In the 1960s, civil rights protests were growing, with the focal point being the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on May 4, 1968. Once again, as in the Civil War, Americans fought with Americans, supposedly over a moral issue, the “unfairness” of racial inequality, a seemingly easy-to-understand principle.
The understanding is easy, but it has been obfuscated deliberately so you, the average person, won't understand, because if you did, you may find the solution or, better still, know there is no need for a “solution,” just an understanding.
The solution for “unfairness” of racial inequality is simple. Be fair to everyone, regardless of ethnicity. Yes, it is that simple! Fair — just, reasonable, open-minded, impartial, rational, even-handed. They all mean the same, and everyone knows what they mean.
In the 1960s, that is what the movement was all about, but it soon got usurped into a battle that had nothing to do with “fairness” and everything to do with gaining/losing political power. Anyone who has ever listened to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I have a Dream” speech knows that he got it right; however, his “Dream” got morphed into political showboating and grandstanding by both whites and blacks for the sole purpose of turning the wheels of power in their direction.
Interesting is the knowledge that the Republican Party was created to fight for the dissolution of slavery in 1854 and within six years the new party gained the presidency with Abraham Lincoln (power struggle).
There were and are hard-liners on both sides. Malcolm X, a separatist disenfranchised from the Nation of Islam, was killed on Feb. 2, 1965, by Nation of Islam members (power struggle). Malcolm X understood that racism was endemic to the world and not just whites and blacks.
The Black Panthers under Huey Newton and Bobby Seale were revolutionary socialists determined to “protect” the minority community from the “police state” (power struggle).
The Ku Klux Klan exacerbated the racial divide out of fear and ignorance (power struggle).
None of them wanted “fairness.” Blacks wanted retribution, revenge, ascendancy of their star and whites wanted to retain dominance, afraid of losing control. Both sides were narrow-minded, and both sides refused to believe they were wrong — the other side was wrong; stubborn idiocy at its worst.
So what happened? Hucksters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton leveraged the animosity created for their own personal gain, making every issue a racial issue. The Ku Klux Klan and the Skinheads evoked fear in whites by preaching outright hate and enmity while Slick Willies like the Clinton Clan manipulated both sides, uttering sanctimonious proclamations while doing nothing to resolve the problems.
Everyone got conned by the politicians, with the Democrats making empty promises they never intended to keep and the Republicans sticking their heads in the sand, afraid to have a public discourse about rampant inequality.
I choose the word “inequality” carefully, because it was never racism that was the problem. The problem was and is the determination to hang onto political power at any cost. Nobody cares about being “fair” to the average American. We are just pawns in the game of politics. To understand this, you have to acknowledge that, while racism existed and still exists, in this country it didn't matter what race you were. It still doesn't today. It only matters how you can be conned into voting.
The hardest thing for Americans to accept is that the entire world is racist and always has been. It is tribalism at its most puerile stage. It is a human condition and, like any other human condition, can only be cured if you understand what it is.
The only solution for racism is communication, getting to know people one-on-one, as neighbors, as co-workers, as students, as congregations. It is tribal insularity that is the evil of life, whether deliberate or inadvertent. Keeping oneself insulated from other people, other cultures, is the Ebola of civility.
Insularity breeds insecurity. Insecurity breeds fear. Fear breeds anger. Anger breeds violence. Violence causes fatal bleeding, just like Ebola, only worse. This violence causes bleeding of the body, mind and spirit. Past examples of blatant racism in the United States are the Germans, Irish, Italians — real racism, real bias, real discrimination. They went by the board because they assimilated and there were no Jesses, Als or Slick Willies to continually stoke the fire.
It's time to get to know one another. Talk to, not at, one another. Listen to one another, not just with your ears but with your mind. In the end, we will still know a lot of people we disagree with, but at least we'll know why we disagree and we'll have a better understanding of why they disagree.
There will still be people in the world who prefer chocolate over vanilla, cocoa over coffee, bangles over beads, pumpernickel over wheat bread, but they will all be doing it because that is what they actually like and not because some pompous windbag with an erroneous agenda told them that is what they should not like. And you know what else? A person liking those things does no harm to anyone else.
The Declaration of Independence starts with “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
This applies to people, as well as nations. The “political bands” are no longer connecting us, they are tearing us apart. Political correctness is strangling us, hampering valid communication. It is time to dissolve both of them for the good of mankind.
The Constitution of the United States of America starts with, “We the people of the United States.” It doesn't say, “We the politicians, lobbyists, power brokers, zombies, cronies and thieves.” It's our country, not theirs. Stand up and fight for it or sit down, shut up and take what's coming to you because you will deserve it.