Monday, August 2, 2010

Federalist No. 6 "The Race Game"

Racism. Without a doubt one of the most pernicious and persistent evils to devastate mankind. A disgusting blight in a society that prides itself on the belief that all men are created equal. One of the most disturbing things to witness in life is an act of racism. Be it a foul word, a demonstration of disgust, or act of violence, the scars left on the witness are as almost as deep as the ones left on the victim. Racism has damaged the spirit of our country via evil language, lynchings, segregation, miscegenation laws, the Rosewood massacre, and slavery.

And yet if there is any country in the world that can truly overcome racism, I believe it to be the United States of America. From its inception our country has tried to defeat the idea of race-based superiority or inferiority. We fought two wars intended to end slavery (the American Revolution and the Civil War), and in the 50-60 years since the civil rights movement Americans have seen great strides in race relations, until recently.

It seems everywhere you go, every time you turn on the news you hear accusations of racism and hate-mongering. If you oppose Obama, or his policies, or you support secure borders or the TEA party movement, and you are white, you are a bona fide, good-ol boy, Jim Crow racist. Never mind if you have never used a racial slur in your entire adult life. Never mind if you have friends of different races. Never mind if you are married to someone of a different skin color. The fact of the matter is the civil rights movement didnt fix racism in America, it just buried it, and if you are in any way opposed to the man who has shouldered the responsibility to "heal the nation", it is because you hate black people. We have a black president now, and to oppose him is tantamount to opposing the entire black community....

...Or so the left would have you believe.

Now I am not so naive and idealistic as to believe that racism doesn't exist in this country. I've seen it plenty of times in my lifetime. There are an unfortunate number of ignorant, hateful people in the world, and racism is a social ill that continues to plague us despite the progress we have worked so hard for. The myth of post-racial America isn't that racism was conquered. We can look to our history to prove that. In a little over a century racism has gone from a socially acceptable paradigm to a taboo. In the same span of time the liberal notion that men are created equal, irrespective of skin color, has gone from being a radical ideology to a given. Racism may still be somewhat omnipresent in America, but it has become largely impotent as well.The first shot against racism was fired with the Declaration of Independence, and since then many battles against it have been won by blacks AND whites. Racism may not be conquered completely, but the war against racism has seen some decisive victories despite the odds, and I believe that same trend will continue.

The real myth of post racial America is the idea that the only racists left are remnants of an archaic society, -advocates of an outdated government- and all we need to do to eliminate racism is to get rid of such people, or at the very lest marginalize them to the extent that nobody listens to them (i.e your stereotypical white TEA partier, or what Obama calls "a typical white person").

The question is not whether or not racism is still an issue in America,but rather will it continue to be an issue, and WHY? To answer that we must look at WHY racism is still an issue today. This requires a frank discussion on race, one that will no doubt alienate a few people, and possibly earn the brand of racist (or race traitor as the case may be). If that is the price we pay to make the world a better place, then so be it.

Martin Luther King, Jr was without a doubt one of the greatest men to live in the history of mankind. He lived and died for his ideals. He has perhaps done more than any man in this world, save Christ Himself, to abolish racial hatred and sow the seeds of brotherly love. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and men; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, he sealed his mission and his works with his own blood.

Two things stand out about Dr. King's ministry. First, he taught the power of unconditional Christian love. He appealed to the Christian sense of justice, love, compassion. He did not rail against his opponents, or accuse or demean them. He invited them to let God into their hearts, and to feel a love that transcends race, and that humbly confronts evil and injustice with the truth. Second, he did not shy away from speaking the truth to power. He spoke on matters of principle.And he held blacks and whites to the same standards of morality, decency, and integrity. He called for a confrontation of the human and the divine, and an integration of the human spirit with the love of God towards all men.

Sadly, we see little of either teaching today when it comes to race. Self-sufficiency and equality of opportunity have been replaced with government dependency and restitution of victims. Love has been substituted with tolerance. As Charles Gilmer points out, "tolerance is championed as the appropriate response to the varying perspectives that have emerged. Yet tolerance has no cohesive nor healing power in society. It means little more than leaving one another alone. It leads to indifference, not understanding. Tolerance allows the gulfs between us to remain in place. In fact, there is little in the concept of tolerance to pull us away from racial isolation." Rather than have a frank (and possibly awkward or uncomfortable) discussion on race and how to overcome racism, we have become complacent in pursuing a narrative of victimization and blame.

So often in discussions on race there is a lot of talk about the wants and needs of "the black community" (without any mention of a "white community" for obvious reasons). Why must there be " the black community"? Why can't there just be "the community?" Does a black person value family any more or less than a white person? Do black mothers and fathers wish to see their children succeed and be happy in life any more or less than white mothers and fathers? When and where, in discussing the needs and wants of any community, does race enter into the equation? "If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"

Of course the idea that blacks and whites have separate wants and needs because of their race is absurd. At the end of the day we are all human, with the same human wants and needs and desires. So why is it so hard to fathom that the manner in obtaining and satisfying those wants and needs would be the same for BOTH races? This isn't to say that there is an easy solution to fix racism and all its associated damages. Racism is a complex issue, one that has persisted for millennia, and that has left scars that run deep, and I would not dare try to come up with a solution. But absolutely nothing can be done if all we do is sit around and refuse to talk about it, frankly, honestly, with a spirit of sincere love and civility, rather than hurl the term "racist" as a political epithet towards anyone who disagrees. The worst thing that black men and women can do to themselves is decide to sit around and wait for a white liberal government to give them what centuries of institutionalized racism has denied them (for reasons that should be obvious), rather than take it for themselves thru industry, education, and a strengthening of the family.

If blacks are to see an improvement in their communities, in their homes, in their families, and their own lives, it will not happen as the result of protests or rallies. It will not be thanks to corrupt media whores like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. Can anyone provide a rational explanation why they are seemingly viewed as more representative of the modern civil rights movement than men like Bill Cosby? Neither will lasting change occur because of a benevolent dictatorship that treats racial divides and issues like a political game. The Left has no incentive to fix the issue of racism. Why would they when racial animosity is such a useful tool in elections? All the left has to do is absolutely nothing (or in some cases, something that makes things worse) to help black communities, and then blame the opposition for the sorry state that these same communities find themselves in because of Leftist leadership. It is the classic example of the government demanding support and power to fix a problem it caused! Nor does the Left have any incentive to open honest dialogue concerning race in an attempt to weed it out at the root. After all, that just might reveal some of their own biases and prejudices towards blacks, which would ultimately shatter their self-righteous world-view in which only white conservatives are racist (and only black conservatives can be Uncle Toms).

Thomas Paine wrote " What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly". The Left has deliberately denied the community the integrity and self-esteem that comes with triumph over seemingly insurmountable odds, by perpetuating the myth of the oppressed victim.The only victims are the people who let themselves stay victims. When a victim ceases to view himself as such, and rises above his circumstance, then he is no longer a victim of any sort. We must refuse to be victims, even when there is any kind of truth to the victim narrative. Blacks have suffered at the hands of whites throughout history. By why continue to suffer, if there is another option?

I'm not saying it will be easy, only that it will be worth it. Blacks and whites, Hispanics and Asians, rich and poor, we must all come together to bring to pass a better world. We do that by showing genuine love, even towards those who would hate us, and by becoming self-reliant, and by turning to God. If God is no respecter of persons, why should we be?

Contrary to what we have been taught in high school and the media, it doesnt matter if you are black or white when it comes to success. The Left would have us believe the racist idea that, unlike whites, blacks can do nothing for themselves unless the government is there to take care of them. In other words, the slave-owners of old have just changed the shackles they bind you in. We break those bonds by freeing ourselves from the chains of fear and ignorance. We cannot do that without honest open dialogue that doesnt involve accusing the other side of hate every time they say something we dont agree with. A trademark of racism is the unwillingness to listen to what someone has to say on the matter.

Racism is still a problem. And I think it will be a problem for years to come. Like Dr. King, I long for the day when my children "will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character". It all comes down to wanting something bad enough and being willing to pay the price. Its time to break the chains we have ensnared ourselves with. It is time to discuss, openly, honestly, and humbly, the issues of race, and come up with real solutions. It is time to stop playing the race game.