Paul R. Lehman, American Democracy: Truth, Falsehood, Falsehoods as truths, and Reality (Part one of three)

May 8, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Posted in African American, American Bigotry, American history, black inferiority, blacks, Civil Right's Act 1964, Constitutional rights, democracy, desegregation, discrimination, Disrespect, DNA, education, equality, ethnic stereotypes, Ethnicity in America, European American, European Americans, fairness, happiness, identity, integregation, justice, law, liberty, life, Martin Luther King Jr., minority, Prejudice, President Obama, race, Race in America, racism, segregation, skin color, skin complexion, social conditioning, the Black Codes, The National Museum of African American History and Culture, The U.S. Constitution, tribalism, U. S. Census, whites | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PART ONE  

A young European American (white) man in his middle to late twenties was being interviewed on a television show; he was dressed in a suit and wore a tie. What he said during the course of the interview was in effect, that he was a white man, and he wanted to see America regain its rightful place as a white man’s country. He was apparently upset because he believed that he was losing his power, influence, and privileges. From the expression on his face, it was apparent that the young man believed in what he was saying, and believed it to be the truth. Some Americans might be surprised by what the young man said because they do not believe that he was speaking the truth. Well, what exactly is the truth as far as the young man was concerned? The problem of truth began with America’s beginning.

Before we can begin a discussion about truth, we need first to have a working definition of truth. We might suggest that truth, in a statement, is represented by fact or reality. In another sense, we might suggest that truth is relative to the individual regardless of facts and reality. So, where does that leave us regarding truth? How can both suggestions be accurate? The key to the answer has to do with how we view facts and reality.

What we find in American society is evidence that truth is viewed as both relative to the individual and based on facts and reality. Here is how it works. Society first proclaimed certain truths, then proceeded to ignore them, inventing falsehoods in their place and convincing the people to accept the falsehoods as truth. Now that the falsehoods have been uncovered, the people do not want to accept the truth. To demonstrate how this happened, we need to look at history. We begin with the words from the Declaration of Independence:” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The first thing we note in this statement is the word “truths, “which carries with it the semblance of facts and reality. We generally accept the sincerity and honesty of the word truth. The next phrase is equally important to our understanding of truth as being “self-evident “or clear and acceptable to all. We have no reason to suspect anything being amiss about what follows this first phrase: “that all men are created equal.” Well, if we know anything about early American history and the founding fathers, we know that the author of those words, Thomas Jefferson, as well as other founding fathers, were slaveholders. How can one believe in the equality of all men and be a slaveholder? Easy enough make slaves less than human. But what about other men and women who cannot enjoy the equal rights of the wealthy European American men? Simply write laws that control their freedoms.

In the phrase that follows, three words stand out: “endowed,””unalienable,” and “rights, “and all invite interpretation. The first word, “endowed” can be interpreted as a gift or something provided to the individual. The next word, “unalienable” can be defined as not transferable to another or not capable of being taken away or denied. The term “rights “can be defined as freedoms, entitlements or justified claims. Following this introduction of privileges that cannot be denied and are freedoms available to all, we learn what they are: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These rights and those contained in the Constitution are called civil rights. All American citizens are entitled to celebrate and enjoy them. We could examine each one of these rights to show that all Americans have never experienced them in reality because of two important things associated with American history: slavery and bigotry. The institution of slavery made certain that the words of the preamble to the Constitution would never ring true: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice….” The remainder of the preamble loses its value when we realize that “justice” was never established while a system of slavery was in existence. After slavery, laws were instituted to retain control of certain groups of American citizens.

The young European American man who considered himself a white man represents the reality of a falsehood being believed as truth. He is not being an extremist or extraordinary with his assertions, he is simply saying what American society has conditioned him to believe. The social conditioning he has received all his life is at its core a system that fosters a belief in European American (white) supremacy. So, regardless of what the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, or even the Pledge of Allegiance says about all men being equal with all their civil rights, including liberty and justice for all, reality provides those truths for European Americans only.

The system of European American (white) supremacy was invented and instituted by the founding fathers and woven into all America’s social institutions. What was unknown to the young European American man was that the system in which he was nurtured and conditioned was based on a falsehood. The system of European American (white) supremacy was based on the false concept of reality consisting of two races, one black, and one white. The European American (white) race was presented as being the model for humanity as well as America’s standard of beauty. European Americans generally do not picture themselves as belonging to a race. People who do not look like them belong to a race. Another characteristic of being European American was that they were to consider themselves as the center of the universe, superior to all people of color, so their only equals were other European Americans.

To ensure that the concept of supremacy was received and perceived as ordinary and normal, the government instituted segregation, which meant that European Americans could live their entire lives without having to interact with a person of color. Discrimination was instituted to ensure that European Americans receive privileges above and beyond what was offered to people of color, especially in education, jobs, health care, salaries, housing, and the law. In all these areas, the African Americans were denied opportunities to participate as first-class citizens and denied their civil rights.

Advertisements

Journalists’ use of race by color continues to create confusion

April 30, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in African American, Alzheimer's disease, blacks, Daniel Chang, DNA, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, Human Genome, Media and Race, minority, Race in America, skin color, The New York Times, University of Miami, whites | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Two articles reporting on “Alzheimer’s disease in blacks” arrived at different conclusions about the study’s affect on African Americans. The first article discussed here in the last blog was written by Daniel Chang in the Miami Herald (4/11/13) entitled “Researchers identify possible new gene linked to Alzheimer’s disease in blacks.” The earlier article in The New York Times (4/9/13) written by Gina Kolata is entitled “In Blacks, Alzheimer’s Study Finds Same Variant Genes as in Whites.” We find some interesting similarities as well as differences in comparing these two articles that focused on the same topic: Alzheimer’s disease in blacks.
Actually, the similarities are few; first, they include a reference to “Alzheimer’s disease in blacks” in their headlines. Next, they both discuss the gene ABCA7. Other similarities might exist, but these two are the major ones. The Chang article suggested that the important concern is that this ABCA7 gene is found in blacks and is also linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, we had problems with the use of the word blacks. The only reference to blacks by Kolata appears in the headline. Obviously, someone else could have written the headline for Kolata’s article without fully reading or appreciating the text.
The differences between the Chang article and Kolata’s are many, but the major ones verify the comments made in the last blog by Chang regarding the use of blacks as an identity. Nowhere in Kolata’s article does the reference to blacks appear. Because of this deliberate act, the readers are spared any confusion about the study or who it involves “African-Americans have a slightly higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease than people of largely European ancestry, but there is no major genetic difference that could account for the slight excess risk, new research shows.” In effect, no major concerns for African Americans acquiring Alzheimer’s disease were detected as a result of this study. This statement is contrary to the Chang statement:”University of Miami medical school researchers working with geneticist and physicians from other institutions have identified a new gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease in blacks, a finding that doctors say could help them prescribe more effective drugs for patients affected by the disease.”
The Kolata article does not place emphasis on blacks as does the Chang article, but on the disease; it says that “The results are from one of the only large studies ever done on Alzheimer’s in African-Americans. Researchers identified the same gene variant in older African-Americans that they had found in older people of European ancestry.” Chang’s article never mentions people of European ancestry. Kolata’s article continued, noting that the study “…found that African-Americans with Alzheimer’s disease were slightly more likely to have one gene, ABCA7 that is thought to confer risk for the disease.” In addition, the Kolata article noted that “Another gene, AP0E4, long known to increase Alzheimer’s risk in older white people, was present in about the same proportion of African-Americans with Alzheimer’s as it is in people of European ancestry.”This quote mentions the word “white” for the first and only time in the article.
So, what is the point being made here? The point is when ethnic identity is used and clearly defined, such as in African American and European ancestry or European Americans little confusion occurs. When color is used as ethnic identity, no one knows for certain who is being identified. The fact that the Chang article used blacks only suggested that some biological difference appeared in African Americans that did not exist in European Americans. The use of color, be it black or white, always suggest race and different races at that. Using the terms African American and people of European ancestry in her article, Kolata avoids the confusion associated with the color words.
We can compliment Kolata on her avoidance of suggesting a so-called racial difference in the Alzheimer’s study when she commented that “The researchers calculated that ABCA7 increased Alzheimer’s risk by about 80 percent in African- Americans, compared with about 10 percent to 20 percent in people of European ancestry. “ She added that “Those are considered modest increases; a gene that carries a significant risk would increase the chances of getting a disease by well over 200 percent.” She continued by noting that “…ABCA7 was not very common, still leaving most Alzheimer’s risk unexplained. About 9 of every 100 African-American with Alzheimer’s had the gene, compared with 6 out of 100 who did not have the disease.”
All the attention to blacks paid by Chang was totally unnecessary. One Alzheimer’s researcher, Dr. John Hardy, commented on the study by applauding the participants for their focus on minorities then “cautioned that the difference in risk between African-Americans and those of European ancestry who had ABCA7 was unlikely to be meaningful.” Actually, the Chang article seemed to promote race and racial differences as the focus of his article when the information did not support it. The Kolata article presented the study information in a clear and unbiased way. Her article is a good example of how ethnic identities rather than race can be used positively and effectively. Other journalists would do well to follow her example

Paul R. Lehman, Study of Alzheimer’s disease in blacks creates confusion

April 21, 2013 at 11:57 am | Posted in African American, Alzheimer's disease, American Racism, blacks, Ethnicity in America, European American, Human Genome, identity, mixed-marriage, public education, skin color, U. S. Census, whites | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The need for our society to divorce itself from the use of color as an identity becomes more apparent every day. For example, an article by Daniel Chang in the Miami Herald (4/11/13) titled “Researchers identify possible new gene linked to Alzheimer’s disease in blacks” creates more questions than it answers. What good is a study that uses unreliable information? We are certainly not against studies that can be beneficial to society and strongly support them, but not studies that seem a waste of time and money such as the one mentioned above.
Chang states that “University of Miami medical school researchers working with geneticist and physicians from other institutions have identified a new gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease in blacks…” Let us stop here and ask the question—how are blacks defined? Did the study select African Americans to participate in the study and refer to them as blacks? We are not told. If the study uses the word black as an identity does it refer to only people with black or dark complexions? If the study used African Americans and referred to them as blacks, how does the study account for the African Americans of light or fair complexions? If the study refers to people with black skin or dark complexions, then it would not be limited to people in America. Since we are not told just who the study subjects are except for the word blacks, we are at a loss to understand the value of the study.
One of the major discoveries of the Human Genome study involving DNA was that all human beings are 99.9% alike. They discovered that since all humans belong to one race that discerning a race from DNA was not possible: “DNA studies do not indicate that separate classifiable subspecies (races) exist within modern humans. While different genes for physical traits such as skin and hair color can be identified between individuals, no consistent patterns of genes across the human genome exist to distinguish one race from another. There also is no genetic basis for divisions of human ethnicity. People who have lived in the same geographic region for many generations may have some alleles in common, but no allele will be found in all members of one population and in no members of any other.” (genonics.energy.gov) For some reason the people working on this study did not get the memo.
The article continued by noting that “While Alzheimer’s occurs as frequently in blacks as other populations, researchers say there are important differences in the molecular mechanisms of the disease among people of different races and ethnicities.”What and who are we to believe? The study on DNA says that race cannot be determined, yet, this Miami study says it can. We need all the helpful information we can get to help in treating and curing Alzheimer’s disease, but we also need reliable information. When confusion regarding the existence of race is in question, the results of any study that does not clearly define its subjects will be suspect. We are told by Chang that “The study that led researchers to identify the gene, called ABCA7, will be published …in the Journal of the American Medical Association this month. Why?
The Miami study seems to directly undermine the findings of the Genome Project when it makes reference to “different races” and when it apparently identifies blacks as a race. One must question the logic of their statement that “Identifying these differences could help researchers develop treatments and drugs that are more likely to be effective because they’re tailor-made for an individual’s genetic make-up.” The individual in reference to the statement belongs to a black race? We thought that the study focused on a group of people—black people with the same gene, but now we are told that drugs will be “tailor-mage for an individual’s genetic make-up.” Are the people in question black complexioned or just called black rather than African American? The confusion continues because the subjects of the study were not clearly defined.
Chang does provide the following information:”The research project that led to the discovery of the new gene is believed to be the largest genome-wide association study conducted on late-onset Alzheimer’s disease in blacks.” Again, we must assume that blacks is a reference to what or who? He continues “It [the study] included 1,968 cases and 3,928 controls collected at multiple sites between 1989 and 2011. We do not know anything about these cases except some were controlled.
The ridicule made regarding this Miami study is not directed to Daniel Chang, he simply reported the story. The complaint falls to the creators of the study for not clearly defining their subject by ethnicity or by referring to people having the same “new” gene ABGA7. Since race is not possible to discern except by color, restricting the treatment to blacks could negatively affect other people, non-blacks with the “new” gene from receiving needed treatment. If the creators of studies involving human beings would focus on the problem rather that the supposed race of the subjects, more people might benefit from the study. Nothing prevents these study creators from using ethnicities or ethnic groups as the focused population to study, but using race and color dooms the study from the start.
So, what are we to make of this important study that focused on blacks? The ethnic make-up of American society is changing so quickly that the old form or system of identifying an individual based on his or her color is no longer effective. Many countries do not consider the skin complexion of their citizens as part of their personal identity. So, when any of these people come to America, they comes using their own unique identity, not one of black or white etc… The sooner we as a society stop using color and the concept of multiple races as valid or factual, the better off we will be, and studies that focus of specific cultural or ethnic groups will provide some benefit.

Paul R. Lehman, Why is America experiencing a changing reality in race and color

March 31, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Posted in African American, American Indian, blacks, Chief Justice John Roberts, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, fairness, Hispanic whites, justice, Media and Race, Prejudice, Race in America, whites | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Some African Americans do not like the term African American because they believe it links them directly to Africa. Basically, what they generally think of Africa is not very complimentary because of the images of Africa that American society created when ethnic bias was fashionable. Rather than picture it as the diverse continent it is, Africa was described as a dark, mysterious, cannibalistic, dangerous place where ignorant savages lived. The natives were so ignorant that the fictional white man who ruled the African natives, Tarzan, had a chimp as a partner rather than an African man. Tarzan was called “King of the Jungle” although he was not born there and was raised by apes. That image of Africa was created to discourage African Americans from wanting to embrace it as their homeland. The idea promoted was that it was better to be a slave in America than a savage in Africa. Of course, anyone with an elementary education knows what a tremendously important Africa is to the world and its history. Unfortunately, many people still hold on to the negative concept of Africa.
How people view themselves has a direct impact on what they say about themselves and especially how they act. For example, if someone is called a thug and accepts that identity, then he will use the language associated with being a thug. In addition, his behavior will reflect his idea of how a thug acts. The same thing applies to people who identify themselves as black or white—they speak and behave the way they belief they are expected to speak and behave. Most often their examples are passed on to their children and family. In this way ignorance about race and identity is embraced and promoted.
We know for certain that no such thing as a pure 100% black or white person exist on the planet. Yet, we bought into the absurd concept of “one drop” of blood changing a person’s so-called race from white to black. When America created and enforced the concept to two races—black and white, the other associated concepts like racism, biracial, mixed race, racial etc… were not challenged successfully. However, today we know better, but keep doing and saying the things that reinforce the false and negative concepts of race. For example, some scientist will conduct studies using as subjects black and white people. The problem with those kinds of studies is that black and white is never defined. In effect, does the terms black refer to only people with very dark skin or was the term used to suggest all African Americans? If it was the latter, then were light-skinned African Americans included? Many Americans with dark complexions are not African Americans. Would they be included in such a study? If they were not, then of what value was the study?
Most social scientists and historians know that in America, social and economic status along with ethnic identity play a major role in people achieving their American Dream. Historically, non-European Americans have encountered a more challenging experience is striving for and achieving their dream because of ethnic prejudice. Since the late 1960’s more non-European ethnic Americans have achieved success because the Civil Rights Acts have removed some of the social barriers that obstructed success. Unfortunately, many of those barriers remain, but in a subtle state. Part of the problem has to do with how people view themselves and each other. When Americans view themselves as black and white, they simply reflect the ideology of America’s past that embraced two races. The terms African American and European American eliminate the two race concept and underscore the one family of man concept. When all people belong to the same race or family, comparisons relating to superiority or inferiority of race will decline. However, prejudice among ethnic groups will also exist, but not on a biological race bases. If all people belong to the same family, they can express differences in beliefs, culture, religion etc…but not racial differences.
We create problems for ourselves and our children when we send mixed messages to them regarding a so-called racial identity. For example, when a child has been taught in a General Science class that all people belong to the same race, how do the parents who maintain an identity based on color resolve the conflict for the child? Interestingly enough, CNN had a series of programs about who is black in America. Unfortunately, the program caused problems for a number of young African American ladies because they did not know who they were, thinking that they were either black or white. Seemingly, the majority of people with this problem of identity in America are the African Americans. Other people of color use their cultural or geographical identity like Cuban, Jamaican, Haitian, Puerto Rican, etc… The identity conveyed by these identities leaves no doubt about the culture and geography of the individual. Black and white, on the other hand, give no information whatsoever other than color. Even if American is added to these words, they still provide little meaning until the history of American slavery is brought into the picture.
If we need evidence that the word black is no longer applicable as a reference to African Americans, we can look at the recent comments made by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, during the hearing of arguments concerning voting rights:”At one point in the oral argument held Feb. 27, 2013, Roberts asked Verrilli, “Do you know which state has the worst ratio of white voter turnout to African-American voter turnout?”(The Boston Globe.com) Roberts used the term African American on numerous occasions during the hearing rather than the word black. (Now we need to get him to use the term European American instead of white)
In addition to the Roberts use of the term African American, we need to know that efforts have been underway for a number of years now to build a museum in Washington, D.C. to house and exhibit information relative to the African American experience in America. The name of this museum is The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Our world and society are changing and either we change with them or be left behind.
NOTE: If you found this blog informative, please share it.

Paul R. Lehman, Racism should not be considered a permanent feature of American society

March 17, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Posted in African American, American Bigotry, American Racism, Bigotry in America, blacks, discrimination lawsuit, Disrespect, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, Hispanic whites, integregation, minority, Oklahoma education, Race in America, socioeconomics, U. S. Census, whites | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A number of articles recently focused on the topic of racism and how it negatively affects the mind and body of its victims. Studies ranging from stress and depression to heart problems have been conducted showing the detrimental effects of racism. As interesting and informative as these studies and articles are in bringing this awareness to the public eye, nothing has been said about avenues of approach to try and eliminate the problem of racism. Most articles and studies treat racism as if it is an indestructible social phenomenon that is with society to stay. If that is the considered sentiment, then what use are the studies and articles complaining about it? We have some alternatives that can be considered if we are sincere about wanting to address the issue.
Yes, we know that race is a social construct, but that does mean we must accept it as a permanent feature of American society. Polio was a problem in society until penicillin was discovered. What we as a society must do in addressing racism are to understand its cause; we know its affects. One of the causes of racism is our acceptance, support, and promotion of it. Since we know that the concept of biological races is made-up, we also know that it’s divertive, racism is also made-up. So, why do we continue to accept them as though they are legitimate features of our society? Maybe we think that if we continue talking about them, they will go away. So far that approach has not and will not work. We need to start with our conception or view of race first, before we can address the problems associated with racism.
Because we readily accept the idea of multiple biological races as a certainty, we can easily convince ourselves that superficial physical differences such as skin color, eye shapes, hair texture and numerous other physical elements constitute a so-called racial difference. They do not. The fact that we know that race is a social construct does not come from someone’s idea or suggestion. Science has offered empirical data to support that fact through DNA. For a number of years now, especially since the O.J. Simpson trial, we know that the science of DNA has provided us with conclusive data that can be duplicated time and again to underscore its reliability. So, when the scientists tell us that all human beings belong to one race, why do we not accept, believe, and communicate that concept- changing information? The fact that race by color has never been accurate or trustworthy does not seem to be enough to cause us to change our so-called racial stereotypes. We need to communicate to our society and the world that we recognize and agree with our scientists that the concept of multiple biological races is formally debunked. Knowing the truth and accepting it, however, are two different and challenging things.
Once we accept the concept of a one race world, we will then be in a position to understand that the concept of racism is equally false. We certainly cannot and should not ignore cultural and other man-made differences, but we cannot identify those differences as racial or biological. Along with the acceptance of a one race world comes the change of our own self-concept and of others as being a part of a world family. DNA scientists tell us that if we selected two people from opposite geographical locations on the planet, we could go back only six generations before we discover a common ancestry between those two people. That fact alone should tell us how much alike we are to one another. Still, we prefer to hold on to our old, false concepts of race. If we no longer identified people according to their color, how would we identify them?
The answer to that question came in 1945 from a group of world-renowned scientists assembled by the United Nations under the rubric of UNESCO. They decided that the word race was not suitable for use as a social identity because it was not accurate and reliable. They offered instead, the words ethnic group and ethnicity to be used instead of race, not a replace for it. However, during that time, American society was very much involved with the concept of race because of the privileges and opportunities it provided for those who eugenics identified as being of the white race. Many American immigrants from Italy, Poland, Russia, and Greece, along with Jewish people, were not favorably or readily welcomed here. Most were not yet considered white or America n because at that time America recognized only two races—white and black (Negro). The fact that UNESCO suggested the use of ethnic group and ethnicity instead of the word race was bad new, however, had it been accepted, the change would have negatively affect those immigrants who desperately wanted the white identity in order to enjoy all the rights and privileges of that segment of society. So, today in spite of all the data to the contrary, the U.S. Census still include on its form two races black and white.
Today in America some people hold on to their so-called racial identity and beliefs more than their religion. They do so because it might be the only positive thing of social value they have even if it is only make-believe. To many of those people, they believe it is their right to be biased and discriminate against people who do not look like they look. Because of the many negative stereotypes created about non-European ethnic Americans over the years, many people grow up in America embracing that negative stereotypes. A recent statistic concerning the practice of “Stop and Frisk” showed that out of the total number of people stopped, 88% were innocent. In addition, out of that 88%, African Americans represented 87% (check the MHP Show 3-16-13). If we as a society refuse to communicate the facts and truth about the falsity and inaccuracy of race and racism, nothing will change.
The fact that articles appear on a fairly regular basis dealing with the injustices of race and racism is evidence enough that it still exists. Because of the fact that we do not seek aggressively to debunk these concepts, we cause measurable harm to the mind and body of innocent people who do not yet know that they do not belong to a white, black, brown, yellow or any other color race. They do not need to agonize over what race is theirs—it is human. They can pick and choose their ethnic identity based on their culture and ancestry, American Indian, African American, Asian American, and Hispanic (Specify) American, or some other, but under no circumstances should it be black or white because that is where the concept of race and racism in America began. More on this topic later.

Paul R. Lehman, Roger Clegg and charges of racial discrimination in OU’s admissions policy

November 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Posted in Affirmative Action, African American, blacks, college admission, desegregation, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, fairness, integregation, justice, Michael J. Sandel, minority, Oklahoma education, Prejudice, public education, Race in America, The Oklahoman, whites | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, presented some statistical data in an article “On racial admission preferences at OU,” in The Oklahoman recently (10-26-12). The article and data suggests that African American and American Indian students receive preferential treatment when admitted to The University of Oklahoma (OU).  In addition to presenting the information, Clegg makes a certain charge:”A study released this week by the Center for Equal Opportunity has found evidence of racial discrimination in law, undergraduate and medical school admission at the University of Oklahoma.”

Clegg continues by noting that “The study, which analyzes data obtained from the university, found that blacks were admitted to all three schools with lower academic qualifications than students from other racial and ethnic groups. Some evidence of preferential treatment for American Indian applicants was noted as well.” The fact that African American and American Indian students submit applications for admission with lower academic qualifications than other ethnic American groups should not come as a surprise when we consider from whence they come. Common knowledge underscores the fact that African American as well as other ethnic American students who come from socially and economically challenged communities do not receive an educational experience equal to that of more affluent students. So, why would the test scores lower grade point averages come as a surprise, especially from African Americans considering their special experiences in a biased society?

The article got specific regarding the charge of discrimination: “At the law school, we found black-white median LSAT gaps of 6 (equivalent to a combined math-verbal SAT gap of over 100), and a gap in undergraduate GPAs. Indeed, 105 whites were rejected despite higher LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs than the median black admittee in the two years studied.” What exact ally is the point being made here? If admittance was based only on examination scores of the LSAT and GPAs, the number of African Americans and American Indians would not exist at all, except for those students coming from upper-middle-class or affluent communities and schools. Statistics show that schools in the lower socio-economic communities generally produce poor to median students. All we have to do to verify this information is to take a look at the schools in Oklahoma where the applicants graduated.

Let us be clear about what is being suggested in this study.  Data concerning admittance at the University of Oklahoma was given to the Center for Equal Opportunity. The Center released the data along with the charge of “racial discrimination” and “racial preference” with a special focus on African Americans. For years, beginning with statehood to 1948, African Americans were denied admittance to all of Oklahoma’s institutions of higher education with the exception of Langston University, a predominantly undergraduate African American school. The primary reason for denying admission to the African Americans was their ethnicity or as noted, their race. If that was the primary reason for their being denied entrance, should not part of the resolution take in the fact of their ethnicity? Just how would Clegg suggest the problem be addressed that provides an equal opportunity to all?

Whether intended or not, Clegg characterizes African American students as villains for seeking admission to the school  at OU knowing full well that their scores and GPAs are not as high as the European American students. What are these students supposed to do when their society and academic experiences do not adequately prepare them to compete equally at the college and university level? One of the problems with these kinds of studies is created via the language used. The very name of the Center for Equal Opportunity is an oxymoron; since “opportunity” is based on chance or break, how can that be equal? Unfortunately, the word equal is a mathematical word, not a social one. The possibility of two people being equal does not exist. To use it with respect to college and university admittance suggests that all students must be treated the same. The problem with using that word is the creation of unequal experiences for some when attempting to correct the admittance problem for others. The appropriate word and action to use is fair or fairness because it allows for changes to be made without the restrictions associated with being equal.

As in my previous blog regarding Affirmative Action, the book Mismatch, by Sander and Taylor is referenced to show that preference is given to African American students. Clegg says “None of this is surprising: Nearly every selective school in the country uses racial preferences unless a court or state has told it not to.” If the schools want to treat the once denied African American students fairly, then they must show preferences; that is just plain common sense. Simple admittance will not address the over-all problem. Attention to the students’ education prior to college or university must be given serious and necessary attention as the book Mismatch suggests.

Concerning the charge of discrimination by Clegg we must wonder who else is being discriminated against. We know the African American and other ethnic American students are who are forced to compete unfairly with students from more affluent families and communities.  We know the European American students with the high test scores and GPAs are who are rejected in favor of students whose parents attended OU. We do not know for certain, but Clegg seems to place the blame on the university and the African American students, but we wonder why.

Maybe we can find some food for thought in the words of  Michael J. Sandel, author of What Money Can’t Buy when he says “Democracy does not require perfect equality, but is does require that citizens share in a common life. What matters is that people of different backgrounds and social positions encounter one another, and bump up against one another, in the course of everyday life. For this is how we learn to negotiate and abide our differences, and how we come to care for the common good.” Sometimes a simple word is sufficient.

Paul R. Lehman, Supreme Court looks at Affirmative Action in UT’s admission policy

October 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Posted in Affirmative Action, African American, Bigotry in America, blacks, college admission, desegregation, Disrespect, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, integregation, justice, minority, Oklahoma education, Prejudice, public education, Race in America, Texas, whites | 2 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The issue of Affirmative Action has come up again for the Supreme Court to decide its merits as applied by the University of Texas and its admission policy. The outcome of the case could impact the role ethnicity has in college admission. An article entitled “Supreme Court studies UT’s race admission policy,” by Mark Sherman (Associated Press), noted that “The court heard arguments in a challenge from a white Texan who contends she was discriminated against when the university did not offer her a spot in 2008.”The title of the article should be “Supreme Court studies UT’s admission policy that includes race.” No one is being admitted to a race at UT.

Abigail Fisher, a twenty-two-year-old student claims she was rejected because race was used against her. The problem relative to this issue is the fact that race is only one of the considerations used by the university to admit students. According to the university, if it is to have any decision in creating an atmosphere of diversity, then it has to have the power to use whatever criteria necessary to achieve that objective. Its admission’s program was deemed earlier by the Supreme Court to be effective in its objectives: “The University says the program is necessary to provide the kind of diverse educational experience the high court has previously endorsed.” So why a suit was filed based on race? The suggestion seems to be that race has more value than the other considerations.

The university notes that along with race, it considers “community service, work experience, extracurricular activities, awards and other factors. The bulk of its slots go to students who are admitted based on their high school class rank, without regard to race.” We are led to believe that Fisher felt her high grade point average should have been enough to get her admitted. The state of Texas realized some years ago that admission of GPA only would lead to charges of being unfair to students who for social and economic reasons could not compete with middle-class and above students. Texas discovered that relying only on grade point averages for admissions would create a problem of admitting students with little or no diversity or as in the case of the University of California at the Berkeley campus, the majority of students being Asian American.  The problem actually turned out to be one that was not so much concerned about grade point average as much as who got admitted.

The problem seems to be that some European American students believe in entitlements when it comes to getting what they want. From statehood until 1948 the only school of higher education African Americans in Oklahoma could attend was Langston University, at the time, an African American only institution. Even in 1948, George McLaurin, the first African American to attend the University of Oklahoma Graduate School, had to endure Jim Crow arrangements, separated and isolated from the class in the same room. America, it seems to some, belongs to European Americans and they should receive preference over any other ethnic American. Never mind the many years ethnic Americans, especially African Americans, were denied admission to colleges and universities.

The purpose of Affirmative Action was to try and close the gap between the number of European Americans and ethnic Americans who were qualified to attend academic as well as professional schools, but were denied. The only reason for African Americans not being considered for admission was their ethnicity, so in order to increase their numbers in schools, their ethnicity had to be considered. The problem with schools considering ethnicity as part of admission was a claim of discrimination of European Americans. Ironically, the courts agreed that in some cases, European American students were being discriminated. Many schools realized that they would face charges of discrimination if they continued their policies that gave value to a student’s ethnicity, so they, like the University of Texas, changed their admission program to make ethnicity (race) one of the elements included in admission.

For many people, Affirmative Action is a program that gives the ethnic Americans and women, an unfair advantage over European Americans. In light of the facts that many ethnic American students graduate from academically inferior schools compared to those of many European American students, what elements should be employed by colleges and universities to create diverse student bodies that would be fair to all? The element of ethnicity must be included if the challenge of diversity is to be addressed. Sherman noted that “Opponents of the [University of Texas] program say the university is practicing illegal discrimination by considering race at all, especially since the school achieves significant diversity through its race-blind admissions.”

The university needs the tools they believe are necessary to effectively perform their responsibilities in creating a diverse educational experience for their students. If the court takes away Affirmative Action, then nothing will prevent a campus from becoming predominantly European American or as the case might be, Asian American or Hispanic American? In essence, who would be the most qualified students? Who would decide what students to select, and what criteria would be used in making the selection? At each stage of the process, individuals could file a charge of discrimination based on ethnic bias if the court fails to recognize the reason for the creation of Affirmative Action in the first place.

Common sense tells us that if we are riding in a car and it has a flat, the car must be stopped, the flat tire removed and fixed or replaced before the car can continue it travel.  The point is that a problem cannot be addressed if the program is not interrupted. Change can only come with an interruption to the status quo occurs. For education in America to reflect ethnic diversity, change must be made; excluding ethnic American students from the experience is like the flat tire; Affirmation Action is the replaced or repaired tire. If we ask the question of what is in the best interest of the country regarding education for all, we must answer a diverse educational environment. After all, if our schools do not diversify, who cares?

Paul R. Lehman, The use of race create flaws in sleep study

August 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Posted in American Racism, blacks, equality, Ethnicity in America, fairness, justice, minority, Prejudice, public education, Race in America, socioeconomics, U. S. Census, whites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The New York Times published an article by Douglas Quenqua, “How Well You Sleep May Hinge on Race,” (8/21/12) that does nothing more than make a mockery of science and research using race as it’s enticement. What the title of the article should have been was “Race can never be an influence in sleep habits of Human Beings.” So, what is wrong with the article? Well, let us see. If a person goes to his or her doctor and complains of a malady, the doctor does an examination and run some tests. Afterwards, during consultation, the doctor writes out a prescription and advises the patient to come back in three weeks. Chances are the patient will seek another doctor because this doctor did not do the job correctly. First, no malady was identified, no cause was found, no treatment was suggested, no questions were asked, and no expectations were given to the patient relative to a problem. Yet, a prescription was given and a return visit was advised. In essence, if the malady is not identified, anything that follows is suspect. The same sentiment can be made regarding the article about sleep and race.

The research identified in the article we can unequivocally say is bogus, unacceptable, flawed, and totally useless. Why? The answer is because a definition of terms was never given regarding race. To be clearer, let us examine the following statement: “Non-Hispanic whites get more and better-quality sleep than people of other races, studies repeatedly show. Blacks are the most likely to get shorter, more restless sleep.” If the research was conducted by scientists, they show a gross inefficiency in conducting a study by using out of date assumptions rather than current empirical data. How did they define “Non-Hispanic whites’? Since no definition was given, how can we accept any data that supposedly represent this group’s sleep behavior?

Additionally, we are told that Non-Hispanic whites get better sleep than “people of other races.” Are their other races of human beings besides Homo sapiens? Evidently, the scientists involved in this sleep study think so because no question was raised about the assumed races. Also, these scientists apparently accept the myth of a black and white race because both terms are used as if they were valid and accurate. One scientist, Dr. Michael Grandner, a research associate with the Center for Sleep and Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, said that “We’re not at a point where we can say for certain is it nature versus nurture, is it race or is it socioeconomics.” He continued, “But when it comes to sleep, ‘there is a unique factor of race we’re still trying to understand.’”

If Grandner had done his homework, he would have known that the only possible area of research regarding sleep habits must be socioeconomic, because so-called race cannot be a factor. His statement relative to race being a “unique factor” in sleep is false, bogus, misinformation. The scientists involved in this study ignore the problems to focus on a non-relevant one—race: “Whatever the cause, doctors say that unlocking the secret to racial sleep disparities could yield insights into why people in some minority groups experience higher rates of high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.” Duh, common sense should suggest that sleep problems have more to do with health issues and socioeconomic status, not race.

The doctors involved in this study are actually short-changing themselves by their unscientific assumptions about race and their random and mythical racial definitions. They also confuse socioeconomic status with ethnicity which creates more problems than it resolves. Part of their problem regarding the use of race and the various designations like non-Hispanic whites, blacks, and whites and others, might come from the U. S. Census Bureau. Unfortunately, the Census Bureau is having the same problem. It uses race and ethnicity in ways that are never defined, so people completing survey forms can supply any answer they feel comfortable with selecting. In any event, the use of race is not acceptable for any scientific study today, and scientists should know better.

The problem with using race as a given is that it is unreliable and inaccurate unless clearly defined with respect to ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Does black refer to a person’s skin complexion or does the assumed definition encompass more? Does white refer to a person’s skin complexion or does it encompass more? What more is assumed by using those terms? We were introduced to the term “non-Hispanic whites” earlier; how does one identify a white Hispanic? Eighty per cent of the worlds population will contain individuals of so-called black and so-called white complexions, so how does this fact impact a scientific study that make reference to black and whites without clear definitions of each? How can empirical data be retrieved from information based on myths and assumptions? The answer is simply, junk in, junk out.

All the doctors involved in this article should receive some attention for their bogus efforts, not just Garndner. The article also included Dr. Mercedes R. Carnethon, associate professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Dr. Kristen Knutson, assistant professor, University of Chicago; Dr. Lauren Hale, associate professor, Stony Brook University. One wonders why these scientists did not accept the findings of the famous human-genome-project, mapping human DNA that concluded, for one thing, that

While DNA can prove direct ancestry or linage, it can’t prove race or ethnicity. The reason for this is that human beings are so much alike, and have had genetic mixtures for so long even the most defining racial or ethnic traits are found in almost every human family. Skin color, facial structure, hair and eye color, all things that are used to define race or ethnicity lose definition when traced as part of a DNA analyst. (The Human Genome Project)

The information from the genome project also tells us that “we are so much alike, that only our individuality separates us.” So, if this scientific information on DNA is accurate and acceptable to the scientific community, why would it be ignored by other scientists? The emphasis on race is evidently misplaced: “DNA tells us that we share so much in common that any two individuals on earth can trace some common ancestry in six generations or less.” Let us hope that new studies that purport to tell us something about us remember that race is a non-starter. The use of ethnicity and socioeconomic information would result in more accurate and usable information than would the use of race. The only thing that the use of race is good for is attracting attention while contributing to ethnic separation and confusion.

Paul R. Lehman, Census Bureau fails to recognize its core problems with new plans

August 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Posted in American Bigotry, American Racism, blacks, equality, Ethnicity in America, fairness, Media and Race, minority, Prejudice, public education, U. S. Census, whites | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hope Yen, a writer for the Associated Press, published an article, “Census plans to change how it measures race,” in The Oklahoman today (8/9/12). The article stated the purpose: “To keep pace with rapidly changing notions of race, the Census Bureau wants to make broad changes to its surveys that would end use of the term  “Negro,” count Hispanics as a mutually exclusive group and offer new ways to identify Middle Easterners.” Basically, what it will do is add more confusion and complexity to the problems it already has.

The article reported on the confusion the Census survey created for the people taking it in 2010. Having written on this subject in this blog and my latest book, America’s Race Matters: Returning the Gifts of Race and Color, the need to change aspects of the Census form comes as no surprise. The Bureau will try to identify and fix the problems that revolve around the identity of various ethnic groups because an accurate accounting of some groups was not possible based on the selection offered on the Census form. We are told that “The research [Census Bureau’s] is based on an experiment conducted during the 2010 census in which nearly 500,000 households were given forms worded differently. The findings show that many people who filled out the traditional form did not fit within the five categories of race…” The five categories of race listed on the forms were white, black, Asian, Pacific Islander and American Indian/Alaska Native. Hispanics evidently caused a problem “because Hispanics is currently defined as an ethnicity and not a race, some 18 million Latinos—or roughly 37 percent—used the ‘some other race’ category on their census forms to establish a Hispanic racial identity.”

So, just how does the Census Bureau plan to address this problem in the future? We are told that “Under one proposed change, a new question would simply ask a person’s race or origin, allowing them to check a single box next to choices including black, white, or Hispanic.” Unfortunately, that would actually create more problems for the Census Bureau because people of mixed ethnicity would not identify with any of the boxes offered. However, the Census Bureau, not to be deterred, offered some other changes:”The other changes would drop use of “Negro,” leaving a choice of “black” or African-American, as well as add write-in categories that would allow Middle Easterners and Arabs to specifically identify themselves.” Well, if people are allowed to identify themselves would those identities in effect create other races or would they be considered simply ethnic groups?

The primary problem facing the Census Bureau has to do with a lack of specificity, namely a lack of definitions. People filling out the survey forms are left on their own to figure out what the Census Bureau means with reference to race and ethnicity. Part of the problem comes from the fact that many people do not see themselves the way the Census Bureau sees them. For example if a person has an Asian mother and a Hispanic father, what box would he or she check? Asian is listed as a race, but Hispanic is listed as an ethnicity. Would this person be considered a half-race person or half-ethnic person? The Census Bureau does not offer a solution to such a problem, but suggest that the person filling out the survey make a choice according to the boxes available which includes “some other race.”

The fact that new immigrants are arriving in this country daily, we need to have a system in place to identify them accurately. The present system leaves much to be desired. What needs to happen without question is for the Census Bureau to drop the use of the term race and go with the term ethnicity, allowing individuals a wide range of selections based on specific cultures and geography. The terms black and white should also be discontinued because they serve no useful purpose. For example, if one goes by color than certain Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Haitians, and a host of other people might be considered black; however, because of their cultural and geographical identity, refuse to be identified as black. The same problem exists for people who identify themselves as white. The Census Bureau does not define race, but uses the colors black and white as though they are races. Apparently, that line of action does not work; hence, the problems and confusion.

One thing about the census that cannot be ignored is the fact that the data collected is used in a variety of ways that impact people and society specifically. Politically, information about the cultural make-up of certain areas is important in order to address the problems and concerns in those areas. If the census information is faulty or inaccurate, then the likelihood of some areas receiving attention would be affected. Since the cultural and ethnic make-up of America is changing on a daily basis, it is incumbent on the Census Bureau to make some meaningful changes, but not changes that simply exacerbate the problems. The Census Bureau needs to recognize what the obvious nature of the problem is, and address that first. Unfortunately, the Census Bureau cannot seem to recognize that the problem has to do with their use of and dependency on terms that are no longer applicable to the objective.

Chances are we will be reading another article in the future about the continued confusion being experienced by the Census Bureau because they have received an overabundance of survey forms with the selection marked “some other race,” and they will not know what to do with the information because they have no idea of what that means. For many years now when forms come to me with a space requesting an identity under “race,” the word “human” is supplied.

Paul R. Lehman, Moral Relativism, a misguided perception of American History and society

June 26, 2012 at 12:41 am | Posted in Bigotry in America, equality, Ethnicity in America, fairness, justice, Prejudice, public education | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Frank Lipsinic (The Oklahoman, Your Views 6/22/12) offered some comments on the earlier comments of Jack Werner (The Oklahoma Point of View, June 9)   entitled “Moral Relativism.” Werner’s comments centered on the hypocrisy he saw in the Republican Party and as a Republican felt he should point out those negative elements in hopes the party would see them and try to correct them. Lipsinic said:”I object to the notion that somehow only the Republican Party needs cleansing.  After reading Werner’s comments, I came away feeling he requires politicians and voters to separate their beliefs and morals from public policy.” That is actually what Werner thought politicians should do in order for all citizens to be treated fairly.

Lipsinic continued: “We’ve slid down that slippery slope of moral relativism for decades, eliminating God and moral judgment from things we do in public.” To be on solid ground concerning what Lipsinic thinks moral relativism is and the reality of it, let us look at the comments from a creditable source:

Within the U.S. justice system, constant values or rules (represented by constitutional, statutory, or case law) are intended to be structurally tempered to accommodate moral relativity. For example, Oliver Wendell Holmes, who served on the U.S. Supreme Court from 1902 to 1932, is credited with being the first Supreme Court justice to state that the U.S. Constitution was an organic document—a living constitution subject to changing interpretation. Many times since, Supreme justices, in their opinions, have referred to the notion of “evolving” law when modifying, refining, or in rare circumstances, overruling earlier precedent. Likewise, statutory laws are enacted or repealed by Congress or state legislators in an effort to best reflect the principles and mores of their constituency (http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Moral+Relativism)

In essence, moral relativism has been a vital part of our society for many years. What Lipsinic probably objects to is the decisions made that do not coincide with his personal beliefs. For example, God has not been eliminated from the public—just the references to a particular sectarian god, as in Christian God. If the god of one sect is permitted in public than in fairness the god (s) of other sects should be permitted as well. Lipsinic wants only his God used. The same can be said about his morals and those in the public—those that he does not accept, he feels should not be permitted.

Lipsinic continued: “The Democratic Party’s mantra of ‘choice’ on abortion and women’s rights has done great damage to women.” One must question the logic of that statement if he means that women benefit from having their “choice” taken away from them as well as other legal and constitutional rights. Most women would want to enjoy and appreciate the “choice” and “rights” afforded them the same as those afforded men.

Next, Lipsinic noted that “The Founders were only concerned about the state sanctioning a national religion. This great nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Shall we throw out the founding principles?”What is missing from this statement is a total understanding and grasp of American history.

The Founding Fathers had no desire to create a national religion, nor did they want to force one on the state (s). If Lipsinic checks the Constitution he might be surprised to discover that this country was not founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but on greed and bigotry. All the Founding Fathers were European Americans of wealth and property who actually looked out for their interests. No other American man could vote or hold elected office if were not European American with wealth and property. Slavery was written into the Constitution—Judeo-Christian principles? We certainly did throw out many of the principles that restricted the rights and privileges of those Americans who were affected negatively in the Constitution by the Founding Fathers.

Evidently Lipsinic overlooked the part of history that tells how the American Indians were systematically eliminated from their native lands by people who practiced the Judeo-Christian religion. He must have skipped the section of history that dealt with slavery and the civil war. Actually, what moral principles does he have in mind? He stated that “Can we not live out our moral principle in public life? I refuse to leave my moral principles at the door!” If by moral principles he means denying other American citizens their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as they see them, and not as he would prefer, then his views and understanding of American democracy are totally misguided and confused.

Finally, Lipsinic believes that a lack of morals, his morals, has been the cause of America’s downfall. He noted that “That’s exactly what’s gotten this nation to the edge of the cliff where we now stand.” Sad to say, but too many American citizens share the perception of American society and its status. Unfortunately, their minds are shackled to a make-believe American society that has never existed except in degrees or small sections. For example, if Lipsinic was born, raised, and continue to live in an all European American town, his perception of America is conditioned by his experiences in that environment. He more than likely grew up believing that America belongs to European Americans and because of their generosity, allowed other foreign people to come here to share in their bounty. But these other people need to know their place—behind the real Americans. These people need to know also that the morals of the real Americans are the only ones that are acceptable and suitable for society.

For his information, America is not about to fall off a cliff, so he can stop worrying; neither is the world coming to an end in the near future. We live in a society with a democratic form of government. What that means is for every one problem that is solved, two more are created; so, if one wants to participate then he /she must be informed in order to make appropriate decisions. And as for moral relativism, we know that it is “The philosophized notion that right and wrong are not absolute values, but are personalized according to the individual and his or her circumstances or cultural orientation.” We also know that “It can be used positively to effect change in law (e.g., promoting tolerance for other customs or lifestyles) or negatively as a means to attempt justification for wrongdoing or lawbreaking “(legal-dictionary). So whose exercising moral relativism?

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.