The End of Racism

The election of President Obama was significant in 2008 for multiple reasons, but one that sticks out is the concept of racism.

There is no way that he was able to win the election if he only received votes from African-Americans.  It wasn’t mathematically possible.

Even though I did not vote for him, I saw this as a turning point, one more step to ending the racism that has lived in our country for hundreds of years (before we were a country).

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

As a white guy, I only have my own life experiences and they are different from black friends simply because of our skin color.

But racism is an attitude, right?

We are in the beginning stages of discovering why Michael Brown, an 18 year old black man was killed this month and the subject of race is back on the big screen and the net.

It seems that anyone can be a racist.  25 years ago, a black co-worker of mine used to complain about some of his black clients.  He said they were always on C.P. Time .  When I asked him what he was talking about, he said C.P. Time is Colored People Time,  and it was always 30 to 60 minutes late.  If  he had a 11 am meeting schedule with one of these clients, and he showed up at 11:30, he wasn’t a half hour late, he was a half hour early.

We happen to have a friend who is of German and Irish heritage and she is nearly always late, so this tardiness is not limited to one race.

But it is a racial stereotype, at least in Detroit.

I long for the day when we will not see the differences in each other as a negative, but something to enjoy and embrace.

And for those of you who think that anyone who doesn’t like the actions of President Obama is a racist… that in itself is a racist assumption and comment.

The end of racism isn’t here yet and I urge everyone to be extremely cautious before declaring some one or some thing racist and along those same lines, don’t be afraid to question someone who is.

The Israel-Hamas Conflict

If you own a home and there are people outside shooting at you, what do you do?

You could defend yourself if you are able.

You could ask them to stop.

You could open the door and invite them in and see if they will stop shooting.

You can run away and abandon your home.

 

Stop and think for a moment.  Which one are you going to pick?

These are the options Israel has right now.

In 1947, Israel was re-established as a legitimate country and the Jewish nation were given a home.  Not everyone in the area liked this and this is the source for the conflict that has been occurring ever since.  If we really want to go to the root of the conflict, explore the Old Testement and you’ll see the root of this conflict is thousands of years old.  I encourage you to do your own investigation of the history, here are a couple of places you can start.

While Israel is a legitimate country, Hamas is not.

Hamas is at its best a political party or movement.  At its worst it is a terror organization.

Their charter (from Wikipedia) states: Article 7 of the Hamas Covenant provides the following quotation, attributed to Mohammed:

“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.”[246]

News reports have stated how the Israeli deaths in the current battle is tiny compared to their enemies.  But again I must point out the differences.

Israel has an organized military and defense system.  They usually wear uniforms.  There is a distinction between the civilians and the military, like we have in the United States.

Hamas, does not have this distinction because they are acting as a terror organization with the goal of killing all the Jews in the name of a religious mission.

Want proof?  Take a look at this website which is attempting to provide information that our mainstream media is skimming over or ignoring.

Instead we are being asked to have a heart for those who are “breaking into our homes”.

I urge you to look at the big picture, all the propaganda coming from all sides of every issue including this one before blindly agreeing to support anything you hear or read.

Obama is the Crazy Cat Lady

First, let’s describe the crazy cat lady. The urban dictionary has some interesting entries but here are the basics:

  • Takes in strays even though she can’t afford to care for them
  • Has no limits or boundaries.
  • Tells the “kitties” to stop coming but she keeps giving them incentives, (food, water, shelter).
  • Expects her cats to do nothing to earn their keep, because, well, they’re cats.
  • Often takes a nice home and turns it into a wasteland filled with filthy living conditions
  • Thinks others are insane because we don’t care for the “kitties” the way she does.
  • Other cat ladies like her, but that’s about it.

Why is our President a Crazy Cat Lady?  Look at our current illegal immigration situation with thousands of minors entering our country in record numbers recently.  Re-read the list above and notice the striking similarities.

The problem did not start with President Obama.  We’ve had strays entering out country illegally for decades and we never took the actions to secure our border.

I mean really secure it.

We have made several half-assed attempts to improve border security but they’ve been mostly for show and political points.

Here in Indiana we could look at it as some one else’s problem.  We’re too far north.  Sure there are migrant farm workers and in larger cities like Fort Wayne I know we have a number of illegal aliens, but it wasn’t noticeable unless you drove in certain parts of town.  In the past week however, we were informed that at least 245 kids are now living in Indiana from south of the border that are part of this wave of illegal minor aliens.

Indiana, especially Fort Wayne is home to lots of immigrants and refuges.  There are over 90 countries represented in the student population of our Fort Wayne Community School systems and over the years, I have worked with refugees from Europe who came here legally.  They spoke no English but were taught English as a second language.  They came here to work and start a new life that they could create for themselves and their families.  And we welcomed them and still do.

Contrast that with the current influx of illegals and our  federal governments inability and unwillingness to enforce the laws we have and soon we’ll all be living in a crazy cat ladies house.

Scott’s Political Beliefs in a Nutshell, Part 2

We are not racists.

But that never makes the news.

Blood, death, destruction, wacky, stupid, these are the things that make the news.

So if I say we are not racists, how do you explain comments that sound racist?

Perhaps it is conditioning.

We have been conditioned since before we were born, to accept somethings as normal and other things as not so normal.

A couple of things stand out in my memory that pertain to the subject of race.

My parents did not foster any racists stereotypes in me during my formative years, or afterward.

The only prejudice I recall from my Dad was in my early teen years and it wasn’t a race issue.

It was the young family who moved in next door.  He was a garbage man.  I mean his job was working on a garbage truck.  My Dad worked in a white collar profession and was concerned that the new neighbors would have lower standards and not keep up their property.  Not that our home was a showcase, but it was a nice older middle class neighborhood.

Years later my Dad told me this story, about how wrong he was to prejudge the family and how they became friends and excellent neighbors with each other over the years.  My parents have passed away and last year I saw the husband and wife who used to live next door and never told them about my Dad’s first prejudicial thoughts. There was no need to.

I know from my first experience buying a house a dozen years ago what it’s like to be the new neighbors who are looked at with a prejudicial eye.  Our neighbor Bernie heard saw that we were building a “shed” in our backyard and he warned us that if it didn’t fit the neighborhood rules, we’d have to remove it.  My wife responded that he was welcome to take a hammer and knock it down if it wasn’t up to snuff.  In the end, he was helping us assemble the roof and commented about the high quality of the structure.  We became good friends with Bernie.

But what about race?

In the predominately white neighborhood I grew up in, there was one black family and I went to school with the oldest daughter.  Among the kids, Chandra was accepted just like anyone else.   I saw a similar situation years later when I moved my family into a mixed neighborhood in Detroit and after living there awhile, my daughter made the observation that the boys next door were black.  Not that it mattered, it was just a matter of fact observation and statement that was made.  We became good friends with them and while we as adults were aware of some cultural differences, there was no racism on either side.

I believe in my original statement, We are not racists, as a country.  We may have some prejudices, but those can be overcome as we get to know the people and not just our stereotypical assumptions.

The racist label is sometimes used in broad terms because there are individuals who display racist behavior.  I’d be the first to challenge someone who uses race as a reason to not like someone.  This is where it has often gotten political over the past several years.

When Barrack Obama became a candidate for President of the United States, and then won and won a second term, some were hoping this was a signal that race was no longer a factor and that we the people of the United States had graduated from the earlier prejudices that were labeled as racist.  Unfortunately,  it appears that race became a bigger issue, at least in the news media.

Critics of the President’s policies were sometimes labeled racist.  Some of them were called racist because they said racist things that were totally out of line. Supporters of the President’s policies,  saw this and ran with it, calling and and all critics racists.

I have heard people use terrible language, unfair language, prejudicial language when being critical of  Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes.  Now that we have had President Obama in office, that terrible, unfair, prejudicial language has dipped down even further into racial slurs in some cases.

If you disagree with President Obama, please do not stoop to race as a reason to criticize. And if you agree with President Obama, please refrain from using race as the sole reason for your praise.

As a county, not once but twice, we have proven we will not discriminate against someone running for election based solely on their race.  Let’s be proud of that step forward and focus on policy instead.

Obama-Hope-Change-Forward

Liars, Thieves and Crooks

Okay, I’ve heard enough.

The level of corruption/incompetency/greed/denial/fingerpointing… etc/etc/etc has reached a new level, it seems in American politics.

The sad part is that it is not new.  There were political scandals since before we had a United States of America.

I’m 54.  Richard Nixon and Watergate happened when I was 12 years old.  Before that, I don’t have much of a living memory of dirty political crap except what I’ve read.

This was before the days of 24/7 news coverage so we had to wait for the evening news or daily newspaper for the details of anything.  Yes, we had some radio stations with hourly newscasts but they were 5 minutes long and mostly headlines.

What has my blood boiling at the moment is the scandal of the week, the Veterans Administration healthcare cover up.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, it appears that the VA has been fudging their numbers to look good. There was the list of vets getting health care that were being reported and in the system and then there was all the others.  The others are the vets who were put on a secret list and being ignored.

What really pisses me off is that our President supposedly first learned about this by watching the news recently?

Bullshit.

He spoke about the problem in 2007. He was briefed on this problem when he took office in 2009 after winning the 2008 election.

Yet the President turned a blind eye and lied that the problem was fixed under his watch.

It’s important to note that this problem did not begin with President Obama.  He inherited the problem.

The problem was real under President Bush. So this is not new.

We were promised Hope and Change and the most transparent administration with this President.  Instead it has become more hopeless for our vets and nothing has changed for the better, it’s just gotten worse.

This is not an attack on President Obama because he is a Democrat, black, or any other excuse that the left leaning news media wants to portray like they often do.

It is just another sad day and demonstration of another inept scandalous affair that is more than another broken promise, it has cost lives while being swept under the rug.

Sorry Mister President, I don’t believe a word you or your people say anymore.

We don’t want political posturing, we want to have Hope for the future because of the Changes you promised years ago.

 

Scott’s Political Beliefs in a Nutshell, Part 1

Yes, I understand the implications contained in the title to this piece. “Nutshell”  It’s a common metaphor, but when connecting it to politics, it’s dangerous.  Just so you know, I know.

Here we are in the last half of May 2014 and there are so many misconceptions about what people believe, who they are, and all the labels appear to divide more than unite.  So let’s dive in with my beliefs.

 

Our Federal Government has overstepped their constitutional boundaries in multiple areas. This is not new and it is not tied to one political party. We can go back to the beginnings of the Social Security era and we will see how the Federal Government began extracting money from one group (the workers) to give to another group (the retired).  It has grown and expanded and is now too big to fail.  This redistribution of money at the Federal level of government has spread to multiple programs ranging from health care, (I’m talking about  Medicare and Medicaid, but we can also include the provisions of the Affordable Health Care program too), to multiple subsidies and relief programs for the poor.

Scott, you sound like a mean-hearted, selfish, son-of-a-gun.

Stop a second.  Read what I wrote in bold.  I am not against helping those who need help.  I am against the power that our Federal Government has granted itself that oversteps their role.  In an ideal world, each state government would be taking care of these needs, not the Federal government.  And each of our 50 states has the authority in their own state constitution to decide how to take care of those needs.  Perhaps it’s done on a more local level.

Where I live, besides Federal and State levels of government, we also have multiple local levels. I live in the city of Fort Wayne which has authority and responsibility for its citizens and certain services.  But not everyone in Indiana lives in a city or town.  However, the entire state is dividing into counties, which includes everyone.  Counties are often subdivided into townships.  Townships offer services to the residents who live within their borders.  Take a look at the duties that the Township Trustees have where I live by clicking here.  What stands out to me is this section:

Poor Relief
Overseeing the poor and distributing poor relief is a primary duty in many townships. The trustee is charged to care for the poor by the most economical means available and at the same time is charged to be sure that the necessary needs of an individual or family are met. The applicant must show that they are unable to provide those needs through personal effort and that they have exhausted all other means.

Many trustees creatively cooperate with other agencies and churches in their areas, keeping costs controlled and delivering services needed. The advantage the Trustee’s systems has over other forms of welfare is the freedom to discern whether or not an individual has and is willing to put forth that personal effort to help themselves. (Title 12 of IN Code)

Now that sounds a lot like neighbor helping neighbor. There is accountability involved.  There is a redistribution of stuff, but it is a combination of stuff that has been voluntarily  donated and some government assistance.

A couple of paragraphs ago I mentioned that this was in an ideal world.  Because we have been trained to rely on our Federal Government for generations for things that 100 years ago did not.  We cannot and should not simply tell those receiving Social Security Retirement benefits that they are cut off.  Social Security is too important to the economic survival for too many to tell those who have been faithfully paid into the system that they are no longer going to get their monthly payment.

I don’t know what the solution is to stop this dependency on Federal Government programs without creating economic chaos and revolt.  I do know that we can stop it from spreading, by saying no to more and more government programs that are in the hands or oversight of our Federal Government.

We need to educate others and ourselves about the true role of our various levels of government.  See, the argument needs to be refocused from  the more government/less government  stance, to which government Federal/State/Local has the power/authority/responsibility for the various aspects of our lives.

We blame the President and Congress for too much because we want them to fix our problems.  Or stop being the problem.

That’s the easy/lazy/ineffective and dare I say stupid way out. At the national level, their decisions are too politically inspired.  Meaning they will say and do stuff that they believe will help them stay in office and get reelected. As citizens we need to know who is really in charge and can make changes that affect our daily lives.

Indiana just had our 2014 primary elections this month.  Primary Elections are for the political parties.  You declare which party ballot you want, and they load your voting machine with the registered candidates of that party.  You get to vote in your party election to select who will be representing the party in the various political offices in the November election.

12% of registered voters participated this month.  I was one.  There were several names of local people running for office that I never heard of.  And considering I try and pay attention, I wonder about those people who voted who had no clue who anyone was on the ballot.

Want to change the direction this country is going?  Start local.  Find out who will be on the ballot and decide before you vote who you will vote for.  Base it on your beliefs and those of the candidates.

Also demand less from the Federal Government and more from your State and Local officials. Next time I’ll share more, but in the mean time, your comments are welcome.

Defy the Labels

Been awhile since I took the time to add anything to this blog.

It’s not that I don’t care.

I do care.

I’ve been listening.

I’ve been observing.

I’ve been watching.

I’ve been reading.

I’ve been looking.

I’ve been wondering.

Why do we shove people into boxes and slap a label on them and their boxes?

I have yet to find among my so-called Democrat friends, one who believes that everyone should have an abortion, should be allowed to marry their gay lover and that the Affordable Care Act is perfect.

I have yet to find among my so-called Republican friends, one who believes that we need to remove all government regulation, repeal the civil rights laws from the 1960’s and give all the tax breaks to Wall Street.

Yet these are the stereotypes that are being pushed by the media.  I was comparing what the liberal media likes to talk about (how bad and evil Republicans are), and what the conservative media likes to talk about ((how bad and evil Democrats are) and it’s ridiculous.   Last week I was flipping back and forth between Fox News and MSNBC and watching them attack the other side.  Same stories, different slants.

I believe that you will find kooks on both side of the political spectrum.  Some want our current President elected to a 3rd term. Others want him to be removed from office now, if not yesterday.

Please be careful when you hear the words and labels from the media.   Do not assume that they define your friends/enemies on the other side.

Want to have a meaningful political discussion with friends and family?

I know it sounds scary, but it could open some doors and build some bridges.

Draw up a list of issues that are being talked about by our politicians.

Take those issues, one at a time and know what you currently believe and why.  Talk with others and have them do the same.  The goal is not to judge them and label them.

The goal is to understand why they believe what they believe in.

I bet you are going to find that those nasty labels and boxes don’t fit so perfectly on you or your friends.