Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Nation of Cowards"

Sorry I haven't written as prolifically as I had for a few days. I haven't been feeling well. But I've been paying attention to what's going on in our world and am up for any conversation you'd like to have.

But I wanna talk about this whole "nation of cowards" brouhaha. I just watched Dr. Michael Eric Dyson discuss the issue with Pat Buchanan, who I feel is a fervent racist.

I agree with Attorney General Eric Holder that America is a nation of cowards when it comes to race. There is a minority of African Americans who are ashamed of our past. Why, I don't know. And there're also an overwhelming majority of white Americans who are, frankly, delusional about our past. It's hard to find a white person willing to accept the truth.

That's the first thing I want to say. Here's the second: a discussion of race should concern institutional/structural racism. It should concern the interactions between the races, not within them. It should be interracial, as it were, not intraracial.

See. There are some white Americans, like Pat Buchanan, who I feel is a fervent racist, who wanna start talking about things that happen within the black community. They wanna talk about teenage pregnancy and out-of-wedlock births within the black community. "White people aren't responsible for that!" is their argument. Now, there are a number of problems with that argument. First off, in an indirect way, it's wrong. Once you study the numbers, crime, teenage pregnancy, etc and so on, our numbers break down along economic lines and are no worse than white America. Poverty leads to crime and teenage pregnancy. The black community is disproportionately poor. This poverty is historical. Therefore, the issue is has little to do with personal responsibility. With the exception of out-of-wedlock births, our numbers are the same. Oh! There is also the exception of fathers who are not in the home but remain very active in their child(ren)'s life. In that regard, black fathers do better than white fathers. Though, to listen to the shtick about the black community, you'd never know.

I for one refuse to demand more "personal responsibility" of the black community than is demanded by other communities. That's an old racist trick that's been played on "Negroes" since slavery. Enslavement was good for us because it gave is religion, morals, a work ethic, etc and so on. As if in Africa, people just lay about doing nothing all day. After slavery, we were denied the full rights of citizenship because so many of us were illiterate. Slavery, of course, caused that. Every step along the way, white/mainstream America has declared its treatment of African Americans is better than anywhere else and any maltreatment was the fault of African Americans. It's this same line of argument that Pat Buchanan is using and why I feel he's a fervent racist.

What's real funny is that Pat Buchanan, who I feel is a fervent racist, argued that leaders within the black community should stop focusing on what white people are doing to black people and hold the black community accountable for what we're doing to ourselves. I think the argument is empty and demonstrative of race relations in the country in that we do talk about personal responsibility! We talk about it every Sunday at church. News flash: just because you didn't see/hear it, white people, doesn't it mean it didn't happen! I mean my goodness! You're worse than Columbus thinking he "discovered" America, despite the millions of people already living here.

Now. Back to my point. The discussion should concern interaction between the races. The inherent racism in our school systems and curriculum. People like Pat Buchanan, who I feel is a fervent racist, like to argue that white people aren't responsible for the crime within the black community. But he forgets the lack of equal funding for education. The lack of job opporunities. All that is ignored. But another news flash: no job prospects and little education leads to crime.

Take also the income and employment disparity. Are black people responsible for that? How about the fact that on average, African Americans pay more for mortgages - and I'm talking when you hold for income and down payment and loan amount. How about the inequality in the judicial system? From the fact that African Americans are targetted to the fact that the average juror, regardless of race, is predisposed to see black people as more criminal. Less human. Something like a . . . oh, I don't know . . . a chimp.

See, Pat Buchanan, who I feel is a fervent racist, is right in that white people can't control what goes on in the black community. So, to my point, why talk about it? Why talk about the issues within the black community, as though we're the only ones with any issues - I mean, of all the big banking CEOs that went before Congress, I don't remember a black face? That's besides the point. Especially when America is made up of Asians and Latin and other ethnicities. Right?

So. In summary, Eric Holder is right. Pat Buchanan, who I feel is a fervent racist, is wrong. We are a "nation of cowards" when it comes to discussing race, but I ain't scared. So bring it on. Pat Buchanan-type racists and all!

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