Written four years ago: was it prophetic?
If Barack Obama is the Democrat nominee for President, it could have the potential of becoming a referendum on black America. I say this not because I want it to happen. Frankly, I hope I am wrong, but as a historian and political analyst it is increasingly becoming something Ray Charles could have seen from a mile away.
If this happens, it will be divisive. It will not be good for America, and most important, it will not be good for black America (in the short run; in the long term it may be). In researching my book One Night, Two Teams: Alabama vs. USC and the Game That Changed a Nation, I spoke to some 40 participants in a 1970 football game seen as the seminal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. I discovered some profound truths. One was that descriptions of the same thing seen by human eyes is very different depending on whether the words, and perspective, come from a black or a white; a Southerner or a Northerner (or Westerner).
So, there is no question that the "black experience" exists and, as a white male, I cannot truly know it. That does not prevent me, as an educated, moral (albeit flawed, sinful) Christian with an inquiring mind, a voracious appetite for books and reading, a desire to improve my country, to help my fellow man, and a quest for knowledge; from understanding it pretty darn well. In researching and writing a book about it I certainly have taken to this subject beyond a merely passing interest.
There is undoubtedly no question that there have been major gains in black rights in this country and the entire world since the 1950s and 1960s. Has Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "dream" been realized? Maybe it has, yet if Dr. King were alive today he would be troubled by the following question.
Who has a better future in America: the 12-year old black kid growing up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, or the 12-year old black kid growing up in a crack-house-and-gang neighborhood in Compton, California in 2008?
The answer to this question is complicated. I am not saying that I have the answer. The subject alone is fraught with explosive, Politically Incorrect peril. Just bringing it up is controversial, but anybody willing to analyze it with an open mind (as I believe Dr. King would), in my view, consider it a legitimate issue. Certainly, answering the question "Well, obviously the 12-year old black kid growing up in a crack-house-and-gang neighborhood in Compton in 2008 is better off than the same kid growing up in segregated Birmingham in 1963" would not be taken seriously. Maybe the kid in 2008 is better off, but if he is, one does not arrive at this conclusion easily and it is not "obvious."
The black kid in 1963 Birmingham is more likely to have a father at home; go to church on Sundays; avoid drugs and violence. He (or she) faced legitimate prejudice and was not immune to violence, as the little black girls killed in a KKK bombing that year in "Bombingham" were not immune to it. But out of this environment, the American Dream could still be realized. At least two high-profile Americans, Condoleeza Rice and Clarence Thomas, did just that.
What are the chances that a Secretary of State Rice or a Justice Thomas emerges from the mean streets of modern-day Compton, Watts, East Oakland, Harlem, Gary, Indiana?
The Obama candidacy has been viewed as unifying, his speeches as inspirational. It looked for a while that he would be the Democrat nominee. That inevitability is no longer inevitable. The media and the country are now investigating his life, and do not discount the ruthlessness of Hillary Clinton, who will do anything she can to get elected. Considering the infamous "Clinton body count" of dead rivals, snitches and enemies that litter the Clinton past, one fears for Obama's life, but to eliminate him with "extreme prejudice" is no longer an option for the Clintons. That would be too obvious. Still, if Obama were to get the nomination, this threat will be discussed within his circles, and will be a factor in the decision not to make Senator Clinton his Vice Presidential running mate. Obama will deny it, but that will not change the fact that it will be a factor.
If Obama somehow overcomes the Clinton's strongarming of superdelegates, disenfranchisemnent of black rights, manipulation of returns, and outright changing of rules after the fact in allowing votes from Michigan and Florida to be counted for her; if after all that he is still standing, then America will focus like a laser beam on who he truly is.
So far, he is a mystery man. His life is a hodgepodge of places, ethnicities and religions. He did not grow up in a "black environment," which goes back to the "1963 Birmingham vs. 2008 Compton" argument and inevitably leads to the question: could Obama have achieved the success he has attained if he attended Compton High School instead of the prestigious private Punahou High School in Hawaii that is his alma mater? The answer to that question: it is possible, but so far from possible that it is, for all practical purposes, that with which is impossible. He became well educated at a time when Affirmative Action favored blacks. Whether he owes his Ivy League pedigree to this policy is not known, but it will be. He became a "community organizer" in Chicago, whatever that means (?). That sounds like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas. When he takes a date to the Copa and is given star treatment, he is asked what he does for a living.
"I'm a union delegate," he replies. Oh.
In mob-controlled, ultra-corrupt Chicago, being a "community organizer" or a "union delegate" does not come with positive connotations. Eventually, Obama was elected to the Illinois state senate. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004 when his Republican opponent, discovered to frequent swing clubs, was kicked out by his party (the Democrats would have hailed him a Barney Frank-style hero). The election result was not as one-sided as Saddam Hussein's electoral victories prior to America putting an end to them, but it was close to it.
He was immediately elevated to the role of "Presidential contender," given the keynote address at the 2004 national convention before taking his seat. He has campaigned for the White House almost non-stop ever since, and has virtually zero record to examine in the Senate (having missed most of the votes). There is no long career in Washington; no governorship; no substantial record in business, academia or literary circles; no heading of a prestigious foundation or authorship of major legal precedents; certainly no ambassadorial postings, cabinet positions, or formulations of important policy at any level.
There is only Barack Obama's life.
Now, Barack Obama is not a "black man." He is a bi-racial man, the son of a black father who skipped out and a white mother who broke the conventions of her youth. He lived in Hawaii and Indonesia. He was exposed to the Muslim faith at a young age. He was raised a Christian and eventually found his way to Harvard and then Chicago.
Obama probably did not want to be the "black candidate," but he can thank Hillary Clinton, the Democrat Party, and the black voting blocs within that party, for painting him as being just that. At this point, like it or not, there is no turning back. He is the black candidate.
Senator John McCain is the ultimate fair political campaigner. He will not pick Obama's life apart, but the media will. Without a public record, they will have only his personal life, his family, his associations and his actions to judge him by.
What we know of Barack Obama so far, in my view, is only the tip of the iceberg. Conservative "opposition research" groups are holding back what they have until he gets the nomination, and will not make use of it until late September and October, when it will have maximum effect. We only know now what the mainstream media and the Clinton's have been willing to leak out. They have had to walk a tightrope since they must woo the same constituency: liberal Democrats who believe minorities can do no wrong.
So, if Senator Obama gets the nod, his life will be picked apart come late summer and fall, and race will be the overriding theme. As I say, I do not welcome this or think it will be immediately helpful to America. As a political thinker I predict it will get ugly.
First, there are Obama's associations. His wife has already stated, despite her own great successes and opportunities, she has never really been proud of America. She has written that, despite being welcomed into the highest level of Ivory Tower academia, she never felt welcome. Like her husband, her academic career came during a period of Affirmative Action favoritism towards people like herself. Whether she benefited from it or not is not known. Like her husband, it will be known.
Obama's pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, has been quoted on tape saying things so abominable as to be beyond the ken. The unfortunate result of Wright's incendiary comments are that many Americans, upon analyzing what he says, will conclude that:
- Many blacks feel that way.
- Many Democrats feel that way.
This will not benefit blacks or Democrats. Obama has desperately tried to distance himself from him. He will not be able to accomplish this task in effective manner.
So, this leaves us with the dynamic of the 2008 Presidential election between the moderately conservative Senator John Sidney McCain III (R.-Arizona) vs. the liberal Senator Barack Hussein Obama (D.-Illinois). The more Obama tries to make people forget his middle name is Hussein, the more he will remind them of it. His middle name will hurt him. The Republicans will not need to exploit this fact. The facts will simply be an open sore.
Senator McCain will stick to the issues and offer only praise for Senator Obama. As hard as he tries, and as hard as Obama tries, the election will steer towards a referendum on black America.
This issue has been the elephant in the room since the 1960s, when it was front and center. For decades, white people have avoided the subject. As a general rule, whites have acknowledged that blacks were treated brutally in America; that this has been the reason for their many woes; and that to dispute this notion is racist in nature.
Conservatives have veered from this concept to varying degrees, but their racial arguments have not been made front and center issues in a national campaign. They have succeeded in numerous tries for the White House on the strength of personal responsibility, low taxes, anti-Communism, anti-terrorism, family values, and patriotism, but never overt racial opinions. They have tried to woo the black vote but failed. They simply have not needed it. Beginning in 1968, they husbanded the South back into the political mainstream appealing to white voters using Orange County, California-style moderation.
The racial dynamic will change in 2008. The Republicans will use history as their ally. First, they will paint themselves as the party of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. They will point out that the Democrats were the party of the Confederacy, of Jim Crow, and that it was their party that sponsored the Dixiecrats of 1948; their party that blocked President Dwight Eisenhower's civil rights legislation of the 1950s; and it was the Republicans who crossed partisan lines to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1965. Furthermore, they will demonstrate that when conservatism excised its extremist elements, conservatism morphed with Christianity and became the winning ideology of 2,000 years of history. It was this concept that transformed the South into the mainstream and, as Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times wrote the day after the 1970 USC-Alabama game, "ratified the Constitution."
Faced with the stark contrast of a liberal "black" Democrat and a moderately conservative, elderly white Republican, voters will for the first time honestly address race for what it is. This will be the first time they have done that since the 1960s, when they favored Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan's law 'n' order stance against campus protest and Black Panther militancy. The eventual results: landslides in 1972, 1980 and 1984.
Many whites, and many minorities, will ask questions of the black race they have heretofore avoided. Many theories, speculations and scenarios will be posited. For instance, the question of black suffrage and its effect on the modern black community will be asked. The longheld notion that blacks lag behind in academics, economics and cultural success because of slavery will be dispelled by a thoughtful analysis of, for starters, two groups: Jews and Vietnamese.
If one were to use ipso facto logic to create a causal explanation of black failure, thus stating that discrimination is the answer, then the Jewish question will be brought forth. If discrimination and historical hatred equaled generational failure, Jews would be the most unsuccessful race of people on the face of the Earth. No race has ever suffered greater hatred than Jews during the German Holocaust and the Soviet gulags of the 20th Century. In a few scant decades Jews, finding America to be the new Promised Land, elevated themselves to the most successful group by percentage of population in the world.
Next, take the Vietnamese. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, millions of "boat people" came to America. Nobody has ever had less. They looked different, did not speak the language or worship Christ, and were often scapegoated for our failures in that war. They had no power, no lobby, no help. Into the inner cities they suddenly descended. They could be found in the worst neighborhoods, where blacks peddled drugs, prostituted their women on street corners, and languished homeless in urine-soaked corners. The Vietnamese slowly built small businesses. A typical progression of experience for patrons of these stores was an introduction to the "mom 'n' pop" owners; a few years later expansion and improvement of the operation; followed by word that their son or daughter was entering Cal or UCLA; and later graduating with honors, courtesy of the American Dream. In the mean time, the patron continued to sidestep the black peddlers of flesh and drugs outside the door.
The American voter will be given an opportunity to judge the Great Society, President Lyndon Johnson's social programs of the mid-1960s. At the heart of the program, which prompted LBJ to tell aide Bill Moyers that they were "handing the country to the Republicans for the next 50 years," are voting rights. Yet, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will still have you believe that in 2000 and 2004, eeeevil Republicans "disenfranchised" black voters by "creating" long lines at polling places, thus ensuring President George Bush's elections. The American voter will give pause to this notion, then suddenly it will occur to them that avoiding "disenfranchisement" can be accomplished by picking up a registration form at the post office down the street; filling it out; putting a stamp on it and mailing it back in with a request for an absentee ballot; filling that out; affixing a stamp and mailing it back in. This entire subversive act can be accomplished for 82 cents, the cost of two stamps. The pen used to fill the thing out can be borrowed. For that matter, so can the stamps.
The American voter will consider Affirmative Action and ask: does it really work? Seriously, does it really work? The cases of Senator and Mrs. Obama will be studied. If indeed it turns out they did get into Ivy League colleges based on this government program, then many will argue that this demonstrates the viability of the program. But black conservative talk show host Larry Elder offers a different perspective. Elder entered Brown University Law School through Affirmative Action, but says that had he not benefited from this program, failure was not his only option.
Had the hallowed halls of Brown not been opened for him, Elder says he most likely would have taken his education at Cal State Northridge and Southwestern Law School in his hometown of Los Angeles. He would have worked hard, studied, made good grades, graduated, passed the bar and entered practice. Using the same diligent methods, he would have forged a successful career on his own.
The "war on drugs" will become an issue worth studying. The government's failure to win this battle is so obvious that I need not detail it herein. The worst victims of this failure? Black America (which leads blacks to call it a racist conspiracy). Prior to the "war on drugs," black drug addiction was relatively low. Occasionally a black singer like Billy Holliday would overdose, but for the most part blacks kids grew up clean and sober in functional households. Today, drug dealing is viewed as upward mobility in the inner city. Black preachers like Jeremiah Wright may address personal responsibility, but he also invents bogus claims that the CIA infiltrated the 'hood with drugs, and infests the colored population with the AIDS virus, in order to keep the black man down. The American voter in the past has disregarded these outlandish statements, apologizing for black plight by stating that whether these theories are stupid or not is immaterial and understandable since blacks have the right to complain louder and longer. However, if a black man is running for President, the issue of black accountability, honesty and truthful soul-searching will be highlighted. Whites will consider the fact that they have been soul-searching for decades and perhaps it is the time for blacks to do the same.
What about the "war on crime?" Perhaps it is not fair to assess this much cause-and-effect to the event, but the very year that LBJ initiated his programs, the "war on crime" being part and parcel of the Great Society, the black Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts broke out in flames. I cannot offer a plausible reason for this, but I do know that in the late 1960s, the more liberal policies were enacted, thus bringing more "freedom" to black people, the more riots broke out in Newark, Chicago, Detroit, and seemingly every other big city north, south, east and west. The American voter will be forced to stare at the "war on crime" and its attendant social policies, all based on "helping" black Americans, and conclude that prescriptions offered by Democrats have resulted in an expansion of black-on-black crime so horrifying as to be beyond belief. If one were to add up the body count over the decades and attribute it to white genocide, it would approach the casualties brought on by Genghis Khan or the Roman Empire at its most terrifying. Because it is black brothers and sisters killing each other, we shut our eyes to it, ignore it, and pretend it will go away. If it becomes part of a national referendum on the progress of American blacks, American blacks will not benefit from the conclusions reached about them.
Then there is the "war on poverty." Daniel Patrick Moynihan was once considered a liberal Democrat. In 1965 he suggested to LBJ that in order to stop the decline of the black family, the Democrats stop "helping" them and, instead institute a policy of "benign neglect." If he were to utter such a thing today at the Democrat National Convention he would be booed off stage. More of a moderate Republican by today's standards, Moynihan's expertise was put to use by Richard Nixon, but by then LBJ's programs were institutionalized. To disband them was by then to gore far too many sacred oxes than can be allowed in Washington.
Have blacks improved economically since 1965? Absolutely, but not because of any government program. They have benefited from the success of America, in which a rising tide lifts all boats. While it is true that government intervention and court decisions have outlawed discriminatory practices, those practices have only been "barred" through a change in hearts and minds; a new society in which prejudice is the ultimate sin, its practitioners disgraced with the least forgiveness or attempt at understanding by a Politically Correct world of "mind police." They have succeeded because more and more of them grow up in predominantly-white neighborhoods and are admitted to predominatly-white colleges. There are exceptions; traditional black colleges produce successful graduates, and neighborhoods like the Baldwin Hills in Los Angeles are home to black professionals, but the fact that these are exceptions makes the point.
It is now 2008 and it is time to address history, past and present. It is time to ask, How long is too long? When is enough enough?
This is a basic concept. Is black oppression still a reasonable explanation for current black failure, or has enough time passed to say that it no longer is? Consider that Barack Obama is an example of a prevalent racial dynamic, that of the bi-racial, multi-cultural man. We are now seeing more and more multi-racial people; combinations of black, white, Latino, and Asian ethnicities. This is the "rainbow" that Jesse Jackson has long spoken of, yet can this dynamic exist side-by-side with the concept of direct hostility towards African-Americans?
Former Democrat Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro said that Obama would not be in the position he is in if he were not black, just as she said she would not have been Walter Mondale's 1984 running mate had she not been a woman. Whether Ferraro meant this or not, her words derive from a reality that cannot be ignored anymore, which is that blacks are now a favored class in America.
Whites who espouse even controversial opinions about blacks (like this essay, probably) are excoriated with false claims of racism instead of their opinions given thoughtful validity. A public figure can get away with a long laundry list of sins, but the mere sniff of racism is inexcusable. The least wayward comment or action is immediately picked apart in an act of ultra-sensitivity.
There are millions of Americans who have been observing this for a long time and are sick and tired of it. They have said nothing, at least publicly, but they are observing the Obama candidacy, the Jeremiah Wright controversy, and a host of other factors - black comics, black pundits, black commentators, black actions - and are now ready to say, "Enough is enough." Some are even willing to quote Peter Finch in Network: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore." Some call is "white backlash" or "angry white males." I call it a truth offensive.
Blacks are the new scared cows of modern America. Every effort is made to include them. Every group, every organization, is not considered complete without at least one black face, regardless of ultimate qualifications. Asians are particularly dissatisfied with blacks, since they are exceptionally bright scholars yet consider themselves shortchanged by efforts to favor African-Americans.
In conservative political circles, being black is an enormous advantage. In liberal political circles blackness, at least up to the Clinton-Obama death struggle, is almost a bullet-proof shield against criticism. If Clinton prevails, the required reprimands to be paid to blacks for "stealing" Obama's "rightful" Presidency will be enormous.
Blacks are great sports heroes in America because they are obviously the best athletes in the world. Campuses from one end of America to another are filled with young black men and women getting free educations from elite institutions despite the fact that their grades in high school fall far short of the average student at those schools.
Black professional sports superstars are multi-millionaires in a high-performance society in which they would be hard-pressed to find gainful employment otherwise. Recently, HBO ran a documentary about the black boxing legend Joe Louis. The premise of the program was that America "betrayed" Louis. This is ridiculous. Louis made $400,000 in 1938, a figure of unimaginable wealth while the Great Depression still raged. Baseball great Joe DiMaggio made less than $20,000 that year and never made more than $100,000. Louis never worked a real job in his life; he came to boxing in his early teens. Apparently he did not hire an accountant to pay his taxes and was taken by shady promoters. Was this America's fault? Was paying his taxes simply not part of his responsibilities? Later he was hounded for failing to pay taxes, but in the country that "betrayed" him, Louis made and lost millions without ever working nine-to-five. Avoiding an IRS audit was an available, rather easy task that he never bothered with. He enjoyed a free lunch from one end of the country to the other until the day he died.
Nobody provides more opportunities, or is fairer to African-Americans, than sports coaches; football, basketball, to a lesser extent baseball. Alabama's Paul "Bear" Bryant and USC's John McKay were pathfinders in this area. I guarantee from personal experience that 60 percent of these coaches are Republicans.
The military offers a wonderful chance at upward mobility for those blacks who are not division I scholarship athletes, and I guarantee 60 percent (or more) of the officers and enlisted personnel are Republicans. Wherever impressive people are found, so are found Republicans. Wherever the unimpressives are found . . . well, commentary is not necessary.
Blacks struggled against many obstacles. My book, One Night, Two Teams: Alabama vs. USC and the Game That Changed a Nation, details their fight to play football in the Southeastern Conference. The point is that while they did have to fight, they also did eventually get to play. It was bad, but it was not so bad that it could not be overcome. Whites of good conscience joined their struggle by the millions.
Compare that with, for instance, "Jews who overcame Nazi Germany," or "Political prisoners who beat the Soviet Gulag system," or "Chinese dissidents who successfully spoke against against the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s." These narratives do not exist because the chance for such people to "rise above" their oppressors was zero, as opposed to America where the chances, while not great, were still good enough to eventually become reality.
The fact is that blacks use slavery as a bludgeon against this country; an excuse for any behavior or wild statement they want to make. They have been getting away with it for years, but enough is enough. When blacks study history, they are too often obsessed with slavery and "black history," instead of a study of all history. America's achievements, inventions, economy; its destruction of Nazi Germany, winning of the Cold War; its bringing freedom to billions; its opportunities and blessings which are beyond the ability to conceive; are many times within black circles forgotten or made fun of, overshadowed by slavery.
I recall sitting behind a black woman during 1998's Saving Private Ryan. When the George Marshall character quoted a letter extolling America's efforts to bring the "blessings of freedom" to a world threatened by Adolph Hitler, she scoffed, as if defeating Hitler was a business decision taken in order to upgrade a white corporation's profit margin, not a necessary sacrifice made by (mostly white) America in order that the entire world might benefit.
Blacks often fail to even understand the slavery issue in its entirety. Consider that prior to the birth of America, slavery was a thriving industry that existed as legitimate trade between nations and empires for thousands of years. It was brought to America by the English, the Spanish, the Dutch, the Portuguese and others. It was "inherited" by America.
Blacks are correct in assessing that the Founding Fathers should have abolished it when the nation was founded. They are apparently unaware of the plan the Founders put into place, which was to allow it to continue until 1808, at such time the importation of slaves was to end (which it did). The idea was that when those slaves alive in 1808 eventually passed away, so to would slavery. Blacks often cite the way slavery broke up families, which it did, but it was the very fact that families were generally not broken up which allowed slavery to continue. Instead of dying off, slaves married, re-generated, and their children became slaves until 1863.
Four score and seven years after the birth of America, it was no longer a legitimate enterprise. It was ended on American soil by Americans who used laws written in America to end it. No nation conquered us and forced us to do it at the barrel of a gun (unless you count Lincoln's Union as a nation). When it ended here, this "thing" that had stained the world for centuries was gone for good. America is where slavery came to die.
Blacks often demand reparations for slavery, but the fact is that an American black in 2008 is better off for being here now than he would be had his ancestors never been brought here hundreds of years ago. Had slavery not occurred, they would probably not exist as their ancestors would likely have died of war, starvation or varied and sundry horrors in Africa, long before now.
A black person in modern America is so much better off than the average black person in any African country as to beyond description. There is not a successful black-run country. Former white colonies now run by blacks (South Africa, Zimbabwe, others) are now hell holes. Apartheid was terrible; "necklacing," the common South African black-on-black practice of placing a person's body into a tire, dousing him with gas and lighting him on fire, is far worse!
What we are left with is history, and to understand history one must address certain realities, much of it psychological in nature. History, it has often been said, is written by the winners. One can argue this point, but it is quite difficult to argue that those winners have been, for the most, white European Christians. It is Western Civilization that has shaped 2,000 years of history, for better or worse.
Getting more specific, at least for the near future, the ultimate winner of this history is the United States of America, and in assessing this reality one must say, admit or come to realize that the sub-set of winners within America is the combined ideology of conservatism with Christianity. In no place have these two concepts thrived hand-in-hand with each other more successfully than the open plains of America: Manifest Destiny, the Promised Land; call it what you will. For the better part of a century after the Reconstruction, blacks identified to one extent or another with these concepts, but the Great Society (on top of the New Deal) was a paradigm shift that swung African-Americans away from entrepreneurial capitalism towards liberation theology, to their utter detriment.
In understanding the psychology of it, this gets gets us back to the concept that "winners write history," and in so doing we must agree and understand that it was the mindset of white triumphalism behind our repeated narratives of victory over the British Empire, the Confederacy, the Indians, Nationalism, Naziism, Communism, and a host of isms, problems, obstacles and road blocks eliminated by the US of A. Cowboy movies, war heroism, inventions, Horatio Alger struggles; we have infused our view of ourselves with a sense of fantasy and mythology.
That said, our history holds up pretty well. In the modern age, liberalism in academia, journalism, Hollywood and the public schools has tried to dent our long-held images, but in the end the essential stories of our past continue to hold up under scrutiny. They are, for the most part, still true.
Truth is a very difficult, sometimes ephemeral concept. It benefits some, but is of little value to others. Psychologically, expecting people to admit that the truth reveals their faults, often their evil ways, is not a likely human expectation. Take the Arab world, for instance. The Old Testament tells the story of God identifying a small group of people - the Jews - and favoring them over a larger group of people - the eventual Arabs - who He simply calls evil.
Now, the Arabs can go one of two ways with this. They can "become Jews," that is ask God for forgiveness, following His ways, and eventually accept the Messiah (Jesus Christ) on a path of righteousness. Millions of them did just that. A billion did not.
The Arabs were the leading world civilization, creators of pyramids, architectural works, mathematics, tinctures, medical advancements. Christ walked amongst them, revealing His truth to their eyes. They saw, but rejected what was placed before them. They became Muslims. Since then, what great accomplishments have come from the Muslim world? Don't spend too much time thinking about the answer, which is: very little. History has not favored the Arabs. The 20th and 21st Centuries were going to be their chance at revenge. The Ottomans sided with Kaiser's Germany. The Saudis sided with Hitler. They kept losing, so they tried terror. Now the Americans are putting a clamp on that much the way they seal up oil spouting up in their deserts. The Arabs, a proud (and not stupid) people, have little to be proud of. Determined to be proud anyway, they rely on lies to tell their story, their narrative, their ageless strife against the Jews. Anybody who walks about in Arab culture knows that truth is not an inherent part of it. Bargaining in Arab bazaars is just one example. There is what the Arabs say, and then there is trying to decipher the real meaning of the words.
Up until the Civil Rights Movement, American blacks sided with truth. It was the story of their struggle and it was real. Their narrative was spiritualized by worship of Jesus Christ, the single unifying factor of all world humanity. But the Civil Rights Movement gave way to the Great Society, and then came militancy. Liberal white guilt opened doors for blacks in a determined, well-meaning effort at eliminating the age-old obstacles placed before them. One by one, the old, legitimate reasons for failure were wiped away, but this meant that continuing failure would have to be explained with excuses. In studying "white history," blacks increasingly saw that they were not the great winners of this mythic struggle for greatness. Again, psychology entered into play, and like the Arabs, African-Americans have had to invent mythologies of their own. For instance, they are determined to believe that all great knowledge springs from a 'black run" place called Luxor University, supposedly an African college existing years before the Romans or Cambridge or Harvard. They have changed the story of Original Sin from Adam and Eve, insisting that Satan came alive in the world exclusively through "white devils."
Since these stories are invented, unfortunately they are often not true, but as they are told over and over, like urban legends, they become accepted as true. Today, many blacks can be confronted with their inaccuracies, told straight truth, and they will often reject it or call it something else. Whites have accepted this reality under the proviso that blacks were treated so badly that they should be allowed to do this, but the Obama candidacy, the Wright pulpit speeches, and a million other things building up over decades, are increasingly emboldening many whites (and blacks) to confront these lies.
It is time for the truth to set us free. Unfortunately, there will be more division before there is healing, and in this regard it is sad that Obama, at first a unifier, may in the end be viewed as a divider and possibly the harbinger of doom for his party.
The "black narrative," in which truth is whatever they want to call it, has been a festering sore on the body politic for years. Perhaps it reared its ugly head in its most divisive manner during and after the infamous O.J. Simpson trial, in which the black football star was viewed as obviously guilty by everybody, except blacks. What galled so many was not that blacks really seemed to believe O.J. was innocent, but that they said he was anyway. It was a question of stupidity vs. honesty, and whites were not racist enough to blame blanket black stupidity on the O.J. reaction. Rather, the black narrative was that they had been treated so badly for so long that the usual rules of good conduct were not expected to apply to them. Whites, who have been giving tacit, liberal credence to this notion for decades, began to reject it.
It is time for blacks to be held to the same standards of right and wrong as everybody else. It is time for them to take responsibility for this amongst themselves. The fact that innocent blacks were lynched in the South in the 1930s is simply no longer a valid reason for them not to ask for the same standards of their leaders. It is time to stop assuming every black criminal in every prison is unjustly convicted. It is 2008, and enough time is passed so that by now we must address these issues rationally and with maturity.
If we get into this subject as a nation - and the Obama candidacy guarantees we will - it will ask for sincere black self-analysis. They can no longer play the blame game. It may divide us at first, but ultimately it will be good for America, for only then can true equality be earned and achieved.
As long as blacks avoid this self-analysis, however, they and the party that patronizes them - the Democrats - will suffer. Just as Western Civilization; America; and ultimately a cross-current of conservative Christianity is the winner of history, liberalism, the Left, and in America the Democrat Party, are the ultimate losers. This is sad because traditional liberal precepts drove Western Civilization. It was only when these precepts were used to temper conservatism's extremist edges that the Right emerged victorious (symbolized by Ronald Reagan).
But modern liberalism has suffered over the past 60 years because the truth is no longer its ally. This goes back to the Whittaker Chambers-Alger Hiss stand-off. The Left invested all they had in Hiss - emotionally, financially, legally - only to have his guilt as a Soviet spy confirmed. The Venona Project, revealed after Soviet archives were opened when we won the Cold War, showed that most of the "McCarthyism" tactics of the Right were legitimate defense of national security. The "Hiss defense" has repeated itself. The Democrats' all-out protection of Bill Clinton in the face of his Impeachment and lies further revealed their template. The Left is frustrated beyond belief; they have the mainstream media, they have Hollywood, they have the schools, the colleges, the youth. . . and they continue to lose because ultimately they do not have the Truth!
Just as the ancient Arabs could choose a true path - Christianity - in order to walk in righteousness, the modern Democrats who chose truth became Reagan Republicans, and eventually conservatives. It is most unfortunate that American blacks who seek this way are called "Uncle Toms."
It is also instructive to understand the role of Communism's defeat in this psychological dynamic. Communism was the ultimate panacea of the oppressed, the losers, the undeserved, the unimpressive. Its natural target of hatred was America, where success, winning and patriotic uprightness were proudly upheld as great virtues. When Communism was swept, as Reagan called it, into the "ash heap of history," it left a world full of dispossessed losers with nothing solid to hold onto, but America still to hate.
A disparate group of unimpressives, ranging from gays to child molesters; from the ACLU to the criminals; from the atheists and the ugly of soul; no longer found a single umbrella of Communism with which to band together, but defeat did not turn them into conservatives. Being losers in the first place, conservatism would not be their natural state anyway. What we have seen, especially since 9/11, has been a revitalization of Communist rhetoric without the hammer and sickle.
Hatred, jealousy, and worst of all, lies are their tools. The lies work in part because to dispute lies, one must possess knowledge, and in order to possess knowledge, one must work at it. What Reverend Jeremiah Wright has been preaching is a form of "black liberation theology." This traces much of its roots to the Catholic Church's role in the post-Fidel Castro era Communist revolutions of Latin America from the 1960s to the 1980s. The so-called Catholic priests who worked on behalf of the Sandinista's plainly stated that God was not Jesus Christ, but the guns held by the soldiers; the sense of purpose they had in achieving Socialist goals; and an egalitarianism that they insisted was denied them by a host of "others": whites, America, corporations , , , these were their "gods."
To say that all African-Americans adhere to "black liberation theology" would be a gross lie, but America must wake up to the fact that many of them do. When Wright opens his mouth and pours forth his vile, foul, hateful spewing of lies and untruths, the black audience, dressed in suits and ties in heartland Chicago, the town we call the "city of big shoulders," what Frank Sinatra called "my kind of town"; well, they do not boo. They cheer. They applaud raucously. What is perhaps most distressing are that within the inner city, these raucous cheerers are the best they have! The criminals and the miscreants are not in church, dressed in their Sunday best at 10 in the morning.
Jeremiah Wright is not saying anything new. The lies he espouses have been infecting the black community for years. The Internet has spread them into Democrat chat rooms. There are some Revelationists who insist that Jesus Christ is returning in 2011; that the "end of the Church Age" occurred in 1988; and that Satan now controls the churches. What Reverend Wright sounds like - oh, just say it - is Satanic. How else would the devil make his move? He would get supposed "men of God" to do his bidding. I cannot say what is in Reverend Wright's heart, but I can comment on what comes out of his mouth.
Jesus Christ, he says, was a poor black man killed by rich whites. 9/11 was a George Bush plot. AIDs was spread by the Central Intelligence Agency in order to commit genocide against minorities (this lie was originally started by black Watts Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D.-California, in 1992 in order to discredit the Presidential re-election of former CIA Director George H.W. Bush). Israel and America are to blame for Islamic terror, not the Wahabbi sect that took root some 200 years ago. America bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima not to save the lives of 1 million Japanese and Americans who would have died in a subsequent invasion, but because they desired to kill people with yellow skin.
(The only thing Wright might have been "right" about was his statement that America knew about Pearl Harbor before the Japanese attacked; President Franklin Roosevelt "allowed" the attack in order to draw us into World War II. However, Roosevelt did not know that Pearl was the precise target; he thought the Philippines would be the staging grounds.)
Approximately 40,000 people have died in Iraq since the 2003 U.S. invasion. Crazies of the Left lie that the figure is half a million, and that they were killed by America, when in fact 90 percent of the casualties are innocent Muslims (many women and children) killed by fellow Muslims. The Left says the Muslim world hates America because of this, not realizing that terrorists are helping do our work for us. Each time they kill their Muslim "brothers and sisters," they engender hatred and leave the Arabs with the realization that while America ain't perfect, it is the best of all alternatives. Plus, we are the winners, which counts for a lot.
Waterboarding is not torture, but the Left lies and says it is, investing all their emotional (and legal) energies into sympathy for the most vile, ungodly criminals whose lives are devoted to kill brave Americans (plus cowardly ones like themselves).
Millions of blacks believe these lies. We have turned our heads to this enemy within for years now, refusing to believe it, dismissing it as rambling, not thinking that it has a real effect on the body politic. But the public schools have not only failed to dispute these untruths, they have often taught them! We now have a generation of ignorant blacks who listen to the Jeremiah Wright's of this world and actually think what he says is true. It has been drummed into their heads and they actually think a white man like me, who informs them that these notions are wrong, is merely making a racist attempt to dissuade them from some sort of "truth."
It is not just blacks. La Raza ("the Race") teaches that they have a legal right to re-claim the Southwest. Many white kids get a dose of this stuff and dumbly sympathize with liberation theology. The Democrats have recognized these unimpressives and dispossessed as their natural constituency. Their bloggers spew it endlessly. They like what Jeremiah Wright says. They cheer it. Many Democrats know it is all untrue but say it anyway. What does this say about the modern Democrat Party?
It says that the truth is not on their side, so they go in a different direction. In the mean time, these churches like the one Reverend Wright "preaches" from exist all over America, like madrassas in the Middle East. The Democrats adopt them, accept them, and pander to them. They cannot seem to help themselves.
Many white Southerners still believe blacks were treated better under Jim Crow than in modern Northern cities. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. took his case to the streets of Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma in the 1960s, many Southern whites wanted to know why he was spotlighting them while Los Angeles, California, supposedly the home of racial enlightenement where the citizenry had gotten it right, exploded in flames during the Watts riots. Long after the battleground shifted away from the South, "liberal" Boston, which Celtics star Bill Russell called the "most racist city in America," was exploding in riots over the bussing issue. When Jeff Prugh of the Los Angeles Times interviewed former Alabama Governor George Wallace in the mid-1970s, Wallace told him he needed to clean his own house before trying to clean his. White Southerners may not be correct in saying that blacks were better off then than they are now, but the kind of "reality" that many of them are taught is not helping them today. The reality of actual racism in the 1950s gave them a more firm handle on how to approach life's difficulties than a modern message that says the odds are stacked against them and they have no hope because of whites, because of American immorality.
While Reverend Wright is not a public official, if Senator Obama were to say the same things he said, he would be committing treason under Amendment XIV, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, ratified July 9, 1868, which says "No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military . . . who shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid and comfort to the enemies thereof . . ."
Is there any way to read, hear or contemplate Jeremiah Wright's words and not call it "aid and comfort" to terrorists, jihadists, Al Qaeda, neo-Communists . . . any and all "enemies" of this beautiful country?
We approach the 2008 Presidential election behind the banner of John McCain. President George W. Bush is unpopular. The Iraq War, despite the fact that victory is quickly going from a contemplated possibility to an accomplished past act, remains unpopular. It has cost us dearly. It is not a Republican year; the GOP has turned away from traditional conservative economic policies. There is much to find fault with the Republicans.
Despite this, however, two facts are emerging. First, the Democrats are again proving to be the GOP's biggest allies through their foul rhetoric (substitute Jeremiah Wright and Harry Reid for Michael Moore and John Kerry's "Winter Soldier" speech), which they continue to espouse because they lack a handle on the real America. They simply cannot help themselves. Second, and do not look now conservatives, but Senator McCain will prove to be the savior of the Republican Party.
The Democrats cannot absolve themselves of their past; Senator Harry Reid (D.-Nevada) stated that the Iraq War was lost just before America won it. MoveOn.org says that General David Petraues, perhaps our greatest military hero since Dwight Eisenhower, has "betrayed us." Whether the Right agrees with John McCain's border policy or not, the reality for now is that Latinos, who find much to fault with Obama and are by no means loyal to the Clintons, will give more of their vote to the Arizona Senator than has ever gone to a GOP candidate.
America observes Latinos and cannot help but compare them to blacks. Latinos work hard and take jobs blacks will not. No matter how hard-line the Right is about illegal aliens crossing our borders in invasion style, they must admire their work ethic and family loyalties. They are a bigger voting bloc than blacks and much more receptive to the Republican message on abortion, family values, anti-Communism and tax cuts.
It is an unfortunate statement to make, but it remains true, that whites observe successful blacks like Maryland and Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidates like Michael Steele and Lynn Swann, respectively, and consider them to be exceptions to the rule rather than examples of their race. Nobody looks at any individual, successful Jew or Asian, and maybe not even any winning Latinos, and thinks of them as an "exception to the rule." Until successful blacks can make their presence known without whites noting that they are "unusual," blacks will continue to be a troubled class in America.
We have reached the point where only blacks can truly make this happen and help themselves. Until this happens, black Democrats will not be successful on a national level. The first black President will not come from the Left. He (or she) will come from the Right.
Obama has infused his speeches with "black cadence," but this will be a reminder to white voters of Jeremiah Wright, and will not be of value to Obama. When Obama speaks, it has often appeared that some 70 percent of the people sitting behind him are black. Right or wrong, from a strictly analytical point of view, this will not be a successful campaign image.
If Obama gets the nomination, continues his current campaign practices, and does not address the Wright controversy properly, 2008 promises to be a year in which America holds a referendum on black America. America will, in my view, reach the conclusion that it is 2008, and that we have arrived at that tipping point in our history in which black failings and attitudes can no longer be attributed to past injustices. It will be a "tough love" message, and it will not reflect well on black America. However, in the long run it might be what they need to move past the rut they are stuck in.
If Barack Hussein Obama truly wants to heal the racial divide, he needs to speak honestly to black America and tell them they must pursue reality, not the fantasy of victimhood any more. He must tell them that while their ancestors were treated brutally, social reparations have made blacks the protected class of the 21st Century. They need to take advantage of that, like a football team that recovers a fumble on their opponent's 20-yard line and has a chance to score a go-ahead touchdown. He needs to tell them that public schools and churches must start telling the truth about American greatness; that victories over evil have been accomplished by this nation; that intolerance, hatred and prejudice have not survived American ideals; and that the USA is the new Promised Land.
He needs to tell his brethren to reject the lies and false works of Satan, because the Truth will set them free!
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism