Paul R. Lehman, Charlottesville, a sign of the changing times of bigotry in America

August 13, 2017 at 12:34 am | Posted in African American, American Bigotry, American history, American Racism, Bigotry in America, black inferiority, blacks, Congress, Constitutional rights, democracy, desegregation, discrimination, Disrespect, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, European Americans, fairness, identity, justice, justice system, law enforcement agencies, minority, political power, politicians, Prejudice, President, race, Race in America, respect, skin color, skin complexion, Slavery, social conditioning, the Republican Party, white supremacy, whites | Leave a comment
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The social unrest taking place in Charlottesville, Virginia involving the extremist right-wing groups is an indication of at least two things: one, their march was organized to show society the large number of people belonging to and supporting their cause; two, although this was not an objective of the activity, it showed the fear and anxiety of the social changes taking place in society today, and their desire to stop or slow down those changes.

The lie that the founding fathers invented concerning the concept of a black race and a white race and the institution of a system of white supremacy has finally shown signs of deconstruction. As long as the Anglo-Saxons in America were in control of society, they could manage the bigoted social atmosphere. Many European Americans today do not realize the fact that they are bigots because they were conditioned to view bigotry as natural. Everywhere a European American looked in society, they saw people who looked like them always in control. All the social institutions, including the media, constantly underscored the values and standard embodied and promoted by the European Americans. So, they naturally saw themselves as superior to all others who did not reflect their image.

European Americans were so deceived by their skin color that they believed their good will and charity toward people of color and lesser whites would serve to attest to their goodness and Christian virtues while not realizing that the mere fact of viewing another human being as inferior to them or not deserving of respect and dignity was a disservice to humanity and a slap in the face of their god. The fact that the Bible and science have underscored countless times the existence of one race seem to have no effect on their sense of reality because they are constantly reminded that their skin color gives them supremacy. They prefer to hold on to a lie rather than embrace the truth.

Since the American government embraced the concept of bigotry based on skin color and has never sought to correct the lie, they share part of the responsibility for the civil unrest in Charlottesville. Their responsibility rest upon the fact that groups of people believe in the myth of a white race and the government not stopping to correct them, allows them to proceed as though their actions are acceptable. The right wing extremists groups base their existence on the false concept of a so-called white race. Their objectives are to preserve and promote their conception of their white race, and the government simply tells them not to break any laws while pretending to be white. The time has come for the government and society to give power to the truth—we are all part of the human family regardless of our skin color.

Some of the facts that the government does not want to be communicated is that African Americans and non-Anglo-Saxon peoples were never intended to become citizens of America, and now that they are citizens, they must be constantly exploited socially and economically. African Americans were never freed from slavery; their enslavement simply took other forms that prevented them from gaining a foothold on which to build a successful life. Those forms included segregation, discrimination, bigotry, less than standard (their standards) schools, jobs, economic and political power.

What the founding fathers never thought would happen, happened—an African American was elected to the Presidency of the United States of America. This phenomenon occurrence caused a shock wave throughout the country, but especially in the seat of government, Washington D.C. where some of the Republican politicians felt a sense of fear and dread. A plan to counter the new state of affairs was set in motion to deny the new president everything possible.

What the extremists marching in Charlottesville realize is that their sense of importance and power based on their skin complexion is rapidly diminishing, so they must use every tool available to them to try to prevent that loss from happening. Many of these extremists discovered that there were many Americans who believed as they did but were not willing to expose themselves publicly. Some use the political arena to try to meet their objectives by creating laws that seek to undo many of the social and political gains experienced by people of color. Many of the bigots believe they have support from the current President of the United States and seek to express their sense of power in ways that do not incur serious repercussions. Reference to law enforcement’s treatment of people of color is one example of how bigotry is being expressed today.

The confrontation of extremist groups and other citizens should come as no surprise since we all know that change for the bigots is devastating and final. Today we witness many injustices committed against people of color by bigots who are protected by law and numbers in power. However, one thing is certain, change is happening; America is browning and the number of people of color will eventually be the majority population. The power will change hands and if we want a society that treats all its citizens justly and fairly, we must start working on those changes now. The battle being fought by the extremists today are being waged in ignorance that continues to be conditioned by society and the lie of race.

America is going through a series of important changes that will affect how we look at ourselves as a society and how the world sees us. Too often we look at other countries and cultures and make judgment statements based on our limited knowledge of history, our and the worlds while failing to recognize that other countries are also looking at us and judging us by our words and actions. Common sense and the truth can serve as a beginning towards building the kind of society we want our children and grandchildren to live in, a society that does not judge a people by the color of their skin, but the measure of their character.

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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.

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 knows the value of criticism and patience

October 29, 2013 at 12:46 am | Posted in Congress, Disrespect, fairness, justice, Obamacare, politicians, Prejudice, President, President Obama, the Republican Party | 2 Comments
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An old saying that advises us to keep our friends close and our enemies closer hold a lot more truth than meets the eye. At first the advice might appear to seem puzzling, for why would we want to keep our enemies closer to us than our friends? The answer is simply that our enemies will try to find fault in and criticize everything we do. If we are wise, we will listen to what they have to say because regardless of how angry or hateful they are towards us, the faults they point out to us actually can serve to benefit us.
If we take the critics of President Obama as an example of fault-finding people, then instead of him trying to retaliate against them, he listens to what they are saying. When he does this, he can find out just what and where the problems exist. Once he learns of the problems and where they exist, he can then proceed to correct or at least, address them. The key to having criticism work in ones behalf is to not take it the way it is offered. From the beginning of his term as President, President Obama has been blamed for the rising level of the debt. He ignored them and continued to work. Fortunately, the President can say to his critics today that the debt is on the decline. So, rather than the debt being a consistent problem for the President, something that could be used to try and denigrate him and his administration, he turned it into a positive experience.
More often than not, criticism is offered with negative and emotional force focused on trying to discredit and/or denigrate the President or his administration. Just because it is offered in a negative way does not mean that it cannot be put to positive use. Take for example, the Affordable Health Care system and the problems associated with getting it to work properly. President Obama’s critics began condemning the program and by saying how destructive it was to the country. Fortunately, the President and wiser heads listened to the criticism and put in place a process to correct the problems. The criticism of the AHC focused on getting rid of the entire program. To even entertain thoughts related to abandoning the entire program makes as much sense as getting rid of a new car that only has a defective battery. To correct the problem would be to repair or exchange the battery. A result of the criticism of the AHC program is that it will be better after the problems are corrected.
One of the usual consequences of reacting emotionally to negative criticism is a show of weakness and illogical thought. When someone reacts illogically to a criticism, he or she relinquishes his or her power to the judgment of the source of the criticism. Name calling is not the same as criticism because a judgment can be made only about what a person does or says, not who they are. In evaluating criticism, one must always consider the source. If the source is deemed credible, then the criticism can be taken as coming from a valid judgment, and deemed constructive. If, however, the criticism is meant to cause harm, then it is deemed destructive. Criticism regardless of its intent can always be instructive.
The majority of the criticism President Obama has received since his tenure in office has been of the destructive kind by his many critics. The intent has been to hurt or harm him politically in some way. We have learned from watching President Obama’s reaction to criticism, however, that he does not act impulsively, but patiently and therefore discern what benefits can be acquired from the criticism. In this way, he avoids any emotional reaction expected from the criticism. For example, when the President’s critics accused him of lacking leadership abilities as Commander-in-Chief, he never acknowledged or reacted to it but proceeded to rid the world of some of its most feared terrorists. His actions spoke louder than his words.
Again, when his critics accused him of reckless or irresponsible spending, President Obama simply let the various financial reports show that his administration has spent less than any of the recently previous presidential administrations. None-the-less the criticism continues to flow, except now many of the citizens are slowly beginning to wonder if one person, President Obama, can really be as inept, unqualified, and unintelligent as his critics paint him and still run the country effectively.
What we will discover if we look carefully, is that President Obama has used the criticism of his detractors as fuel for constructive and instructive actions. The irony of it all is that his critics never realize the value of their negative words and actions. At some point society will recognize the folly of the President’s critics when they finally realize that they are wasting their time and energy trying to attack the President with tactics that in effect, help the President.
One of President Obama’s harshest critics is Senator Ted Cruz who tries to paint President Obama as the destroyer of America. He has attacked President Obama actions as destructive to the country and the AHC as the most dangerous program in America. Of course many people know that the Cruz criticism is intended for destructive and harmful results regarding the President. In his criticism of President Obama, Cruz tries to convince voters that the AHC program is dangerous and a failure. In an effort to hurt President Obama, Cruz is credited with helping to shut down the government. Once the government was back up and running, he complained that the AHC program was not running correctly because of computer problems in the program. So, we should get rid of the program. For criticism to be effective, it must make sense, at least a little sense. For President Obama, Cruz is a valuable asset.
Consequently, criticism is actually what one makes of it; accepting it as a judgment of the individual is to confuse its value. Taken correctly, criticism could be a stepping stone for instruction in problem solving. So, we should not be so quick to dismiss our critics; we just need to recognize the value of patience.

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.

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.

Angry white Guys forced to deal with the reality of a changing world

May 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Posted in African American, American Racism, Congress, Democrats, Emancipation Proclamation, equality, European American, GOP, justice, minority, nationofchnage.org, Prejudice, President, President Obama, presidential election, segregation, socioeconomics, the Republican Party, The Thirteenth Amendment, Theda Skocpol, U.S. Supreme Court, whites | Leave a comment
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The 2008 election of Barack Obama, an African American, as President of the United States was a monumental experience in America. His election was extremely significant because it represented a major acknowledgement in the progress of social change. That social change for many people represented progress towards America achieving a higher level of positive movement in the direction of its democratic principles. Not all Americans, however, viewed Obama’s election as progress or even as positive. Thomas Magstadt, in an article entitled “Angry White Guys: The Roots of Reactionary America,” in “NationofChange.org “discussed his reasons for the negative reactions of some “White Guys.” The reason for the anger, according to Magstadt, can be viewed as political anger.
In describing the anger of the European American guys, Magstadt first took a look at Charlie LeDuff’s book, Detroit, An American Autopsy, and made the statement that “It’s a powerful book that speaks volumes not only about Detroit but also about most big cities in America today—cities where petty crime, gang violence, drug addiction, prostitution, poverty, vandalism, filth, abandoned buildings, arson, and despair have been on the rise for decades.” LeDuff was angry because for him Detroit is a “city suffering from a chronic condition that has taken an ugly turn and become terminal.” Basically, we are told that LeDuff’s anger was “with leaders who don’t lead and politicians who make promises they don’t even try to keep.” He blamed both political parties for the problems. So, we recognize one level of anger.
Next, Magstadt shifted to a work by Theda Skocpol, Obama And America’s Political Future, which took a look at the Tea Party and its objective to move the county in a certain direction. Although she praised the party as committed, dedicated “and unstinting in their effort to move society in the direction they desire,” she noted that much of the Tea Party’s criticism of Obama “is unrealistic.” To this charge of criticism of Obama being unrealistic, Magstadt wrote that “If so, the main reason it’s unrealistic is that Obama has, quite simply, run into a brick wall erected by rightwing Republicans in the U.S. Congress. These Republicans–including the Tea Party Caucus—are nothing like traditional Republicans.” Magstadt contended that the “extreme right-wing Republicans in Congress are not taking their cues from the grass-roots Tea Party rank-and file but are in fact cynically using them, manipulating symbols and issues that move this mass of disenchanted gray hairs, embattled blue-collar workers, anxious job –seekers, financially stressed homeowners, and beleaguered taxpayers to accomplish other aims altogether.”
After some reflection, Magstadt noted “The question is not how they [Republicans, conservatives, and Tea Partiers] can believe the nonsense they spout. The question is, why are they so damn mad? What is the source of this seeming inexhaustible wellspring of anger?”He presented a number of theories that reflected politicians, and political issues from civil rights to global warming, health insurance and Obama. He talked about the changes in America during the 1960s and ‘70s and even Ronald Reagan of the 1980s. Then he stated: “Ask yourself who [during this time] stood to gain the most? Answer: the very people who in the past had always been the losers. And who stood to lose the most?”He came to the conclusion that we Americans were led to believe that the “…tectonic shift in American society in the 1960, and 70s was not simply about rich versus poor. It was not about ‘class warfare,’ and it still isn’t.” He goes on to tell us that the biggest losers are the “..white males who dominated the home, professions, business, banking, unions , politics, sports, entertainment, higher education, radio and television—well, just about everything worth dominating.”
Magstadt brought his discussion home when he said that things in America are not “fair or equal or just, but much different from the society of the 1950s.” In effect, the changes that have occurred and are still occurring are the cause of the anger:
The angry white guys who dominate the Republican Party in Congress represent all the angry white men in America who cannot accept what they’ve lost forever—namely the exclusive right to take all the best jobs, run everything, make all the decisions, and oh yes, keep everybody who doesn’t look, act, and talk the way they do out of the good old boys club. Even Augusta National and the Masters have finally bowed to the inevitable.”
We can certainly agree with Magstadt’s assessment of why some European American males are angry, but not on his timeline. The realization of the loss of power was felt by the ruling European American male in America after the Revolutionary War by extending the vote to the un-propertied males. Since each state established it own voting requirements the laws were not uniform. The actual loss of domination by the European American males was not the same as the fear of loss. The fear became a concern right after the Civil War and the passage of the 13th and 14 Amendments. The fear of the loss of dominance showed itself during the Reconstruction period in America when many law were created by the states that served to re-enslave the African Americans; social conventions kept the women from enjoying many freedoms. Sharing the rights and liberties of America with all Americans was not the concept of freedom many European American males possessed.
The fear began to change into anger in 1954 when the Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Change had come to their European American male dominated society that took away their power to segregate in public schools. Naturally, efforts were made by the losers to regain control of their schools, but the law prevailed. The changes in American society that Magstadt makes reference to in the 1960, and 70s had a devastating affect on the European American male; his dominance was not only being challenged, but also the loss of it was being threatened.
One of the major changes that affect the European American male that Magstadt did not focus on had to do with Obama’s election to the Presidency. As long as the biased European American male did not have to acknowledge his loss of dominance, he could still, to a degree, save face. However, when Obama was elected president, this loss became a reality. If he accepted Obama as President, then he could no longer claim superiority by color. So, regardless of the excuses used to denigrate Obama, his administration, his policies, his character, his leadership, etc…all these antics and more are simply expressions of the anger and fear of the European American males represented by the rightwing Republican Party, Tea Party, conservatives and other biased groups lamenting their great loss and the fact that all their efforts to regain their dominance are forever gone.
If Magstadt had known about this blog, he could have arrived at the point he makes regarding the angry white guys a few years earlier, but, better late than never. Nevertheless, we appreciate his efforts.

Paul R. Lehman, Opinion writer tries to label Obama as the “Great Divider”

February 12, 2013 at 12:23 am | Posted in African American, Bigotry in America, blacks, Congress, Democrats, Disrespect, European American, fairness, GOP, justice, Media and Race, Prejudice, President, The Oklahoman, the Republican Party, whites | 2 Comments
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The title of the main article on the “Opinion” page of The Oklahoman (2/10/13) reads “President has earned ‘Great Divider’ label.”Both words of that moniker carries with them a variety of interpretations that rely on other associations to have them bear fruit; namely, how does one arrive at the superlative “Great,” and what has been divided? What we discover in reading the article is a text that reflects Arrogance, ignorance and bias.
When one decides that he or she has the where-with-all to predict what history will do and the reasons for doing it, he or she usually rely on facts and empirical evidence to underscore the prognostication. However, when one’s information is based on personal assessment and interpretation, the cause of concern regarding intent and accuracy is called into question. The “opinion” writer stated that history will pin the nickname “The Great Divider” on President Obama because he has earned it. The writer stated that “The sobriquet isn’t overtly partisan: Much of the man’s political success owes to his penchant for dividing people into camps and appealing to one group by diminishing the other. This has been good for his career. But, it has not been good for the United States of America.” The writer then proceeded to present examples where President Obama failed to unite. For example, we learned that “Obama solicited ideas from diverse coalitions—on health care, deficit reduction, business growth—but refused to listen.”
The writer was true in part, the part that the President did solicit ideas from a variety of coalitions; the other part involved the President not willing to abandon his own ideas for those that did not address the problems as he saw them. Take health care, for example. The plan that the President offered to Congress was the same one used in Mass., created and implemented by former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. This plan was rejected by all Republicans in Congress. Other examples of the results and reactions to the President’s offers all fell short of Republican approval. The writer never mentioned this side of the great divide because the blame was displaced, not just on the President. However, the writer evidently believes whatever he or she says should be accepted as true, no questions. That is arrogance.
The lack of information or ignorance comes through in the article when the writer made that statement: “The essential thing we’ve learned about Barack Obama is his belief that his way is the only way, dividing the populace into the Enlightened Ones who agree with him and the less-Than-Worthy who don’t. Syndicated columnist Michael Gerson calls this ‘the invincible assumption of his own rightness,’” One would get the idea that America is governed by a dictator who is at liberty to do anything and everything he wants. Enlightened readers know that this tacit is a ploy to try and discredit the President for doing things he has not the power to do. The fact that we have three branches of government never enters the picture. One would expect the President to have his own ideas and plans because as leader that is part of his responsibility. Why would he be criticized for being able to think and plan and labeled a “divider” simply because some do not agree with him. That is just plain ignorant.
A number of things that are missing from the article that shows a different side to this argument showed a degree of bias on the writer’s part. When the President is told his first day in office that all efforts by one party will be in trying to prevent his serving another term, then the idea of bipartisan agreement becomes impossible. To underscore the point of a one-sided effort to deny the President any success, the Republican Party usually voted as a unit as in the health care bill where he received zero support from them. In addition, whenever a bill was offered in the Senate a filibuster was initiated to prevent its coming to the floor for a vote. A record of filibusters was set during President Obama’s first term by Republicans. The President made numerous invitations to the leaders and other members of the Republican Party for causal meeting; all were rejected. What does that say about who is responsible for the division in Washington?
The name “The Great Divider” is an attempt to discredit the President for things her had little or no control over. The writer wanted to picture President Obama as being in total control of everything that goes on in Washington and then create a negative perception of it. If the writer were honest, he or she would admit that he or she is angry and frustrated by the fact that the majority of Americans elected an African American for President. Whatever President Obama does will never be good enough for the writer and like-minded people because they cannot accept the fact that society is changing and people who still live in the 19th and 20th century are being left behind. These people are biased because they were taught to be so by the society in which we live. Some segments of our society refuse to accept the progress that has taken place socially and scientifically. In essence, they see President Obama as a symbol of a change they are not ready or willing to make.
As the “Opinion” writer demonstrated, any excuse will do if one is trying to avoid the real one, if the real one will uncover the nature of the excuse maker. Any criticism generally made about the government or Congress or Washington will usually filter down to President Obama because he is the “elephant” in the room. People will use the unfounded accusations that Washington has out-of-control-spending, or the Obama policies hurt the middle-class, or the deficit will place a tremendous burden on our grandchildren to try and show that Obama is not fit to be President. If these Obama critics could in some way prove that President Obama is not fit to be President, then they believe that they have been vindicated in their bigotry and can regroup to prevent any new challenge to their view of a “divided” America with them still in charge. The name for what the “Opinion” writer tried to do in labeling President Obama the “Great Diver” is called projection.

Paul R. Lehman, The NRA and Republican Party use President Obama to frighten gun buyers

January 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Posted in Democrats, Disrespect, European American, GOP, President, President Obama, Respect for President, The Oklahoman, the Republican Party, The U.S. Constitution | 1 Comment
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What seems so amazing today is how easily the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Republicans can dupe so many Americans to believe that The Government is planning to take away their guns. One would think that responsible people would stop and think about what they are being told by the NRA and Republicans before making runs on gun markets.
The NRA and Republicans have used fear and threats of the government/ President Obama making plans to overturn the 2nd Amendment and take away all guns. The fear is created through rumors associated with President Obama and the negative stereotype associated with his being an African American. Many Americans are already uneasy because they see themselves loosing ground as the society and world changes, becoming more diverse. That kind of change is frightening to them because it means that all people will be viewed as being part of the same family, not one superior or inferior. The idea of losing their Manifest Destiny seems too much to take, so they must fight to keep it.
The fear that comes with the rumors about the government taking away all the guns also includes the government taking control of their lives. The government is pictured as some entity apart from the people with great power and strength. The reaction to this entity is to fight it; hence the arms and ammunition. But, pray tell, how does one fight the government with guns and ammunition? What exactly would one be fighting to achieve? We know from past experiences that the government has the power to defeat anyone or thing that stands in it way, so of what good would be gun and ammunition against a government fighting force? The entire idea seems ludicrous and illogical.
The rumor says that The Government will take away the guns, but does not say who in the government will do the honors. If one believes such rumors, then one has to plan how to defend one’s self when attacked. Just how will this defense be accomplished if one does not know how the attack will be presented? What kind of expectations can be imagined after a fight with the government? Will there be a government take over by the fighters? Who will be in charge of directing the action during and after the fight? These questions seem silly simple in the asking; they make no sense in a rational way.
The NRA and The Republican Party have used the election of President Obama as an excuse to push the gun agenda through fear of losing the 2nd Amendment. However, President Obama has never said anything about rejecting the 2nd Amendment or taking away the guns of citizens. What he and other Americans have advocated are gun safety regulations, namely, requiring background checks on all gun sales; reinstating the assault weapons ban; renewing a 10-round limit on the size of ammunition magazines; prohibiting the possession, transfer, manufacture and import of dangerous armor-piercing bullets; new gun trafficking laws penalizing people who help criminals get guns. None of these concerns can be done without Congress’s action. Most people would agree that these items are reasonable and nowhere is there a call for gun control or confiscation. So, we ask, why the panic to rush to buy guns?
Media reports show that after each of Barack Obama’s election to the office of President, a rush to buy guns followed. Why? Was it something that President Obama said that caused fear and panic? News reports show instances where entire stocks of guns in some stores were depleted. In some stories, television viewers saw lines of perspective gun buyers several city blocks long. A number of city police departments have indicated that they encountered difficulty purchasing ammunition because the local suppliers were sold out. The reason for this run on guns can certainly be tied to the misinformation given out by some biased politicians. For example, Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, OK is quotes as stating “The president is politicizing a national tragedy to impose his own personal agenda. This is outrageous and an outright assault on civil liberties. I strongly oppose restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and will do everything I can to protect our Second Amendment rights.”(The Oklahoma, 1/17/13)
Unfortunately, the problem with comments like those of Mullin is that many people will believe he knows where of he speaks. He does not. Nowhere has President Obama called for changing the 2nd Amendment or controlling guns. This speech is based on fear—unfounded fear.
Actually, what has been going on with the gun issue is quite interesting. At no time during his campaign did President Obama mention doing away with the 2nd Amendment or abridging the rights of citizens to own guns. However, the NRA and Republican Party jumped on this issue right away. Why? Just as the NRA and Republican Party have been manipulating the unsuspecting public about a gun threat that does not exist, the gun and ammunition manufactures have been manipulating the NRA and Republican Party to create this gun crisis. How do we know this is the situation? We follow the money. When lines of gun purchasers measure several city blocks long; when the stock of guns are depleted; when the demand for weapons go up along with the price; when the number of guns and ammunition purchased by individuals increase, who actually benefit from all these conditions?
The gun and ammunition manufactures knew they could capitalize to the fear that Obama, an African American, could have on those Americans who fall prey to the political con artists once he became President. Because of that fear and ignorance, gun and ammunition sales are “well over the top” and guess who is sitting back, laughing at the fools who are madly preparing to fight the government over guns, while they simply count their money and manufacture more guns and ammunition? We do not begrudge them for making money in our capitalistic society. After all, the American capitalistic motto is “never give a sucker an even break.”

Paul R. Lehman, Gen. Powell identifies concerns for the Republican Party

January 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Posted in African American, black republicans, blacks, Colin POwell, Congress, Democrats, Disrespect, equality, European American, fairness, GOP, justice, minority, Prejudice, President, President Obama, presidential election, Respect for President, Slavery, socioeconomics, the Republican Party, whites | 2 Comments
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On Sunday (1-13-13) General Colin Powell was on “Meet the Press,” and spoke with David Gregory about some of the problems with his political party, the Republican Party. General Powell, a former Secretary of State in the last Bush administration, is a well-respected statesmen as well as an African American. Most people listen when Powell talks because he does not generally engage in idly chatter. If anyone witnessed the interview then there is no question about the seriousness of Powell’s comments. He talked about the Republican Party’s identity problem, its shift, its need to be concerned with society’s needs.

The first party problem Powell identified was that of the Party’s identity. He stated that “In recent years, there’s been a significant shift to the right and we have seen what that shift has produced, two losing presidential campaigns. I think what the Republican Party needs to do now is take a very hard look at itself and understand that the country has changed.” In what can be considered constructive criticism, Powell makes the suggestion that the party takes a good look at itself and recognizes the variety and diversity of its membership to see what need to be addressed for a successful future. With the failure of the party in the last two elections, something must be done to correct the problem. Powell even pinpoints the problem regarding the party’s identity: “The country is changing demographically. And if the Republican Party does not change with that demographic, they’re going to be in trouble.”

Powell’s comments come as no surprise since most news pundits as well as ordinary citizens realized that after the elections the majority of minority and women voted for Obama. A number of republicans also noted the lack of support of ethnic Americans for Republican candidates. All Powell was doing was underscoring the problem and challenge his party faces. The lack of ethnic diversity in the Republican Party calls attention to itself.

The shift Powell refers to, meaning to the right, is cause for concern also. Many of the party representatives hold views that show a lack of concern and compassion for the well-being of some of our less-fortunate citizens. Their primary concern seems to be in total support of the rich and powerful at the expense of the working and middle class citizens. All one has to do is look at the record of Congress the last four years for verification of this fact. If the party wants to be successful in the future, according to Powell, it must expand its membership and become more receptive to the middle-class and minorities.

With respect to the party’s identity, Powell stated that it has developed what he called “a dark vein of intolerance” in its perception. For example, when President Obama was first elected, Mitch O’Connell made the statement that the number one objective of the party was to make Obama a one term president. All the efforts of the party since that statement seem to throw support towards that objective. Unfortunately, the first order of business for many of the Republicans was to show disrespect for the President. This show of disrespect became apparent in a variety of ways. Although Powell does not say so directly, his examples show that the disrespect was meant to convey a specific message regarding the President’s ethnicity. Powell mentions the reference made by ex-Governor Palin regarding his “shucking and jiving,” which can only be associated with African Americans and the slavery experience. Another reference made by a republican official after the first Presidential debate to President Obama as seeming to be “lazy,” a term generally associated with a negative stereotype of African Americans, as opposed to some other term. To Powell, these references show a negative and mean-spirited attack on the President’s ethnicity. The birther movement challenged his citizenship in spite of the documentation shared with the public– birth certificates, newspaper birth announcements etc.

Powell also included the party’s negative actions regarding immigration, voter suppression, and general actions underscoring an attitude of intolerance of minorities. Although Powell’s comments were meant to alert his party to many of its problems, the likely-hood of some of the people in his party receiving his comments as constructive criticism is questionable. Some will attack Powell because he spoke at all; some will criticize him of pointing out the problems and challenges; some will condemn his as a turn-coat or a democrat in disguise. In any event, his comments will be met with ungrateful attitudes especially because he is an African American.

Powell sees himself as a mainstream Republican who cares deeply for his party and would like to see it address its many problems. His final comments during the interview underscore that idea:

I think the Party has to take a look at itself. It has to take a look at its responsibilities for health care. It has to take a look at immigration. It has to take a look at those less fortunate than us. The party has gathered unto itself a reputation that it is the party of the rich. It is the party of lower taxes. But there are a lot of people who are lower down the food chain, the economic chain, who are also paying lots of taxes relative to their income, and they need help. We need more education work being done in this country. We need a solid immigration policy. We have to look at climate change.

Chances are the Republicans will over-look Powell’s comments and move ahead with the plans they have in place. After all, they do not have to worry about being re-elected to office since most come from gerrymandered state districts. Some probably see Powell as an unfortunate nuisance.

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