Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Two Faces of Racism

I think any who knows me or is a regular reader of A/O knows that I couldn't care less about someone's race, income level, gender or sexual orientation, or religion. My interest is on social justice and non-partisanship. I view people on how they treat me and how they treat others. 

People need to accept responsibility for their actions and stop blaming others or using social crutches when things don't go their way By the same token, however, I never gave anyone a pass based on their race or whatever. You are what you are and that's it as far as I'm concerned. 

Nevertheless, we seem to hear the term "racist" or "racism" bandied around a lot these days (including reverse racism). It seems that in most cases it's coming from Blacks or Hispanics and is being aimed at primarily whites. In a few cases, I think it may be justified. There are some examples of subtle and not to subtle racism taking place, however, it appears that more often than not the term is being used as some form of chastisement for disagreeing with someone of color; of not giving them what they think they're entitled to, and that's wrong. It cheapens the impact of the term. Back in the 60's and 70's, a term for narrow mindedness was to call someone a "conservative". By the 1980's, being called a "liberal" was seen as derogatory.

Now, I do want to clear something up before going any further. There is such a thing as institutional racism, which is the more subtle and perhaps sinister form of racism. This type of racism has manifested itself in several well publicized events involving the police where a Black individual was shot and killed (Tamir Rice comes to mind). We've all seen the video where Eric Garner was choked to death by a New York City cop or Walter Scott, the unarmed Black male repeatedly shot in the back while he ran away. 

The South Carolina police officer claimed he feared for their life. There has been numerous other examples. In some instances, the officer or officers are usually found innocent when they clearly weren't. In several incidents, the officer was justified in taking the kill shot since their life was obviously threatened. In most of these events, as tragic as they were, these events are usually followed by looting, robbery, arson, and attempted assaults on police officers. Most of us are taught that if an cop tells you to stop and put your hands up, that's what you do. Yet you'll hear others say that because Blacks are taught to fear police, they should be treated differently if they decide to run.

I fail to see how any of that made the situation better. Some apologists will say that the community was "angry" and "had" to act out. Really? You mean to tell me that the answer to violence was more violence and destruction of property and robbing neighbors? You'll note that rarely, in similar circumstances, do you see the same "torch and trash" mentality among whites or Asian (or for that matter, generally among most Hispanics). 

Therefore, if that is indeed the case, then we have not a racial problem but a psychological group problem that either willfully ignores right from wrong or is mentally incapable of understanding the difference between the two, and that would likely lead to a societal failure; the treatment of which I could only guess at but assume it would result in the wholesale drugging of an entire population. Perhaps the problem stems from broken homes without a strong supportive male presence. 

Perhaps it also results in behavioral problems in school where defying authority is accepted as the norm (the argument being that black students, especially males, resent non-white authority figures yet the behavior remains the same in schools where the facility is predominately black as well). Some add that there is a "hopelessness" anticipated upon graduation due to low GPAs and students being "flunked forward", which might be true (unfortunately , however, academic performance is usually repeatedly lowered across the board to artificially inflate the passing grades).

However, academic performance is often seen as "acting white" or "acting Asian" and thus, strongly discouraged by peer pressure. As with any single parent families, the responsibility for the welfare of the child or children falls on the mother (if she's even present in their lives) or their extend families such as grandparents, cousins, or even foster homes. 

As such, they rarely if ever are able to take an active role in the child's academic or even social life. Well, obviously, poor academic performance coupled with poor discipline (and the lack of ability to administer any discipline) is a near guarantee for life failure (and let's face it, not everyone is going to be a sports star, especially if they can barely spell their name). The result is usually a quick track to jail or gangs and both generally lead to the cemetery. The Black community has always had an unusual attachment to their churches, which seems to attempt to fill the broken home void and instill a sense of self-worth and pride, community, and values; all good things in my opinion, but nothing beats a stable home life.

Schools exist to teach. Not to serve as glorified babysitters. Teachers should not fear being attacked, nor should they be forced to pass failing students to meet some mandated quotas. Control of academics should be at the local level and taken out the hands of the federal government as much as possible. 

Discipline must be restore, either with the parent's permission or the parent's direct intervention. No exceptions. Students should be required to meet minimum academic performances before any extracurricular activities are allow, especially sports. We must stop dumbing down academics and trying to make everyone fit into one neat peg hole.

Those who excel should be encouraged and provided with the resources to help them achieve their potential regardless of race or any other factor (those who attempt to bully students of color for "acting white" or acting Asian" should be dealt with severely. No one should fear having their future taken away from them). All students should be required to take some form of art, music or theater. 

All students should be required to take a civics class and perform at least six academic hours of community service. Lastly, we need to return to trade and vocational education since not everyone needs to attend college but everyone does need a professional skill. In fact, there are shortages in the trades and most pay quite well. Technical knowledge is easily transferable, so no matter where you live there will likely be a demand for your skills. I think once we can improve the academic and self-worth side, I think we can go a long way to eliminating the sense of inferiority which leads some to claim "racism" and the need for violence.

On the institutional side, we need to take serious steps to eliminate the internal protection of those who engage in subtle racism and, to be blunt, bad cops. Right now we seem to have a system which protects and hides bad officers from punishment the same way the Catholic Church has done for pedophiles (another hideous crime which must be stopped). I understand the need for police officers to protect one another (they have this "us against the world" attitude and that most of us are simply criminals they haven't caught yet). T

he point is, bad behavior reflects on the good guys just as much as it reflects on the bad ones and on the judicial system. True, if convicted, these officers are likely to be placed in the same prison system they helped to send the thugs. Frankly, I think that's just too bad. They should have thought about that before they acted irresponsibly. For a society to function properly, there has to be a sense of trust in those whose jobs are to provide safety and administer justice. 

Right now, that's lacking in this country. We have a level of confidence in the federal government which would have triggered an all out revolution in just about any other country several times over (and I have no doubt that we'll have one yet). However, until the system steps up to plate and takes responsibility for the actions of those it hires, the situation will continue to get worse, and that means more people will disregard the police, the courts, and take matters into their own hands, which includes shooting cops and judges if that's the only way they see justice happening.

Lastly, the corporate media. After watching the actions of the corporate media---the so-called "liberal" and "conservative"---it's clear they have "crapped in their own nests". The corporate media, which has long been biased, dropped all pretenses this last go around and openly endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton. They did everything they could to distract, bury, distort, and misdirect. 

Right now they're towing the "Russian's did it" line to cover for Hillary's loss as the result of her corruption uncovered by WikiLeaks. and other sources (including the use of unsecured servers, cell phones, etc). They are trying to find a reason to blame the Russians for "interfering" with our election process, yet we---the American People---know fully good and well that the Russians weren't involved. 

We have the same intelligence agencies who claimed the Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, claiming that the Russians somehow hack through the security wall of the NSA, FBL, DIA, CIA, and Homeland Security, just to see Hillary defeated when we've witnessed Hillary, Debbie Wassermann-Schultz of the DNC caught red-handed fixing the Democratic Primary to ensure Bernie Sanders lost, and then rigging the Democratic Convention to keep Sander's supporters out.

So, when it comes to "racism", we see these same corporate media types trot out the same race baiters and show the same cherry picked and heavily edited footage. In fact, under President Obama, there has been as greater racial divide in this country since the early 1960's. In fact, there seems to be an underlining theme to promote as much division between Americans as possible, be it race, religion, illegal immigration, importing unvetted Muslims from hostile countries, attempts to rekindle a cold war with Russia, issues involving sexual orientation, and so forth. 

 If you look back to the 1980's for instance, you'll note that issues involving race were pretty rare. In fact, there was a significant rise in inter-racial relationships that was unprecedented. Inter-racial or minority dominated TV shows were commonplace and no one cared! Now, it seems like some folks are wearing it on their sleeves and some Black Congressmen and Senators are again talking about Civil War reparations, which would go a long way to raising racial tensions.

Personally, I think this is intentional. As most Americans know by now, America is an oligarchy. We are headed headlong into a neo-fascist police state. The State needs for us to feel insecure. They need for us to demand protection, and they will be all to happy to provide exchange for our personal freedom and greater control over our lives. 

In order to be successful, they need for us to be at each other's throats. They need for violence and uncertainty to reign, and they requires that we be divided; they we be afraid. It also requires that we be unarmed and unable to defend ourselves. As long as we fear or hate each other, we are not looking at them. We are not watching or questioning our freedoms vanishing in the name of "security" or "protection". After all, we were the ones who "demanded" it. 

We need to acknowledge that we are being manipulated and intentionally divided. The government is not our own. It has been usurped by a corporate elite---the 1% if you will. We must ignore the race baiters. We must demand that those who do engage in legitimate hate crimes, regardless of their race, orientation or religion, be punished. The threat to our liberty won't coming thundering. It will be subtle and it will be cloaked in good intentions.

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