Category Archives: Race

Dumbing Down in Dayton

     Dayton, Ohio, has lowered the standard for the police officer qualifying test.  To qualify, applicants had to score 66% and 72% on the two parts, but now they only need to score 58% and 63%.  Would you want a police officer coming to your rescue who could only master a little over half of the material on a test–material that he could learn from the prepration booklet?  I wouldn’t.

     But what is the city to do?  They have been criticized for not having enough African Americans on the police force.  They need new recruits badly.  Apparently any warm body will do.

     What bothers me is the inherent racism.  Last year I commented on the Connecticut firefighters who were denied promotion because of affirmative action.  Some commenters told me I was wrong, but the Supreme Court backed me up.  It was unfair discrimination, because the white firefighters happened to be more qualified than some of the black firefighters who were put ahead of them.

     If a white person were to sneer at African American officers and say, “You only got on the force because you are black,” many people would call that person a racist.  Okay, but what do you call city leaders who are making that claim a reality?

      And isn’t the real problem here that there are not enough African Americans who are able to pass the test?  The city of Dayton should come down hard on their public schools.  They should demand to know why the public schools are turning out graduates who cannot pass such a test.  It’s criminal for those schools to keep paying teachers who are not teaching.

     And isn’t the other real problem the values of the African American community at large?  Why aren’t black parents in Dayton pushing their kids to excel?  Why aren’t they giving them the support that they need to succeed in school and to make themselves qualified for a career?  I’m speaking in general terms, of course.  There are undoubtedly many successful African Americans in Dayton and many functional, highly motivated families in that community.  Maybe some of them need to discover the source of these problems and help to fix it.

     Maybe in the end it doesn’t matter.  Maybe it doesn’t matter how many black people are on the police force in Dayton.  As long as all people have the opportunity to serve on the force, mabe it doesn’t matter what the racial makeup of the force is.  Maybe there just aren’t that many African Americans in Dayton who want, really want, to be police officers.  That’s okay.  Nobody should be saying that they have to do that particular job.  It is racist to assume that white people would not treat everyone fairly as police officers.

     Those who read my blog regularly will not be surprised at my conclusion.  If African Americans in Dayton want to be police officers, then they should do what it takes to qualify.  The burden of responsibility is ultimately on them.  They shouldn’t let the city dumb down the standards in order to allow them to “pass.”  They should feel insulted at the very idea.

My View of Martin Luther King

     White people should admire Martin Luther King almost more than any other American of the past.  African Americans had every right to turn on the American government and the white majority with a vengeance, but King insisted on non-violent resistance.  Those whites who stood in the way of equality should be thankful that he followed Jesus, Thoreau, and Gandhi in his leadership of the civil rights movement.

     I admire Martin Luther King.  He was a truly great man–one of the best men who has ever lived.  What makes him great in my mind that he lived what he beleived.  Most of us are hypocrites, and I suppose that King was in some ways, too.  However, when it came to the really important matters he had unwavering integrity, and that gave him unwavering courage and persistence.

     I remember the first time I saw a “Whites Only” sign.  I was in the American History Museum at the Smithsonian Institute at about age 12 or so.  I had read about segregation and I had heard my parents and teachers talk about it, but now before me was the physical evidence.  It was undeniable.  I think it dawned on me for the first time that people had really mistreated black people and had insisted on separate and unequal.  I think that in my childlike mind I had never accept that it could ever have happened, but I came to see that it had.

     I grew up in a city in the Northeast where schools were integrated already.  My parents had African American friends, including one African American woman who was married to a white man.  I used to walk to the corner store in my neighborhood and see black people along the street or in the store.  I really could not conceive of it being any other way. 

     My family has believed in freedom and equality for black people since colonial times.  It was a legacy that was passed down to me. 

     A few years after I saw the sign with my own eyes, we moved to the South.  The town where I started seventh grade had a neighborhood called Quarters.  It had originally been the slave quarters on the early plantation there.  I heard my black friends say that they had “come over to the white school.”  I was incredulous.  I could not understand what a “white school” or a “black school” could be.  I thought that segregation was a thing of the distant past–that it had ended by the time my classmates and I had started school.  It turns out that the school district where I started seventh grade was one of the last two in the state to finally comply with the order to desegregate.

     The Lion’s Club in that town had a swimming pool, and it was for white people only.  It was that way for years, until they were finally ordered to integrate it, sometime in the late 70′s.  Instead they filled it in, deciding that they would rather close it altogether than have black and white kids swimming in it together.

     I frequently heard the N-word, and I frequently heard jokes that included that word.  I made it clear to my white classmates that I did not appreciate it, and that any of them who claimed to be Christians (most of them did) were not really Christians if they did not obey Jesus’ command to love everyone and to treat others as they would want to be treated.  Although they pretended to be indignant, I believe that most of them came to respect me and a few eventually came to agree with me.  Spending six years in school with the “others” eventually brought some acceptance of black kids by white kids.  Eating lunch each day in the cafeteria, cheering for black footbal players, serving together on the student council, and riding on the bus together during band or choir trips seemed to chip away at prejudices and misunderstandings.  It turned out, my white friends realized, that black people were people just like them.  Imagine!

     One thing I saw that amuses me when I look back is that some of the better whtie kids who had to pretend to be civil and polite to black kids eventually came to see some of them as friends.  By the time I graduated, several of my white classmates had sincere friendships with some of my black classmates, and in some cases those friendships continued down the years.

     I wrote those bits of personal history to reveal some of my perspective.  I have never looked down on African Americans and have always believed in inherent equality between people of all races.  I am thoroughly disgusted by prejudice and bigotry.  That is why I can sincerely say that I admire Martin Luther King and other leaders who fought for civil rights and equality.

Looking Deeper Into the Knapsack

     Two readers suggested that I read this essay.  At first I could not bring myself to read it, but since I decided to respond to it, I thought that I should.  It’s hard to read.  It’s annoying, because it is so full of politically correct mumbo-jumbo that I find myself wanting to take a red pen to it to mark my many objections and challenges.

     The essay is vaguely familiar.  I do not know if I have read it before or if it just contains all the typical catch-phrases of the intellectual leftists, so that I only feel as though I have read it before.

     The author, Ms McIntosh writes, “My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor. . .”  This is not the first egregious statement in the essay, but it is the first that I absolutely balk at.  I cannot imagine that Ms McIntosh has ever oppressed anyone, except maybe, humorously speaking, her younger siblings if she has any.  Why should a school teach her to see herself as something that she is not.  Then again, if she really has oppressed people, then she should admit it and make amends.  If she is truly an oppressor, she has bigger problems than a misplaced sense of guilt for having “white privilege.”

     She also writes, “. . .so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work which will allow ‘them’ to be more like ‘us.’  This is but one example of the double talk and gobbledygook that is rife within the “every white person is racist” crowd.  First they tell us that white people are privileged and unfairly advantaged and that black people are oppressed.  One could assume, then, that what black people want is to have more privilege and more advantages; in other words, “they” want to be more like “us.”  If that is not what black people want, then what are we arguing about anyway?

     One assumes that working for the benefit of others is a good thing.  The alternative is to work for the detriment of others.  I wonder that Ms McIntosh didn’t give up working altogether, since having a job is proably another way in which she was unfairly advantaged.

     I think it is wrong to say anything definitive about whole races of people.  There is no such thing as “what black people want.”  There is only what each person, black or white, wants.  And the only way to know is to let each person speak for himself or herself–not to make pronouncements as though one is omniscient.  Then again, I think it is possible to talk about what most people want, and that seems to very little to do with whether a person is white or black.

     Ms McIntosh then begins her list.  It is interesting, and some of her points have validity.  Nevertheless, I disagree with certain aspects of almost all of them.  I’ll take just a few.

     “I can if I wish arrange to be in the people of my race most of the time.”

     First, Ms McIntosh seems to me to be admitting that she is very ethnocentric.  Maybe not, since she said if I wish.  I do not see why anyone would arrange to be around people of their own race most of the time.  Its fun and interesting to know people of other races.  I would prefer that neither black people nor white people act so exclusive.

     Besides, wasn’t the whole point of integration that white people were trying to keep black people associating only with people “of their own kind”?  It doesn’t make sense to suggest that white racists’ real problem was forcing black people to spend lots of time with them and thus to be away from their own race.

     “I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.”

     This one is certainly outdated.  I can remember when I first heard the complaint expressed that black people were underrepresented in the media.  I can also remember some of the first all-black or mostly-black television series.  Now there is at least one network devoted to black people’s interests.  Now some of our hottest stars in television and movies are black.

     “When I am told about our national heritage or about ‘civilization,’ I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.” 

     This one is outdated but also inaccurate.  It now goes without saying that America’s heritage was made by people of several races and not just by white people.  It is part of every history curriculum and is the subject of documentaries galore.  I’m not sure what McIntosh had in mind when she mentioned “civilization.”  The thing is that schools used to teach Western Cvilization, because, like it or not, that is the background of most Americans.  We now have excellent curricula in our schools that teach on a variety of civilizations and their contributions to the world at large.

     This statement is very misleading and outdated.  Since the 1950′s, it has been possible for black people to buy music produced by other black people.  And it became extremely popular among white people as well.  As a person with eclectic taste in music, I don’t even get the phrase “the music of my race.”  It’s pretty weird in my book.

 

     When I go to my grocery store I can find stacks of tortillas, jars of mole, and fresh jalapeno peppers.  Those things are pretty exotic for a white boy from Vermont.  I can also find collard greens, black eyed peas, chit’lin’s, and other foods that my black friends used to rave about.  In another aisle one can find rice noodles, canned bamboo shoots, and bean sprouts.  The refrigerated section even has tofu.  I don’t know where McIntosh shops, but it is not at my local grocery store.

     Besides, whenever white people talk about food that is typical of African American culture, they are branded as racist.  There’s no particular food that all black people like, anymore than there is any particular food that white people like.  Most of my black friends are huge fans of pizza, just like my white friends.

     One time my son, who comes from Africa, decided that he wanted his hair braided in rows.  When I looked in the phone book I noticed several salons that catered to black people.  It didn’t take long to find one in our neighborhood that had a woman who specialized in braiding.  When our son just wants a buzz cut, we go to the cheap salon (where lower middle class people go) and there are usually several black women and several white women working there, all of whom can run clippers through my son’s hair.

     “I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.”

     I wonder if McIntosh went to a a “nice” private school or if she sent her kids to one.  When I was growing up there was plenty of bullying to go around, and it had litle to do with race.  Both the perpetrators and the victims could be of any race.  And when I was in middle school my black principal tolearted no bullying of any kind, no matter what race or races were involved.  Most of the bullying I endured was from other white kids who resented me for getting good grades and who knew that the could “take” me because I was short and scrawny.

—–

Enough.  I have made my point.  I know some people will not like what I have written.  That’s okay.  There is a lot of stuff in writing that I don’t like.

      “I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can cut my hair.”

Not Racist, Period

     It was suggested that I read this article about racism.  It was very interesting and made several good points.

     However, a major flaw in the article is equating being “prejudiced” with being “racist.”  The words overlap, but they are not synonymous, and it is a shame that people use them interchangeably.  You probably cannot be a racist without being prejudiced, but you can certainly be prejudiced without being a racist.  For example, a white man can be prejudiced against blonde females, although they belong to the same race.  It doesn’t even mean, necessarily, that he hates them or feels superior to them.  It just means that he makes an assumption, or a set of assumptions, about them without any evidence.

     The article, as I said, is interesting, but it does not really have much to do with me.  I have never in my life said, “I am not a racist, but. . . ”  What I have said, and what I maintain is that I am not a racist at all.  I am not a racist, period.  No buts.

     I have never said the N-word.  (My mother would have washed my mouth out with soap and spanked me and grounded me and done whatever else she could think of.)

     I have never accused black women of failing to support black men.  I’m not even sure how or why anyone would say such a thing.

     I have never said that black people have low I. Q.’s. 

     I have never slapped a black person (or anybody else) across the face.

     I am using examples from the linked article, but I could add some of my own.

     I have never burned a cross in somebody’s yard or painted graffiti on anyone’s house.  I think that people who do should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

     I have stood up to racists and told them that they were wrong.  One of them was a teenager who said that his father would shoot me for being a N-lover.  (The father did not do it, thankfully.)  If racists want to kill me, I highly doubt that I am one of them.

     When I was on a trip with my high school marching band, the band director assigned me a black roommate, because he knew that I was the only white kid who would be willing to stay with him.  I thought nothing of it, except that among the black kids, he is not one of the ones that I would have chosen as a roommate.

     When one of my high school friends married a black woman, and his racist family turned against him, I sided with him.  I embraced his wife as a friend.

     In fact, and I certainly hesitate to write it, I have had several close friends who are black.  (I know that saying so pretty much brands me indelibly as a racist in the minds of some, since mentioning black friends is a defensive strategy that racists use, but what is a person to say if he really does have black friends and really does love them as equals.)

     I admire many black people for their contributions to society, including great contributions in art, science, politics, and other fields.

     I observe that being black, physically speaking, has some advantages to being white. 

     I feel that I am absolutely bound, by my faith in Christ, never to consider anyone or to treat anyone as inferior to me.  In fact, I am to regard other people as superior to myself, and I endeavor to do so.

—–

    It hurts, really hurts, when somebody says or implies that I am a racist.  In my mind, a racist is just about the worst sort of human being possible.

White Privilege

     I remember the time that my mother and stepfather came back from the county office that gave out the food boxes.  The boxes contained surplus food, and, if you qualified, you could stand in line for a few hours and get a box.  I thought it was great that they got free food.

     My mother did not think it so great.  I was only eight years old, but I was old enough to understand what she was telling my stepfather.  She had never felt so humiliated in her life.  She would rather work extra shifts as a waitress than to ever stand in that line again.   My mother had been poor, very poor, but this was the first time that she ever asked for or accepted a handout.

     My stepfather had been in an apprenticeship program at a major manufacturing company, but he had recently gotten laid off.  He was working as a freelance electrician, and my mother, as I mentioned, was waiting on tables in a restaurant.  Some of her earnings went to the babysitter who watched us every day after school while she was still at work.  I once saw her fall asleep while talking on the telephone with her aunt.  She was so tired all the time.

     When my mother and my father first got married, they lived in a one-room apartment.  She “cooked” canned food on a hot plate.  She washed clothes in the bathtub with a washboard.  My father was trying to go to college and simultaneously earn a living for his small family.  (My mother got pregnant out of wedlock, so I was born only a few months after my parents got married.)

     Eventually my parents got divorced and my mother got married again.  Things went okay at first, but then inflation hit, and my stepfather’s company let their apprentices go. 

     Eventually my stepfather got a better job.  Maybe it was because he was white.  I like to think that it was because he was qualified for it with the training and experience that he had.  He had an excellent work record.  I like to think that his record had something to do with his landing the new job.  We moved to another state, which was sad for me, but my stepfather began earning in one week the amount that he had been making in one month, and prices were lower in our new location.

     My parents bought a mobile home.  It was a large mobile home, but still a mobile home, and it was a bit crowded for a family of five.  We lived in a mobile home park.  Yes, at one time my family could rightly be called white trailer trash.  Some privilege!

     My stepfather’s company paid for him to go to college and finish his bachelor’s degree.  Maybe it was because he was white.  I like to think it was because he was a good worker and an asset to the company because of his work ethic.  After all, the company sent a few black people and many hispanic people to college, too.  At that time, some of the managers of the company had names like Rodriguez and Perez.  But they probably only liked my stepfather because he was white.  (The company was headquartered in central Texas, which should explain the racial mix I described here.)

     By the time I was ready to go to college, my stepfather was earning too much money for me to get grants from the government.  However, he was still earning too little to pay for me to go outright.  (Many of my African American classmates found that they could go for free.)

     One option I had was to go to a community college.  I had applied for and received a full academic scholarship.  Maybe it was because I was white.  I like to think that it was because I had earned straight A’s in high school and had been active in a wide range of activities.   And I earned those A’s by actually doing the homework and answering the test questions correctly.  Even my black teachers gave me A’s, and I don’t think that they did it simply because I am white.

     So, my first two years of college were paid for.  After that, I went on to the university.  Between what my parents could afford, and what I earned by working, I made it through without borrowing money.  I worked as a Resident Assistant, which paid for my room and board.  I worked during summers to pay for a crummy vehicle and a few decent clothes.

     One of my fellow students was a black lady named Angela who had gone to high school with me.  She was in the top ten of our graduating class (fourth, I think).  Her father was president of the school board and a successful businessman.  Angela did not have to work during college.  She had a nice car to drive.  She seemed a whole lot more privileged than I was, but I must be wrong, because I am white and she was black.

     Another kid I went to school with was an amazing football player.  He was not in my class but a couple of years ahead of me.  His mother taught me Algebra I and Biology, and she was one of my favorite teachers, even though she was black.  (I’m supposedly a bigot, so I could not possibly think that a black woman was one of my best teachers.)  She made her students think, and she made us toe the line.  Her husband sold real estate and became both successful and financially prosperous.  She eventually became the curriculum director for the school district.  Their son is now a wealthy man from playing professional football for several seasons.  All in all, that black family has a much higher status than my family has ever had.

     When I look at that family, I hardly feel privileged.  I am tempted to envy them.  I don’t though, because they worked hard and earned what they got.  And, yes, I will acknowledge that it was harder for them, since they are black.  However, I will not look at my mediocre, lower middle-class upbringing and consider myself privileged.  I just cannot bring myself to do so.

Everyone Needs Pride

     Whenever I read or hear about Black History Month, I often wonder when I get my month.  My blogger friend Helen would say that I get my month every month since I am part of the privileged class of white people.  (I am still not experiencing any of that privilege, but that’s another agrument for another post.)

     Since the month is named for skin color, I could flippantly ask why there isn’t a Dark Brown History Month, a Medium Brown History Month, a White-and-Very-Freckled History Month, a Mixed-Brown-and-White History Month, or a White-but-Tans Easily History Month.  Less flippantly I want to know why there isn’t a Scottish History Month, a Native American Hstory Month, a Vietnamese History Month, a Cajun History Month, an Irish History Month, a Cantonese History Month, a Turkish History Month, a Jewish History Month, a Gypsy History Month, or a Mongolian History Month?  For me to have a month, there would have to be an Anglo History Month, since that is mostly what my heritage is.  I sometimes wish that I could claim something more exoitc.  I would love to descend from Greek and Arab ancestors and demand a Greco-Arabic History Month.  (I’m not really joking.)

     Of course, we would need more than twelve months.  That’s why it’s so convenient to divide everyone simply into Black and White.  And since the Whites are the majority in America, they do not get a month.  That’s understandable, but what about the other minorities, such as those we no longer refer to as Brown, Red, and Yellow.  (Those designations are all so stupid, since we are simply different shades of brown.  I happen to have a light olive complection myself.  I’m not white.)

     Gay people do not get a month, but at least they get a day.  Good for them.  I’m being sincere.  However, it is not right to have a Gay Pride Day without having something for everyone else.  I know, I know.  Since most people are “straight,” and since gay people are an oppressed minority, it is right to focus on the plight of the latter.  I get that, but whatever happened to equality and fairness?  Those on the left usually consider equal treatment important.    Anyway,  a school in Chicago sees it my way  Well, sort of.  What they actually see is that students have the right to wear T-shirts that “offend” other students on Gay Pride Day.  I’m glad that those school officials support the First Amendment.  It’s a rare thing these days.  (See the post below this one.)

     Should those students wear those shirts?  I don’t think so.  They are tacky and a bit rude and certainly insenstive.  They are meant to be offensive, and they are.  However, people have the right to do many things that they should not do.  I am offended when people wear a Che Gevara T-shirt in my presence, but they have the right to do so.  I am offended when I see a pro-abortion bumper sticker on a car, but the owner has the right to have the sticker.  The folks who sport those things are trying to make a point.  They are peacefully protesting something or promoting something.  Good for them.

     I find the whole concept of pride, in this context, suspect.  How can you be proud of something beyond your control, such as having dark skin or being born to parents from Japan or of having a nontraditional sexual identity?  I can see how you might enjoy it or be content with it, but it makes absolutely no sense to be proud of it.  Rather, a person should accomplish things and be proud of his or her accomplishments, and it doesn’t matter what your skin color or your ethnicity or your sexual identity is.  You can rightly be proud of what you do rather than proud of superficial characteristics.

     What are you proud of?  I am proud of being the first person in my mother’s family to graduate from college.  I am proud of being a good husband to my wife and a good father to my children.  I am proud of being good at my job and of having many friends.  I’m not proud of being “white” or “straight.”  I would actually be ashamed to be proud of such things.

The Masterful Maya

     I saw a film today about the Maya people.  It was fascinating.  The Maya had a fully developed writing system, an astonishingly accurate calendar, beautiful arts and crafts, amazing architecture, and a well-organized and stratified society.

     One thing that struck me was the similarities between their civilization and that of the Egyptians.  They were obivously not identical, but there were striking similarities.  One notable example is the burial of a king within a pyramid. 

     It really shouldn’t be odd that the Maya had features similar to other people.  They were, after all, human–with the same kind of human brain that people had in ancient Egypt, ancient China, ancient Africa, and elsewhere.  Of course people living in all parts of the world developed some of the same technologies and had similar sensibilities!  Why wouldn’t they?

     Another thing that struck me is how advanced they were.  I think it is wrong to think of ancient peoples as primitive.  When we realize that they had less advanced technology and fewer resources than we have, we ought to marvel at what the Maya did.  We have the benefit of thousands of years of prior knowledge and of lots of nifty inventions that they could not even dream of.

     I think it is a mistake in general, based on the preconceived notion of evolution, that people grew from being savages to being civilized.  People are people and always were.  They had amazing potential then that was held back by factors in their environment, their need to work hard for survival, their geographic distances from other people, and their limited knowledge base.  That’s all. 

     Europeans in the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries  knew that they were more civilized than the native peoples of the Americas, as well as the natives of Africa and Asia.  They felt it was their duty to civilize those savages.  We now know better.  Highly advanced civilizations, for their times, flourished during the time that Europeans were living as “savages.”  I think it is important for those of us who have European heritage to acknowledge it.  Otherwise, we are tacit (if not overt) racists.  The evolutionary idea that white people are more highly evolved must be nailed in the coffin and buried once and for all.  History has proven it wrong.

     No group of people is more highly evolved than any other.  People are people.  They are now, and they always were.   It seems to me that some of the Maya were smarter than the average American.  Good for them!

Racing Backwards

     It seems to me that the United States is racing backwards when it comes to the issue of racism.

     The NAACP has said that the Tea Party movement is racist.  Part of their claim is based on the fact that most participants are white and they oppose an African-American president.  FOX News castigated the mainstream media for not reporting on the voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia.   A member of the Justice Department has implied that the case was not pursued because it would not be politically correct to go after black people for voter intimidation, even though there is solid evidence that they did it.

     There is just too much focus on race.

     Yesterday an African-American official from the USDA,  Shirley Sherrod, was fired for supposedly racist remarks.  In a speech she talked about how she had not helped a white farmer as much as she could have.  However, that was only one bit of the speech.  Apparently the entire speech concerned how Ms Sherrod had gone from looking primarily at the race of other people to looking more at their economic status, regardless of their race.  In other words, the full speech would have shown the opposite of what the small segment showed.  She did end up providing help to the farmer.

     The NAACP first condemned her remarks.  I am guessing they did so to prove that they are not reverse racists or that they do not condone reverse racism.  Now they are realizing that they were too hasty, and that Sherrod was not a racist, after all.  The white farmer that she mentioned has defended her, as well. 

     Those who fired Sherrod acted in haste without getting all the facts.  According to her, they did not even let her present her side of the matter.

     To me the greatest lesson in this fiasco is this:  it is irresponsible and hurtful to throw around the word racist.  Now that this epithet has been incautiously used in a hurtful way against a black woman, maybe people will be more careful about hurling it carelessly at white people.

     I hope that Shirley Sherrod is reinstated and given a sincere apology by all those who branded her unfairly as a racist.  I also hope that the NAACP and like-minded individuals are more careful in the future how they use that word.  It should not be used against people simply because they are white or simply because they disagree with a black person.  It should be reserved for people who are proven to hate or unfairly discriminate against people of another race.

—–

     On a sideline issue, I would say that even if the speech had only involved her denying help to the white farmer, I would not necessarily call it racism.  She did not want to help him at first because she was trying to get back at white people for unjustly taking land away from black people in the past.  I would not call that sentiment racist.  I would call it a bit misguided, since it is wreaking vengeance on an individual who was not personally responsible for any earlier crimes, and those crimes were not againt her personally.  However, it is not racist.  Well, if it is  racist, it is borderline and indirect racism at most.  It’s nothing to get too upset about.

Twenty Things You Should Know (#11-20)

     Please see the post below this one to understand the point of this list.

11.  The Sabbath

The concept of a day to rest is one of the greatest legacies of the Abrahamic religions.  Other religions have something similar.  Human beings need relaxation and refreshment.  In fact, we now know that people work more efficiently and effectively when they are well rested.  In addition, the Sabbath is a time to ackowledge that everything we produce comes from something or someone greater than us.  In the Jewish-Christian-Muslim tradition, that means God.  For others it might be the spirits or nature or Mother Earth or the cosmos.  Even non-religious people should ackowledge their debt to forces and powers preceding them and more powerful than they are.

12.  Racism

Most people know of the existence of racism, but it is important to understand it for what it is and to eschew it.  Racism is borne of fear and ignorance.  It is completely contrary to the rational scientific method; in fact, the very concept of race is scientifically suspect.  It is contrary to individualism, and, therefore, natural law.  The most admired and respected people repudiate it as conflicting with the “Tao”or whatever they happen to call the Ideal.  It certainly opposes the virtue of Love.  Nobody would want to be a victim of racism, which proves that somewhere in each person’s mind, he or she knows that it is wrong.

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The Usefulness of Racism

     Some people must be extremely pleased that racism exists.  After all, how else can certain liberals silence their political opponents?  Certainly not with facts or logical arguments!

     Are you skeptical of Global Warming?  You’re a racist.

     Do you want universal tax cuts?  You’re a racist.

     Are you against government bailouts of private companies?  You’re a racist.

     Do you oppose government-run health insurance?  You’re a racist.

     It’s so easy.  It’s so convenient.  It is much less taxing than actually formulating a rational response to conservative viewpoints. 

     I thought that people were happy to have a black president because it represents a move toward equality.  It seems that for some people, it is simply a great opportunity to silence anyone who disagrees with them.  Any and all Democratic policies are off limits for discussion now, because to discuss them makes one a racist.  It is quite a coup for the Democratic Party.  Not only do they have a lot of power right now, they have the perfect way to stamp out opposition. 

     Well, I won’t be deterred.  I have held conservative views for at least 30 years–long before an African-American was the President of the United States.  I am not going to back down just because people call me names, even if they call me a name that is one of the worst that ayone could accuse me of.  They are the ones in the wrong, and I know it.  I also think that they know it.  I think that it is a game to some people, including Maureen Dowd and Presdient Carter.  How good they must feel to look down on other white people as racists!  I wonder what is lurking in their hearts that motivates them to make such accusations.

     I am secure in the fact that I am not a racist, and I will not let false accusations of it keep me from expressing my own views or from criticizing those whose political views differ from mine.  I hate being called a racist, when I have been ardently anti-racist all my life.  It hurts, but I will not cower in some corner and stop expressing my opinions because somebody throws that ugly but false accusation at me.

     Besides if you like President Obama, then you should take his word for the fact that people who oppose his policies are not doing so because of his skin color.

    If equality means anything, then it had better mean that I can disagree with people no matter what their race is, and they can disagree with me no matter what my race is.  I don’t assume that anyone finds faults with my views because I am white, although being white seems to be my worst fault.  It is the only proof offered so far that I am a racist.  Am I weird, or is it actually racism to stereotype me that way?