Now I need you pause take a deep breath and open your mind a little bit. Try to block out the endless drone of propaganda that has be bellowed into your ears none stop 24/7. I come from a place in Michigan where, while I was growing up, there was not a minority living within a hundred mile radius of me. Everyone one was white. Not the privileged type you hear of but poor whites, some would refer to as white trash (as if that isn’t a derogatory term). At that time around 50% of the county I lived in was on welfare. They were the generational type you hear about where literally generation after generation stayed on welfare. They knew the system like lawyers and taught each other how to get the most out of the system. You see this area was heavily wooded so all the work revolved around wood products, saw mills and the like. But at some point it became cheaper to get lumber from outside the country and so almost all of the lumber mills shut down and the source of jobs went with them. This was a fairly typical story across Middle America.
There was one actual factory in the town at the time. It was, Bear archery, the company that is famous for making bows and arrows. The people that worked there were very fortunate. They made three times or more than any other job in the area. They had good wages, good benefits, and good working conditions. So it was kind of strange when some union guys from down south, where all the car plants are, came and started talking to all the workers. The strange part was that even though the workers at this place had it very good in relation to everyone else in the area they all started to take to heart all the talk about getting them even more that the union guys were spreading. So much so that they informed the company that they were going to form a union of their own. The company told them in no uncertain terms that if the workers formed a union they would literally close the doors of the factory and move it to another state. The workers all fired up from the speeches from the union officials didn’t believe them. So they started their union and went on strike. The factory closed and lock, stock, and barrel moved to Florida. Now all those workers that had it so well were unemployed and just like all the other folks were on on welfare. This is what happens when people blindly follow political leaders who say that they are looking out for them when they are really only looking out for themselves. When my Grandfather was working at the car plant in Detroit he was a Steel Press operator. The people that did this sort of work were losing hands, arms, legs, and feet in these dangerous machines in an overall unsafe work environment. The union was needed to protect the workers safety and rights. By the time the union officials came to Bear archery there wasn’t a need for this anymore, the environment was already safe. It was just like all other politics, it was all about money. The unions needed more members so that the union bosses could get more money and power. They really did not care about these workers at all, they only pretended to.
The current political situation in the U.S. is dyer. There are powerful forces on both the left and right that want to lead us off a cliff. They just like the union bosses in the example above do not care anything about us. They are using the propaganda from all the media outlets to barrage and divide us as a people and a country. Do you think there is any difference between Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch? Do you really think they care an iota about your or I? Don’t kid yourself. One of the most disturbing ways they are trying to divide us is along racial lines. Remember when I said that the Nazi’s created a history about the German people that outlined their supremacy as a race that had little resemblance to the truth? Well the left and the right do exactly the same thing. They politicize history and make it in their own image. The right talks about the founders of or country as perfect almost angelic beings without fault. If you were born in the 80’s or before this is the version of history you were taught. If you listen to the left now these people were disgusting racist bigot’s that had no redeeming qualities. So if you believe in the Middle way where do you think the truth lies?
The founders were people just like you and I. What I mean by that is that they were not perfect and certainly not angelic! Ben Franklin in his day was a lot like the late Hugh Hefner. His sexual exploits could have been taken right out of the Playboy forum. Many people know nothing of this, why is that? Well during the time that the Christian right was a majority they did not want “their” Ben Franklin to be known for such things. So they just conveniently left this little fact out of the history courses. In fact they are responsible for the lofty view that older Americans had of the founders. You see they created a history that supported their world view and promoted it. In that way they could tell everyone of the Christian piousness of the founding fathers. After they established this they could denounce idea’s that were not in line with Christian thought as un-American. Of course if it wasn’t in line with Christianity the founders wouldn’t have been for it.
Now a days we hear of the founding fathers as horrible slave owning bigots with no redeeming qualities. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were slave owners and all around horrible people. Recently at the University of Virginia we have this headline:
The University of Virginia president defended her use of Thomas Jefferson quotations after a group of students and professors criticized her, saying Jefferson shouldn’t be used as a “moral compass” because he was a slave owner.” So the president of the University should not use quotes from the founder of the University and of the country because he was a slave owner? So Thomas Jefferson even though he founded the University and wrote the Declaration of Independence has no redeeming qualities? The man who wrote:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
Has no redeeming qualities. Could it be that the people on the left who say this have reasons that are not exactly honorable to promote this view of one of the most important founding fathers? Is it an accurate depiction of history?
Why is it that we just cannot teach history as it was? With all of its warts and imperfections. The founders were flawed men who were trying to create the best possible government possible. Emphasis on the possible! If we are honest there is not a government on the planet that is flawless. I personally believe that our form of government is simply the best form that has ever been created. With all of its flaws and imperfections there just isn’t a better form out there. How many other countries founding documents say that if the government doesn’t live up to those documents that it can be scrapped? Now you must notice that I said “form”. The government as it is outlined or set up is the form. The problem is it has to be implemented by people. People are in no way perfect. The things outlined in the Declaration of independence are what we strive for. But we often fall short. “All men are created equal” is what Thomas Jefferson said and meant when he wrote those words. So the problem wasn’t the words that he wrote, how could you state anything more perfect than that? All we need to do as a country is do what this document says! The problem is that in order to really realize this you need to live in other countries for a while. Most Americans have not been much farther than the next state.
Serving in the United States military was one of the most eye opening experiences in my life. I got to travel and live in any foreign countries and see things most Americans never have. The most scary and eye opening experiences was when I was stationed in Korea. I got to go and stand in the DMZ (demilitarized zone) and look Communism straight in the face and it was a scary sight. The U.S. and south Korea have some standard military buildings on their side of the DMZ. On the North Korean side they have these very opulent impressive buildings for their military. There is a town just on the North Korean side that you can see. It is a very modern looking town by Korean standards and you can just make out people walking about and kids playing in a modern playground at a school there. The only problem is that when the American reconnaissance planes fly over and take pictures you can see that those opulent building are only six foot deep! They are fake! Also they have these very powerful telescopes there that at a certain time in the morning you can look through at that town. What you can see is military trucks bringing in the people and the school kids to play at the play ground. At the end of the day you can watch again and see the same military trucks come and pick them all up. The whole town is fake! There is all these security features on the North Korean side. What you soon realize that even though the will help make it difficult for the Americans and South Koreans from coming in a great deal of them are designed to keep the North Korean people from getting out! Americans are generally ignorant of the freedoms that they are blessed with and really have no idea what it would be like if they were taken away. They just take it all for granted.
Slavery has existed throughout time and still exist today. It is mankind’s most reprehensible institution. Every effort possible should be made to eradicate it for good. Any worthwhile human being today can see the horror that it is and agree that it must be stopped at all costs. I know many on the left do not want to hear this but the historical context of the 1700’s have to be considered when trying to understand the history of that period and how it pertains to those men. Did many of the founding fathers own slaves? Yes they did and every text book should teach it accurately. At that time was slavery a commonly held institution? Yes it was and it has to be viewed through that lens. The founders were flawed but if we just follow the ideals that they set up we would have a more perfect union where every person would be viewed as equal. As horrible as we view it today people during those times owned slaves and it was an accepted practice. That statement doesn’t change how wrong slavery was or try to say that it was alright or a good practice. It just acknowledges the fact that at the time it would not have been seen as inappropriate.
Since I am Buddhist most of my opinions come directly from my own experiences and not from what people are telling me I should believe. The reason I say that our system is the best is that anyone from even a poor unprivileged background can rise to the top by as a result of their own effort. When I worked in Japan I had a black friend (just saying that has become cliché, not politically correct, but he was a very good friend and he was black) and co-worker who came from the intercity of Baltimore. So you would think that our experiences going up were completely different. Not so. I came from a poor family from an all-white depressed rural area. He grew up in one of the worst parts of Baltimore that happened to be all black. Where I came from education was not stressed because when you became an adult there were no jobs to get and you were going to just be on welfare anyway. So why bother. Where my friend grew up the culture said that if you did well in school that you were a sell out and were trying to be “white”. He said that if other kids saw you bring home your books that they would actually beat you up. We both never had any real aspirations to go to college because our families just could not afford it. The turning point for us both came out of the blue in the form of a stranger. I had a girlfriend when I was in 9th grade and her Dad was an ex-Marine (Marines will say there is no such thing as an ex-Marine) J. He asked me one day what my plans were after I finished school. I told him that I could not afford to go to college and my grades were not good anyway. So I would probably just stand in line trying to get one of the few jobs from the couple remaining saw mills. He told me that I should try hard at school and get the best grades I could. After I graduated from high school I could join the military and they would train me and pay for college as well. He said that if I didn’t do something that I would be working in a gas station the rest of my life and he asked me if that was what I wanted? My friend had exactly the same experience. He met an older guy that had been in the Navy for a number of years. He told him that no matter what the other kids said that he should study hard and get good grades. He even offered to give him a ride home from school so the other kids would not know that he was carrying his books. He also suggested that he should join the military.
The point of this story is that even though neither of us had any advantage, I was poor white and he was black, we both ended up sitting right next to each other in a job where we made over $100,000 dollars a year! Why did it work out that way? The first thing is education it is critical. The next thing was having a mentor or someone who just explained to us that there was a way out. They also told us that even though the conventional way to get ahead wasn’t there for us, college. It wasn’t the only way. Lastly we were willing to do the work that was needed to get ourselves out of our disadvantaged start in life.
Contrast this with what most minorities are taught and hear on television and by the political parties. That there is no hope for them. That they will never be able to amount to anything because the white people out there will not allow them. This is just a lie. I am not saying that there is not discrimination or racism. This is still a big problem in America that needs to be fixed. What I am saying is that the racism and discrimination as it exists today does not stop people from improving their situation as the politicians are constantly proclaiming. No one said it would be easy but then again it wasn’t easy for the poor white kid either. I firmly believe that real education is the main answer to people overcoming their disadvantages. Racism is based in ignorance and fear so education is one of the main ways to overcome it as well. I also believe that another answer to the problems in the inner city is jobs. If you grew up as I did or my friend it is very difficult to convince people to do well in school when they know there is no job for them when they are done. Afro-Americans have the highest unemployment of any other group. So how is it that the party that they support wants to allow millions of very low paid illegal aliens into the country so that the Afro-Americans cannot compete for these jobs? Do not believe the line that Americans will not do the job that the illegal aliens do. This is just a linguistic sleight of hand. The truth is that Americans will not do these jobs at the pay that the illegal aliens get paid. If they were not illegal the employers would have to pay them at least minimum wage. If that was the pay for these jobs then obviously any American that works a minimum wage job would also be willing to do this work. Secondly it would create more competition for the jobs and in the end the employers may have to pay higher than minimum wage to keep employees. Since education is one of the prime keys to fixing the inequality was does this party fight any attempts to fix the educational system that poor intercity minorities attend?
Chicago and Detroit are perfect examples of how when people vote completely left or completely right the outcome will not be good. Both of these cities have been run by majority left politicians for decades. Since the Democrats have the black vote and these cities have large black populations they have been voted in over and over again. Detroit and Chicago both were once cities that other states and even countries admired greatly. Look at them now they are literally like war zones! This is just like the example of the employees blindly following the union officials at the Bear archery plant. Do the people that live in these cities ever notice all the lies and promises that the politicians make about improving things never happens? Don’t you notice that year after year there are less jobs, more crime, and crappier schools? I am not saying that all those Democrats should just one day become Republicans or that Republicans are any better. I am saying that if the same old ideas over and over are not working why do you not at least try some of the other ones? Don’t just tow the party line all the way to your own demise. Does it not bother people in Chicago that with crazy high number of murders and gun violence every month that your mayor seems to be worried more about climate change than the deaths of black youths? What is the reason for this? It is because the attention of those politicians goes to the highest bidder and the scary people in the background that are going to get them re-elected. The Environmental lobby just has a lot more money than the poor Afro-American lobby. Oh wait, there isn’t a poor Afro-American lobby is there? So who is it that is going to look out for them?
Well here we go again. Looks like there will be a part 4! I did not want this to be so long but the fact that it is such a tangled web dictates that it cannot be short or simple.