Illegitimacy: America’s racist past and present dooms its present and future…

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I recently got into a lengthy discussion with some friends that makes me wonder how much longer the country can survive. Why? Because of such starkly different views on the nation, our history and the role of government. Frankly, I’ve never felt so bewildered in my life as to how people looking at the same information can come to such differing results… and I’ll point out, most of my interlocutors were white liberals.

The original catalyst for this discussion was Ferguson, MO. Almost immediately upon the killing of Michael Brown various friends posted comments on Facebook or linked to pieces discussing the disparity in the way blacks and whites are treated by cops. I was told by a black friend that a black man knows that every time he encounters a cop, regardless of the circumstances, his life is in danger. That cops can and do regularly stop, harass and abuse black men for no other reason than they are black. Ferguson and Brown were just the latest example of that racist reality.

I expressed some incredulity. While I suggested that it might be in fact true that police had a more heightened sense of awareness when dealing with blacks, I posited it might have more to do with the fact that black men, while they make up about 6% of the population, are responsible for approximately 40% of the violent crime in the country than racism. Somehow that didn’t seem to fly. “No” that could not be the cause of the disparity. It had to be the racism on the part of some cops and the institutional racism on the part of the institutions that make up our justice system.

I further posited that even if it were the case that black men received a heightened level of attention from police, they could usually minimize the possibility of a negative outcome by being polite, respectful, and, even if they thought they were being unconstitutionally stopped, wait until afterward to file a grievance rather than get into a Constitutional argument and altercation with the officer who’s both worried about his own safety and that of the public. Indeed, I suggested that was likely good advice for anyone, black, white or otherwise, and it was the opposite of what Rodney King had done and increasingly what Michael Brown appears to have done. In hoping to lighten the tone somewhat I linked to Chris Rock’s great “How not to get your ass kicked by the police!” which is funny, but it makes some very good points as well. That didn’t seem to fly either.

The discussion devolved into suggestions that the United States always is and always has been a fundamentally racist country where whites have privilege (that they refuse recognize or acknowledge) and blacks are fundamentally unable to succeed. That was untrue on its face I suggested. To support the former they pointed to the Constitution. I explained that – while slavery is indeed a stain on the American history – the fact of the matter is that the 3/5 compromise was the only way that the Constitution could have been ratified, and that the Constitution put a stop (in 1808) to the importation of slaves, which had the impact of making slaves more valuable to their owners, and thus less likely to be literally worked to death as happened in far greater numbers in the Caribbean or South America where replacement slaves could be brought in without constraint. In addition, I pointed out, while some Founding Fathers such as Washington and Madison did own slaves, many others did not, including John and Sam Adams, and Ben Franklin freed his slaves and became the president of the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society. In addition, a quarter of a million whites died during the Civil War to end slavery and save the Union.  I was told I was an apologist for slavery and the Founding Fathers…

I then pointed out that in this racist country where blacks can’t succeed, blacks not only dominate the ranks of sports and recording artists, but are CEO’s of such great American companies as McDonalds, American Express, Xerox, and Merck… and of course Barack Obama was elected to the most powerful position on the planet, twice!

But none of that mattered because America is racist and blacks are disempowered because of the color of their skin. It has nothing to do with unwed motherhood. It has nothing to do with government schools that don’t educate. It has nothing to do with government regulations that make it difficult for young black men to find a job. It has nothing to do with a culture that sometimes ostracizes learning as “acting white” and communities where the number one killer of young men between the ages of 15 & 34 is … other young black men.  And of course it has nothing to do with government dependency.

There are certainly examples of cops misbehaving and sometimes abusing blacks – and others. We see those videos regularly. But those are the man bites dog stories because the majority of instances do not include abuse and we don’t hear about them. With over half a million cops on duty in the United States every day, even if it were 10 videos a day of such behavior, that would be a drop in the bucket of police interactions with citizens. (That doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be dealt with when it arises however.)

And here’s the problem that makes one think that the country just might be doomed. Despite the fact that slavery has been gone for 150 years and Jim Crow for 50, despite the fact that there are 35,000 black millionaires in the United States, America is apparently a place where blacks cannot succeed. Despite the fact that blacks have achieved some of the highest positions possible in Fortune 500 companies, been elected or appointed to the highest positions in the land, dominate a variety of entertainment arenas, America is a racist nation where blacks can’t succeed. Finally, because our Constitution was an imperfect document which made only baby steps towards ending slavery 226 years ago, America is forever doomed to be a racist nation.

It appears to be the case that there is nothing that whites or that the nation can do that will satisfy those who are focused on race.  From 50 years of government set asides and redistribution to a plethora of regulations mandating “diversity targets” in everything from home loans to staffing to college admissions, it never seems to be sufficient to atone for the country’s imperfect history. Increasingly it’s becoming evident that there is a large and growing segment of the population that refuses to recognize that progress occurs, even while imperfection persists.

Unfortunately for the nation, as long as the Constitution is our foundation and an apparently racist white majority remains, blacks (and a growing list of other oppressed groups) have no chance of success and therefore everything in the country, from laws to property to achievement, are illegitimate. And of course, once something is deemed illegitimate it’s open to being used or taken by the government to satisfy the demands of the dispossessed. Illegitimacy is rarely a good foundation for a well functioning representative government.  As the ranks of those focused on identity politics grow, calls for government action grow along with them… such things do not bode well for America’s future.

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.

12 Responses to “Illegitimacy: America’s racist past and present dooms its present and future…”

  1. 1

    Loren Piller

    Your “white liberal” listeners are probably progressives, which means Marxists whether they know it or not. Their world view is at odds with the traditional American world view. You have to point out the differences between the way they think and reality to get your point across. They usually reject it, for awhile and then suddenly they pick up the difference between reality and the Marxist dream.

  2. 2

    James Raider

    author

    Reality is that Chinese, Indian (India), and Hispanics, for example, who have been on this continent for well over a century, have been industrious and have succeeded in building families, building lives, building businesses and self-actualizing successfully. For that matter, so have the Irish, who were slaves before blacks were. A primary difference is that they have not been abused and barraged by the race batters who have made an industry of whining, and of “you are owed.” Many Chinese were treated as slaves when railroads were built, and their decedents have moved on with less labouring of “we are owed.”

    Many blacks have also moved on and built very successful lives for themselves and their families, but the media seems to like promoting the Sharptons, instead.

    While racism exists everywhere to varying degrees, it is not dominant in America — nowhere near as much as it exists on other continents.

  3. 3

    FMB42

    The “All Black all the Time” broken record is playing its last song. Thankfully, it’ll soon be over. The rest of the world doesn’t have the time to notice the eternal race card that a small number of Blacks have been waving around for far too long. This has gotten to be extremely old and very tired.

    Meanwhile, this small number of Black crybabies can either make an effort to catch and ride the wave to the future (like many Blacks have done), or sit back and watch it pass them by like a summer afternoon.

    As for me, I’m done with the “All Black all the Time” B.S. and I respectfully suggest that you do the same.

  4. 4

    Skook

    Perhaps the Progressives will be happy when the mantra becomes, “Every black male must be successful, before whites are considered.” Affirmative Action missed the boat on that one; now, only a few qualified whites are committed to failure to ensure the advancement of less-qualified blacks. When all blacks are chosen before a white, our society will have achieved the goal of Marxism, the advancement of mediocracies and the denial of self. However, being a primarily white male, raised in a semi-primitive culture: I will offer a little bit of advice, once the thin veneer of civilization is scratched away, the white male is a cruel and tenacious opponent. If he is pushed too far and there is no real opportunity, don’t expect to seem him cowering like a kicked dog.

  5. 5

    MM

    I guess I’m just too old and too tired of this BS. Fact is I will not live anywhere where there are more then a sprinkling of blacks. The current small town I live in is 98% white or latino, Christian and conservative. There is essentially no crime. I have a business in the CBD and never once have I had any problems like break ins or even graffiti. I walk around early in the morning, 2 or 3am, before I head to the gym with my dogs and have never had any problems.

    The victim mentality of most blacks today is encouraged by our “leaders” and reenforced by a sewer culture that glorifies abortion, a thug way of life and government dependancy.

    You have every reason to be concerned Vince-unfortunately I don’t believe there is any turning around-the NEA has done what it set out to do.

  6. 6

    retire05

    Vince, it is amazing to me what has happened to the blacks in America. In 1865, the eventually freed slaves had goals that were admirable. They wanted:

    to be paid for their labor
    to be allowed to own businesses/farms
    to own property, not be property owned
    to marry, have children and raise their children
    to learn to read and write and have their children be able to get an education
    to attend a church, if they wanted
    to depend on no one for their survival but themselves

    In 1860, blacks were a greater percentage of our population than they are now. In 1960, as Dr. King took to the streets to peacefully protest for equality, black men were employed in a greater percentage than they are now, married black couples rarely divorced, black children were raised in two parent household by a greater percentage than whites, blacks represented a smaller percentage of single mothers than whites, blacks were more religious than whites, attending church more than whites and black neighborhoods were safer than many white neighborhoods.

    What changed between then, and now? When Dr. King marched, he represented a people who showed they deserved equality because they were no different, and did not have different values, than whites. But when Dr. King died, his dream died with him and as he left us, the race baiters and poverty pimps entered the scene. There was “gold in them thar hills” for the grievance industry. Dr. King did not trust Jesse Jackson, as reported by Dr. Abernathy, and Jackson was not the King protégé he claims to be. He was a hanger on, not a trusted confidant of Dr. King. Al Sharpton, another opportunist, also saw the money and notoriety in the grievance industry so he represented the “militant” faction. Neither one of them have done a damn thing to make life better for any black other than themselves.

    Now we see blacks abortion their children in the millions; black fathers turning their backs on their children and leaving their children to struggle in single mother households; black unemployment numbers greater than they should be; black children having a higher high school dropout rate than any other ethnic group, black communities that are crime ridden and blacks now depending on others (the taxpayers) for their very survival.

    What a waste.

  7. 7

    Nanny

    I wonder what Vince’s liberal acquaintances (and other liberals) thinks of the fact that the Police Benevolent Association is PAYING eight black eyewitnesses who testified in front of the Grand Jury that what they saw agrees with both forensic and Officer Wilson’s testimony?

    They’d be aghast, am I right?

    Only it isn’t the PBA supporting 8 black eyewitnesses who supported forensic facts.
    It is the NAACP who is supporting Dorian Johnson and five others who testified that Michael Brown was shot with his hands up and his back to Officer Wilson.

    It is just as illegal for the NAACP as it would have been had the PBA done it.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1512
    You just cannot buy off witnesses in this country…..legally, that is.
    Where’s DOJ?

  8. 8

    Said

    You want some ground-breaking thoughts for your white liberal friends…. Harriot Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain and many others created the myth of the Christian slave wanting an Angl0-Saxon family life. The Sub-Saharan Africans have never asked for family life — and given free choice as they have now — do not take to it. Conservatives continue to blame “Liberalism” for the failure of the black family. What is a failure is the continued conservative belief in the fantasy of the Sub-Saharan African desiring a western-style nuclear family.

  9. 9

    Armond Barboza-Ross

    seems that every time we speak of race in this country…each time…the white American society as a whole has been found wanting

    why then is this disability in white culture…a problem for black Americans to be concerned about

    history might explain…that repeatedly throughout our Nation’s history…white America has found itself…on the wrong side of moral responsibility…and always with a violent response…when exposed to open public review

    the original 13th Amendment…proposed in 1860…to appease those who supported continued growing slavery…would have legalized slavery as a constitutional fact of life

    post civil war…whites blamed blacks for all their losses…and were allowed and supported by the rest of the Nation…in the continued denial of black Americans full civil rights

    we watched with horror…the man in Cleveland…who kidnapped 3 women…holding them as his sex slaves for years…on his capture…his home and assets where seized…and given to his victims

    black Americans…acknowledged by history…suffered a far worst fate…until this day

    their state…their disabilities…their broken culture…their separateness from greater American culture…are all the result…of the decisions…beliefs and actions…of white Americans…over the course of 450 years

    yet in a period of less than one generation…white America has said to black America…get over it and get with the white man’s program

    so in a country…where white men and black men use drugs at the same rate…blacks represent over 80% of those in jail…for having the same use rates…as whites

    remains one of the laws against teaching a slave to read and write…if you were white and guilty of this crime…the punishment was a fine

    if you were black…teaching other blacks to read and write…the punishment…seven years of state mandated servitude

    seems when it comes to white and black…nothing really changes…white attitudes remain harden and as critical of black Americans…the same as if today was…1800

    why then would Rancher Cliven Bundy…after a 20 year fight with the federal government over land use…find it acceptable…to blame the state of the Nation…on black people…not knowing their place

    Dr. E. Franklin Frazier in 1927…stated this history represented…a white cultural mental illness…toward black people…that only white people could resolve…by admitting…their own history

    only sorry to see…so much of that illness on display…in many of the comments on this page

  10. 10

    Armond+Barboza-Ross

    Retired05…what changed between 1860 and today…was not MLK and then Jesse and Al

    seems you got blinded in the white lights…to miss…black laws…jim crow…the white league…the KKK…police used as the principle tools of discrimination like in Mexico this month where Mexican police helped kill 43 poor students…separate but equal…housing redlining…lynching…burnings…tenant farmers paid less than 25 cents on the dollar…and 100 years of terrorist acts by white Americans against their fellow black citizens

    just thought…in your retirement…you had no excuse…for missing that big part…of your history

    oh and by the way…back in the day…to most white Americans…Martin Luther King…was a communist until the day he died…and no friend…of the American white man

    so they said…using the very same words you used…to question both Al and Jesse

  11. 11

    Armond+Barboza-Ross

    FMB42…seems remember those very same words coming out of the mouth of Police Chief Bull Connor…in his response…to the church bombing that killed 4 black girls at Sunday School…only the 50th bombing of black homes and churches in that community…over a 20 year period…by white terrorist…against the black religious community…and against those who sought their full American rights…as American citizens

    and just think…after 450 years of the immoral suppression of blacks by whites…solely because of the color of their skin…that now…in less than a generation…all these problems…are truly…really…and fully…the fault of black folks…amazing

    seems that after the civil war…the white league said the very same thing

    and that my friend…is the value of google

    where facts…get separated…from your bias self-serving opinions

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