Code Talking White Trash & Exploitation Capitalism

(11 pm – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Cross-posted from The Wild, Wild Left

Were I not a recovering Catholic, I would surely believe I burned off many a purgatory hour yesterday, far exceeding the actual 7 hours spent in the merry go round of hell called “taking mother in law to her doctor’s appointment.”

Yes, yes, someone with life-long dementia and ever increasing short-term memory loss cannot help thinking perhaps three things all day and repeating them, not unlike the child I used to sit who has autism. She fixates. Repeats. And repeats. I can live with that.

I could live with the inevitable 2 hour wait that her appointments, no matter when they are, involve.

What really fucked up the day was the white-trash big mouth in the waiting room parroting winger-speak and racist code talk; looking for agreement from me.

She was also waiting for the same doctor, and was almost as irate as my mother in law. You expect an old lady to complain, or at least my MIL… what you don’t expect is some unshowered, skinny 40 year old stringy red haired woman in jeans and a wife-beater shirt to start in.

When I tried to defuse my MIL with measured tones, telling her how doctors have to triple book to keep their HMO contracts, and that health care is now an enterprise based on Wall Street profits, based on share-holders rather than people my MIL calmed down.

White Trash did not. (*WT for brevity furthermore)

WT started in, in a loud screechy voice, “Well, do you want the government involved? That will really fuck things up!” I cringed, for there was a woman with 3 children, aged about 7 months, 2 and 4 sitting across the room.

Then she went on about how horrible it is in Canada, although admitting when asked she knew no one in Canada. A friend of hers visiting Canada once years ago was enough to make her an expert in the field.

I engaged her briefly, since she was speaking directly to me, and her volume alone precluded pretending politely not to hear her.

Then it started to get ugly. She went on about how people with NO insurance have it so very good, they get any and all medical treatment they want on demand, and never have to pay a single penny. Having been one of the people with NO insurance for my many years waitressing, I assured her that was not true. Enter code-speak. “Well, maybe you’re not the right kind of person, she started, “My brother is a doctor and let me tell you that in downtown Chicago those people walk right in and get anything they want, while the people with insurance have to wait.”

“That is utter bullshit,” I said in a tone measured not to reach those baby’s ears. Louder, I added, “Everyone should have a right to being healthy and getting an education in this country. There are many European models that make us look like we are in the Stone Ages.”

WT answered, “I don’t know nothing about Europe, but I know damn well whats wrong with America.”

The lovely lady with the children added, “I agree with you.” to me. WT sneered a little but refused to even glance her way.

Now I am steaming. WT starts in on how everything wrong with this country is that people expect hand-outs and then dragged out the tired old boot-strap meme. She railed, she went on.

“We are just going to have to agree to disagree.” I said in my sternest voice, ending the conversation with the stone look on my face.

Nope. WT refused to be silenced. “Tell me how everyone can’t get an education, anyone who wants one can go, there are loans, and if people weren’t too lazy to work, they could have insurance too. Tell me how there isn’t equal opportunity for everyone in this country.”

I took the bait, refusing to let WT have the podium in a room-full of patients. I had to engage her carefully enough where she knew I wasn’t buying it, no one should be buying it, but carefully enough not to have her angrily end up spewing out of her red-as-her-hair face something those babies shouldn’t ever have to hear in their lives.

Luckily, right then the young mother and her children got called in to see their doctor.

“Look, I run a Political blog, and while I cannot claim to be an expert in everything, I have a lot of really smart people who write on my site. I have read economists, Military Commanders, doctors, lawyers and many other experts who have written about this.

There is NOT economic parity nor economic equal chance in this country. I have studied the actual demographics. The middle class is gone, honey, and 90% of the wealth in this country is now in 1% of the hands. There are no jobs. All these divisionary tactics keep us blaming eachother instead of the real problem. Greed. The haves and the have-nots.

I’ll give you American Axle as an example. Those hard-working factory people, men and women who may have given as much as 30 years of their lives working their butts off, just took a 50% pay cut.  Now the houses and student loans and their lifestyles had reflected a certain base pay, a pay no longer available to them. What happens to the broader market when all those people are foreclosed upon, because the money is no longer there?

Are you going to yell “bootstraps” at all these workers?

When there are no jobs, neighborhoods die, stores close, people move away, schools have no tax-base. In the meantime GM exec’s make 100 times what the factory workers who actually do the work make, and they send those jobs to goddamned Vietnam.

This is a class war. Husbands can’t support their families, women have to work, kids have to become latch-key kids… Thats whats wrong with America!

No darling, at one time Lee Iaccoca took NO salary for a few years, probably cashed in one of his Lears to survive it, to keep his company up and running, to make sure workers could afford the cars they made.

The PROBLEM isn’t those people the problem is the greed of the rich.

This conversation is OVER.”

The audience of patients, other than the young mother and her children, to WT and my exchange consisted of people in their 70’s and 80’s, all of which started saying “She’s right, thats true!” and murmuring agreement to my soap-box.

WT stood and said, “I don’t have time for this anyway. I’m not going to wait, my time is priceless, they can reschedule me.”

Jake and I excused ourselves to go outside for a moment after she left. We had been waiting over an hour already, and as we walked out laughed a little about the long hell of waiting… but:

My 9 year old is astute.

As I lit my cigarette he said, “Maaaaaaaan, that woman was Racist, huh Mom?” I said “Yep, I had to really bite my tongue to not let her know what I really thought of her “code words” like those people. She thought because we were white, we’d agree, but I will never agree with that thinking.”

Jake said, “You should have just got up and popped her one!” laughing.

“Uh, Jake, violence isn’t the answer, and I would have ended up in jail for assault.”

He had set me up, grinning broadly, “Yeah, but Jail would be better than in there!”

I laughed so hard I cried. “Gotcha!” He just gloated all over that he wanted to make that joke and I fell for it.

Jake is comic relief embodied.

sidebar to that: later the news was on in the waiting room, and it showed a horribly pot-holed road. Jake pops out “That road is worser than ours!” I eyeroll at him, “Jake, worser is NOT a word.” Not to be corrected, he replies straight faced, meaning it, “Well Kieth Olbermann uses it all the time!”

Again crying laughing, “Dude, never learn proper English from a comedian, its a Joke, not a word!”

Jake: “He’s Canadian?”

Mom: “No…” (looking confused for a moment) “He’s American”

Jake: “Well, you said he’s a Comedian, where’s that?”

Now I am just dying, laughing… the explanation ensued, but god, how can a kid be so astute one moment and such a little kid the next?

Another hour into it, my MIL finally gets called in, and shortly after the Young Mom and her babies come out. I held the door for her double stroller and toddler to walk out.

In the hallway, I said in a stage whisper, “Permission to speak freely?” She grinned and nodded assent.

“Had I not been afraid that racist, code-talking, those people, Downtown, bitch would say something those babies should NEVER have to hear in their beautiful lives, I would have been up in her face in a heart-beat. I just didn’t know how far she would go, challenged.”

“I know, I knew you got it, thank you. You did alright anyway, I’m thinking.”

She grabbed my hand, and squeezed it, and as I looked at my freckled golden skin next to her burnished ebony, I waved at my arm, and said “Just cuz mine looks like this doesn’t mean I’ll let her think I am anything like her.”

She said “You have a beautiful day, baby, you made mine!”

Jake was right, of course, I have never wanted to pop a woman in the mouth more.



Skip to comment form

    • Diane G on July 22, 2008 at 15:34

    Stupid people drive me bat-shit crazy.

    • RiaD on July 22, 2008 at 16:22

    ::stands applauding…& falls~ROFLMAO::

    • Edger on July 22, 2008 at 16:50

    is worth a minor assault charge.

    Not that I’d advocate giving anyone one, of course. 😉

  1. You know that there are lots of pig ignorant racist people in this world but it never fails to astound me when I encounter one. I hope the next time I’m stuck someplace and have to listen to this kind of crap I have the wits and courage to speak up.

    While canvasing in the primary towards the end of it my lists of doors to knock at had boiled down to strange houses in pockets of WT in my liberal city. I was astounded at how the people who have lost the most argued for their oppressors and blamed the ‘other’ for ruining a country that never was. For me humor worked as the only approach I could muster up. The WT women depressed me and the men just pissed me off. I did however learn to speak up and not just turn away from such ignorance, it no longer scares me these encounters with the parallel world.        

  2. My infrequent waiting room stays are never, never, never this entertaining.  Usually, they’re a boring read of 3 year old US magazines. Your visit reminds of Why I Live At The PO by Eudora Welty.  

  3. …for everyone, actually — from The Onion:

    Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

    Hat-tip Red Prince.

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