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.

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Paul R. Lehman, Changing America from a racist society will require time and patience.

September 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Posted in African American, American Bigotry, American Indian, American Racism, blacks, CNN, democracy, discrimination, Emancipation Proclamation, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, fairness, identity, immigration, justice, mixed-marriage, President Lincoln, Race in America, skin color, Slavery, The U.S. Constitution, whites | 1 Comment
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Turn on the television, the radio, or even the internet and we find the common use of the word race in a variety of ways. We have been told that racism is a belief that people of various biological races have different qualities and characteristics that make them inherently superior or inferior to others. In American we have what is known as white racism. That means people believe that a white race exists and that this race is superior to all others. This belief came into existence in America as early as the middle 1500s when the Spanish would hunt, capture, and sell Indians into slavery. The words racism and racist as well as a host of others are derived from the word race. In America of the 1600s the word race was meant to indicate social and economic status and not color because the slaves in America during this time and later were of various skin colors. Counted among the slaves were Indians, Europeans, and Africans.
The demand for slaves created a problem for the ruling Europeans who quickly embraced the importation of Africans to fill the labor gap. With the introduction of the African into the system of slavery, the ruling Europeans decided to create a buffer among the slaves by giving special privileges to the European or white slaves. We are told that “In 1705, masters were forbidden to ‘whip a Christian white servant naked.’ Nakedness was for brutes, the uncivil, and the non-Christian. That same year, all property—horses, cattle, and hogs’—was confiscated from slaves and sold by the church wardens for the benefit of poor whites.” This was done to create a bond between the wealthy whites and the poor whites as well as create a distinction among the slaves. We learn that “By means of such acts, social historian Edmond Morgan arguers, the tobacco planters and ruling elite of Virginia raised the legal status of lower—class white relative to that of Negroes and Indians, whether free, servant or slave.”(See America’s Race Problem: A Practical Guide to Understanding Race in America)
So, the element of color became a major factor in America’s system of slavery as well as society in general, because all the Africans living in America were not now nor had ever been slaves. Color and Christianity became the criteria for discriminating against people. The problem of free Africans and Indians living in society along side Europeans was a problem for the Europeans. Making a contrast based on the physical appearance of the African and Indian became the primary criteria for creating biases. American society decided to create two biological races, one black, and one white based primarily on color of skin. We wonder why they did not create a race for the Indians. The white race was made to be superior to the black race in every respect. In essence, this was the beginning of racism based on color. Because the ruling class of Europeans had the power and control to create such a fabrication as race it became accepted by society.
Regardless of the truth of a concept, according to scholars, if it is repeated constantly for the benefit of some people, they will after a while ignore the fact that the concept is a fabrication and accept it for fact or truth. That has become the case with the belief in two races, both supposedly biologically different with one being superior to the other. Because of the acceptance of such a belief America and Americans became a racist society.
Some two hundred years after the introduction of slavery in American, we can see how thoroughly the biased and false concept of two races had affected America. When we examine the words of President Abe Lincoln in 1862 as he spoke to a group of free men of color, we recognize the conviction of his belief in race by color: “You [African Americans] and we [European Americans] are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races.” The broader difference Lincoln speaks of is basically, color; other differences existed because the slaves and free African Americans were prevented from experiencing those things written in the” Declaration of Independence” the “Constitution” about rights, freedom and justice.
What makes race so confusing in America is that it was illogically conceived using color as the base for determining superiority and inferiority. How can a society base superiority or inferiority on color and at the same time have slaves and free men of the same color exhibiting totally different characteristics attributed to differences of the condition and status of each individual? Logic does not enter the thinking process when one has accepted as truth or fact that races based on color really exist. Nonetheless, President Lincoln firmly believed that the two races and should be separated because they could not live together in peace because of their color. Fortunately, Lincoln later changed his mind about the latter.
So, what is the point of this discussion? When we examine the past objectively, we can understand many of the things taking place today, and why they are taking place. When American came into being, it came as a society that believed in race by class and economics; later color was added to the mix. One thought dominated the general thinking, however, and that was the supremacy of the whites. In effect, America wanted to be known as a white society with different classes of whites. Other non-European ethnicities were not considered suited for citizenship, but were allowed to live here. For over four-hundred-years or more the most cherished beliefs among many Americans are their white identity and that America is a white country—their country. The concept of race has undergone new analysis and the results reveal that only one race of human being exists in spite of color. So, the theories and beliefs that were created to separate various human beings from each other because of color are being debunked.
Unfortunately, as a society we have not pulled away from our use of the word race and all its derivatives that keep us tethered to the biased past. So, we continue to use words like racist, racism, etc…as if they are valid and accurate. In America, an African American cannot be a racist, if we accept the definition of that word, because in America, African Americans have never had the power or control to create the concept of race superiority and maintain and promote it. He can certainly be biased and prejudiced because those feelings are purely related to the individual, not a group or so-called race. America has been a racist society for a long time, so some patience is required while change is taking place. Progress for some people is very hard.

Paul R. Lehman, Why Pat Buchanan thinks President Obama “killed white America.”

November 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Posted in African American, American Bigotry, American Racism, Bigotry in America, blacks, Congress, Democrats, equality, Ethnicity in America, European American, GOP, integregation, Media and Race, minority, Prejudice, President Obama, presidential election, public education, The Daily Currant, the Republican Party, whites | 5 Comments
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For a number of years in my books and lately in my blog the question of American bigotry has been discussed. An important part of America’s history and heritage is involved with ethnic bigotry. We know that the ruling class in society created race as a vehicle to accomplish control of society. Because slavery was necessary to America’s economic success and slaves came in many different shades and colors, a distinction had to be made to guard against organized protest against the ruling class. The best way society thought to accomplish this was to make everyone of European ancestry and of fair complexion, superior in every way to all other ethnic groups. So, the society gave itself the gift of race, and color—black and white. White or the so-called white race became the symbol of superiority and normalcy regardless of the social or economic status of the citizens. These characteristics were constantly re-informed through all the institutions of government. The end result was that all Americans knew their status in America; if they happened to not be European American, then they knew they were not considered first-classed citizens.

The fact that American society consciously created ethnic bigotry as a consequence of slavery, it also was aware of the hypocrisy that was created in its creed of “all men created equal” or “life and liberty of all,” and the idea of a democratic society. The ruling class knew they were in the minority, so they placed in the Constitution the right to abolish the government if they believed their rights were not respected by the government. Over the years, the word “minority” changed and came to mean something the founding father did not consider—ethnic Americans and women. So, for three hundred years or so, European American males were led to believe that America belonged to them and the other people living here were only here because they allowed them that privilege.

After the passage of the various civil rights acts as well as many social changes in America that favored the ethnic Americans, a degree of concern began to sweep over the European American conservatives that they were slowly loosing control of their country. The one event that brought this point home to them was the election of Barack Obama, an African American, as President of the United States. Obama’s election in 2008 came as a complete surprise to many European American conservatives.  That election was proof positive that the country was changing and they were losing control. So, they put into process efforts to undo the damage that had been done by the election. Now, however, they were motivated by fear and dread of actually losing their country through the loss of power and political control.

After four years of fighting to hold on to their country, the verdict came in early Wednesday morning—they lost. Obama had been re-elected. No one epitomized the reaction better than Pat Buchanan, a conservative political pundit, when he noted that Barack Obama has “killed white America.” Buchanan, in an interview with G. Gordon Liddy, reported by The Daily Currant, stated that “White America died last night. Obama’s reelection killed it. Our 200 plus year history as a Western nation is over. We’re a Socialist Latin American now. Venezuela without the oil.” We are told that Liddy recognized this statement as biased, and tried to get Buchanan to re-do his statement: “With what you just said right there…You seem to imply that white people are better than other people. That’s not really what you’re saying is it?”

To that question the article noted: “’Of course that’s what I’m saying,’ Buchanan replied ‘Isn’t it obvious? Anything worth doing on this Earth was done first by white people.”

In the course of Buchanan’s lamenting the loss of so-called white control he states that “I cried last night for hours. It’s over for all of us. The great white nation will never survive another 4 years of Obama’s leadership.

Buchanan’s reactions are not an isolated experience; many conservative European Americans across the country expressed the same sentiment. The problem with Buchanan and all his like-minded citizens is that they try to operate in twenty-first century America and world with a nineteen-century perception. They never bought into the concept of democracy. With society and its institutions telling the European Americans that being white was superior to all other ethnic groups, what were they to believe? With history books telling them that God gave this country to the European Americans to do with as they saw fit, and with the laws making certain that white skin received public privilege and political power, what were they to believe? They thought that their power and control would last for many more years.

Too many people like Buchanan failed to realize that America is a constantly changing society and has been since it beginning. Unfortunately, America has not been very attentive to its responsibility of keeping everyone aware of the many changes that have taken place regarding our changing demographics and our history. The mere fact that Buchanan considers America as “Great White Nation” is proof enough that he has little grasp of reality. As a society, we must do a better job of educating ourselves concerning who and what we are as a nation. The fear and dread of losing the power and privilege usually associated with being white is at hand for many social conservatives; they cannot take the country back because it never was their’s in the first place. That idea was a social creation as was race. Both concepts have been debunked.

Having to come to grips with reality when reality is contrary to what one has believed for all one’s life is devastating. But, how can one live in a society where changes in all its institutions have occurred and not be aware of those changes? Whatever one might call Buchanan because of his outdated social perspective, please do not refer to him as a racists. By doing so, one would be endorsing his false concept of multi-biological races of human beings existing. Bigot is the accurate term for him. He needs to know that only one race of humans exist, and it come in many colors.

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