Some thoughts on Race

I’m pretty much as white as they come. Other than being related to Karl Malone (through marraige), I pretty much have no smatterings of color in my family tree, so every time the issue of race comes up, I fit squarely into the “White/Caucasian” category.

In other words… it’s all my fault.

Yes, my ancestor’s ancestors were members of a culture who participated in the awful practice of buying and selling human life. They created centuries of human oppression and perpetuated such an awful practice.

But guess what: I didn’t. It wasn’t me. I don’t believe in that. I didn’t do it. And punishing me for it is just silly.

Yes, my grandfathers and great grandfathers lived in the United States during a time when we tried our hardest to keep races separated…

But guess what: I didn’t. I don’t believe that. It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. And punishing me for it is just silly.

There has been a long history of racial oppression in the world. The Egyptians built their monster pyramids with slave labor. Slavery has been a major component of every eon of time. The concept of slavery is the same across all ages: the forced oppression and captivity of the weakest members of a society.

Slavery continues until today, in the form of economic slavery. High interest credit cards and loans are made to the weakest in our society, putting them at natural disadvantages and binding them for life to creditors they will never be able to satisfy. This slavery knows no race, gender or creed.

But it’s not my fault. And I don’t owe you anything. During my lifetime, I have worked to give those I have come in contact with every benefit and opportunity I have received, no matter their race or culture.

mlkdraw.gifToday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the United States. Certainly, Dr. King’s incredible contributions to our country deserve to be recognized. And this is why… he had the courage to stand up. He inspired a movement of people to identify with their culture, take pride in their heritage, and to take a moral stand against their countrymen and government to say, “What is going on here isn’t right. We are not second class citizens.”

In this spirit, I celebrate Dr. King. I celebrate his dream and vision, and the power of the movement he led pull up his race by their bootstraps to say, “we’re not taking it anymore.” I have, in part, seen his dream realized during my lifetime.

I was raised without prejudice for race, gender or creed. I value all people equally as children of God and members of the same human race.

The biggest problem with race today is not white suppression, it is self-supression.

African-Americans have adopted the hate language of the 1960’s Caucasians to define themselves and even casually refer to each other. What would Dr. King think to walk through our schools today hearing black people refer to each other as “nigger”?

African-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, etc have more money than ever to go to college, and yet Caucasians still make up the majority of those going to college. Affirmative action has been set up in the workplace to give more than due opportunities for people of minority ethnicities. The ‘white establishment’ has done everything possible to give every minority in this country a shot at a good education, a good job, and a productive life.

And yet it’s never enough.

One day I’m going to create the WhiteEyebrows scholarship fund for white male white-eyebrowed freaks…

I think Dr Bill Cosby is right. Read some of the startling statistics from his recent book on the state of the black community and it quickly becomes clear that there is cultural disease festering.

  • In 1950, five out of every six black children were born into a two-parent home. Today, that number is less than two out of six
  • 70 percent of black babies are born to single mothers in the United States each year
  • Homicide is the number one cause of death for black men between 15 and 29 years of age and has been for decades.
  • Of the roughly 16,000 homicides in this country each year, more than half are committed by black men. A black man is seven times more likely to commit a murder than a white man, and six times more likely to be murdered.
  • Ninety-four percent of all black people who are murdered are murdered by other black people.
  • Although black people make up 12 percent of the general population, they make up nearly 44 percent of the prison population.
  • At any given time, as many as one in four of all young black men are in the criminal justice system—in prison or jail, on probation or on parole.

(source: NBC’s Meet the Press Interview with Tim Russert)

Now to another group, Latinos & Mexicans, who seem to have the complete opposite problems from the African-American community. The history of the African-Americans is tragic… they were drug here to work for nothing. Today, Mexicans come here at any cost, to work and be a part of our 12 trillion dollar economy, and all we can talk about is how to keep them out. What irony! For much of the country, it’s still not politically incorrect to be racist toward Latinos, even though they come here to work the hardest for the lowest wages, and sacrifice their quality of life for their families both here and where they come from.

Where is the Dr. King of the Latino community who will stand up and say, “We demand to be equal partners in this American dream”?

It’s such a complicated issue, but perhaps the reason why the American experiement continues to work is because above all else, above our race, religion, culture, background, hair style, or fingernail length, we are Americans. We subscribe to the American dream and believe in freedom, liberty, and human decency.

So for this day of commemoration, let’s put aside the divisiveness of race and remember our common American race. There is room for all races in the American dream.

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