Tag Archives: sociology

slavery

There’s been a lot of talk this political season about racism in America, so let’s talk.

“Come now, let us reason.” Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)

“Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.” Isaiah 1:18 (The Message)

It’s been repeated over and over in the media that whites in America are racists, arguing that they will not vote for Barak Obama because he’s black. I agree that any person, white, orange, purple-striped, that says “I will not vote for <whoever> because s/he is black.” is making a racist judgement. But, is it not also true to say that those who say “I am voting for Barak Obama BECAUSE he is black.” are also making a racist judgement?

The fact of the matter is that race has absolutely nothing to do with anyone’s ability to serve in government or anywhere else. Honesty, integrity, character, experience, ability…..those are the important qualities.

But, I’m talking about race, because everyone else is, so let’s keep talking.

When you hear the term “African-American” in our country, what does that mean, exactly? The label “African-American” is most often associated with American citizens who are descendents of African slaves brought here by Europeans and others during the 17th – 19th centuries. We all know the history, at least the part about the white Europeans using slave labor to build their wealth in America. But let’s not forget that there were also Africans involved in the capture, buying and selling of their own countrymen. This was not a “white-on-black” crime against humanity, it was a crime against humanity, period. And the slave trade was finally abolished, due in large part to the work of a white Englishman, William Wilburforce, a Christian.

In both the claims of racism in politics, and racism in the persistance of the slave trade, there is guilt on either side.

Barak Obama, if elected, will be the first “African-American” president in U.S. history. His father was Kenyan, his mother a white American. His ancestral heritage, though, is not “African-American” in the way the label is commonly understood, although he portrays himself to be such.

A minor detail, right? Well, maybe, but let’s go back to that word “honesty.” We all know that politics is nasty business, but does that mean that we should give up on our desire for honesty and character in our leadership? I believe not. I’ve read portions of Obama’s “autobiography” Dreams from my Father: A story of race and inheritance, and The Audacity of Hope, and I can say without hesitation that I can’t vote for this man.

Not because he’s black, but because his vision for change in America is, at best, ambiguous. He isn’t who he wants me to believe he is, and if he can’t be honest about his true heritage then I have to wonder what else he is not being honest about.

But, this is so much bigger than politics. The more I learn about Obama, his life experience, background, associations, and ambitions, the clearer it becomes to me that his vision for change in America is to change America from what it was founded to be, a “shining city on a hill”, a place where we all have the freedom to choose to become the best we can be, or to choose to do nothing and suffer the consequences; the freedom to accept personal responsibility for our own destiny…into a country no different than any other, where government rules and the people follow, if not by choice then by “persuasion” that the government knows what’s best for the people and will impose that knowledge, whether the people want it or not.

That sounds like slavery to me.

five things that should be logical, but aren’t

1. My little girl was home from school sick last Friday. There’s a nasty cold virus running around these parts and, of course, it jumped on her. She’s coughed until she can’t talk, blows her nose constantly. “Mom, where does all this stuff COME from??” So, last Friday evening we get the obligatory automated phone call from school informing us that our daughter was absent from 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th periods. REALLY??????

It annoys me to no end that I get phone calls from school because of the parents whose kids are enrolled in school, don’t show up, and the parents don’t really care where their kids are. It’s called annoying the innocent for the misdeeds of the guilty.

2. As part of the treatment for her cold and our ongoinging allergies, we must purchase sudafed on a fairly regular basis, and we require a higher dosage that is no longer available on the shelf. Therefore, I have to stand in line at the pharmacy counter, prove my identity to the Walmart cashier, sign a state government form indicating that I am NOT a methamphetamine user or dealer in order to purchase a maximum of two packages of sudafed for a total cost of four bucks. See 1. above re: annoying the innocent, or punishing the many because of the crimes of the few.

But I don’t have to prove my identity to vote. Someone else could show up, say she’s me, have her name marked on the roll as having voted and vote. Then when I show up to vote, the roll would indicate that I’ve already voted. Why is that? And why, if I think that showing an ID for proof of identity for voting registration purposes would help eliminate voter fraud, am I labeled a racist of all things??

3. As I mentioned, also 1. above, little girl is still coughing her head off. This morning I asked her if she could take some cough drops to school. Then I thought, I’ll bet she can’t take cough drops to school because they are considered “drugs” due to the zero-tolerance drug policy. Sure enough, she can’t take cough drops to school. Actually, she could, IF she gives them to the school nurse and then goes to the nurse’s office each time she needs a cough drop. Convenient. Zero-tolerance = “you mean I have to think about the situation and decide if it’s breaking policy or not? forget it. policy is applied the same to everyone. no thought required. YEAH!”

These are the same state educators who think it is proper to dispense birth-control pills to little girl, without my knowledge, or give her information on abortion, again without my knowledge.

I guess it makes sense. If I’m so stupid that I can’t dispense cough drops to her, or teach her how to recognize when she might benefit from the use of a cough drop, I supposed there’s no way on God’s green Earth I have the wits about me to teach her about sex in its appropriate context. Even more so in light of our family’s stance on the sanctity of ALL life.

4. I love watching football on weekends, but I’ve learned to turn the volume down. In five minutes Saturday afternoon a commentator used phrases, “football field”, “football game”, “football player”. DUH!!! Was the field going to immediately morph into, what, a baseball field, soccer field, polo field, corn field perhaps??? Was a flue player going to leap onto the field at some point, discounting the band at half-time? Do they even still have bands at half-time, or have we gone completely into gyrating “performers” who have wardrobe malfunctions and are paid millions of dollars to sing badly, make incoherent political statements and teach our children to use profanity in multiple languages and vernaculars?

Relate “football player” back to number 3. and our stance on pro-life vs. pro-choice. The life being terminated is not, nor will it ever be, a puppy or a hydra, no more than the football player will ever morph midway through the game into a shuffleboard player.

A nearby county, urban, has one of the highest infant mortality rates in our state. Our children were born in the large medical center there, the only one in the county with a birth center. The infant mortality rate there has always been higher than the state average and the state officials haven’t been able to determine why. Last week the paper published an article on the changes in the infant mortality rate over the years. The last sentence of the article said: “When parents lose a child to infant mortality, we all lose.”

A few days later a response appeared on the opinion page. The writer wondered why the same isn’t true of each child lost to abortion.

I wonder that too.

5. When I was in college I was really surprised to learn how much I hadn’t learned in high school. More specifically, with respect to the Russian revolution and the rewriting of Russian history after the revolution. Not only did I not realize that the Soviet government had rewritten parts of the Russian past in order to cast a more sinister light on the Czarist rule, I also could not understand how the people of Russia, the people who had lived through the revolution, could let such a thing happen. They knew the truth. The knew the truth was being distorted, and then obliterated. How could they let it happen? How could they just “forget”?

Then I hear the president of Iran say that the Holocaust never happened.

I see what’s happening to our country, and I hear folks from all wavelengths of the political spectrum fret about how things could have gotten this bad when they, the very ones speaking, had their slimy fingers in the middle of the making of the mess.

And it starts to make sense.