related a tale about a “large black woman” who had stopped her car to ask the neighbor for details about the house, and the neighbor said she “told her she didn’t really know anything about it.” That’s all she said, but it wasn’t hard to get the implication through her description.

      I had great fun after the more recent incident, while sitting on my front porch last Fall, giving all kinds of helpful info to various potential renters of the house across the street who happened to be black, and met and engaged in conversation the owner of the rental house who happened to be black … I chatted each one up for quite a bit, hoping my neighbor would notice how very helpful I was being. And, yes, nothing to do with me, but the house across the street was rented to a young black family with two lovely toddler boys. And I chuckled.

      You cannot change bigoted people, but “in your face” is a fun place to be, with them. Also, my two youngest grandchildren have younger biracial half-sisters, so I think of all of those sweethearts when I’m faced with these wastes of time in my daily life. And if you want an 11-year-old white girl who regularly takes down bullies of all sorts in her school and neighborhood, I’ll put you in touch with my youngest granddaughter who loves finally being a “big sister” – a little role model for all and somebody I’m so proud of, I could burst. And she regularly quotes one of the residents of the White House about “eating healthy,” and has very happily told me, “Kids love Mrs. Obama!”

      • 30 GGail
        February 25, 2015 at 3:54 pm

        J’OB, I was picturing you and the thoughts that were perhaps running through your head when you encounter your “very nice white neighbor” 😀 😀

        • 31 jacquelineoboomer
          February 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm

          Ha! I heard that the other day she fell on the ice on her sidewalk, without injury. Good thing I didn’t have to make the decision as to whether to help her get back up, or to just go back to eating my candy. (I’m originally from New Jersey – can ya tell?)

  8. 32 Nerdy Wonka
    February 25, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    Great piece, LL.

    This line jumped out at me: “I finally experienced just a scintilla of what African Americans go through on an almost daily basis. All because I “pass” for a dominant culture white man.”

    I once had two white roommates and one Black roommate. One of the white roommates was awesome. The other was a horrible human being. Myself and the other Black roommate experienced the daily casual racism that you speak of. But what was striking was that she never did it in the presence of the other white roommate. So the other white roommate couldn’t fathom that such nastiness could occur outside of the dark ages. Until one day, when the scumbag roommate didn’t realize that the nice roommate was in the apartment and she let her racist flag fly.

    The nice roommate was shocked and it hit her then and there that this is what Black people face everyday. Someone doesn’t have to call you the N-word for you to be hit with behavior that seeks to dehumanize you. I’ve had similar experiences with Latino friends who look white and the shock on their faces when they finally see what their darker skin brethren and Black people face everyday is an eye opening experience indeed.

    What I’m thankful for is that with social media and other outlets both online and in the physical world, people are no longer standing for such nasty behavior. I smile whenever I realize that the country these racists seek to go back to is fast slipping away from them and with every generation, we hopefully have more people who are enlightened enough to pass down good values.

    • 33 yardarm756
      February 25, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      If only your hope for enlightenment were attainable. As an old geezer I have a deeply held fear of these so called “militias”.

      • 34 EricFive
        February 25, 2015 at 2:44 pm

        Have you listened to Malcolm X’s last recorded speech lately. The issues he spoke of 50 years ago (police brutality, liberal racists, the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of peaceful protest). He said that in order for the oppressor to understand your point of view, you first have to speak in the oppressor’s “language”. Appealing to the oppressor’s morality will fall on deaf ears because that is not his language. Anyone interested in hearing a brilliant man “make it plain” should listen to this speech.

        • 35 EricFive
          February 25, 2015 at 3:51 pm

          It is also the speech where the quote about “the media making us hate the oppressed and love the oppressor” originated.

    • 36 0388jojothecat
      February 25, 2015 at 2:30 pm

      I hope too that America and the whole world can treat one another with respect no matter our race, religion, or ethnicity. This was suppose to happen during the late 60’s, 70’s, etc., with busing and then in a “diverse” workplace, etc. It seems with each passing generation it does get better but these racial prejudices get passed down because of someone did not get into the college of their choice due to affirmative action accepted a lessor minority, or the media only portrays AA’s criminals or show AA’s crimes to make whites fearful, and our politicians use dog whistle tactics against minorities to win elections. We are all in this boat (world) together and we better learn to live and get along or we will keep fighting the same issues over and over not getting very far.

    • February 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks Nerdy.

      I actually have a story about how I got kicked out of Trump Plaza in NYC when I was 14/15 because, I’m sure, I looked “too Latino”. But that’s for another time.

  9. February 25, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    I echo Yardarm’s words. Beautifully written (as usual, LL) and educating story. Interesting what people will express without being asked when they assume they are among “peers”. Both women would have told you their DNA!

  10. February 25, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Good Afternoon TODVille.

  11. February 25, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    On the records…

  12. 43 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 2:00 pm

  13. February 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    This infectious disease needs a vaccine!

  14. 46 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm

  15. February 25, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    What a reversal! Increased minimum wage, anti-gay bill!

  16. February 25, 2015 at 2:12 pm

  17. February 25, 2015 at 2:19 pm


  18. February 25, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    • 55 nospin
      February 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm


      • 56 donna dem 4 obama
        February 25, 2015 at 3:42 pm

        But I guarantee you that this is not how CBS evening news will report this story tonight. If it is talked about at all it will be a mere bleep of a mention in tonight’s reporting. Or they will find someway to blame both sides.

  19. February 25, 2015 at 2:27 pm

  20. 58 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 2:27 pm

  21. February 25, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Boarding now. See you on landing.

    • 60 0388jojothecat
      February 25, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      What’s the deal with the media criticizing VP Biden? I made the mistake of watching The Daily Show and Jon was going on and on about VP Biden being too touchy and getting in people’s space. Other comedians talked about it too. They never showed that one of the ladies VPB had his hands on her shoulders was she fainted or almost fainted when her husband was being swore in. I think VPB is just being fatherly and protective.

      • 61 EricFive
        February 25, 2015 at 2:53 pm

        They attack what they fear.

      • 62 nospin
        February 25, 2015 at 2:53 pm

        “What’s the deal with the media criticizing VP Biden?”

        because they know when Biden runs in 2016, he WILL win.

      • 64 donna dem 4 obama
        February 25, 2015 at 3:03 pm

        VP Joe wears his emotions on his sleeve and speaks from the heart. He exhibits passion and friendliness. These attributes can be a blessing and curse in today’s media with them over-analyzing his every move.

        He touched the Defense Secretary’s wife’s shoulders ( who he apparently knows very well) and whispered in her ear when Secretary Carter was giving a speech and media declared it creepy. This is what he will have to face should he decide to run next year.

        • 65 0388jojothecat
          February 25, 2015 at 3:14 pm

          Thanks everyone. This is how the media destroys good people. They did the same to President Carter who was the most “Christian” president we had and they labeled and continue to label him “weak”. The GOP presidents are labeled “Christian” by the media and don’t do anything remotely Christ-like.

          • 66 EricFive
            February 25, 2015 at 3:23 pm

            The MSM/GOP’s Christ loved rich people and hated the poor, loved war and self-righteousness. They exist in a bizzaro world where up is down and down is up. They have created an alternate reality where a word like “patriotism” has a very different definition than what you and I think it means.

          • 67 nospin
            February 25, 2015 at 5:16 pm

            Biden could piss on the side of the stage during the band playing notes from the Star Spangled Banner and he would still get my vote.

            Why? Because he is LOYAL. I would go to the wall for him. The same way he has done for our POTUS. Don’t care what he says, don’t care how his words get twisted. Don’t care. He already earned my vote. The man is LOYAL and will carry out PO’s agenda. I believe that.

            • February 25, 2015 at 5:16 pm

              “Biden could piss on the side of the stage during the band playing notes from the Star Spangled Banner and he would still get my vote.”


              • 69 nospin
                February 25, 2015 at 5:26 pm

                He is LOYAL Chips, Unapologetically LOYAL to our POTUS. That counts.

                Everything else does not matter. Besides, he is smart on all the issues and experienced and I feel that he will protect our interest at home and abroad. Hey, he does not feel compelled to lie constantly so …. that is good enough for me.

                • February 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm

                  I’d give anything to see him President Nospin, I love him, but I do worry about his age. I know he’s a fit and healthy man, but he’ll be 74 next year, 82 if he served two terms. I look at PBO and I don’t know how he stands the pace, the job seems utterly grueling, physically and mentally, but he’s nearly 20 years younger. I wish I could put Joe in a time machine and make him 20 years younger too!

        • February 25, 2015 at 3:25 pm

          I also think the media resents him on some level because he is the anti-Dick Cheney. He is also extremely LOYAL towards President Obama, publicly and privately. That bothers a lot of people…because if Biden decides to run for Prez seriously, he could very well knock HRC off her media-created pedestal.

          • 74 donna dem 4 obama
            February 25, 2015 at 3:39 pm

            He will probably knock her off her media created pedestal but my fear is not for the reasons you think. VP Joe has a propensity to say and do things that this jealous media will constantly project as negative about him. Just as they did this recent incident.

            • 75 hopefruit2
              February 25, 2015 at 3:47 pm

              True. They will try their best to cast him as someone dodgy and unserious…

            • 76 EricFive
              February 25, 2015 at 3:50 pm

              No doubt they will attempt to do to Biden what they did to Howard Dean, with that “scream” nonsense. However, Biden is a seasonn pol despite his gaffe rep. He is the man who destroyed Guiliani in the primaries. He has the ability to speak the truth in a relatable manner. And he is smart enough not to run away from PBO. That is why the msm fear him.

            • 77 nospin
              February 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm

              “VP Joe has a propensity to say and do things that this jealous media will constantly project as negative about him.”

              doesn’t matter Donna. Biden is loyal to POTUS. He always had our President’s back when everyone else seemed to walk away from him. Doesn’t matter what he says or what he does as long as he remains respectful to POTUS… I would still vote for him. He has earned my vote.

              Loyalty counts.

      • 78 Nena20409
        February 25, 2015 at 3:55 pm

        The Media has had a bitter and harsher treatment of Mr Biden since 1988…..they brought his candidacy down for Once not properly crediting an Irish Poet in a speech or two in 1988.
        I remember Billo going after Sen Biden in either 2002 or 2004…..accusing him of being Mean, Rude and Uncaring towards “regular folks”……Billo even used Fox’ handlers as some of those “regular folks” supposedly abused by then Sen Biden in their Green Room.
        Since 2008, the Media’s blatant dislike of VP Biden is displayed by their constant mocking of him.

  22. 83 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm

  23. 84 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 2:52 pm

  24. 86 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm

  25. 87 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 3:03 pm

  26. February 25, 2015 at 3:06 pm


    it’s a wonderful and on point post.

    yeah, casual racism does bite. they are like paper cuts, compared to the vehement racism,but the cut is still there.

    • February 25, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      And of course it’s a double edged sword, as neither of these ladies knew that their bile was directed at my people. They were just speaking confidentially, one white person to another.

      • 90 57andfemale
        February 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm

        Not exactly the same thing, but I get that b.s. as a Jew all the time because “I don’t look Jewish.”

        I haven’t been practicing Jew since my mother died when I was 21. But there is a cultural identity and I bristle when those anti-Semitic diatribes are spewed as if they are truisms. I was raised under the specter of extermination.

        That being said, I’m an American. Israel has behaved in ways no Jew should ever behave. And Bibi is a major menace.

        • 91 arapaho415
          February 25, 2015 at 4:54 pm

          I don’t get the “look Jewish” thing, but probably because I was raised in a town where I met only one Jewish girl through high school (that I know of – she was in my Girl Scout troop, and I still remember that her favorite day was Wednesday, because that’s when The Beverly Hillbillies was on — is that a hoot, or what?). The place I grew up is 180 degrees different demographically now, but to give you a sense of how white it was — my high school admitted its first Black student the year after I graduated (BFF and I visited teachers, and one of my former English teachers pointed this out to us) — and there were four Asian families with students while I attended.

          Then I went to UCLA, where more than half the people I met were Jewish. Aside: when I returned home after my freshman year in college, I sought out bagels (flipped over bagels and lox the first time I had them) and could not find locate any.

          One of the most ladies’ man that I’ve met was a Sephardic Jew, so needless to say he didn’t look like Richard Dreyfrus (whom I love).

  27. 92 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 3:10 pm

  28. February 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. I had actually planned to write this piece months ago, after my encounter with the second lady in the piece. But I was just too close to the subject. I needed another such encounter to put things into perspective.

    This is my favorite line from my favorite novel, Ulysses, by James Joyce:

    — But it’s no use, says he. Force, hatred, history, all that. That’s not life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it’s the very opposite of that that is really life.
    — What? says Alf.
    — Love, says Bloom. I mean the opposite of hatred.

    Until we live by that, we’re screwed.

    • 95 57andfemale
      February 25, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Excellent post, LL. Casual racism is the most incidious.

      Mr. 57 has come a long way from his Chicago south side roots, but he doesn’t even realize when the casual racism rears its ugly head. And because he “doesn’t mean it”, it doesn’t count.

      If someone is a jerk at the grocery store or cuts him off in traffic, he feels a need to tell me their ethnicity. In all fairness, he’s particularly annoyed at the snack-grabbing “dp’s” at Costco who are Polish, like him. But a jerk who cuts you off in traffic is a jerk – his skin color is irrelevant.

      Almost 35 years of marriage, and I bristle every. single. time.

    • 96 jacquelineoboomer
      February 25, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Thank you so much for that link, to calm us down! LL, your piece was beautifully thought out and written and greatly representative of how you come across every time you write – as a caring, loving individual who seeks beauty rather than darkness, and is trying to find his way through the dimly lit hallways of life’s maze. It’s people like you who make the world a better place, not the ghastly people you’ve encountered with their cavewoman fears of the “other tribes” whom they imagine are coming across the ridge to take the food they’ve foraged. Keep at it. We ALL have a right to be on this earth, eating the food and reading the books. Not sure where I got that last part about our right to books, but I stand by it. ❤

  29. 99 57andfemale
    February 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    So Harry Reid was just showing the GOP that he could play hardball if he wanted to. He’s decided to go along with the clean DHS bill. And indeed, Mr. Boner, the Senate will have acted.

    If DHS shuts down, you did it, Boner.

  30. February 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks LL for yet another excellent post.

  31. 101 Linda
    February 25, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    One of the three arrested today over stayed his VISA.

    The media will focus on that and blame the Government.

  32. 102 Nena20409
    February 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    LL, You are one Eloquent, Ferocious and Intellectual Essayist. Bravo, Sir!
    🍸 🍸 🍸
    Congrats LP on your….. Gold!

  33. 103 Linda
    February 25, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Marco Rubio thinks that by ” visiting ” foreign countries he has Foreign Policy Experience

  34. 106 Nena20409
    February 25, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    • 107 0388jojothecat
      February 25, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      GZ got away with murder this time but he will not elude getting caught and will wind up in prison where he belongs. Unfortunately someone elses child will have die in order for GZ to get his due.

    • 108 nospin
      February 25, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Zimmerman did. There is no doubt about that however, Trayvon’s death will not be in vain.

  35. 109 Nena20409
    February 25, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Pretty Simple…..to continue to defend an avalanche of Factually based documents refuting and exposing Lies……as told by Billo over the years is at this point Not working……..with Free Thinking Objective Viewers……even the DC/NY lame, lazy pretentious Journos are No Longer backing Billo or Fox on these many Billo Lies.

    • 110 0388jojothecat
      February 25, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      I hope people keep it up….this clown has to go or at least make Bill O continue to threaten people. Fake Nooze are the first to call minorities “Thugs” now who looks thuggish now Bill O.

  36. 111 Nena20409
    February 25, 2015 at 3:59 pm

  37. 112 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 4:06 pm

  38. 114 Linda
    February 25, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    DHS funding just passed in the Senate 98-2

    I am guessing the 2 are Cruz and Sessions.

    • 115 57andfemale
      February 25, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Votes to “advance” the bill. Not a done deal. And there is still room for shenanigans. If McConnell reneges, that would enough fodder for Dems to run on until 2016. If we had a party that wasn’t just “disappointed” when they’re stabbed in the back.

      I think McConnell wants this bill to happen, so I am guardedly optimistic. It will mean that the “Senate has acted” and it falls on Boehner. Boehner & McConnell haven’t spoken for two weeks. Heh.

      Here’s a good breakdown of what can still happen:


      February 25, 2015 at 4:19 pm


  39. 119 57andfemale
    February 25, 2015 at 4:12 pm

  40. 122 Nena20409
    February 25, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    • 123 57andfemale
      February 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      It’s supposed to be substituted with a clean bill. I won’t relax until that happens. It’s in McConnell’s best interests but it’s McConnell.

      • 124 carolyn
        February 25, 2015 at 5:56 pm

        I just read at Politicususa, the bill that advanced was a clean bill. The Dems MADE McConnell take the immigration language out before they would vote.

        • 125 57andfemale
          February 26, 2015 at 9:09 am

          That is a different story than what I read earlier. The original bill was first advanced, and McConnell was to substitute the clean bill immediately after. Apparently the clean bill has now advanced.

          If Boehner wants to shut down DHS, it’s his choice.

  41. 126 Nena20409
    February 25, 2015 at 4:16 pm

  42. 128 Nena20409
    February 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm

  43. 129 Nena20409
    February 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm

  44. 130 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 4:28 pm

  45. 131 Nena20409
    February 25, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    • 132 0388jojothecat
      February 25, 2015 at 7:29 pm

      How cute. Is it me but those shorts are just toooooo looooong. If basketball shorts get more loose, long and flowy they might as well wear skirts. P.S. I know they’re kids but LeBron Jr. looked liked he did a lot of “traveling”. Where’s the refs?

  46. 133 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 4:31 pm

  47. 135 JER
    February 25, 2015 at 4:33 pm

  48. 136 donna dem 4 obama
    February 25, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Anyone who wants to follow the town hall before tonight this reporter seems to be covering it. https://twitter.com/aferndzTV

  49. February 25, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Thank you for this thoughtful, eloquent essay, LIberalLibrarian. You do the deeply good work, bringing books and stories and truth and ideas and joy and knowledge to the people, every day. I wish I could attend your story times; I am glad that you are not sssssshhhhhhhhhh quiet as you do your work opening the book of the world for the people, all the people, even some of the sorry ungrateful despicable people, and I am so sorry that you come in contact with meanness and sorry racist hooey along the way. This, like all your meditations here, expresses crucial truths with smart grace.

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