Paul R. Lehman, Group identity, not Party, the key to Republican victory

November 10, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Posted in American history, American Racism, Civil War, Congress, democracy, Democrats, entitlements, equality, European American, lower class, minority, political tactic, politicians, poor, President, President Obama, Race in America, Republican Party, socioeconomics, the Republican Party, upper class, whites | 1 Comment
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The results of the recent election came as a surprise to many people because they thought that many of the issues touched the lives of enough people until they would go to the poles and cast their votes in support of the people who would look out for their best interest. Unfortunately, in many instances, that was not the case and many people were disappointed. Had they given serious thought to what has been taking place recently in politics relative to history and group dynamics, they would have not been surprised.
What were at stake in this election were not so much the issues, but the survival of the group—the conservative European Americans (whites) against change. With the creation of a white race, the ruling class of Anglo-Saxons also made manifest certain beliefs, attitudes and conditions that would represent aspects of the race (group). Regardless of the numerous aspects of group membership, loyalty, dedication, and unity were required under any condition, even loss of personal goods, property and religious practices. So, the importance and protection of group membership was understood to be the top priorities from the beginning. For European Americans, loosing their white identity would be like excommunication from the church or being shunned from the family. For some European Americans, having a white identity was/is the only thing of social value they have.
Since the election of Barack Obama as President, the wheels were set in motion to eliminate and discredit him. We all can recall the words of Sen. Mitch O’Connell before Obama had taken office to prevent him another term. We can also recall the affect that attitude had on the Congress that led to it being referred to as the “Congress of No.” What was not made clear to the public was why this negative attitude and disrespect towards the new President was necessary. The answer is change; Obama’s election as an African American signaled a change in the group dynamics of America’s social structure. The social value of African Americans had never been a real concern for European Americans since they created, represented, promoted and controlled the “white race” and its standards of normalcy. That normalcy included only European Americans in the group. Obama represented a threat to the group’s unity.
The plan set in motion for the recent election followed the plan in effect since Obama’s election—blame him for everything, and praise him for nothing. In essence, Obama was made the target and represented evil, doom, destruction, despair, and of course, change. His name was to become synonymous with everything that can and does go wrong in society and the world. When anything occurred in society, Obama critics found a way to place the blame on him: problems with immigration, border security, foreign policy, the national debt, climate changes, Ebola, and a host of other things. So, when the recent election ads began to show up, no one was surprised that Obama was who the candidates were running against. The office the candidates were running for were not really of consequence, the party identity was the most important concern, and the code word for unity was Obama.
To underscore the point that group unity was the most important concern of the Republican Party we have only to look at the campaign advertisements of the candidates. Regardless of the office the candidate was running for, the important code word—Obama was found in it. The reference to Obama in the ads was not necessarily directed to Obama but the candidate’s affiliation with Obama and/or his policies or actions. This plan of making Obama the target was not only used on the national level, but also in state and local elections.
The importance of group unity took precedence over common sense issues as in the case of a number of states including Kansas, Arkansas, and Nebraska where the minimum wage issue was on the ballet and passed. However, the candidates who were against this issue were voted into office. The irony in these cases cannot be avoided—why would a citizen vote against his or her own best interest on one hand and for it on the other? The answer seems to be that group loyalty takes priority over personal interest.
In addition to the republicans holding to their group unity plan, even a number of Democratic candidates chose group loyalty over political party membership. In a number of races on both national and state level some democratic candidates distanced themselves from President Obama; they did not want their constituents to think that they supported Obama. They wanted to show their group members that they were still part of the group although they represented a different political party. They knew that the battle for their group was not so much the election victory, but the group victory to hold off social change.
What many of the voters never realize is the fact that they have been and continue to be exploited by the ruling class or “Titans” of their group. According to Theodore W. Allen, author of The Invention of the White Race, this group of poor and working class European American people who vote against their own best interest are used as:
“the Great Safety Valve, the system of racial privileges conferred on laboring-class European-Americans, rural and urban, poor and exploited though they themselves were. That has been the main historical guarantee of the rule of the ‘Titans,’ damping down anti-capitalist pressures by making ‘race, and not class, the distinction in social life.’ This more than any other factor, has shaped the ‘contours of American history.”
For Allen, the plan of the ruling class of Anglo-Saxons has always been to keep an actual gap between themselves and the lesser member of the group while exploiting them, but making them believe that their membership in the group offered them a feeling of superiority over other non-European groups—that is their reward in exchange for their votes.
Another irony of American politics occur when African Americans are accused of using the so-called race card to gain somewhat of an advantage over an opponent; the fact of the matter is that whenever the race card is brought into play, the European Americans benefit because race is a code word used to marshal their safety valve—group members.

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Paul R. Lehman, Congressman Brooks tries to use race as a political tactic.

August 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Posted in African American, American Bigotry, blacks, Congress, discrimination, Disrespect, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, GOP, justice, political tactic, Prejudice, President, President Obama, race, Race in America, Republican Party, Respect for President, skin complexion, whites | Leave a comment
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Race is a power-packed word in American society and has been for decades because it possesses the power to separate and divide human beings into groups. Regardless of the context in which the word race is used, if the suggested meaning involves a group identity, then it separates and divides people. As early as the 1800s, society was advised to avoid using race along with color as a social or cultural identity because it could not be defined and employed with any accuracy or certainty. Nonetheless, society ignored the warnings and proceeded to use the word race in a social context. One reason for the word’s longevity is due to the social rewards derived by some groups from the identity. And old saying that underscores the manipulation of race by color determining social value stated: “If you’re white, you’re right; if you’re yellow, you’re mellow; if you’re brown, stick around; if you’re black, get back.”The sentiments suggested in that old saying still has some currency in society today whether we want to believe it or not.
When the word race is used in conjunction with a so-called racial group identity, the mere mention of the group automatically creates separation and division. This separation and division occurs because of the social conditioning experienced in the society and the accepted views of society relative to different social groups. The nature of most groups is to defend and protect itself against any and all criticism that might cast negative views of it. Whether the claims are true or false makes no difference because with respect to race nothing can be validated unless and until race is defined. Nevertheless, some people will use race as a tool or tactic because it generates feeling of loyalty, protection, pride and unity by the people who identify with a race. For example, people who identify themselves as belonging to the white race automatically gives credence to a belief in many races biologically different from the so-called white race. Rather than recognizing the fact that all races are social creations and therefore bogus, some people hold on to the belief and adopt a defensive character relative to the group. Hence, we note the separation and division quality of the word.
The conception and accepting of the word race with the focus on it divisive powers were displayed recently in an article by Erica Wemer from The Associated Press, “Republican congressman says Democrats are engaged in ‘war on whites’” (8/5/14). The article noted that “Congressman Mo Brooks made his comment on conservative talk radio host Laura Ingram’s program Monday. He said the Democratic Party claims white people hate everyone else and that it’s part of President Barack Obama’s strategy of dividing people on the basis of race, sex and class.” Whether the claim is true or not, one of the obvious reactions is for the groups to unify. From a political perspective, this tactic could be used to gain support for an individual identified as belonging to that so-called white group because the suggestion is that the other group is ganging-up on him; which will seem unfair.
The article noted that Brooks stated that “Race should not be an issue in public policy debates, we should be colorblind, we should be the melting pot.” Every one of these phrases is a relic of the past and lacks logic or value in our society today. The fact is, is that race should not be an issue in any debate whether public or private since it has never been defined, just assumed. The fact that America is a diverse society and draws it strength from it diversity would make the suggestion of being a colorblind society hypocritical; our strength comes from accepting the individual regardless of color. The concept of the melting pot is a flawed one because the metaphor never reflected the reality of society. All those old, over-used sayings might sound fine, but in reality, they are meaningless.
The obvious intention of Brooks is underscored in his comments:”But so long as the Democrats have a political campaign strategy to divide Americans based on skin pigmentation then they are the ones who are fanning the fires and doing a disservice to our country, not those who try to hold the Democrats accountable for what is very counterproductive and sinister campaign tactic.” Brooks, in essence, is attempting to charge the Democrats with using many of the same tactics Republicans have used for years and ascribing things to the party that have long been a part of the general social perspective. The argument goes back to “us versus them,” or “good guy, bad guy,” with the one making the claim being the good guy.
Brooks have forgotten, evidently, the litany of incidents where many representatives of his party have shown disrespect to the President with no justification other than his skin complexion. For anyone to fall for Brooks’ argument would be to totally ignore that Senator Mitch O’Connell stated at the outset of President Obama’s first term the objective to prevent him having a second term. In addition, when we examine the lack of action of the Congress, we recognize that the President has been limited in what he could do as one individual.
In his statement, Brooks wants to create a division within society based on old prejudices and bigotry but make it seem that he is really trying to defend the cause of freedom and justice for all. He focused his attentions directly on the Democrats and said: “This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party. And the way in which they are launching the war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else.” A phrase that fits Brooks’ contentions is “reverse psychology” or “projection” where the deeds or misdeeds of one party are associated with another party, and then is criticized as unacceptable.
Wemer ended the article with the following passage: “To a request for comment, the spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Emily Bittner, wrote in an email: ‘Wow. Congressman Brooks is living in his own world of paranoia, but sadly, this is precisely the kind of divisive rhetoric that has come to define House Republicans.’”
Although the word race is power-packed any attempt to use race by color as a tactic or ploy will enviably fail because any definition offered for it cannot withstand close scrutiny.

Paul R. Lehman, A President Obama critic exposes his thinking and that of his like-minded group in a mock Divorce Agreement

November 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Posted in Affordable Health Care, African American, American Bigotry, American Racism, Bigotry in America, blacks, Christianity, democracy, Democrats, discrimination, Disrespect, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, fairness, GOP, justice, Media and Race, Obamacare, Oprah Winfrey, Prejudice, President Obama, Race in America, Republican Party, Respect for President, the Republican Party, whites | 2 Comments
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President Obama’s haters go to any lengths to try and recruit like-minded people. The internet and other social media outlets are their transmissions of choice. In an effort to underscore the problems with the perceptions of these Obama haters, the follow email is offered as an example of proof of their total lack of reality and full-fledged lack of reason. Nothing has been altered relative to the text or content of this email.

DIVORCE AGREEMENT–
WRITTEN BY YOUNG COLLEGE STUDENT
The person who wrote this is a college (law) student.. Perhaps there is hope for us after all.

DIVORCE AGREEMENT

THIS IS SO INCREDIBLY WELL PUT AND I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE IT’S BY A YOUNG PERSON, A STUDENT!!! WHATEVER HE RUNS FOR, I’LL VOTE FOR HIM.

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, etal: We have stuck together since the late 1950’s for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let’s just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is our separation agreement:

–Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

–We don’t like “spreading the wealth” so we’ll keep ours and you can spread yours all you want.
–We don’t like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.
–Since you hate guns and war, we’ll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.
–We’ll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and the coal mines, and you can go with wind, solar and bio diesel.
–We’ll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street.
–You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, home boys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.
–You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors.
–We’ll keep our Judeo-Christian values.
–We’ll keep “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance and we’ll keep “In God we trust”
on our money.
–You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. But we will no longer be paying the bill.
–We’ll keep our Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.
–You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.
–You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O’Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.
–We’ll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO’s and rednecks.
–You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we’ll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.
–You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we’ll help provide them security.
–We’ll keep the SUV’s, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Volt and Leaf you can find.
–We’ll keep “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The National Anthem.”
–I’m sure you’ll be happy to substitute “Imagine”, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, “Kum Ba Ya” or “We Are the World”.
–We’ll practice trickle-down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.
–Since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I’ll bet you might think about which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

Sincerely,

John J. Wall
Law Student and an American

This email is from a person who is representative of people who see themselves as civil, Christian, patriotic, and who understand law, politics, human decency, responsibilities associated with living in a society, common sense, fairness, justice, democracy, and honesty. We waste time and energy in attempting to communicate or argue (intelligently) with like-minded people. No firm ground or base exists on which to build a rational discussion.

One wonders why this person is so angry and full of hate, prejudice, fear, bigotry and confusion, because with all the things he believes are going against someone like him, trying to help him would be a lost cause. Life for Wall must be a miserable experience since it appears that most of his time is spent in finding fault in other people. The name on the email, John J. Wall, seems appropriate in that the ideas and opinions expressed seem to belong in the setting his name suggests.

We should not overlook the people who forwarded the Wall’s email. Their sentiments were ones of joy, happiness and hope for Wall’s future. Wall is seen as some type of hero or new leader because of the criticisms and name-calling relative to President Obama and his supporters.

After reading this email from Wall, the only reasonable feelings that impact us are ones of sadness and compassion for the writer. He lives in the greatest country on the planet, enjoys the freedoms and privileges protected by our Constitution, yet lacks the where-with-all to enjoy and appreciate what he has. Trying to reason with Wall and his friends would be next to impossible because they probably believe that God is a Christian, conservative, Republican who wrote the Bible just for them, and in American English.

Paul R. Lehman, President Obama’s critics show lack of knowledge in how government works

October 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Christianity, democracy, Democrats, Disrespect, fairness, GOP, justice, Oklahoma, President, President Obama, Republican Party, Respect for President, The Oklahoman | 1 Comment
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A very sad and unfortunate fact today is that many of President Obama’s critics do not understand how their government works or the job of the president. Many of them think he has the power of a dictator or king; some even think of him as a super man who can do all things simultaneously. In any event, the fact that they use their free speech to ridicule President Obama actually has the opposite effect. A few examples should demonstrate the point. The examples are three letters published in The Oklahoman’s “Opinion” section of that paper.
The first letter was written by Charlie Taylor of Norman, Oklahoma (10/11/13) who stated that “If President Obama had what it takes to be commander in Chief of the best military in history, if he had even 1 percent of the integrity, class, patriotism and guts shown by the lovable, beautiful veterans of World War ll, Obama would be at the World War ll memorial every day….” We need to pause here before we continue this sentence and examine just what Taylor has said. First, he questioned President Obama’s intelligence and ability to serve as Commander in Chief, a position that goes with being President as if the office was vacant. Next, he questioned President Obama’s integrity, class, patriotism, and intestinal fortitude as consisting of less than 1 percent. No word was said about how these qualities of character should be displayed or not displayed; as far as Taylor is concerned, President Obama does not have them. And if he did have them, how would Taylor measure the 1 percent?
Taylor’s sentence is conditional in that it begins with the word “If” and demands a “then” conclusion to make it effective. So, according to Taylor, if President Obama could meet all the qualifications listed, then he would be at the World War ll Memorial doing what exactly? Well, the Commander in Chief would neglect all his other duties while “…escorting them [the veterans] as they tour the grounds and reminisce about their feats and buddies. He would be thankful for the honor of pushing their wheelchairs.” Taylor definitely shows his understanding and knowledge of how our government works, especially the executive branch.
In his letter (10/12/13), Charles Nichols of Oklahoma City showed his extensive knowledge of politics and the presidency. He stated that “The primary difference between the two parties is that Republicans want a minimum shutdown affecting a few people as possible and the Democrats want a maximum shutdown hurting as many people as possible.” We do not know where Nichols obtained his information, but now we know why there were problems agreeing on reopening the government. Nichols offered more information to support his contentions. He stated that “The proof can be seen by Barack Obama’s action to close down such things as the veterans cemeteries that hurt no one and cost nothing.” Well, now that Nichols has proven his points, we can move along to more serious things like Obama’s lack of religion.
The final letter was written (10/12/13) by Larry Phillips of Walters who believes our society is in trouble because President Obama has no religion and wants to take it away from everybody. Phillips began his letter by stating that “I’ve heard it said that the Obama administration is the most anti-religious of any administration ever. I beg to differ. It’s the most anti-Christian administration ever. It doesn’t seem to be concerned with Islam, Hinduism or any other religion except Christianity.”So, now we see President Obama as the number one anti-Christian, and this information is based on what? We are not told how that information was obtained, but we are given more information. Phillips stated that “It won’t be long before a minister won’t be able to preach the word of God from the pulpit without fear of prosecution.” From where does this information come? Why is it that President Obama always end his speeches with the phrase “God bless America” if has no religion? Wait! Phillips has the answer: “It’s already happened in Canada; we won’t be far behind.” So, we will follow in Canada’s footsteps. At this point in the letter Phillips seem to shift his attention away from President Obama to pass judgment on a number of other concerns: “Political correctness will be the downfall of America. Stating God’s commands will soon be labeled as hate speech, punishable under law. We’re losing our right to free speech in the name of political correctness and our fear of offending someone.” Phillips, evidently, had no fear of offending President Obama. He concluded by stating that “This is no longer a nation under God. We are declining at an alarming rate. It’s time to become spiritual warriors before it is too late.”
In a democratic society, addressing social problems are a constant necessary with which we learn to live. However, the tone reflected in the three letters above indicates a sense of doom and gloom in our President and society. President Obama’s critics seem to see him as a super man or a demon or both. In any event, they seem to think that society will be destroyed because he is President. The concept of our three branches of government seems to be lost on these letter writers who probably represent many more like-thinkers. To them President Obama is the beginning and the ending of all America’s problems. Some have tried to place the blame for the fear and hatred relative to President Obama on the fact that he is a democrat, and some of that is perfectly acceptable, however, thing like integrity, patriotism, intestinal fortitude, and class have little to do with his political identity, but fall directly on his character.
When we take the time to examine these letters carefully, what we discover is that the letter writers are really reflecting their own qualities. They are participating in what psychologists call projection: “to make a thought or feeling seem to have an external and objective reality, especially to ascribe a disturbing personal thought or feeling to others.” The lesson to be learned here is in our passing judgment on others we should be certain to use both knowledge and wisdom: “knowledge knows that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

Paul R. Lehman, The power of bigotry seeks to destroy either Obama or America

October 1, 2013 at 12:42 am | Posted in Affordable Health Care, African American, American Bigotry, American Racism, blacks, Congress, equality, ethnic stereotypes, Ethnicity in America, European American, GOP, integregation, justice, Prejudice, President Obama, Race in America, Republican Party, the Republican Party, whites | 1 Comment
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Call it hatred, fear, politics, or any other stressful experience, but we all know that the primary reason for the Republicans shutting down the government is bigotry. Almost fifty years have passed since society has witnessed the degree of bigotry displayed through the actions of some conservative Republicans to deny President Obama and the country any success. The fact that this group of people is willing to let the country suffer because of their bigotry shows the degree to which the fear, hatred and ignorance have taken the place of common sense and decency.
Now that these politicians have shown the length to which they will go the deny President Obama any element of success, what will the rest of America do as our society slowly descends into a dysfunction state of confusion? For too long, America has tried to hide the bigotry that rests beneath the surface of everyday life. We pretend that bigotry does not really exist, or if it does exist, the degree is so small that it presents no serious problem to society. With the recent actions of the Republicans in Congress, we can rethink the seriousness of the problem of bigotry in society. The hatred for the President by certain Republicans has been underscored many times by any number of television commentators, including Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell, both on MSNBC.
Although the approach taken by the President’s critics usually focus on some piece of legislation or some action he has taken. Recently, the focus has been solely of the Affordable Care Act, or as some refers to it, as Obamacare. In any event, they are hell-bent on trying to delay its enactment since they could not defund it. This program of healthcare that will make care available for most Americans for the first time has been demonized by the Republicans. The only reason for their efforts to have the American people dislike the Affordable Health Act is their hatred for President Obama, an African American. Some will continue to see the actions of President Obama’s critics as political; after all, he is a democrat. But when reasonable approaches to the political problems are dismissed or rejected outright, what is one to believe?
To understand fully the reason for the Republican bigotry against President Obama, we must go back in history to the beginning of our country. Before the Europeans came to America, the word race was used to distinguish groups of people who looked alike, from one another. The Anglo-Saxons, for example, hated the Brits, and viewed them as brutes, and even considered them to be of a different biological race. The Anglo-Saxons thought themselves superior to all their neighbors, mainly because of their German ancestry. When the English came to America, their belief was that God had provided this land for them, and wanted them to take it away from the savages (Indians). If we stop for a moment and examine the names of the towns that the Pilgrims and Puritans settled, we discover that these town- names, many with biblical references, reflect the objective of these new immigrants, to possess this new God-given land. The objective was never to share the land with people who did not look like them; that was why they tried to eliminate the Indian population. In their minds, America was supposed to be a white country, owned and controlled by whites. One problem with that belief was it was based on a myth. Their words were put into God’s mouth.
When the first introductory lines of the “Declaration of Independence” were written, the language used was to help create an image and attitude that would attract world support. The phrase “All men are created equal,” was a catch-all construction that could not withstand actual scrutiny since slavery and class distinctions were intricate parts of American society at the time. A quick look at the signers of that “Declaration” will show that each and every man would not have been thought to be average or ordinary citizen, but all were considered Anglo-Saxons and member of the upper class. Fortunately, the document Jefferson wrote followed by The Constitution, years later, included language that could not be avoided without society being accused of hypocrisy. Nonetheless, the idea of a society owned, governed, and controlled by whites persisted throughout history in spite of its being based in myth.
When the Anglo-Saxons whites realized that their numbers were decreasing, they slowly started to recognize some of the lesser whites as acceptable to their society, but not as “real whites,” only Caucasians, because they were not of pure blood. Around the time of WWII segregation and Jim Crow issues brought about by civil right concerns aided in the consolidation of the “real Whites” with the Caucasians. The terms white and Caucasian became, for some, interchangeable. This change opened the doors of opportunity for many Caucasians. The point of interest for the society during this time is that it could call itself a white society, governed and controlled.
The idea of America as a white society began to come under attack during the middle and late ’60s when African Americans began to struggle for civil rights in earnest with great participation from many segments of society representing other ethnic groups. With the success of the civil rights movement came the fear of whites loosing privileges, power and prestige. The turning point came with the election of an African American as President. That was never supposed to happen. However, since it has happened, the bigots cannot accept the fact. So, they do everything they can to discredit President Obama. They could not prevent his re-election, so they are determined to reject any and all legislation they can to try to show that President Obama is unqualified to be president. Their effort to shutdown the government is aimed directly at foiling President Obama, to somehow make it look like he is responsible for the shutdown.
The bigots believe that they are in a war for the image of America, a European American image. Any success experienced by the Obama administration represents a nail in their coffin for retaining the image of America as a European American (white) nation. These bigots would prefer to see America’s people and its reputation destroyed rather than have President Obama achieve any measure of success. As we witness the descent of American society into a state of extreme confusion, we can also witness the power of bigotry and the ignorance that informs it. Those who have eyes need to see, and once they have seen, need to act to help prevent the power of bigotry from destroying what should be a beacon of freedom to the world, America.

North Carolina’s new biased voting rights laws made to discourage voting

August 18, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Posted in African American, Bigotry in America, blacks, Democrats, discrimination, Equal Opportunity, equality, European American, fairness, GOP, justice, March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., minority, President Obama, Republican Party, Rev. AlSharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, The Oklahoman, U.S. Supreme Court | Leave a comment
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The North Carolina legislators signed new laws addressing voter ID. These new laws affect directly the poor, the young, and minorities, especially African Americans and Hispanics. Voting a party-line vote, the GOP-dominated state House now requires voters to present government-issued photo IDs at the polls; they also shortened early voting by a week, from 17 days to 10. In addition, the new laws also ends same-day registration, requires voters to register, update their address or make any other needed changes almost a month ahead of the election. In a move directed at the youth, the laws eliminated a popular high school civics program that registers tens of thousands of students to vote each year in advance of their 18th birthdays. No longer will straight-ticket voting be permitted. Why all these changes?
In a commentary by Jonathan S. Tobin entitled “Weak case against voter ID,” (The Oklahoman 8/17/13) he complains that Rev. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are exploiting the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington trying to convince the American people by relating it to the present civil rights struggle and the attacks on the voting rights laws. He states that “…like the fake outrage expressed by Democrats and liberals over the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the Voting Rights Act while mandating that the Justice Department acknowledge that it is 2013 rather than 1965, Americans should not be fooled by this scam.”So, people should disregard any complaints associated with the anniversary.
Regarding the action of the North Carolina legislators he writes “But whatever one may think of those measures, the idea that any of this has anything to do with racial discrimination or efforts to reimpose the racism that once characterized America’s political system is absurd.”A few questions regarding this remark will debunk his assumption. Who will be affected negatively by these new laws? The answer becomes obvious when we look at some of the particulars of the ID laws. How, where, and when can the voters acquire the new government-issued photo IDs? Why must the ID’s be government-issued rather than student or driver’s license IDs?
Tobin continued “No one is attempting to repeal the right to vote or to restrict the franchise.” We must ask, why would one try to repeal the right to vote when laws can be created and instituted which will give the same results? His next statement clears the air of his mind-set which is still somewhere in the 19th century: “Those who are making this argument in an era when African Americans are voting in numbers similar to those of whites and when we have just re-elected the first African American president of the United States are making a mockery of the legacy of the civil rights struggle.”
Clearly Tobin has not been living on the planet recently or if he has been here, he has not been paying attention to what has been happening regarding civil rights and voting rights. The primary reason for Republicans changing the voting rights laws is because the old ones worked. For proof, he mentions the number of African Americans voting in comparison with European Americans and note that they are similar. Shock! They are not supposed to be similar; African Americans are not supposed to vote in large numbers, but they did. So, in an effort to not experience a repeat performance, the Republicans decided to change the laws.
Tobin, evidently, does not realize that the information he offers as proof of social progress actually underscores the need to retain the old laws, because they worked; people voted. Why would anyone want to change the laws since they do what they were created to do? If we were to follow his philosophy we might think that a person with a dairy digestive problem who was given some lactase medicine to remedy his problem, switched to aspirin the next time the problem occured. Common sense would dictate that he stays with the medicine that works, not one that has no relations to his malady.
Rather than Jackson and Sharpton trying to run a scam on the American people, logic shows that it is the Republicans and thinkers like Tobin that want to mislead the American people. Tobin’s reference to President Obama being elected twice is offered as proof of African Americans and America’s progress relative to ethnic relations. However, he offers that information in an effort to convince his readers that society has reached it goal as far as justice and equality relative to African Americans are concerned and now things ought to be changed so as not to give then an advantage over the European Americans.
If Tobin would take the time to re-visit history just back to 1965, he might get a better understanding of why the voting act was created in the first place. Had not those laws been in place during the last two presidential elections, chances are Obama would not have been elected. The groups that played an influential role in electing Obama president both times are the very people North Caroline’s laws are seeking to negatively affect. Tobin is the one attempting to make a mockery of the legacy of the civil rights struggle by suggesting that ethnic and social bigotry did not play a role in the creation of North Carolina’s new voting laws.
The only absurdities we can recognize are Tobin’s comments supporting the passage of these new voting laws. They, in effect, are his efforts to try and “pull the wool” over the readers’ eyes, trying to make them believe that because of these new laws, voting will become easier for all. Some people who do not take the time to absorb what he wrote might agree with him, but those readers who are conversant with history and current events will certainly question his motives for defending the laws. The very claim used for creating the new laws is bogus—to prevent voter fraud. How does one prevent something that does not exist?

Comments by E. W. Jackson regarding African American families cause concern.

June 24, 2013 at 1:53 am | Posted in African American, blacks, equality, Republican Party, Slavery, the Republican Party, U. S. Census | Leave a comment
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The Republican candidate for Virginia’s lieutenant governor’s position, E. W. Jackson, has made quite a spectacle of himself with his eye-raising comments relative to African Americans as well as gay Americans. He spouts history as if he was conversant with it and his extreme views on other topics helps to create a picture of a man whose life is seemingly reflected in Shakespeare’s Macbeth’s statement that “it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” In fairness to Jackson, let us look at some of his statements to underscore our assessment of him.
In a speech delivered by Jackson recently in Newport News, VA., he said that “In 1960, most black children were raised in two-parent, monogamous families.”Taken at face value, the statement has little meaning because we do not know what “most” represents as a percentage. He did not refer to the 1960 U.S. Census as a source for his information nor did he reference any other source. In addition, he made reference to “black children,” not “African American children.”Was he using “black children” as a synonym for “African American children,” or did he not realize the difference between the two? Black children live all over the world, but African American children live predominantly in America.
Jackson continued by stating that “By now, by this time, we have only 20 percent of black children being raised in two-parent, monogamous families with a married man and woman raising those children.”So we have moved from the 1960 to now, the present, and the percentage of black children being raised in a family of monogamous, married husband and wife is at “20 percent.” We do not know if this percentage is accurate or even if it is higher or lower than the 1960s because no figure was given. What we do not know is where Jackson gets his figures, the source. He stipulates that the children live with married men and women in monogamous relationships. One wonders where he acquired that information. Jackson by-passes all the changes that occurred in America that influences the traditional family from the 1960s to the present then arrive at his 20 percent. We have no idea of his point or objective. Also, his bias towards same-sex couples stand out in his statement because he emphasizes the point of men and women in the family.
So far, Jackson’s statement shows a lack of consistency in time and purpose. In his next sentence he exclaimed, “It wasn’t slavery that did that. It was government that did that, trying to solve problems that only God can solve and that only we as human beings can solve.” We readers and listeners would really like to know what it is that slavery didn’t do. If he is attempting to attribute strong African American family traditions and ties to slavery, then he missed that boat. Evidently, he missed that part of American history that told of families being torn apart by slave masters selling various members at his pleasure. These slave families were families in blood and behavior only because slaves did not have rights.
Again, if Jackson is making a reference to African American families being adversely affected by government, he again missed the boat. We still do not know what slavery did not do, but the government did do relative to the 20 percent figure today relative to African American families. We might assume that Jackson places the blame on the government for the deteriorating traditional African American family today; however, to suggest that the government programs of the 1960s have caused more harm to the African American family than slavery is preposterous. His sentence makes little sense by suggesting that government was trying to solve problems the only God can solve. What problems is he talking about. We are still totally in the dark as to what is his objective.
At this point Jackson has lost most of us in his ranting about something that is not clearly stated or referenced. His addition of (problems) “only we as human beings can solve” misses the point of what problems and who is government. His statement seems to suggest that he believes that government and we, the people, are two totally different entities. We must question why anyone would vote for someone who talks loud, fast, and continuously, but says little of value. Some of his comments that are understandable are also polarizing. For example, in making known his anti-gay position, Jackson has referred to homosexuality as poison and that “it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies.” When Jackson was asked about some of his extreme comments he replied that he was speaking as a pastor, not as a candidate.
The reference to Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the beginning of this blog was meant to focus on the content of Jackson’s comments, the logic, if any, that they displayed. As we examined some of his comments, we recognized that logic, for all intent and purpose, was missing. If we were to follow Jackson’s logical intent with his reference to the African American family, we might assume as a preacher, he would have questioned God’s reason for freeing the Children of Israel from Egyptian slavery since the families were intact and they could secretly practice their religion. For some unknown reason he seems to take extreme views of things that challenges logic, but thinks that people who disagree with him are at fault. We can only hope that the voters of Virginia take the time to listen carefully to what their candidates are saying before making their selection, especially for lieutenant governor.

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