Thursday, May 14, 2015

Race Relations: King vs. Sharpton

            We’re falling right into Al Sharpton’s trap.
            Jesse Jackson is happy with our reactions.
            Martin Luther King, Jr. is rolling in his grave.
            The goal of these three men has been the same: to cause tension. The difference is, MLKJ wanted to cause tension to bring social change. The other two want to cause tension for personal gain.
            King wanted general societal tension that would cause indifferent people to take the side of the oppressed. The likes of Sharpton and Jackson want to cause tension between whites and blacks. King never considered the battle against whites, only against those that perpetrated the injustice. He drew the obvious distinction and realized that not all whites are racist. Sharpton and Jackson try to blur those lines.
            Black racists (and yes, it is certainly possible to be racist against whites) want to turn black people against whites. They encourage violence to demand change. MLKJ was nonviolent and worked with white people.
            There has been an “us vs. them” mentality developed on both sides, often from birth. Some, but not all whites believe that the hardest work black people do is when they riot. Some, but not all blacks think that whites are purposefully structuring society to keep them down. Some, but not all whites think that black people are criminals who hate police. Some, but not all black people think that white people hate them and police are out to get them.
            In fact, it is sad that I have to address the two groups as separate groups at all. These stereotypes are taken from a minority and applied to all. I have numerous black friends who I trust and who are in no way criminals. And I do not hate them. I know several police officers as well who are, amazingly, not racist.
            Black racists demonize police officers who are often doing their jobs. If someone is attacking them, they will use all necessary force to stop them. White or black, a criminal attacking police is likely to end up dead. And then wind up as the latest crusade Al Sharpton goes on to stay relevant. This is not to say that there are not racist police officers. But if Sharpton were to take his own racist glasses off he may see much fewer racist police officers.
            If these men would instead focus on helping inner cities and bringing a sense of community there, if they would lead by example in showing that there is a role for blacks to play as much as whites in American society, there may be fewer black men dying at a young age. Over 90% of murders of black people are done by other black people. What of all those men? What of the abortion rates that are much higher among blacks?
            They point to poverty as white oppression. But the best correlation between demographics and poverty is single-parent households. Teach men to be responsible to their children. Ninety-eight percent of people that finish high school and get married before having children are above the poverty line. Convince students to stay in school. Teach them the value of education.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

            This is the world that Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned. Brotherhood. Communion. Not a society of distrust. Not one where some blacks riot because they assume a killing was racially motivated simply because a police officer was white (or in the case of Baltimore, half of them are) and the criminal was black. Not one where some whites generalize blacks to be criminals. Not where things are divided between “white America” and “black America”. Not where Oprah Winfrey criticizes Raven Symone for considering herself simply an “American” instead of an “African-American”. Not one where people vote for a president simply because he is black, where the president jumps to conclusions on police killings and where his wife speaks of how tough white people make it. Not where the Democratic Party has minorities hooked on welfare to get their votes. MLKJ saw the end of Jim Crow laws as the time when America would be united instead of divided along racial lines.
            Instead, in the name of black rights we see the lines still there. And while Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama profit off of racial tension, the inner cities are suffering. Americans have their businesses burned in the name of progress and are considered racist simply because of the color of their skin, something MLKJ specifically condemned. The nation grows more dangerous for police officers simply because they do their jobs. Three white and three black police officers are railroaded to court to advance the political agendas of a mayor and Attorney General. No one from the Obama administration shows up to the funerals of slain police officers but do show up for slain criminals. From the top down, the racial tension is still there.
            We don’t need a color-blind world. We can celebrate differences without allowing them to divide us. But the double-standards are apparent. There is a need for a “Black History Month” but not a “White History Month” – that would be racist. I believe limiting black history to one month is a disservice, as their history is tied up in American history.
            It is time to stop using the past as an excuse. The whites alive today have never been slave owners. Many were not alive when Jim Crow laws were in the books – and even so, many whites then were against the laws. Blaming whites for the problems of blacks would mean that blacks are reliant on them. Take responsibility for your own actions. Don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that a person who killed another of a different color is guilty – or innocent. Learn the facts before you decide.
            Perhaps that day that Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of is not out of reach. But we won’t get it through race-baiting and blaming our problems on others. It is done through personal accountability and objectivism. Stop listening to those that want division.
            I’ve been to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s grave, several times. It is in the Center for Nonviolent Social Change. If you see a racial problem in the U.S., first be objective to see if it isn’t your own prejudices getting in the way. Black or white, the process doesn’t change. Then, if indeed there is a problem, bring it into the public square. Don’t destroy and loot the public square.

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