Black Lives Matter

One of my Tennessee neighbors said “The greatest economic and social welfare programs of all time are self-reliance and personal responsibility.” If we taught our children nothing else in school, these two lessons would solve virtually all of our societal and cultural problems, this entire treatise would be unnecessary and I could do a lot more fishin’.

In retrospect, the PLDC and leaders like Jackson, Sharpton, Farrakhan, Wright and Obama could not have done any more damage to the African-American community in the last 50 years had they kidnapped young black children from their homes and turned them into “child-soldiers” to make war on their neighbors – like the children forced to fight for Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army.

Kony is accused of kidnapping more than 70,000 children who may have killed more than 200,000 other Africans. In the past 50 years in America, as many as 100,000 African-Americans – that’s right, 100,000 – have been killed by other African-Americans. Every one of these occurrences destroys families and perpetuates the carnage that plagues the African-American community.

And yet, the PLDC has failed to learn a single lesson from the failures of the War on Poverty and the acceptance of leaders like Jackson, Sharpton, Farrakhan, Wright and Obama.

In the fall of 2015, students at the University of Missouri, led by graduate student Jonathan Butler and supported by prominent student-athletes, grabbed national headlines after he embarked on a seven-day hunger strike that forced the State to fire University of Missouri’s president and chancellor for insensitivity to racial issues on the Columbia, Missouri campus. Since then, he’s gone on a speaking tour, represented by celebrity talent booker, All American Speakers.

“[The] Butler did it,” gushed Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) President Vernon Howard, introducing the graduate student as he made the keynote speech at the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in January 2016. Since November, Butler has made half-a-dozen speeches, including addresses at the law schools of Harvard and Duke Universities.

Perhaps these institutions should have done their research before portraying Butler as a social-justice hero. Internet entity Heat Street’s review of Butler’s online presence, as well as videos reviewed exclusively by the publication, reveal he’s chronically stolen items, denigrated low-income workers, and made troubling comments about women and drugs.

Most of the coverage of the events of last fall focused on claims of pervasive racism at the university, as well as administrators’ struggle to address the demands of student organization, ConcernedStudent1950. But an investigation has uncovered not only past controversial statements by Butler but also other dimensions to the unrest, including pervasive fears about safety on campus, as well as massive backlash from donors, sports fans and alumni.

Last fall, other student activists and social-justice warriors on campus began looking into Butler’s background because he hadn’t been involved in activism at the University of Missouri previously, and they had concerns about his speaking for everyone. Now that things on the campus have settled down, they’ve provided the information they found to Heat Street.

In a blog post from August 2011, titled “My Summer Breakfast Experience,” Butler describes how, for 61 days, he swung by a hotel before work and “decided to indulge myself with ‘free’ breakfast items.” Butler describes trying to get caught stealing food, making goofy faces in the camera and making sure staff got a good look at his face.

His disdain for low-income Americans is also apparent in another blog post, from July 2011, that was written about his visit to a Subway sandwich shop. Butler describes how he “stormed up to the counter inpatient [sic] and indecisive,” further detailing rudebehavior to the worker. He describes watching the worker, “a grumpy older gentleman, about 70-75 years old,” making his sandwich.”

Some videos published by Butler, also in 2011, are equally controversial. In one, nearly 15 minutes long that was published to YouTube in March 2011, Butler says he wants to “address the issue—a very important issue—of XX versus XY. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, male and female: which is better.” Butler and a guest continued to discuss the problem of “ratchet women,” who flirt and generally are not well-behaved, by their reckoning.

“So you’re saying, she jumps from male to male,” Butler says, continuing: “So this would be like in the kingdom, the wild kingdom, where they’re trying to get their prey.” At one point, Butler asks his guest: “So what he’s saying is that us as men, we don’t have issues, it’s all women, obviously, because what do we do? We just eat, sleep, work, we’re the backbone. Is that what you’re saying? … You’re saying all women are trash, is that what you’re saying?” Another 9-minute video, posted to YouTube in July 2011, features Butler singing about cooking crack cocaine with his love interest.

Butler, who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, is the son of a railroad executive whose compensation in 2014 was $8.4 million, according to regulatory filings. So, here is the new face of the race-hustler crowd. Jesse, the godfather of race-hustling, must be so proud – although I can’t be so sure about Butler’s own father.

The real tragedy is that millions of African-Americans have been exposed to this self-serving charlatan and his hypocritical influence on their view of race relations in America cannot be undone. By being exposed to only half of the story, their opinion is warped by half-truth and innuendo. This sets back the cause. That’s the continuing tragedy – now fifty years in the making.

Unfortunately, the PLDC doesn’t see things this way and keeps piling garbage on top of garbage. To wit:

The “Black Lives Matter” movement,” grew out of the rioting and looting that plagued the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, MO in 2014 after a white police officer justifiably shot and unfortunately killed a black man who, during a police stop, had attacked him in his police car and had tried to take his firearm and, potentially, kill him with it. The resulting inaccurate and unverified reporting by press and media – including widespread fallacious and unprofessional reporting that the victim was shot as he knelt down on the street with his arms raised over his head, pleading: “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot!” – had inflamed the African-American citizenry to the point of rioting and looting – again, why is looting relevant or necessary?

“According to columnist Perry Chiaramonte, a “Black Lives Matter” leader who landed a teaching gig at Yale University and delivered a lecture recently on the historical merits of looting as a form of protest, backing up his lesson with required reading that puts modern-day marauders on par with the patriots behind the Boston Tea Party. DeRay McKesson, who was hired by the Ivy League institution’s divinity school to lecture for two days on “Transformational Leadership in the “Black Lives Matter Movement”.

The mystifying ideological claim that “looting is violent and non-political is one that has been carefully produced by the ruling class because it is precisely the violent maintenance of property which is both the basis and end of their power,” reads the August, 2014 post from the literary magazine The New Inquiry entitled “In Defense of Looting”. “On a less abstract level there is a practical and tactical benefit to looting. Whenever people worry about looting, there is an implicit sense that the looter must necessarily be acting selfishly, ‘opportunistically,’ and in excess.”

McKesson appears to have veered off of his syllabus for the lesson, which prompted some critics to offer a reminder that looting does indeed have innocent victims. “There is zero justification for stealing private property and destroying a family’s livelihood – which is what occurred countless times in Ferguson, Baltimore, and elsewhere – but that’s apparently what passes as an example of ‘transformational leadership’ at the Yale Divinity School,” said Kyle Olson, founder of, a blog that focuses on education reform.

“The article in question was not on the syllabus,” a Yale Divinity School official confirmed. “But the instructor did send out some supplemental readings later in the process, including that particular article. We believe it’s important for students to examine a wide range of viewpoints and ideas.” [Even non-intellectual, illogical, indefensible clap-trap at one of the nations elite universities, I suppose!]

McKesson last worked in the Minneapolis public school system as a human resources administrator. According to his LinkedIn profile, his only teaching experience was between May 2007 and June 2009, when he was a middle school math teacher. McKesson defended the lesson when asked about it by “The relationship and tension between protest and property destruction is something that America has grappled with since the Revolutionary War & the Boston Tea Party,” he said via Twitter. “The reading … allowed us to explore all sides of the American historical relationships and tensions present in protest.”

[Need I point out that the Boston Tea Party was a political action conducted by the leaders of a protest over the extra-constitutional conduct of the British monarchy and Parliament with respect to taxes being placed on imported tea. Looting as part of the Black Lives Matter movement is activity totally unrelated to whatever extra-constitutional conduct (the shooting of unarmed black men by police) that local, State of federal authorities are accused of and, is conducted by random persons who are not associated with the leadership of the movement.]

The Yale Divinity School official told he could not comment on the seminar but did provide a copy of the syllabus for McKesson’s section of the two-day intensive course. Readings for the course included Ta-Nehisi Coates’s book “Between the World and Me”, a Huffington Post article titled “How The Black Lives Matter Movement Changed the Church,” the book “Silent Covenants: Brown v. Board of Education and the Unfilled Hopes for Racial Reform” by author Derrick Bell; Leah Gunning Francis’ book “Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community,” and a New York Times article titled “Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us.”

News of the reading material, which was not included on the syllabus, first surfaced during a live tweet of the seminar from an attendee. “The school does not endorse all the positions of the many speakers who come here each year,” the school official said of the course material. He also pointed out that school officials in attendance relayed to him that there was no one in the room who spoke out in favor of looting when the article was being discussed. [Well, thank the Lord for that.]

McKesson’s credentials and the new coursework make it unlikely students at the vaunted New Haven, CT. school are getting their money’s worth, said Olson. “It’s surprising to me students would pay tuition – and likely incur much of that in debt – and be fed a line that crime pays, other people are to blame for one’s own problems, and that the system is rigged in favor of white people,” Olson said. “None of this propaganda will fix one broken family, heal one fatherless family or help one more child learn how to read and become a productive citizen,” he added.

Incidently, the Ferguson police officer was later credited with a justified shooting by local, state and federal investigations – the latter overseen by the United States Attorney-General, Eric Holder, himself an African-American.

Finally, 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 in the mid-1960s, has not had a happy ending but, 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 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 only 70 years ago.

The celebration of what is constant in the human spirit is the key – not the distractions of what is different or diverse. Dreams, drive, determination, dedication, decency, humility, hard work and faith in God and in one’s fellow man – and condemnation of those who would deceive and 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 dispirite 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, areas of low-income or subsidized housing.

Under-educated, unskilled and unemployed citizens 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 the tactical advantage – they know the ground, they don’t stand out and can collect intelligence and plan escape routes and 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 a crime is reported in a low-income neighborhood and vice-versa. 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 the 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 inordinatly 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 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 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 so-called leaders – not the tribal chieftans of Africa but the princes and potentates of the PLDC – into a bondage of low expectations, most iliterate and ignorant, and to a complete dependence upon the mammoth and uncaring federal government and their puppet-masters – the political elite politicians, press, media, judges, academics and pop-culture stars of the PLDC.

This country was designed for success by individuals who have their own 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.

Those who want to succeed without utilizing their God-given talents, that all children are born with, or take shortcuts at the expense of others, will not succeed, even if they economically thrive. 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 – focusing 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, must end.

* The culture of victimhood 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 by 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. We must become a truly colorblind society.

It is up to us to generate the change in direction necessary to restore the American dream to all Americans. If we can’t do it for ourselves, at least do it for the children.

Next time: The immigration dilemma.

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