The Pledge of Allegiance: A Symbol of Institutionalized Injustice

The Pledge of Allegiance: A Symbol of Institutionalized Injustice

By: Solomon Comissiong

Riddled throughout American society are innumerable institutionally ingrained symbols of America’s hypocritical and repugnant justifications of global injustice. These symbols are among the necessary instruments utilized by the empire to attempt to mold the next generation of plunderers, imperialists, and architects of injustice. The Pledge of Allegiance is merely one of the more hypocritical and duplicitous tools used.

Most US school children are required to begin their weekdays with the reciting of the “Pledge of Allegiance”. This shallow incantation goes, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” This pledge is done with their right hand crossed over onto their heart while facing the America flag. It is the kind of routine that would make any cult leader proud. Little discourse is ever spent analyzing the last four words of this pledge, ‘and justice for all’. Critical thought is not required nor is it promoted within most Social Studies or History focused courses throughout America. Those who ultimately control the rote curriculum, administered from one classroom to the next, know very well the probable social impact that comes from legions of kids who begin to understand America’s hidden, but true history, as well as its many contradictions. Many of those children would represent a seismic shifting away from the mass indoctrination that has occurred within American classrooms dating back to when amoral and disease infested Europeans illegally began creating colonies throughout the so-called Americas. The state sanctioned mass indoctrination of America’s youth, if uninterrupted, will insure the continued existence of domestic and global ‘American Injustice’.

For many, the notion of justice does not reside within the flawed landscape of America. It honestly never has. For people of color the notion of justice within the US is as mythological as the Tooth Fairy. It (justice) simply does not exist. Has there ever been justice for the indigenous peoples of America? Their land was stolen and plundered by incessant waves of inhumane Europeans who fled their own native land to escape varying levels of persecution. Any logical or morally sound person would assume that a collection of previously persecuted people would never carry out the heinous things that English “settlers” (thieves) did to Native Americans in the 1600s and well beyond. Despite the hospitality given to them by Native Americans, the villainous Europeans murdered scores of Natives, all the while stealing their land and plundering their natural resources. Have the original people of America ever seen the beacon of justice hundreds of years later? Not at all. They were awarded genocide and cast off into open air prisons, called reservations, within their own native lands.

Has there ever been justice for the tens of millions of Africans who were stolen from their homeland, enslaved and literally worked to death in order to fuel the industrial epoch for lethargic and malevolent Europeans? Godless Europeans systematically murdered tens of millions of Africans in the name of their routinely altered bible and white supremacy. They raped, murdered, and destroyed countless families without consulting with their moral faculties. In essence, they had no moral faculties. This inhumane and immoral suppression (chattel slavery) of Black people continued for close to 250 years. However, the subjugation of Black people did not stop with the so-called Emancipation Proclamation. Via the innately racist and oppressive Jim Crow Laws, black people continued to be treated like animals for another 100 plus years. They were lynched and prohibited from having civil or human rights; once again, all in the name of white supremacy. Where was their justice? Most whites in America were at the very least complicit with this treatment of black people. The terror unleashed upon Africans was justified in their world because they did not regard them as fully human. Many of these 20th century whites were infested with the same racist evil as their slothful ancestors who stole foreign lands and human beings for a living.

Where is the justice for the millions of American born Africans who, in 2010, are still suffering the residual affects of chattel slavery and Jim Crow? Scores of black men and women are methodically murdered by the state (police brutality) or fed into the jowls of the racially biased and capital driven prison industrial complex. This regularly occurs in 2010 under the auspices of institutional racism. Instead of being hung from a tree they are shot, unarmed, under racist based suspicion. Where is the justice for the black and brown skinned parents whose children were killed byway of the bullets or hands of racist cops? Much like the notion of democracy in America, justice is a mythological illusion for the poor and disenfranchised.

One of America’s greatest exports is that of injustice. In 2010, as in the past, America does not only serve inhumane treatment to its black and brown residents; it supplies foreign nations with large doses of injustice. Presently there are three illegal wars of aggression that the US is fighting: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. In Iraq, even conservative estimates place the loss of civilian life at over 600,000. However, the more accurate number places the Iraqi civilian loss of life at 1.3 million (www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq). This loss of life could have been avoided. However, because those who control the US government, as well as a largely apathetic populous, over a million Iraqi lives are gone forever. This mass murder was and is being done all in the name of US conquest, global domination and imperialism.

The US’s actions lucidly display that it values other people’s natural resources more than it does the lives of those very same people. Where is their justice? Where is the justice for the dozen Iraqis who were indiscriminately murdered by US military personnel (www.collateralmurder.com)? They were gunned down from an Apache helicopter by trigger-happy products of the US military “assembly line”.

Where is justice for the Iraqi civilians who were gunned down in cold blood by thugs from the US based “security” company, Black Water (Xe)? The people of Iraq tried to seek justice; however an amoral US judge threw out their case thus acquitting the Black Water murderers. Instead of justice, Black Water was rewarded with a contract in Afghanistan by the current Obama administration. The message: murder civilian Iraqis and you will be rewarded monetarily, all the while Iraqi families morn.

This kind of blatant injustice happens while the US government continues to carry out drone attacks that, without fail, eviscerate Pakistani and Afghani civilians at funerals, weddings, and as they sleep in their villages. This is done in the name of the tens of millions of indoctrinated Americans who continue to trust “their” government’s actions, somehow believing they are doing it to preserve their “liberties”. Ironically, this kind of injustice is now sponsored and publicly justified by a man of color who now happens to occupy the highest office in America. This brand of carnage and plunder has historically been mandated by rapacious white men with imperialistic wet dreams. The fact that a man of color is now sponsoring this kind of historically white supremacist destruction is indicative of what happens when alternative methods of teaching history, civics, and social studies are not employed. The egregiously flawed US values are now corrupting people of color whose ancestors were victims to the oppressive “whip” of American Injustice. Far too many African Americans have become complicit with their country’s militaristic ways simply because the “captain” is  black. Justice will be evasive as long as the truth is absent from America’s classrooms. So long as peace and humanity are not taught, not only viable options, but the only options; justice will literally elude billions the world over.

Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News radio program (www.blogtalkradio.com/Your-World-News).

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  • weilunion

    An excellent article, Solomon. Yes, we need a curriculum of peace and justice; one that reflects both the contemporary and hsiorical common struggle for human dignity and the logic of opression.

    Alas, to do this we must deal sqaurely with the material conditions of education for as you know, the schools are in the hands of the insane. As long as capitalism continues to hold ‘schooling’ hostage to the demands of its stagnating system, we won’t have an social space to create and collaborate with a curriculum of justice and humanity.

    Now, with the charter school movement, the potential movement to national charters ( what the whole thing is about) and the rise of the virtual school, we will see the market sonce again place educational products in the classroom that seek to conceal more than they reveal and thus we will and are being confronted as robotic dispensaries of lies — we hewlp kids check out at the check out stand by themselves.

    Promoting a human curriculum based on the need for collaborative problem solving, historical understanding, humanity and justice must be combined with massive struggles to save the public spaces where this learning can take place. For if public space, i.e. pbulic schools, are taken over by privatizers and fast food head juicers and managerial brokers and vulture capitalists, we will see school continue its containment process, throwing youth up against the wall of in authentic learning and living and then frisking them for truth.

    Best

    Danny

  • markadamsjdmba

    Great article, Solomon.

    The pledge is nothing more than a brainwashing technique. Perhaps if the school system was not controlled by those who control the government, less people would suffer from the illusion created by the pledge.

    If anyone still believes that we have a democracy, a republic, a democratic republic, liberty or justice, see Why Does the Government Ignore Our Wishes? at http://dailycensored.com/2009/09/11/why-does-the-government-ignore-our-wishes/ and don’t miss my 18 minute speech.

    If you take a look, you’ll learn why they get away with violating our rights, abusing their power, and committing horrible crimes. My article on torture includes a link to the U.S. Supreme Court case which explains how one of our stolen rights makes the difference between justice and injustice, between freedom and slavery.

    If you take a look at my article on torture, you’ll see that Congress and the DOJ have admitted that every day, right here in the “good” old USA, hundreds of Americans are beaten and raped by U.S. “law” enforcement and an average of two are murdered by U.S. “law” enforcement. Yet, those who control the flow of information censor these horrors, feed us lies and brainwash our children.

  • Robert

    Unfortunately society has chosen to not teach how many black founding fathers took place in the independence of America and the abolishment of slavery. Our history being taught in school has and can only anger anyone who is of color but the truth shows that the story told is not complete and has been erased over time. the question therfore is who or what group has made strides to erase this important part of history

  • The Dads that handed YOU Freedom

    Robert has it right - - there were HUNDREDS (not the 4 or 5 you get in racist Progressives’ Black history month or “Juneteenth” [should celebrate Jan 1, effective date of emancipation]) of black heroes and champions of American independence and freedom. Those who willingly risked all as equal partners in making history. Their existence is hidden by the southern democrats/aka Socialists.
    As to the Pledge, it is only shallow to those too shallow to be emotional about the only truly free nation in history, born out of despotism and giving everyone the same shot at success or failure (give or take racists and oligarchs screwing with the system due to greed).

  • angie

    I stumbled upon this site while looking for lesson plans as a future teacher.

    Injustice knows no color. The fact that Free People of Color could and did have slaves in the 1800′s in Louisiana proves this. The fact that slavery is not strictly a white institution (did you ever see that episode of Northern Exposure where the black guy is telling this??) is shocking, but consider that many peoples in many times and places have held others as slaves. Today, in India, Pakistan, etc., there are children being held as slaves by their own extended families, or sold into it by their families. All I am saying is, just because you are “white” (what does that mean anyway?) doesn’t mean you are bad and ready to rape and plunder, and just because you are “of color” (what does that mean anyway??) does not mean you are inherently born with intrinsic wholesome values. Lots of people, of all colors and ethnicities, work hard every day to instill beliefs in their children, and work in their communities to help other people.

  • Bolal

    Angie, it is a joke for you to try to compare the kind of vile death that whites imposed all over the world for the past 500 plus years to the injustices that some of the oppressed have learned and adopted from europeans. If you dont understand and get at the root of the institutional racism that plagues so many communities of color in the usa you will see no change, not matter how good your heart is. the institution of racism must be destroyed in america for any change to occur! I think you totally missed the point the author of this article was trying to make. America and its pledge of allegiance is a damn hypocrisy! wake up and you do something about destroying those roots of racism! this is why I hate liberals—they dont ever want to confront the issue at hand!

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  • lee

    i’m sorry if i’m incorrect in this assumption but i’m assuming the auther here (solomon) is either a jew or just feeding propaganda supplied by and for the jewish propaganda machine like come on now and tell me where you got these numbers of tens of millions of africans stolen from there homes? and how do you justify “stole” when the african black was the one “selling” his brothers as slaves in the first place? and whats with the big words? get help from your bimbo like always? how can you call yourself an educator when I as a mere carpenter identified the lies and slander without even as much as a second glance? if you hate this white for crimes commited by less then 3 percent of the white settler a few hundred years ago, I additionally demand a thank you for your presents here now, with the technology, freedoms (millions of white mens lives) and a social program to feed the lame and lazy, unlike that of your previous 3rd world country. speaking of rape, do you think that ever happened? even when theres free food and shelter if i want i can drive across town and get what i want for about ten bucks, c’mon now, this media is sencored but it’s comon knowledge that blacks are 13 percent of the population but account for over half of crimes commited toward white women. you are simply a liar and what I’ve said here you already knew (as an educator and all) but it’s just the greedy nature of a 3rd world discendant. you had a glorious life and mine was spent in dispair, no civil rights for me, no equal oportunities for me. just me and my tool belt, as an ignorant carpenter white trash hated by the world for crimes YOU KNOW that i wasnt responsible for.

  • Lee is an idiot

    Being a carpenter does not make you an idiot and ignorant—what makes you and ignoramus is the fact that you cannot decipher between fact and your fantasy world which has been built on your own self-loathing and white privilege. We must try to find some kind of compassion for mental midgets like Lee who think that the words used in the preceding essay are “big”. They are not big for those who take the time to look up words they dont know. Lee the words are big for you because you have build a self contained box with your never ending surplus of ignorance. 50 percent of attacks against white women are not committed by black men or even blacks, as a whole, you dumb ass. As a matter of fact 86 percent of violent crimes committed against whites are by whites themselves. People tend to commit the majority of their crimes within their own racial class you ass wipe Lee! You pulled that stupid ass fake “stat” our of your worthless ass and you have nothing to back it up with because it is not true. Simply go to each govt website that tracks such data on crime in America and none of them substantiate your lie (claim) you dim witted fool. You are a follower and your hate and lies have been fed to you by other hateful men and women who are simply more influential than you are. They need good followers like yourself to lurk in their caves with their idle time simply hating and hating and wallowing it their stupidity. And Lee, by the signs of it, you have an ample amount of stupidity to go around. Its hard to even know where to begin with your other out of context “info”. Less than 4 percent of Africans sold other Africans into White chattel slavery (lee look that word chattel up). Without the rapacious and mendacious European slave traders there would never have been an African holocaust. Yes, there were Jews that consorted with the Nazis however they were also in the minority. IF it was not for the Nazis and their vile leader, there would not have been a holocaust throughout eastern Europe. Lee, you too are a vile human being, and for that reason, there is no rationalization with you—your heart will never feel compassion for oppressed people, because you will always side with the actions of Euro-America, no matter how inhumane they are. In the meantime Lee continue to enjoy being the dim witted and irrelevant fool you are.

  • Kiksuya8610

    Lee, you are the perfect example of misdirected hate and anger towards people of color. Your elite brethren has really done a great job in maintaining you in a bubble where you hide behind your whiteness, they have you convinced that the source of your problems are people of color and not the corporate CEOs that take advantage of ALL working class people! Why don’t you stop and realize that your “white trash community” has been economically disenfranchised by those same people you idolize when the only thing you have in common with them is that your white. That statistic of tens of thousands of Africans is a fact! Any quick research on the triangular slave trade will tell you that! You can not compare some african middle men who were bought out and where corrupt enough to participate in the slave trade to the evil master mind behind the whole institution of slavery which were all rich white men! No one is blaming you in particular for the actions of your murderous and criminal ancestors so why don’t you take that white guilt and privilege out of your ass. However, you are to blame for continuing the legacy of ignorance, hate, and racist notions as you have made evident in your post. Where did u get that ridiculous statistic on crimes against white women by black men? Have you ever considered the scores of innocent Black men and women that have been and continue to be executed by white police departments with absolutely no investigation or trial. And yes the white settlers where a bunch of rapists and nothing has changed every minute a number of women are raped, it has nothing to do with “access” to prostitutes, we live in a sexist violent culture that values women for little more than what they can provide men sexually and that’s something that your “first world country” is a leader in! What makes you ignorant is not your profession it’s your inability to even consider researching beyond what you are force fed by your cultish “news” provider (I’m sure you are an avid follower of the likes of Glenn beck etc). One last thing next time you might want to click spell check before submitting something…

  • lee

    i’m sorry if i came across as an idiot and dumb butt, just stressed out that any time i see a hater hating on me but in all ac tuality i HAVE been a victim of racial discrimination my entire adult life, be it in the military where our white minority were openly and blatently discriminated against, then the job market therafter where hiring excluded me. I stopped at 32 credits hours of general studies, but had several n.c.o. courses and academies and high school diploma. i couldn’t find a job, but my african american counter-parts with same nothing qualifications as myself moved on to a glorious life be in private or federal. i never really got so bitter until i found myself walking in the rain for years, picking up on my own trade, yet being forced to hear just the opposite from main street media. I have since been blessed with a job and have been back on my feet a few years. my only argument now is some individuals feel privilaged to hate others with an excuse but i am living proof that everyone has something to cry about. if the solomon really didn’t hate me, he would probably do something posative instead of creating more hatred. and as to your numbers, i visited a sight that claims the jews accounted for 40 percent of the slave trade, it is common knowledge they also own over 90 percent of mainstream media so that could probably help explain why they would like to point the finger at me shedding a little bit of the blame, but who knows, i wasn’t anywhere around that long ago, were you? that being part of my point. who knows the truth? what”s now is whats important. and whats now is that we’re all feeling the punch. live, and let live. simple as that. p.s., when my children came home from school hating me over what i did to the african american long ago, and they were ashamed of their heritage, i did a little research on the web into the history of slavery, i learned the african was slave owners as well and my children werent taught anything in history class that would make them proud of their heritage as well. i havn’t hated as much as the other guy, i swung after someone swung at me first yet i will be cold ignorant and whatever else. live my liufe for awhile, you couldnt do it.

  • Lee is an idiot

    glad to see that other people see Lee as the idiot he is. Lee is such a damn fool that he can only quote websites he has visited for his fallacious (look that word up to Lee) information regarding the African slave trade in white over 100 million Africans perished. Try reading a book you dim wit Lee. Perhaps starting with JH Clake, or Van Sertima, or even Gerald Massey might help you instead of getting your primary info from unsited web sources you dumb ass. I am glad the author is not even responding to your dribble. Its not worth it. I feel guilty myself for even responding to your unintelligible crap. You cant even take the time to spell check. Come on Lee—read a book and educate yourself. Read some Howard Zinn. Read his work called the Peoples History of the US. Please read the book Lee. I know you think your web searches make you and authority but it does not. Its makes you a fool that you try to debate when not even doing your requisite scholarship. What you point to as common knowledge has not been proven or shown in any annals whatsoever. Ignorance and Capitalism are your enemies but you are too dumb to know it. Its really sad. We feel sorry for you—we truly do. You are delusional, at best.

  • http://www.timwise.org Lee is an idiot

    In this summer of white resentment, one would think it sufficient to have to suffer through the daily droning of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the crew at Fox News, or perhaps the dishonest machinations of professional liar and fear-pimp Andrew Breitbart.

    What with their endless claims that the Obama Administration is out to get white people, by way of purposely destroying the economy, taxing the mostly white folks who go to tanning salons, and deliberately refusing to prosecute blacks who intimidate white voters–or with Brietbart’s hatchet-job on Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod–the right has been ramping up the reverse racism trope for the past few months.

    But in what can only be considered either the worst timing in history, or the most obviously cynical attempt ever made by a politician to pander to the fears of his mostly white voter base, the banner of anti-white bias has been raised yet again, and this time by a Democrat, U.S. Senator Jim Webb of Virginia.

    In a July 22 Wall Street Journal column, entitled “Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege,” Webb–who fashions himself something of an historian–shows his ignorance not only about the history of the country he serves as a lawmaker, but also about its present-day reality.

    Denying White Privilege is Easy When You Don’t Understand What it Means

    The basic thrust of Webb’s essay–a broadside against government efforts to promote racial diversity in jobs, contracting and schools–is that affirmative action programs have strayed from their original purpose: to help repair the damage done by the system of African enslavement and Jim Crow segregation. While affirmative action’s intended beneficiaries were blacks who had been subjected to those systems and their descendants, Webb claims that in the last forty years these efforts have experienced a form of “mission creep,” which now leads them to support virtually any person of color, including recent immigrants. As Webb puts it, diversity measures help anyone who “does not happen to be white.” He is especially enraged about the way in which white working class folks have been “passed over” by these newcomers to the country, having never benefitted from government programs on their behalf, because they are presumably the wrong color. And this has happened, according to Webb because lawmakers have long viewed whites as a “monolith” of privilege and advantage, rather than a diverse bunch, within which significant class cleavages remain.

    Although Webb does not advocate the complete abolition of affirmative action–indeed he suggests it is still needed and valid for African Americans–his call to exclude other people of color from such efforts, and his rhetorical narrative about the “myth” of white privilege and advantage, are both sufficiently problematic to require a response. Indeed, if he is right about the latter, the entire basis for affirmative action, even for black folks, is undermined.

    Early on in his screed, Webb exudes a bizarre uncertainty as to whether white privilege ever really existed, when he claims that during the civil rights struggle, the “supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America.” Are we to believe–and does the Senator–that this white dominance was just a figment of black folks’ fevered imaginations, even prior to the passage of civil rights protections?

    Given Webb’s emphasis throughout the column on class divisions within white America, perhaps he believes that the existence of white poverty somehow disproves the notion that whites have privilege relative to blacks and other people of color. But if so, this would mean than even during the period of enslavement, there was no white privilege, since there have always been poor white folks: a strange conclusion, but one that Webb would virtually have to endorse if we follow his logic to its ultimate conclusion. Like most white Americans, Webb misunderstands what the term white privilege is meant to convey. It is not meant to suggest that all whites lead privileged lives of affluence and absolute well-being. Rather, it is meant to convey that relative to people of color, being white generally provides advantages, head starts and opportunities not as readily available to others. Just as male privilege does for men, relative to women, even though there are millions of men who are poor. Just as able-bodied privilege does for the able-bodied, relative to the disabled, even though there are plenty of able-bodied people who are out of work and struggling too.

    Regardless, even if one accepts that such institutionalized white privilege was real back in the day, Webb insists that now “WASP elites have fallen by the wayside.” As evidence he cites no less an authority than Pat Buchanan and Buchanan’s recent lamentation that if Elena Kagan is confirmed to the Supreme Court there would be no Protestants on the nation’s highest judicial bench. Of course, religious affiliation says nothing about race, and indeed the Court would remain–as is true for every other institution in the country, like say, Webb’s own Senate–overwhelmingly white. To make whiteness about WASPs and WASPs alone is disingenuous and surely Webb knows it. Although some Catholics (Irish and Italian especially) were once the targets of invidious discrimination, over time they matriculated into the club of whiteness and have come out the other end as part of a larger white society that continues to have advantages over people of color.

    …and it’s Even Easier When You Refuse to Read Data

    To drive home his point that there is no monolithic whiteness and that many whites struggle economically and socially, as with people of color, Webb conjures the historic plight of Irish Protestants (also known as, and referenced in Webb’s highly regarded book on this group as, the Scots-Irish). But to compare the economic condition of the Scots-Irish to that of people of color, requires Webb to utterly ignore the readily available data on Scots-Irish well being, compared to that of blacks or Latinos. According to 2006 Census Bureau figures, whites of Scots-Irish descent over the age of 25 are more than twice as likely as comparable blacks to have at least a Bachelor’s Degree, and nearly five times as likely as comparable Mexican-Americans to have finished college. Compared to African Americans, the Scots-Irish are less than half as likely to be unemployed, less than one-third as likely to be poor, nearly 70 percent more likely to work in professional or managerial jobs, and their families have a median income nearly twice as high. Compared to Mexican-Americans (among those recent immigrants for whom Webb begrudges affirmative action because it ostensibly hurts struggling whites), the hardscrabble Scots-Irish are 35 percent less likely to be out of work, less than a third as likely to be poor, more than three times as likely to work in professional or managerial jobs, and their families have median incomes that are nearly twice as high.

    Although it is true that most Asian sub-groups have higher family incomes and lower poverty rates than whites (and perhaps this is what most upsets Webb, if and when Asian Americans benefit from affirmative action, as happens in contracting or employment occasionally), they are not doing well compared to whites once we control for the geographic placement of whites and Asians throughout the country. So, because Asians are concentrated in a handful of states (Hawaii, California, and New York) that have higher incomes than the national average and higher costs of living, aggregate Asian income will be higher than the same for whites, who are spread throughout the United States. But when whites and Asians in the same state or community are compared, whites earn far higher incomes and have lower rates of poverty. Indeed, within the same cities, Asian poverty rates tend to be double the rate for whites. Likewise, when we compare whites and Asians with comparable educations, whites earn anywhere from 14-28 percent more than their Asian American counterparts.

    Although Webb insists that “a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers,” he fails to name even one of these policies, let alone demonstrate how it can be blamed for marginalizing whites in the labor market. Given persistent unemployment rates for people of color that are always higher than the rates for whites (even at the same levels of education and qualification), it becomes a bit hard to swallow the notion that whites are being displaced to any significant degree by something like affirmative action. And while there would be nothing wrong with adding economic considerations to affirmative action programs so as to help whites who are economically marginalized, it is surely unnecessary to attack race-based opportunity efforts in order to do so.

    Webb then insists that diversity efforts have “allowed” recent immigrants to jump ahead of whites with roots in the nation going back hundreds of years. But in fact, those immigrants of color who have higher incomes and educational attainment rates than whites (largely recent Asian immigrants or African immigrants) typically come with pre-existing class and schooling advantages. It is not because of affirmative action that they are able to “jump ahead” of anyone.

    For immigrants generally, and contrary to Webb’s suggestions to the contrary, discrimination continues to limit opportunity, thereby making deliberate efforts at inclusion necessary. For instance, one recent study found that immigrants with the lightest skin shade (typically European) make about 15 percent more, on average, than immigrants with the darkest skin shades, even when only looking at persons who have the same level of education, experience and observed productivity. Similarly, research indicates that hundreds of thousands of Asian Americans and Latinos are discriminated against in the job market each year, and that such folks experience discrimination in about one out of three job searches. Although Webb notes high rates of Chinese American college completion, presumably to suggest that Asians are doing just fine without deliberate efforts at inclusion, he conveniently overlooks the evidence indicating that Chinese Americans with professional status positions still earn only about 56 percent as much as their white counterparts, despite having higher average educational attainment.

    Don’t Know Much About History: Jim Webb Misrepresents America’s Past

    But it’s not only the current racial reality that Webb fails to appreciate. His understanding of history is equally as blinkered. While the Senator is correct that many advocated affirmative action specifically as a way to respond to the legacy of enslavement and Jim Crow, it is simply false that the only reason for such efforts was to repair the damage done by these historic injustices against African Americans. Both the legislative and legal history of affirmative action efforts make clear that just as important was the sense that in the absence of deliberate efforts at inclusion, people of color would continue to be excluded from opportunity in the present. Old boy’s networks for jobs and contracts were so tightly dominated by whites (irrespective of qualifications), and private sector job selection criteria were so subjective and skewed to the benefit of whites, that both lawmakers and courts realized more would be needed than mere passive non-discrimination.

    And although blacks certainly have faced different obstacles than other persons of color, it is simply historically illiterate to suggest, as Webb does, that those injustices have “no parallel in our history.” Indigenous North Americans would likely beg to differ, though the Senator shows no indication of having given first nation’s peoples even a fleeting thought in his condemnation of diversity efforts. Even Webb’s insistence that “those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America and Africa did not suffer discrimination from our government,” is so utterly inaccurate as to call into question his basic understanding of the nation’s past, to say nothing of its present.

    First, these immigrants did face discrimination in the sense that they were routinely blocked from even entering the country, because of blatantly racist immigration laws, in place from the 1880s to 1965. Secondly, Mexican Americans are descended from those who had half of their country stolen by the United States, in a racist war of aggression that we started on false pretense. During the Great Depression, as many as a million Mexicans and Mexican Americans (60 percent of them citizens of the United States) were forcibly expelled from the country so as to free up job opportunities for whites. In the 1950s, tens of thousands more were removed from the nation under “Operation Wetback,” including thousands of children whose birth in the United States made them legal citizens. From the 1940s to the 1960s, millions more were exploited by agribusiness interests under the “bracero” program which allowed migrant labor to enter the U.S. from Mexico but then paid lower wages than had been originally agreed to, and refused to pay workers the money that was withheld from their paychecks for mandatory savings accounts.

    Likewise, Chinese labor was used, exploited and often worked to death in the United States, brought in to help construct the railroads without which the transcontinental economy could never have emerged. Japanese Americans were placed in internment camps during World War Two, and Southeast Asians who fled to the U.S. in the post-Vietnam War era watched as this country dropped millions of tons of bombs on their nations, poisoning their countrysides with chemical agents and killing millions of people in the process. That we might owe a debt to those whose nations and communities we have helped to collectively wreck over the years seems to escape Webb, though it would likely register fairly clearly on the moral scales of most philosophers, or merely those with a more developed ethical code than that which is typical for far too many lawmakers.

    Even worse is Webb’s suggestion that whites, unlike these newcomers of color, have never been the “beneficiaries of special government programs.” The level of historical ignorance necessary to render a judgment such as this is stunning, and should forever disqualify Senator Webb from being taken seriously by anyone with an interest in truth. Whites, of course, have benefitted more from “special government programs” than members of any other racial group. Indeed, for most of our nation’s history it was whites benefitting from these efforts to the exclusion of persons of color.

    Among the “special programs” about which Jim Webb appears to know or care nothing, one might include the Homestead Act (which gave out over 200 million acres of virtually free land to whites, beginning in the 1860s), several key programs of the New Deal, from which blacks were mostly excluded for years, but which saved millions of struggling whites–such as the Federal Housing Administration loan program, which by 1960 was being used to finance 40 percent of all white housing–and the GI Bill, which in theory was meant for all returning veterans, but which in practice favored whites, since segregation was allowed to trump the “right” of black and brown GIs to use their job or educational benefits under the program. These and other programs suggest the greatest irony in critiques of affirmative action: namely, that the nation has been engaged in affirmative action for whites virtually forever. But only now has the specter of “preferential treatment” become a problem.

    Conclusion: The Best Evidence That Webb’s Column is Political Hackery

    Based on his faulty understanding of history and apparent inability to decipher the ongoing evidence of racism in the contemporary period, Webb concludes that although the nation has a “continuing obligation to assist those African-Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.” But what is most telling about this policy directive, and Webb’s larger narrative about the way affirmative action has spread beyond its original intent is what he appears unwilling to say directly. Because if there were any case to be made for affirmative action having undergone mission creep in recent decades, it would not be with regard to the inclusion of people of color other than blacks. After all, it was the recognition that racism remained a real and persistent problem, requiring more than mere civil rights laws, which animated all early supporters of affirmative action. Rather, the only possible case for mission creep would be with regard to the way in which white women have reaped a disproportionate share of the benefits from such efforts. While one can certainly make the case–and I would, and have–that institutionalized sexism against women as women makes sex and gender considerations legitimate within affirmative action programs, this would seem a more logical target for the Senator’s ire, if indeed the purpose of his column had been to highlight the excesses of a program gone wrong.

    By remaining entirely silent on this subject–and thereby making sure not to anger up to half of his white voter base (a far larger segment of his constituency than Asians and Latinos)–Webb shows himself to be an opportunistic political hack, exploiting white fears and anxieties about “reverse racism,” all the while glossing over the enormous dividends paid to white families via affirmative action, by opening opportunities to white mothers, daughters, sisters and wives.

    He should be ashamed. But he won’t be. Fear pays, and Jim Webb has plenty of inventory.

    Tim Wise is the author of five books on race. His latest is Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2010).

  • http://www.timwise.org Lee Leard to Read you FOOL

    To hear conservatives tell it, there’s a one-sided race war going on in America, and white folks are the targets. From President Obama’s secret plan to use health care reform as a way to procure backdoor “reparations” for slavery, to his equally secret plan to wreck the economy as a way to pay white people back for centuries of racial oppression, to his personal responsibility for a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois, in which two black kids beat up a white kid, it’s open season on white America. And of course, in case you weren’t convinced, surely that tax on tanning bed customers that was part of the health care bill should suffice to make the case: after all, it’s a clear slap at white folks and the result of the President’s deep antipathy towards those of us lacking sufficient melanin.

    Into the breach of white hysteria–heightened by Rush Limbaugh’s claim that Colin Powell only endorsed Obama as an act of racial bonding, and that the President only appoints people to high office or the Supreme Court who hate whites–now come two stories, spun for maximum effect by the right and its media mouthpieces at FOX News. To wit, the so-called scandal surrounding the Justice Department’s handling of voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), and the recent allegation that a black official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Shirley Sherrod, admits to having mistreated a white farmer who was seeking government help, at least in part because of his race.

    Since the Panther story broke, and today in the wake of the white farmer incident, I’ve been inundated by angry e-mails, demanding to know when I was going to join the fight against “black racism,” and speak out as forcefully about bigotry aimed at whites as I do about bigotry aimed at people of color. One e-mail suggested that I needed to issue an apology for previous columns I’d penned, in which I had argued that reverse racism was a myth, since people of color are generally powerless to turn their biases into concrete action that truly injures white people. Obviously, the author said, things have changed. Now a black-led Justice Department in a black-led administration does have the power to collaborate with anti-white racism, “as in the case of the Black Panthers,” and a black official in the Ag Department has the power to “deliberately mistreat” a white farmer and then brag about it.

    But as it turns out, new evidence has surfaced indicating that the uproar about Shirley Sherrod has no merit. Right-wing blogger Andrew Brietbart posted edited video of a speech in which Sherrod ostensibly made fun of a white farmer and joked about not doing all she could to help him. But in fact, the rest of her story as told during the speech (which Brietbart conveniently did not post, and which FOX News has also ignored) details how she learned from her interactions with the farmer that her initial cavalier attitude about his situation was unfair, and how once she realized that, she went all out to help him save his farm. According to the family itself, she did just that, and they consider her a friend. In other words, the story was about not making assumptions on the basis of race and not discriminating. But in the hands of the right, Sherrod is a bitter racist out to hurt salt-of-the-Earth white farm folks, evidence be damned.

    Likewise, the New Black Panther Party debacle is rooted in a level of intellectual mendacity that is rare even for a right-wing that has demonstrated its willingness to race-bait black folks for years without compunction.

    In the case of the New Black Panther Party, the so-called intimidation of white voters by black militants led to an injunction against the leader of the Philadelphia chapter–the only one who was carrying a potential weapon, a nightstick, outside the polling place on election day, 2008. In other words, punishment was forthcoming and King Samir Shabazz, the only Panther against whom a case could have been made, has been legally held responsible for his actions. This, in spite of the fact that not one voter ever stepped forward to indicate they had been intimidated, or threatened, or blocked from voting. Even the Civil Rights Commission’s leading conservative Republican says the right-wing/FOX feeding frenzy over the story is unwarranted.

    But despite the vapidity of the story, FOX has hyped it with over nine hours of breathless coverage, giving airtime to those who continue to insist that the Obama Administration “dropped the charges” against the Panthers because of a political/racial directive not to pursue cases involving white victims. This, despite the fact that it was the Bush Administration that dropped the criminal charges, and the Obama Administration that successfully got an injunction put in place against Shabazz. And again, despite the fact that not one white voter has even hinted that they were victimized. Interestingly, FOX has given spokespersons for the New Black Panthers–a small group with no significant reach or influence–continued airtime over the years, with more than 50 appearances on various of the network’s shows. In other words, the right sees the political payoff in keeping whites afraid of black anger, and has done everything they can to feed white fear, both before and after these immediate stories broke.

    However, as phony as these stories happen to be, there is actually a more important point to be made regarding racism, how we do (or don’t) understand it, and how media chooses to cover it as a subject.

    So let’s consider the distinction I’ve made in those previous essays–the ones that had my electronic adversary so angry–between white racial bias and institutionalized racism against people of color on the one hand, and occasional bouts of black or brown racial bias on the other. My argument has never been that folks of color can’t be philosophically racist. Nor have I said that they cannot, on occasion, practice racial discrimination against whites. What I have said (and frankly what the New Black Panther story and the Shirley Sherrod incident confirm, even if they had happened exactly as the right has spun them) is that there is a fundamental difference, in practical terms, between these various types of racism.

    Racial bias on the part of black folks, even the most vicious and unhinged bigotry on their part, is pretty impotent. King Samir Shabazz hates white people and thinks “cracker babies” should be killed. And yet what kind of power does Shabazz have? None. He is in a position to kill no one, and if he were to try he would go to jail. Forever. That’s not power. Power is when you can deny people jobs, housing, health care, decent educations, or their physical freedom via the justice system, thereby wrecking their lives. And there are virtually no black folks–and certainly no black folks wearing berets, fake-ass military uniforms and carrying nightsticks–who can do any of that. But there are white folks in positions to do those things, and who do them with or without bigoted intent regularly, as I have demonstrated in previous essays and books.

    Likewise, even the NBPP’s ability to intimidate white voters (in theory, since there were no such white voters in the instant case) pales in comparison to the actual denial of the right to vote to millions of black men–one in seven nationally, and as many as one in four in several states–because they are ex-felons. As law professor and scholar Michelle Alexander discusses in her brilliant new book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, despite serving their time and paying their debt to society these people of color are disallowed from voting forever. Not by white thugs standing outside a polling place, but by perfectly legal actions taken by state legislatures many years ago, for blatantly racist reasons, and which the courts have said are acceptable despite their racial impact.

    And even on the individual level, while the Panther leader has been legally sanctioned for his actions, and while the story about King Samir Shabazz has received non-stop coverage on FOX, the Bush Justice Department really did ignore voter intimidation allegations against the anti-immigrant Minutemen in Arizona in 2006. And that case–in which the Minutemen stood outside the polling place with loaded weapons, questioning Latino voters about their ability to speak English–received zero coverage on FOX News, despite assurances by FOX’s Megyn Kelly (the most animated of those pushing the Panther story) that the “voting place is sacrosanct.” Apparently not for Latinos, and not for the millions of black men who can no longer vote because of antiquated and racist laws. Oh, and not for the voters of color who former Supreme Court Chief Justice and conservative hero William Rehnquist intimidated at the polls during his early days as a Republican activist That is the difference between white and other racism, and it matters.

    So too, even if Shirley Sherrod had been a horrible anti-white bigot in the Department of Agriculture (and interestingly the incident about which the right has made such a stink didn’t even happen when she was in that Department, but rather, nearly a quarter century ago when she worked for a non-profit agency), the fact would remain, the impact of her “bigotry” would have been small potatoes compared to the institutionalized discrimination meted out to black farmers for generations. On the basis of overwhelming evidence that black farmers were treated differently and worse than their white counterparts over the years by the USDA, those victimized by the government sought legal remedies. The first lawsuit was settled during the Clinton Administration, while a second group of farmers–cut out of the first case for technical reasons–recently procured from the Obama Administration an agreement to settle their claims for a little over $1 billion. Even the USDA’s own Commission on Small Farms has acknowledged the history of persistent and “blatant” discrimination against tens of thousands of black farmers by the agency. Yet Congress has still not released the monies due to these actual victims of racism, and seems in no hurry to do so. And the media has given the story almost no coverage, unlike the Sherrod incident, which, as it turns out, had no basis in fact to begin with.

    Once again, a case of individual racism–which turned out to be phony anyway–gets the attention, while the institutionalized mistreatment of people of color goes ignored.

    The pattern is familiar. In every generation whites have hyped fears of black anger, black bigotry and the supposed desire of African Americans to exact revenge on whites. From fears about slave rebellions, to claims that integration would lead black children to knife white children in the hallways and rape white girls, to paranoia about Obama’s secret plan for “white slavery,” the cult of white victimhood has long had its charter members. Sadly, nowadays the cult has the attention of the media and a white public already anxious about changing demographics, the presence of a black president and economic insecurity. Unless the targets of their race-baiting (including the President) show the courage to push back and expose them for the venal fear-pimps they are, their methods will only get more extreme, their lies more bold, and their ability to inflict lasting damage on the nation more definitive.

    Tim Wise is the author of five books on race and racism. His latest is, Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat From Racial Equity (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2010)

  • http://www.timwise.org Lee Learn to Read you FOOL

    Let’s play a game, shall we? The name of the game is called “Imagine.” The way it’s played is simple: we’ll envision recent happenings in the news, but then change them up a bit. Instead of envisioning white people as the main actors in the scenes we’ll conjure — the ones who are driving the action — we’ll envision black folks or other people of color instead. The object of the game is to imagine the public reaction to the events or incidents, if the main actors were of color, rather than white. Whoever gains the most insight into the workings of race in America, at the end of the game, wins.

    So let’s begin.

    Imagine that hundreds of black protesters were to descend upon Washington DC and Northern Virginia, just a few miles from the Capitol and White House, armed with AK-47s, assorted handguns, and ammunition. And imagine that some of these protesters — the black protesters – spoke of the need for political revolution, and possibly even armed conflict in the event that laws they didn’t like were enforced by the government. Would these protesters — these black protesters with guns — be seen as brave defenders of the Second Amendment, or would they be viewed by most whites as a danger to the republic? What if they were Arab-Americans? Because, after all, that’s what happened recently when white gun enthusiasts descended upon the nation’s capital, arms in hand, and verbally announced their readiness to make war on the country’s political leaders if the need arose.

    Imagine that white members of Congress, while walking to work, were surrounded by thousands of angry, screaming, black people, one of whom proceeded to spit on one of those congressmen for not voting the way the black demonstrators desired. Would the protesters be seen as merely patriotic Americans voicing their opinions, or as an angry, potentially violent, and even insurrectionary mob? After all, this is what white Tea Party protesters did recently in Washington.

    Imagine that a black rap artist were to say, in reference to a white politician and presidential candidate: “He’s a piece of shit and I told him to suck on my machine gun.” And what would happen to any prominent liberal commentator who then, when asked about that statement, replied that the rapper was a friend and that he (the commentator) would not disavow or even criticize him for his remarks. Because that’s what rocker Ted Nugent said in 2007 about Barack Obama, and that’s how Sean Hannity responded to Nugent’s remarks when he was asked about them.

    Imagine that a prominent mainstream black political commentator had long employed an overt bigot as Executive Director of his organization, and that this bigot regularly participated in black separatist conferences, and once assaulted a white person while calling them by a racial slur. When that prominent black commentator and his sister — who also works for the organization — defended the bigot as a good guy who was misunderstood and “going through a tough time in his life” would anyone accept their excuse-making? Would that commentator still have a place on a mainstream network? Because that’s what happened in the real world, when Pat Buchanan employed as Executive Director of his group, America’s Cause, a blatant racist who did all these things, or at least their white equivalents: attending white separatist conferences and attacking a black woman while calling her the n-word.

    Imagine that a black radio host were to suggest that the only way to get promoted in the administration of a white president is by “hating black people,” or that a prominent white person had only endorsed a white presidential candidate as an act of racial bonding, or blamed a white president for a fight on a school bus in which a black kid was jumped by two white kids, or said that he wouldn’t want to kill all conservatives, but rather, would like to leave just enough — “living fossils” as he called them — “so we will never forget what these people stood for.” After all, these are things that Rush Limbaugh has said, about Barack Obama’s administration, Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama, a fight on a school bus in Belleville, Illinois in which two black kids beat up a white kid, and about liberals, generally.*

    Imagine that a black pastor, formerly a member of the U.S. military, were to declare, as part of his opposition to a white president’s policies, that he was ready to “suit up, get my gun, go to Washington, and do what they trained me to do.” This is, after all, what Pastor Stan Craig said recently at a Tea Party rally in Greenville, South Carolina.

    Imagine a black radio talk show host gleefully predicting a revolution by people of color if the government continues to be dominated by the rich white men who have been “destroying” the country, or if said radio personality were to call Christians or Jews non-humans, or say that when it came to conservatives, the best solution would be to “hang ‘em high.” And what would happen to any congressional representative who praised that commentator for “speaking common sense” and likened his hate talk to “American values?” After all, those are among the things said by radio host and best-selling author Michael Savage, predicting white revolution in the face of multiculturalism, or said by Savage about Arab Muslims and liberals, respectively. And it was Congressman Culbertson, from Texas, who praised Savage in that way, despite his hateful rhetoric.

    Imagine a black political commentator suggesting that the only thing the guy who flew his plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building did wrong was not blowing up Fox News instead. This is, after all, what Anne Coulter said about Tim McVeigh,when she noted that his only mistake was not blowing up The New York Times.

    Imagine that a popular black liberal website posted comments about the daughter of a white president, calling her “typical redneck trash,” or a “whore” whose mother entertains her by “making monkey sounds.” After all that’s comparable to what conservatives posted about Malia Obama on freerepublic.com last year, when they referred to her as “ghetto trash.”

    Imagine that black protesters at a large political rally were walking around with signs calling for the lynching of their congressional enemies. Because that’s what white conservatives did last year, in reference to Democratic party leaders in Congress.

    In other words, imagine that even one-third of the anger and vitriol currently being hurled at President Obama, by folks who are almost exclusively white, were being aimed, instead, at a white president, by people of color. How many whites viewing the anger, the hatred, the contempt for that white president would then wax eloquent about free speech, and the glories of democracy? And how many would be calling for further crackdowns on thuggish behavior, and investigations into the radical agendas of those same people of color?

    To ask any of these questions is to answer them. Protest is only seen as fundamentally American when those who have long had the luxury of seeing themselves as prototypically American engage in it. When the dangerous and dark “other” does so, however, it isn’t viewed as normal or natural, let alone patriotic. Which is why Rush Limbaugh could say, this past week,that the Tea Parties are the first time since the Civil War that ordinary, common Americans stood up for their rights: a statement that erases the normalcy and “American-ness” of blacks in the civil rights struggle, not to mention women in the fight for suffrage and equality, working people in the fight for better working conditions, and LGBT folks as they struggle to be treated as full and equal human beings.

    And this, my friends, is what white privilege is all about. The ability to threaten others, to engage in violent and incendiary rhetoric without consequence, to be viewed as patriotic and normal no matter what you do, and never to be feared and despised as people of color would be, if they tried to get away with half the shit we do, on a daily basis.

    Game Over.

  • lee

    that was a very fun game, and i enjoy’d it. some of what you mentioned was not sensored but much i don’t know. as i said earlier, I’m a carpenter. work full time, and do many side jobs. to get informed I will turn to the internet. and the stories you cover’d, I did see with the “race” reversed, but mostly on the web, not on my local news. I can say with all honesty that I believe sensorship can go both ways, for different reasons. I will tell the truth that I DID get stories from the site “white civil rights” that covers both rapes, and assaults on persons of “no” color that I didn’t see on mainstream media. I need to see more then one side to anything I see and do NOT act on one side or the other, I’m just curious as to why I cannot go to a fast food drive through and get my order intact, and be treated as if I’d done something wrong. I wonder why after many years in the military, I will not be consider’d for a job at a grocery or discount store, or the federal government where vets go for employment yet walk and walk looking for employment while I’m told to my face by any color of person that it should be no problem for me that being white is a privilage but no one here is dumb enough to say with all honesty that persons of color havn’t recieved job preference, FOR MANY YEARS, and that jobs were even created around the applicants qualifications. my children are made to feel ashamed for being white and are forced to submit to guilt. nothing positive in school comes of being white. any good contributions by a white person in us history has a name, but no association to “white man”, but black is emphasized. all the articals above are appriciated and will be review’d but isn’t it funny how a white man is pounded for his deficiencies on a daily basis, the media, prime time tv, mainstream news yet when solomons pounding on the white man recieves a retalitory response from an angry protestor who happens to be white, I’m pounded on by multiple authors as if I’m the racist ? let’s not forget, I was too angry for spell check yet I did not used fowl language. the pounding I recieved. in my view, goes to prove I don’t have any rights. no right to respond.
    lets play one more game..
    pretent I made a sight talking about all the evils of the black man, but I’m white? you would respond that I’m a racist! youv’e already convinced yourself of that anyway, and those in your circle, and the world that I am just that. I don’t even need to speak up in my defense to be accused of that. why? because I’m white. I’ve been blessed now with a new life but only after many years of suffering all the while being accused of being privileged. to answer the question of being a racist, the answer on an honest level is no, but I will respond to someone if I find offense in what they have to say about me. but I will not kiss butt to prove it, my record speaks for itself. I’m just a man like anyone else with their own greivances, willing to speak up with all due retaliation!

    thank all responses above, and god bless !!!!!

  • Lee Learn to Read you FOOL

    wow, what a strange debate. as someone who is just reading these post and as a white man I am embarrassed to be even associated with you Lee. you are wrong on so many levels. its beyond foolish for me to even try to teach you about the countless crimes committed by white people to people of color all over the world. this country was stolen by our white ancestors plain and simple and the only way you can defend that Lee is because you are in fact racist—plain and simple. you are a racist bigot and extremely uninformed and you seem happy to be. Its really sad that you have children because they will most likely inherit your ignorance which will limit the lives they will live socially. Lee, from you first post you attacked the author by saying that he was getting his “big words” from a bimbo. You attacked black people and jews, yet you try to make the claim that you were the one who was polite and that you are unjustly being attacked. You are a fool and a utter hypocrite. you engage on blaming the victims of the white man rather than standing for justice and understanding that it was your own ancestors which built the ongoing system of white supremacy and institutional racism. its really sad that you have no idea how uninformed you are. you sound like a 12 year old child at recess just rambling off all the idiotic things you heard from your parents without doing any kind of research yourself. One does not need documented education to provide knowledge to themselves. there is no excuse for your continued defense of slavery and white supremacy. the only excuse is you at this point. knowledge to you is like cryptonite to superman.

  • lee

    I did not defend slavery, nor did you assume I did. you’re simply telling me what you think you’re supposed to tell me. if you are a white male, you are obviousely the privilaged class of the white person that you surrender for, and that being the case, you have every right to feel guilty and I cannot argue your guilt. myself on the other hand, my grandparents migrated to this wonderfull land of equal oportunity early in the 19th century only for my grandfather to die young. I’m not a historian, and I don’t keep up with current events as I should, I only act on what I see up front, as a working class man, and the effects of racial discrimination in my immediate surrounding area and lack of opportunities for some. this experience has proved that society is not yet entirely ready for yet another group of cry babies like me, things will have to come to a grinding hault for the privileged few like you to be affected before somebody speaks up and say’s “hey look, we cannot hate and discriminate any one class” and with that I’m signing off for good. good luck to all.

  • lee

    forget that on. know what ? I AM an ignoramus, but i can atleast work on my attitude. sorry.

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