Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What Is The Chief Problem With Race Relations In America ? What Would It Take To Improve Them?
The Right Planet: To try to boil down "race relations" to one chief problem is a tough question. But I certainly have my opinions on the matter. There are plenty of people in this country of various and mixed races who get along just fine. We never seem to hear much about that. You know, things like racial harmony and goodwill toward men, and the like. I get along just fine with my neighbors "of color," and vice versa.
The question reminds me of a symposium on race I attended years ago in college. I remember one of the speakers was a young white female student who said she believed that the focus shouldn't be on race, but the fact that we're all Americans. I agreed with her. But there was a follow-up with questions and comments from the audience. Two black female students responded to the white student's comments by saying they agreed with her, too. But, for them, the problem was there wasn't a day when they weren't reminded of their "blackness." I thought that was a compelling point. I specifically recall reading in the local morning paper on the day of the symposium several headlines mentioning "blacks"--specifically, in reference to crime and education. I thought to myself, if everyday I was reminded of my "whiteness" in reference to negative headlines, how would I feel? But now I am reading headlines reminding me of my "whiteness" in a negative sense. And I don't like it.
The "chief problem" with race relations, in my opinion, lies with the government, main-stream media and public education, et al. The agitators (a.k.a. "change agents") who use race as a means to an end that are at the heart of the problem. It has become advantageous for some to constantly stoke the fires of racial discord and open up old wounds that had begun to heal. One must always ask, to whose benefit? It seems to me what consistently arises from all this racial chaos--often times self-manufactured racial chaos--are calls for ever more "comprehensive legislation" and government control. For someone who has literally done nothing but study the strategy and tactics of Marxists for the past seven years, it all smacks of Marxist-Leninist strategy to me--take an honest grievance and wrap it in a lie ... "rub raw the resentments of the people," as Saul Alinsky taught ... create the problem, foment the reaction, and provide the solution.
I'll be the last person to deny that bigotry exists. But no one group has a monopoly on hate. Well, I take that back ... the Marxist-Leninists, perhaps. Just saying.
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason:The problem with race relations in America today is twofold. Our public education system, beginning with our elementary schools and continuing through our colleges and universities, presents a myopic narrative of America’s early history with slavery and teaches that blacks today are still being held back by the privileged white class. They seek to destroy the myth of the American Dream and present it as something wholly unattainable, especially if you are not white.
Yes, we should teach about the existence of slavery in the Colonies and in America along with the rest of American history. The years of slavery were a horrific time for many people, not only African Americans. The truth is slavery has existed since the beginning of humankind on many continents and among all races and still exists today.
The second problem with race relations builds on the issue of education and the psychological indoctrination of our youth. It is the progressives and leftists in academia who choose the curriculum and continue to scratch at the scabs of a wound they will not permit to heal. They and their disciples insert themselves into minority communities, incite resentfulness and divisiveness, and perpetuate the narrative of victimhood for African Americans. They have created a generation of children who have no hope for their future.
To improve race relations in America, we must take back our education from the radical left, teach the values of independence, liberty and freedom that helped frame our nation, and expose these progressives and their intent to destroy our country.
Above all, every child in America must once again believe there is hope for their future.
The Glittering Eye :It's complicated. That racism continues to play a part in American life and adversely affects the lives of black Americans is, I think, indisputable. However, not all African Americans are affected equally.
The sociologist Charles Moskas distinguishes between "African Americans" (Americans of African descent) and "Afro-Americans" (Americans of sub-Saharan African descent, the descendants of slaves) and I think that's a valuable distinction. I think it's pretty obvious that the children of African immigrants, e.g. Barack Obama, or Caribbeans, e.g. Colin Powell, have not experienced racism in quite the same way as Afro-Americans have or, at least, have benefited more by the various remediations we've put into place over the last half century. The recent Somali immigrants seem to be doing pretty well. Clearly, there's more involved in our racial problems than just skin color.
Part of the problem is unquestionably the collapse of the Afro-American family, noted nearly a half century ago by Pat Moynihan but which has only continued since then. I attribute a considerable amount of the gang violence experienced by urban Afro-Americans as due to the lack of normal familial support systems for young black men in inner city Afro-American communities.
As to what should be done I honestly have no idea.
JoshuaPundit: Well, in order to answer this question, we have to define what the problem is. Frankly, I'm rather tired of seeing it defined simply as 'problems blacks experience at the hands of whites.'
However, since the dominant meme in the media, in certain politicians and their supporters and the tacit acceptance and empowerment by these people of what amounts to a 'race' industry concerns relations between blacks and whites, let's examine that first.
I think it's important to recognize, first of all, that there are powerful forces that don't want better racial relations between blacks and whites. For the Al Sharptons, the NAACP, the Jesse Jacksons, the Ta-Hanisi Coates's and other members of what I can only call the race industry, it's power and it's a paycheck. And for the Democrat party, better race relations would mean a total erosion of the urban fortresses they depend on for power. These were the sort of people in Georgia, Mississippi and elsewhere in the last election who took pictures of lynchings that happened over a century ago and put fliers out telling blacks that if they didn't turn out and vote Democrat, this was going to happen all over again. Considering the party affiliation of the men whom actually did the lynching, the irony is monstrous, but it is what it is. And it isn't going to change unless enough blacks themselves wake up to how they're being suckered.
There's an old movie from 1978 called 'Blue Collar' about three close friends on a Detroit assembly line,(Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto and Richard Pryor) who inadvertently stumble on information concerning their union's ties with organized crime and an illegal loan operation. In subsequent events, Kotto's character is murdered and Keitel and Pryor are manipulated by the union to become bitter enemies. A money quote from the movie I've always remembered, uttered by an older white assembly worker; "They take the whites and the blacks and turn them against each other to make slaves out of both of them."
Another problem has nothing to do with race,but with culture. And again, this is not something that can be changed from the outside.
Blacks whom were raised or had parents whom came from African cultures and especially from Caribbean cultures tend to do far better in America than many American-born blacks. The percentage of two parent families is much higher, and many times the work ethic and the attitude towards education is very different. For instance, black school children in many of these countries are taught to respect their teachers, stand when the teacher enters the room and address them as 'sir' or 'Miss' or 'Mrs'____. Unless they come to America quite young and are affected by the dysfunctional parts of black American culture, you won't usually find people from these cultures being affected by taunts that studying and working hard at education is 'acting white.'
School children in those cultures causing the kind of disturbance routine in America's public school urban classrooms would certainly be punished, perhaps even caned if they're males...and in many cases, their parents would be even tougher on them. Black children in countries like Barbados and Belize take American SATs, many end up studying in America and are found in many technical and medical fields. There's a respect for education there that simply doesn't exist in too much of black America.
And that lack of respect for education isn't limited to school children. I remember being involved in a project at an inner city school with several teachers and clients in a neighborhood I did business in. It was to set up a computer lab at the school through donations and fundraising. Three weeks after it was up and running, it was burglarized and cleaned out by the local gangstas. Seeing that was like attending a funeral.
When children are trained by the media to admire thugs and thug-like behavior and there is often no positive make role model in the home, the results speak for themselves. Again, there's a significant amount of entrenched money and patronage invested in keeping things just like they are. It's exactly like that fictional auto worker in "Blue Collar" said.
Well, there you have it.
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