Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Flogging the Long-Dead Horse

The USA has a sordid past with regard to race. It can't be denied. It traces back to the roots of slavery, but not all of the history was a pure result of white oppression. I'm not glossing over the issue, but it is important that even the most prickly of subjects be addressed with objectivity rather than emotion.

Slavery came to this country as a joint effort between the races. There was a significant contribution made by Africans against Africans. Once established, the practice became a foundation of the plantation economy of the southern states. A principled people might have abolished it, but they didn't. Their livelihood depended upon it.

When the Founding Fathers came to Philadelphia in 1787, they were trying to build an effective government depending upon the balance of regional interests. Bringing thirteen independent colonies together meant balancing political power. That required compromise and in order to get the job done, they had to deal with representation. That led to the expedience of the odious "three-fifths compromise". It can be viewed as dehumanizing, but it can also be viewed as finding a solution to a problem that could be dealt with later.

Dealing with the issue took a lot of time and a bloody Civil War. By the middle of the 20th Century, we were ready to move decisively to end segregation and racial discrimination. De jure segregation was legislated out of existence, but de facto isolation still exists. It is declining but it still exists.

Today we've got a black President, a government filled with African-Americans, and an integrated school system.

How then can we see this:

Raising Racism to Fuel the Masses

The Messiah is clearly playing to the emotions of his audience. How can he attribute educational performance in the ghettos to white racism? In a world that tolerates a Black Congressional Caucus but not a white one, that has implemented a preferential acceptance policy for college admissions, that eliminates objective performance testing in jobs as racially biased, that distributes welfare checks and advantage as the currency of politics, and that demands release of the most heinous criminals because they were identified by race, how can he continue that rhetoric?

Isn't it time for all people to really do that Martin King thing, and start to forget about skin color and focus on character?

No comments: