Category Archives: Racism

A Time To Lead

America has seen crises come and go, but this time is different. There’s a chasm of leadership with seemingly no political party that has an answer. The Democrats have actually done a disservice to the minorities of this country. They’ve pandered to them as a voting bloc, but have systematically assisted in the breakdown of families and educational programs.

When we look toward the Republican party their answer has been tilted more towards meeting civil unrest with adequate law enforcement and crowd suppression.  Neither of them seem to be connected to how or why we got here.

George Will in one of his latest Washington Post opinions excoriated Donald Trump as well as the Republican party. He goes on to admit that racism,  bigotry and social tension existed before Trump took office, and will continue long afterwards.

Nonetheless, he goes on to state, we need a voters purge of Congressional Republicans this November.

If that option was chosen, what are we left with at the ballot box? Do the Democrats have an answer to these and other real problems, such as the pandemic? The Democrats in Congress, seeming only purpose as expressed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are to vote out Republicans and replace them with sycophant Democrats. That’s not a solution but simply another change of deck chairs on a sinking ship.

Michael Jordan-

I don’t have the answers, but our collective voices show strength and the inability to be divided by others,” Jordan said. “We must listen to each other, show compassion and empathy and never turn our backs on senseless brutality. We need to continue peaceful expressions against injustice and demand accountability. Our unified voice needs to put pressure on our leaders to change our laws, or else we need to use our vote to create systemic change. Every one of us needs to be part of the solution, and we must work together to ensure justice for all.

Why Are Reparations a Bad Idea?

Nothing is more disconcerting than to challenge your own assumptions.

This is one of my longer posts because I believe it requires a more complete answer. It goes to the core of several issues, including racism in America, economic inequality, the use of public funds as a form of bribe to elect candidates, the growth of government power in general. I think we need to be able to discuss these topics honestly and openly.

Beer summit brings together arrestor & arrestee

Gates joked: “We hit it off right from the very beginning.. when he’s not arresting you, Sergeant Crowley is a really likable guy.”

Reparations can mean several things. We often hear discussions about the need to correct inequities brought out by slavery, Jim Crow laws, lack of equal protection under the law, and a variety of assumed inequalities.

“Several Democratic presidential candidates are embracing reparations for the descendants of slaves — but not in the traditional sense.

Universal programs are not specific to the injustices that have been inflicted on African-Americans,” said Duke University economist William Darity, a veteran advocate of reparations.I want to be sure that whatever is proposed and potentially enacted as a reparations program really is a substantive and dramatic intervention in the patterns of racial wealth inequality in the United States — not something superficial or minor that is labeled as reparations and then politicians say the national responsibility has been met.

Montague Simmons of the Movement for Black Lives, which has pushed for reparations, said the debate is “not just cash payments.
But “unless we’re talking about something that has to be systemic and transfers power to the community, it’s not likely going to be what we would consider reparations,” he said.

“We had over 200 years of slavery. We had Jim Crow for almost a century. We had legalized discrimination, segregation. We have to recognize that everybody did not start out on an equal footing in this country and in particular Black people have not.”

Sen. Kamala Harris –
We have got to… do something about that and give folks a lift up. That’s why for example I’m proposing the LIFT Act: Give people who are making $100,000 or less as a family a tax credit, which will benefit and uplift 60 percent of Black families who are in poverty,” she explained.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was asked at a CNN town hall Monday about his position on reparations given Warren’s and Castro’s comments, said, “What does that mean? What do they mean? I’m not sure anyone’s very clear.” He said – the U.S. must put resources into distressed communities to improve the lives of people affected by the legacy of slavery.

In order to minimize the chances of being poor the following choices should be made.

  • Graduate high school.
  • Don’t have a child until you can support yourself and that child.
  • Get married before you have a child.
  • Work consistently and improve your job skills.

poverty-single-parent-family-a
Several centuries of migration, conquests, marriages and intermixed racial births are a biological fact that can’t be ignored. In order to execute any government assistance, there would need to be some type of classification and identification. Who is qualified? Who has generations here long enough? How much of a percentage of someone’s ancestry is necessary to qualify, and what duration of their ancestry? What about those who clearly are not “economically disadvantaged”? We have a large population of blacks or mixed race that aren’t on or near poverty row. I have a primary care physician from Nigeria. The man was extremely helpful to me in a serious health issue. We discussed some of the conditions he was experiencing, which caused him to uproot his family to come here.

If black Americans constituted their own country, they would have the 11th largest economy in the world. As a demographic group (richer than 90 percent of the people in the world), blacks in America have a longer life expectancy than African and Caribbean blacks, as well as whites in many parts of Eastern Europe and Latin America. African Americans have higher rates of literacy and achieve more post secondary degrees as a percentage of the population than blacks in Africa.

The assumption being made is that we can lift up individuals and families through some economic incentives. I’m old enough to have lived during the period of “The Great Society”, as promoted by Lyndon Johnson. As I’ve seen far too often, good intentions (at least they sounded good at the time), were a horrible tragic experiment which to this day has done more harm than good. The welfare incentives from this program were given primarily to single mothers. If the father lived with the family, the financial assistance wasn’t available. This altered the families in ways not imagined at that time.

Kids are less likely to experience poverty when they grow up with both parents at home. For example: In 2016, 32% of single-parent families with children were living in poverty versus just 7% of two-parent families. 66% of African American families are single parent households. 42% for those of mixed race. 24% of white (non-Hispanic).

One of the key reasons children struggle to get ahead has to do with their parents. Two parents are better than one. (We’re keeping this short so lets not talk about dysfunctional parents). How their parents treat their children, meaning do they hold them accountable, and do they personally value education. Children start as blank slates, and what we do at home is a powerful influence of how high they reach as adults. Single parent households are also typically lower income, and that has an affect on the child.

Overall, there are a lot of things which create disadvantages and advantages. The number one thing I saw teaching students for a technical career is, “you gotta wanna”. Those who were successful weren’t necessarily the brightest, or wealthy, nor their ethnicity. The worthwhile goals people choose must include a sense of accountability for their own actions. Where we aim and our willingness to fail, most often is the final determination of our success.


Denzel Washington ~ “It all starts in the home. I saw it in my generation, and in every generation thereafter. If you’re raised by the streets, the streets become your father, and the courts become your home and the jail becomes your residence.

What we can continue to do is make sure our institutions and are laws are neutral. If justice is blind, then so should our institutions, and picking people by race is certainly nowhere close to blind. We’ve come a long way in a few decades to correct these past problems. Many believe we have much more work ahead. From where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced I’m convinced we’ve made many of the necessary changes. There will be more.

A Conflict of Visions ~ Thomas Sowell
Ideological Origins of Political Struggles [ 1987 reprint 2007 ]
The constrained vision “see the evils of the world as deriving from the limited and unhappy choices available, given the inherent moral and intellectual limitations of human beings.”

“When Rousseau said that ‘man is born free’ but is ‘everywhere in chains,’ he expressed the essence of the unconstrained vision, in which the fundamental problem is not nature or man but institutions.”

All progress requires change. Not all change is progress.

 [———————-]

What do you think?

Why We Still Debate the Civil War

Here we are, in 2017, we’re still debating the causes of the Civil War, which began in 1861 with roots that stem from centuries before. This blog post isn’t about statues, racism, social justice or the like, it merely is written to clarify the actual primary cause of the Civil War. No doubt there are many reasons, that were evident at the time, but those were subordinate in the grand scheme of events leading to the war.civil_war_stamp

The Civil War, also known as “The War Between the States,” was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. The CSA was a collection of eleven southern states who left the Union in 1860 and 1861 and formed their own country in order to protect their continued usage of the institution of slavery.

Slavery was introduced to North America by the British as far back as the early 17th century. The south believed in the dissolution of the Union after they couldn’t come to an agreement with the dominant north over the rights of states to control commerce. Slavery was a component of commerce, not in its entirety, but an essential component. It was legal at the time the country was formed, and the southern states saw no justifiable reason to change when they knew most of the northern leadership agreed with them. Negroes, as they were called, were not equivalent to Caucasians. They weren’t allowed to vote, own property, inter-racially marry, or if they lived in the south, couldn’t participate freely with the fruits of their labors.

The northern leadership believed, once the union of states were created, no one or more states had the right to leave that union. They were willing to negotiate, but when the matter came to a head, they willingly took up arms to preserve that union and stop the south from seceding.

events leading to the American civil war
The slavery extension question was thought to have been settled by the Missouri Compromise nearly 40 years earlier. The Mexican War, however, had added new territories, and the issue flared up again in the 1840s. The Compromise of 1850 provided a temporary respite from sectional strife, but the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, a measure Stephen A. Douglas sponsored, brought the slavery extension issue forward again. The Douglas bill in effect repealed the Missouri Compromise by lifting the ban against slavery in territories north of the 36°30′ latitude.

The Supreme Court decided a case brought forward by an escaped slave. He in effect was suing for himself and his family’s freedom. The Dredd Scott decision rendered in 1857, declared he wasn’t entitled to his freedom; that Africans were not and could never be citizens of the United States; and that the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had declared free all territories west of Missouri and north of latitude 36°30′, was unconstitutional.

This further set in motion the events leading up to the Civil War. In effect, it supported the institution of slavery, and the southern states now believed it was their personal right of sovereignty. In effect, the Constitution was a voluntary agreement, as easily broken as it was initially agreed upon.

The Douglas doctrine of popular sovereignty, was to permit new territories and states the right to self-determine their status as a free or slave state. This slavery extension proposal, provided the background for the Douglas – Lincoln debates of 1858. Their debate, addressed the problem that had divided the nation into two hostile camps which threatened the continued existence of the Union.

Slave_kidnap_post_1851_bostonIn 1859 John Brown, an abolitionist, working in concert with others, formed a rebellion in Harpers Ferry Virginia (now West Virginia). Brown had previously met abolitionists, Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth while living in Springfield Massachusetts. Brown was convinced slavery wasn’t going to end through peaceful negotiations. Brown’s personal attitudes evolved in Springfield, as he observed the success of the city’s Underground Railroad and made his first venture into militant, anti-slavery community organizing. In speeches, he pointed to the martyrs Elijah Lovejoy and Charles Turner Torrey as whites “ready to help blacks challenge slave-catchers.”

The choice of allowing slavery for some admittedly was a compromise, so the fledgling nation had enough backing to form a binding union, and thereafter break away from British rule. As we see today in politics, challenging problems are pushed forward in hopes that someone will solve the problem in the future. Doing so, means a crisis builds until the inevitable fateful day, and it can no longer be ignored.

Flawed From the Beginning

Many of the Founders wished to abolish slavery in the Constitution. The irony and hypocrisy were not lost on them, and they weren’t shy about saying it. The compromises in the Constitution regarding slavery placed the short-term need to form a Union ahead of a contentious debate with no resolution. The alternative was two countries, one without slavery and one with. Several founders later emancipated their slaves.

In 1807, Congress passed a law and Jefferson signed banning the importation of slaves to begin on January 1, 1808, the very first day permitted under the Constitution. Some have argued that this only made existing slaves more valuable and the South already had sufficient slaves to breed to meet their needs. I give our Founders the benefit of the doubt. If for no other reason, a slaver would vote against this to maintain his right to hold slaves on principle.

After the law passed, US Naval forces commenced to patrolling the African coast and seizing slave ships. Great Britain was already doing the same.

Slavery, was officially ended by the British, and the US was trying to figure out how to completely eliminate it within its own borders, and not criminalize its own citizens. Those same citizens were part of the framers of the Constitution, and supporters of Independence. Virginia was the home of Thomas Jefferson and the cradle of independence. It was a natural place to be the capital state for the Confederacy.

tenth_amendment_states_rightsThe dilemma for America was from its very beginning. As an ideal, the framers and leaders knew that all men were created equal but their society, their practices, had accepted distinctive differences in race as a basis to allow slave holdings.

Slaves were the means by which the south could compete against the more industrial north. This economic disparity, along with punitive tariff’s against the south, created additional friction. After the insurrection by Brown, the southern states believed violent uprisings were going to part of their future, they also thought they had a legal right to secede, and no peaceful option in which to exercise that right.

“Historians agree that the Harper’s Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that a year later led to secession and the American civil war.” Put down by Colonel Robert E. Lee of the United States Army, assisted by First Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart the temporary insurrection was quickly suppressed.

There are many who insist the Confederate States of America were formed through a common cause theme just as the United States did against Great Britain decades before. They believe the south chose independence because of the continued encroachment against states rights by a central federal government. They see Lincoln as a dictator not an emancipator. Lincoln, despite his Illinois state speeches against slavery in the 1840’s, and his famous debate’s against Douglas in 1858, stated if he could keep the Union, he would have accepted slavery as a compromise. History shows that he didn’t.

That’s the historical irony, the individual states agreed to be part of the union at the Constitutional convention of 1783, as long as they could keep slaves. By 1860, after decade of debates, court battles, and slave rebellions, the south’s insistence that slaves were property, not equal as humans, and they had every right to decide what they could do with their property. This property kept the wealthy land owners in business. It also increased their wealth, a wealth which was the driving force for southern economy, seemingly threatened by the more industrialized north. As in all things, contemporary, or historical, there are many reasons, and aspects to conflicts.

compromise_of_1850As much as some people want to “window dress” the motivations of the Civil War, the overwhelming unresolved problem was slavery. To say it was over states rights, economic factors, or encroachment of federal law into individual states commerce, is by varying degrees, true. The long-standing tensions and disagreements about the use of humans as a means to an end, in providing an economic base were the ultimate catalyst. None of those would have been significant factors if not for the conflicting arguments over slavery.

Between election day and Lincoln’s inauguration in March, seven states had seceded from the Union: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. They were to be followed by four more: North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Missouri, and Tennessee were divided within specific geographic boundaries, depending on who were the predominant community leaders. Kentucky started out neutral, but voted to become part of the union. West Virginia broke free of Virginia in 1863 to become part of the Union.

Republicans captured over 60 percent of the Northern vote in 1860, and won three-fourths of its Congressional delegations. The Southern press said that such Republicans represented the anti-slavery portion of the North, “a party founded on the single sentiment…of hatred of African slavery“, and now the controlling power in national affairs.

Abraham_Lincoln_emancipation

The cause of rebellion – Civil War 1861-65.

Opening volley – Why Fort Sumter?

The Top Nine Events Leading to Civil War

An Educators Guide to the Civil War

Here is an excerpt of the Declaration of Secession by the State of Georgia.

“The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization.”

“For forty years this question has been considered and debated in the halls of Congress, before the people, by the press, and before the tribunals of justice. The majority of the people of the North in 1860 decided it in their own favor. We refuse to submit to that judgment, and in vindication of our refusal we offer the Constitution of our country and point to the total absence of any express power to exclude us.”

Continue to read this secession document.

” … It will be a glorious day for our country when all the children within its borders shall learn that the four years of fratricidal war between the North and South was waged by neither with criminal or unworthy intent, but by both to protect what they conceived to be threatened rights and imperiled liberty: that the issues which divided the sections were born when the Republic was born, and were forever buried in an ocean of fraternal blood.”

Lieutenant General John B. Gordon, CSA

|~-~-~-~-~-~-|

civil_war_flags