Archive for the ‘Social’ Category

Charlie Gard’s Parents Demonstrate British Fortitude

July 22, 2017

Americans  support Charlie Gard partly because his parents demonstrate the fortitude in the face of adversity that  Americans have long admired in the British.  Unfortunately for Charlie his doctors don’t have that fortitude.   The doctors prefer a white flag of surrender to a “stiff upper lip”.

If Charlie’s parents had been in London during WWII they would have come out of the shelters between bombing raids and taken  care of business.  I don’t know about his doctors.

The decision by Charlie’s parents to ask for American help repeats   another British behavior.  During the last century when “Mother England” needed help she turned to her powerful “child” the United States.

Should American Military Employ “Comfort Women”?

June 11, 2017

“Make love not war” was a popular slogan in the late sixties.   Soldiers in many wars  have found that “making love” is a way to forget the realities of war.

Sex and war have been connected since the first time men from one village attacked another village to kidnap women.    Invading armies often have a problem with soldiers sexually assaulting local  women.
American military forces have an ongoing problem with male personnel sexually assaulting female personnel.

Although genes don’t control human behavior the way genes control the behavior of other animals,  genes do influence human behavior.    It may be significant that in species in which  males may fight each other to the death, the fighting is over acquisition of females.

During World  War II Japan decided to try to  prevent the rape problem by hiring women  to serve as “comfort women” who would provide sexual services for Japanese soldiers.   The size of the Japanese military hampered the effort to have an all volunteer unit.  Japan dealt with this situation by conscripting  women in the countries Japan conquered.  The controversy over the practice continues to  hamper relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Although I would not advocate the use of “comfort women”, I recognize “comfort women”  could provide an option for reducing rapes by male personnel.

Women providing sexual services would probably have a military job title like “personal therapist”.  The men they provide services to would be officially listed as “patients” and the “treatment” they receive would have the same privacy protection as other medical treatment.  Patients would have to pass some basic physical exam to make sure they don’t have contagious diseases or medical conditions that sexual activity might affect.   Therapists  would inform patients that a doctor or nurse might monitor their treatment by video.  Any monitoring  would be for quality control as well as to protect the therapists.   There are rare cases in which even young seemingly healthy athletes have heart attacks during strenuous activity because of undetected heart conditions.

Therapists  would receive  training as counselors and be expected  to watch for problems like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so men could  receive treatment as early as possible.
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Outside  the building where the services are provided therapists would wear the same uniforms as other female personnel during the time when they are expected to be in uniform.     To guarantee personal privacy their living quarters would be separate from where the work area even if the living quarters are in the same building.    Therapists would receive hazardous duty pay because of the disease risk.   They would have a clothing allowance for their “work clothes”.

I realize that some people will question  having the military encourage what they consider an immoral practice.   I would ask these people if they  consider war a more moral activity than making love.   What many ignore is that prostitution is a business relationship rather than a personal relationship.   Although some prostitutes enjoy their work,  they don’t become involved with their clients.  The “personal therapists” I’m proposing would be providing a therapeutic service to those who are asked to risk their lives for their fellow Americans.  How can that be immoral?

Part of the rape problem is the failure of   American culture to teach men that they should learn to control their sexual nature.  Instead American culture encourages men to expect women to serve their sexual desires.   Unfortunately it isn’t practical for the military to change men’s sexual attitudes.   The most practical alternative is to employ women whose profession involves serving men’s sexual needs.

Amazing Grace: The Perfect Hymn

April 18, 2017

“Amazing Grace”  is one of the most popular hymns because it has a simple message and readily lends itself to being performed  in different ways. It can be sung fast or slow, loud or soft.  Reporter Bill Moyers once did a PBS documentary about the hymn “Amazing Grace” which included several different ways of singing the hymn.   When I was in college I learned a version sung to the tune of “The Wanderer”.

I have heard impressive performances played on a magnificent pipe organ and on a simple harmonica.  It can be played on a heavenly sounding harp or on a jazzy trumpet.  I don’t know of any song I would rather hear on the bagpipes.  Or, “Amazing Grace” can be sung acappella as  Judy Collins did in a 1970 recording.

Some call “Amazing Grace” a white spiritual because  it combines English words with an African melody.  I had never really thought about where the melody came from until Larnell Harris mentioned it on one of the Gaither music programs.  According to Harris the melody is an Africa sorrow chant.

John Newton, who wrote  “Amazing Grace”, likely learned the melody while working on slave ships and briefly being a slave himself in West Africa.  When Newton wrote “a wretch like me” he meant it literally.  Newton’s sailing career began when he joined the crew of his sea captain father’s ship.  Newton served on various ships after his father retired before ending up on the slave ship Pegasus. He had so much trouble getting along with the rest of the crew that they eventually sold him to a west African slave trader who turned Newton over to his wife who abused Newton in the same way as her other slaves.  After a friend of Newton’s father rescued him. he returned to sailing and subsequently became the captain of a slave ship.  A religious conversion eventually led him to become  minister.  Decades later he became a leading advocate for abolishing slavery.

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.

Black Man Wants Father’s Identify

November 7, 2016

There is a young black man who is attempting to learn for sure who his father is, but the man he has long believed to be his father continues to ignore him.  He is attempting to obtain the man’s DNA so he can find out for sure.   He has gone so far as to ask the President of the United States, Barack Obama, for help because the father is a  politician  President Obama is acquainted with.   The father claims to favor racial equality on the political level, but apparently not at the personal level.

The alleged father wouldn’t be the first white 20th Century politician to have fathered a black child.  Former Sen. Strom Thurmond  fathered a black child, but Thurmond accepted the responsibility of being a father.  Thurmond kept in touch with his daughter and financed her college education.   Although Thurmond had fought racial integration at the political level, he had no trouble having a personal relationship with a black daughter.

And now for what commentator Paul Harvey would have called the “Rest of the Story”.   The young man’s name is Danney Lee Williams-Clinton and the man he believes to be his father is Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States.

Reactionary Justices Resurrect Plessy v. Ferguson Attitude

July 28, 2016

On June 27, in the worst ruling since Plessy v. Ferguson five white Supreme Court Justices told the State of Texas it had to ignore the 14th Amendment requirement to provide “equal protection of the laws”.

The ruling was even worse than Plessy. Plessy merely allowed states to enact Jim Crow segregation laws. Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt requires the state of Texas to allow continued operation of Jane Crow health facilities. A Jane Crow facility provides health care to black women but doesn’t have to meet the same high standards as facilities that treat white men.

Abortion surgery involves the removal of a significant sized biomass from deep inside a woman’s body much like cancer surgery does. The Texas law requires facilities performing abortion surgery on women to meet standards for surgical facilities that treat white men. Women occasionally die from carelessly performed abortion surgery including Tanya Reaves who bled to death after an abortion at an unlicensed Jane Crow facility in Chicago or Cree Erwin who recently died in Battle Creek, Michigan, after an abortion at an as yet unidentified facility.

Justice Breyer’s reasoning is consistent with the type of reasoning used by justices in the late 19th Century. He falsely claims that the law places a burden on those seeking abortions. The law doesn’t restrict patients from seeking abortions. The law merely forces those organizations that want to get money from performing abortions to spend enough money to maximize patient safety. The law requires abortion facilities to function like 21st Century medical facilities instead of mid-20th Century abortion mills. The law doesn’t restrict anyone’s “right” to an abortion. The law merely forces organizations performing abortions to spend more money on patient safety even if that reduces the amount of money available for the salaries of doctors and patients.

Breyer’s reasoning is comparable to late 19th Century Court rulings that prevented states from protecting workers from predatory employers. The Court claimed that such laws interfered with workers’ freedom of contract.

The justices who agreed with Breyer are similar to the justices who allowed Jim Crow segregation laws to remain in effect for 60 years. The justices during the Jim Crow era simply ignored the fact that the facilities provided for blacks were inferior. I don’t know whether they intended to be racists, but for all practical purposes they were. I don’t know if the justices who overturned the Texas law which would have eliminated substandard Jane Crow facilities intend to be racists, but they are.

Wolves in Women’s Clothing

June 1, 2016

A recent “Charlotte Observer” editorial repeats  common ignorance about efforts to protect the sexual privacy of women.    “Yes, the thought of male genitalia in girls’ locker rooms – and vice versa – might be distressing to some. But the battle for equality has always been in part about overcoming discomfort – with blacks sharing facilities, with gays sharing marriage – then realizing that it was not nearly so awful as some people imagined.”

The “Observer’s” editorial board apparently views the facts of life as they might be resented on  the “Brady Bunch” instead of on a cop show.   A woman has as much a right to be distressed if a male stranger exposes his genitals to her as a black man would if a white man showed him a hangman’s noose.

We human males are sexual predators by our animal nature.  Most of us learn when we are young that females have the right to decide if they want a physical relationship.  A man cannot knock a woman in the head with a club and drag her into his cave.  If he wants a physical relationship with a woman he must woo her with words, candy, flowers, etc.. Or, he can purchase a temporary relationship with a member of the world’s “oldest profession”.

Unfortunately, some men never learn this.   Like wolves they think any female is a potential sexual conquest.   These animals use their “junk” [to borrow David Letterman’s term] as a sexual assault weapon much like  others use a knife or a gun.  Doctors can sometimes  heal the physical scars caused by a knife or gun, but the psychological scars caused by a sexual assault can last a lifetime.    A man who shows his junk to a woman who hasn’t agreed to a physical relationship is threatening her well being  just like someone who threatens her with a knife or gun.

Women  cannot read men’s minds.  A woman in a restroom has no way of knowing in  advance if a man dressed as a woman is a harmless transsexual or a vicious wolf in women’s clothing.

Contrary to the opinion   to the opinion of the “Observer” editorial, differences in skin color are not the same as sexual differences.   A white person cannot get black skin by touching a black person, but a man can force his DNA into a woman and possibly get her  pregnant.

Do Heterosexuals Have Any Rights?

May 22, 2016

The current assault on women’s right to privacy in public restrooms implies that only those born with Gender Identity Disorder have any personal rights. GIDites believe that people with male anatomies who are dressed as women should be able to use restrooms designated for people with female anatomies. Women are justifiably concerned that sexual predators can take advantage of this situation and dress as women to gain access to women’s restrooms. Depriving women of their right to sexual privacy to accommodate men with a mental abnormality makes women second class citizens.

The GIDites claim to be harmless, but are actually Trojan horses who are creating opportunities for sexual predators who wish to deprive women of their sexual privacy.

Psychologists first used the term “Gender Identity Disorder” to describe persons who believed they had a brain of one sex trapped in the body of the other (transsexuals). Recent research using functional
MRI’s indicates that transsexuals really do have a brain of one sex in the body of the other sex. This research indicates that those who consider themselves “homosexuals” have this same birth defect but don’t recognize their condition. “Transvestites” are males who like to dress as females. It’s unclear if this desire involves a brain defect. I’m not aware of a term for females who like to dress as males.

GIDites claim that transsexuals and transvestites might be attacked if they used a men’s restroom while dressed as women. GIDites seem incapable of understanding that sexual predators occasionally dress as women and enter women’s restrooms in search of prey. If GIDites can enter women’s restrooms dressed as women then so can sexual predators. Doctors can use an MRI to determine if a person is a transsexual, but there is no test to determine if someone is a transvestite. Some sexual predators have taken advantage of this situation to gain access to potential victims.

GIDites reject a compromise that would provide the option of individual user restrooms for men dressed as women who don’t want to use a men’s restroom. Single user, or family, restrooms would help solve other problems. Parents are sometimes concerned about having a child of the opposite sex use a public restroom because they cannot be sure who will be in there.

A single user restroom would provide a safe place for a child to go. Public schools should switch to single user restrooms for all students. A poll indicates 43% of students fear harassment in restrooms.

Some adults might welcome the possibility of using a “private” restroom. For example, some have medical conditions that require them to use diapers or similar products. The women’s restrooms I used to clean had small trash receptacles for feminine hygiene products but I don’t know if all women’s restrooms have them. Men’s restrooms generally don’t have them so there is the potential for embarrassment when disposing of such products. The availability of single user restrooms would allow government to prohibit sexual predators, particularly those who prey on children, from using communal restrooms.

Government could eliminate the problem for transsexuals by having Obamacare cover sex change operations. Being born with a brain of one sex and the body of the other is a birth defect and surgery to put the body on the same sexual page as the brain is corrective surgery.

There can be no justification for increasing the risk of rape so that some men can dress up as women. Alternatives are available so such men can access a restroom. The potential cost to rape victims is too great to provide such men access to the same restrooms as women.

Rape can be an extremely traumatic event for women 31% of rape survivors have problems with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is sometimes a problem for men who have been in extreme military combat. 13% of rape survivors attempt suicide and many turn to drugs or alcohol to escape the memory. 26.6% of women with bulimia nervosa reported they had been raped.

Those who want men dressed as women to have access to women’s restrooms obviously have no respect for a woman’s right to sexual privacy or safety. Congress should impeach any federal official who attempts to deprive women of their right to sexual privacy and increase the risk of sexual assault.

Donald Trump’s Abortion Answer Wasn’t Wrong, the Question Was

April 7, 2016

Donald Trump was correct when he said a woman who had an outlawed abortion would likely be punished. However, the most likely way of ending abortions would be through regulation of those providing medical treatment. Chris Matthews question implied that abortion would become a criminal offense. In that case the woman as a participant in the “crime” would be subject to prosecution probably as an accessory, an accomplice or a “co-conspirator”. The courts might not allow prosecution unless the woman was potentially subject to prosecution. In such a legal environment prosecutors might use the offering of immunity from prosecution to abortion recipients in exchange for testimony against the abortion provider.

In American medicine medical procedures that can pose a treat to health generally have to be approved by government. The most likely way to prohibit abortions would be through prohibiting specific medical procedures. This approach at the federal level wouldn’t necessarily require congressional action because the executive branch has authority to prohibit medical procedures.

The deaths associated with the most popular form of abortion in which the doctor basically pokes around in the woman to pull out the baby, sometimes in pieces, could justify prohibiting the procedures on the grounds that it poses too significant a threat to the woman’s health. The procedure sometimes causes fatal bleeding because the doctor cannot tell if he has caused bleeding. There is an alternative procedure available for late term pregnancies which poses less of a threat. Removing the baby using a cesarean section allows the doctor to easily monitor the situation and catch any source of bleeding. Requiring use of this procedure for premature ending of a pregnancy would have the benefit of the child being removed alive. This approach to ending a late term pregnancy should give both sides what they want. The woman would be allowed to end her pregnancy and the child would be born alive.

Whoopi Goldberg Rejects Racist Label

February 4, 2016

Whoopi Goldberg Rejects Racist Label

ABC’s “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg has joined fellow “View” co-host Raven-Symoné   in rejecting the extremely racist term “African-American”.

“You know what uh uh! This is my country,” Goldberg said. “My mother, my grandmother, my great-grand folks, we busted ass to be here. I’m sorry. I’m an American. I’m not an African-American, I’m not a chick American, I’m an American!”

In October, 2014, Raven told Oprah Winfrey’ “I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African American; I’m an American.”

The time has come to eliminate this term “African-American” which perpetuates the old Southern racist concept that dark complexioned Americans are a separate race from light complexioned Americans.     Those using the term essentially rely on the racist concept of “part black all black” [the one drop rule] rather than looking at all of a person’s ancestors.

For example, journalists routinely label Asian ancestry golfer Tiger Woods “African-American” even though  he has an Asian mother and a father with Asian and North American ancestry as well as some ancestors from sub-Sahara Africa.     Raven-Symoné obviously has more skin complexion genes from ancestors outside of Africa than from sub-Saharan Africa ancestors.  A century ago someone with her complexion might  have decided to leave her family and pass for white.

Those who use the term “African-American” don’t seem to understand that Africa refers to a continent, not a group of people.  The Sahara Desert divides the continent into two genetically and culturally different populations.   North American slaves came from the area south of the Sahara.  In this post I will use “African” to designate persons from south of the Sahara.

Southern racism treated dark complexioned individuals as if their only ancestors came from Africa.    The term “Africa-American” perpetuates this false claim.   The fact is that African DNA began mixing with British DNA at Jamestown in the early 17th Century.  The first Africans arrived at Jamestown in1619 and were treated like the white indentured servants.   Indentured servants were temporary slaves who used their labor to pay off a debt.  In the North American colonies the  debt was likely the cost of travel to the colony.  Many of the Irish indentured servants, like the Africans, were  forced to move to North America.     For the Africans, the debt was the purchase price from the slave traders.   Many of those with African ancestry who were brought to North America came from the West Indies rather than directly from Africa.   Some of these may have had some European or western hemisphere ancestry.

Marriages across the color line began occurring even before African indentured servant  John Punch married a white woman, who was probably also an indentured servant,  in 1636.  Four years later Punch was sentenced by a judge to be the first permanent slave in the British North American colonies after he and two other indentured servants ran away.  Punch’s marriage deserves special attention because it is the earliest marriage to produce traceable descendants.  Nobel Prize winner Ralph Bunch is one of his black descendants.   One of his white descendants is Stanley Ann Dunham the mother of President Barack Obama.

In the early years of the Virginia colony people sometimes had to marry across the black, white and red color lines because the small population reduced the number of potential mates.    A similar situation existed in Spanish and French North American settlements.  The earliest connection between an African and North Americans occurred in Spanish Florida in 1526 when a slave escaped and was accepted by a North American village.    The practice of accepting escaped slaves would continue in the British colonies and later in the United States.

The process of British and African genetic integration accelerated briefly after the British government authorized permanent slavery.   The law said that a child’s status [slave or free] would be determined by the status of the mother.  A white child of a slave mother would become an indentured servant. A black child would become a permanent slave.  Slave owners knew that a child with a black parent and a white parent would be black so they forced their white female indentured servants to mate with their African male slaves.   White male indentured servants  had little choice but to mate with African female slaves.

Only about 500,000 Africans were imported to North America during the  nearly 200 years the slave trade was legal with most of them arriving before America won its independence.  The first U.S. census showed a population in 1790 of  3,172,000 whites and 757,000 blacks.    Thus it is likely that most descendants of slaves had multiple  ancestors living in North America before the Revolution.    The descendants of slaves could have a hundred  different ancestors who were living in North America before the American Revolution.  At seven generations back a person can have 128 different ancestors.

In slave societies it is common for males in the owner class to have sex with female members of the slave class especially unmarried females.  Unmarried female slaves may even encourage such attention to gain better treatment.   White male – black female relationships were common in New Orleans during the Spanish and French because men from these countries often arrived without wives.  The introduction of European DNA into the black population continued during the Jim Crow era when southern white men were able to rape black women without fear of punishment.

The introduction of African DNA into the white population was more indirect because those babies who received dark complexion genes would be born with dark complexions.  African DNA involving other than skin color genes entered the white  population when persons with African ancestry were born without  the dark complexion genes and passed for white.  Some descendants of the early unions between Africans and Europeans had “lost” enough dark complexion genes to pass for white by the American Revolution.   This process would continue.  By 1800 some slaves qualified as white such as Thomas Jefferson’s concubine Sally Hemings. No paintings of her are available, but she was described as white with long straight hair.

It seems likely that many who passed for white didn’t tell their children.   .President Warren G. Harding was aware he had recent  black ancestry but Ann Dunham apparently did not know she had African ancestry. If she had known she likely would have told her son Barack.  Some people believe as many as five other presidents could have African ancestors.

The dark skinned descendants of slaves should be allowed to claim all their ancestors, not just the ones who came from Africa.  Their ancestors came here and became a new people who are a blend of peoples from three, and in some cases four, continents.  They only have some genes in common with the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa.  The Americans who have some African ancestors made their own culture after they got here.    They helped make this country what it is and deserve to be recognized as full fledged Americans — not quasi Americans.

It’s time we Americans recognize that America is not the home of a black race and a white race, but instead is the home of a single race  whose ancestors were red and yellow, black and white.

The Impressions lamented in their song “This is My Country”  —
“Some people think we don’t have the right
To say its my country
Before they give in, they’d rather fuss and fight
Than say its my country”

It’s time we started encouraged the descendants of slaves to call America, rather than Africa their country.  If light skinned Americans whose ancestors all arrived after the Civil War can call themselves 100% Americans, why must dark skinned Americans whose ancestors may have arrived before the American Revolution be treated as part American and part something else.   Many slaves earned their freedom by helping to defeat the British during the Revolution.