Archive for the ‘racial’ Category

Why We Stand for the National Anthem

October 15, 2017

Although the “National Anthem” is called “The Star Spangled Banner”, we are not standing to honor and respect the flag itself. We are standing with those who have fought to keep that banner flying.

Today we tend to think of flags as primarily decorative items. In 1814 the flag was an essential communications device on the battlefield.

The flag flying above a fort demonstrated which army controlled it. When an army captured a fort it took down the enemy’s flag and raised its own flag. If the occupants of a fort lowered their flag, “struck their colors”, it meant that they were surrendering.

When Francis Scott Key saw that the flag was still flying over Ft. McHenry he knew the men in the fort had refused to be intimidated by the British artillery barrage. His poem celebrated the courage of the men in the fort rather than the flag itself.

The use of the flag to demonstrate a resolve to stand up to America’s enemies has continued into this century. This spirit was demonstrated in World War II when the Marines who took Iwo Jima quickly raised the flag to let those at sea know they were established on the island. New York city firefighters showed they were not defeated when they erected a flag at Ground Zero shortly after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Those who disrespect the military by attacking the national anthem demonstrate a lack of gratitude for what the military has done to reduce racism. 360,000 U.S. army soldiers, including 40,000 black, died in the Civil War which ended slavery. After WWII President Harry Truman integrated the military to show that black men and white men could live together and work together. President Dwight Eisenhower used paratroopers in Little Rock to insure compliance with a federal court order to desegregate the schools.

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Is It Colin Kaepenick’s Revenge?

September 29, 2017

I didn’t realize how bad the NFL’s concussion problem was until many of its players developed kneeling sickness during the singing of the national anthem. . The kneelers claim they are protesting racism, but kneeling is usually done as a form of submission, not a form of protest. In the NFL, a player who fields a kickoff in the end zone will kneel to show he doesn’t plan to run with the ball. Late in the game the quarterback on the team that is leading will “take a knee” to run out the clock. Kneeling is what a slave may do to show obedience to an owner.

The national anthem, “Star Spangled Banner”, recalls the bravery of the men in one of our nation’s most important battles. In the War of 1812 the men of Ft. McHenry held off the British navy in spite of a fierce naval bombardment. At dawn the flag was still waving. By protesting during the national anthem, the kneelers show contempt for those Americans who died in that battle including an escaped slave who had enlisted as a private in the U.S. army using the name William Williams. The kneelers also show contempt for 360,000 U.S. army soldiers who died fighting in the Civil War which ended slavery. 40,000 of those soldiers were black.

The kneelers alienate many of those fans who have friends and relatives serving in distant combat zones. Many fans have served in combat in the current conflict or lost friends or relatives in the 9/11 attack.

The kneelers have created a rift between players and fans that is costing the league revenue. I wonder if that was Colin Kaepenick’s goal when he persuaded current players to become involved in this silly protest. Did he encourage the protests to get even with NFL teams for not signing him as a free agent?

If NFL players really want to do something about racism they should donate money to civil rights organizations, including political action committees that support civil rights oriented candidates Kneeling on the sidelines and whining like children in a store who want toys is unlikely to accomplish anything.

Those Who Benefit from Economic Injustice Shouldn’t Complain

September 25, 2017

Those athletes who complain about the existence of injustice ignore the fact that they are part of the class whose members may benefit from whatever injustices are perceived to exist. What is considered an injustice varies from one person to another.

The use of local taxes to subsidize sports facilities can be considered an injustice. Some of the athletes using the facilities pay more in income taxes than some of the local taxpayers make in a year. The money teams save by not having to pay to construct facilities is available for player salaries.

If professional athletes are really concerned about injustice they should do something directly instead of whining about it like children For example, they might use part of their income to create jobs in high unemployment areas.

Criticism of President Donald Trump’s comments is unjustified. As the elected leader of the American he can speak for those who agree with him. Normally we can expect that some will agree with him and some will disagree.

 

Wanton Destruction of Historic Art

September 4, 2017

The world was appalled when fanatical members of the Taliban blew up ancient Buddhist statues carved into a mountain in Afghanistan. They destroyed the priceless artifacts as part of an effort to eliminate items they didn’t considered politically correct. More recently ISIS members have been doing the same thing in Iraq. They have even been destroying historical artifacts other Muslims consider acceptable.

Unfortunately, this vandalism oriented mental condition has begun infecting people in the South. The southern vandals have begun destroying Civil War related art such as statues remembering the men who led the Southern states into the disaster known as the Civil War and in the process caused the end of slavery.

As the great grandson of a Yankee soldier I’ve never really understood why southern whites would want to honor such men. I presume they did not put up the statues because they knew the statues would be pigeon roosts.

It would have made more sense if the former slaves had erected the statues to thank the men who provoked northerners into ending slavery. In 1860 there was little prospect for ending slavery. Most northerners opposed slavery in their states because they hated the people held as slaves. The decision by southern states to leave the union and fight a lengthy war so angered northerners that they decided to get even with southerners by freeing southern slaves and granting the freed slaves rights that were denied in some northern states. Blacks couldn’t even live in Illinois. The descendants of slaves shouldn’t be destroying Civil War monuments. They should be protecting the monuments to those who inadvertently brought a end to slavery. Southerners should include signs with the monuments thanking the men who caused the north to end slavery.

The Muslim extremists who have been destroying historic art have been doing so to cover up the fact people in the region once had different religious beliefs. Are the people who are leading the effort to destroy historic art in the south trying to cover up the fact that southern slavery once caused a major war? The presence of Civil War monuments can lead to questions about what caused the war. Without the monuments, whites can avoid dealing with questions about the southern past.

Those Who Want to Live Only With Whites Should Go Back to Ancestors’ Homelands

August 20, 2017

This post is a partial summary of the preceding post which contains links for some of the information.

The white person’s continent is Europe, not American. North America has been a melting pot since the Spanish arrived 500 years ago with African slaves whom they sometimes mated with. The first documented marriage of an African to a North American occurred in Florida in 1525.

In British North America the “melting pot” began a century later at Jamestown. The small populations in the early Virginia communities meant that people often had to marry across the black, white and red color lines. The 1636 marriage of an African man named John Punch to a white woman [who was probably an Irish indentured servant] was not the first such union, but it is one whose descendants have been traced to the 20th Century. Diplomat Dr. Ralph Bunche was one of the dark-complexioned descendants. A Kansas woman named Stanley Ann Dunham [the mother of President Barack Obama]
was one of the white descendants. Dunham like the vast majority of Americans with African ancestry didn’t know she had an African ancestor.

Later the introduction of permanent slavery included two laws which initially accelerated the mixing of African and European DNA. A child’s status as slave or free was determined by the mother’s status as slave [including indentured servants] or free. If the child was black it would be a permanent slave. White children would be indentured servants. Some slave owners increased the number of permanent slaves by requiring white female indentured servants to mate with black males.

Subsequent laws prohibiting sex across the color line were generally ignored if the woman was black. The primary purpose of such laws was to prevent free white women from having black babies who wouldn’t be slaves.

By 1776 some of the descendants of such “mixed” marriages were able to pass for white especially if they moved to a new location and changed their names. Some claimed they had North American or Mediterranean ancestry. The presence of the albino gene in the African genome could have helped some become white. Most probably didn’t tell their children about their ancestry.

During the slavery era some slave owners, including President Thomas Jefferson and his father in law, had slave “wives” called “concubines. Jefferson’s concubine, Sally Hemmings was described as white with long straight hair. The children of Jefferson’s concubine were eventually freed, left Virginia and passed for white.

As the southern urban population began increasing in the early 19th Century, some slave owners bred light skinned women [fancy slaves] for the sex trade. The end of slavery allowed some of these women along with other light skinned former slaves to pass for white. Prostitution provided an economic opportunity for young black women with a resulting increase in light skinned children who could eventually pass for white.

Many whites who checked their ancestry after the broadcast of Alex Haley’s “Roots” were surprised to find that an ancestor who had served in the military had the letter “c” after his name for “colored”.

Barack Obama was the first dark complexion president, but he wasn’t the first president to acknowledge African ancestry. President Warren G.Harding said one of his ancestors might have “jumped the fence”. There is speculation that five other presidents might have had African ancestry: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, and Dwight Eisenhower. It would be difficult to prove or disprove such claims.

Most parents with North American ancestry probably did not pass along the information.

Most of us who consider ourselves white who have some ancestors who arrived five or more generations probably have at least one ancestor who was North American or African. At five generations in the past you can have 32 different ancestors. I know I have a North American ancestor and suspect I have an African ancestor.

Media Perpetuating Racism

August 16, 2017

I am reposting the following so it can be used for information]

Jesse Washington has reported that many dark skinned Americans recognize that they are not “African” Americans in spite of what some racists say.

Th e term “African-American” perpetuates the principle tenet of Southern racism: “part black, all black” under the “one drop rule”.

Those who use the term are in effect segregating Americans with dark complexions from the rest of the population they may be related to. Those who use the term believe that those with dark complexions should only be able to claim their African ancestors and should forget about ancestors who came from Europe, North America or Asia even if most of a person’s ancestors came from places other than Africa.

The media in particular apply the term indiscriminately to any American with a dark complexion. For example, they call golfer Tiger Woods “African American” even though his ancestry is predominately Asian. His mother is Asian and his father had Asian as well as African and American Indian ancestors.

Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed of a day in which color would not be important. Unfortunately, the media along with many politicians and black leaders are still preoccupied with skin color.

Members of the media still falsely claim that differences in skin color among Americans indicate a racial difference. Perhaps there is an European “race” that is white and an African “race” that is black, but if there is an American race it is red and yellow, black and white. We Americans are a mixture of peoples from all parts of the world.

As the Lakota say, Aho Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related) regardless of the color of our skin.

The fact that a person has dark skin doesn’t mean a majority of ancestors came from Africa. Dark skin only means a person received one or more of the half dozen skin color related genes that produce “black” skin from an African ancestor. Some of the genes associated with dark complexion are also present in persons from other parts of the world, especially India and Australia. The versions of the skin color genes that cause dark skin are dominant genes which means if a person has a dark version of the gene, complexion will be dark even if the other gene is associated with light skin. Incidentally, the African gene pool includes the albino gene which means some residents of Africa have pale skin.

Calling black Americans African-Americans denies them the opportunity to claim their European (especially Irish) and North American ancestry. The first Africans in the English colonies worked with the Irish in the fields and occasionally became sexually involved with them. In some cases planters deliberately forced Irish women to have children by African men to produce children of a desired complexion. Later, Irish overseers and plantation owners sometimes offered favors for sex or just raped slaves.

Until the 1960’s Southern white men could rape black women without fearing punishment. Some black women voluntarily had sex with white employers or their sons. Former Sen. Strom Thurman fathered a daughter by his parent’s 16-year-old housekeeper when he was a young man. Young southern women were told that if their good night kisses were too passionate, their boyfriends might seek sexual satisfaction in the black community.

Some black Americans can trace their ancestry back to President Thomas Jefferson and his virtual wife Sally Hennings. DNA tests confirmed the claim that Sally Hennings descendants were also descendants of Thomas Jefferson. The tests examined the “Y” chromosome which is passed from father to son.

A test of the “Y” chromosome of Martin Luther King III indicates that he and his civil rights leader father Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a north European male ancestor like about 33% of black American males.

The Spanish who established colonies in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia in the 16th Century using African slaves were less likely than the British to bring wives and instead used their slaves for sexual satisfaction. The French in Louisiana also had a shortage of white women. The French, unlike the English, even used terms indicating the proportion of African and European ancestry.

African slaves of the Spanish started a long association with the original inhabitants of North America that continued in the British colonies. The Africans left behind when Spain withdrew from Florida joined with the Seminoles. In the English colonies the Cherokees and some other tribes socialized with the Africans, gave refuge to runaway slaves or had African slaves of their own.

Many white Americans, including former President Warren G. Harding, have African ancestors. Some believe as many as four other white presidents had African ancestors. After the “Roots Miniseries” many whites who researched their family histories were surprised to find ancestors who served in the military who had a “C” after their names for “colored”.

Most whites with African ancestors probably don’t even know it because their African ancestors whose skin was light enough to pass for white covered up their past. It would only take a few generations of people with mixed parentage to have descendants with skin light enough to pass for white. If only one gene were involved, the math of inheritance would indicate that if two parents each had one black parent and one white parent approximately 25% of their children would have white skin. The math is more complicated with the involvement of multiple genes, but the probability of some light skinned children increases with each generation.

Racists sometimes suggest that black males have a greater propensity for violence especially against women and falsely ascribe that characteristic to their African ancestors. If some black men actually have a genetic tendency to commit rape and murder it would be far more likely that they inherited the gene from a white male ancestor who raped one of their black female ancestors than that they inherited it from an African male ancestor.

Another popular stereotype is that blacks have “rhythm” which they are supposed to have inherited from their African ancestors. Although the slaves’ African heritage would have influenced their music, it seems more likely that the social and biological association with the musically oriented Irish would be more responsible for the black emphasis on music.

The Irish responded to the repressive treatment by the English through musical expression. They would have passed that tradition along to the Africans whom they initially worked with as “indentured servants” and later supervised after black slavery was established. The slaves blended their Irish and African traditions with their own situation. They concentrated on expressing themselves through music because their oppressors didn’t allow other ways to “fight” their situation. Watch Irish groups like Riverdance and Celtic Woman and then say that black Americans could only have gotten “rhythm” from African ancestors.

The first African “servants” arrived in Jamestown in 1619 only 14 years after the founding of the settlement. During the two centuries of the Atlantic slave trade only about 500,000 additional Africans were imported into North America. Britain led the way to ending the Atlantic slave trade in 1807 and the United States quickly followed to outlaw the importation of slaves without prohibiting the internal slave trade. Thus, the vast majority of the 4.5 million blacks living in the U.S. in 1860 were born here to parents and grandparents who were born here. A substantial portion had at least some ancestors who were living in North America at the time of the American Revolution.

It’s time we recognize that the only African ancestors of the descendants of slaves arrived here centuries ago. We need to recognize that those dark skinned Americans whose ancestors were slaves are just as deserving of being called regular Americans as those of us with light skins without any modifier that segregates them from the rest of us.

Americans with dark skins should be allowed to claim all of their ancestors, not just those who provided the genes responsible for their skin color. Those of us with light skins need to accept the possibility that many of those with dark skins are our distant cousins. Those of us whose ancestors arrived here a couple of centuries ago or came from the British Isles, especially Ireland, likely had relatives who had sexual relations with the descendants of Africans. We could also have ancestors who came from Africa. Those whose ancestors have lived in the south for several generations, especially if they have dark naturally curly hair, could easily have an ancestor who passed for white at some time in the past.

Americans need to recognize that color is only skin deep. It doesn’t totally define us.

Black Men Don’t Matter on Decades Channel

February 17, 2017

I’m white, but I am concerned that the  February schedule for the “Decades” television channel  could indicate the staff is racist.   February is supposed to be Black History month, but you can barely tell it from the Decades program schedule.   The emphasis is on publicizing the lives of those they call remarkable women even though women have the month of March as their month.

Decades normally has a schedule that combines history documentaries and entertainment programs. Each weekday has a program that summarizes major events that occurred on that day which may include events such as a birth or career milestone in a celebrity’s life.  Weekends have marathons called “binges” of a single series.  Lately they have been running mini-binges with two 3-hour periods devoted to a single series possibly featuring a celebrity being emphasized that day.   This month they are running series featuring predominately white women.  They are running a week of shows featuring black women, but except for “Touched by an Angel”  the shows have a white male as the principle character.

There aren’t very many female entertainers who are more remarkable than Debbie Allen who played  a dancing teacher on “Fame” while being the show’s choreographer.  She later became a successful director.   Diahann Carroll as “Julia” was one of the first black women to play the central character in a sitcom.    “Barefoot in the Park”, a series about a young black couple,  was the first show since “Amos and Andy” to feature a predominately black cast.  Teresa Graves starred in “Get Christie Love” the first series about  a police woman since the fifties’ series “Police Decoy”,

I had expected they would emphasize programs featuring black performers to observe Black History Month possibly including episodes of Nat King Cole’s program.   There’s no good reason to run women’s programs instead of black programs this month. One thing that would have been great would have been to run different series showing how the roles available to blacks changed since the fifties.   If they wanted to devote two months to women’s programs instead of one month they could have used April instead of February.   The devotion of a week to black women indicates they believe  black women matter.  The lack of a similar  week for lack men implies they don’t believe black  men matter.