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, Santorum’s comments on blacks show ignorance and bias

January 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Posted in American Bigotry, blacks, equality, Ethnicity in America, fairness, justice, minority, Race in America, whites | 2 Comments
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If we listen to or read carefully what people say, we can gain insight into their thought process. For example, Presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently made a statement that was brief in length, but covered a considerable distant in interpretation. At a recent political gathering Santorum was talking about welfare and Medicaid to a predominantly European American audience when he said “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money; I want to give  them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” On the surface, this statement seems simply enough, but under closer examination, we find a world of information that tells us something about Santorum that he probably did not want us to know.

First, we learn that Santorum is not current on his social awareness regarding race and ethnicity. We know this by his reference to “black people.” The problem with using that term is no one knows if he meant it as a racial identity or an ethnic identity. Either one would be an incorrect usage because color does not indicate race or ethnicity. If his intent was to single out African Americans, then he should have used that term. In any event, the reference to black people suggests he possible conceives of black people as a monolith that he can control as President. That concept of thought lacks a basis in the reality of America today.

Next, Santorum’s statement suggests that black people, African Americans, are making their lives better by using someone else’s money, and he wants to put a stop to that. Why would he assume that all African Americans in America do nothing but wait around for someone (read as European Americans) to hand to them their hard-earned money?  The suggestion in that statement is that all African Americans are on welfare and Medicaid, entities supposedly supported exclusively by European American money. That being the case, he wants to put a stop to that unfair treatment of hard-working European Americans.  Santorum as well as the rest of the country know that slanting language that creates images of African Americans taking advantage of hard-working European American citizens is a form of bigotry. The fact of the matter is that European Americans represent the majority of welfare and Medicaid recipients in America. In addition, all the African Americans represent only 12% of the total population and certainly not all are receiving welfare and Medicaid assistance. So, we can see the purpose of the statement was to create an unfavorable image of African Americans or as he sees them, black people, serving as an enemy of working Americans.

Since African Americans presently do not work to earn their money, according to Santorum, his goal is to give them an opportunity to do just that—“go out and earn the money.”One wonders what world is Santorum living in these days where a significant number of so-called black people are given money for just being black—not having to work for it. If we follow Santorum’s line of thinking that is what he suggests is happening now. He wants to provide them (the black people)the opportunity to work and earn their money. We might suggest that he stop for a moment and look to see who is the President, Attorney General, the President’s Assistant, to identify a few African Americans who are very visible and who are earning their money.  The picture he paints is one of all African Americans standing with their hands out waiting for the European American citizens to place their hard-earned money in them. In addition, Santorum’s statement suggests that many jobs are available, but the African Americans do not want the opportunity to earn their money when it will be given to them. To purposefully create such a false image is not only biased but deceitful as well.

Whether it was his intention are not to create such an unchristian, undemocratic, and unjust picture of so-called black people taking advantage of European Americans the results were the same—creating animosity for African Americans for taking something that is not rightfully theirs. Why would someone believe that he must create an enemy to fight in order to win the favor and support of certain voters? Would that ploy qualify as race-baiting or would it be accepted as politics as usual? Evidently, when some politicians are in an audience of look-alike people, they seem to feel comfortable and safe enough to test the waters of bigotry to gather folks to their side. Would not the issues do the same thing? If a candidate is offering the voters something they need and/ or want, chances are they will come to his support, at least that what common sense suggests.

We in America are not experiencing a time when common sense dictates our political actions when the head of the Republican party in the Senate, shortly after President Obama’s election, made the statement that his first priority was to make Obama a one-term president. In other words, regardless of what the President did, the only important thing was to defeat him at all cost. Following that statement and all the actions by Congress to make it a reality, we find the comments of Santorum to be in keeping with the Republican Party’s leadership. If the country can be made to view African Americans as the enemy, then the changes of Obama winning a second term would be slim to none. The elements of character, integrity, honesty, and decency are no longer necessary or expected from a candidate for President; he just has to belong to the right party or be the right color. Wow! What a sensible concept; just what we want to teach our children.

Paul R. Lehman, Limbaugh’s ploy to make Obama a black president flops.

July 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Posted in American Bigotry, Media and Race | 4 Comments
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Rush Limbaugh seemingly reached the zenith of his fears and frustrations regarding President Obama recently when he made a statement that America elected Obama because he was black. As for as Limbaugh is concerned that statement was meant to conjure up in his followers and supporters all the negative connotations relative to so-called black people in America. The apparent intent of that Limbaugh statement was to be the most serious insult he could make regarding Obama in spite of all the other labels and titles assigned to Obama, and to show the ignorance of the Americans who voted for Obama.

                Limbaugh in his statement was apparently depending  on the negative stereotypes America created for the African American that included referring to them as negroes, blacks, colored, cuffy, and coons to mention a few. The ploy fell flat on its face because Americans did not buy into the stereotype Limbaugh was trying to invoke. To understand better the game that Limbaugh attempted, we need to go back a few years to 1906 and Oklahoma Governor Alfalfa Bill Murray. Alfalfa Bill was a very biased man who had a great dislike of Jews, Italians, and African Americans. The attitude he promoted regarding so-blacks was that they would be tolerated as long as they were separated from whites and kept in their proper field and factory jobs. He would state publically that he believed that “blacks were inferior to whites in all ways…and must be fenced from society like quarantined hogs.”Many Americans rejected that image and attitude regarding Africans Americans, but many accepted it then and still to this day. The use of the term black brings to mind the attitude and stereotypes popular during Murray’s day.

                Limbaugh’s statement shows that he does not want to use the appropriate term of African American for Obama because that term does not trigger all the negative stereotypes that were associated with so-called black Americans. America’s election of Obama proves the fallacy of Limbaugh’s statement. America did not elect a black man; America elected a talented, young, intelligent, educated poised and mature leader who just happened to be African American. America was focused on the issues, not the complexion of the candidate.

                Limbaugh, in spite of his claim to fame as having his finger on the pulse of America, knows that he continues to dwell in the past with his followers and supporters relative to progress regarding  American ethnicity and diversity. He also knows that by keeping his audience in the past he can keep control of their thoughts and actions. If he was to bring his audience into the 21st century he would refer to himself as European American, not white and so-called blacks as African Americans. He would also stop using the term racist and use the appropriate word, bigot, since all human being belong to one race—the human race. Unfortunately, Limbaugh will not make that leap of informing his audience, because to do so would cause him and them to lose face, power, and prestige they believe comes from being white.

                As long as Limbaugh can continue to create fear and frustration in his audience by using Obama as the whipping boy, he will do so. He knows that the unity of hate and the loss of empowerment serve as an addiction, and he can nurture it in his audience as their leader. He can continue to create fear and frustration in his audience by his ranting and raving of Obama and his actions. He creates frustration by forecasting the imminent destruction of America by Obama and his administration. He combines these concerns, fear and frustration, by referring to Obama and his administration as a regime. His use of that term is to somehow make an association with Obama and some un-American or foreign form of government. The term in and of itself is perfectly legitimate, but most people hear it used in association with a negative connotation.

                Limbaugh’s statement of Obama being a black president shows his bias. Limbaugh is not a bad person, just an uninformed one. He has every right to criticize the president, his administration and his policies. However, what Limbaugh attempted to do in his statement was to cast a shadow on the Americans who voted for Obama. In essence, he was saying that they did not know what they were doing in electing a black president, hoping they would recall the negative stereotypes of the past associated with a so-called black American. What Limbaugh fails to understand is that the American people who voted for Obama are years ahead of him in their thinking. They were voting for change in American. They wanted someone to lead them into the future, not remain in the status quo or worse, go backwards. America has changed and continues to change daily. When Obama’s term is over, then we will have an opportunity to evaluate his performance. To do so now would be premature. The fear, hate and frustration created by Limbaugh does  a great disservice to his audience, followers and supporters in that he is using these scare tactics to maintain unity and control of them.

                When some Americans discover they have been played for a fool because of their ignorance, loyalty and devotion to an individual or idea that created fear and stress in their lives needlessly, they might be able to find some comfort in the old saying that “everybody plays the fool sometimes,” but  do not bet on it.

Paul R. Lehman, Chicken Little and Obama Naysayers

July 3, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Posted in American Bigotry | 3 Comments
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Ever since the Obama election some Americans, namely republicans, tea partiers, conservatives and other Obama naysayers and been acting like the world is coming to an end. He has been characterized as a socialist, communist, fascist, antichrist, devil, alien, joker, Muslim, Hitler, tyrant, and a host of other equally complimentary terms. In addition, he is said to lack intelligence, courage, drive, common sense, integrity, Christian values, and male dominance qualities. He has been described as having a tragically flawed character. As one might assume, all these features are negative because to them his represents the voice of doom. The problem with this picture is that the representations are really reversed. The only loud and negative voices proclaiming doom and destruction of Americas are the naysayers. They are best characterized as belonging to the Chicken Little club.

            If we recall they story, Chicken Little is hit on the head by a falling acorn which leads her to believe that the sky is falling. The Obama naysayers believe that his election as President signaled the sky falling or a loss of their privileges and control. What happens next is that fear and anxiety takes control of the club and they must spread the word that disaster and doom is imminent in America because Obama is now President. Every conceivable argument is employed to convince the people that the sky is calling or America has been taken from them by Obama. Since the story of Chicken Little has numerous endings, we will visit several to show how they fit the club.

            One of the endings to the story suggests that when disaster strikes, one must face it head-on calling up as much courage as possible to meet the challenge. Unfortunately, the only courage the naysayers have conjured up is reflected in their fear and anxiety or their Obama name calling and rejections. Nothing created and/or promoted by Obama gives cause for believing the doom and destruction of America is imminent. After all, America has three arms of government to make certain that no one branch takes total control of society. What the action being employed by the Chicken Little club shows is them simply being chickens.

            Another ending to the story involves both Chicken Little and her hearers. As she makes her way to tell the king that the sky is falling, she informs all the people she encounters. Rather than question the validity of her information, they simply go along with her. Well, last weekend in Oklahoma City the epitome of Chicken Little story was being told by none other than Glen Beck and Carl Rove (for a price). The title of their tale was not “The Sky is Falling,” but “Taking back our Country.”The message is that ‘Real Americans’ must stop and think about what has happened to their country and once they realize that it is being held and changed by Obama, they must fight to take it back. Unfortunately, many of the story listeners and club members do not think, but simply accept what is being said as valid and react on those bases. They need to realize that “Real Americans” do not believe everything they are told, they check the facts first.

            Another ending to the story involves the use of an outside motivator who selects the bearer of the ill tidings in an effort to convince the hearers. What happens is the outside motivator wants a certain message presented to some people who will accepted it without question. So the outsider selects the dumbest person available and convinces him or her that the sky is falling. That person will proceed to go out and convince others that the message is true. How does this happen? Most intelligent people will hear the dumb person’s message and assume it to be factual because they do not believe the dumb person is not capable of manufacturing that message on his or her own. Unfortunately, everyone in the story is duped because they do not verify the information being presented.

            The Chicken Little club and their activities fit easily into all three of these scenarios because they are gullible and trusting. The American public is at no loss to hear and see the talking heads on radio and television warning them of the imminent disaster about to befall America because Obama is the President. The reason for all this activity is fear that the world is coming to an end, as in the Chicken Little story. But what is the cause of the fear? Had Chicken Little stopped to examine the acorn that hit her on the head, she would have realized that only one acorn fell. Had the characters Chicken Little met on her way to the king asked her how she knew that the sky was falling, they would have discovered that she was over-reacting. Had the people who were convinced that Chicken Little’s message was factual considered the source of the message, they would have reconsidered their response.

            What is the fear of the Chicken Little club? Society, as they knew it is changing. One of the effects of that change is a loss of privilege and control over non-European American citizens based on color. Breaking old habits is difficult at best when few options are available for retaining the status quo. When change forces a departure from the old, comfortable, and convenient habits, the first reaction is defensive. Change cannot occur in an undisturbed environment, so some adjustments must be expected. Common sense and reason will dictate to most Americans the actions that need to be taken if indeed the sky starts to fall or that we must take our country back from Obama and his democrats before it is utterly destroyed. The power of fear is that it controls the fearer, not the one creating the fear. Chicken Little was just a dumb bird.

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