Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of black Americans excoriating “white America” on the evils of racism and their complicity in it, whether intentional or not–something I’ve heard all my life. And, at this point, I realize that it appears to be a no-win scenario for whitey.
The mantra goes a little something like this, “You don’t know what it’s like to be black in America; you don’t understand the world we live in.”
Okay, fine, I don’t know what it’s like to be black, anymore than a black knows what it’s like to be white.
“Oh, wait just a minute, many of us blacks live in your ‘white’ world. We know all about it.”
No you don’t. If you’re a black person, you don’t know anymore about being white, than I know about being black, period.
Let me give a clear example. Years ago, I had a roommate from the Baltics who had been imprisoned for two years in a Soviet gulag (prison camp) for raising the Latvian flag on a Soviet government building in Riga. He was also missing his “trigger finger.” A common tactic by the Soviets was to put your trigger finger in a steel door jamb and slam the door shut.
One day a friend of mine, who happened to be black, was visiting. I was sitting in the living room with him and my Latvian roommate. My black friend started to lecture us on how we don’t understand what it’s like to be black in America, and the suffering many blacks endure under our “racist system.”
I’ll never forget the eyes my roommate was shooting at him. If they could burn holes right through him, they would have. The reality was it was my black friend who did not understand the suffering that my roommate, and those like him, had endured. Why? Because so many blacks have been inculcated with the notion that white people just don’t understand oppression and suffering. The common term for this alleged phenomena is “white privilege.”
While my friend lectured us on the plight of black America, I asked him if he had ever been in a gulag. My black friend admitted he had never even been in jail in the States. I had to explain to him just what a gulag was. I also told him what had happened to my roommate’s right index finger, and why. He looked shocked, almost confused. It pretty much ended the conversation right there.
Why? Why was he shocked? Why was he confused? Because my roommate was white!?
Yes, I do know that there is intense suffering in many black communities across the country. There’s no denying it. Nor will I ever try and deny that racism exists. But it exists on both sides of the color spectrum. I’ve seen it; I’ve heard it; I’ve experienced it. Don’t even try and insult my intelligence by telling me otherwise, yet the grievance industry insists on doing so.
I’ve done volunteer work in prisons, jails and Salvation Army centers. I do know what it’s like to get some “blood and puke on your shoes.” The problems facing many troubled communities in our country revolve around many issues–broken homes, alcohol, drugs, violence, poor education, gangs, abject poverty, etc. It takes a multifaceted approach to deal with such difficult issues, in my opinion–meaning: spiritual, mental and physical. There is no end-all-be-all solution. Simply throwing money at the problem, or putting more people in jail is not the answer. As a matter of fact, many times such so-called solutions only exasperate an already dire situation.
Frankly, I’ve become quite fed up with this whole “you don’t understand us but we understand everything you” meme coming from many black Americans these days. It appears to the whole purpose of this is to put me, and others like me–meaning: white people–into a little box that we just can’t get extricate ourselves out of.
Many blacks I’ve been listening to lately following the Trayvon Martin shooting are of the opinion that I just need to shut my white mouth and accept the fact that my skin is white, therefore I know nothing of suffering and oppression. This is utter nonsense, and dangerous nonsense at that, for it attempts to drive the wedge ever deeper between the races, creating intense resentment and anger.
To be fair, I know for a fact that there are black males who are “profiled” by law enforcement, at times, in a manner that I can only describe as totally wrong. But in my earlier, wilder days, I wasn’t always treated fairly myself, despite my whiteness.
For example, I recall being in my 20’s and driving home from a friend’s house early in the morning (roughly 2AM). I was driving my beat-up work truck and was driving through a ritzier part of town. About half way through this part of the city, I was pulled over by a cop. Now, I wasn’t speeding, nor driving erratically, nor had I been drinking or doing drugs. My tags were current. I had a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. I was simply pulled over, without probable cause, because I looked out of place.
Although I didn’t let the officer know it at the time (because I’m not stupid), I was really infuriated by the stop. You mean I don’t have the right to drive down a road to my home? Because I look out of place? Was I suspected of committing a crime? No. I was simply presumed guilty until I could prove my innocence.
Unfortunately, I’ve heard numerous tales like this from blacks about being profiled in such a manner, some much worse than my little encounter with Officer Overzealous. By no means am I trying to condemn law enforcement by pointing this out. There are many good cops out there. And we need good police officers. But there’s some bad ones too, just like in any profession.
Recently, there’s been a spate of violence by gangs of youths rampaging through the city in my hometown of Indianapolis. Naturally this has brought up a lot of debate locally as to what can be done about it. One solution offered by those from the left was to increase the police presence downtown. But, as one police spokesman stated, “We can hire more police, but we’ll just make more arrests. I don’t think a militaristic approach is the solution.”
I couldn’t agree more.
The real issue I have with this so-called dialog on race is that it’s not a dialog at all. I’m being told, on one hand, that I need to try and understand the plight of blacks in America, yet, on the other hand, I’m being told that I’ll never understand the plight of blacks in America … just shut up and accept the wrongness of my whiteness. Huh. Nothing racial about that, huh!
So, which is it? Are we going to have a true dialog on race where all voices are heard? Or is the real message to sit down and shut up and let the race pimps demagogue the issue?
There are some real disconnects regarding the subject of race in our society that really blows my mind at times.
For example, I listened to a black gentlemen (unfortunately, I can’t remember his name) on Fox News lecture the white audience on racism and “white privilege.” What I found so incredulous about his comments was his praise of LBJ’s “war against poverty,” i.e. The Great Society. Does this man not realize the history of his own political party–the Democrats?
“I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” —Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One
“These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”—LBJ
I’ve also heard some blacks talk affectionately about Woodrow Wilson. Well, it was Woodrow Wilson who segregated the military. The military had been integrated prior.
This whole notion that racism is a one-way street perpetrated by white people is dangerous, because it’s a lie. Relationships are two-way streets. That will never change.
A while back I heard Whoopi Goldberg refer to the Founders as a “bunch of stupid old white men.” Wow. Could you imagine me being on national television and saying something like “stupid old black men”? Or how about the prosecution’s star witness in the George Zimmerman trial, Rachel Jeanteel, claiming calling white people “creepy ass crackers” is in no way a derogatory racial epithet. PUH-lease!
Putting all the onus on one group of people (whitey) for all the sins of mankind is something human history is replete with. When we marginalize and demonize any group of people, it always leads to really, really bad things. The demonized are no longer considered human beings, but rather monsters who deserve whatever comes their way. And I certainly don’t need to tell black America about what happens when one group of people is relegated to the status of subhuman–a monstrous word that has lead to the deaths of millions throughout human history–black, white, red and yellow included.
At the end of the day, we all have feet made of clay. That means black, white, yellow, red, and everything in between. If we’re going to have a dialog, then all voices must be heard equally. No one voice must dominate the dialog. Because if one voice is drowning out all the others, that’s just plain old demagoguery.
But that’s exactly what’s going on here–demagoguery. Although my black liberal friends may disagree, the whole hidden agenda behind the Zimmerman trial is gun control and promoting the notion of Critical Race Theory, period. According to the race pimps, our whole system is racist and must be brought down. The administration and its minions are using the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin to forward their own agenda of radical social change–fundamental transformation.
Trayvon Martin’s killing was indeed a sad and tragic event. But it’s being exploited to drum up resentment and rage. I find that unconscionable. No one wins when we allow our emotions to trump our intellect.
Lately, I’ve had a few of my black friends who disagree with my views on the Zimmerman trial a bit tongue-tied. What do I mean? I’ll tell ya. Don’t sit there, as a black American, and try and deny the numerous incidents of black-on-white crime that have seemingly been occurring with greater frequency on Obama’s watch. Flash mobs of black youths attacking white people seem to be all the rage these days. I never heard of such a thing until a one Barack Obama came to power.
Recently a white baby was shot in the face by two black youths. Not too long ago a 13-year-old white boy was chased down to his front porch and set on fire while his black attackers shouted, “You get what you deserve, whiteboy!” I have recorded numerous other incidents of racially motivated attacks against whites as of late.
I become enraged when I read about such awful and senseless criminal acts. But I would be just as enraged if the attackers had been white and the victims black. It’s all evil. So, should I gather up as many white folks as I can, stand before them and rub their resentments raw, encouraging them to take justice into their own hands, because the whole system is supposedly racist?
One response I’ve heard from black Americans to the point I just made is “you people did hunt us down at one time and we demand justice.” Is that right? I thought we had a Civil War. Did we not? That doesn’t matter? Two wrongs make a right? Answer evil with more evil? Is that what I’m hearing?
Once again, the lack of knowledge regarding the history of the Democrat Party is astonishing. It was the Democrats who created the KKK, Jim Crow Laws and poll taxes. And one fact that is all but forgotten is that the Republicans were first formed as the “Abolitionist Party” in 1854. Additionally, of all the people hunted down and murdered by the KKK, 25% of them were white Republicans, the other 75% being black.
If we’re going to have a dialog about race, then the dialog must be rooted in the truth. And I’m discovering the truth is a big problem for those on the progressive left, for it condemns them. Maybe that’s why the progressives changed the teaching of history to social studies. Just a thought.
We, whether white or black, must not give in to emotional appeals devoid of facts fomented by race baiters for the express purpose of forwarding a political agenda that has nothing to do with bringing about racial harmony, but rather racial strife and division.