Today's fight shouldn't be about race -- let's face the real issues

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I made a personal decision to back away from public commentary on happenings around me, trying to concentrate instead on my creativity in the visual arts. Up until now, that has worked quite well. I have had time to put my energy into creating three-dimensional artwork, which I find more difficult to produce than two-dimensional. However, I love the challenge just the same.


Yet, no matter how hard I try to keep my mouth closed on local and national issues, I keep getting the urge to put my proverbial two cents in the conversation, for whatever it is worth. And, often, it is worth very little, according to the responses. But like they say, everyone has an opinion, and I’m not least among them, if you will.

WITH THIS PAINFUL confession, I must speak on recent headlines in the news, where we black people have had a say – a very vocal one I might add. And that’s just what continues to worry me. Are we being too vocal? We seem to be, in many instances, rebels without a cause, looking for the first sign of racism.

Yes, black individuals still suffer indignities across the board. Yes, still in some cases, we are the last hired and the first laid off. Yes, white people would rather be around themselves than around us, and so do we. What’s new? Yes, we still suffer injustices.

However, it seems to me there ought to be another strategy for fighting theses ills without blaming other people – especially a whole race of people. A whole race of people, by the way, can’t really be blamed for anything. In most cases, it’s just one individual. But the case is made stronger when we can include everybody.

Is it fair? No, for either race. As long as we have others to blame for things we can fix ourselves, or that we brought upon ourselves, we will forever be subject to the very people from which we say that we are trying to gain independence. What we are really saying is that we need the white man to fix our problems. We can’t fix them ourselves. In other words, we are more dependent on him than we would like to admit. I hate to inform us that Reconstruction is over. The white man is not giving up anything but bubble gum – and he’s fresh out of that in these uncertain economic times.

I am tired of seeing us protesting for everything. Take, for instance, the Trayvon Martin case, which was deliberated recently by a jury of six women and a not-guilty verdict rendered. I think black people in general, and from the beginning, took this case to point out racial prejudice in the justice system. It didn’t matter whether George Zimmerman was of mixed racial origin. He looked white. He shot and killed Trayvon. Therefore, he is a racist.

In other words, we did to Zimmerman what was often done to us in the past. We tried, convicted and hung him before he had
his day in court. And not a civil rights worker said diddly-squat about it.

THIS CASE WAS about race and, no doubt, we made it that way. Under the same circumstances, if both men had been black, only family, local people and those involved would have known about it. We must find other ways to bring attention to the plight of black people without invoking race in every occasion.

Before anyone thinks I am condemning all demonstrations, we have had over the years demonstrations to win the conscience of good people – people who had influence to change things. History has proved repeatedly that those kinds of demonstrations worked in our favor. However, I now must question how effective today’s demonstrations are. Even in the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s day, the demonstrations were not about race. They were about inequality. People of all races can relate to inequality. This phenomenon affects whites as well as blacks.

What I am trying to say, I suppose, is that today’s fight shouldn’t be about race at all. Someone has said that race is an artificial construct anyway. It’s hard to grasp, to get your hands around. The black man cannot win that fight, even if he thinks God is on his side. For one reason, God, says the Bible’s Book of Acts, is “no respecter of persons.” He ain’t on nobody’s side. So He’s not going be dragged into a racial fight, anyway.

Our energy should be spent trying to prove that we are willing to drop our buckets where we are, as the great Booker T. Washington once said, and start contributing our share to this great country of ours in the 21st century. We waste too much time talking about what this country owes us and what it’s not. In fact, there’s not too much we can do about that but talk. The task is too difficult to figure out who is owed what and how we can make what’s not a reality. But I think it all starts with individuals, not groups.

However, the first thing we can do as a race is stop blaming the white man. If we have a problem, let race be the last, the very last thing to which we attributed the problem. Surprisingly, most often, the problem has absolutely nothing to do with race.

Now, don’t think that I am naïve to think that racial prejudice is nonexistent in 21st-century America. However, trying to eliminate it shouldn’t be a priority of ours, in light of those ills we bring upon ourselves that we are afraid to talk about, for fear of ostracism.

LET’S TALK ABOUT our children not taking advantage of education. Without it, everything else is downhill. Let’s talk about the lack of respect our children have for authority. Let’s talk about killings within our own communities. Let’s start talking about girls having babies so that babies can provide lives for mothers that mothers should be providing for babies. Now that’s a hot issue – babies taking care of parents through the welfare system. The more babies, the more money the government will provide to mothers.

What I’m trying to say, black people, is that if we just take time and take care of these problems, race would be less of a factor in our lives. Stop allowing so-called leaders to jerk you around to rebel without a cause.

(The writer is a former Augusta City Council member and a retired labor relations manager from Bechtel Savannah River Inc.)

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Bizkit
44167
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Bizkit 08/04/13 - 11:08 pm
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MyFather, You missed my

MyFather, You missed my point, and I'm surprised you missed my intent. I have repeatedly stated we can't live in the past and one reason I have a real distaste for social justice and things like affirmative action. And I have repeatedly stated much you posted, though my wife and I had nothing we were very fortunate and blessed (by God by the way). But we humans are prone to err, and though I can't change the past, I don't want anyone to think that I support the past mistakes. But I know of no person or nation who hasn't made mistakes, and I believe in forgiveness. So I feel a need to apologize and ask for forgiveness-I would hope a reciprocal asking for forgiveness for past misconduct of blacks. This letter basically stated his responsibility-so I wanted to meet him and do the same in my own way. Asking for forgiveness is never shallow. There is a long history of violent black race riots (actually other ethnicities too like the Irish long ago but since the 60's roughly 40 riots with blacks and nothing really "justifies" those actions) that could and should be asked for forgiveness-that's a lot of violence and it isn't the way. They too should ask for forgiveness. I didn't do it and they didn't do but let's heal from the past. A good start is recognize the past, ask for forgiveness by all parties and move forward united. I must not be communicatin' well today-perhaps never.
And it's been a long day for me personally asking for forgiveness from numerous people and family members today. Every time I've done it I feel the Spirit healing me from my past transgressions- (I've been convicted of my wrong). That is where I'm coming from today. There is no excuse for doing wrong, we can't blame others to justify doing wrong-like affirmative action and idea of fighting discrimination with discrimination which is just retarded. Also rather than just hurl insults at others I disagree I want to acknowledge when I think the right and when I think they are wrong. Spec is a misguided ideologue with his notions of social justice but I feel all our youth are prone to the same infective agent that has hit the black community and I fear violence in youths of all ethnicity. I'm sick of the moral relativism, social justice which will just breed more injustice and is retarded, all sides need to admit mistakes and the fact there is racism-but that is neither here nor there and going back isn't going forward. My mortgage is $3,330 dollars a month but it used to be about the same as yours-I'm thankful I had the opportunity to get there-and believe me my wife and I aren't greedy with it and give to specific causes. We already share our wealth (I don't need govt telling who and what to give to nor redistributing my wealth-that's stealing) and always have-because we both know what it means not to be so fortunate.

Truth Matters
10531
Points
Truth Matters 08/05/13 - 12:52 am
2
1
LTE

I would welcome a letter that addresses how misguided it is for whites to take poor or criminal behavior committed by some blacks and attribute those behaviors to the whole group. I think in some ways that is what Spec is alluding to.

One example, maybe it is bias of media but everyone knows that most crimes are committed by members of the same race as the victim (86% white on white and 94% black on black) but the media NEVER addresses white on white crime.

This country have a problem with violence, period---our birth was the result of violence, necessarily, but no less the case. So the result is the perception that blacks are more violent than other groups. This perception leads to the attempt to justify many other behaviors---if you see someone in a hoodie, he may be a criminal, unless it is Geraldo and Bill O'Reilly at a sporting event.

Whites can change the tenor of this conversation as immediately as Mr. Abrams says that blacks can. An earnest start is to stop sterotyping in your posts and conversations.

Truth Matters
10531
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Truth Matters 08/05/13 - 01:14 am
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Facing the real issues

I hope the writer is not suggesting that people can only address one issue at a time. I also hope the suggestion is that because there are so many issues, the parents of Trayvon Martin should not be concerned about the law they and others believe created the environment where this could occur. Would we have told the mother who organized MADD that there are other real issues, do not worry about drunk drivers?

There are many issues that require attention. Just to mention two:
1) A vague law passed by states that would allow an unarmed person to be killed.
2) Voting restriction--people can not blame others for the state representatives who vote for these laws, especially when they did not go out to vote. However, they can blame these same people who feign voter fraud to put greater restrictions on voters where the result is fewer people are able to vote.

So there is a connection here. The only way to correct laws that are deemed unjust is to ensure that EVERYONE who has a right to vote, can vote to get representatives who will do the will of the people and not just ALEC and the NRA.

One can argue that these laws were not passed with the intent of harming a particular group, but if the IMPACT is more severe on one group, intent is irrelevant.

These are real issues and sometimes protesting, or marching may be needed to draw attention to the issue.

mrenee2003
2953
Points
mrenee2003 08/05/13 - 08:47 am
2
1
TM

you are correct that the media almost never addresses the problem of White on White crime nor do they focus all that much on the ills of White poverty. The problem with that is that it leaves the perception that it's a "Black problem." There is no genetic predisposition toward laziness, grift, crime, or violence but you would not know that from the media (or from comments on this forum). Most serial killers and mass shooters are White men. Why don't we have a conversation about that? Or all the White meth addicts in Iowa? It's a disservice to both White and Black people to ignore White poverty, violence, and drug addiction. Kind of like how we used to hear about all that crime at Regency Mall and not Augusta Mall (even though stuff happened all the time!). It leaves the wrong impression.

myfather15
59559
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myfather15 08/05/13 - 11:05 am
1
1
"A vague law passed by states

"A vague law passed by states that would allow an unarmed person to be killed."

If that "unarmed" person, is attacking and plummeting another human being, for no good reason; why shouldn't that human being be able to stand their ground? If I've done NOTHING to place you in danger, and you just attack me; you should expect me to defend myself. The first thing Martin did wrong was to underestimate his opponent, because I'm sure if Martin had known he was armed, he wouldn't have attacked him. The second, was that he continued to plummet a man, after having him on the ground; which placed the man in fear of serious bodily harm or death, then the man shot!! Self defense, get over it!!

But, lets not forget, this LAW that you're talking about was NOT used during the Zimmerman trial; it wasn't even mentioned!!

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 08/05/13 - 11:13 am
0
1
"I hope the writer is not
Unpublished

"I hope the writer is not suggesting that people can only address one issue at a time."
TM, the writer is suggesting that it is time to stop playing the race card every time there is an incident.
1) A vague law passed by states that would allow an unarmed person to be killed.
TM, Zimmerman's defense was self defense

2) Voting restriction--people can not blame others for the state representatives who vote for these laws, especially when they did not go out to vote. However, they can blame these same people who feign voter fraud to put greater restrictions on voters where the result is fewer people are able to vote.
TM, the voter photo ID is to put "greater restrictions' on voter fraud the democrats have been getting away with for many years.

myfather15
59559
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myfather15 08/05/13 - 11:18 am
1
1
mrenee

"Most serial killers and mass shooters are White men. Why don't we have a conversation about that? "

We've had NUMEROUS conversations about that; where have you been? Absolutely ridiculous!!

"Or all the White meth addicts in Iowa?"

Ok, first of all; why do you want to address meth addicts in Iowa?? Do you realize meth is a epidemic, right here in Georgia?? Again; you're distorting the truth, to fit your agenda; in typical left wing fashion!!

" It's a disservice to both White and Black people to ignore White poverty, violence, and drug addiction."

What exactly do you call ignoring? Do you EVER watch TV? Every 5 minutes it seems there is a commercial on TV against METH use, with a ton of WHITE faces on it!! So exactly WHO is ignoring the issue?

"Kind of like how we used to hear about all that crime at Regency Mall and not Augusta Mall"

You've got to be kidding me with this one, right? Seriously, you're kidding right?

Augusta mall would have regular shoplifters, and maybe one would run from the police from time to time. They would also have an argument from time to time that turned into a fight; but for the most part, it was very peaceful, with persons of EVERY RACE enjoying it!! Regency mall was completely overtaken by thugs!! They didn't simply have regular shoplifting, they had regular STABBINGS and gang fights!!! Any decent person of ANY race, wouldn't go there accompanied by an Army, at certain times.

What you guys do is try to confuse people!! It's just common sense and you could ask ANYONE, of any RACE which mall they would have went too, when both were open.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 08/05/13 - 11:55 am
1
1
"Kind of like how we used to
Unpublished

"Kind of like how we used to hear about all that crime at Regency Mall and not Augusta Mall (even though stuff happened all the time!)."
mrenee, being in denial only makes things worse. Trying to compare the crime at Augusta Mall to the crime at Regency causes one to lose all creditability.

mrenee2003
2953
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mrenee2003 08/05/13 - 02:29 pm
2
1
lose all credibility

is the go-to comment around here whenever you can't defend something. First, I didn't equate it. Violent crime (kidnappings, attempted kidnappings, rape, and robbery at Augusta Mall get downplayed by the media (if the media reports it all). Second, the only conversation I've seen about mass shootings, at least on this site, concerns the right to carry automatic weapons not what society needs to do to fix the White male serial killer/mass shooting problem. Third, I've never heard any of you ever address the White meth problem in Iowa, Appalachia, Indiana, or GA and the violence it causes to our society. The point is that many of the comments on this forum view drugs, violence, teenage pregnancy, welfare as a Black problem. It isn't. Let's spend some time talking about it on this forum and what we can do to fix it. Like I asked, "Where are the White leaders to fix White on White crime, serial killers, mass shooters, meth addicts, etc."

Bulldog
1383
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Bulldog 08/05/13 - 03:25 pm
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It hasn't been racial since 1980

It hasn't been a racial issue since 1980. It has always been a cultural issue...

chascushman
6653
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chascushman 08/05/13 - 03:37 pm
1
1
"It hasn't been a racial
Unpublished

"It hasn't been a racial issue since 1980. It has always been a cultural issue..."
bulldog, you are are correct. Many even on this tread try to make it about race when it is really about the culture created by the Great Society and liberals, democrats and black leaders. Take a look at the cities, Augusta is a good place to start.

mrenee2003
2953
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mrenee2003 08/05/13 - 07:25 pm
2
1
chascushman

When you say, "Many even on this tread (sic) try to make it about race when it is really about the culture created by the Great Society and liberals, democrats and black leaders" you make it about race.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 08/05/13 - 08:28 pm
1
2
" When you say, "Many even on
Unpublished

" When you say, "Many even on this tread (sic) try to make it about race when it is really about the culture created by the Great Society and liberals, democrats and black leaders" you make it about race."
mrenee, it is obvious you see everything though racist eyes. While more blacks were affected by 'the culture created by the Great Society and liberals, democrats and black leaders' all races were affected.

myfather15
59559
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myfather15 08/05/13 - 09:07 pm
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1
mrenee

"I've never heard any of you ever address the White meth problem in Iowa, Appalachia, Indiana, or GA and the violence it causes to our society. The point is that many of the comments on this forum view drugs, violence, teenage pregnancy, welfare as a Black problem."

Then you simply do NOT pay attention!! First of all, when they have an article about the issue of drugs, we address it and talk about it pretty in depth. Most usually try to stay on the topic of the article!! Second, If you've EVER paid attention to my arguments with other commenters, you would know your WRONG, at least about me.

When other commenters refer to drug offenses as "Non-violent" offenses, I'm quick to jump all over that!! Because Drug dealers especially are VIOLENT by nature and the nature of their business!! A drug dealer MUST be violent or they will NOT LAST in their business. They must be ready to protect themselves with violence against other drug dealers, wanting to eliminate the competition AND they must be willing to do violence to customers who owe them money!! It's the nature of the "business".

AND, when discussing this issue; I've NEVER narrowed it down to a certain RACE of dealers. It's ALL drug dealers and addicts. Meth addicts, as much or MORE than crack addicts, are on the streets EVERY DAY, stealing from people to support their habits.

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