Although this short history of the African-American experience, from the beginning of human slavery hidden in the mists of time to the triumph of a historically resilient culture behind the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the mid-1960s, has not had a happy ending, the truth about what needs to be done by our society in general and by African-Americans all across this land in particular, is available and it is this – we must go “back to the future”, as Robert Zemeckis would counsel, and restore those unique characteristics that enlightened and emboldened the Founders to give us the keys to a republic that resulted in the creation of the greatest nation in history less than 75 years ago.
The celebration of what is constant in the human spirit is the key – not the distractions of what is ephemeral, fleeting or different. Dreams, drive, determination, dedication, decency, humility, kindness, hard work and faith in God and in one’s fellow man – and condemnation of those who would deceive, destroy or exploit their fellow man – can, and have, accomplished miracles – and can do so again.
But first, a change in spirit is required. Not talk, not hope, not protest – change. Absolutely none of the behaviors engaged in by individuals, groups or organizations over the past 50 years has had any positive effect on the plight of the economically challenged. None! To continue with any of them and expect different results is not a sane alternative.
For instance, to continue the irrational argument that dispirit arrest rates between blacks and whites is a result of widespread racism is, to be kind, clueless, yet it continues to be thoughtfully debated in the public square so that it continues to have legitimacy in the black (and progressive/liberal) communities – thereby drowning out rational debate that could help resolve the high crime – high incarceration issue.
In point of fact, universally, police are dispatched to areas where crime is reported by citizens. Not surprisingly, citizens demand a higher police presence – patrols by foot, horse, bicycle or radio unit – in high-crime areas – factually more often than not, these are areas of low-income or subsidized housing.
Under-educated, unskilled and unemployed citizens living in low-income or subsidized housing areas resort to crime for their survival and the survival of their families – a desperate but understandable response to extreme poverty. They naturally will commit crime close to home because there they have tactical advantage – they know the ground, they don’t stand out and can collect intelligence and plan escape routes or alibi’s easily. This leads to a concentration of crime in low-income neighborhoods.
When the report of a crime is received by police dispatchers, they direct patrol units to respond to the reported scene. They don’t send them to a high-income neighborhood if the crime is reported in a low-income neighborhood. They go to the reported scene – no racism or discrimination is involved. If more crime is reported by citizens in low-income neighborhoods, there will be more arrests of those living in, or criminalizing those areas. In the words of a popular 1970s television crime drama; “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”
Discrimination does occur however, when witnesses discriminate against police by refusing to provide critical information or evidence that would enable law enforcement to arrest the criminal and make everyone more safe and secure. As long as this bigotry against the “thin Blue Line” continues, there will be inordinately high African-American male incarceration rates and more black-on-black crime – especially black-on-black homicides.
But, according to the Black Lives Matter movement – a high police presence in high-crime areas is harassment – implying that they should leave – but then comes the charge that the police (and, by inference, the power structure of white America) don’t care because they are racists. This clever but intellectually dishonest political ploy doesn’t help and makes it harder for the two sides to work together to find a common solution.
The ultimate tragedy of the African-American experience described above isn’t the centuries of bondage to alleged “owners” or the century of segregation under Jim Crow – it is the deliberate exploitation of late 20th Century African-Americans by their so-called champions – the PLDC, who have consciously and perniciously cast them, again by their own leaders – not the tribal chieftains of Africa but the princes and potentates of the PLDC – into a bondage of low expectations, illiterate and ignorant, and to a complete dependence upon the federal or local government and their puppet-masters – the political elite in the PLDC.
This country was designed for success by individuals who have their own personal dreams and the will, vision, desire, drive, determination, dedication, industry, imagination, initiative, resiliency, courage, freedom and faith to make those dreams reality. The opportunities are unlimited for ALL. But, there are no shortcuts. There is only hard work and the work begins in elementary school. It is here that family, friends and faculty must all be dedicated to providing the consistent, calm, concerned environment necessary for comprehensive learning.
Those who want the children to succeed without utilizing the God-given talents that all children are born with, or take shortcuts at the expense of the children, will not help them to success. And good luck? Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
The unfettered and unlimited spirit with which each and every child is blessed must be protected. To that end:
- The incentives for the economically challenged in America to depend upon government largess for their standard of living must end.
- The blame for all that ails the economically challenged on white-racism must end – focusing instead on the successful in our society who, for the most part, are doing what any American would be doing if they were prepared and saw the opportunity.
- The culture of victim-hood of the economically challenged must end.
- A sense of personal responsibility to educationally prepare for economic challenges must begin.
- A profound respect for all those who serve and sacrifice for others, whether by authority or strength of spirit, must be instilled in all children.
- This must be the last generation who is taught, in any form or forum, that white-racism is the cause of all the ills of the economically challenged. Does it exist? Of course, in all communities but, can it prevent success? Absolutely not! It must end as the catch-all excuse for poverty. We simply must become a truly colorblind society.
- African-American leaders must head this effort for change, not exploit it!
This will not be easy as any informed discussion about slavery in America will be received with rejection by the “bumper sticker” historignoramouses [just sound it out] that reign supreme in the activist/anarchist crowd. Witness the 2017 controversy surrounding a riot in Charlottesville, VA between “white supremacists/neo-Nazis” protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and “Black Lives Matter” racial agitators/anarchists in favor of its removal.
After being forewarned by the FBI, Charlottesville police allowed the two groups to come together – despite the futile efforts of uniformed good people in self-styled civilian “militia” units dedicated to preventing violence during protest marches (Later publicly mis-characterized and condemned by the sitting African-American President of the United States, no less) – not surprisingly, a riot erupted concluding with a white supremacist running a car into a crowd of opponents, killing one woman.
As a result, the PLDC went into full-throated opposition to any and all monuments to or symbols of the Confederacy – including the misnamed “Confederate flag” – claiming that these were celebrating slavery and therefore, all who opposed their efforts were racists because they must be supporters of the slavery issue which was the cause of the Civil War.
Of course, as with any and all history, it’s not that simple. While it is absolutely true that slavery was the root cause of the Civil War, it was absolutely not the cause for which the vast majority of Southerners fought.
African slavery was the reason that the elites of Southern society – the landed gentry, politicians, merchant class, shipping owners, financiers – those who depended upon slave labor for their privileged lifestyle – chose to have their States secede from the Union.
In the first seventy years since this nation began to function under the Constitution, the Northern States had industrialized and had welcomed millions of immigrants into America to work in the factories, mills and assembly plants that had changed the economy in the North from primarily agricultural to also include a robust industrial sector. The South however, had remained the same slave-based agricultural, caste society it had always been – very similar to elite British society, just without the royalty – but with very little heavy industry.
Without slavery, Southern elite society would die. So, the elites presented the issue to their public – the working classes, the wage-earners, the apprentices, dirt farmers, wagon drivers, etc. – not dependent upon slavery but upon their own labor – as an issue of “States-rights” – the “right” to own black-African slaves. Their argument was that the North was imposing an end to the “Southern way of life” – the elite’s allusion to slavery – where they had no right to do so because all States were “sovereign” unto themselves.
When the Confederate States’ politicians voted to secede between the election of Lincoln in November 1860 and his inauguration in March 1861, when he called upon the Northern States to provide militia to restore the Union by force, the elites declared the “War of Northern Aggression” to their people.
The Southern elites were the ones who financed, motivated and animated the Southern cause in the Civil War – sending their States’ young to fight their personal battles for their own “peculiar institution”.
For an overwhelming number of Southern soldiers drafted into the cause, this was their motivation – right or wrong, learned or ignorant – “Northern aggression to deny rights that were rightly reserved to the States”.
These soldiers, for the most part, had nothing to do with slaves or slavery – didn’t own slaves, didn’t depend on slaves for their livelihood, didn’t market in slaves. When they went into battle against, what for them was an invading domestic enemy, they fought for their homes, their families and their friends – not for slavery – and rallied to their battle flag – the “Stars and Bars”, not the Confederate flag.
Also, before March 1861, there were no Southern military officers because there was no Southern Army or Navy. They were all officers of the United States Army, graduates of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY or of the United States Navy, graduates of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD.
It was only after Lincoln called for Northern mobilization – and rightly so – that military officers from the South had to decide which side they were on – the Union or the no-longer-Union. Some went, some didn’t. It was a difficult decision since the Union’s enemy was their homeland, their ancestors, their graves, their families, their friends. Some were members of the Southern gentry. Some weren’t. What would you do?
In the end, Lincoln recognized and respected the difficulty of the life-altering choices that his Southern countrymen had to make and decided to be magnanimous in victory – simply to send them home – with their weapons, to pick up the pieces of their lives and to endure the hardships they would encounter in a land ravaged by war and in a world turned upside down.
(Although there were military tribunals throughout the former Confederate States, only one Southerner was convicted of a war-crime as a result of the fighting – Captain Henry Wirz, Commander of the prisoner-of-war camp at Andersonville, GA, who was executed for crimes against the thousands of Union troops who died on his watch.)
Fifty years after the Battle of Gettysburg – the turning point of the war – veterans from both sides met in reconciliation at the famous battle site in Pennsylvania to renew their commitment to the Union, amongst the memorials to North and South alike and under the gaze of General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, whose legendary infantry regiment, the 20th Maine – out of ammunition and with fixed bayonets – had held the end of the Union line on the second day at Gettysburg and thereby had saved the Union and who was selected by General Grant to receive the sword of surrender from General Lee at Appomattox.
These – now reviled – monuments around the nation were all dedicated in the years following the Civil War by people on both sides who wished to honor the sacrifices – physical, emotional and psychological – of those called to serve on both sides because they understood the nature of the sacrifice – the heartache of brothers fighting brothers, fathers fighting sons, families torn apart – they understood what those who did the fighting actually fought for and they understood the importance of reconciliation.
They were not historignoramouses. They were history’s survivors – and deserving of our respect for the magnanimity they showed to all who experienced those years of hell-on-earth in America.
These monuments are important for our nation’s survival because they honor – not slavery – but the spirit of defending home and hearth, fields and forests of youth, family, loved ones and comrades in the line – the very qualities that we need from ALL Americans today as we are invaded by virtual armies of illegals intent upon controlling and exploiting our communities and preying on our citizens.
Imagine the statue of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy, in Richmond, VA. If he were alive today, what would he be thinking about?
- Certainly not the arrogance of 1861 but, perhaps it would be the gruesome fates of the more than 300,000 dead soldiers and sailors from the Confederate states – the equivalent of more than 3 million dead today.
- Perhaps about an appreciation of how far we came as a society in the century since the Civil War – until latter-day Confederates surreptitiously began to take the reins of power and divide the nation once again – not over slavery or segregation – but over another form of tyranny – a tyranny of the minority – new elites seeking power for its own sake.
Now, Mr. Davis, they are coming for you and the lessons you can teach new generations about the arrogance of power and the cost of division.
What could African-Americans be thinking as they view Davis’ statue?
- Perhaps about the incomprehensible Dred Scott Supreme Court decision in 1857 that was probably the last chance to avoid civil war.
- Perhaps about missed opportunities during Reconstruction when freedmen could have been assisted by Northern officials in establishing a lasting reconciliation with non-elite, working-class whites as they both struggled to build new lives in the war-ravaged South.
- Perhaps about overcoming the struggles during the “Jim Crow” era and the success of the Civil Rights Movement after the entire nation witnessed the police dogs and water cannon as the pictures splashed across their TV screens in the late 1950’s and early ‘60s.
- Perhaps about reaching true equality under the law, and thus fulfilling the Constitutional promise, with the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act in the mid-60s.
- Perhaps about the missed opportunities when they also lost their Great Emancipator, Martin Luther King, to an assassin’s bullet and the failure-of-character of the following generations of African-American leadership which lead to the decimation of the African-American community – an unintended consequence of the Great Society.
- Perhaps the myriad of contributions to American society by African-Americans in all fields of endeavor from science to the arts, from military service to professional sports, from courage to character – despite the obstacles imposed by Southern Democrats during “Jim Crow” and by Democrat “racial ambulance chasers” after the death of Dr. King.
Certainly, a mixture of success and failure, joy and sorrow, struggle and achievement – and of pride – for a People of unyielding determination to join the American parade.
Since all of the people who had any experience of the Civil War have now passed on, what is the importance of any of these monuments today? The answer is that they are here to teach us and future generations about the folly that ended in such long lasting personal and civic devastation.
- They are a reminder of the cost of a callous disregard for the sanctity of all human life and the abomination of believing that one man can, and should, own another man and command his life under penalty of death.
- They are a reminder of the cost of unmitigated greed that would make it acceptable to send others to defend one’s own lifestyle knowing full well that they surely would pay for your debt with their lives.
- They are a reminder of the cost of hate that has kept this nation divided for the last 150 years since the Civil War ended and has resulted in hundreds of thousands of violent deaths by and among those the war was fought to save.
- They are to remind us that racial animus should have ended at Appomattox in 1865 or in Washington, DC in 1965 or on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009, and require us to ask the question: Why hasn’t it?
These lessons will never be learned by looking at a flower bed where one of these monuments once stood.
Unfortunately, all of this is lost in the din of the protestors and their unwavering conviction that if you tell a lie enough times, it becomes the truth.
But, woe be to the nation that destroys its history because history itself has shown that a people who have forsaken an understanding of their past have also destroyed their future.
History is not the names, places and dates, it is in the context of these facts. Destroy the context – destroy the history. History is not written just by the victors, it is written by all the actors. More often than not, history is destroyed by the victors. Here, it is being destroyed by the those who cannot compete on the field of facts and therefore have decided to destroy the history and write their own “fictional truth”. In the end, fictional truth is no more than a lie.
The reconciliation after the Civil War, although it took decades to achieve, cemented its history and is reflected in these monuments and symbols in their context. The PLDC is now attempting to destroy that history, that context, because it presents a prologue to what their “new confederacy”, the Progressive Liberal Democrat Confederacy, will visit – or revisit – upon America.
(And, we have not even mentioned that all the Confederate monuments honor – wait for it – Democrats! Could this be a contrived controversy to rid history of that fact? Hmmmmm???)
So, more than 50 years after Dr. Martin Luther King , Jr. called for a colorblind society, the PLDC is still battling to keep skin color at the center of the political debate. To wit, even with war against the political establishment raging from both ends of the political spectrum, the uber-liberal, self-styled cultural guru and Starbucks CEO nonsensically proclaims:
“Here’s my belief: Growing up, there was a term called ‘color blind,’ which described a learning behavior of pretending not to notice race — that doesn’t even make sense,” said Kevin Johnson. “So today we are starting a new journey, talking about race directly — what my friend and Starbucks board member … calls being ‘color brave.’”
It is up to us – the People waging the war against the political establishment and the myopic, color-blinded drivel expressed above – to protect and provide the context and to generate the change in direction necessary to restore the American dream to all Americans by losing the hyphen separating us all. If we can’t do it for ourselves, at least do it for our children.
Next time: Immigration to Assimilation, or Not