Two Views of Race Relations

Should blacks be permanent wards of the state?

Regardless of how the election turns out, Americans owe Mr. Obama a sincere vote of thanks for triggering a meaningful discussion of race relations in America.

In his Philadelphia speech, Mr. Obama said:

But the remarks [of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright] that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's efforts to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country - a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam. [emphasis added]

Rev. Wright's sermons expressed an extremely vivid picture of the anger which many black Americans feel toward white Americans.  Mr. Obama addressed black anger:

For the men and women of Reverend Wright's generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. ... At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician's own failings. [emphasis added]

Mr. Obama also acknowledged white anger towards blacks:

In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community... when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear an African-American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time. ... Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. [emphasis added]

Having stated the problem of racial anger, Mr. Obama explained his "Yes We Can!" vision that Americans can move beyond race and "continue on the path of a more perfect union."  He echoes Bill Cosby in saying that black people must take responsibility for their own lives and raise their own children.  He states that whites must acknowledge legitimate grievances of the black community and address them, but his overall message is the unarguable fact that both groups must work together to solve the racial divisions in our nation.

In an article "Wright's Wrongs," the Economist said:

... [this is] a generational struggle for control of black politics. Mr Wright belongs to a generation of activists-Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are other prominent members-who thrived in part by playing to the resentments of their black supporters. Mr Obama belongs to a much more pragmatic generation, people who want to get beyond racial polarization and enter the political mainstream. Mr Wright's generation is not about to leave the stage quietly. So much the worse for America. [emphasis added]

The Real Racial Divide

The real racial divide in America is between blacks like Rev. Wright who believe that white people hate black people enough to allow the US Government to murder blacks by unleashing such plagues as AIDS; and blacks such as Colin Powell, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Oprah Winfrey, and Dr. Bill Cosby who have succeeded in American society through hard work and and want other black people to take the same path to success.

We've written of the contrast between leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who wanted to unite the various racial groups in American, and leaders who divide the races for short-term political gain.  The racial divide expresses the conflict between two fundamentally different ideas how black people should live:

  1. Mr. Obama's "Yes, we can!" message is that all Americans should earn their way regardless of race.  Everybody who can should live by their own labor.
  2. The current black leadership argues that black people should live off of white guilt over white people having wronged black people both in the past and in the present.  Every black should be supported lavishly through race-based programs such as affirmative action.

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the present generation of black leadership have made a good thing for themselves by exploiting black anger to gain votes and political power.

They seek to enshrine race-based programs such as affirmative action into American law.  They scream "racism" whenever anyone criticizes race-based programs which are the basis of their political power.  They vilify anyone such as Dr. Cosby who suggests that black people bear any shred of responsibility for their situation.

Adolph Reed Jr. is a professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania.  In the May 2008 issue of Progressive magazine, he wrote:

His [Mr. Obama's] political repertoire has always included the repugnant stratagem of using connection with black audiences in exactly the same way Bill Clinton did-i.e., getting props both for emoting with the black crowd and talking through them to affirm a victim-blaming "tough love" message that focuses on alleged behavioral pathologies in poor black communities. Because he's able to claim racial insider standing, he actually goes beyond Clinton and rehearses the scurrilous and ridiculous sort of narrative Bill Cosby has made infamous. [emphasis added]

Mr. Reed spoke of Mr. Clinton's "victim-blaming 'tough love' message that focuses on alleged behavioral pathologies in poor black communities" as if he thinks that high rates of black-on-black crime are acceptable.  Are such violent behaviors normal or are they in fact pathological?

Mr Reed also vilified Mr. Obama for rehearsing the "scurrilous and ridiculous sort of narrative Bill Cosby has made infamous."  What did Mr. Cosby say that's so "scurrilous and ridiculous?"

We have millionaire football players who cannot read. We have million-dollar basketball players who can't write two paragraphs. We, as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal-Mart with seven kids, you are hurting us.

We have to start holding each other to a higher standard. We cannot blame the white people any longer. [emphasis added]

There we have it.  Dr. Cosby's "scurrilous and ridiculous" statement was, "We cannot blame the white people any longer."  Mr. Clinton's "victim-blaming" offense was to limit welfare benefits so that former recipients had to find jobs.

The current generation of black leadership has based their entire careers on blaming whitey and extorting benefits.  The Rev. Wright not only blames whitey, he accuses whitey of trying to kill all the black people in the world by distributing plagues.

Sharpton, Jackson, et. al. tell blacks that whites deliberately keep them down, Rev. Wright tells blacks that whites are trying to kill them all - does this message promote harmony between the races or does it promote hatred and violence?

The present generation of black leaders has based their power on race-based programs.  Mr. Obama, in contrast, knows that his wife Michelle was gravely damaged by affirmative action.  Dr. Thomas Sowell's book Affirmative Action Around the World (Yale University press), documents the hatred stirred up by affirmative action:

Among the most remarkable rationales for group preferences and quotas is the claim that such things promote a more cohesive society--"national unity" being a popular phrase in India, Malaysia, and Nigeria, for example--despite a history of increasing intergroup resentments, polarization, violence, and even civil war in the wake of such policies in a number of countries.  p. 177

In addition to the hostilities between groups created or exacerbated by preferences and quotas in other countries, affirmative action in the United States has made blacks, who have largely lifted themselves out of poverty, look like people who owe their rise to affirmative action and other government programs.  Moreover, this perception is not confined to whites.  It has been carefully cultivated by black politicians and civil rights leaders, who seek to claim credit for the progress, so as to solidify a constituency conditioned to be dependent on them, as well as on government.  p. 164

The Rev. Wright spoke eloquently of how blacks hate whites; Mr. Obama spoke of white anger which is directed at black people because of affirmative action.

Given that affirmative action harms both the whites who lose out on jobs and the blacks such a Mrs. Obama who are supposed to benefit from it, Mr. Obama might well decide to try to get rid of it once he's in a position where he no longer needs to pander.  Readers with long memories will remember that Mr. Richard Nixon had built up his anti-communist credentials to the point that he could not be accused of being "soft on communism" when he decided to recognize the existence of the mainland Communist Chinese government and visited China.  As Star Trek's Mr. Spock said, "Only Nixon could go to China."

Mr. Clinton was said to be our "first black president."  He was black enough to sponsor various minor reforms around the edges of the welfare system, but he wasn't black enough to tackle affirmative action.

As Mr. Nixon was anti-communist enough to go to China, Mr. Obama is black enough to end affirmative action.  That would end the race-based scams to which Farrakan and the rest owe their power and influence.

Mr. Obama and Dr. Cosby aren't the only black leaders who are urging blacks to become more responsible.  Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson wrote:

All Americans must tell blacks this truth. [the New Orleans disaster was the fault of the black-run local government, not the fault of the federal government.] It was blacks' moral poverty - not their material poverty - that cost them dearly in New Orleans. Farrakhan, Jackson, and other race hustlers are to be repudiated - they will only perpetuate this problem by stirring up hatred and applauding moral corruption. New Orleans, to the extent it is to be rebuilt, should be remade into a dependency-free, morally strong city where corruption is opposed and success is applauded. Blacks are obligated to help themselves and not depend on the government to care for them. We are all obligated to tell them so.

The battle lines are drawn between the generation of black leaders who teach blacks to become leeches on society and the newer generation who urge them to stand on their own feet and earn their own way.  As the Economist put it, "Mr Wright's generation is not about to leave the stage quietly.  So much the worse for America."

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for Scragged.com and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Politics.
Reader Comments
If I actually believed Obama would get rid of Affirmative action etc, and make this nation a totally level playing field for all comers, I'd vote for him in a heartbeat. However, given his wishywashyness on the subject, and absent a declaration of his intent on the matter, there is no way he will get my vote.
May 7, 2008 12:14 PM
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