Saturday, September 17, 2016

I Had A Dream

  I grew up in a world dominated by white people, primarily the white male. Most blue collar and professional jobs were held by white males. I didn't know of a female doctor, lawyer, or many professional women. The same could be said of blacks and people of color. A woman was expected to be a nurse, teacher, secretary, retail clerk etc. Black people were maids, nanny's, gardeners, and laborers for the most part. Most firemen and police officers were white males. Our TV programs, and commercials were done by white people. NASA and the astronauts were white male. Most of our officer Corps in the military was white male. If a man cheated on his wife or girlfriend it was looked on as boys will be boys. If a woman cheated, she was a slut. There was definitely institutionalized racism and America was a paternalistic sexist society. Even as a child I was aware of this and in many ways I felt out of sync with society. Like society and the problems of today it was all bigger than I was. As a result I have always been my own person and marched to a different drummer. When Martin Luther King gave his ( I have a Dream) speech in August of 1963 I was 13 years old. Even then I thought it was a great speech and his dream for America was my dream. Who could logically disagree with the concept that a man should be judged by the content of his character and not by the color of his skin? My parents taught me that I could rise as far as my drive, ambition and talents could take me. Even as far as being president of the United States. In 1963 the parents of a Black child, a Hispanic child, an American Indian child, or a female child of any ethnicity  could not realistically teach their children what my parents taught me. My friends and relatives hated King because they saw him as an agitator and charlatan in the same way that we see Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton today. At the age of thirteen I wasn't old enough to evaluate King as clearly as I do today. Like Kennedy, we didn't know about the womanizing and his dark side. However King wasn't asking for anything unreasonable. He was simply asking for society to accept Black people as equals. For America to live up to the long overdue promise given in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. I knew that America needed to change. The evidence was all around me. As I got older I began to realize that King wasn't the cause of violence. He kept the lid on violence. King truly believed in a non-violent approach to Civil Rights. The militants were impatient at the rate of change and justifiably so. Like John Brown in 1859 they were taking the wrong approach to the problem. Brown ended up with a noose around his neck. Violence caused push back and resentment among whites. King was using civil disobedience and moral persuasion. When people saw Black people being killed, beaten and spat upon for trying to do the things that whites took for granted there was a moral connection with people of conscience. His non violent approach in the end won the day over the violent approach of groups like the Black Muslims, Black Panthers, the followers of H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael.

  In the years since the 1964 and 65 Civil Rights Acts I have seen tsunami of change for the better. A parent can realistically tell their female children or children of color that they can go as far as their talents and hard work can take them. Interracial couples can be together without the fear of being beaten or lynched. I celebrate that change. Yes, there is still racism and sexism but it is not institutionalized like it was when I was a child. During the 1980's and 90's I believed that a Black person would be elected president in my lifetime.This was because the country leaned to the right during that time and a conservative Black would be more acceptable to white voters. My Black friends would laugh at me or deride me for saying that. They didn't believe that a Black person would ever be elected in America and if they did they would be assassinated. However I mistakenly thought that it would be a conservative. We were already heading in that direction. Colin Powell was Reagan's National Security Advisor, Powell was Bush Seniors Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Finally he was Secretary of State under George W. Bush. Condoleezza Rice was his National Security Advisor. I didn't want just any Black president in order to break the color line. I wanted a conservative Black president. One that would be an inspiration to all Americans. I would never expect my president, Black, White or female to go on an apology tour for America. A Blessing Tour would be more appropriate. I would expect my president tell the world how they have been blessed by the very existence of America. How exceptional our country is. Not because our people are any more exceptional than anyone else in the worldbut because the principles expressed in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are exceptional. I would like a president that would remind the world of how we helped Europe and Asia rise from the ashes of World War II. Ally and the defeated alike. I would like a president who reminds the world of the generosity of the average American. How they are so willing to volunteer their time and money whenever the world suffers from a disaster such as an earthquake, tsunami, typhoon, famine or an AID's epidemic. Instead of touting the supposed beauty of a seventh century regressive religion I would remind people that Christianity had a renaissance. Something the so-called religion of peace desperately needs to experience for itself. Finally, for the world, America is that "Shining City on a Hill" that Ronald Reagan envisioned. Not a place that people flee from but flee too. Yes Obama, America has made mistakes, but it needs no apology.

  On a domestic level I thought that we were on the verge of fulfilling Martin Luther King's dream in 2008. That was until the angriest Black man in America was elected president. We have gone from King's Lookout and Stone Mountain vision to a racial valley of dry bones. Because of Obama, racial relations are the worst since the 1960's. As it was then our cities are a powder keg of unrest. Unlike the 60's Blacks of today have not experienced the racism of their parents and grandparents my age. Obama and the race merchants like Al Sharpton have perpetuated the myth that Blacks are targeted by White cops. White people are more likely to be killed by a White cop than Black people are. Statistics do not back up the "big lie" that has been perpetrated by Obama and his cronies  Blacks are dying more often at the hands of their own people than at any time in history. This is because cops are no longer aggressively policing urban areas, getting the guns and bad guys off of the street. This leads to the deaths of more innocent people and Black youth. In 1988 I drove through New Orleans. While sitting at a red light a man walked up with a squidgy and wiped my windshield clean. When he was through he held out his hand for a quarter. I was totally caught off guard because I had never experienced anything like this. I had no change but my friend Dave Gaxiola handed me a quarter. I heard later that these guys would use the squidgy to crack your windshield if you refused to pay. Mayor Giuliani cleaned up the crime in New York City by aggressive policing. He arrested the people committing petty crimes such as the squidgy people, panhandlers and petty thiefs. Giuliani also had his police officers doing spot searches at random on the streets. The crime rate dropped because the petty criminals were also committing the serious crimes. Instead of Obama sticking his nose into such matters as the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Gates. Accusing the campus police of "acting stupidly". Jumping to conclusions about the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown before the cases were even investigated. Contributing to the rise of the Black Lives Matters movement. The ruining of careers and the actual targeting of not only white police officers but officers of color. Rather than allaying the mistrust of Blacks toward white police officers, he ignores the real problem. Gang activity in urban areas. His economic policies condemn Black people to hopelessness and poverty. He has set the stage for what could be a real race war in this country. The saddest thing about Obama's legacy is that his whole presidency was one big missed opportunity. A chance to finally bring about racial healing and achieve Martin Luther Kings dream. The dream that I have shared all of these years. Martin Luther King's role models were men of peace. Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, and Henry David Thoreau. Obama's role models were the radical Marxist thug Saul Alinsky, the Communist Frank Marshall Davis and Jeremiah Wright. Because of Barack Obama Martin Luther Kings dream is now a national nightmare.        

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