Race, racism, racist are words like the word, sin. During a Christian worship service, there is a point where we confess our sins and ask God for forgiveness. Reflection does not yield any specific time in the last week when I have committed a sin but I recite the petition of forgiveness because I am human, I am a sinner. That is the tautology of the Christian religion.
Some form of the word Race is trumpeted through the media almost daily, as the cause of most social ills and, because my skin color “white”, I am guilty of some kind of vague transgression against humanity. Who am I supposed to petition for forgiveness, The Reverend Al Sharpton, The Reverend Jesse Jackson or someone else? I will attempt to answer that later but first, let’s reflect on the history of “Race Relations” in the U.S.
I was born 68 years after the conclusion of the Civil War and recall the passing of the last veteran of that conflict in my home town of Quincy, Illinois. A person of African descent was commonly referred to as a “Nigger” without any kind of intended malice. They simply were genetically inferior as evidenced by their recent slave status.
This perception was codified in 1787 by the three-fifths compromise at the constitutional convention saying very plainly that a person of color was only worth three-fifths of a “white” person. And how bad can slavery be when the Bible routinely refers to slave segments of the population without condemnation?
To walk down my small home town main street with a person of different skin color would have made me feel very self-conscious. It was the boundary line of acceptable social circles and violators of this rule might be classified as “white trash”. Segregation was very real and took many forms. In the south where I was stationed in the military, public accommodations like restaurants, toilets and drinking fountains were labeled “White” and Colored”.
The U.S. military, once integrated, obliterated color distinctions. I formed a friendship with a fellow who had graduated from the University of Illinois with a civil engineering degree, something I planned to do once my military service was concluded. We spent a lot of time together and one day, walking across the post, I glanced over at him and it dawned on me that he was a Negro and he was my friend. That was the most liberating epiphany of my young life and from that day forward, a person’s skin color made no difference to me.
That happened in 1955 and the next decade brought the civil rights movement culminating in the civil rights acts of 1964 and 1968. Since that time, I believe that everyone has had the same experience that I did walking across an army post with my Negro friend. Those who persist in this archaic prejudice are shunned by a large majority of the white population and should not be put up as typical of anything meaningful.
It has literally been decades since I have heard the ‘N’ word (except by African American TV performers) or had a conversation with anyone which had any racial overtones.
And now, the point of this discussion; RACISM in the general population does not exist and those who nurture it, do so for their own personal gain and deserve condemnation in no uncertain terms. At the top of the list is the first African-American president who plays the “race-card” to deflect criticism of a woefully inept administration. Any critic of President Obama is a prima-facie Racist, pronounced as such by a sycophant media. Politically, multi-cultural segregation is used to pit one group against another with this administration pandering to the whims of each group.
The Real Race Baiters
Martin Luther King Jr. was a true hero and, had he lived, would have repudiated the likes of Sharpton and Jackson I am sure. These two and their lesser lights, are “faster than speeding bullets” to an interracial death scene before even an investigation has begun; the faster the better to direct people to the ‘Donate’ buttons on their respective web sites, but has anyone ever seen either one walking an inner city street to reduce the daily violence occurring there? (See ‘Exploitation, Indifference and Death’ at The Composte Heap )
While these may be dismissed as pandering and exploitation, and they should be, damage reaches well beyond the individual incidents. Fostering an atmosphere of hate by people of color against ‘whites’ may be an expedient shift of blame for miserable inner city conditions but how is that going to solve any problems? They provide nurturing approval for violence prone efforts like ‘Black Lives Matter’ – “What do we want?” “Dead cops”. “When?” “Now.”
Since I’m not susceptible to liberal white guilt, I think I’ll pass on asking forgiveness for my skin color. Blame it on my mom and dad; they were part of the human race.