Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Death of a dream?- Part Two

As has been previously mentioned, (See Post "The American Constitution- Propaganda?") the fact that our constitution provides within itself the means for amendment to allow change to fulfill its promise of liberty and equality to match the changing values and needs of society throughout our nation's history, rather than indicate weakness or any inherent malevolence, indicates its inherent goodness and strength. Indeed, while not perfect, the Founder Fathers set out to intentionally fashion a constitutional system which would create a stable and limited government which would most likely over time promote and preserve the maximum freedom and independence of all citizens, (a goal which by any measure has spectacularly been achieved, including by African Americans).

Certainly Abraham Lincoln, our Nation's beloved 16th President responsible for saving the union and the first national candidate of the newly formed Republican Party, clearly formed an unfavorable perspective on the institution of chattel slavery and the racist beliefs which upheld and enabled it; (while it is true as a Senator representing the state and all his constituents he didn't initially didn't wish to upset the applecart and thus was unwilling to make a bold call to abolish slavery, eventually he undoubtedly became one of its staunchest critics and the author of the Emancipation Proclamation).  

Accordingly, and in light of these facts, Abraham Lincoln, as the vast majority of our great nation's Founders, utterly fails as an example of the left for our nation's "racist" history, (unless, of course, one wishes to deride such stances as mere "politics" and engage a favorite tactic of the left to, when people come to greater understanding and change their political opinions on matters of substantial import, instead of being praised for their courage are attacked as insincere hypocrits.  Of course, Abraham Lincoln was not, strictly speaking, a "Founding Father".  Accordingly, and for the views of the Founders, or at least many of them, click here ).

And this is irregardless of the fact that some, or even many of the Founding Fathers, (particularly from more Southern states), may have owned slaves themselves. As any astute observer of political history knows, politics is the art of incremental change towards pre-determined goals, and racially-based chattel slavery at the time of its introduction into the Americas was a British and legally-sanctioned if unfortunate practice of the times, (would that the energy and invective with which modern day reparations activists and those who support the continuance of race-based policies that divide our nation into competing ethnic groups applied themselves equally zealously to eradicating the modern-day and anti-Christian inspired enslavement of fellow blacks by Muslim "conquerers" in modern-day Africa).

Indeed, to simply say the Founders were "racist hypocrits," as many on the progressive left routinely do, not only seriously distorts American history, but violently opposes the truth for partisan and ideologically purposes, (indeed, the political left in our country never misses a chance to blame whatever ills it can in the world on our "imperialistic," "war-mongering," racist and "fascist" state). Such partisans, who I am convinced misunderstand the meaning of the terms they cast around like so much toilet paper on hallow's eve, clearly miss the unanimous testimony of history herself that the rise of dictators and tyrants rarely comes from political pragmatists but almost always from "purists" who insist that theirs is the only possible "correct" perspective of current events as they impose their "purist" solutions by any means they perceive necessary in order to justify the ends they seek. 

A better picture may perhaps be had by taking the example of just one Founder, the predominant writer of our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, who, in his personal writings scornfully and specifically denounced the British for introducing the practice of slavery to the Americas and being unwilling to consider its abolishment regardless of repeated petition by the colonies, click here and scroll down to "The Virginians"

But to demand at our Nation's founding that such issues be immediately resolved would have been to plunge our colonies, divided as they were between North and South and different economic interests, into intractable division that would have very likely doomed our united Declaration of Independence and the subsequent U.S. Constitution, (to say nothing of the Revolutionary war effort, indeed, it is doubtful it could have succeeded if undertaken while a national debate re: slavery were then convulsing the colonies).

On the other hand, while certainly a mark on our nation's history, there can be no doubt that the advance of equal rights and liberty for all our citizens, regardless of ancestry, is a testament to the enduring ideals of our Republic and the constitutional framework established by our Founders, (a fact even Dr. King would presumably wholeheartedly concede). Which brings us full circle to the point of my writing.

What, do you suppose, would Dr. King think of the modern-day push to reinstitute, through increasingly coercive institutional or governmental policy, a modern-day system of "officially-sanctioned" prejudice which merely substitutes one disadvantaged group for another? (We are talking here of course about all institutional and governmentally imposed race-centric "programs," i.e. preferences, quotas, or "affirmative action" efforts, which, while undoubtedly well-intentioned, seek to simply impose by rule, system or fiat any or all of the above-mentioned coercive remedies which fail to actually correct and in fact may actually aggravate and increase the prejudiced attitudes and racist beliefs which they proport to redress, more on this later).  

Now I realize I risk being accused of the racially charged "r" word by even broaching this subject.  Indeed, one can hardly have a reasoned discussion about such matters today without being accused, if white, of being "racist," (so much for the "civil" discourse called for by our nation's first black President), or worse, if one happens to have an increased level of melanin in their skin, of being an "uncle Tom," (just ask Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who grew up without running water to become one of the highest jurists in the land serving on the Supreme Court. Indeed, for a perfect example of the "tolerance" and civil discourse of the political left, I cite USA Today columnist and radio talk show host Julianne Malveaux on PBS's show "To the Contrary," who in 1994 said, "You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease."). What's that you say, not exactly the kind of "civil" discourse that cheers your heart and gives you warm fuzzies inside??  Must be a conspiracy by those darn right wingers! 

Nevertheless, as famed (and black) abolishionist Frederick Douglas said 140 years ago:

“[I]n regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… . I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! … [Y]our interference is doing him positive injury.” What the Black Man Wants: An Address Delivered in Boston, Massachusetts, on 26 January 1865, reprinted in 4 The Frederick Douglass Papers 59, 68 (J. Blassingame & J. McKivigan eds. 1991) (emphasis in original).

Sound familiar? It should. At the risk of sending my liberal reader friends into convulsive fits, I remind them this quote was cited by Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas in his dissent to the Grutter v. Bollinger Supreme Court Decision ( ).

Needless to say, we wholeheartedly agree with Mssrs. Douglas and Thomas.  While more could certainly be said on this important matter of public policy, (and undoubtedly will in coming days), at least to our perspective, it seems equally clear that in addition to such programs as affirmative action actually harming African Americans ability to compete and get ahead in our society, it is elementary one cannot cure racism by heaping on more racism, (regardless against whom it is targeted, oops, I'm not supposed to use "uncivil" gun language, I meant to say, "aimed," er, I mean, oh well, you know what I mean! More on this politically correct nonsense in future posts).
Such an approach as pushed by those on the left, (the most vocal of which more often than not are surprisingly not of African American heritage as one might suspect but rather very rich, white, elitists), rather than bring about racial reconciliation and "equality," can in practice only postpone the day when Dr. King's dream of a color-blind society "where little black boys and girls can play peacefully with little white girls and boys" will be the accepted norm and not the exception to the rule.  Judging from the rate of interace marriage and the  superior coherence and rationality of the approach taken by Justice Thomas in his dissenting opinion above it is surely inevitable.

And about time!  Only a truly race-neutral approach where no one ethnic group is given an advantage over another under the guise of redressing "past" sins can truly keep Dr. King's dream "where a man is judged based not on the color of his skin but on the content of his character" from dying and insure his hopes of racial equality don't become a nightmare of perpetual racism and cultural division based on whatever "flavor of the month" group in our American melting pot at any given moment in time may be economically and socially discriminated against.

Let us do all we can to insure the realization of his dream. jp


  1. "a goal which by any measure has spectacularly been achieved, including by African Americans"

    Might I ask what your skin colour is? I'm guessing it's not black.

  2. So much for Martin Luther's dream of people being judged by "the content of their character"! Somehow I have a hard time believing Frederick Douglas would agree with you either. Indeed, this is the very kind of race-based thinking that sets back the progress of racial equality in our great country and both belies a "reverse" racism as well as simultaneously accuses of it in a way that is, frankly, offensive. (As if one who isn't black is not qualified to speak to matters of race and equality and the dangers of our society not moving to a truly color blind, race netural meritocracy instead of merely a glorified Pez-dispenser of entitlements to certain "favored" segments of society according to ever changing, and thus undefinable, racial criteria). Of course, the fact of its offensiveness, (as well as its generally counterproductive nature), hasn't stopped the political left from making such statements for years. Nevertheless I will humor you with a reply to your faulty-premised statement.
    As I state in my post, I am clearly talking about "freedom and independence" which African Americans possess now in greater quantities than ever due to the rise of the black middle class, (not necessarily complete racial equality, which would require the very elimination of racist quotas and preferences you no doubt approve of which sow confusion and discord about just what IS racism and our national goals to prohibit it as well as undermines individual ambition to work hard to achieve one's goals, a problem which no doubt equally afflicts white as well as black citizens).
    But since you have raised such a pointed premise, allow me now to ask you, what, exactly, are YOU referring to? Which cause-and-effect modern example of racist oppression can you point to that could possibly justify your implied premise that blacks do NOT enjoy spectacular freedom and independence in America today? Surely not economic advancement, which by any measure black America has made spectacular progress in, (having successfully advanced into the middle and upper classes). But if your view on racism-- apparently that some racism, as long as it is applied to the benefit of the "oppressed" races is fine-- I doubt very much you have an answer, (unless, in true "outcome-based" fashion, you proffer the common canard about still lagging economic indicators, factors which, again, would be rather HELPED by the preclusion of using racial factors and focusing instead on real solutions such as equal educational access inherent in policies such as school choice, which I'm sure you're opposed to also). But while our nation's short term economic ills have undoubtedly set back African-Americans, (along with every racial segment of society), it has offered new opportunities as well, (see ). Or is there some other "stealth oppression" factor to which I am not privy? Well?