Friday, July 30, 2021

Red (White and Blue) Baiting

It appears the new tag word these days is "racist". If you don't agree with the official line and speak out, you're a racist. If you question what you're being told, then you're a "racist".   If you're white (or Asian for that matter) and haven't accepted and acknowledged your racial "privilege" , then you're not just a "racist", but one who supports a hidden racist system which has held others back while giving you all the breaks.

If you're white or Asian, did well in school, stayed out of trouble, and were generally successful in life, it was because of your racist privilege within a racist system. Your success was the result of someone else being held down. It had nothing to do with your hard work in school or in getting a job.

If you happen to be Hispanic or black, and you worked hard, overcame any of life's obstacles, got a good job (or even better, started your own business), then you betrayed your race. If you studied hard and did well in school, then you're guilt of "acting white". You did all this by adopting the mentality of the "oppressor class" (ie: whites or successful Asians).

 It had nothing to do with your desire to better your life, and by extension, your family's or even your community's. It had nothing to do with your drive or ambition, just as it had nothing to do with all those hours studying, working part time jobs, and effort to put yourself through college. Therefore, you have a obligation to renounce your success and use your influence and wealth to support those who wish to bring down the inherent racist system of the oppressors which made all your accomplishments possible.

Now, we have athletes refusing to stand for the national anthem. Instead, they turn their back or take a knee (long symbolic of surrender). They make a fist and thrust it into the air as a sign of rebellion. We have Olympic hopefuls tell us they aren't interested in going to Tokyo to represent America, but, instead, to represent the all the "oppressed" of this nation. What has this nation done for them after all?

 It seems to me that the very fact they were willing to put in the work that was required for their sport and now have the opportunity (and financial sponsorship) with the potential of making millions more through endorsements kinda defeats their argument.

No one is giving these athletes anything but the opportunity to prove themselves, and with effort and dedication, some made it. Yet, some of these sports entertainers (which is what they are) choose to kneel in disrespect during the playing of the National Anthem or turn their back on the flag. Seems like they're talking out of both sides of their piggy bank. Poor me with all the endorsements, but it gets better.

Now we are starting to see individuals and a few groups like Black Lives Matter, calling for our flag to be changed. They claim that, somehow, the design and colors are "racist" (there's that button they keep pushing again). The flag, they maintain, represents white superiority.  According to the American Legion, the colors were chosen based on heraldic symbolism. The white stands for purity while the red represents hardiness and valor. The blue represents justice.

The 13 stripes stand for the original 13 colonies, while the stars represent each state. Officially, when the flag and its colors were adopted by the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia back on July 4, 1776 and adopted in 1777, the colors had no specific meaning. I guess they just liked the way it looked. But, as I said earlier, that's not all.

In addition to changing the flag for (as Coke executives infamously said) being "too white", the same folks want to change the National Anthem for the same reasons. In fact, some sporting venues have started playing "Lift Every Voice", which is the so-called "Black National Anthem" in lieu of the National Anthem. So, we're now expected to stand for this new "anthem" while taking a knee or turning our backs for our official National Anthem?  Not gonna happen as far as I'm concerned.  

There's nothing "racist" about the "Star-Spangled Banner", which was written by Francis Scott Key during the siege of Fort McHenry and the Battle of Baltimore, which was part of the War of 1812. In fact, if you read the lyrics, there's about our willingness to stand and fight; to defend, what was then a new nation. While the National Anthem is admittedly a difficult song to sing, and that may be reason enough to change it, there isn't anything "racist" about it.

Finally, to make matters worse, we are starting to see attempts to introduce something called "Critical Race Theory" (aka "CRT") which is supposed to replace the current academic curriculum as it's now taught (which is already pretty poor thanks to years of "dumbing down") and replace it with lessons allegedly designed to promote diversity, be it racial, religious, or gender.

 In short, CRT, which began as a academic theory about 40 years ago, claims that race and racism is part of an implied social contract which is biased towards whites (and Christian) only, and thus shapes not just the academics (especially in grades K-12), but also shapes the public's perception and conversation. As a result, non-whites are left out of the discussion.

The problem with CRT is that its sole purpose appears to be creating a false or distorted image of whites, society and, ultimately, the nation. However, they didn't create it alone. They did so with the help of people from nearly every race, creed, religion, and gender on this planet. The building of America was, in the truest sense, a collaborative undertaking, and it still is because we are still growing an evolving as a nation and society. That's something CRT and those who promote it fail to take into account.

Balance in academia, as in everything, is important. CRT does not offer balance. It lays out the same type of foundation that the Nazis and other authoritarian systems created in order to persecute a population. It reinforces the same mentality which alleges  "white superiority" and demands the need for whites to publicly acknowledge their "white guilt". And while you're at it, go ahead and denounce everything America has ever done and stood for. Being anti-American is a good thing too. 

There is no "white guilt" to acknowledge, just as there is no such thing as "white superiority". Each individual needs to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.  Slavery ended close to 200 years ago. Although Jim Crow laws (where they existed) ended in 1964, people of color managed to succeed before then, and they more than succeed nowadays. Look at any industry as proof.

The only racism I've seen of late has come from those accusing others of being racist. We see it in their message and by their actions, including defacing and destroying historical statues. Unfortunately, this form of racism also happens in schools as mentioned above, in the workplace, and now in politics. The media promotes it, albeit subtlety, and so do some churches or other organizations in high minority neighborhoods.

But that doesn't excuse the Tamir Rice or Andre Hill's of America. Their deaths (and those like them) are totally inexcusable. However, it wasn't racism which was at fault. It was poor policing skills and perhaps even incompetence. The same could be said of George Floyd. He was no saint and certainly not someone deserving a statue or mural, but that doesn't excuse his death. Breaona Taylor is in a similar boat. She didn't deserve to die, but she wasn't an innocent bystander either.

Bad behavior has results. Ignoring or not following instructions by a police officer is never a good idea, neither is running from them or thinking you're big and bad enough to take them on. Claims that fearing or refusing to do what an authority figure tells you is not a part of someone's "racial culture". That's an excuse, and a bad one at that.  Teach your children to respect authority figures at least enough to do as they're told. They might have a better outcome and live longer.

When it comes to sexual orientation, I don't think anyone really cares, especially people who are straight. The only ones who seem to have a chip on their shoulder are in the LGBQT community. From those I've spoken with, the only issue straights have is someone trying to make their orientation a big deal and wave it in everyone's face. I doubt anyone really cares. Just do your own thing and leave everyone else alone. 

America doesn't need more division. It needs to acknowledge the worth of each individual based on their actions and contribution to society. By the same token, society doesn't owe you anything because of any other factor than your willingness to work for what you want. Opportunities exist if you're willing to put in the effort. There are those who are trying to divide America in as many ways as possible. A divided nation is a nation which is easy to manipulate and control.

Of course, America isn't perfect. We've faced some very serious issues in the past, but for the most part we've overcome most of them by working together. We still have some very serious problems, but many of those problems stem from the very people trying to divide us.  We have more in common than not. Where there are differences, we need to find ways to bridge them. Lastly, we need to restore America's Republic, and that means ending the Corporatocracy created by the Oligarchs. 

 

What is critical race theory?


Now is the time to stop playing the national anthem atsporting events


Macy Gray defends call for new flag: 'I love my country'


 

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