Archive for the ‘joan the crackpot’ Category

The space between ignorance and apathy. That describes my life in Hickory Hills. The conclusion came to me about 24 hours after Joan attacked me with her barrage of racial rants. Here was a neighbor, obviously pissed that Senator Barack Obama, an African-American, will become president of the United States, so it justified her rant. As I wrote earlier, I’m shocked that those who are closest to her never called her out on it. They send their kids to her. They have coffee with her. They cackle on the phone three times a day with her. C’mon, I’m not as dumb as I look. If walls could talk. I guess I’m naive. This is suburbia where its hard-working Americans wish to keep more of what they earn; send their children to good schools; and of course, be safe. But there’s that voice in me that says that these are code words.

Am I experiencing Suburban Guilt? Am I a hypocrite for living in this sanitized world while I display such concern for those less fortunate — while I stand by like Joan’s friends? I don’t consider myself better than Joan and company, but I know that I’m far more open-minded. How can someone who has raised kids and actively watches kids hold such ignorant opinions? I’m sure her defenders say that those subjects never come up, but what if they did? If so, then Joan is poisoning another generation. Oh, her defenders will say, “You’re making too much of this, Bobby.” No, I’m not. Ranting about Muslims to me is anti-Semitic. Taking it further and say, “Oh my, he’s black!” is racist. There is no room for interpretation.

Have Joan’s defenders become so insulated to think this way? I suppose this story is a good example of groupthink. They all want to be members in this ersatz club that they formed long before I moved here. Of course there are those on their street who moved in after me and were quickly accepted into their club so seniority doesn’t matter. What matters is that you must be a white, conservative Christian. It doesn’t matter where you came from. There are members from D.C., New York, Ohio, Texas and Utah. I grew up here in the ATL, but my parents Flo and Sidney are from Chicago. They moved here in the early seventies. Yes, I experienced racism and anti-Semitism. Maybe this is all a flashback. I grew up never saying calling anyone out on ignorance. But we’re adults here and as a society, we have grown, I think. We have a responsibility to call people out on this.

So, here I am between ignorance and apathy.


Joan the Crackpot approached me at the top of the street’s hill today. She lives on a cul-de-sac off of the main road that connects to mine. There are four other houses on her cul-de-sac that are the residence of four other crackpot families. Their views range from, “Who really brought down the twin towers?” to “The left-wing voter fraud conspiracy.”

I knew that Joan and her minions shared ridiculous thoughts, but today, I was floored.

“I can’t believe you’re voting for a Muslim!” she screamed in front of everyone within earshot.

I thought she was kidding at first. After all, the rumor that, “Barack Obama is a Muslim” had been put to rest a long time ago. It has become a joke to many. Somehow Joan was losing her mind if she ever had one, in the month following up to the November 2008 presidential election.

“He’s not only a Muslim, but he’s black,” she then said to her two suburban drone friends who were cackling by the nearby stop sign.

That part wasn’t really meant for me to hear by the way and it’s what sent me over the top.

I then said, “Sarah Palin is far more dangerous.”

She then replied, “At least she’s American!”

I simply said, “Well, Barack is going to win.”

“If he wins, I’m moving to Canada,” she commented to her two enablers.

I said, “Well, they don’t admit dumb rednecks into Canada. By the way, they have a lot of Muslims and national health care up there – both of which must scare the hell out of you.”

“You goddamn liberal smartass. You don’t see the light. His name is Barack Hussein Obama!” she screamed.

“And he’s not a Muslim and it was confirmed that he is Christian just like you,” I said.

“Oh, no you don’t. I’m nothing like him,” she yapped as her coke bottle glass fell down her nose. “He was in Indonesia for years and they trained him to be a terrorist. He’s a plant! He’s going to take over this country! I fear for what’s going to become of this country!”

“This country is becoming even more diverse with Muslims, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Indian-Americans and much more, you backwater inbred moron!” I screamed. She and her idiotic friends were stunned. Sure, I harbored resentment for these people from the moment I moved here, but they never saw me coming at them like this.

“It’s now confirmed. You are all officially morons,” I said as I chose to cool down and walk away. But a wave of depression overcame me and I’m not sure how I’ll recover. I e-mailed Larry about it. He e-mailed back and wrote not to worry.

Sure I could’ve gone back and forth about how he’s not a Muslim and there is little connection with the unsavory people in Chicago. Yada, yada. As I have stated before: I could care less about pond scum like this. Joan could get together with those jackasses and hold their neighborhood barbeques all they want. Would I have gone further? Perhaps. I know Jenny would have killed her. Still, here we are in suburbia where it’s supposed to be “safe,” but we aren’t “safe.” We are subjected to what I consider to be the crime of hate perpetrated by people who say they are educated. I told you about Gus. He went to Auburn. Joan herself went to Alabama and even Candy went to Georgia Southern. You would think with all of that education, they would have open minds. Instead they want to set themselves up in this walled-off subdivision north of Atlanta. They don’t want to learn about Judaism or Islam. Their nearby churches which are Baptist and Methodist are of the most conservative type you could find. Here I was naive to think that their houses of worship practiced tolerance, but their leaders instructed them all to vote Republican and ordered them to go on missions to places like El Salvador when their citizens were at their most vulnerable.

Don’t get me wrong, I can handle conservatives. We can agree to disagree. If you don’t like Obama for his tax policies or military strategy, that’s fine, but don’t go down this road about how he’s a Muslim and then get so hot under the collar, you get carried away and show your racism. If she said that to me on the street, I cannot even imagine what she says to her little buddies who go out with her to lame mainstream movies at night after they slop down their feed at Shoney’s.

For me this was an atypical day in Hickory Hills. Racism rears its ugly head. I really shouldn’t be surprised because it’s coming from Joan the Crackpot who resides on Crackpot Circle. We have come so far yet there is so much more to go. Joan probably shares her views with her three boys. I hope I’m wrong in assuming that. Perhaps all or just one of them will rebel when it comes to their mom’s racism. I’m looking up these days and I think one day we’ll have a colorblind society.