Skip to comments.America: Still Talking About Race
Posted on 08/23/2010 5:36:45 AM PDT by Kaslin
According to the website CNN.com, some of the criticism of first lady Michelle Obama is driven by partisan politics. However, others say the attacks are rooted in white resentment of the uppity Negro. Two things quickly come to mind. The first is that no one other than Harry Reid uses the word Negro anymore. Second, that it is the 21st century and yet there are those who continue to talk about race as if it were 1955.
Last February, in a speech to honor Black History Month, Attorney General Eric Holder remarked that Americans of all colors should stop avoiding an honest discussion of race in America. Said Holder: "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards."
I disagreed with Holder at the time and still do. Americans are not cowards when it comes to discussions of race, neither are they dishonest. Rather, I believe Americans are simply bone-tired.
The American conversation on race began more than two centuries ago and frankly, we have talked of little else. The topic permeated the discussions during the drafting of both our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and continues today, with a black man sitting in the white house.
Not cowards, just exhausted and so very, very eager to move on!
This was the great hope for Barack Obama. The great tide that swept Barack Obama into the White House was not the hope of a hard left social and economic agenda. Americans were eager to move on to a new and more uplifting conversation about their nation and their lives as citizens. And one of the things they wanted to change was the conversation on race.
In fairness, changing Americas racial conversation may have been a bit too much to ask of one man. Although for a man who promised that his nomination as a candidate for president would be remembered as the moment the planet would heal and the oceans would calm, such expectations were perhaps not so outrageous. Nevertheless--his ability or inability to calm the tides notwithstanding--he is only human.
And early on, there were signs that it was all too good to be true.
There was the revelation of his 20-year association with the reverend Jeremiah Wright, pastor of the universal church of get back whitey. This eye-opener was followed by several editorials introducing voters to the new racial code. We discovered, for instance, that talking about Obamas elitism was code for saying he was uppity and to point out his inexperience was to call him a boy. Alas, this was all a harbinger of what was to come.
This administration has attempted to marginalize its opponents by labeling them as racists; movements have been slandered with charges of racism, and principled disagreement is suddenly seen as evidence of bigotry. It all seems a bit surreal. As a nation, we seem to be talking about race now, more than we have in a very long time. As far as leading this nation into a post racial era, the election of Barack Obama can only be seen as a bust.
But perhaps I have misread the tea leaves. It may be that what we are witnessing is race- as-we-have-come-to-know-it in its death throes. We might also be seeing first hand the birth of a new paradigm of race in Americaone that will carry us into the next generation.
This past March, in a deliberate attempt to provoke a racial incident, members of the Congressional Black Caucus marched through a large crowd of angry, mostly white, ObamaCare protestors. But the trick failed. The fire hoses didnt appear; neither did the attack dogs, or the white racists shouting the N-word. Sure, the left claimed it happened--that these noble black heroes were spat upon and called ugly names as in days gone by--but the lie failed to gain traction.
Representatives Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters have claimed that race is behind investigations into their behavior, as opposed to the possibility that they have been unethical and dishonest. There was a time when such charges would have been greeted with seriousness as opposed to the snickering these recent protests have garnered.
The new left media is hard at work attempting to prove racial animus. Increasingly, however, their charges seem to read like a laundry-list of falsehoods and rather mundane annoyance: Scrutiny of the first lady, for instance.
It would be difficult for Americans to witness the cynical, dishonest, and hollow way in which race has been at issue over the last two years and not sense that something is afoot. Indeed, it may be that this nation is moving in a new direction on race. Sure, there will continue to be those who cling to the outdated view of black-white relationships, but increasingly they must be seen as out-of-step with the times. If true, it is both reason to celebrate and to shake Mr. Obamas hand.
The leftists use race as a proxy for “oppressed vs oppressor”
Classic leftist thinking. Turn one against the other, create class struggle, class strife, leading to civil unrest. When the opportunity arises, rush in and set up a marxist government.
Looks like that already happened.
Let’s have a REAL discussion on race , starting with the ridiculous black on white crime statistics that the media, politicians and academia conveniently ignore.
The Race card is played by elite guilt ridden white liberals and blacks smart enough to exploit the situation
for their own gain!
Well, the most recent criticism compared Moochelle to Marie Antoinette and M A was white. How about that, Big Media?
I talk about Judeo-Christian values, personally. To hell with race.
No, no, no, we are in a post-racial society, haven’t you heard?
There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Obozo and Ma-belle ARE “uppity”, i.e., they are two self-centered a-holes with no real understanding of the big picture.
Thay said the same thing then that they say now...
I think we see, in Moochelle, the reason that the “black-white wealth gap” exists.
Even disregarding that it wasn’t her money, how much “return on investment” did such a vacation get for those spending the money?
At my last hair cut, a black woman was telling me about the three vacations she took in the past year - all of which I would have considered “too extravagent” and too focussed on fulfilling my own satisfaction and desires.
People who talk about "Black History Month" are the ones obsessed with race. The rest of us don't care much about it, except maybe as relates to whom our children might marry.
What about Martin Luther Ski Day?
What about Martin Luther King Ski Day?
It’s the libs who have a problem with race. The rest of us seem to be getting along just fine. I live in a neighborhood with a lot of black families as well as Hispanic. My black neighbor mowed my yard the other day and didn’t ask for anything in return. My other black neighbor come over and introduced himself the day we moved in. My spanish (not sure where they are from) across the street are very nice. All of my children hae had close friends of different races and from different countries. Libs just talk. The rest of us live our lives.
Criticism of Michelle couldn’t possible be due to her disdain for the propriety of being first lady.
Extravagant entertaining. Extravagant vacationing.
Lecturing Americans on their diet while she indulges herself (in public) with all the very foods she tells us not to serve to our families.
If we are unamused then we must be racists.
The problem with race isn’t with whites, it is with the blacks. I had attempted to have discussions like this with colleagues but, always in the back of my mind, is the fear that it will degenerate into racial epithets.
I have found few blacks honest enough and willing enough to have a calm, quiet, honest discussion. I’m grateful to those that have and terrified of the rest.
Because, all they have is anger rooted in black proaganda from race-baiters, not personal experience.
I, personally, no longer give a damn about lefties spouting unsubstantiated the race or bigot accusation. The more they continue to do it, the more that many people will feel as I do. Who cares what they say.
The collectivists are talking about race...the progressives/socialists. They create a collective, label them and elevate them to “victim” status. Then, they can act as champions of their aggrieved idiots.
from...Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) “The Law”
What Is Law?
What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.
Each of us has a natural right from God to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right its reason for existing, its lawfulness is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force for the same reason cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.
Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?
If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.
A Just and Enduring Government
If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that order would prevail among the people, in thought as well as in deed. It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, nonoppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable whatever its political form might be.
Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.
It can be further stated that, thanks to the non-intervention of the state in private affairs, our wants and their satisfactions would develop themselves in a logical manner. We would not see poor families seeking literary instruction before they have bread. We would not see cities populated at the expense of rural districts, nor rural districts at the expense of cities. We would not see the great displacements of capital, labor, and population that are caused by legislative decisions.
The sources of our existence are made uncertain and precarious by these state-created displacements. And, furthermore, these acts burden the government with increased responsibilities.
The Complete Perversion of the Law
But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.
How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?
The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy. Let us speak of the first.
A Fatal Tendency of Mankind
Self-preservation and self-development are common aspirations among all people. And if everyone enjoyed the unrestricted use of his faculties and the free disposition of the fruits of his labor, social progress would be ceaseless, uninterrupted, and unfailing.
But there is also another tendency that is common among people. When they can, they wish to live and prosper at the expense of others. This is no rash accusation. Nor does it come from a gloomy and uncharitable spirit. The annals of history bear witness to the truth of it: the incessant wars, mass migrations, religious persecutions, universal slavery, dishonesty in commerce, and monopolies. This fatal desire has its origin in the very nature of man in that primitive, universal, and insuppressible instinct that impels him to satisfy his desires with the least possible pain.
Property and Plunder
Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.
But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.
Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain and since labor is pain in itself it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.
When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.
It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.
But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men. And since law cannot operate without the sanction and support of a dominating force, this force must be entrusted to those who make the laws.
This fact, combined with the fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.
Victims of Lawful Plunder
Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter by peaceful or revolutionary means into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it.
Woe to the nation when this latter purpose prevails among the mass victims of lawful plunder when they, in turn, seize the power to make laws! Until that happens, the few practice lawful plunder upon the many, a common practice where the right to participate in the making of law is limited to a few persons. But then, participation in the making of law becomes universal. And then, men seek to balance their conflicting interests by universal plunder. Instead of rooting out the injustices found in society, they make these injustices general. As soon as the plundered classes gain political power, they establish a system of reprisals against other classes. They do not abolish legal plunder. (This objective would demand more enlightenment than they possess.) Instead, they emulate their evil predecessors by participating in this legal plunder, even though it is against their own interests.
It is as if it were necessary, before a reign of justice appears, for everyone to suffer a cruel retribution some for their evilness, and some for their lack of understanding.
The Results of Legal Plunder
It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.
I think MLK Day is a little different, though some of the things one might hear in connection with it could make one ill. But something of the MLK legend is real and contains a positive message for America. So I think it's different.
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