It seems to me that we are all making the same request: can you please stop blaming me for things over which I have no control, like the amount of pigment, or lack thereof, in my skin?
The other day a co-worker stated to me: “You don’t know what it is like to be black.” This is true; as a peachy-beige skinned individual, I have not had the opportunity to “be black.” I do, though, empathize with my Friends of African Descent (FOADs) because I, too, have been labeled unfairly. I have been broadly branded a racist white guy by a large group of individuals with skin a shade darker than mine, and I agree that being branded for your skin shade, and not upon your character, is not fair at all.
I concede that I had prejudice in the past; I feared people from urban areas. When I was 13, a scrappy little freshman in high school, I was on a trip with a youth group. We arrived to the camp late on a cold Friday night in early December, and found out that there were only a few bunks left in one of the cabins, and three of us would have to stay in another cabin. So Jay, Gareth, and I went down the snowy hill to the other bunkhouse with our backpacks and sleeping bags.
When we opened the door, we realized that we were staying with a very large group of individuals who had come from inner-city Baltimore. As pastier skinned boys from the suburbs, we might have felt somewhat out of place; we might have even feared for our lives. Over the next two days, though, our fears were transformed into friendships. The group of inner-city youth of largely African descent proved to be a fun, faithful, and fascinating group of individuals. They joked. They wrestled. They acted like teenage American boys.
We shared misery in a cold cabin that lacked heat. The most memorable part of the weekend was each night when a boy named Leroy would repeatedly sing out from his bunk “It’s coooOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLddddd!”. The others would laugh and heckle him until the cabin, with 30 teenage boys collectively breathing, warmed to tolerable level and we all fell asleep. That weekend convinced me, at 13, of the value of individuals who, regardless of skin tone or economic background, are unique creations with dreams, personalities, and worth. I wish others would have a similar experience in their lives.
Does America really suppress people of African descent? I think there is fair evidence to say that African descent in America is not a limiting factor in reaching individual potential. Individual success stories abound. Our last president was of African descent. Our last two attorneys general are of African descent. A Supreme Court justice is of African descent. Eleven percent of Congress is of African descent. Past Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretaries of State, Director of NASA, and numerous other individuals of high power in America are descended from African heritage. Clearly, the majority of American people do not fear people with darker skin tones. Given the success of so many dark-skinned individuals in this country, is there a statute of limitations on restitution that goes beyond an individual’s lifetime?
Racism is alive and well in America, but it is not portrayed accurately in the media. Much racism originates from the self-identified “black” community, and is actively encouraged by the Democratic Party to keep a large block of voters tied to their cause. Are the Democrats actively sending America into racial regression? Let us look at the party policies.
The Democratic Party endorses hypocrisy of very high order. Democrats rage against the death penalty, but condemn millions of babies to die before birth. Democrats tax and penalize businesses for making money when it is those very businesses and industries that allow citizens to earn wealth and pull themselves from poverty. Democrats claim that our education system is unfair, but does not offer citizens competitive options for education. Democrats want environmental justice, but then put taxes on carbon that hurt the poorest communities more than any others. Democrats take our money (and then borrow some more), spend it on stuff that doesn’t work, and leave the next generation to pick up the tab for their mistakes. Any attempt to impose sensibility is met with cries of “racism!” That is a great “bait and switch” tactic, but it still leaves the citizens of the nations with a pile of junk for the valuable time and treasure spent. Every person, including those of African descent, should ask themselves why the Democratic Party represses individuality, preys upon racial fears, and makes policies which enforce modern-day slavery in the form of the welfare state.
The Democratic Party not only encourages racism for votes, but is actively hurting the liberties of the people. Democrat elitists use their self-proclaimed supremacy to justify making decisions for people regarding their health and housing, to pay off their voters with public welfare money and keep themselves in office, to condone immorality (like murderous abortions and legalized robbery aka double-taxation “death taxes”), and to speak condemningly of family values which have traditionally been a cornerstone of African culture. On the grounds of protection, Democrats take away personal liberties of religion, speech, and protection that were guaranteed by a Constitution written, ironically, by a bunch of “racist white guys." Those same framers of the Constitution were recent immigrants to a new world from many backgrounds, and they believed in God, morality, and the fair rule of law. Freemen (of all races) were allotted one vote each; slaves (who were largely African descent) were not.
Fortunately, our country outlawed slavery over 150 years ago. Over a century ago, amidst waves of immigration, Theodore Roosevelt campaigned against “half-Americanism” and encouraged us to see past racial divides. By World War II (70 years ago), the grandsons of slaves and slaveowners, old Americans and newly migrated Americans, fought side by side to repel Nazis, Communists, Fascists, and Imperialists who were bent on establishing a new world order of their own design. After all we have been through, why haven’t we buried the racial hatchet?
I was probably caught off guard by my coworker’s comment because I have never felt like a racist. I have never tried to be one. I dislike it when people are lumped into a category for the sake of categorization. My roomates at school had Italian, Hispanic, and African backgrounds. I have other friends who are Chinese, Persian, Russian (I used to enjoy playing chess with Leo Tolstoy’s grandson), Japanese, Polish/Irish, Swedish, Czech, Korean, Thai, Filipino, and even Canadians. I really enjoyed Wes’s Mom’s Chinese cooking, though it admittedly had a LOT of garlic. I love Isel’s Mom’s tamales cooked in the corn husk. And I really liked when Gareth’s Mom and Dad took us out for ribs. I could eat ribs with any good person, but I digress. It is, though, the difference between good and evil people and the choices which they make, not racial differences, that is the root cause of racial turmoil in America today. Good people see goodness. Evil people see division.
It seems to me, then, that we are all making the same request: can you please stop blaming me for things over which I have no control, like the amount of pigment, or lack thereof, in my skin? So let’s get over it, finally, move on together, and eat some ribs. A nation of free individuals defined by their morality and shared interests. No racial half-American excuses. One America, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
Your FOAD (Friend of Anglo-Saxon Descent)