Thursday, August 10, 2006

Family Secrets

All my life, they tried to hide the truth from me. It took me 29 years, but now I know the truth.

For the first nine years of my life, I lived in a house with my Mom, aunt and my beloved grandmother, Vera. I knew Grandma wasn’t like the other grandmothers in our small town of Nowhere, U.S.A. For starters, she loved sports, but she didn’t watch them on television. She preferred to listen to them on an old radio and yell ‘get ‘em’ to players who couldn’t hear her. She also had a tendency to let people know exactly who they were. For example:
Grandmom: Raynell! Your white friend’s here.
Aunt Raynell: Mom, shhh! Don’t say that.
Grandmom: (in direct earshot of the person) Well, she is white. And she’s fat too.

So that was Grandma -- this beautiful, saintly woman who ate my vegetables when Mom wasn’t looking. She was also the only person able to show me how to tie my shoelaces. I thought I knew her intimately, but I was wrong. All that time, there was something she kept form me. And I learned the truth this week.

My beloved Grandma…… God rest her soul….


She was a …..


Not just not any Republican, she was the kind that used to stand in the corner trying to make other people become Republicans too. I hear folks used to think she was crazy -- an old black woman standing on the corner proclaiming her love for Reagan. I went with her to the voting booth for years as a child and never knew who she was supporting. Now that I know, I wonder how she got that way. My family is the anti-conservative -- we've got atheists, gays, "broken" homes, welfare, criminals, tax evaders ... I could go on and on. So what on earth possessed Vera to become an elephant?

I shared my concerns with my friend, April.
Me: No wonder people treat me strangely when I visit Nowhere, U.S.A. They're thinking, she's the granddaughter of the Republican.
April: Wow. You'll really hate me then.
Me: Don't tell me! You can't be ...
April: (nodding) I just hated John Kerry. At least W. is scum, but he's out in the open with his scum.
Me: Don't give me that bulljive. You only changed because of Justin (her fiance).
April: Well, he had a little to do with it.
Me: Traitor!
April: Hey, it's the party of Lincoln.

So there you have it. Not only am I the descendant of an elephant, but I'm also friends with one. It's enough to make a grown woman cry.


MotownRunnerGirl said...

i am very very sorry.

Mlle Smith said...

Abraham Lincoln's motivation in abolishing slavery in the US was to force the industrialization of the south, which at the time relied, economically, almost completely on agriculture.

He did not see Africans as equal or worthy of even the basic rights afforded to most human beings...and he was very vocal about that. It's not like it's some well-kept secret.

It just drives me crazy when I hear people refer to the Republican party as "the party of Abraham Lincoln" if he were some great negro savior.

The man was a racist and driven completely by greed. His actions and intentions were by no means altruistic.

Tha L said...

It sucks doesn't it? At least it was only your grandma (I hope!). I attribute this "Black Republican phenomena" to religious belief systems. Many hard-core Christians will tell you straight up that Republicans, and ESPECIALLY this guy they call our President,support their value systems. And the Republican party has done an excellent job of framing itself as the party of American (Christian) values. Not sure if this applies to your grandma, but it sure applies to almost everyone in my family. Not bashing Christianity or anything, but still...

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

good points guys!

Reese The Law Girl said...

I'm with motownrunnergirl. I am so very sorry for you. Yeah, your Grandma was a republican. But, she was your Grandma and you love her.

But, one of your friends! That's just down right treacherous and wrong!

I don't know if I could ever be friends with a republican. It's just so unnatural... ;p~~~

Strength/Courage/Wisdom said...

Reese: Believe me, it hurts. Grandma could still do no wrong, even with the Republican thing. But the friend.... *sigh* We now have to re-evaluate our entire relationship!

Juicy77 said...

Ditto what noire dire said.

I have had some cool colleague friends who were Republican. That was the one thing standing in the way of us becoming actual friends. I just couldn't do it. Since I'm an Independent, I was famous for telling my colleagues, "You're all crazy as far as I'm concerned." There was only one other Independent there as far as I knew. I think it's just a matter of choosing the lesser evil when it comes to politics.

I believe I have some closeted Republican friends as well - like one who is married to a Republican so she has probably "crossed over." I just know she has.

What really pissed me off was that many pastors influenced their congregations to re-elect Bush because he CLAIMS to be a Christian (I don't believe for a second that he is). The man is evil personified. My pastor actually allowed him to speak at our church. I will never look at my pastor the same. I was disgusted. His defense? "The President of the United States has requested to speak here? What do I do, tell the President no??"
That's exactly what he should have done.