Saturday, May 10, 2014

Essay: Racism in America

Essay: Racism in America
Robert A. Hall

The election in 2008 of a bi-racial president who self identified as black, and who was seen as black across the political spectrum from professional race mongers to white supremacists, held the golden promise of a post-racial America. The highest color barrier was broken. I was bemoaning what I feared would be Obama's destructive collectivist policies to a friend, a brilliant surgeon of centrist political leaning. He responded that there was a great upside--a black president could say things to the black community that a white one would be excoriated for, moving that part of lower-class black culture beyond the social pathologies and sense of victimhood that hurts blacks economically and socially to integration with mainstream cultural values that would advance blacks as other ethnic groups have advanced. (I paraphrase the conversation.)

Alas, the promise has proved to be a chimera. Beset by Republican and conservative attacks on his leadership, foreign policy, economic policy, healthcare policy, energy policy, broken promises and his policy of growing government, it has proved far more effective for Obama, fellow Democrats and their media and academic allies to defend the administration by charging that all opposition is based on racism, rather than policy disagreements. The need to mobilize the base has produced a situation where political discourse is infected by race issues more than ever before. Rather than a post-racial society, the election of Barack Obama has created a hyper-racial society. His supporters say this is because of the racist attacks. Opponents, stung, react furiously, often over-reacting to their detriment. Attorney General Holder claims with a straight face that no president and no attorney general have been so badly treated, implying it is because of race, despite a simple Google search turning up numerous leftwing pictures of President Bush as a monkey, calling for him to be murdered, and equal or worse slanders of GOP Attorneys General. (

But it is also true that, while the vast majority of criticism of the Obama administration I read is policy based, there is still a virulent streak of racism in some of the opposition to and dislike of Obama. People who read my blog assume that I will appreciate them and send me racist jokes and cartoons about him, or make snide references to, "That lawn-jockey in the White House." "I'm not racist--I hate his white half too," goes around frequently. They are not only morally repugnant, but stupid, as they provide ammunition to his defenders who wish to picture all opposition to Obama's policies as racist.

Blacks are mobilized by convincing them that Obama, and they are being held back only by racism. Environmentalists are mobilized by anti-job green programs. Political contributors like Solyndra's investors by government payouts. Government unions by generous benefits. The poor by Obama-phones and Obamacare. Teachers by killing the right of poor black parents to send their kids to charter schools or other good schools through vouchers. But worse is the culture of deliberate victimization created in black people, who are taught that only big government can help them. In my view, nothing is more destructive of black futures than creating the disincentive to do anything on their own. And as Obama's poll numbers have fallen, the charges get increasingly shrill, with every policy criticism being discovered to be a hither-to-unknown racial code word, along with the claim that an America where more white people voted for Obama in 2008, than voted for Kerry in 2004 or Gore in 2000, is a hopelessly racist society.

Thug is now a racist code word. I always thought of the Klan, the skinheads and the Aryan Nation as thugs, and I'm not aware they have strong diversity programs.

Race is no longer an issue, a concern or a problem. Stripped of spin by both sides, it is now just one more tool politicians of every stripe use to fustigate the opposition in the pursuit of power. I'm sorry to say that, in my view, the NAACP is no longer a civil rights group, just another Democrat Party special interest group like teachers, trial lawyers or government union employees, supporting the party line in hopes of largess regardless of the impact on blacks, just as Republican special interest groups support the GOP in hopes of a payoff. (Some, of course, support both sides!) I hate that they have made me feel this way, because, as Thomas Sowell points out, the NAACP has done great service for black Americans in the past. (Ethnic America) But now they have, for example joined the Democrats condescending and racist view that blacks, not being as smart or competent as whites, can’t get photo IDs. Nothing is as ironic as the NAACP requiring blacks to have photo IDs to get into a rally in North Carolina to protest photo IDs for voting, because blacks can’t get photo IDs. . (See "NAACP requires marchers protesting North Carolina voter ID law To Show Photo ID") Republicans also have special interest groups as part of the base, organized for the same reason--obtaining power to obtain favors. We all belong to several such groups. I'm a senior, veteran, home owner, etc.

We are often told that we need to have "a conversation about race." Increasingly, these "conversations" consist of liberals shouting "racist" at any conservative who dares to criticize Obama, and conservatives shouting infectively back, "Am not! Some of my best friends..." Race is not something to discuss, but to beat down the opposition with. It is hard to find people, especially across the color line, with whom there is enough trust and good feelings to allow you to openly and dispassionately discuss race. Except, of course, when the other folks are already known to share your views on these issues. Then it's an echo chamber, not a conversation.

This made a recent conversation on race I had with two black friends both remarkable and memorable.

Going through the lung transplant process at the Madison VA, we became close to a black couple, John and Donna Payne. John is a brother Marine who saw a lot more action in Vietnam than I wanted to see. They are from Louisiana, so were stuck in a hotel here in Madison without a car. We started taking them shopping, out to eat and for drives. I would have wanted to help a fellow Marine in any case, but we quickly came to like and know them, then, it's not too strong to say, to love them as family. They are different folks from us, but very bright, good conversationalists, well spoken, hard working, and very good people who are right with God. There's not a lie in either one and I think they'd starve before they'd steal, I would trust them with anything.

John once told me, "Bob, if you don't forget, you can't forgive."

I said, "I know John, but there is a lot I have trouble letting go of."

"'Well, Bob, you're not hurting them, only yourself." I replied I was going to ask God to make me as good a person as he was--but maybe not yet!

John was drafted in the Marine Corps, put in the infantry, lost a lot of "the best platoon anyone could ask for" and mourns those fallen brothers, black and white, every day. He has the Purple Heart and scars to prove he was there. And he's still a patriotic American, despite the war and the racism he dealt with growing up in the South in that era. "Bob, there's a lot wrong with America," he said. "But if you don't like it here, if it's not working for you, why wouldn't you go somewhere else to live?" There were a lot of racial incidents in the service in the 1960s, but John confirmed what other combat vets say; the animosity and occasional violence were in the rear areas, often out of Vietnam on Okinawa or in the states. Out on the lines, there were only your brothers, regardless of color, and the bad guys trying to kill you every day.

John likes big bands, John Wayne movies and cowboy novels; not much to feed a stereotype there. And if I had candid photos of Donna's face when he was singing country songs on Karaoke Night, I could market them for home decorations at a good price.

His new lung came through five days before mine and he’s doing very well, so much so that they returned to Louisiana, alas to rebuild their home which burned a few days before they left. But at least they were not in the fire, and no one was hurt. We miss them and talk frequently.

A week or so after my lung transplant, Donna came to visit me in the hospital while John was impressing them in physical therapy with Marine determination. In the course of the conversation, I asked her about racism when she grew up in the South. Having the comfort level to discuss race with her and John was a gift. She told me that a cross was burned on her lawn when she was five. I know worse things happen ever day, but this happened to a person I care about, when she was a child. It made me tear up--but then, a lot of things did then with the drugs I was on.

Klan thugs used to sit in a car at the end of her street to monitor the white people consorting with blacks, who needed reminding of the way things were, and to see what was going on. Nails were thrown in the driveway to give them flat tires.

She had a white great grandfather, whose genes show up. One family-born cousin has blue eyes and blond hair. Needless to say, this does not mollify the racists.

."Bob," she said. "You have to understand. This was just the way it was for us. I hold no animosity."

"That's okay," I said. "I'll hold it for both of us."

She said she had lived in Chicago for five years, and preferred to live in the South. "You know who the racists are there, because they tell you. In Chicago, they're sneaky."

"Well, I lived in Chicago for five years too. That's not the only thing they are sneaky about!"

Like my wife, through ambition, self-education, ability and hard work, Donna held very responsible positions without the opportunity to earn a college degree. She retired as a CNA and CNA Supervisor, where she worked in a mental hospital. Her best story was about one of the patients, an old southerner who had slipped off the rails. His racism had intersected with his mental disability, and vile slime spewed from him. "I used to kill niggers like you," he told her. "And for all I know, he did," she said. Donna was the only staff member willing to work with him.

Finally she said to him, “You know the difference between you and me? I’ve got the keys. (Cue dangling keys.) I get to go home at night, while you have to stay here. And you will until your attitude changes.” And his attitude slowly changed. “By the time he left, we were the best of friends,” she said. She found a way to calmly influence him in a way that helped him and, one hopes, everyone he came into contact with. She’s a no-nonsense person, but she’s other-centered, cares about people, forgives the unforgivable, has courage and good judgment, and has great communication skills. This gives her lots of influence. Both John and Donna have influenced me to want to be more like them, because of the example they set.

We continued the conversation when John joined us another day. He talked about the Marine Corps and racism, as I said above. His best friend at home is white, so he is used to having relationships across the color line. He had to drop out of college to work after he married for the first time. Before he retired, he built a good career in the skilled trades, running a skiving machine. (Yeah, I didn't know what it was either. Wikipedia says, "The process is used instead of rolling the material to shape when the material must not be work hardened, or must not shed minute slivers of metal later which is common in cold rolling processes." I'm not good with hand work, poor fine motor skills, so I could not have competed with him. I ranked high in my electronics school class, but was probably the worst tech in the bunch when it came to actually fixing the radios.) One can't help wondering, with their intellect, what a racially-level playing field would have done for their lives.

The conversation with Donna and John focused my thoughts on the problem of race in our society. With a BA in Government/Political Science (shouldn't it be a BS?) and a masters in history, I still do a lot of reading in economics, politics and history. Naturally the problem of race is entwined in all three areas.

But I began to think more deeply and read more widely, trying to get beyond the shouting points of the polarized political divide. When I decided it would help me focus by getting my thoughts in this essay, I began to compile the "For Further Reading" list of books and articles at the end of this essay. Unless noted, I have read all of them, and recommend them--which should not be taken to mean I agree with everything in them. In fact, many conflict on points, but the points are worth considering. Many of them are from my recent reading, but they go back as far as 8th grade for me. When I am drawing on one of them for a statement in this essay, I will put it thus: (Book Title or "Article Title").

I did not write this essay to convince you my views were correct, but to provide you with tools to think more deeply about these issues.

You will note that the nationally prominent black economists, Thomas Sowell, PhD and Walter Williams, PhD, feature heavily on this list, because their writing over the years has greatly influenced my thinking. I find their research impeccable, their opinions cogent and nuanced, and their thinking deeper than the polemics of either side.

Both men grew up poor, in the Jim Crow era, before affirmative action. Both overcame poverty and racism to work their way to doctorates in economics and became respected academics and well-published authors. (Despite a grounding in the subject, I learned more from Sowell's Basic Economics, which has been translated as a college text into six languages, than any other book I have ever read.) Both have devoted considerable research and effort to understanding the intersection of race and discrimination with economics, culture and politics. (Race and Culture and Race and Economics.) Their inspiring autobiographies are on the list. (Up From the Projects and A Personal Odyssey.)

I, too am a minority. I belong to two minority groups: Americans whose ancestors came from Britain, only 15% of the population in 1981, probably smaller now. (Ethnic America) and Germany (13%). And my grandmother claimed that granddad was one-quarter Cree, making me, if true, twice as native American as Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (As with Warren, there exists zero verification of grandmother's claim, perhaps because it was a family secret--race mixing wasn't bragged about a century ago!)

Despite my (snort) "minority status," I am a white, male, middleclass American. This makes me ineligible to talk about race in some eyes--silencing dissent is a popular sport on both the left and right. ("We're going to have a conversation about race--you shut up and listen!") It certainly means that Black, Asian and Hispanic Americans are almost certain to have different, more intense views on the subject. In fact, everyone has different life experiences and world views, meaning that everyone sees these--like many issues--differently. I had a black friend and roommate at U-Mass, Joe Fergusson, who was devastated when Muhammad Ali lost to Joe Frazier in 1971. Since I couldn't care less about boxing, I asked him why. "Because Frazier is white folks idea of a good nigger," he replied. The distinction had escaped me. I had never thought of either one of them as being good or bad on race issues. Different experiences produce different perspectives. Joe held no racist animosities--but he had friends who didn't like me much and wondered why he was rooming with a white guy.

As a small digression, we must consider if anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are racist. My political answer is "Well, yes and no." No, because anyone can convert to Judaism or to Islam, in the latter case, simply by making the Declaration of Faith, "There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his (final) prophet." But while it is an odd race you can voluntarily join, there is certainly a racist component and the affects of bias pretty much fit my definition of racism, below, and thus are morally repugnant. Certainly, being Jewish are a culture as well as a religion, and usually seen as a distinct ethnic group. (Ethnic America) And Anti-Semitism is deeply rooted within Islamic scripture. ("Islamic Antisemitism"). As to race, the majority of Muslims are third world people with skin color of various shades of brown. Islamophobia is certainly real--there are people who look at the daily murders carried out by Islamists since 9/11 and conclude that all Muslims are evil and should be expiated. But far more often, some Muslims cry "Islamophobia" to deflect criticism of that large percentage of Islamic Supremacists who wish to murder or subjugate all non-Muslims, just as some politicians cry "racism" to deflect criticism of their policies or conduct. The Islamists are not, in my view, close to a majority of Muslims, but they are a couple of orders of magnitude larger that that "tiny minority of extremists" their apologists depict them to be. Using Islamophobia to shield murderers does a huge disservice to Muslims most of all, as the vast majority of those murdered are fellow Muslims. So I include both in my discussion of racism.

In fact, we talk about racism with no agreement as to what it is. For the purpose of this essay, I define "racism" this way. "Racism" is when someone holds a person in contempt or higher esteem, or considers another person inferior or superior, or disparages or praises a person, or tries to disadvantage or advantage another person based on that person's membership in an ethnic group, rather than on the person's individual merit. Period, as our president might say.

It is just as racist for me to assume that someone is a good or smart person because of ethnicity as it is to assume the opposite, because it assumes inferiority on the part of other ethnicities. (Though you get few complains from those who benefit from that version of racism.)

Here's a little test to see what you think is racist (some you will recognize). Read the following quotations and decide which speakers are racists. All of them? Some of them? Or does it depend on who said it, not what was said?

1. The steady expansion of welfare programs can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States.

2. Now, let me talk about the Spanish people. You know I understand that they come over here against our constitution and cross our borders. But they’re here and they’re people – and I’ve worked side-by-side a lot of them. Don’t tell me they don’t work, and don’t tell me they don’t pay taxes. And don’t tell me they don’t have better family structure than most of us white people. When you see those Mexican families, they’re together, they picnic together, they’re spending their time together, and I’ll tell you in my way of thinking they’re awful nice people. And we need to have those people join us and be with us.

3. Today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of Separate But Equal, when it comes to getting an education too many of our young people just can’t be bothered. Today instead of walking miles every day to school they’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV instead of dreaming of being a teacher or lawyer or business leader they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper.
4. I want to tell you one more thing I know about the negro. When I go, went, go to Las Vegas, North Las Vegas; and I would see these little government houses, and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids…. and there was always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch. They didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for the kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for the young girls to do. And because they were basically on government subsidy – so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never, they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered are they were better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things? Or are they better off under government subsidy? You know they didn’t get more freedom, uh they got less freedom – they got less family life, and their happiness -you could see it in their faces- they were not happy sitting on that concrete sidewalk. Down there they was probably growing their turnips – so that’s all government, that’s not freedom.

5. I'm talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two? (clapping) Where were you when he was twelve? (clapping) Where were you when he was eighteen, and how come you don't know he had a pistol? (clapping) And where is his father, and why don't you know where he is? And why doesn't the father show up to talk to this boy? ... 50 percent drop out rate, I'm telling you, and people in jail, and women having children by five, six different men. Under what excuse, I want somebody to love me, and as soon as you have it, you forget to parent. ... Are you not paying attention, people with their hat on backwards, pants down around the crack. Isn't that a sign of something, or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up (laughter and clapping ). Isn't it a sign of something when she's got her dress all the way up to the crack...and got all kinds of needles and things going through her body. What part of Africa did this come from? ... Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't land a plane with “why you ain't...” You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth. ... These people are fighting hard to be ignorant. There's no English being spoken, and they're walking and they're angry. Oh God, they're angry and they have pistols and they shoot and they do stupid things. And after they kill somebody, they don't have a plan. Just murder somebody. Boom. ... Five or six different children, same woman, eight, ten different husbands or whatever, pretty soon you're going to have to have DNA cards so you can tell who you're making love to. ... What is it with young girls getting after some girl who wants to still remain a virgin. Who are these sick black people and where did they come from and why haven't they been parented to shut up? ...

6. What shall we do with the Negro? I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing ,,, Your doing ... has already played the mischief ... 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! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also.

7. I was in the WATTS riot, I seen the beginning fire and I seen the last fire. What I seen is civil disturbance. People are not happy, people is thinking they did not have their freedom; they didn’t have these things, and they didn’t have them. We’ve progressed quite a bit from that day until now, and sure don’t want to go back; we sure don’t want the colored people to go back to that point; we sure don’t want the Mexican people to go back to that point; and we can make a difference right now by taking care of some of these bureaucracies, and do it in a peaceful way.

8. We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work There is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.

9. I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years.

10. If you are taught bitterness and anger, then you will believe you are a victim. You will feel aggrieved and the twin brother of aggrievment is entitlement. So now you think you are owed something and you don't have to work for it and now you're on a really bad road to nowhere because there are people who will play to that sense of victimhood, aggreivement and entitlement, and you still won't have a job.

11. I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of twelve or thirteen, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.

12. ... it bothers me that the America I know and love I feel like is being destroyed by a black man.

13. The purpose of the American Baby Code shall be to provide for a better distribution of babies… and to protect society against the propagation and increase of the unfit. ... Give dysgenic groups [people with "bad genes"] in our population their choice of segregation or [compulsory] sterilization. ... Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.

14. Uncle Sam has developed a sophisticated poverty plantation, operated by a federal government, overseen by bureaucrats, protected by media elites, and financed by the taxpayers. The only difference between this plantation and the slave plantation of the antebellum South is perception.

!5. President Obama “does not even have the basic appearances of a human being. . . . It would be perfect for Obama to live with a group of monkeys in the world’s largest African natural zoo and lick the bread crumbs thrown by spectators.”

The speakers: 1. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, liberal Democrat US Senator. 2. Cliven Bundy, Nevada Rancher who became a flashpoint between the right and left over a dispute with the BLM. 3. Michelle Obama. 4. Cliven Bundy. 5. Bill Cosby. 6. Frederick Douglas, freed slave and black statesman in the Civil war era. 7. Cliven Bundy. 8. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI. 9. Attributed to President Lyndon Johnson in Inside the White House, but disputed. 10. Condaleeza Rice (Un-sourced--quoted from a speech on November 5, 2012.) 11. Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father. 12. Dr. Carol Swain, (a black) professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt Law School. 13. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. (See Reading List for most sources.) 14. Star Parker, black writer, in Uncle Sam's Plantation. 15. North Korea's Central News Agency.

I'm not going to tell you which quotes I think are racist. In fact, in some cases, I'd have to know a lot more about the speaker's views to make up my mind. For many people, these statements will be racist or not depending on who made them. It's not what was said, but by whom. The short media sound-bites here are not enough to reveal it in many cases. I present it to help you think about the gradations of racism and thought that can be so described.

Below are more quotes from Blacks that might be considered racist if made by Whites. Some reflect Rep. Paul Ryan, though they rightly focus on both the pathologies in the black inner city community and in white lower class America as well. (Coming Apart.)

"I don't think it's about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren't taught the value of life." --Samuel L. Jackson, Actor.

"So not only are women 'easier,' they have become well-conditioned to take care of a guy; be the bread winner.... Now I’m not getting after men who are stay at home fathers or those who have made the decision to support their wife’s career. I’m talking about the Liberal guys who connive to have a woman take care of them; they wear that like a badge of honor.." --Kevin L Jackson, Blogger

"The government is not your salvation. The government is not your road to prosperity. Hard work, education will take you far beyond what any government program can ever promise." --Mia Love, Black Mayor and GOP Congressional candidate. (More quotes from her:

It is, if course, more politically effective for liberals to use the media to dismiss all policy criticism as coming from racist (if from whites) or from Uncle Toms (if from blacks). Shouting "racist" or "Uncle Tom" has immediate impact. Paul Ryan allowed himself to be boxed in ("Paul Ryan Laments Inner-City Culture Of Not Working") by using "inner city," which liberals pounced on as a "racial code word," despite evidence that lower class whites have the same pathologies in the city (See "Fishtown" in Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 ). Discussing policy results for real people in depth takes nuance, time and reveals trade off of both positive and negative results. It is hard to enflame the base with that. The conservatives, of course, have their own shouting points to stir up support without going into depth.

Though I grew up white and rather sheltered from race issues, I have seen racism. For about eight of my 12 years of school, I was in racially-mixed schools. But they were segregated as well, in that black and white kids tended to hang together and have little to do with the other group. In 6th grade, however, we had a teacher, Mr. Miller, who was a snide jerk. One day he ripped into Eddie Bink, a nice, quite black kid who had not done his homework. (Neither had I!). Eddie gave Mr. Miller the same excuse that the teacher--a nasty piece of work who loved to trick us on tests--had just praised a white "teacher's pet" kid for, lauding his honesty. I don't think I knew the word racism then, but I knew that's what it was. I ran into Eddie that summer at a local shopping center. Miller had failed him. I think that Eddie was at least average bright, and with a family focused on education, and some opportunity, would have been at least an average student. Miller missed a great opportunity to be a mentor in favor of pettiness. Worse things have happened in this world, but I felt bad for Eddie, and it stuck with me.

Also in 6th grade, two large black girls a few years older took a hate to me, and whomped on me three or four times, once sticking a pin in my leg. Uncomfortable, but no real harm done. Their lightening hit and run raids would have made Guderian green with envy. As far as I know, I had never exchanged a word or glance with them, and I assumed they were just beating on a white kid. I suspect now they mistook me for some kid who had offended them. The attacks stopped. Not everything can be explained by racism, though first appearances may suggest it when you are the "victim."

Joining the Marines in 1964, at age 18, was my first real experience of living with black people--and of overt racism in the south. When I went home for Christmas leave that year, we had to change busses in Rocky Mount, NC. Since there was a layover, I hefted my sea bag to grab a hamburger in the snack bar. There I discovered I was invisible.

The waitress passed me by several times, not even noticing my wave. Other patrons came in after me and were served. It took about five minutes for the penny to drop. Every other person in the snack bar, waitresses, cook and customers, was black. I was white. Quietly I picked up my bag and slid out. On the other side of the bus station was a very large, very modern restaurant with a larger menu--and white help and customers. I had my burger and fumed inside that I was going to come back with some black Marines and bust up the place. Of course, I never got to that backwater again.

One of the reasons I was so incensed was because of Sergeant Owens, the first of three black men who were mentors in my life, and who had a profound effect on me for the better.

The morning we arrived at Marine boot camp Parris Island, we took some tests. Then three hard-looking Marines in Smokey Bear hats came in, stared at us for a minute, then began screaming, “Get Outside, GET OUTSIDE!”

While in high school, a classmate who had a cousin in the Marines told me there was only one black DI on Parris Island, and he was the worst, toughest, SOB on the island. And one of my DI’s was black. Ah, hell, I thought, just my luck.

It turned out to be a myth. Most platoons had at least one black DI, I assume by design to avoid charges that the many nasty things that happened were based on race. Actually, they treated all of us equally as badly as possible. And Sergeant Ezekiel Owens, Jr., our black DI, was the easiest-going of the three. We’d get him laughing at our ineptitude and his tough-guy image would slip. Owens’ favorite name for recruits was “Goony Bird,” which was almost a compliment compared to the other things we were called. Thanks to the priceless gift of self-discipline that Sgt. Owens, Sgt. Harris and Sgt. Martin gave me, I've had a very successful and happy life, and I can never pay that debt. It is hard to believe that we only spent three months with them. As I type, it was 50 years ago, and the many incidents and lessons are clear in my mind. But I can't tell you what I had for lunch today.

I suppose it is a stereotype, but the black DIs usually had the best sing-song marching cadence, and once we learned right foot from left, we loved to march with Owens calling the beat. Yes, Owens thumped me a few times, entirely against regulations, and at risk to his career. But not brutally and not unless I deserved it. Called into court, I would have testified under oath in the face of video evidence and a hundred nuns testifying to the contrary that it never happened.

A few years ago, I located Sgt. Owens through the Internet.(Guys named "Ezekiel" are not thick on the ground.) He was a retired Gunnery Sergeant and had a locksmith business outside Camp Lejeune. He'd had several platoons as a DI, with 70 or 80 "goony Birds" in each, and there was--deliberately--nothing memorable about me. But I told him that I owed every success in my life to him and to Sergeants Harris and Martin. I kept in touch, added him to my Holiday Newsletter list, and sent him copies of two of my books, Old Jarhead Poems and Eddie Grabowski's Gift, which were dedicated to him and four other Marines. Last Christmas, his newsletter came back. I was in the hospital from my lung transplant, but thinking he had moved, I did an Internet search, and was distressed to find his obit. He died December 16, 2013, at the age of 73. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to tell him how much he meant to me. I will always grieve and always be grateful to him. In the obit, I learned his friends called him "Zeke." To me he was always "Sir" and always will be. So, okay, he thumped me--he's beyond their reach now. Semper Fidelis, Sergeant Owens--he taught me that, too. Go with God, Sir-- kyrie eleison.

The second Black Marine who had a profound influence on me was Staff Sergeant Russell. I regret I don't know his first name--we were not equals.

After a year at Radio Relay tech school, I was assigned to an artillery battery at Camp Lejeune, which had no Radio Relay gear--go figure. They were using me as a forward observer. Calling fire missions was fun (as long as no one was shooting back!), but I was fast losing the little I knew about Radio Relay. The outfit was going on a six-month cruise of the Caribbean, but I got out of that. I volunteered for Vietnam. The Colonel figured I was nuts, but gave me corporal stripes as a going away present.

On Okinawa, they put me with a Radio Relay Platoon in a rear supporting unit, probably to learn Radio Relay again. Unfortunately, it was, in my opinion, also a dumping ground for poor NCOs. The Lieutenant was good, but there were several layers of worthless NCOs between him and the troops. That included the gunnery sergeant, the white staff sergeant, and one of the sergeants. \The other sergeant was toxic as well as worthless, but a great example. I have rarely had a personnel problem in my career that I didn't ask myself, "What would Sergeant R. do in this case." Than at least I know what not to do.

The best senior NCO in the outfit was Staff Sergeant Russell, a black Marine. Unfortunately, the other senior NCOs were racist as well. There was discord in the outfit over the troops having mustaches. (I had one, with the Lieutenant’s    permission, though when he left, Sgt. R ordered me to shave it.) It was remarked that SSgt Russell had a mustache. The Gunny said, “That’s okay, it makes him look almost human.” This in front of the troops. Being a corporal, I had to keep my trap shut, but I fumed. They marginalized the only good NCO.

I was on light duty one time, due to being hit by a jeep trailer that left a lump on my leg larger than a goose egg. That meant I missed the Physical Readiness Test (PRT) for the outfit, avoiding lots of unpleasant exercise.

Of course, the senior NCOs accused me of malingering. The week after I got off light duty, our new officer, Lieutenant Smith, another mustang officer up from the ranks, decided we were going to do a 21-mile hike, over the center of the island and up the coast. With rifle, helmets, cartridge belt, and so on.

This wouldn’t have been a big deal for an infantry outfit, but our guys weren’t in shape for it.
We did it in seven and a half hours, plus an hour break for lunch. Not bad for a comm outfit used to riding in Radio Relay vans. Lieutenant Smith walked the whole way. Staff Sergeant Russell walked the whole way. I was the next senior man to walk the whole way. The Gunny, the other Staff Sergeant, and the Sergeants all took turns riding in the radio jeep or the ambulance. So did some of the corporals, half of whom were equally worthless—not surprisingly the ones who rode were the ones favored by the higher NCOs. One of the basic principles of leadership is the leader sets the example. So you know what kind of leaders they were.

When we had six miles left to go, over the center of the island, the Navy Corpsman ordered me into the ambulance to ride the rest of the way, to protect my just-recovered leg. I refused. He told me if I injured my leg, I’d be court marshaled. I told him I was walking in with the guys. Luckily, I had no damage other than the blisters we all had.

SSgt Russell came over and whispered, “Good man, Corporal Hall.” It remains one of the best compliments of my life. He didn't care if I was white, black or green. I was a Marine, he was my leader, and his job was to motivate and encourage me. I have never forgotten him, though I'm sure he has no idea of the impact he made in the months I benefited from his example.

The Marines taught me it wasn't about race, it was about individuals. I had black friends I loved and admired and there were black Marines I couldn't stand. And, yes, some of the latter were racists, in my book, with a hostile attitude towards whites. Some folks feel black racism should be excused because of white racism. But they are no more justified in hating me because of the actions of other white people, some long dead, than I would be in hating Dr. Thomas Sowell or Dr. Walter Williams because black gang-bangers in Chicago murder children in drive by shootings.

The third black mentor who shaped my life was US Senator Edward Brooke (R--MA), the first black elected to the US senate in modern times--and in a VERY Democrat state with a black population of just 5%. Brooke was a liberal Republican, but when I ran for the state senate in 1972, he was the only prominent Republican who acted like he thought I had a chance. He not only helped my campaign, and endorsed me, but sent a team of workers to help with my recount. Without their help, I would not have squeaked through. He was an example and advisor to me.

Unfortunately, the more conservative elements of the GOP didn't stand by him, as he did other Republicans, a few years later, when liberal Democrats had no "racism" problem using smears to savage a black Republican, to replace him with a Democrat. (Power motivates politicians on both sides. Race and other issues are tools to get power, not problems to solve or principles to stand by.) After he was defeated, he was cleared of the charges (Bridging the Divide), but it was hardly front page news, and too late for his political career. I treasurer his friendship, though we disagree on many issues.

Citing these three men does not mean that many other black people have not had a positive influence in my life, from black Marines to black doctors in the associations I managed, to John and Donna Payne since last October, just as black writers from Booker Washington to Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams have. Nor does it mean that black folks have had more impact in my life than the far larger number of whites I have interacted with, for good or ill. But Owens, Russell and Brooke loom large in the forces that shaped me, and I'm grateful to have had their guidance. I would be a different person and have had a poorer life without them.

And because of them and others, I learned to see people as individuals, not as members of an ethnic group.

Long ago, I concluded that Race doesn't matter at all. Culture matters--which is why those desperate to keep racism alive as a tool to get power have started to define "culture" as a racist code word. So if you think that the culture of rural, mostly-white Wisconsin is better (or worse) than the culture of increasingly-white and Asian San Francisco as green initiatives have made housing unaffordable for blacks ("Liberalism versus Blacks"), you must be a racist.

The idea that a particular ethnic group isn't as intelligent as yours is an inbred racism that is hard to eradicate. Almost all groups are targets at some times. Business with "No Irish need apply" signs hired freed slaves. They were smarter, worked better and so on. It is well documented that blacks today score below whites on IQ tests. Both sides argue theories that support their preconceived views, liberals that this is due to racism, racists that it is due to innate intelligent differences between the races. Actually study of the problem is not politically-correct, thus off limits to all but the bravest of scholars. ("Race and IQ, Parts I, II & III") But black orphans raised by white families score at or above the national IQ average. (Ethnic America) not because they are racially different, but because they are raised in a different culture. In Britain, poor black kids are doing better than poor white kids. (A Challenge to Our Beliefs.") Are the black kids smarter as a group? Are the white kids victims of black racism? Hardly.

Dunbar High School in DC during the Jim Crow era drew on poor black students, was poorly funded and segregated, but it out-scored two of the city's three white high schools on tests and produced a generation of outstanding black leaders. The culture of the school and the parents was different in those days. ("Will Dunbar Rise Again")

Eastern European Jews arrived here as the most destitute and illiterate of immigrant populations, and were shunned and despised by even the German-ancestry Jews already established in America. Jewish soldiers in WWI averaged some of the lowest scores on mental tests of any numerous ethnic group. Yet within a decade, they had IQ scores above Americans in general. Jews were subject to heavy discrimination. Yet today they score above the national average on IQ tests, are over-represented in the professions, academia and among Nobel Prize winners, and are economically far better off as a group than other Americans. But Sowell also notes that Jews, so successful in urban life, business and the professions, were pretty much flops as farmers. When it comes to economic advancement, he notes that "Cultures are not 'superior' or 'inferior.' They are better or worse adapted to a particular set of circumstances." (Ethnic America)

Japanese and Chinese immigrants on the west coast suffered violence and discrimination that was often far worse than that suffered by blacks in the old south. The Chinese in particular, arrived illiterate and impoverished. Most west coast Japanese Americans lost everything when FRD forced them into resettlement camps at the start of WWII, despite often being American citizens, a move supported by the ACLU. Yet today, they are over-represented in the professions and academia, and economically better off than the average American. (Ethnic America) So much so that Asian applicants to politically-correct universities often no longer list their race, because of racial discrimination against Asians in pursuit of "diversity," just as universities once had a quota for Jews so they wouldn't be over-represented.

Neither group is today considered a disadvantaged minority needing government care and intervention. Both groups had a huge advantage--a culture that was focused on education, family and a solid work ethic. If we could somehow transpose those cultural elements to other ethnic groups, including native-born white Americans, I think in a generation poverty would be a non-issue.

Thomas Sowell postulates that the pathologies of the inner-city black culture (touchy about honor or being "dissed," a work-only-if-necessary-to-get-by work ethic, violence, alcoholism [now drugs], promiscuity and a tendency to violence) is actually the culture of poor southern whites that the freed slaves picked up from them, then brought north to the cities where this transplanted "cracker culture," is defended as authentic "black culture." (Black Rednecks and White Liberals). I don't know. He draws on a lot of examples, but there is, of course, little hard data. Read his essay and make up your own mind. But certainly these pathologies are not present in the majority of hard-working, decent folks in the black working class, or the black middle class who have acculturated and share general American values. One of the tradeoffs for ending the injustice of segregation was the ability of black professionals and middle class--the folks who wore suits to church on Sunday--to move out of black neighborhoods. This was to their advantage, but left the poor black kids with no role models except drug dealers and gang bangers, to their hurt.

The leaders of black America have been disproportionately drawn from two groups or their descendants. One group was the "free persons of color," that is blacks who were free before the Civil War. The great black leader W.E.B. Dubois was born in Massachusetts to a free black family. This is sometimes attributed, by blacks and whites, to the fact that a high proportion of them were "mulattos," bi-racial people with both a white and black parent. They assumed, as did whites and other blacks, that their white ancestry made them smarter and superior to run-of-the-mill blacks. The majority of the 3,000 black slave owners in New Orleans in 1860 were Mulattos who considered themselves superior to their "property." ("Black Slave Owners ") That inter- and intra-ethnic group racism is of course now known to be false, however "clean and articulate" Joe Biden thinks the President may be. In act, they had a head start on the freed slaves. They were far more acculturated to free society, far more educated and far more skilled in life and work than the freemen. Naturally, their families have prospered in relation to those of freed slaves. (Ethnic America)

The other group are American blacks from the West Indies. Though they are descended from slaves and racially very similar to descendents of American slaves, their culture is very different. Given they are a small elite group leading the black masses, folks like Shirley Chisholm don't advertise their West Indian Heritage. (Ethnic America)

I have long maintained I'd rather have a beer with a black Marine veteran, than with any number of white Harvard academics, Hollywood celebrities or European socialists. Marines are my culture, my "tribe" if you will, the others not at all.

I have also concluded that individuals and character matter, not groups. "Character, not circumstances, makes the man." --Booker T. Washington. Ethnic groups have different characteristics, usually based on culture, not ethnicity, though it would be hard to argue that blacks are not more athletic than whites, If that were not true, whites could sue the NBA, NFL, ABL and NBL for racial discrimination under the disparate impact theory.

But it doesn't matter. If you have an Asian guy who can play better basketball than Michael Jordan, he deserves to play. But every team should not be required to have enough whites, Hispanic, Jews and Asians to match their proportion of the general population out of concern for diversity. That would constitute racial discrimination against the better black players at the alter of diversity, just as it constitutes racial discrimination to pass over better qualified Asian and white students with "race sensitive admission policies" in homage to "diversity."

So, having come this far, we need to ask, "Who is a racist?" Alas, like beauty, pornography and racism itself, it's in the eye of the beholder.

There is a theory that all whites are racists (except the thinkers and their progressive co-believers) and that only whites can be racist, because they hold the power. I suggest any whites who believe this, in the face of limitless historical evidence, check their "white privilege" by taking a stroll through a south Chicago poor black neighborhood at 11:00 pm in July. Doubtless their "power" will protect them from any racist attacks. Though to be fair, they would be in little more danger than local black teens walking the same streets.

A while back, a well-educated liberal friend of great accomplishment I'd sent something to read by Dr. Thomas Sowell, disagreed with it and described Sowell, who is black, as an "asshole." Sowell has a PhD in the history of economic thought, has taught at several major universities, and has several dozen books on economics, race, culture and politics in print. His Basic Economic has been translated into six languages and is widely used as a college textbook. A pretty accomplished "asshole." But let a conservative disagree with any policy of President Obama, even absent profane name calling, and you are a racist. The left's double standard is so broad and breathtaking they don't notice it.

The long body of evidence is that there is unlikely to be a person alive over the age of ten who is free of racial, ethnic or religious animosity. It's not in our DNA, but inculcated with our mothers' milk.

We are all products of our times and cultures. Henry Mayer (All on Fire) says that today Americans "are all abolitionists." (I think there are exceptions!) It's hard to remember that the before the Civil War, the majority of northerners may have despised slavery, but saw no alternative, fearing the impacts of millions of freed uneducated slaves on the society. I'm a staunch union man. My great, great grandfather, Sgt. Oliver Vernal, fought through the Civil War with the 6th Connecticut Volunteer infantry (which went into Fort Wagner next to the 54th Massachusetts, but didn't make it into the movie Glory.) He was badly wounded twice. Had he died, I'd have lost my life as well, putting down the slave power.

But had you or I been born on a southern plantation to a white planter family in, say, 1840, we would have been very likely to have been rabid defenders of the south's "peculiar institution" and rallied to the Bonnie Blue Flag in 1861. Sgt. Vernal wouldn't much like the thought of me in Rebel Gray, serving under Lee or Longstreet.

Certainly white racism was a necessary component of slavery. Its hard to sleep at night if you can't convince yourself that holding these "inferior people" in slavery was better for them. Certainly, white racism was a feature of colonialism, not that the societies they took over had any claim to moral superiority as we understand it in the 21st century. They were often busy subjugating and enslaving their neighbors when the colonial powers arrived. Given how bad these things were, would the Third World be better today if western powers had stayed home, and built not one school, road or hospital there? Would America be a better place today absent the stain of slavery, if not one African slave had been brought to these shores? The slaves themselves would have been likely to be sold by their fellow Africans to Arabs instead, where the harsher conditions meant there is no black population today (except some mixed blood in the population from rape in the harem), so their descendants would not be around today at all.

Few cultures are as racist as Asian cultures. The Chinese and Japanese consider each other, white people and pretty much everyone else racially inferior barbarians. The rivers of blood they have spilled over this conceit dwarf by several orders of magnitude any racial violence directed against blacks, native Americans, Asians, Hispanics and in some cases whites in North America. Given Asian tensions in current news stories, they may not be done.

Russians, who saw no downside to encouraging their Communists Chinese and Koreans allies to fight Americans during the Korean War, called the Asian soldiers "Lemonski," which the excellent history Small Wars, Faraway Places translates as "yellow-skinned cannon fodder."

And the "Overseas Chinese" in many Asian countries consider themselves racially superior to the locals, who return the animosity in spades, and often in violence. Then there are the million people who died in ethnic violence when India and Pakistan were partitioned after Britain granted independence. One wonders if any of the dead would have preferred the racism of British colonialism to ethnic murder.

You and I might not be able to discern at a glance the ethnic difference between Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, but the Hutus could well enough to have slaughtered upwards of a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus in a genocide the world only bemoaned after the fact.

I could belabor the point for another thousand words, but I suggest you read Race and Culture: A World View as a start.

Casual, unthinking racism infects Americans of all political persuasions as much as anyone else. ("25 Examples of Liberal Racism in Quotes." and "9 Racist Things that Big Democrats Have Said and the Media Has Forgotten") Many white males of the working class are perfectly unselfconscious using terms like "nigger" and "nigger-rigged" with other whites, assuming we will not be offended. Recently a PR exec sent a racist tweet about AIDS, Africa and being white. ("IAC PR exec fired over offensive AIDS tweet"). She was unemployed when her plane landed. She was in Public Relations--she should have been fired for stupidity before they even got to the racism.

I have a friend, a woman of intellect and class. In the 40 plus years I've known her, I never heard her utter a racist remark--except once. Years ago, her elderly mother was robbed and savagely beaten by three young black males on the street in Worcester, MA. For about three days, all I heard from her was, 'Those Goddamned Niggers." I don't think that makes her a racist.

People who are wronged, hurt and outraged often lash out in bitter, nasty ways at the perpetrator, though that individual isn't there to hear. If an obese person cheats you, you might refer to him as, "That fat prick," though holding an animus towards the overweight takes in a lot of folks in our society today---a fact Chris Christy exploited when Jon Corzine made the mistake of referencing Christy's weight.

If the wrongdoer is of Italian or Irish heritage, you are likely to hear ethnic slurs like "Whop" or "Mick" from the victim, though he has no real bias towards the whole ethnic group.

Another friend, a Marine buddy, is a tough, raw-spoken man who calls a spade a "Goddamn Shovel." He is likely to drop the N word into conversation with white males, without a second thought. Is he a racist? He has also built a very successful auto body business, where he hires black felons right out of prison to sweep the floor or wash cars. He gives them overtime and health benefits so they can make a living. They get to develop work skills, a work history, and perhaps learn and move into a better paying position. He doesn't let anyone use the N word in his shop.

Visiting his business, I met a young black employee who had been in jail and was a registered sex offender. When he was 18, some busybody saw him petting with his younger girlfriend, and had him charged with molesting a child. (There but for the grace of God...) I wondered if a white kid would not have walked in the same situation.

The guy was getting grief from the parole board. My buddy told him, "Look. You have six months to do. Go back to jail, and I'll hold your job for you." He went to jail and had a job when he was released. My buddy is now working with the guy to set up a chance to have the record expunged. So this "racist" has helped more down and out black guys than ten Ivy league professors speak to in a year.

Some cases are easy. Not being a basketball guy, I had never heard of Donald Sterling until his recent taped comments made him front page news. For all I know he rescues kittens, but reading of his past conduct and current life style, it's hard not to conclude he's an unrepentant racist and vile in many other ways; a rich jerk who has let his sense of entitlement go to his head.

I don't get conservatives saying, "He's bad, but what about..." No excuses. I had zero objection to the NBA's fine or the lifetime suspension of him. But a couple of notes. First, he was suspended for life, while athletes who have committed crimes, fathered children they don't parent, or engaged in domestic or other violence are still happily earning millions playing. I'm not sure if this is because racism is now considered worse than these crimes, or because suspending good players has an economic cost to the league that suspending an owner doesn't.

The second point is that, despite his clearly racist views, he has long employed black players, a black coach and a black general manager. (Not to mention employing a bi-racial mistress.) As Dr. Thomas Sowell has pointed out, discrimination often gives way to economic self-interest, but surfaces when it is cost free. Before the racist white unions pushed through minimum wage laws to disadvantage blacks who were under bidding them, blacks had a higher employment rate than white, because discriminating against them carried an economic cost. Once they couldn't compete on price, discrimination was cost free, and blacks have had a lower employment rate ever since. (Race and Economics)

The case on Cliven Bundy is harder to judge, because he became a focal flash point in the political divide, with excessive spin from both sides. ("Cliven Bundy Under Fire for ‘Negro’ Comments, Wondering Whether Blacks Would Be ‘Better Off as Slaves, Picking Cotton,’" "Unedited Video Shows Bundy Making Pro-Black, Pro-Mexican Comments" and "CNN Talks To Black Bundy Bodyguard: ‘He Is Not A Racist. He’s Pretty Much Treating Me Just Like His Own Family’") Despite the fact that everybody admitted that Bundy was legally in the wrong, small government conservatives rallied to his defense before his comments came to light., especially because there was a whiff of green-crony profits and well-connected lobbyists wanting the land. Big government types came down hard on him and rejoiced when Bundy's comments discredited him and his supporters.

Then it turned out that the NY Times, to no conservative's surprise, had edited out some things he said that were pro-black and especially pro-Hispanic. His black bodyguard says he's not a racist. He may, of course, indeed be a racist. Or a confused, inarticulate old guy who has some politically-incorrect terms imbedded in his vocabulary. I think the jury's out--but we will never know for sure, as the big guns (big mouths?) on both sides have a self-interest in making Bundy fit their narrative.

Despite the ethnic biases embedded in our psyches, I don't think everyone is racist. Most people recognize it as wrong, and try to overcome it, letting the "better angles" of their nature guide them.

My definition: A racist is a person who embraces racism, sees nothing wrong with it, and often happily engages in the behavior I define as racist above. Yes, anyone can be a racist. David Duke and Al Sharpton both fit the bill. Jesse Jackson's racial blackmail of Budweiser to give his son, Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Prison) a lucrative beer distributorship may not be racist, just old fashioned extortion using race as the bludgeon

Is Affirmative Action racist? It fits my above definition. ("Beyond affirmative action to colorblindness."). And as Thomas Sowell points out, it disadvantages black students, who are pushed into schools where they cannot compete, but who would do well in lower ranked schools. ("Liberalism versus Blacks ") The end results for black students don't matter, of course, as long as the academics can feel good about achieving diversity.

There was a time—in my life time—when people saw black professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants) and thought they must be very good to have over-come racism and other obstacles like poverty and poor schools. Now too many people wonder if they achieved their success from the liberal view that blacks cannot compete with Whites or Asian (who certainly suffered equally bad discrimination), and must be given lower college admission standards, grade standards, hiring standards, and promotion standards to achieve diversity, to overcome past racism or the effects of slavery, or, in my view, to buy votes from a large black population they have instilled with the victim, we-can’t-compete mentality that would have outraged earlier generations of blacks with higher employment rates than whites. As one group of former slaves petitioned the Freedman’s Bureau, “We are a working class of people.” Successful professionals like Thomas Sowell, PhD and Walter Williams, PhD, who became national prominent economists without affirmative action, are incensed, as they reject this condescending (and in my view, racist) view of black people .

From Paul Ryan to Bill Cosby (who earned instant "Uncle Tom" status for having the courage to address the issue--see "Dr Bill Cosby Speaks") much has been made of the pathologies in the poor (inner city!) black community: violence, the non-marital birth rate, lack of a work ethic in young males, drugs and crime. But these pathologies are present throughout our culture today, not just among blacks. (Coming Apart) They are advanced among blacks because of higher poverty, less education and the dependency culture that has been fobbed off on them by their "friends." ("'Friends' of blacks.") The damage is magnified by those who scream "Racist" or "Uncle Tom" at any attempt to address these issues.

While 70% of black babies are non-marital births, so are 50% of Hispanic babies and 30% of white babies. This is devastating for those groups, because the poverty correlation is so high. ("Ignoring Single-Parent Families in the Inequality Debate," "To defeat poverty, look to marriage," " Benefits of Marriage," and " Paternal Involvement Increases College Graduation Rates.") Not honestly discussing this hurts blacks worst of all. That's racist!

Is this a legacy of slavery? No. Despite the forced breakup of families and higher mortality rates, most slaves lived in dual-headed households and many had long-term marriages. Most slave children grew up in two-parent families, far more than whites or blacks today. (The Black Family in Freedom and Slavery.) They would be ashamed of us, black or white.

I keep reading that the Trayvon Martin case demonstrates that it isn't safe for a black teen to be in a white neighborhood at night. But there was little outcry when the case was black on white violence. ("What if Trayvon Had Been White, and the Shooter Black?") And "stand your ground" laws, such as the one sponsored by then-state senator Barack Obama in
Illinois played no part in either of these cases. In fact, blacks in Florida have used the "stand your ground" defense proportionally more often than whites. ("Blacks benefit from Florida ‘Stand Your Ground’ law at disproportionate rate")

The facts are contrary to the narrative. Blacks murder whites at twice the rate whites murder blacks. According to the FBI, blacks make up 13% of the population, but commit 53% of the murders. (Yet it's racist that blacks outnumber whites in prison?) But both white on black and black on white murder are small problems. Just as the vast majority of Islamist murders are of Muslims, the vast majority of black murders are of fellow blacks. It's just that Al Sharpton gets no benefit for splashing them in the media. That it's politically incorrect to discuss this genocide of black people is the worst kind of racism.

What can we do about racism?

First we need to recognize that everyone, black, white, yellow or brown, has ethnic biases imbedded in them. When it rears its ancient head in us, we need to recognizes it as unworthy, and fight to rise above it. Most of us do, but the internal battle will always be there.

Second, we need to realize that politicians screaming about racism on both sides are not really concerned about racism. Their agenda is getting power, and racism is just one more tool. The media has an agenda of driving readers/viewers to increase revenue.

Third, we need to understand that there are people of good will on all sides of this issue, however much they may be drowned out by the whores, and we need to work with the good ones. There is no objective right or wrong on much of this, only individual perspectives.

Fourth, we need to understand that these biases will always be a part of every person, and deal with it. No one deserves to be self-righteous on these issues. It's not "Check your privilege," but "Check your humanity."

Lastly, we cannot be intimidated from trying to address the real problems that people of all ethnic groups have by shrill, agenda-driven folks trying to stop discussion with charges of racism.

Ethnic bias is a chronic disease of the human condition that will never be fully cured. But it can be ameliorated by people of good heart to make life better for everyone. All we can do is try.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran, a former five-term member of the Massachusetts State Senate and the author of 11 books with the royalties going to charity. ​

Copyright © 2014 Robert A. Hall. Permission to forward, post or publish this essay with credit to the author and without changes is granted. I learned from my 2009 essay "I'm Tired," which ethics-free idiots changed to reflect their own views, but forwarded over my name, meaning I regularly get slammed for things I didn't say by other idiots who can't be bothered to read the actual essay posted on my blog. They also often attributed it to others like Bill Cosby of the actor Robert D. Hall. ~Bob

For Further Reading on Racism

I have tried to include books and articles I have read that provide nuance and context into these issues beyond the shallow talking (shouting) points of conservatives who think racism is no longer an issue, and liberals who think any opposition to the policies of a black liberal (but not a black conservative!) is racist and who see every dictionary entry as a racial code word when used by someone who disagrees with them. These are not necessarily in any order. I realize this is a long list, but they are all worth reading, so you will have to skim and pick and choose. You should read everything on the list with a critical eye. I have indicated where comments are mine and not from the work. The books are linked to Amazon so you can read the synopsis and the reviews, while the articles are linked (I hope) to on-line versions. ~Bob


Race and Culture: A World View. By Thomas Sowell
The challenges of race and culture that confront us are not unique to America. Again, Sowell’s excellent research and pertinent examples put these problems into perspective. You will come away with a better understanding and new view of these issues. ~Bob

Ethnic America: A History. By Thomas Sowell
Dr. Sowell looks at the history and integration in to American life of several ethnic groups, such as Jews, Germans, Irish, Mexicans, blacks, etc., as well as the intersection of the cultures they brought with them and the cultures they developed in America. Published in 1981, much of the data has been outdated by demographic and immigration changes, but his insights into these issues are timeless. Pertinent to this essay is the chapter on the history and development of black Americans under slavery and since. ~Bob

Black Rednecks and White Liberals. By Thomas Sowell.
All of these essays, as usual with Dr. Sowell, are worth reading. Pertinent to this discussion is the title essay, which postulates that black, inner-city culture, is based on poor southern white "cracker culture" (which was violent, touchy about honor or being "dissed," had a poor work ethic and was promiscuous) which freed slaves adopted from poor whites they were in contact with. Also, "The Real History of Slavery" (You can listen to it being read here: puts that issue into a world historical context. Americans tend to view slavery as an American phenomenon over a few centuries, when every culture practiced slavery and people of every race, religion and ethnic group were enslaved. Only western culture turned against slavery. ~Bob

Race & Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? By Walter E. Williams
Dr. Williams a nationally known economist, provides excellent research into these problems, and details how government programs have discriminated economically against black citizens, usually at the behest of special interest, such as labor unions that wanted to eliminate competition from blacks for their white members. Worth reading. ~Bob

The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925. By Herbert G. Gutman 
This well researched and extensively documented history, published in 1976, presents a far more positive and uplifting view of black people living under the evil of slavery than the current standard, and in my view condescending and racist view of blacks, then and now, and that today's pathologies in the black community are a result of slavery, which destroyed the black family. Unfortunately, despite extensive, data-driven research, it has failed to change the national understanding of slavery and blacks. ~Bob

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 By Charles Murray
Excerpt: Despite the subtitle, this is a book about class, not race. The author is looking at a lot of data that suggested the upper class that runs the country, which he calls the Narrow Elite and the Broad Elite, is increasingly wealthy, increasingly takes in both liberals and conservatives with high IQs and is increasingly isolated from the experience of the rest of America. He focuses on whites because that Narrow Elite is overwhelmingly white. He also focuses on the white lower class, so the comparison will not be between a white upper class and a minority lower class. He looks at a lot of data suggesting the white lower class is being destroyed by several trends: decreasing industriousness and ability to hold jobs among males, decreasing participation in civic organizations or churches, decreasing marriage rates, decreasing rates of trust and neighborliness, and sharply escalating non-marital birth rates, all trends that suggest the destruction of both happiness for these folks and what he calls the "American Project."

The Known World by Edward P. Jones 
This excellent novel is about a little-known facet of American history: Southern free black slave owners before the Civil War and emancipation. Black Slave Owners by Joseph Holloway
According to this article, there were 3,000 free black slave owners in New Orleans in 1860 and over 400 in Charleston, SC in 1830. ~Bob

A Personal Odyssey by Thomas Sowell 

Bridging the Divide: My Life by Edward W. Brooke
The autobiography of my mentor and friend, US Senator Edward Brooke. ~Bob

Up from the Projects: An Autobiography by Walter E. Williams

Maybe I'll Pitch Forever. By Leroy Satchel Page
I'm not a sports guy, but I read Satchel's terrific autobiography in college. He was perhaps the best pitcher ever, but due to racial discrimination, but had to pitch in the Negro Leagues and didn't get into the American League until he was 42--and still pitched for years. It's another lesson on the loss to the nation of racial discrimination. Today Paige would be making $10M a year. ~Bob

Up from Slavery. By Booker T. Washington  
I have read good books this year that I can't remember the titles of, but in 8th grade, I was working my way through my grandmother's collection of Reader's Digest Condensed Books, and came across Washington's autobiography. It stuck with me and long influenced my views on race. Washington has fallen out of favor with the grievance mongers, because he advocated self improvement for the freed slaves like himself, over agitation for civil rights. He had a long conflict with W. E. B. Du Bois over this, covered in Ethnic America, above. Well worth reading. ~Bob

All on Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery. By Henry Mayer  
A wonderful biography of one of the leading American abolitionists. Garrison, like Wilberforce in Britain, was the conscience of a nation at a time when even many northerners who hated slavery thought that abolishing it and putting uneducated blacks into the society would be bad for everyone. He deserves to be remembered and honored. ~Bob

'White Girl Bleed A Lot': The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It by Colin Flaherty
The author has been praised for having the courage to expose the issue and excoriated as a racist for talking about black on white violence. It's worth reading to make up your own mind. It is certainly true that the media goes to great length not to mention the ethnicity of perpetrators of crime and violence unless it is a case of white (or "white Hispanic") on black violence. (In Europe, Muslims screaming "Allah Akbar" a they riot, or commit violence or other crime against non-Muslims are routinely described as "youth" or "Asians," to avoid any mention of Islam.) Not every case of inter-racial violence is based on racism, but many of these cases fit the definition I offer in the essay. Let me repeat hear, that the vast majority of black violence is directed at other black people, just as the vast majority of people murdered by Muslims in the name of Allah are fellow Muslims who believe slightly differently, or are not as committed as the murderers, or are not cooperating with them. ~Bob

Note that these movies are all based on true stories. That doesn't mean that Hollywood has not taken liberties with the historical facts to "improve" the stories--the have. Worth seeing, but view critically. ~Bob

Amazing Grace
A must-see movie about William Wilberforce and the effort in Britain to abolish the slave trade. ~Bob

The Blind Side
Great story about a white family who adopt a black teen who becomes a football star. ~Bob

Schindler's List
The holocaust up close and personal. A must-see movie. ~Bob

The story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. a black Civil War regiment whose valor helped black troops be accepted by the Union armies. ~Bob

Articles and Columns

Politics Versus Education. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Anyone who has still not yet understood the utter cynicism of the Obama administration in general, and Attorney General Eric Holder in particular, should look at the Justice Department's latest interventions in education. If there is one thing that people all across the ideological spectrum should be able to agree on, it is that better education is desperately needed by black youngsters, especially in the ghettoes. 

Demonizing the Helpers. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: It is not easy to demonize people who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money to help educate poor children. But some members of the education establishment are taking a shot at it. The Walton Family Foundation — created by the people who created Walmart — has given more than $300 million to charter schools, voucher programs and other educational enterprises concerned with the education of poor and minority students across the country. The Walton Family Foundation gave more than $58 million to the KIPP schools, which have had spectacular success in raising the test scores of children in ghettoes

The Left Versus Minorities. Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: If anyone wanted to pick a time and place where the political left's avowed concern for minorities was definitively exposed as a fraud, it would be now -- and the place would be New York City, where far left Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched an attack on charter schools, cutting their funding, among other things. These schools have given thousands of low income minority children their only shot at a decent education, which often means their only shot at a decent life. Last year 82 percent of the students at a charter school called Success Academy passed city-wide mathematics exams, compared to 30 percent of the students in the city as a whole.

Republicans and Blacks. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: The issue on which Democrats are most vulnerable, and have the least room to maneuver, is school choice. Democrats are heavily in hock to the teachers' unions, who see public schools as places to guarantee jobs for teachers, regardless of what that means for the education of students. There are some charter schools and private schools that have low-income minority youngsters equaling or exceeding national norms, despite the many ghetto public schools where most students are nowhere close to meeting those norms. Because teachers' unions oppose charter schools, most Democrats oppose them, including black Democrats up to and including President Barack Obama.

A Challenge to Our Beliefs. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: What do low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States have in common? It cannot be simply low incomes, because children from other groups in the same low-income brackets outperform whites in England and outperform blacks in America. What low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States have in common is a generations-long indoctrination in victimhood. The political left in both countries has, for more than half a century, maintained a steady and loud drumbeat of claims that the deck is stacked against those at the bottom.

Rosa Parks and history. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Why was there racially segregated seating on public transportation in the first place? "Racism" some will say -- and there was certainly plenty of racism in the South, going back for centuries. But racially segregated seating on streetcars and buses in the South did not go back for centuries. Far from existing from time immemorial, as many have assumed, racially segregated seating in public transportation began in the South in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
 Those who see government as the solution to social problems may be surprised to learn that it was government which created this problem. Many, if not most, municipal transit systems were privately owned in the 19th century and the private owners of these systems had no incentive to segregate the races.

'Friends' of blacks. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: Who was it who said, "if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall"?
Ronald Reagan? Newt Gingrich? Charles Murray? Not even close. It was Frederick Douglass! This was part of a speech in which Douglass also said: "Everybody has asked the question … 'What shall we do with the Negro?' 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!"
Frederick Douglass had achieved a deeper understanding in the 19th century than any of the black "leaders" of today. Those whites who feel a need to do something with blacks and for blacks have been some of the most dangerous "friends" of blacks.

Liberalism versus Blacks. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Liberals have pushed affirmative action, supposedly for the benefit of blacks and other minorities. But two recent factual studies show that affirmative action in college admissions has led to black students with every qualification for success being artificially turned into failures by being mismatched with colleges for the sake of racial body count.

Will Dunbar Rise Again? By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: What is different about the history of Dunbar is that, from its founding in 1870 as the first public high school in the country for black students, until the mid 1950s, it was an outstanding academic success. As far back as 1899, when tests were given in Washington's four academic high schools at that time, the black high school scored higher than two of the three white high schools. That was the M Street School that was renamed Dunbar High School in 1916.

Recycled 'racism.' By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: For example, neither study took credit histories into account. People with lower credit ratings tend to get turned down for loans more often than people with higher credit ratings, or else they have to go where loans have higher interest rates. This is not rocket science. It is Economics 1. Blacks in the earlier study turned out to have poor credit histories more often than whites. But the more recent news story did not even look into that.

Rattling the chains. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: Slavery was an ugly, dirty business but people of virtually every race, color, and creed engaged in it on every inhabited continent. And the people they enslaved were also of virtually every race, color, and creed. A recently published book titled "Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters" by Robert Davis shows that a million Europeans were enslaved by North Africans between 1500 and 1800. Nor were they the only Europeans enslaved.

Race and IQ. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: This is just one of many unsolved mysteries that is likely to remain unsolved, because doing research on race and IQ has become taboo in many places. ... In other words, black Americans' test score results in 1995 would have given them an average IQ just over 100 in 1945. Only the repeated renorming of IQ tests upward created the illusion that blacks had made no progress, but were stuck at an IQ of 85. But we would never have known this if some researchers had not defied the taboo on studying race and IQ imposed by black "leaders" and white "friends."

Race and IQ: Part II. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Professor John McWhorter, a black faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley, has made a suggestion that is explosive in itself and directly the opposite of what is being said by those who are seeking to promote lower college admissions standards for blacks through affirmative action. One of the reasons given for wanting more black students on a given campus, even if that means lowering admissions standards, is the claim that a certain number of blacks -- a "critical mass" -- on campus is necessary, in order for these students to feel comfortable enough to relax and do their best work. It sounds plausible, but lots of things have sounded plausible. Professor McWhorter says just the opposite in his book "Losing the Race." According to McWhorter, anti-intellectualism in the black culture keeps many black youngsters from doing their best.

Race and IQ: Part III. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Back in the days of the Roman Empire, Cicero warned his fellow Romans not to buy British slaves, because he found them hard to teach anything. A 10th-century Moslem scholar noted that Europeans grew more pale the farther north they were and that the "farther they are to the north the more stupid, gross, and brutish they are." With our love of labels today, we might dismiss both these statements as "racism." In reality, both statements were probably true, as of the time they were made. At the very least, the people who said these things were eyewitnesses, which we cannot possibly be.

Black History Month. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Obviously, there is current political mileage to be gotten from historic grievances. At a minimum, politicians and activists get the media attention that is the lifeblood of their careers. Then there are racial quotas, money for special minority programs and hopes for reparations for slavery. If nothing else, some people get excuses for their own shortcomings -- and excuses are very important. One of the many penetrating insights of the late Eric Hoffer was that, for many people, an excuse is better than an achievement

Bravo for Bill Cosby. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: He also denounced both those children and those adults in the black community who refuse to speak the king's English. "Everybody knows it's important to speak English except these knuckleheads," Cosby said. "You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth." He also mocked those who referred to "the incarcerated" as "political prisoners."

Dr Bill Cosby Speaks

Quota 'logic.' By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: In short, older white males of Professor McPherson's generation benefitted unfairly, so reparations are owed to minorities and women -- not from those who benefitted, but from white males of this generation, including those too young to have had anything to do with the advantages and disadvantages he describes. And we thought The Shadow could cloud men's minds! This is classic academic self-indulgence in the name of noblesse oblige. Professor McPherson can get credit for noblesse and force someone else to pay the cost of oblige.

Quota 'logic' part II. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: First of all, he mentions that his academic career began in 1962 at Princeton, as a result of what he now calls "the infamous 'old boy network,' " which he characterizes as affirmative action for white males. Despite being black, my own academic career also began that very same year, 1962, just a few miles up the road from where McPherson's career began, at Douglass College, Rutgers University. I too received my appointment via the old boys' network, being recommended by my mentors at the University of Chicago, just as McPherson was recommended by his mentor at Johns Hopkins. Women were hired the same way, out of the same "old boys' network," which was also an old girls' network.

Gary Becker (1930-2014). By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: More than half a century after Professor Becker's landmark work on the economics of discrimination, most controversies on that subject, both in the media and in politics, go on in utter ignorance of his penetrating insights. So do laws and policies that make discrimination worse. As someone who has written about racial discrimination within the framework of analysis that Becker created, I am especially indebted to him, and wish only that more people were aware of that framework, which could spare us much rhetoric and offer some useful understanding instead. (I have not read Becker's book, The Economics of Discrimination (Economic Research Studies). It is linked here: ~Bob)

Black People Duped. By Walter Williams
Excerpt: For several decades, blacks have held significant political power, in the form of being mayors and dominant forces on city councils in major cities such as Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, Memphis, Tenn., Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, Oakland, Calif., Newark, N.J., and Cincinnati. In these cities, blacks have held administrative offices such as school superintendent, school principal and chief of police. Plus, there’s the precedent-setting fact of there being 44 black members of Congress and a black president. What has this political power meant for the significant socio-economic problems faced by a large segment of the black community? Clearly, it has done little or nothing for academic achievement; the number of black students scoring proficient is far below the national average.

Sex and Race Equality. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: There are several race and sex issues that need addressing. Let's look at a few of them with an ear to these questions: Should we insist upon equal treatment of people by race and sex or tolerate differences in treatment? And just how equal are people by race and sex in the first place? According to the National Institutes of Health, male infants 1 to 3 months old should be fed 472 to 572 calories per day, whereas their female counterparts should receive 438 to 521 calories per day. That's an official sex-based caloric 10 percent rip-off of baby females. In addition to this government-sanctioned war on women, one wonders whether the NIH has a race-based caloric rip-off where they recommend that black newborns receive fewer calories than white newborns.

Coming End to Racial Preferences. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: She went on to make the incredible argument that the amendment, which explicitly forbids racial discrimination, itself amounts to racial discrimination. Her argument was that permissible "race-sensitive admissions policies," the new name for racial preferences, both serve the compelling interest of obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body and inure people to the benefit of racial minorities. By the way, no one has come up with hard evidence of the supposed "educational benefits" that come from a racially mixed student body, and there's mounting evidence of harm done to minorities through academic mismatching.

Equality in Discipline. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: George Leef, director of research for the North Carolina-based John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, authored a Forbes op-ed article titled "Obama Administration Takes Groupthink To Absurd Lengths." The subtitle is "School Discipline Rates Must Be 'Proportionate.'" ( Let's examine some of the absurdity of the Obama administration's take on student discipline.

OK to Feel Sorry. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: The widespread and open criticism of Rodman shows that there's been considerable progress and that I don't have to feel as sorry for white people. But what about the weak media response to Rep. Henry C. Johnson, D-Ga., who, during a 2010 House Armed Services Committee hearing concerning U.S. military buildup on Guam, told Adm. Robert F. Willard, the then commander of U.S. Pacific Command, “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize”? Adm. Willard replied, with all sincerity, “We don't anticipate that.” I'd pay serious money to know what the admiral and his white staff said about Johnson after they left the hearing room. Then there's Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, who asked NASA scientists whether they could drive the Mars rover to where Neil Armstrong placed the American flag.

Beyond affirmative action to colorblindness. By Ben S. Carson
Excerpt: As a child growing up in Detroit and Boston, I had many opportunities to experience the ugly face of racism and witnessed the devastating toll exacted by its mean-spirited nature.
I was a victim of the racism of low expectations for black children, but in retrospect, I can see that many of those attitudes were based on ignorance. Large numbers of white people actually believed that blacks were intellectually inferior, and there were a host of other inaccurate beliefs that whites held about blacks and that blacks held about whites.

Neurosurgeon, opinion maker Dr. Ben Carson visits Mississippi College
Excerpt: “It starts with the people. The people must understand that they are being manipulated. We have to start talking to each other, and not allow our talking points to be taken from the media, and from the political class, and particularly from the purveyors of political correctness,” Carson said.

Excerpt: North Carolinians marching to protest voter-ID laws must present a valid photo ID to participate in an NAACP-hosted protest against voter-ID laws in Raleigh on Saturday.

A Black Conservative Takes on the 'Poverty Pentagon'
Excerpt: Woodson says the flap over Ryan's comments may end up being beneficial if it sparks the “right conversation” about helping the poor. “Low-income people haven't been on President Obama's agenda for five years,” he says. We'd only add that while low-income people have indeed been left behind in Obama's “recovery,” they have occasionally shown up on his teleprompter.

Black Slave Owners by Joseph Holloway
According to this article, there were 3,000 free black slave owners in New Orleans in 1860 and over 400 in Charleston, SC in 1830. ~Bob

In a tangle over euphemisms for affirmative action. By George F. Will
Excerpt: Anodyne euphemisms often indicate an uneasy conscience or a political anxiety. Or both, as when the 1976 Democratic platform chose “compensatory opportunity” as a way of blurring the fact that the party favored racial discrimination in the form of preferences and quotas for certain government-favored minorities in such matters as government hiring, contracting and college admissions. Since then, “affirmative action” has become the ubiquitous semantic evasion. 

Ignoring Single-Parent Families in the Inequality Debate
Excerpt: The rise of single-parent families over the last 50 years is the strongest correlate of inequality in the United States, yet few politicians and researchers will even address the issue when they talk about inequality, say Robert Maranto, a professor in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, and researcher Michael Crouch. The United States has seen a rapid decline in the traditional two-parent family: In 1960, more than 76 percent of African-Americans and almost 97 percent of whites were born to married couples. Today, only 30 percent of black children are born to married couples. For white children, that figure is 70 percent. Hispanics had an out-of-wedlock birthrate of more than 50 percent in 2006. With out-of-wedlock births and high divorce rates, one quarter of American children live in single-parent homes. This is twice the rate in Europe. ... Just 2 percent of children raised in two-parent families experience poverty long-term, while more than 20 percent of children in single-parent families live in long-term poverty. Penn State sociologist Molly Martin estimated in 2006 that 41 percent of economic inequality generated between 1976 and 2000 was the result of changed family structure. According to researchers at the Brookings Institution, the U.S. poverty rate would be a full 25 percent lower today if the U.S. family structure resembled that of 1970.

Excerpt: We know what would happen in such a case. There would be no white mobs in the street chanting "No justice, no peace!" There would be no whites holding a "million hoodie march" in New York City. ... We know this because in fact, such an event occurred in 2009 in Greece, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. Roderick Scott, a black man, shot and killed an unarmed white teen, Christopher Cervini, whom he believed was burglarizing a neighbor's car, with a licensed .40 cal. handgun.

Blacks benefit from Florida ‘Stand Your Ground’ law at disproportionate rate. By Patrick Howley
Excerpt: African Americans benefit from Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law at a rate far out of proportion to their presence in the state’s population, despite an assertion by Attorney General Eric Holder that repealing “Stand Your Ground” would help African Americans. Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total “Stand Your Ground” claims in homicide cases, a rate nearly double the black percentage of Florida’s population. The majority of those claims have been successful, a success rate that exceeds that for Florida whites.

Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting by party
Over 80% of Republicans in the House and Senate voted for the bill. Fewer than 70% of Democrats did. But a great many of the Democrats that voted no were from the south.

The ‘Racism’ Wrecking Ball: Indiscriminate charges of racism do more harm than good, as Martin Luther King well knew. By John Fund
Excerpt: Shouting “racism” in a crowded media and political theater has become a substitute for thought and debate in America.

IAC PR exec fired over offensive AIDS tweet
In case you think casual, thoughtless racism doesn't exist today. ~Bob

Cliven Bundy Under Fire for ‘Negro’ Comments, Wondering Whether Blacks Would Be ‘Better Off as Slaves, Picking Cotton’
Excerpt: “And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he continued. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

Excerpt: The controversy over Cliven Bundy’s “racist” remarks has taken a new turn after longer unedited footage emerged showing the Nevada cattle rancher making pro-black and pro-Mexican comments that were excised out of media reports. ... We’ve progressed quite a bit from that day until now, and sure don’t want to go back; we sure don’t want the colored people to go back to that point; we sure don’t want the Mexican people to go back to that point; and we can make a difference right now by taking care of some of these bureaucracies, and do it in a peaceful way. ... Now, let me talk about the Spanish people. You know I understand that they come over here against our constitution and cross our borders. But they’re here and they’re people – and I’ve worked side-by-side a lot of them. Don’t tell me they don’t work, and don’t tell me they don’t pay taxes. And don’t tell me they don’t have better family structure than most of us white people. When you see those Mexican families, they’re together, they picnic together, they’re spending their time together, and I’ll tell you in my way of thinking they’re awful nice people.

CNN Talks To Black Bundy Bodyguard: ‘He Is Not A Racist. He’s Pretty Much Treating Me Just Like His Own Family’

President Obama: Alleged Donald Sterling remarks 'incredibly offensive'
Excerpt: TMZ first posted an audio recording Friday of a conversation reportedly between Sterling and his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, where the owner told her not to bring black players to team games or post pictures with African-Americans on Instagram. “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” the voice in the recording says.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling banned for life from NBA, fined $2.5 million by NBA
Excerpt: The NBA threw the book at LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, banning him for life, fining him $2.5 million and raising the possibility of a forced sale of the team over racist remarks he made to an ex-girlfriend that surfaced on a tape recording.

Authorities investigate alleged racial threat in Stoughton
Excerpt: The family of the 18-year-old man told police a letter sent to their home in Stoughton included a photo showing two men hanging from a tree, with his picture superimposed onto one of the men, according to a posting on the newspaper's website.

More Tea Party Racists?
Photo of black Tea Party members. I have not rusticated the picture. ~Bob

Thug Life: Who’s your daddy? Apparently, no one. By Crystal Wright
Excerpt: Liberals and some liberal blacks have expressed disdain for the Omaha police in posting the video, claiming it stereotypes blacks and the man’s behavior is an anomaly. But the opposite is true. In DC where I currently live and witness frequently uneducated blacks calling each other and their children the same sorts of heinous names. I have never seen white people talk to each other this way, much less their children.

‘Racist’ Storm Over Black Toddler Being Taught Obscenities
Excerpt: After the Omaha Police Officers’ Association highlighted a shock video of a black toddler being encouraged by his family to spout obscenities as a warning against the “cycle of violence and thuggery,” subsequent outrage was not directed against the family but against the police association for being racist.

Why People Fail. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: And yet it’s undeniable that some cultures succeed where others fail.
The left refuses to distinguish between culture and race; denouncing everything from criticism of Islam to complaints about gang culture as racist. It treats culture as equivalent to race because it doesn’t believe that people are capable of change.

To defeat poverty, look to marriage. By Kathleen Parker
Excerpt: The really lucky ones are also born into stable, educated families with financial security and grown-up parents. Then there are the unlucky, who, whatever their relative talents, are born into broken families, often to single mothers, in neighborhoods where systemic poverty, inferior educational opportunities and perhaps even crime constitute the culture in which they marinate.

Benefits of Marriage

Paternal Involvement Increases College Graduation Rates
Excerpt: Teenagers with involved fathers are significantly more likely to graduate from college, says Bradford Wilcox, associate professor in the department of sociology at the University of Virginia and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. ... Teenagers with involved fathers were 98 percent more likely to graduate from college than teens who reported that their fathers were not involved. Those with very involved fathers were 105 percent more likely to graduate from college.

Black Unemployment: Not Just a Disgrace, a Sin. By John Ransom 
Excerpt: “Blacks disproportionately left the labor market,” said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal economic outfit, “with the labor force participation rate for African Americans dropping by 0.3 percentage points to 60.2 percent, it’s lowest rate since December of 1977. The rate for African American men fell 0.7 percent to 65.6 percent, the lowest on record.”

The Left Versus the Realities of Race. By Jack Kerwick 
Excerpt: In almost every instance of the so-called “knock out game,” perpetrators have been black and their victims mostly white (and/or) Asian. There is one—and only one—case in which the racial dynamics of this violence reversed course, an incident from Texas involving a white predator and a black prey. Not unsurprisingly, this is the only instance of “the game” that Barack Obama’s Department of Justice is choosing to pursue as a “hate crime.”

Trader Joe's pulls plug on Northeast Portland development after 'negative reactions' from community
Black "leaders" often complain that black neighborhoods have higher food prices and fewer jobs due to racism. Imagine if white folks opposed a store because it would bring in too many blacks! Not to mention that this type of racist statement from blacks encourages white racism in response. ~Bob.

Mob of teens film themselves attacking and robbing disabled vet while shouting 'Knock that white boy out!' 
Excerpt: Three teenagers accused of beating and robbing a disabled Army veteran on an Ohio bus while shouting racial slurs have been arrested. (While this hurts the victim, it also hurts decent black folks who will suffer from the stereotype of black violence. ~Bob)

Obama Kicking a Door: Racist
Excerpt: Anything critical of Obama is racist anymore. Check it out: A student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada was forced to issue a formal apology for emailing a picture of President Obama kicking open a door–all because some students thought the image was somehow racist. (When everything is racist, nothing is racist. This hurts black folks most of all, as it disguises real racism which still exists and makes folks not believe in it. ~Bob)

Medal Of Honor Awarded To Veterans Possibly Passed Over Due To Racism
I think this rights a wrong, as it is very likely in my view they were downgraded due to race. Impossible to know what was in the reviewers' heads, of course. ~Bob

NYC: More Black Babies Killed by Abortion Than Born

Excerpt: In 2012, there were more black babies killed by abortion (31,328) in New York City than were born there (24,758), and the black children killed comprised 42.4% of the total number of abortions in the Big Apple, according to a report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. (Somewhere, eugenicist Margaret Sanger -- founder of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and a staunch proponent of the forced sterilization and abortions of black and minority children -- is smiling. --The Patriot Post.)

Saudi Arabia: The Middle East’s Real Apartheid State. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: There is a country in the Middle East where 10 percent of the population is denied equal rights because of their race, where black men are not allowed to hold many government positions, where black women are put on trial for witchcraft and where the custody of children is granted to the parent with the most “racially superior” bloodline. This Apartheid State is so enormously powerful that it controls American foreign policy in the Middle East even as its princes and princesses bring their slaves to the United Kingdom and the United States.

Why Does Hollywood Ignore White Slavery? By Jim Goad
Excerpt: Yet I can’t recall ever seeing a film that deals with the fact that in 1775, George Washington offered a reward for the capture and return of eight runaway white servants who’d escaped his clutches.

Supreme Court upholds Michigan affirmative action ban
Excerpt: The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld Michigan's ban on using race as a factor in college admissions. The justices said in a 6-2 ruling that Michigan voters had the right to change their state constitution to prohibit public colleges and universities from taking account of race in admissions decisions. The justices said that a lower federal court was wrong to set aside the change as discriminatory.

Political Competition, Not Racism, Changes Voter Alignments. By Michael Barone
Excerpt: You can find a more nuanced and thoughtful analysis in Jonathan Chait's recent New York magazine article, "The Color of His Presidency." Chait, a liberal, starts off by noting that the post-racial America that Obama seemed to promise in his 2004 national convention speech and his 2008 campaign has not come into being. On the contrary, "Race, always the deepest and most volatile fault line in American history," he writes, "has now become the primal grievance in our politics, the source of a narrative of persecution each side uses to make sense of the world." Many liberals see racism in every criticism of the Obama presidency, even though, as Chait points out, Bill Clinton met with similar and in some cases more strident opposition.

The Color of His Presidency. By Jonathon Chait
Excerpt: A different, unexpected racial argument has taken shape. Race, always the deepest and most volatile fault line in American history, has now become the primal grievance in our politics, the source of a narrative of persecution each side uses to make sense of the world. Liberals dwell in a world of paranoia of a white racism that has seeped out of American history in the Obama years and lurks everywhere, mostly undetectable. Conservatives dwell in a paranoia of their own, in which racism is used as a cudgel to delegitimize their core beliefs. And the horrible thing is that both of these forms of paranoia are right. (It's hard to get to the full article, but what you can read is interesting. ~Bob)

It’s Hard to See Racism When You’re a Collectivist. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: It’s not that the left believes that affirmative action isn’t racist. It’s that it believes that there is no such thing as racism against white people. Like the Knockout Game or white students who qualify on merit but can’t get into college because of racial diversity quotas; it’s an invalid category. A myth. And if it’s a myth, then there’s nothing wrong with a little racial violence or a few racial preferences.

Some Of The Lost History In The Civil Rights Movement. By Robert Rohlfing
Excerpt: It should also be noted that LBJ was not the great Crusader of Civil Rights. President Johnson made a 360— turn in his civil rights position when he became President, from 1940 to 1960 Johnson voted with the South 78% on civil rights issues. Prior to 1957, Johnson voted with the South 100% on civil rights issues. He also voted against the C.R.A. of 1957 and 1960.
Were you aware that in order to break the racist ways of Southern Democrats, it was Republican President Eisenhower who sponsored both Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act and it was a LBJ lead Senate who fought tooth and nail against them? Ike finally signed a watered down Civil Rights Bill. Yes, let me repeat that, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower sponsored and signed the first Civil Rights Bill. (Interesting "facts," but note the writer is a conservative so is spinning them his way. Take for what it is worth. ~Bob)

What My Father Told Me About LBJ and "Niggers." By Robert Morrow
Excerpt: They were sitting on either side of a narrow coffee table in the Oval office and big Lyndon with his long strong arms and big powerful Texas rough hands reached over and slapped both Seymore and George hard on their knees and held their legs a moment and said "Now you boys, you gotta get your G--damned asses back down to Alabama and make those G--damned niggers act right and calm the hell down! I am G--damned tired of hearing 'bout those G--damned niggers on the G--damned news every night! ... From Ronald Kessler, Inside the Whitehouse, pp. 33-34: During one trip, Johnson was discussing his proposed civil rights bill with two governors. Explaining why it was so important to him, he said it was simple: “I’ll have them niggers voting Democratic for two hundred years.” That was the reason he was pushing the bill,” said [Robert M. MacMillan, an Air Force One steward], who was present during the conversation. “Not because he wanted equality for everyone. It was strictly a political ploy for the Democratic party. (The reported LBJ "Niggers voting Democrat" remarks are widely quoted on conservative websites, including by black conservatives, but ignored or dismissed by liberals. I'd rate it as second hand hearsay, but it may still be true. Certainly other sources confirm that LBJ had a foul mouth, and we know about his integrity from his first senate primary and his undeserved Silver Star from one flight in the Pacific during WWII. The quote is disputed on the liberal site below. ~Bob)

Highly Dubious LBJ Quote & What It Says About Those Who Eagerly Believe It
Excerpt: For instance, DeMaio has been the target of homophobic attacks. But where are those attacks coming from? It’s not always from the far right social conservatives you’d expect; rather, it’s been from DeMaio’s left – the liberal and Democrat-affiliated groups that you’d think would be proud that an openly gay successful businessman has decided to run for office. One false attack drew the attention of the San Diego Ethics Commission. An anonymous left-wing group funded a SuperPac and sent mailers of DeMaio Photoshopped next to a drag queen to neighborhoods with a majority of elderly and African-American voters, knowing that such a photo would depress support for DeMaio. That was so egregious and false that the group was fined by the city’s Ethics Commission, but even after that, and with his 100 percent voting record with the LGBT community, the Left still didn’t speak up to defend him. They told DeMaio, “It’s complicated.” 

25 Examples of Liberal Racism in Quotes. By John Hawkins 

9 Racist Things that Big Democrats Have Said and the Media Has Forgotten
Some different from above. ~Bob

10-Eye-Opening Quotes From Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger
Excerpt: Margaret Sanger has been lauded by some as a woman of valor, but a closer look reveals that Planned Parenthood’s audacious founder had some unsavory things to say about matters of race, birth control, and abortion. An outspoken eugenicist herself, Sanger consistently promoted racist ideals with a contemptuous attitude.

8 Things That Won't Get You Banned by the NBA
Excerpt: 3. Being a publicly vicious racist while black. Spike Lee has stated that white gentrification of Harlem has been horrible, has posted the address of George Zimmerman’s parents online to spur violence, has explained after visiting South Africa in the early 1990s, “I seriously wanted to pick up a gun and shoot whites. The only way to resolve matters is by bloodshed.” He, like Donald Sterling, is no fan of interracial dating: “I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street.”

Stephen Colbert’s Politically Incorrect Joke on Twitter Has People Calling for His Show to Be Cancelled. By Jason Howerton
Excerpt: Apparently channeling the “ignorant” character that he plays on his TV show, comedian Stephen Colbert tweeted on Thursday, “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

Michelle Obama at Bowie State: Too many young people “fantasize about being a baller or a rapper”

"What shall we do with the Negro?" By Frederick Douglass
"What shall we do with the Negro?" 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! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, 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!

Paul Ryan Laments Inner-City Culture Of Not Working
Excerpt: "We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work," the Wisconsin Republican said on Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" radio show. "There is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with." Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) called Ryan's remark "deeply offensive." "My colleague Congressman Ryan's comments about 'inner city' poverty are a thinly veiled racial attack and cannot be tolerated," Lee said in an email to reporters. "Let's be clear, when Mr. Ryan says 'inner city,' when he says 'culture,' these are simply code words for what he really means: 'black.'"

The Good News about Racism in America. By Bernard Goldberg
Excerpt: And that so many Americans – of all races — have turned against him and his bigotry is a good thing. That’s what’s missing from coverage of the Donald Sterling story. And if you want to know how seriously we take Sterling’s racist remarks, consider this: CNN has finally ended its non-stop coverage of the missing Malaysian jetliner and now is going all out on Sterling. In a country of more than 300 million people there are always going to be some bigots. But they’ve become outliers in our culture – outcasts, actually.

Meet The Poster Child For ‘White Privilege’ – Then Have Your Mind Blown. By Jennifer Kabbany 
Excerpt: His name is Tal Fortgang, and just eight months into his Ivy League experience, he’s been told on numerous occasions to “check his privilege” – a phrase that has taken social media social justice campaigning by storm. It is meant to remind white, heterosexual males that they have it so good because they’re white, heterosexual males. They haven’t faced tough times, they don’t know what it’s like to be judged by the color of their skin. Oh, but they do. Those sick of being labeled are the very same ones doing it to others, and Tal Fortgang has a powerful message for them:

The Dividends of Racial Politics. By Star Parker
Excerpt: Isn’t race supposed to be behind us? Hasn’t America elected, twice, a black man as its president? But these days our president is far less popular than he was when, with much fanfare, he was first elected. ... Race is not going to go away because it is too useful to the party of the left. In fact, it has never been so important. (Star Parker [a black writer] is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.)

Ala. Dem Offers $100K for Proof of White Families Adopting Black Kids; Families Show Up. Lawmaker previously lashed out against Clarence Thomas by referencing his interracial marriage. By Andrew Johnson
Excerpt: Mixed-race families from across Alabama rallied outside the state capitol recently to demand $100,000 in cash — or at least an apology — from a state representative. Earlier this month, Alvin Holmes, who has represented the Montgomery-area 78th District for 39 years, bet a substantial purse on his claim that Alabama whites were incapable of tolerating black children. “I will bring you $100,000 cash tomorrow if you show me a whole bunch of whites that adopted blacks in Alabama,” Holmes said. “I will go down there and mortgage my house and get it in cash in $20 bills and bring it to you in a little briefcase.”

From a woman of faith who loves America: ‘Black people have been deceived’
Excerpt: Dr. Carol Swain, professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt Law School, is a woman of faith who loves this country and the Constitution. ... As a black person, it bothers me that the America I know and love I feel like is being destroyed by a black man. I don’t understand why,” she said, discussing her serious concerns about President Obama’s legacy in an interview with The Daily Caller.

Islamic Antisemitism

Slavery still exists

‘I Abducted Your Girls,’ Nigerian Extremist Leader Admits
Excerpt: Extremist group Boko Haram's leader owned up to the April kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria and vowed to "sell them on the market." He also warned that his group plans to attack more schools and abduct more girls.

Muslim Cleric Urges Homeless Women to Become Sex-Slaves. By Raymond Ibrahim 
Excerpt: Now, the same Islamic cleric who issued this last “rape fatwa” has issued another fatwa urging destitute women in war torn Syria to become the “right hand possessions” of any man willing to support them—basically, to sell themselves into sex-slavery.

(The Islamic Republic of) Mauritania agrees to adopt roadmap to eradicate slavery

Excerpt: The United Nations envoy on modern-day slavery said on Thursday Mauritania had agreed to adopt a roadmap for eradicating the trade, which campaigners say remains widespread in the west African nation. The country was the last in the world to abolish slavery, in 1981, and since 2012 its practice has been officially designated a crime, but campaigners say the government has failed in the past to acknowledge the extent of the trade, with no official data available.


  1. I agree with almost all that you wrote, Bob....except for your advocacy of citizenship for illegal aliens. You are in good company; another of my favorites, George Will, agrees with you. I tend to take a longer term view...we granted amnesty in 1986 and it set up the most massive invasion our country has ever experienced...and while praising Mexican families you totally ignored the crime plague we are experiencing, whether it is M-13 gangs, identify theft, hit and run vehicle slaughter, home invasions and an explosive Mexican prison population. Be well, my friend.

  2. Bob, I've already sent you a personal message for haven mis-read comments attributed to someone else. I promise to be a better reader next time. Please delete my earlier idiocy.

  3. Bob: I have just finished reading your essay on racism. I do have some comments, though. They are:
    1. There was a small number of misspellings and grammatical errors which, I am sure that you would have caught and corrected yourself.
    2. Your essay is also too long. Depending on where you want to send it, you might consider breaking it into 6-7 different parts.
    3. I would also recommend that you add as many paragraphs as needed to show the hypocritical relationship between northern liberals and their intertwined byplay between them and southern states trying to input the pros and cons of that relationship as the law and time has progressed.

    Thanks, Paul Rendine

  4. Enter comment as already written, please.

  5. Please use my earlier comment as written. Thanks.