“Barack says we need to have a conversation about race in America. Fair enough. But this time, it has to be a two-way conversation. White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to. This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:
First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known. Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.
Second, no people anywhere has done more to lift up blacks than white Americans. Untold trillions have been spent since the ’60s on welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits and poverty programs designed to bring the African-American community into the mainstream.” – Pat Buchanan, as if white people don’t use welfare.
Pat Buchanan is a disgusting example of a sub human being. This man has the audacity to say that people in the black community should be on their knees thanking the white community for bringing our ancestors to America, subjecting them to slavery, denial of humanity, Jim Crow laws, segregation, denial of civil rights, and denial of opportunity. While the dominant community worked to keep black people within the strict confines of subjugation, the white community reaped the benefits of low cost black labor and the benefits of black people being artificially prevented from competing fairly in a capitalistic environment. The black American today should be thankful that although we live in the richest country in the world and earn wages that exceed many blacks elsewhere, we pay much more than many blacks around the world in order to exist without healthcare, equal wages, equal opportunities for education and employment, and the other social ills that run the gamut.
Black people need to be thankful that white people hanged our ancestors from the local tree. We should be thankful that our ancestors were used for government sponsored experiments on the effects of syphilis if left untreated. We should be down on our knees thanking god that white people sprayed our elders and ancestors with water hoses for having the audacity to demand to be recognized as an equal part of this society that works so hard to protect racial disparity. We should be thankful that prisons hold a disproportionately excessive number of our brothers and sisters while on the flip side the American corporation employs a disproportionately inadequate number of black people.
We should be thankful for all of this disparity that has become the norm of American society. According to Mr. Buchanan, this is a grievance that the white American community has against the ungrateful black people. White people paid good money to other white people to buy our ancestors. Why aren’t we more thankful?
Then again, why aren’t more people of Jewish ancestry more thankful to Nazi Germany for all the things the Nazis did for them? The German Nazi party spent a lot of energy building all of those concentration camps to house those Jewish people. Why aren’t more Jews more thankful for the sacrifice that Germany made for their ancestors and elders? How come there are no Jews thanking the Germans for all of those train rides that allowed them to see the countryside from the inside of a railcar? The Germans provided Jews with food, at least every now and then. The Germans actually set in motion a series of events that led to the establishment of Israel. It would not have happened without Adolph Hitler’s help. If we follow Mr. Buchanan’s racist logic, every person of Jewish descent should be on their knees thanking the Nazis for everything that happened to them.
But no one would seriously suggest that the Jewish people should be on their knees thanking Nazis for their sordid past. The German Nazi party abused and misused its Jewish population. Jews exist despite what the Nazis did to them. The same is true about the relationship between America’s black population and the dominant society. If racist white people had their way, the black community would continue to have no rights and to exist in nothing more than a subservient role to the white community. It is this blatant tolerance for racism against black people in this country that allows the white mindset of people like Mr. Buchanan to flourish and to publicly express some of the most asinine concepts with regards to the relationship between blacks and whites. Black people need to get down on our collective knees and thank white supremacist, kidnappers, enslavers, rapists, murderers, and many other white criminals simply because we continue to exist in an environment of racial disparity. How racist and self centered can you get?
However, in one respect, Mr. Buchanan is very correct. His assessment that America’s dominant community is directly responsible for the condition of the black community is very true. He is mistaken in his opinion that we should be thanking the white community for what they have done. A victim of rape wouldn’t roll over, get on his or her knees, and thank the rapist for a good fuck. A crime was committed. The dominant community needs to face the facts that it has abused the black community just like the Nazi Germany had to come to terms with the fact that it had abused its Jewish community. We would never tolerate anyone publicly saying that the Jews should drop to their knees and thank god for the Nazis and for all the abuses of the Jewish community simply because the Jews are thriving. What on Earth would drive a person to think that the black community would drop to its knees and thank America’s dominant community for all the abuses our ancestors, our elders, and we have suffered? The mere suggestion is intended as a slap in the black community’s face.
This is how people with the white mindset respond to a call for some kind of dialog to start the healing process to end America’s racial dysfunction. The white mindset doesn’t want to end it because these people are benefiting from the divide. The white mindset wants to keep this dysfunction going just like the plantation owner would do anything to keep slavery going. The white mindset wants to be thanked for what they have done that has caused the black community such despair. This is the face of compassionate conservatism. Mr. Buchanan has zero compassion for the black community or racial healing. It is because he is profoundly deep in his psychosis of white supremacy he maintains his delusion that black people need to be grateful for the crumbs America throws its way. No one is this much of a callous bastard by accident. Mr. Buchanan is making a conscious decision to never come to terms with America’s racism, the racist past, or the racial dysfunction that continues to support white privilege and black subjugation.
And unfortunately, Pat Buchanan is in no way operating individually or in a small club. Mr. Buchanan is part of a very large fraternity. He is the type of white man that would be more than happy to beat an enslaved African to within an inch of his life and then demand that the African lick his boot to show allegiance. He’s the type of white man that would turn a dog without a muzzle on black people conducting a peaceful protest. He is the type of white man that would turn to a group of black children and threaten to make their lives disappear if they don’t quit making trouble for white children who hang racially provocative nooses. He is the type of white man who would drag a black man behind his pickup truck with a chain around the neck and then get pissed when the black man doesn’t offer to pay for his gas. He is the type of white man that would turn loose a fire hose on blacks in a peaceful march and complain that the blacks didn’t thank him for not using bullets. He is the type of man who would deny black children an education. In fact, he’s more likely to suggest that we could reduce crime by aborting all black babies. He is the epitome of white privilege. He is a disgusting example of a sub human being.
To say that I love the world of Star Trek is an understatement. I’ve seen every episode of every series at least fifty times. One of the things that I enjoy about the people in Star Trek is how they come up with a logical explanation for things that look like magic. “Captain, it appears that these aliens have the mental ability to tap into the energies of the Cochran plasma fields to construct a warp field that can generate enough of theta radiation through the Broussard collectors to propel the Enterprise six hundred seventy eight point four two light years over thirteen point seven seconds.” Okay, my Star Trek lingo sucks but I hope you get the idea. There’s very little in Star Trek that cannot be explained by Star Trek terminology.
In the Star Trek Voyager episode The Ties That Bind, Kess, the almost elf like woman from the Delta quadrant who joined the Voyager crew through their adventure as they do their best to try and get home, is critically injured on an away mission with Captain Janeway. Her body came into contact with an energy field in one of the temple’s of worship on the planet. Kess is beamed back to the ship for immediate medical care. The computer generated holographic Doctor uses all the technology and knowledge at his disposal to save Kess’ life but the injury is just beyond his ability to comprehend. Captain Janeway returns to the planet to talk to the inhabitants and their spiritual guides to find a cure.
Their cure was to kill Kess. The cure required Captain Janeway to take Kess’ dying body back to the temple so that the energy field could finish the job. Captain Janeway wanted an explanation why such a maneuver would work. They refused to give her one. The science that the Voyager crew was familiar with had proven itself inadequate so obviously there was no logical explanation worthy of the crew’s comprehension. The lack of a comprehensible explanation of the cure did not mean that the cure did not exist. It only meant that the cure was beyond understanding.
The standard practice of standard society is to dismiss anything that cannot be explained to the satisfaction of scientist. This type of thinking was used to great affect with the American tobacco industry which used the lack of an irrefutable scientific explanation for the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. Even though the cause and affect of this link was more than enough evidence to justify the U.S. Surgeon General mandating a warning label on the side of each pack of cigarettes, the legal teams of the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel used smoke and mirrors to delay court judgments until the science could prove the link beyond the shadow of a doubt by even the most fervent cigarette industry supporter. Although people could no longer deny the science, there are certain benefits to denying the obvious.
Just take a peek at the brouhaha surrounding the science of global warming. Because all of the factors involved with this field of study are beyond our comprehension a lot of people are denying the cause and affect between pollution and global warming. Like the cigarette industry, big business polluters have a lot at steak in delaying doing anything about pollution of the planet. It’s nothing more than the cyclical patterns of natural global weather. So what if we every corner of the planet is experiencing once in a thousand year weather patterns practically at the same time. Killer tornadoes in February aren’t all that special. Disappearing glaciers tens of thousands of years old disappearing in a couple of years is nothing new to the planet. And the polluters have bought the finest scientist in the country to say there is nothing to worry about polar ice caps melting away. They also say there’s nothing to the theory that their view is tainted by the new enhanced size of their bank account as well.
The same logic goes into denying that racism is a factor in the economic disparity in the black community and the white community. A lot of people, both black and white and everything in between, take advantage of the insistence that the color of people’s skin is not a factor in employment, education, legal justice, wages, medical services, government representation, and the like. The fact that the black community happens to be on the shitty end of each and every yardstick used to measure social conditions.
Because we don’t have the technology or an acceptable way to measure people’s racist nature beyond a shadow of a doubt we can deny that racism is a factor in the plight of black people. It’s all just an illusion of black people’s imagination and insistence that the white mindset boogeyman or a group of white mindset conspirators are working behind the scenes to keep black people down. Forget your common sense. Forget any manifestations of cause and effect. In fact, according to the Supreme Court of the United States, the best way to defeat racism is to stop looking at it. A true head up the ass legal position if I ever heard one. If racism cannot be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt then we can dismiss it as nothing more than the disparity boogeyman just like the changing weather is from the global warming fairy or the lung cancer monster that used to hide under cigarette executive’s bed.
I have to confess that it chaps my ass whenever someone labels me with the stigma that I, a black man, am simply looking for a handout without putting in the work necessary to get ahead. I assure you that I have worked considerably hard. I have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. I have nearly twenty years of experience in the development of various database applications systems on platforms from COBOL to Oracle to PL/SQL to Visual Basic to Microsoft Access. I have worked in industries such as oil and gas, communications, health insurance, architecture, commodities trading, risk analysis, and manufacturing and distributing. I learned carpentry and built houses with my own hands. I have helped others when I could and I have accepted help when I needed it. I have paid dues.
When my son was born I made a conscious choice to leave a consulting job that paid okay but provided no health insurance in search of something better for my son. My woman and I were living in a predominantly white area with few friends. Literally, we would see another black person maybe once a week. I didn’t want my son growing in an area so divorced from the black community and so removed from his black relatives. I made the choice to return home to the neighborhood I grew up in smack dab in the heart of a traditional, urban, black community. Now with the benefit of hindsight I could make an argument that this may have been a mistake. But health insurance became a priority and we simply could not afford it where we were. I left that job eight months ago in an attempt to find work with benefits.
In the eight months it took to find a job I packed bottles in boxes for just above the federal minimum wage. This was a job where I had to stand on my feet all day on a concrete surface. Even with insoles in my shoes, when I would get home my knee joints, back, ankles and muscles ached so badly it was all I could do to make it to the bathroom for an Epsom salt bath when I got home. I usually felt better in the morning. But one morning when I woke up and my fingers had locked up as if I had rickets I took the warning my body was giving me to heart and quit. After that, I helped assemble computer displays for a local company that needed nearly four hundred monitors modified when the vendor shipped the wrong item. Instead of shipping everything back the vendor paid to have the screens changed on the spot. I worked in a warehouse with little heat in subfreezing temperatures.
I applied for hundreds of jobs. I did dozens of phone interviews. I went to a lot of face to face interviews with several of them requiring me to go across country. I’ve never embellished my resume. But inevitably the first question I’m hit with is, tell me about your experience with quantum physics. I never worked with quantum physics. Well why did we bring you here? That’s something you have to tell me. I worked hard just to get employed. It is my personal belief that I worked a lot harder and jumped through more hoops than the average job applicant. There is no doubt in my mind. Maybe it’s the hair. It is far too ethnic for a lot of people. When I’m introduced to an interviewer and they briefly get that repulsed look or the look of being hit with a phaser set at maximum stun it would be a logical conclusion. When so many interviews start off with some pretense that there’s been a mistake the logical conclusion is that I am not conforming enough to the ethnic standards established for African Americans. I don’t know how but I lucked up on a job where the decision maker didn’t care about hair or ethnicity but about getting the job done. Although rare, there are jobs available where the person doing the hiring truly does not care.
But let me say something relative simply and straight forward like how messed up it is that black people who embrace their African identity have to go through all of these changes and have to canvas the job market so much harder, longer, and stronger and the white mindset will dismiss this reality with a cliché that I, along with a great percentage of like minded people, want a handout or want it easy and don’t want to earn our opportunities. But this begs a few rather straightforward questions: Why the hell should my search for a job be any more difficult than the obviously white person who searches for a job? Without knowing anything about me and my struggle, or other black people and their struggles, why do people assume that people who refuse to dismiss the disparity are lazy and do not want to put forth the extra work necessary to obtain an opportunity? Just deal with it is the popular refrain.
Because I say that black people have it harder, and without much investigation to the contrary by people with an overwhelmingly complacent mindset to the status quo of black subjugation, I am minimized as being lazy and wanting an undeserved handout. Ironically, it is the people with the mindset to dismiss claims of racism without any effort at examination that are lazy and undeserving. Without so much as a glance at the actual circumstances people burst onto the scene to defend the status quo with about as much willingness to examine the issue from all perspectives as an ostrich with its head in the sand. People pull unsubstantiated stereotypical ideas out of the air that are given credibility by so many members of the dominant culture. Why? Because even though these ideas lack merit they perpetuate white privilege and black subjugation.
A lot of people talk about racial diversity. But only by well established parameters that are culturally superficial. People who are looking for an equal opportunity should be treated equally and not be dismissed or minimized simply because they want a fair shot at a piece of the action without having to change who they are. There are black people who don’t have a problem with abandoning their ethnicity. That’s their prerogative. But they are not the only black people trying to get a job. Black people who want to conform and be indistinguishable from the racially generic that’s assumed to be white have accepted that arrangement for their identity. However, black people who want to be identified and acknowledged as black people and not mistaken as a racial eunuch, and who do not appreciate being told how their blackness has been subdued to the point that people don’t see it anymore are looking for employment and educational opportunities as well.
Generally speaking, the problem is that the dominant community has a distinct advantage because our culture will grant the candidate that appears to conform to established stereotypes an opportunity before it is willing to take a chance on anything outside the established norm. The norm is that the white candidate is more acceptable than a black candidate. And then the black candidate who makes every effort to minimize his or her black culture is much more likely to be given an opportunity before the black candidate who embraces black culture. And all these suppositions are based on nothing that truly indicates the candidate’s ability to do the job like experience, education, certification, and skills. Our culture may make some timid steps for racial diversity. But cultural diversity that includes true African American culture and not the canned crap readily accepted by the dominant culture that only includes black icons such as Rosa Parks, Doctor King, Harriet Tubman, and the like, is avoided like the plague. Racial diversity is not cultural diversity.
Donald Rumsfeld was woefully inadequate as the Secretary of Defense. His mad dash for war and his inability to come to terms with the can of worms he championed to open led to his ultimate fall from public service grace. He bears a heavy responsibility for the mess this country has on its hands with the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Because of his influence in America’s foreign policy, America’s standing in the world has fallen considerably. Mr. Rumsfeld came into the current Bush administration with dreams of demonstrating the new technological and military prowess of the United States. Mr. Rumsfeld wanted to write the book on twenty first century war strategy. But instead, the book he’s more likely to be associated with is How to Fuck Up America on a Global Scale for Egotistical and Arrogant Dummies. He really screwed this country. But that’s old public news.
In the sixties, America made an effort to tackle the problem of poverty in this country. The Office of Economic Opportunity was established to administrate the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty. As part of the Great Society envisioned by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the federally directed application of resources to expand the government’s role in social welfare programs from education to healthcare was a natural continuation of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. When the War on Poverty was announced in 1964, the poverty rate in America was about twenty percent. The original administrator for this program was Robert Sargent Shriver from 1965 to 1968. The next administrator was Bertrand Harding from 1968 to 1969. By this time, the War on Poverty managed by the Office of Economic Opportunity had managed to steadily cut the poverty rate down to eleven percent without exception. The War on Poverty was going pretty well. But then President Richard Nixon appointed Donald Rumsfeld to head up the Office of Economic Opportunity, better known as the welfare office.
Arguably, the War on Poverty was derailed by the Vietnam War. The resources that were going into helping the underprivileged part of American society obtain education, housing, food, jobs and such were hijacked for the war effort. It appears to be the American way that waging war is our collective top priority. But right at this point is where the numbers showing progress began to reverse. The percentage of Americans in poverty began to grow again. Did Donald Rumsfeld have a hand in this reversal of fortune?
Mr. Rumsfeld is as staunch neo conservative as they come. These people reserve the bootstrap theory to individual finances for the majority of the public. But then these same conservatives work like hell and bend over backwards to cultivate corporate fascism in order to build wealth for a select few. The idea of a more equitable society where wealth and opportunity are much more evenly distributed is a philosophy that runs contrary to ideas of neo conservatism. These people believe that government regulations have no business in corporate America. The federal government needs to have as small a footprint as possible. But these people won’t hesitate to use federal government authority to regulate the individual’s bedroom life. You can use your business to screw people, just don’t be a homosexual and do it.
Mr. Rumsfeld has about as much compassion for the poor in America as hotel millionaire Leona Helmsley, Ebenezer Scrooge before his conversion, nuclear power plant owner Montgomery Burns of the Simpons fame, corporate raider Gordon Gecko from the movie Wall Street, and Michael Milken who made a fortune using the deregulated savings and loans industry to swindle people out of their life savings, rolled into one giant, narcissistic, neo conservative son of a bitch. And yet, this is the man that Mr. Nixon selected to lead the government agency whose primary charge is the elimination of poverty.
A lot of people have made the assumption that the welfare program was predominantly responsible for the destruction of the black family. The theory is that when people are given a government handout that they become complacent and unwilling to improve their condition. The image used to hammer this point home is the welfare queen who does nothing but has children and gets paid a federal subsidy for each child. For a lot of people, this woman is black and drives a late modeled Cadillac to the welfare office to pickup her check. Women who relied on a federal program for housing assistance could not have a man in their life and qualify for housing and so the man had to leave his children. And for a lot of people it is no stretch of the imagination to develop the mental picture of a black man abandoning his family.
However, welfare in itself is not the problem. When people have a hidden agenda to assure that the welfare program is a failure and they have the authority to implement policies, rules, and regulations to assure its demise, unfortunately chances are excellent that it will become a failure. If a person is a neo conservative and he is given the responsibility to assure that a government program designed to help eliminate poverty, a program that runs contrary to his personal beliefs, that program will be managed in a way to help assure its demise.
Mr. Rumsfeld had a vested interest in the success of his twenty first century war strategy. There was nothing he was not willing to do to assure America’s success and show the world that he was correct in his theories about a smaller, lighter, more technologically advanced fighting force. And yet, even with such an impetus for motivation and the support of the greatest military industrial complex ever developed and the world’s most powerful force of war ever imagined, Mr. Rumsfeld managed to screw things up royally. Torture in Abu Ghraib, fictitious weapons of mass destruction north, south, east and west of Tikrit, veterans not getting the care they need after they were injured in service to their country, American soldiers not getting the minimum armor necessary to protect their lives, rendition flights from all over the globe and etcetera. And that was when he was really trying hard to succeed. Just imagine what this man is capable of if he had a vested interest in something not being successful. It isn’t hard to believe that this man has the ability to make the word welfare synonymous with failure.
Governor Bill Richardson has made it official. It is believed that he is the first super delegate since the entire flap over Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s inflammatory sermons to make it publicly known that he supports Barack Obama. Over the weekend Mr. Richardson made his announcement with Mr. Obama by his side before an excited audience wild with enthusiasm. Mr. Richardson confessed that it was a difficult decision. The Clintons are long time friends and Mr. Richardson served as part of President Bill Clinton’s cabinet. The Clintons lobbied hard for Mr. Richardson’s support. And Hillary Clinton had squeezed out a win in the state of New Mexico. Mr. Richardson said that Ms. Clinton would be a wonderful candidate as well. But with all things being equal, Mr. Obama is the best candidate for bringing the country together and taking all of us forward.
James Carville, the man who engineered and handled Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign aspirations, was not a happy man when the announcement was made. He compared Mr. Richardson to Judas, the disciple who is well known as the alleged betrayer of Jesus the Christ for a few pieces of silver. The assessment is so unfair on so many different levels. It is Mr. Carville’s position that Mr. Richardson owes the Clinton’s so much that the welfare of the public should take a backseat to loyalty. Even if Bill Richardson feels that Barack Obama is the better candidate to lead the country he should have supported the lesser candidate and short change the country. Mr. Carville is also implying that Ms. Clinton is the savior of this country and Bill Richardson betrayed her for his own personal gain. But when Mr. Richardson made his own bid for the presidency he obviously didn’t feel that Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton was the best candidate for the job. Mr. Richardson felt that Bill Richardson was the best candidate for the job. If Mr. Carville wanted to call Mr. Richardson a traitor he should have done it before he dropped out of the race. And the fact that he associates betrayal to Judas was inappropriate as well.
As a young Christian, I was taught to hate the ancestor Judas Iscariot a long, long time ago. Judas betrayed the savior of the world for money. Thomas may have doubted the resurrection of Jesus. It was the disciple Peter that may have denied Jesus before the cock was through crowing. But it was the disciple Judas who is believed to have betrayed Jesus. Whenever the story of Jesus is depicted in a movie, Judas is regularly played as a black man. And many times, he is the only black actor in the performance. And I dutifully tried to learn to hate him.
But in the grand scheme of things, if the stories of Jesus are true Jesus was more than aware of what was going to happen. Jesus would not have become the icon of Christianity if he had not been crucified on the cross. Somebody had to turn him in in order for him to die for our sins. Judas had his role to play in the death and resurrection of Jesus. What would have happened if Judas did not do his part? I would imagine Jesus would have been waiting in that garden for something that would never come. And without his infamous death, there is a good chance that we would have only known the man Jesus and not the center icon of a religion Jesus.
In the Christian bible, the accounts of what happened between Jesus and Judas are told from the perspectives of Matthew, Mark, and Lucas. We know that Judas was Jesus’ right hand man. He was responsible for keeping tabs on the group’s funds and he was very close to Jesus. In the book and movie the DaVinci Code, it was suggested that some people believe that Jesus actually instructed Judas to turn him into the authorities. Imagine having a friend a best friend who has achieved rock star status among the public and becoming a thorn in the side of the establishment. Imagine your best friend asking you to turn him or her into the police. Imagine having your friend taken away to Abu Ghraib and being tortured within an inch of his life and then sentenced to die in the most tortuous, painful way possible. Depending on the depth of the love between the two, the betrayal could drive a person to suicide.
But interestingly enough, a few years ago, someone found a copy of the gospel according to Judas written in the third or fourth century. According to the teachings of Judas, it was not an act of betrayal but an act of obedience. Jesus required someone to set in motion the events that led to his spiritual release and to the inevitable fulfillment of the theological requirements that call for his ultimate sacrifice. The fact that there is a book of Judas should debunk the notion that this disciple ran off and killed himself as depicted in the gospel of Matthew and Acts and in many programs documenting the last days of the Christ. In the gospel of Judas, the other eleven disciples actually killed Judas by stoning.
One of the things that I was always naïve about was the fact that the twelve disciples got along well and were selfless and were the salt of the earth. But with any group of people there is bound to be some jockeying to usurp the position of Jesus’ successor. There were bound to be some first century examples of the political infighting that we’re being exposed to today. And character assassination against an opponent is one of the time honored traditions that people seeking power stoop to when their grab for power looks tentative. And with Judas being the frontrunner to being the chosen successor of Jesus, character assassination is probably a sure bet in the chaos that followed Jesus’ crucifixion. Anyone who follows Judas follows a man that betrayed Jesus. Judas says Jesus instructed him to betray him. Does that make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me! He probably did it for a few pieces of silver. Don’t follow a man that betrays people and doesn’t make any sense. Follow me! I make a lot of sense! A stone thrown at Judas is a stones throw for Jesus!
In the end, in the long run, I know that the ancestor Jesus did what he knew to be the right thing to do. And I also believe that if Jesus could turn to Peter and tell him that he would deny him he knew what was coming. In fact, it is my theory that Jesus was actually counting on this lone disciple and his close friend. Judas was only doing his part to assure that what was to happen occur as it was foretold. Judas was only doing what he had to do. Judas had to do what he believed is right. In this respect, maybe Mr. Carville’s accusation of Bill Richardson is more accurate than any of us may realize. Mr. Richardson is making the hard choice to do what is right for everyone. And if this makes him like Judas, I’m sure he should find himself in good company.
After the dominant community found Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s comments about the racial relations between blacks and whites so inflammatory, many have proceeded to punish Barack Obama. As a member of Reverend White’s church Barack Obama must support everything that Reverend Wright said. People act like no one would ever be a member of a group and disagree with leadership. For example, the idea that everyone that is an American must agree with everything that President George Bush does and says is as wrong as they come. Barack Obama has publicly denounced what his former pastor has said. However, there are so many people using Mr. Wright’s inflammatory but true comments as a means to beat down the African American candidate. People wanted Mr. Obama to denounce his former pastor and his friend. Too many people say that because Mr. Obama didn’t knee jerk and kick Mr. Wright like an extra point that Mr. Obama is not fit to lead America.
Personally, I found Mr. Obama inspirational. I was prepared to see him do the typical politician shuffle where he simply kowtows to the whims of the dominant community with the white mindset. I expected Mr. Obama to make his speech in front of the podium and do an impression of Bill Cosby and say something to the affect that the black community isn’t doing enough to make the statements of people like Reverend White a thing of the past. I fully expected Barack Obama to come out and say, “God damn America? God damn America? God damn the black community!” to voracious applause from a national audience that wants to see this black man, like many black people who are successful, prove his devotion to the status quo and to prove his willingness to separate himself from his black audience.
But Mr. Obama didn’t kick his pastor out of his life. In fact, he respectfully disagreed with his friend and spiritual mentor and downplayed their difference of opinion. He could no more disassociate himself from Mr. Wright than he could disassociate himself from the black community. That’s nothing Bill Cosby would have said. That’s nothing Oprah Winfrey would have said. That is nothing Tiger “I’m an AnythingButBlackian” Woods would have said. That is nothing that a lot of high profile black people who have been embraced by the dominant culture would have said. Mr. Obama had the courage to stand before the world and say that the solution is not the expedient dismissal of the black people who share a bitter sentiment. The solution is to come together and put the dysfunctional racial relationship we have on the table so we can get through this once and for all.
Good god! Why in the world did he do that?
Suddenly the white mindset realizes that this isn’t some Jell-O pushing black man running for President. This guy admits to being part of the black community. The last time I checked, Mr. Obama was losing political ground to his rival Hillary Clinton. Ms. Clinton had opened up a seven point lead in approval ratings over Mr. Obama. The implication is that the national community isn’t ready for any real racial healing. Mr. Obama didn’t condemn his friend hard enough. He didn’t denounce his friend fast enough. He didn’t distance himself from the inflammatory remarks far enough. He didn’t appear non black enough. A black man in a black church with leadership that talks about black issues means that he is trying to assert a black agenda on America. Mr. Obama would destroy white privilege. White people would never belong to a white church. Never mind the fact that white people belong to spiritual organizations like the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Polish National Catholic Church, the Ukrainian Greek Church, or the German Orthodox Jews. No one would make the argument that these spiritual organizations are the strongholds of white only sensitivities although they are void of any sizable black population.
Many people in America don’t want a candidate that is ready to heal race relations. As far as the dominant community is concerned, race relations are fine the way they are. If they weren’t they would’ve been changed years ago. If the dominant community had a problem with black subjugation they would never had institutionalized slavery and condemned black people to a second class status. It is not a problem. As far as the white mindset is concerned everybody needs to quit acting like race is a problem in this country. It is because of this tolerance for racial disparity that the dominant community becomes surprised to see black people frustrated to the point displayed by Reverend Wright in the video clip that has so thoroughly captured America’s extremely short attention span.
As far as the white mindset is concerned the way to heal race relation is to get black people to quit bitching about disparity. Nobody is doing anything to hold black people down. All those things like keeping black people enslaved while white people accumulated wealth, keeping black people classified as only three fifths human, keeping black people away from the voting booth with various Jim Crow laws, keeping black people separated from the white community with various segregation laws, denying black people civil rights, incarcerating black people for crimes that barely get a slap on the wrist for white people, using black people for syphilis studies, etcetera, etcetera, and etcetera.
Black people just want special treatment. And every year the America Congress has to deal with trying to balance a budget wrought with earmarks worth hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars sourced from special interest. It looks like special treatment is the American way. It works for the oil companies, it works for defense contractors, it works for big manufacturers who export their jobs overseas, it works for communication companies, the rich people get the lion’s share of tax breaks that average well over two hundred fifty thousand dollars per billionaire and millionaire, and a lot of other entities are doing well because politicians are taking care to treat them special. Everybody wants special treatment. But black people need to feel ashamed for wanting to be treated fairly, the attitude is fairness for black people is in itself special treatment.
Now that Mr. Obama has proven that his commitment to the black community is just as strong as his commitment to the white community he no longer is the most appealing candidate many people thought he was. Suddenly, Hillary Clinton and even John McCain appear much more appealing as the President. I’m not surprised. Suddenly, I find Barack Obama a much more appealing presidential candidate for the very same reasons. Ms. Clinton and Mr. McCain are more than committed to keeping the status quo. Mr. Obama should have remembered that the only black people who do well are the black people who pretend not to be black or who are demonstrably not affiliated with the black community.
Mr. Obama has shown that he’s not going to automatically absolve white America of its collaboration in the overall condition of the black community. He is not going to say white people have done enough and the black community needs to do its part. I thank Mr. Obama for having the audacity to stand by the black community. Too bad there are so many people in America that aren’t ready to face the dysfunction of our nation’s race relations enough to want a candidate that appears genuinely ready to do something about them. And in all honesty I seriously doubt if some of us ever will.
“Maybe one of you educated black people can answer a question for me. All the blacks that I know cant. How can black people have BET tv, black emmies, 100 blacks in law enforcement, etc, and this not be considered racist. But if I had WET tv or whites magazine I would have rev al and all the other clowns knocking on my door. If I felt theatened could I legally shoot them.” – a poorly thought out comment from Adolph
“hey brother peace, you still did not answer my question. Hoe come you can have the white emmies, 100 blcks in law enforcement, and ebony magazine and that not be considered racist. You will not answer my question because you are scared of the answer. The bottom line is is that you are a bigot. The only thing that people like you do is drive the wedge between black and white deeper. So much for freedom of speech,” – Adolph’s follow up comment, just as thoughtless as the first.
The ratio of television networks, cable networks, movie studios, magazines, books, newspapers, and etcetera that are targeted to the informational and entertainment interest of a predominantly white culture far exceeds the relatively small number that targets the black community. Magazines like Ebony and Jet and the cable channel Black Entertainment Television (BET) are hardly sources of information for truly conscious black people. Black magazines and books that focus the majority of their media to such trivialities as the latest fashion in clothing, the latest trend in hairstyles, or the hottest singers/actors in Hollywood or wherever cannot seriously be considered some kind of benefit to the black community. And as far as the modern day minstrel BET goes, I’d rather watch the FOX news network. I can’t stand to see so many black people bending over backwards trying to keep black people distracted from the real issues of concern to the black community. BET is no benefit to the black community.
Adolph and people who think, or more accurately don’t think, like him have been the target of a plethora of magazines, movies, networks, and such. How many television shows have there been that featured an all white cast with an all white production crew with all white writers and all white producers? Now, how many television shows have there been with an all black cast and an all black production crew and an all black writers? I would have to say none.
How many black people appeared on such notables as Friends, Frasier, Cheers, Wings, Andy Griffith, Suddenly Susan, Two and a Half Men, Sex in the City, My Three Sons, Leave It to Beaver, Alice, Bionic Woman, Six Million Dollar Man, Sarah Conner Chronicles, This Old House, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Yankee Workshop, Happy Days, Lavern and Shirley, the Lucy Show, I Love Lucy, MASH, Desperate Housewives, Dallas, Falcon Crest, Charlie’s Angels, Hotel, Dan Tanna, Monk, Laughlin, Just Shoot Me, the Golden Girls, the Brady Bunch, Seventh Heaven, Smallville, Dukes of Hazzard, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, the Lone Ranger, Trading Spaces, Ghost Hunters, Xena: Warrior Princess, Malcolm In the Middle, One Tree Hill, Degrassi, General Hospital, One Life to Live, Blog Cabin, the Beverly Hillbillies, Hee Haw, Breaking Bad, the Honeymooners, the Addams Family, the Munsters, the Patty Duke Show, Father Knows Best, the Danny Thomas Show, the Dick Van Dyke Show, Rhoda, Maude, the Mary Tyler Moore Show, That Girl, Mary Hartman, Soap, Dead Like Me, The Rifleman, The Sopranos, Will and Grace, Mad About You, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie, the Flying Nun, Dream Car Garage, the Hulk, The Hills, Baywatch, Dawson’s Creek, Twin Peaks, Ryan’s Hope, Gomer Pyle, Mayberry RFD, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Imus In the Morning, JAG, Beverly Hills 90210, Simon and Simon, Murder She Wrote, Remington Steele, Moonlighting, Sybil Shepherd Show, Murphy Brown, That 70’s Show, The Nanny, anything with Bob Vila, Dharma and Greg, Charmed, the Gene Autry Show, Mama’s Family, Crossing Jordan, Family Ties, Matlock, Numbers, Nash Bridges, Caroline In the City, Boy Meets World, Melrose Place, Home Improvement, Dark Angel, Profiler, Gilligan’s Island, Get Smart, Unhitched, The X Files, Roseanne, Green Acres, McMillan and Wife, Heck Ramsey, Valerie, One Day At a Time, Seinfeld, Daniel Boone, Medium, King of Queens, Dynasty, the Love Boat, and so many more. Many of these shows didn’t have a single black actor, some only have one black actor,
How many magazines are there for white people? Let’s see…there’s Glamour, Elle, Mademoiselle, Us, Cosmopolitan, In Style, Sunset, Lifestyle, In Touch, American Cowboy, American Spectator, American Cattlemen, Allure, Another Magazine, Bridal Guide, Brides, City, Elegant Bride, Guns and Ammo, Adventure Kayak, American Angler, American Handgunner, American Snowmobiler, American Cheerleader, Archery Business, ATV Magazine, ATV Rider, ATV Sport, Back Country, Bassin’, Black Power Guns and Hunting, Bluff Magazine, Boating, Bow and Arrow Hunting, Bow Hunter, Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine, Canoe and Kayak, Dirt Rider, Field and Stream, Fish and Fly, Golf Digest, Gun Dog, Hunt Club Digest, Deer and Deer Hunting, Southern Living, AmericanStyle, Backpacker, Budget Travel, Seventeen, Boy’s Life, Cosmo Girl, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Garden, Teen Vogue, People, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Everyday With Rachel Ray, In Touch Weekly, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Spin, Star, Us, Today’s Christian Woman, Christianity Today, At Home With Our Faith, End Time, America’s Civil War, Martha Stewart’s Living, Martha Stewart’s Weddings, World War II Magazine, Maxim, Women’s World, Lucky, Outdoor Life, American Girl, W, Good Old Days, Military Heritage, Barrons, Men’s Health, Popular Science, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Esquire Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, Marie Claire, Town and Country, Taste of the South, Robb Report, and so many more. But people like Adolph are worried about Ebony and Jet.
White people have a variety of mediums that are focused on their interest and entertainment. And not a single one has been visited by Reverend Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, or anybody else. But the very idea of a black focus magazine or a single cable network comes out as too raw for people who think the black community is getting too uppity. Black people are bigots and white people are the victims of black people’s unfairness. Obviously, the black community is just way too unfair to white people. It would be much fairer if black people didn’t have anything to look at. That would make so much sense to people like Adolph. Can’t have bigots going around accusing people in the black community of being bigots.
“…slavery was abolished more than a hundred years ago, but the topic is still brought up as leverage against the white community. [no one] living has been a slave, and [no one] living has been a slave owner. to bring this topic up further separates the two races…and on this note, why is it that more emphasis is put on to anything a white person says about a black person, when it is automatically wrong if a white person even utters one word about a black person. this in [general] is wrong. the [leniency] towards black people segregates the two races even more…African American people of lighter pigment however can only be called white as there is no other term for them…[i am] open to change of opinion, but i have to see both sides of the spectrum first.” - comment from therevlonspamqueen
Slavery is not brought up as leverage on white people. If it was being used as some kind of leverage one would have to admit that it really isn’t working very well. The suggestion that slavery is brought up as some form of punishment on white people is idiocy in its rawest form. I’m not sure of the motivation for other people but my point in bringing up slavery is to demonstrate the history or foundation of the relationship between black people and white people in this country. The history of slavery is not to be forgotten. It is indicative of the natural thought process and attitudes that the majority of white people feel towards black people. And a people who forget their past are doomed to repeat it, revel in it, and perpetuate it. I understand why white people would want to forget slavery. It is a stark reminder of their depravity and inhumanity towards black people. But black people should not forget.
Unfortunately, so many black people have been programmed by the dominant culture to sweep America’s institutionalized slavery under the proverbial rug so that we can just move along and so called “heal” while we live in conditions of perpetual subjugation. Just like it was from the very beginnings of our races mixing, so as it is today, so will it be in the future. Regardless of what measurement you wish to apply, whether it is personal wages, wages as a group, medical services, legal representation, housing, funds for education, employment, etcetera, black people live in conditions that are substandard to the conditions of white people. As a whole people in the white community live better. This is general speak and not to be taken as a rule without exception. No one alive may have been a slave owner. But that does not mean that black people are not being subjected to the very same subjugation that our enslaved ancestors suffered under. Our ancestors were robbed of wealth and the opportunity to accumulate material goods and property while white people could. Our ancestors and elders were robbed of educational opportunities that kept them ill equipped to compete in the job market and earn income. That wealth was passed from one generation to another allowing the children of white people to start their life with more choices and more opportunities and with less drawbacks. Black families could not pass the same wealth down to their children. Therefore young black people will start their careers with limited options and opportunities.
And when black people have the nerve to speak of these inequalities somebody comes out the woodwork to tell black people they need to be happy and quit playing the victim. And if the dominant culture can find a black person to spew the assimilation rhetoric for them, then this is just so much for the better. Grab one black person and hold them up high as the shining example of what all black people can be. But then the dominant community will keep a foot on the collective neck of the rest of the black community in order to keep white communities and institutions from being overrun with black people.
I am a black man. I appreciate being called a black man. I would be offended if someone were to walk up to me and say something stupid like, when I see you I don’t see a black man. My question would be, then what do you see? Obviously you don’t care to see who I really am. Obviously you want to deny me my identity. Black people who are offended at being called black are not trying to be black. They are doing their best to assimilate and do not want to be reminded from whence they came. These people know that in order to get ahead they must shed the baggage of being black. I welcome that baggage. I am black. Although it is apparent that I may have some European blood in my genealogy I do not want to be mistaken for anything other than a black man.
And people want to make the claim that black people are being treated leniently? This is a matter of opinion of course. I don’t think John White who was found guilty for protecting his family from a drunken white mob would agree. I don’t think the family of Martin Lee Anderson who went for a joyride in his grandmother’s car and ended up being murdered by seven boot camp guards would agree. I don’t think the black boys who were prosecuted in Jena, Louisiana for attempted murder for a school fight with white boys would agree. I don’t think the families of Amadou Diallo who was murdered by police in a hail of bullets for pulling out his wallet, Sean Bell who was murdered by police in a hail of bullets as he went home to prepare for his wedding day, or Abner Louima who was sodomized with a broom handle in a police station by the police would agree either. Shelwanda Riley the fourteen year old who was punched in the face by a police officer for breaking curfew, Genarlow Wilson who received ten years of prison for being seventeen and having consensual sex with his fifteen year old girlfriend, or Shaquanda Cotton who received a seven year prison sentence for shoving a hall monitor at her school would disagree as well.
When black people get a job on average their rate of pay is twenty five percent less than white people. Black unemployment is higher. Black people in a place of employment are automatically assumed to be there only by the benefit of affirmative action. And you assume this to be preferential treatment.
If it is true that white people cannot say one word about black people without getting in trouble then how come they constantly do it and still get ahead? Don Imus is back on the radio and he now has his own television show. Bill O’Reilly constantly degrades the black community. Rush Limbaugh is more popular than ever. Ron Paul ran for the White House while making his contention that ninety percent of black men are criminals. Mark Fuhrman has his own radio show in syndication after he was recorded saying the derogatory comments about black people. And Duane “Dog” Chapman is getting his television show back after he was recorded berating his son for dating a black woman. Michael Richards gets on stage at a comedy club and says to the black people in the audience, “Fifty years ago we’d have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass. You can talk, you can talk, you’re brave now motherfucker. Throw his ass out! He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger! A nigger! Look there’s a nigger! What? They are going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger?” Sounds like a lot more than one word and yet Jerry Seinfeld still comes to his defense. Mr. Richards said he was sorry so what more do people want? Right after that Seinfeld DVD sales spike through the roof. You may think white people are being unfairly treated. But in the reality it really doesn’t sound like white people are getting into all that much trouble. They may get some attention. But if experience is any indication the dominant white culture will support their members that overtly subjugate and degenerate black people
You said “[I’m] open to change of opinion, but [I] have to see both sides of the spectrum first.” But you didn’t need to see both sides of the spectrum to form your opinion that “it is automatically wrong if a white person even utters one word about a black person” and “the [leniency] towards black people segregates the two races even more, but now, it is in favor of black people.” Where is it in black people’s favor? What Fortune 500 company is run predominantly by black people? How many companies are there where the vast majority of office workers and executives are black? How many black Presidents have their ever been? How many black Senators are there? How many black people are Governor of a state in this union? How many white people enjoy these positions? And yet, you believe black people have it lenient.
I appreciate your sentiment that you want to be fair. But these are only words. Even though you say yourself that you are aware of the unfair treatment of blacks today you have already made up your mind that black people are being privileged and are being treated leniently without getting all the facts. You have an opinion that black people have it easy despite all the evidence to the contrary. You have a prejudice against black people and it will not change with any words written here. If you want to be fair take your blinders off and look at the world with a truly open mind. Black people have leniency is a joke and you really need to quit trying to make me laugh.
I’m small enough to admit that I may have been wrong. I am not so entrenched in my ideology that I cannot bend to another person’s idea. With that said, I have to admit to being heavily politically seduced by Barack Obama’s speech on race relations. It was not a speech that called for the public to vote for him for he alone is the key to America’s salvation. It was a speech that called for all of America to come to terms with the racial dysfunction that continues to permeate our country, black and white people alike.
I have to confess that I am suspect of any white person that claims they know how black people feel. Racially speaking, after well over two hundred thirty years of white rule and domination this country is no different that it was in the beginning when the institution of slavery was in its heyday. Through the use of any and every measure used to measure disparity, black people must endure losing in the comparison. White people say no one helped them when they were struggling to make it. White people regularly talk about preferential treatment for black people. I still have yet to find any example of black preference by any corporate or educational institution. Saying twenty percent of the opportunities must be reserved exclusively for racial and gender minorities means that eighty percent of the opportunities go to white males. Eighty percent sounds like white males have more than their fair share of preferential treatment. My personal opinion is that individual white people may have issues with rather narrow and self serving specifics in America, but the problems of disparity in the black community are widespread and common to black people.
For a long time people both black and white have claimed that racially insensitive remarks could help spark a conversation about the racial divide. It happened after Don Imus referred to the women’s basketball team of Rutger’s University nappy headed ho’s. It happened after Duane Chapman goes on record saying he hates soulless niggers. But the resulting conversation is never a meaningful or respectful one. It usually runs along the lines of black people need to get their house in order before taking white people to task for being insensitive. Black parents need to talk to their kids and ask them how was their day if black people want to improve conditions in the black community. Somehow talking to our kids is going to enable black people to find jobs, obtain medical care, get more funding for black community schools, and the like. Or, this dialog will run along the lines of black people need to get over themselves. No one cares. No offense but that’s just the way it is.
But after outlandish racially insensitive charges from Geraldine Ferraro that Mr. Obama has nothing going for him but his skin color and excerpts from a sermon from Mr. Obama’s spiritual teacher the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Mr. Obama found himself at the racial crossroads. Too many people from the dominant culture found Reverend Wright’s statements too offensive to trust Mr. Obama. In order to win their trust Mr. Obama has to sacrifice his relationship with the man that performed his wedding ceremony to his wife Michelle and who baptized his two daughters. The dominant culture wanted to see Mr. Obama sacrifice his relationship with an old friend so that they could feel safer voting for Mr. Obama. His hands were tied. He had to say something.
Mr. Obama is well known as a master of speech making. We just didn’t know how well until he made this speech. Like many black people, Mr. Obama is walking a tight line between his racial identity and his national identity. Black people have always loved their country. Yes there are times that we have to throw our hands in the air and scream with rage and even fight the powers that be because of the disparity that comes at the hands of the dominant community hell bent on keeping us from succeeding. Even the late great Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the greatest icon of the civil rights movement, said that he was wrong about integration into the American whole. Dr. King compared black people integrating into America to integrating into a burning house.
But politics and politicians are quick to do what is most expedient for getting votes. I fully expected Mr. Obama to bow to pressure and denounce his old friend. I was surprised to see Mr. Obama stand by his mentor and his friend. I was surprised to hear Mr. Obama reveal that this white grandmother would use racial and ethnic slurs in front of him, but he loved her and he knew without a doubt that she loved him back. I was surprised to hear that Mr. Obama could no more disassociate himself from his pastor than he could disassociate himself from the black community. I was encouraged to see Mr. Obama stand by his friend, stand by his family, stand by his community, and make a plea to the rest of his country that we make the effort to put this bias behind us and come together.
Mr. Obama has always claimed that he could reach to the other side of the aisle and help mend fences. When he made that statement my first thought was that he was talking politically and that he would be willing to reach across the aisle and embrace members of the Republican Party. But then he said he would be willing to reach out to other countries, even ones that were formerly known as the axis of evil, and work to mend fences. But now I know, unequivocally, that he can reach across the racial divide and mend fences there as well. A lot of people knew this before I did. A lot of people, both black and white, knew what they were doing when they were voting for Barack Obama. I’m glad they did.
Mr. Obama came to the crossroad and he took a step. He could’ve taken the easy route. A lot of people will continue to reject Mr. Obama for superficial reasons. He didn’t reject Reverend Wright outright, he didn’t reject him fast enough, he betrayed his grandmother, he didn’t wear the right colored necktie, or he continues to not wear an American flag lapel pin. But these people would have rejected him no matter what. Some radio pundit made the suggestion that he waited too long to say anything about this and now it is all too late. But America has been waiting for almost four centuries for someone to say something positive about race relations. Somebody else made the statement that no matter what he says in his speeches they wouldn’t trust Barack Obama. Surprise, surprise that people would take this attitude in this country. But while other people may see this as being too late I found the words very timely. I am small enough to say that I may have been wrong.