Of all the racist comments that have been tossed around the airwaves over the Don Imus imbroglio, the most asinine I have heard yet, aside from his, came from a black rap-industry executive who was interviewed by Michelle Malkin when she was guest host on the Bill O'Reilly show this week.
I didn't catch the man's name, but he claimed that the filthy, sexist lyrics that dominate the most popular rap songs are required by the owners of the record companies that produce rap music. These people he claimed, are "white slave masters," and it is all "whitey's" fault that black rappers glorify drugs and violence, demean black women, and produce videos that are one click shy of live sex shows.
Apparently, these same white "slave masters" are forcing this guy and all the rap artists to take their multi-million dollar salaries and buy huge homes, expensive cars and jewelry, and live extravagant lifestyles. Oh, the Horror of it all. Make them stop, someone please!
In response to what was obviously a tongue-in-cheek question from Malkin, this guy replied that he does in fact believe that George Washington bears some responsibility for this filth. Not George Bush, mind you, the guy that the left claims is responsible for every other bad thing on earth.
He says the responsibility for drug and alcohol abuse, gang violence, prostitution, classlessness and filthy mouths rests squarely on the long-dead shoulders of George Washington!
Let's get something straight right now. I, as a white Christian male, am sick to death and fed up to my eyeballs with being blamed for every unpleasant factor and historic malfunction of the human race, by everyone who represents a racial, ethnic, or religious group that is different from mine.
My ancestors are Irish on my mother's side, Scottish highlanders who themselves descended from Vikings on my father's side, and despite long and exhaustive research I can't find a damn thing about my ancestors ever being involved in the American slave trade!
My father and his family arrived here from Scotland in the mid-1920s, long after the Civil War had ended and slavery had been outlawed. My Irish grandmother came here a decade before him, when she was a slip of 16 year old, by herself, with no attachment to anyone in this country, and no involvement in the long since passed slave trade.
The closest I can find to anything involving slavery is that the Vikings, from whom I am about 1,000 years removed, did occasionally take slaves during their raids along the coast of northern Europe and England around 900 A.D., as did every other military power in existence at that time! But by and large, these slaves were IRISH! Maybe even the occasional ANGLO-SAXON.
Yes, Viking ships did make rare forays as far away as Africa, and one of my ancestors, a member of Clan Gunn, is said to have been part of an expedition that made it as far as modern-day Massachusetts 100 years before Columbus 'discovered' America. But that expedition was for exploration, settlement and trade, not slavery.
So enough of this slavery crap already. No one is alive in the U.S., nor the entire world today, who was kept as a slave in the American south. No one. And let's not forget, the slave trade from Africa to the New World was allowed to flourish by and large not because massive numbers of white European soldiers invaded Africa, but because warring African tribes took their enemies hostage in the interior and marched them to the coast where they sold them to the slavers.
Slavery was a reprehensible facet of human existence for thousands of years, and it was practiced by all races, and all races profited from it.
Here's another bone to chew on. Before, during and after America became the United States of America, my Scottish ancestors were slugging it out to retain their homes and way of life, all of which were under siege from the ENGLISH! Other WHITE GUYS!
From the Battle of Culloden in 1746 onward, the English engaged in the Highland Clearances against my ancestors. The Clearances were a 100-year reign of terror and genocide that ended the clan way of life, murdered and displaced thousands upon thousands of Scots, many of whom were forced to the shores where they were put on the first ship going anywhere, separated from homes, friends and family, and never allowed to return.
Since Clan Gunn was located in the Caithness area of Scotland, far in the north, the Clearances didn't directly affect them until after the War of 1812. Clan lore says that around 1816 land speculators showed up in Clan Gunn territory and were promptly run off.
But they returned with the English Army, and my unarmed ancestors (the English had imposed gun control on the Scots - sword control too) made a valiant, but fatally flawed stand against the English, which the clan lost. The survivors were forced off their land and dispatched to the four winds and the seven seas. It is said that many ultimately made their way to what is modern-day Ottawa. My father's family went south to the Dundee area where he was born a century later.
None of my direct ancestors were here before the Civil War, nor took part in it on either side. But just for historic record, we should note that in that war, which ended slavery, roughly 360,000 northern troops were killed and another 370,000 wounded. The vast majority of them were WHITE!
Here's another point. When I went to bed last night I decided what time to set my alarm for, and when it went off this morning I decided whether to get up or hit snooze. When I did get up I decided what to have for breakfast, which way to turn when I left my driveway, and what I was going to do with my day.
There are inequities in life to be sure, not just in America, but across the world, yet by and large most Americans of all backgrounds get to make the same choices and decisions I do from morning til night. We can decide whether or not to pursue higher education, what fields we are most interested in, whether to join corporate America or work for ourselves, where we want to live, and how we want to live.
And the great thing is that every single one of us, regardless of race, creed or color, gets to make those choices. Even better, in America it is against the law to prevent anyone from pursuing the life of their choice due to the above mentioned race, creed, color, national origin, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, or just about anything else.
If you don't like the life you are living, change it. In America you can do that.
Now, about Juan Williams. I have watched him on television several times a week for years now, primarily because my favorite news shows are Special Report With Brit Hume where Juan appears as a panelist; and Fox News Sunday hosted by Chris Wallace where Juan also is a panelist.
For a long time I discounted Juan's point of view because it is always liberal left and appears to come straight from the Democratic National Committee's daily talking points. My television screen is the unfortunate victim of a fair share of eruptions from me at something Juan said that contradicted what I believe.
But I began to change my mind about him somewhat when FOX did a segment on his daughter launching a program to obtain prom gowns for girls whose homes had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
I gained additional respect for him when his book Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America was published last August. In it he is critical of the current generation of black leaders and maintains that the black community should stop blaming everything and everyone else for every ill, real and perceived, and start taking responsibility for their actions, or lack thereof.
I also was impressed by Juan's willingness to stand up for his point of view when so many other black leaders, particularly Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, were once again playing the race card in the Imus issue. Sharpton and Jackson, who I think are co-pastors of the Church of the Crooked Path to Divine Self-Absorption, came across as the ultimate hypocrites - and Hillary Clinton stooges - by chastising Imus and Sen. Barack Obama, who had nothing to do with the issue - but giving only lip service to actually taking on the rap industry and its degradation of black culture.
Juan was interviewed several times and aside from the fact that no one made Imus say what he said, he put the blame for this entire culture right where it belongs, on the rappers who created it, exploit it and profit from it. I think we need to hear a lot more from Juan Williams and and lot less from Jackson and Sharpton.
In my view of America, we aren't a motley collection of individuals with no common goals, we are a collection of cultures that share a common goal of freedom. I see America as the ultimate steel girder. Not the make-believe steel that only Rosie O'Donnell has ever seen, the kind that can't melt, but real steel, the kind of metal alloy that uses a variety of ores to make the original iron even better.
Added to iron, metals such as nickel and manganese give steel its tensile strength, chromium increases the hardness and melting temperature, and vanadium helps reduce the effects of metal fatigue. Chromium and nickel give stainless steel a hard oxide on the metal surface to inhibit corrosion.
Each in its own way is viable, useful and valuable. But when a bar of iron sits next to a bar of nickel or chromium or manganese, they retain their basic properties and nothing more. It is only when their properties are combined that they make the materials that enable us to build, expand, survive and thrive.
America needs to combine the strengths of all facets of our society if we are to survive and thrive in this world.
I believe the real black America, the one that gets little to no coverage from the mainstream media, is the black middle class that has quietly taken advantage of the civil rights legislation enacted in the 60s. Those laws enabled black families to pursue equal job and education opportunities and as a result there has been an exponential explosion of the middle class.
But only the downside of black culture gets the coverage. Thus, I am calling on Juan Williams to work with other black leaders who share his beliefs and start turning this around. The first step in that process is ensuring that the next time an issue of this nature arises, and it will, we all know that, Juan Williams or Charles Payne, or Clarence Thomas or Colin Powell should be the 'go-to guys' for the mainstream media, not Sharpton or Jackson.
Those last two have a vested interest in perpetuating racial tensions in America because they make their livings off of exploiting those tensions. I don't believe they represent the real black America at all, yet the real black America is suffering because of their dominance of the media, and as a result all of America is suffering.
Juan Williams, due to his familiarity with the media and high visibility, should take the lead in forming an umbrella group of like-minded black leaders. They should insist that the TV and radio networks and national newspapers seek them out for opinions, rather than going for the race-baiting cheap-shot tactics that dominate now. They can and should work to ensure that the true voice of black America is the one that gets the media attention, and that the detrimental aspects are exposed for their shallowness.
For my part, I promise to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and back-to-back with Juan in any fight of this kind. Maybe the only changes I can make exist in my own back yard, but it is a start and my backyard is still one piece in the puzzle. I'll also let Brit Hume deal with the political debates. My television, and my wife, will thank me for it, and Brit is far better at it anyway.
So, what do you say Juan? The ball is in your court.
Saturday, April 14, 2007