Who Marches for Them?
In the outrage surrounding the death of one black youth, we overlook the death of many thousands of young black men and women. Although blacks make up only 13% of the American population, they account for 49-52% of murder victims, 93% murdered by other blacks. Who marches for them?
We have diagnosed some of the problem wrong. Racism continues to exist but it is not the primary cause of the problem and some of the measures designed to alleviate the problem have exacerbated it. We learned during the 1960-1970s (although some may have forgotten) that neglecting the cultural causes of poverty and incentives was disastrous to the people involved. Crime rates skyrocketed and most of the time it was the poor and disadvantaged preying on the poor and disadvantaged. It took thirty years to recover from this disastrous social experiment, and we still are not out of the woods.
The still high rate of violence and murder is the legacy of the disorder engendered by often well-meaning but seriously misguided policy choices made a generation or more ago. Let's separate some of them out.
We had a serious problem of race relations in the 1950-1960s and civil rights leaders turned to the only place that seemed able and willing to help - the Federal government. The civil rights movement was well-within American traditions. In fact, what civil rights leaders were demanding was America live up to its values and the high ideals elaborated in our great documents. They had the moral high ground, which is why great leaders like Martin Luther King were able to accomplish most of their goals largely through non-violent methods. Very often, it meant actually enforcing laws. That is what happened when President Eisenhower sent the 101 Airborne to enforce school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mob rule cannot be allowed to override the decisions of our courts, he said in 1957.
When President John Kennedy coined the term "affirmative action" he instructed Federal agencies to, "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin."
Who could be against enforcing just laws, opposing mob rule and treating everyone equally w/o regard to race, creed, color or national origin? This is what I learned as a child and what I have supported, as long as I can remember. Most Americans, left-right-center, now celebrate the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We grew up with these values. (Anybody who was old enough to vote in 1964 is retired or dead.) It was an overdue promise kept. But the wheel didn't stop turning at this high point.
Some social scientists began to question the efficacy of laws and practices that treated everyone equally. They made the valid observation that opportunities were unequal and that perhaps something more could be required.
This is where I think our leaders took the wrong path. We chose, sometimes actively more often by just letting it happen, to drift down the dead end of identity politics. We sought to compensate for years of race-conscious decision by tossing in a strong dose of the same medicine administered in the opposite way. This resulted in some notable successes. Blacks already well-positioned were able to improve their chances and take advantage of new opportunities. Others fell further behind.
What SHOULD we have done differently? Let me answer with a question. What do you do if you are behind? To catch up, you have to work harder, perhaps get special help and above all recognize the need remake and improve your skill set.
The hard but more effective solution would have been to work harder improve schools and hold everyone there to high and rising standards. It takes about twenty-five years to build and engineer, doctor or lawyer and you cannot make up for twelve years of poor education by awarding someone a place in a competitive university. It is too late by then to create real opportunity.
In general, it takes three generations for immigrants to integrate fully into a host society. Blacks were immigrants in many ways when they moved from the rural South to the North and Midwest, as well as to urban centers in the South itself. There is some disagreement about the exact dates, but broadly speaking the "Great Migration" started around 1910 and was finished by 1970. Many blacks were reaching their third generation in the urban centers in the 1960s and 1970s and should have been entering the middle class. Many were. But just about the time they were reaching the gates, we had the general collapse of order in many big cities and the decline of public schools, which had provided the ladder to the middle class for so many others.
The record clearly shows that the collapse happened not in spite of but because of reforms and attitudes of the late 1960s. We all understand that correlation doesn't prove causality, but it certainly should make you question what is going on. After the middle 1960s, social indicators such as crime, disorder, drug use and out-of-wedlock births all went negative. The black family survived as an intuition during two centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it collapsed in the few years 1960-1975. What happened?
I believe that the situation today is better than it was in 1960 and much better than it was in 1975. We have made some progress, but could have/should have done even much better. The promise we could have seen in 1964 has been incompletely kept. It is not too late. Let's talk about solutions and not pretend the last fifty years never happened.
Posted by Christine & John at March 27, 2012 11:46 PM
C&J: “The record clearly shows that the collapse happened not in spite of but because of reforms and attitudes of the late 1960s.”
Does it though? You are exactly right though that the black community for instance was well on it’s way up the socio-economic ladder. That is until crack cocaine. The drug dealt a far more devastating blow to the community in the 1980’s than affirmative action from 1960 on.
Another issue as the result of the 60’s was the teaching of situation ethics. Situation ethics removes all responsibility from the individual. I was watching a PBS special the other night about immigrants coming into America in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The women and children many times had to work under horrible conditions in sweat shops. But the narrator said, they did it because the conditions they left in Europe were worse than they were here and they knew that hard work would eventually pay off. Among the immigrants were many blacks. They worked to provide for the family unit.
The events of the 60’s destroyed the family unit and removed all personal responsibility to work. The hard work ethic was replaced with government assistance and handouts. Hence, when Obama was elected, we have videos of black saying Obama was going to give them cars, houses, food and when asked where Obama would get the money to do these things, the response was from “Obama’s Stash”. The problem in America is the liberal agenda to move to a Centralized Government and do away with states’ rights. Obamacare is another perk given by a centralized government; in fact one of the demonstrators had a sign calling obamacare a right. Right by what, the Constitution?
I find it ironic, the events that took place in the 60’s: the beginning of attacks on God and Christianity, the introduction of affirmative action, the handing out of food stamps and welfare, the lack of holding blacks fathers responsible for the welfare of their children, and as I said the introduction of situation ethics. Add to this the beginning protests against the military, professors who attacked the United States Constitution and founding fathers in universities classrooms, and the lack of morality and promotion of free love and sex. All of these things have brought us to where we are today.
Whites hold the edge on serial killers.
Whites tend to murder family members.
A majority of the predation of young black men towards each other is primarily economic related, with business rivalries and debt delinquents.
In watching shows like 48 hours, you learn that a significant portion of those killed or those who killed, because of drug related issues, were employees of legitimate businesses.
Statics point out that the majority of those receiving government support are either children, old people, or young working families below the poverty line.
Economics is also the prime culprit in the breakdown of the nuclear family, whites have a high rate of divorce, much of it economic related.
I saw a recent news article in which a white person was convicted and sentenced to death for killing a black person, in Alabama. That could not have happened in 1962.
In the sixties, a black man advocating for civil rights was begging to be murdered.
Nothing associated with civil rights or entitlement programs did as much damage to small town economies, of all racial orientations, than the Interstate Highway System and the corporate shopping maul.
Illegal and illegally obtained prescription drugs are now big contributors to the economies of many of these small towns. This is also true of many urban and suburban communities as well. Mayors and other politicians, lawyers, businessmen, policemen, working class people, and even preachers are major buyers of these products. People out on the street and down the country lane are killing eachother over the same drug that Rush Limbaugh was obtaining illegally.
If Limbaugh had been required to do his show, for 18 months, from a Florida prison cell, it would have sent a powerful message across America. Instead, a different message was conveyed. I75 and I95 to Florida should be named the Oxycontin Highway. A businessman in Ohio, can hop on a plane to Florida, go to the pain clinic, and be back in Ohio in 4 hours or less. It is done every week day.
I don’t think you have to go all the way back to the 60s to find any blame for the current situation. You might as well blame it on the wild west or the gangsters of yore. Those responsible for creating the current situation are all living amongst us.
There’s been some complaint here about something referred to as “food stamps”, which as far as I know does not exist. There is however a supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP). After hearing something about this program from some elderly and disabled clients who were complaining about the amount of assistance they were able to get, I looked into it with the help of people from Catholic Charities. It turns out that this program has some pretty odd financial requirements. The client must have more expenses than would be possible or sensible for a person with a low income. It seems specifically designed for people with unreported income, or some hidden source of money, or liars.
The drug trade is an enormous business in this country. In Florida, it is said to be the largest business in the state, above tourism and real estate. There are airstrips everywhere, and plenty of used aircraft and pilots willing to go anywhere in any weather including zero visibility.
I live in Illinois now, and you can go out into your yard and find a marijuana plant growing from seeds that are being carried around by birds, or whatever method. I found two such plants in the garden of a nursing home where I visit and volunteer, sprouting up in the ground cover, because there is so much of it around, yet it is all invisible and hidden, and outside the economy.
I think there are plenty of people with more expenses than money to handle them with. Folks who are sick, unemployed, or so desperately poor that housing, medicine, utilities and other expenses overwhelm their ability to buy food.
Trust me, it happens. You don’t have to be dishonest to find yourself in that kind of financial trouble.
I find it interesting that folks blame the social welfare programs for all the economic problems. Never mind the gyrations that the shift from the Bretton Woods agreement caused in the early seventies. Never mind the problems that interest rate shifts brought on. Never mind the purposeful destruction of domestic industry in favor of cheaper foreign labor. Never mind the problems that came from real-estate speculation, the looting of savings and loans and the costs of the bailout that made necessary. Never mind the housing bubble, and the derivatives and investment bubble that came in on top of it.
If there’s a moral problem at the heart of what has us in these financial straits, and our nation’s glory seemingly past, I think the best description of it is that we’ve decided it’s okay to reward the abstract seeking of gain, capitalism as it’s own reason to exist, rather than constrain economic activity to healthier, more real world pursuits.
If there’s a moral problem for the average person, its that they can’t maintain their current existence on a cash and carry basis. The deck is stacked against living within your means on a given wage over time. As a member of the generation who saw this happen, I can’t emphasize enough where this current generation’s distrust of the big boys on Wall Street comes from. We see people who talk about profiting from creative destruction, but who don’t do much creative as they leave wreckage behind in our formative experiences.
I think, ultimately, we need to recognize that there are moral hazards both in government assistance and its lack, regulation, and its lack, that deregulation and austerity are not unalloyed goods, that the notion of small government being morally superior to big is very misleading. The question of government size in general is a bit of red herring. What we need is good government, government that works and does as much as we want it to do for the amount we’re willing to pay for it.
Note that last part. I believe the American people should consider themselves free, without guilt, to seek as much government as they want under our constitution. That’s their right, as a matter of fact. If they want less, they can ask for less until the pain gets too much for them and they go in another direction. If they want more, they can get as much as they want, provided they are able to pay for it.(Under normal circumstances, to be plain. We shouldn’t avoid dealing with emergencies in order to avoid painful bills later)
If you look at it, you’ll see that there’s a negative feedback cycle at work: you hit a level of government the people consider too little, they build it back up. Hit a level they feel is too great, too expensive, and they draw it back. When we’ve followed this model, the nation’s fiscal balance has done much better, much better in times where “conservative” fiscal policy has reigned.
Adam & Thomas
It wasn’t affirmative action, per se. It was the identity politics, the soft bigotry or low expectations and what, IMO, amounted to an abdication of the larger society to set and maintain values that would apply across the board.
Thomas makes a good point about situational ethics. In some parts of our leading intellectual circles, it became fashionable to think in relative terms. Having consistent strong societal standards is more important for the underprivileged, since they get less of it from their home life. If you start saying that multiple single parenthood is just an alternative lifestyle or that nobody in the ghetto can be expected to meet high standards, you get what you expect.
I worked at McDonald’s when I was young. I recall a discussion of drug dealers, where the liberals on the panel said that you could understand why ghetto kids would sell drugs, rather than make “chump change” at McDonald’s. What a stupid and destructive thing to say.
“Economics is also the prime culprit in the breakdown of the nuclear family, whites have a high rate of divorce, much of it economic related.”
The black family survived slavery and Jim Crow. Do you think conditions in the 1960-70s suddenly turned worse than those times?
re white murders - violence is not limited to any community. But in some places it is much more common. And in some times it is more common. Why is that? That is what we need to address.
Economics is an important factor, but if it was only that, murder rates should have gone way down in the 1960s and 1970s, as compared with the poorer earlier times.
Beyond that, crime rates were lower in the Depression and the recent economic downturn did not come with more crime.
We had a big downturn in the economy recently which did NOT result in higher crime rates. The rate of crime is unrelated to the state of the economy, in fact, crime seems to rise in better times.
People are not committing crimes because they are poor. More likely they are poor because they have the kinds of disorderly lives that lead to crime.
Thinking we can attack a social-cultural problem like crime and disorder using mostly economic means is at the root of the crisis in the 1960s and 1970s.
You are too young to remember really safe streets, but I can still recall. I grew up in Milwaukee, which was a big, industrial city. It sounds quaint, but we didn’t lock our doors and I could just leave my bike parked on the sidewalk and nobody would steal it. Around the middle of the 1960s, everything started to fall apart. It was NOT only in the black community, but since more of them were poor and at the verge of joining the middle class, they were worse affected.
It is also not particularly the size of government as it is what government does. Government used to build infrastructure, ensure domestic tranquility and deliver the mail the next day. State governments used to provide university education at reasonable cost and public schools were able to educate and Americanize waves of immigrants. Government stopped doing those things as well in the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time it grew bigger getting involved in all sorts of attempts to manage society.
So today government is bigger than ever, but it fails to do those core functions as well as when it was only 1/3 as big. When you spend more but get less, you have to ask if something is messed up.
SD wrote; “When we’ve followed this model, the nation’s fiscal balance has done much better, much better in times where “conservative” fiscal policy has reigned.”
Perhaps I didn’t read this correctly but I totally agree.
No one knows how the Supreme Court will rule on obamacare but from what I have read in the NY Times, the government was not very persuasive in its arguments. Many liberal writers I have read were astonished that the case even made it this far and are now in fear that the whole damnable bill will collapse.
Should the entire bill be thrown out, and with a Republican president and congress, perhaps our national health care problems will be resolved is a sensible manner.
Interesting debate. So who do we blame? Let’s blame Blacks because they fell down on the job when it came their time to meld into the melting pot.Or should we blame the advent of drugs, and their relatively easy procurement?
I know! Lets’ blame food stamps! We all know they are used only by criminal factions. Or better yet, lets’ blame Medicare, and Medicaid. To heck with the old people, the babies, the young children or the disabled. Or maybe we should blame situation ethics. Whatever that means.
No, let’s blame education. Our teachers are all lousy. Everyone knows all children are just the same. They all learn the same. Should be taught exactly the same things. To heck with the melting pot idea again. Let’s educate all our children to be robots. Lets push them all to be the same. Remember No Child Left Behind? Yeah…and not any additional funding or ideas on how to implement the idea.
My point is that there are as many reasons for the situation we Americans find ourselves in as people in the world.
Is necessary to lay blame somewhere definitive?
I think that running after a jet plane is just as useful. The point is, we are now facing many problems. We can NOT solve all of them immediately, but we can try to solve one or two at a time.
So lets start with something we can do.
Work on our school systems. Throwing good money after bad is useless. And idiotic. Lets try letting them teach, and just stand back and do their jobs - for maybe three or four years, instead of throwing new ideas at they every 6 months, and expecting miracles.
That plan hasn’t worked, no matter how many times its been tried! However, if we use our money wisely,by putting it into credible plans, and people maybe, just maybe we might be able to improve life for everyone. And maybe put some people back to work as well.
Do any of you have any idea how many supervisors there are in each of our school systems? Tons! Many of whom are doing the same job as their office neighbors! We send money to boards of elections and they hire more dead-weight. Why? Because much of the money they receive is ‘earmarked’ that way.
They either must use it the way the ‘giver’ wants, or they won’t get anymore. Or worse must return it, with a fine. This attitude causes our educators to have to lie, beg, borrow and sometimes steal to get the money they need for the programs they already have.
Our own school system was discovered using money inappropriately because instead of using alloted money for putting in a new, fancy gate, they used it to buy new textbooks. Now they have to return it. Does this make since to any of you?
Schools tend to ‘fudge’ about their enrollment in order to receive necessary funding from both the states, and federal governments, to just barely comply with rules and restrictions that they already face.
We need more teachers, at reasonable pay, and I include the money for them to pay for necessary school items, such as chalk, paper, books, crayons, markers, etc. Much of which they are now buying for themselves out of their own pockets.
Better school conditions. Put our construction people back to work by building NEW schools. NOT fancy schools, but schools that can actually be used for students and teaching.
Fortunately a large number of our students manage to learn despite us, not because of us.
Now I wonder who will jump on me first.
Banish all competition sports from schools until 8th grade. Then ONLY students with high grade averages can play. School should be about learning - NOT BALLS. Right now most of our Black students think they are going to be the next Micheal Jordan, or Tebow, or someone else. Heck, most of all our kids think this. Dreaming is wonderful, but without the tools to accomplish ones’ dreams, they can quickly turn into nightmares.
Few of our students today see their lives from a business point of view. Work is something to be disdained. We have got to find a way to make it honorable again to hold a job, stay with your family, and be proud of what you have accomplished, not negative about what you have not done. Like not making a billion dollars.
As adults, we know the unlikely hood of making a billion dollars. Why do we lie to our kids that they can? I’m not saying that wanting to reach the sky is a bad thing,but that we over-emphasize it.
Instead show them the incredible feeling of doing something for someone else. Of the wonderful times to be spent with their own children. Of the fulfillment of a good marriage. The pleasure of achieving one’s own goals; doing something one’s self. Like building a car, or a house, or maybe a ladder to the sky!
Our students need to be taught that running a business, or working for someone is as much or more prestigious as being an athletic. As long as we tell students that their grades aren’t as important as a ball, we will continue to have problems.
We also need to make sure that all the people in this country of know that the odds of them being wealthy are incredibly high. Obtainable, but not likely. That having money does not make one any better or worse than anyone else. This attitude would go long way into calming down need for a the drug pusher and dealer. It would also help to encourage our youngsters to start thinking for themselves, instead of everyone else thinking for them.
Fortunately, a lot of students manage to learn despite us. Thank God.
“Many blacks were reaching their third generation in the urban centers in the 1960s and 1970s and should have been entering the middle class. Many were. But just about the time they were reaching the gates, we had the general collapse of order in many big cities and the decline of public schools..”
Yes, but you ignore what happened to the great manufacturing areas that Southern blacks had migrated to. They were decimated. Corporations moved their manufacturing plants first, ironically, to Southern states and then to China. The great generator of the middle class evaporated.
If you visit any of the large urban manufacturing cities of the North during the sixties, you will now find, literally, miles of abandoned factories, joblessness and poverty. I am appalled when I visit my hometown in the Northeast. It is a wasteland of huge, abandoned factories with broken windows.
Take a train ride from Washington, DC to Boston, MA and tell me what you witness as you pass through the heart of the once greatest and proudest manufacturing region of the world.
Blaming food stamps and other assistance for the urban black problem is nonsense. Do you really think that blacks and other welfare recipients would rather be on poverty assistance than receiving substantial paychecks and benefits? If so, it trashes conservative ideology on the value of economic incentives.
angel makes some very good points with most of them being about better parenting. How do we encourage better parenting? I don’t think it can be bought. I don’t think it can come through threats. Then what will produce better parents?
I know for certain that more government largess is not the answer as parenting skills were at a much higher level during the depression than they are now.
Better schools may help and that can only come if the federal government gets completely out of the school business. It makes no sense to me for the feds to collect my taxes, run it through the bureaucracy, and then funnel it back to the states with strings attached.
The federal government does not know better how to manage schools than states, local government and parents do.
When aid is given to a person or family in any form by government there should be strings attached. Something meaningful should be expected in return…no matter how small or insignificant. When people realize that “nothing” is free, perhaps it will be more appreciated.
Your chronology is a little wrong. 1972 was the high point of American industrial employment. The escalating crime rates and social destruction was well advanced in that time of plentiful industrial jobs.
I did not mention food stamps. Some assistance works and is necessary.
IMO the proximate cause for the collapse of progress was the collapse of order, to which the weakness of resolution, the dumb ideas that big government could effectively address social and cultural problems primarily with economic means and the strengthening of identity politics were big contributors.
Most blacks today are not poor. Most are law abiding and a majority have achieved middle class. The problem is a minority in the minority that have embraced a culture of poverty. These are the ones who cause so much trouble for the black community and for the whole country. Unfortunately, many consider these guys the “true” and too often their perverted norms are emulated by people who should know better.
We can never address a cultural problem by primarily economic means.
There are two main reasons for loosing industry in the northeast: the first is unions and the second is environmental standards. My father worked for GM and about 50 miles from his plant was another GM plant. The workers at the other plant were continually going on wildcat strike. My father told me, they will shut that plant down and it will be because they go on strike at the drop of a hat. About 15 years later, they closed the plant. The workers did it to themselves. Companies moved south to get away from the unions and get in right to work states. Some of them have gone overseas; but many foreign companies have also opened in the US. Germany, Japan, Korea, and many other countries have opened auto plants in the US. But they opened in a way where unions cannot get a foothold. These companies love the American workers; they believe they are industrious and faithful. On the other hand union workers have a bad name of being lazy and wanting something for nothing.
The second point is the EPA; although there was a time when the EPA did a good job, they are now blight on employment and industry. The Steel Industry was a boom in northern Ohio, and PA and the United Steelworkers Union priced these companies right out of business, so the steel industry moved to Japan and China. If American investors wanted to start up a new steel mill, what hoops would he have to jump through to get the permits from the EPA? Many companies moved out of America as a result of environmental reasons.
Highlandangel1 and Royal Flush have made some valid points; but as I said earlier, the two most devastating reasons for the plight of blacks and for all Americans are lack of personal responsibility and lack of morality. The left views morality as some kind of religious weakness and as a result of situation ethics, personal responsibility has been replaced with “the government will take care of everything.
Every great civilization has fallen because of these two things: lack of personal responsibility and lack of morality. Europe is failing; industrialized nations are falling apart from within. When over half of the population is living on a government payroll and benefit program and when a nation falls into moral decay, it will fail. Africa is a continent with vast natural resources worth trillions; yet the mass of African people have never been able to rise above living in mud huts, why. Because they are comfortable living in squalor; they have no personal responsibility, or are not allowed to, and they have corrupt leaders or lack of morality.
Apparently, you didn’t experience the impact of the exodus of manufacturing from the north and the decline of good paying industrial jobs during that period. One of the principal urban areas illustrative of the problem you are writing about is Detroit, MI. There are many other illustrations but this excerpt helps explain the development of a urban tragedy:
“As a result, Detroit saw one of the largest declines in its population, losing nearly 20 percent in the course of the decade [70s], as major American auto manufacturers were forced to layoff thousands of their employees. As unemployment levels increased in Motor City, so did crime, with homicide becoming a defining feature of Detroit’s evening news.” http://www.detroit.com/history/
I understand that many industries declined, but this really set in after 1973. It was before this time that the social damage became manifest.
We did indeed suffer hard economic times in the ten years from 1972-81. But things got much better starting in 1982 and we had twenty-five years of mostly good times. In those good times, ethnic groups who had arrived from Asia after 1965 started to do very well. In fact, you may recall that in the early 1980s, Asians were included as affirmative action beneficiaries. Today they are victims of it, since they are present in such large numbers in top universities.
It is also illustrative that during this period, many blacks did indeed become solidly middle class. At the same time that the under class was becoming even more dysfunctional.
There’s a current case in Chicago of an 80 year old man who shot an 19 year old intruder and was arrested because the 80 year old is a convicted felon. The people in the neighborhood are all sticking up for the old guy, but everyone involved is black and the intruder didn’t die, he was only shot in the leg.
C&J: “But things got much better starting in 1982 and we had twenty-five years of mostly good times.”
You mean around the time the economy created 1 million jobs in one month? Again, you’re leaving out crack cocaine epidemic as a major factor for while the black community took such a giant leap back in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Also of note is that image of black America as an poor urban drug culture has survived long after the epidemic passed.
“Also of note is that image of black America as an poor urban drug culture has survived long after the epidemic passed.”
The “epidemic” you speak of was a result of human weakness.
It is appalling that “crack” was criminalized to a greater extent than regular cocaine, but nobody forced the pipe into people’s mouths, and forced them to inhale.
People do not “march for them” because people have been conditioned to believe that guns and ‘the man’ are to blame, not “them.”
There are some assumptions of yours I take issue with.
I wish I could say that the best people win competitions, but often enough, folks rely on good old fashioned dirty tricks and provisionally successful schemes to win. Now this might not be good for a company long term, but those who are the architects of the policy all too often move on or cash out before things go wrong, and they can afford to hire the lawyers to bail themselves out of trouble.
I wish I could say that you’d only be poor if you weren’t smart or a good person, but I’ve been struck by enough misfortune to know that when you’re not rich with the ability to absorb setbacks, health problems and finanicial situations you have no control over can knock you on your ass and make virtuous behavior irrelevent to the equation.
There’s a kind of golden, glowing mythology to the way the right wing deals with corporations today that I can’t really buy into. I’ve seen too much skullduggery and corruption in the system, too much short-term success coming from long term stupidity. When you can earn a quick buck and cash out, being a good steward for the long term can often take a backseat to getting things good while you can.
The Republicans seem to think that if you relieve people of obligations and responsibilities, they’ll magically figure out the right thing to do, and things will get better on their own. I’ve been hearing that promise my entire life and time has only made me more skeptical of it.
I don’t think strangling with micromanagement helps, but I do thing we need to put up firm barriers to misbehavior, making such dishonesty prohibitively difficult, and therefore comparatively rarer. No laws can make honest men and women of everybody, eliminate all crime, or as they say, keep a particular misfortune from every happening again. But we can build a system with fewer moral weaknesses at the top, and throughout the economy we depend on. We can also create a nation that while engaged in the global markets, are not blown about at their mercy, economy supporting jobs not bled to other countries.
You got your wish: unions have declined seriously. But so have workers. If you were right, wouldn’t they have prospered?
On the subject of environment? Should we be like China? Who would be richer for the fact we were choking on smog, drinking our health with toxic waste laden water, coughing up our lungs on account of contaminates coming off of operations? I think if we insisted, then necessity would have become the mother of invention, and people would have found a cheaper way to do things right.
Instead, folks like you have mollycoddled them, even as their wastes have sickened and killed people. But really, how long must we ignore the obvious, that our activities can alter the natural systems we depend upon, and often not to our own advantage?
As for your points on morals and responsibility, what good have the right done on that? On one hand, they are very insistent that the poor and middle class pay back what they owe, and conform to moral standards. Meanwhile, the people they support in turn live lavish, profligate lifestyles while engaging in all kinds of theft and fraud. You encourage people to shirk their responsibilities under the rule of law, think of themselves as a law unto themselves… Long story short, you’re not part of the counter to the counter culture of immorality, I would say that you’re part of it, unified with it more than you would care to admit it.
As for that last part, it’s blatantly racist, and also historically wrong. Several immense civilizations have existed in Africa over the centuries, including The Egyptian civilization that sprung up long before our ancestors got out of their mud huts. As for Europe, they participated in and got burned in our capital markets. Greek disregard for paying taxes or regulation would seem very familiar to those on the Right, and the austerity programs that many of these countries imposed on themselves following the crash are precisely what your people have been suggesting.
And they haven’t really worked. The problem is, folks on the right have been both more and less successful than they’d care to admit, better able to get their policies enacted here and elsewhere in the world, but not so able to create the free-market/austerity successes that they promised everybody.
I think it’s high time we stop patronizing people in this moralistic fashion. The Right doesn’t know best, and the minorities out there do not need other people herding them around on morality.
“As for your points on morals and responsibility, what good have the right done on that? On one hand, they are very insistent that the poor and middle class pay back what they owe, and conform to moral standards. Meanwhile, the people they support in turn live lavish, profligate lifestyles while engaging in all kinds of theft and fraud. You encourage people to shirk their responsibilities under the rule of law, think of themselves as a law unto themselves… Long story short, you’re not part of the counter to the counter culture of immorality, I would say that you’re part of it, unified with it more than you would care to admit it.” Stephen Daugherty.
Stephen, I read back through my posts and I failed to find where I blamed Republicans or Democrats for the moral state of America? I simply said the lack of morality is one reason we have the problems we now have. Do you believe the American people are as moral today as they were, say 100 years ago?
“You got your wish: unions have declined seriously. But so have workers. If you were right, wouldn’t they have prospered?”
Again Stephen, I read through my statements, and I failed to find where it was my wish the unions decline. My father was a lifetime AFL/CIO union member. And as I said, the unions have created their own problems. Workers have increased in many southern states in industrial jobs, as I said foreign auto companies have increased, but they are union free. The question is, why? I would suggest the unions have been a major hindrance to industry.
“On the subject of environment? Should we be like China? Who would be richer for the fact we were choking on smog, drinking our health with toxic waste laden water, coughing up our lungs on account of contaminates coming off of operations? I think if we insisted, then necessity would have become the mother of invention, and people would have found a cheaper way to do things right.”
Once again I read my comments, and I said there was a time when the EPA did a service, but they have grown into an entity of their own. Your questions about China are irrelevant. We do not live in China and we have no control over their environment. The question is, how has the EPA affected US industry? If industry leaves the USA, they are moving to countries that do not care about the environment. Wouldn’t it be wiser to keep these industries in the US and maintain some sort of environment control, rather than force them to move out of the country and have no control? Let me show you an example of the power of the EPA.
“Obama EPA enacts cap-and-trade agenda
In its latest move to drive up the cost of energy to consumers, businesses, and manufacturers, the Obama EPA March 27 issued a final CO2 cap on emissions from electric utilities. EPA’s action will effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants and likely cause rolling blackouts.”
The Congress failed to pass Cap and Trade, but Obama is using the EPA to do an end run.
“Instead, folks like you have mollycoddled them, even as their wastes have sickened and killed people.”
Who are people like me? Have you just profiled me into a group of people? As far as I know, I have never spoken to you before. I can assure you I have no desire to kill people or make them sick.
“As for that last part, it’s blatantly racist, and also historically wrong.”
Are all the people on Watch Blog as negative as you Stephen, and do all twist the words around or blatantly lie about people? I don’t believe I am a racist; in fact I am a black man.
Did I say I was talking about Africa in a historical sense? What part of my comment do you disagree with? Is Africa a continent of great natural resources? Do the majority of Africans live in poverty or are they rich? Do the African nations have corrupt leaders? Stephen, rather than deal with the context of my words, you want to spend your time calling me a racist. The main question is “are these people in Africa satisfied with living in squalor and poverty”? I was born in the south, under the rule of Democrats like George Wallace. My grandparents were poor; a poor that a person like you could not understand. My father moved north to where the work was and instilled in me a work ethic, they instilled in me morality, and they instilled in me personal responsibility. As a result, I studied hard and I attended college and worked hard. I did not depend on the government for anything. Thanks to God, I am a self made man. So I am able to understand what has happened in America and when things began to change. As a black man, I can also see similarities between blacks in America and blacks in Africa. When the goovernment removes all desire to better one’s self with handouts; it’s only natural for people to take the path of least resistance.
Stephen, I have noticed you said nothing about the context of my remarks, but rather you just attacked me. Henceforth, I don’t believe I will be talking to you. So I bid you good day.
I don’t believe one CAN legislate morality. Or should even try.
Trying to pass The ERA amendment was useless, as was the 18th amendment prohibiting alcohol. These are just two of the attempts to try to micromanage the American people. They both failed, and were frankly a lost cause that the American people ended up paying for, in lives, and economic cost.
And I THANK GOD!. God Blessed us with the ability to think, reason, and debate our differing views. And the right to disagree with each other.
Not that I wasn’t in favor of the ERA, but even I knew that it would not, in the long run, change most American’s ideas of what is the correct way to treat women.
One can pass laws all one wants, but enforcing them tends to be a problem. Just what is morality? How does one have a moral country? Who makes that decision, how is it enforced, and far greater, just what is it?
This is probably my main concern with the Republican Party. They are constantly saying that we need to behave in a more moral manner, as a nation. However, I’m unsure just how they define ‘moral behavior’. I am reasonably assured that it is NOT the way I would define it.
I guess it’s sort of like the Justice who said, “I can’t define pornography, but I know it when I see it”. I know what morality is (to me) and moral acts when I see them, but other than trying to make sure that people understand they can say or so almost anything, as long as they ‘don’t hit me in the nose’ I find it hard to define.
I believe that one should:
1. love God, (the God of their own religious beliefs),
2. try to always help others,(help, not hinder, give a hand up, not a hand out)
3. try to love and care for one’s neighbors, even those of whom one may not like,(especially the ones I don’t want to)
4. care and fight for one’s country (as long as their country acts and represents the views of the majority).
In simple words to RESPECT everyone, at all times, in thought, word and deed, until they have truly shown they do NOT deserve respect - IE. most criminals (and even those criminals who have paid for their crimes, and are honestly attempting to get on the right track.
“I don’t believe one CAN legislate morality. Or should even try.”
Government legislates it everyday in the form of social programs like welfare, social security etc…
As a Christian, I have no problem identifying morality since I possess the guidebook containing what God has decreed. That I possess and study such a book does not necessarily mean that I always follow its tenants. However, at least I am aware of what I should be doing.
Now for a secularist, there is no guidebook and they must decide for themselves or just accept what other men have decided is moral or immoral.
There is no guidebook for governments as concerns morality. However, since governments are administered by men, I suspect the same rules of morality should apply.
Can Christians be immoral? Certainly.
Can secularists be moral? Certainly.
Good points Royal Flush. One certainly does not have to be religious to be moral. But, a rejection of religion usually leads to an increase in immorality. In my 75 years, I have certainly seen a change in the morality of the American people. There are young people on here that have no concept of what this country used to be like.
Thomas, you have four years on me but I do know what you’re talking about. You sound like a person I would appreciate as a friend.
It would be hard to imagine anyone could argue that morality has not suffered over the past half century. What has changed is the accepted definition of morality. Where it was once God defined, it is now man defined.
I will pose a simple question. If a majority of adults in a given population agrees that murder, rape, theft, and such is moral, does that make it so?
Another simple question…does morality change over time according to popular opinion? Is morality similar to a “fad”?
I believe there is a supreme being who instilled in us a morality based upon His principles for humans to live by. When humans attempt to replace God’s decrees with their own ideas about morality we have pain, suffering, and much trouble.
You are correct Royal Flush. Morality does not change. What was moral in God’s eyes, 2000 years ago is still moral today.
The point I made earlier in the post about “situation ethics”, is exactly what you are talking about when you say “fad”. Situation Ethics began to be taught in schools in the 60’s. It is the belief that morality is based upon your situation. For instance, if the opportunity for a child to steal a candy bar presents itself, it is alright to give into the temptation. It is not by accident that at the same time situation ethics were beginning to be taught in he schools; the removal of anything to do with God was also taking place. Both of these things have become the norm today. Situation ethics applies to every aspect of our lives. If you don’t have a job, or don’t want to work, it becomes the job of the government to take care of you. Situation ethics makes excuses for everything mankind does. In Florida, the students from the school in Miami raided a store and destroyed property and stole; they were justified in doing so because their fellow student was killed 250 miles away. The new Black Panther leader posts a $10 thousand reward for the man who did the killing; it is justified because he is considered a racist and has been prejudged. Those on the left on this site defend every liberal program of Obama; they are justified in doing so because capitalism is the enemy and it deserves to be brought down. The police are praised until they uphold the law; then the left is justified in vilifying the police because they are the man with the gun. And so it goes. There can be no doubt, situation ethics is the common denominator with America’s morality problems.
“For instance, if the opportunity for a child to steal a candy bar presents itself, it is alright to give into the temptation.”
Come on! Do you actually think that the above is a reasonable example of “situational ethics.” Nonsense. A reasonable example would be that the child has been abandoned and hasn’t eaten for a considerable time. If she stole a candy bar under such circumstances, would it justify modification of the general moral rule against stealing? Is a moral rule absolute? Are there circumstances that justify breaking the rule in favor of a greater good?
Good point Rich, but who determines the what rules can be broken? We are not talking about moral absolutes, but we are talking about changing the rules to fit the situation. Your example shows how the modern mind is willing to change the rules. There was a time when stealing was stealing, regardless of the reason.
“The Republicans seem to think that if you relieve people of obligations and responsibilities, they’ll magically figure out the right thing to do, and things will get better on their own.”
I believe that people should have loads of obligations and responsibilities in return for the right to have freedom in a free country. In fact, one of the problems today is that we have relieved people of too many responsibilities.
The problem that liberals have is that they think that making laws is enough to create good behavior, while many of the laws and regulations have the perverse effect of weakening responsibility, as happened in the 1960s and 1970s.
There is no shortage of laws and regulations. When people break those laws, they should suffer the consequences. This should go for both the rich and the poor. Can you quote instances of when prominent Republicans advocated anything else?
We have an interesting contrast, a kind of experiment. For a long time, Virginia had weak gun control laws, while DC, literally a couple hundred yards away, had strict ones. Yet gun violence in Virginia was much lower than in DC. One reason was the Virginia actually enforced laws the punished strongly anybody who used guns in crimes, while DC tended to be more “generous”.
An interesting example was that of Carl Rowan. He was a strong gun control advocate in DC. He called for “A complete and universal federal ban on the sale, manufacture, importation and possession of handguns But he shot a teenager who was swimming in his pool (trespassing it is true, but not really very threatening) using a gun that he did not legally own. Rowan, BTW, was black and his victim was white. The DC jury couldn’t decide if Rowan was guilty or not, even though he admitted using the gun, so he got off.
The bottom line is that if you have laws you have to enforce them. Liberals tend to like to make laws, but are less enthusiastic about using them against anyone they perceive as victims of the system, which includes just about everybody except maybe rich white men, who tend not to commit very many crime in the first place.
Re being poor - it is a statistical problem. It is possible that an able bodied person who works hard, is not a boozer or druggie and is reasonably intelligent can stay poor his whole life, but the probabilities are low. Add to that the willingness to be flexible about jobs and locations and it is almost impossible to stay poor. It may not be easy to become rich in America, but it is pretty easy to be not poor.
There are some justifications for bad behavior, but it is still bad behavior.
And in our modern USA, we have few or no cases of a Jean Valjean stealing bread to feed his family. In fact, I would be willing to make that exception. If someone steals bread, only enough to feed himself, I will give him a break.
There was a man whose name was Jean Valjean
He stole some bread to save his sister’s son
For nineteen winters served his time
In sweat he washed away his crime.
The problem isn’t how one defines morality, it is when others are forced to live by anothers definition of morality.
C&J, blacks have survived more than slavery and Jim Crow. They have survived centuries of being labeled as inferior, not up to par mentally with whites, not even humans but rather more like apes. Their superior sports abilities were labeled the result of an extra bone in their leg. If the Scopes trial had been in reference to blacks only, he would have been acquitted, if there even was a trial under those circumstances.
By your own admission, the majority of blacks are finding their way into the middle and even upper class. This was enhanced, not deterred by Civil Rights legislation. These families are nearly always protrayed in comedy situations on TV.
The Migration out of the South that you mentioned was also a migration of whites, more so than blacks. Like the blacks, whites poured out of the Southern Appalachians, spreading North and West, seeking opportunity.
“There are some justifications for bad behavior, but it is still bad behavior.”
I don’t believe that proponents of “situational ethics” would dispute your analysis. The problem is with the “justifications.”
Your comments are correct. And the black family survived all of this, only to be mortally wounded by the soft bigotry of the low expectations in the 1960s and 1970s.
Re civil right legislation - I praised it. In fact, I wrote “Most Americans, left-right-center, now celebrate the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We grew up with these values. (Anybody who was old enough to vote in 1964 is retired or dead.) It was an overdue promise kept. But the wheel didn’t stop turning at this high point.”
My problem is with the attitudes and actions that came later. I went on to explain “This resulted in some notable successes. Blacks already well-positioned were able to improve their chances and take advantage of new opportunities. Others fell further behind.”
Re poor whites - they were also affected by the dumb ideas of the 1960/70s. But they were less harmed because they were not the main interest of the nanny state.
Situational ethics is not as you say.
Let me give an example. It is always wrong to cheat on your spouse. It doesn’t matter if you are far from home or lonely or have a really great opportunity. A person with situational ethics would probably consider those conditions justification. A moral person would not, although he might understand the temptations.
We are all sinners. Some people don’t recognize the sin.
“Situational ethics is not as you say.”
Of course it is and you know that.
Situational ethics accepts the basic value of the particular moral code but recognizes that there are situations in which the ultimate outcome is better served by deviation from a strict application of the code. Killing is an obvious example. Is not self defense or protection of a loved one justification for killing? What about war in general? Perhaps it is only the Quakers that are truly convinced of absolute moral imperatives.
Your example of a cheating spouse is hardly what those advocating “situational ethics” would endorse or, for that matter, would even consider as an remote example of its application. No serious advocate of situational ethics considers it an excuse for immoral behavior.
Rich, C&J is exactly right about the definition of Situation Ethics.
Man is by nature a sinner. Men have always sinned; but there is a distinct time in the history when sin became unrecognizable. By this I mean there was times when men/women sinned and they knew they were sinning against a moral judgment; but today men/women sin and they have lost that ability understand a moral judgment.
Example: there was a time in my life and certainly in my ancestor’s that a handshake was a man’s bond. A handshake means nothing today. Today it takes a written contract, and even then the one signing it is looking for a way to break it.
How many people marry today, thinking of “till death do us part” as meaning their whole life. When I was a kid, divorce was something Hollywood movie stars did; in fact I only knew one kid in school who had divorced parents. Situation Ethics allows people to justify everything they do. You are a liberal, and you support policies that go completely against the Constitution, but you justify your polices because you consider the Constitution as an out of date document.
I don’t think it is. At some point, the flexibility in ethics changes the fundamental quality.
At some point, almost everybody breaks. An average swimmer and an Olympic champion are equal in that neither can swim across the Pacific Ocean, but they really are not equal.
If your situational ethics mean that you will not deviate from your moral code unless threatened with death of yourself or others and even under those conditions in some situations, it is certainly acceptable.
Similarly if you believe that being poor or oppressed never is true justification for bad behavior (again, unless threaten with death, as above), you may not be welcome in liberal academic circles, where you would be accused of blaming the victim.
So then we agree that except in the very extreme circumstance that few of us have really faced people have a responsibility to act in a moral fashion, we probably agree.
I also agree that there are various rules depending on circumstances. This is the moral dilemma - making the choice. For example, I do not believe it is never justified to kill. There are situations where I think it would be the moral thing to do and I hope I would have the moral strength to do the necessaries. But I am not sure I would.
The thing that I have a problem with and that I think most people do, is the easy type of moral relativity, included in my example about the cheating spouse, or the idea that a somebody stealing or selling drugs can be justified by a disadvantaged background.
So maybe in this case, we have no disagreement on substance, but rather on the terms we are using to describe what we value.
BTW - I respect pacifists such as Quakers, but I disagree with their ideals on this respect. IMO, avoiding violence when possible is a moral thing to do, but we need to recognize that violence is always regrettable there can be times when it is necessary. And NOT doing it is immoral.
It seems that we basically agree on the ethical concept. I wouldn’t limit it to the extreme of death and I doubt that you would also.
The concept of a written enforceable contract is not a modern concept. From the day that man could memorialize his agreements, he did so. That might support your argument that man is by nature a sinner but doesn’t support your argument that the need for an enforceable written contract is, somehow, a recent requirement due to modern liberalism.
On another lighter note, I ran across this:
“For nearly a year now, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt have been building their liberal cable news channel, Current TV, with the mercurial television anchorman Keith Olbermann at its center.
This week, the center collapsed.
Current said on Friday afternoon that it had fired Mr. Olbermann — one of the nation’s most prominent progressive speakers — just a year into his five-year, $50 million contract. It was the culmination of months of murky disputes between Mr. Olbermann and the channel that he was supposed to save from the throes of ratings oblivion.”
There are several things we can learn from this:
1. Al Gore has faced the reality of capitalism; if people don’t like your product, they won’t buy it.
2. All liberal TV and Radio shows fail, because after a while blamming Bush, promoting abortion, and trying to do away with the 2nd ammendment becomes boring.
3. It is good to see liberals suing liberals over money.
4. A $5 mil contract wopuld make Keith Olberman part of the 1% with Gore, wouldn’t it?
5.And last of all, I have never heard of Current TV until today.
Re: Current TV
I was unaware of the station, but I do thank you for bringing it to my attention. I shall, most definitely, check it out.
Oh, and BTW
I believe you need to read a little bit more for you start rejoicing about Current TV.
”Mr. Olbermann’s serial, material breach of his contract, including the failure to show up at work (Unauthorized Absences); sabotaging the network (Failure To Promote); and attacking Current and its executives (Disparagement).”
Olbermann has also had bad break-ups with ESPN, which did not renew his contract in 1997, and MSNBC, which he left just 14 months ago, ending an 8-year run.
as Rich wrote:
The concept of a written enforceable contract is not a modern concept.
I may be wrong here, but aren’t the Declaration Of Independence and most certainly the U.S. Constitution And The Bill of Rights in some way
“written enforceable contracts”
Frank, Olbermann had a show on the Current station. Both Current and Link TV are progressive stations.
Yes, you are right, liberals are less inclined to support talking heads. Liberals are less inclined to hoard gold, the main stay of many a conservative talking head. They are paid well to spin the facts to complement the beliefs. They epitomize the free market in that they give conservatives what they want to believe and conservatives reciprocate by paying generously.
IMO, the left is less inclined to be homogeneous in their beliefs, less inclined to support hard core talking heads, and more amenable to compromise.
It is much simpler than all this. The left has a much smaller market. There are only about half as many liberals as conservatives.
A guy like Rush Limbaugh does not appeal to all conservatives, but since there are so many conservatives, a smaller slice of that pie is bigger than a bigger one of the smaller liberal confection.
It is the same reason why a book written in English can be more easily successful in terms of numbers than one written Portuguese.
You are right that the left tends to be more contentious, however. That is the stereotype at least. A bunch of people defending their narrow interpretations and forming splinter groups. But there is no reason to think the left is more amenable to compromise, either among themselves or with their ideological opponents.
Highlandangel1, tel me, do you believe the Constitution is a “written enforcable contract”, or do you believe it is an evolving document?
“Yes, you are right, liberals are less inclined to support talking heads. Liberals are less inclined to hoard gold, the main stay of many a conservative talking head. They are paid well to spin the facts to complement the beliefs. They epitomize the free market in that they give conservatives what they want to believe and conservatives reciprocate by paying generously.
IMO, the left is less inclined to be homogeneous in their beliefs, less inclined to support hard core talking heads, and more amenable to compromise.”
Posted by: jlw at March 31, 2012 1:01 PM
Today while listening to Sirius radio, I scanned to MSNBC and guess what the were advertizing…you got it…GOLD.
You said twice that liberals are less inclined to support talking heads. Not so jlw, If I slam a liberal talking head…every liberal on WB will come to his defense.
Liberal talking heads have 2 problems:
1. Nobody wants to advertize with them.
2. Nobody wants to listen to their rants.
Have you heard Alan Combs, the guy is a compete fruitcake.
Ed Schultz is mad at the world.
Rachel Maddow is a dyke trying to become a man, although I must admit, she probably has more balls than SD.
The left always seems so angry…
Just because the Constitution is a written enforceable contract doesn’t we don’t have the leeway to interpret the Constitution when we are confronted with issues unimagined by the founding fathers. We obey the spirit of the Constitution as embodied in its words as well as the words and actions of our founders.
WR stated my opinion very well. I will leave it to him.
Frank, re-read what you wrote, and then tell us how angry WE are! Seems to me the shoe is on the wrong foot!
“1. Nobody wants to advertise with them.”
“2. Nobody wants to listen to their rants.”
Frank, are you making my point.
The reality is that few people, a small percentage of the population, bother to listen to either.
Limbaugh has more people listening to his rants than most of the others put together and his audience is less than 10% of the population. And, that’s the part time listeners, the full time listeners are far less in number.
Adam and Steve? Actually it was just Adam, And God created Adam, male and female created he him. Then God removed part of Adam to produce a separate female. A lesson in evolution for the uneducated. Which came first, reproduction or sex?
Before condemning President Truman for integrating the services…before condemning Johnson for the Great Society…before condemning Affirmative Action…look to why the greatest and freest nation on earth required laws to mandate those things. Before condemning young blacks for not remaining in school long enough to receive an equivalent education, ask yourself why this nation held them back for several generations. Before blaming young blacks for using drugs to extreme, look to who has profited most from the black use of drugs.
In the 70’s and 80’s, many companies across America were hiring their token black. They hated to do it because they were racists. During that time frame, I worked for two companies and spent time in a union working for several contractors all of whom were racist, including the local.
Marysdude & JLW
Those ideas you mention have not evolved since the 1970s and you evidently did not read the post.
Like most Americans, I favor equal rights for everybody. I wrote that the civil rights act was a great thing. Affirmative action, as originally conceived, was good.
But the programs associated with the Great Society and affirmative action as it mutated in the 1970s have been detrimental to blacks … and whites.
I think that today’s “progressives” like to play the race card because they think it harkens back to a time when they still occupied the moral high ground. The problem with this formulation is that the enemies of the past are almost all dead or retired. Most also, BTW, were Democrats.
Few people of the “younger generation” those that came of age after the struggles of the 1960s, harbor many ideas that could reasonably called racist. That is why accusations of racism are so strong. Nobody wants to be identified with that thinking. This was not the case in the 1960s, when some were proud to say, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”.
Times have changed profoundly. We have made great progress, but not lived up to the promise because we took the blind alley into identity politics. Identity politics, where you believe that your group or race is special and different from others and should stay that way, should be given special rights, is what we used to call racism. It is what is slowing our progress toward making the world where we judge people by the content of their characters, not the color of their skins.