RSS

Tag Archives: culture

My Musings: Economic Matters, American Slavery & Black Wealth, Manufacturing Fear

Greetings friends,

As promised post before last, here are my latest musings from social media, using the new format of sharing a few quick postings rather than one longer piece so that I can spend more time writing fiction. Enjoy!

Talitha, why don’t you discuss economic matters more?

stacks_of_moneySometimes people ask me why I don’t speak out more on matters of the economy. I do, but those aren’t the social media posts that are popular. Most, if not all of our social woes in America, are inextricably bound to the fiscal ones anyway. I talk about fiscal matters to select audiences of people armed with the economic acumen to engage me. All else is a waste of my time. I can’t discuss the post-jobs economy, the ponzi scheme we affectionately call  Social “Security” quanitative easing, nor the mounting federal debt with people who retort with anecdotes, about their buying power, when the lack of wealth of certain groups in America is discussed. This usually comes from those whose cultural egos bruise easily, especially when our lack of wealth is pointed out by the likes of Donald Trump if I’m polite, any white person if I’m not. Many prefer that our fiscal, community, dirty laundry not be aired, and for some it’s a futile attempt to prove that race related poverty is mostly a myth. “I can keep up with the Jones’,” many insist. The keyword is “I”, which is irrelevant to the topic of what “we” can do, or have. Fortunately for me, I’m under no such delusion. An economic discussion is a moot one, when had with those who believe wealth can be measured by consumerism. This is America, where living beyond one’s means is the norm, and where many poor citizens spend frivolously, while many among the wealthy are frugal. We’ve got it all backwards folks, so one’s ability to consume has no place in an analysis of collective wealth. Some are asking me to discuss the blue sky, even though they’re stubbornly convinced that it’s green. Nope, I’m not doing that anymore, because it’s impossible to wake up people who are pretending to be asleep. Don’t fret though, such persons will never be alone. There’s always plenty of blissful room in Club Ignorance.

Slavery in America & Black Wealth:

Some Americans grossly underestimate the impact of centuries of chattel slavery in this shacklescountry on black folks, in terms of the lack of wealth as a whole. And before someone says “Africans sold other Africans into slavery,” or, “There were black/Native-American slave owners too,” “White people were chattel slaves too,” (utter nonsense, btw), or, “Look at immigrant group X and emulate them,”- note that these are all irrelevant, red herrings. Let your fingertips take you away from this discussion – this one’s for conscious grown-ups, not childish, talking point spouting, keyboard commandos. Everyone else, as my friend & mentor Steven Barnes (NY Times bestselling author of LION’S BLOOD & ZULU HEART) said to me a few years ago – “There’s no such thing as a wound that takes less time to heal than it took to inflict,”. Using those excuses, is like breaking the legs of one man in a race, then shooting the gun in the air for everyone to begin running. After the race & his obvious loss, the winners ask him, “Now why is it taking you so long to start running?”.

If you think that other groups, under identical conditions, would have fared better, you’re a part of the problem. If we believe that there’s no such thing as race, and it’s just a social construct, any other conclusions drawn point to a belief in the inferiority of black Americans, or Native Americans, who aren’t doing so well either. There’s no escaping that. For those who often ask me, “What can we do to help?”, you can start by acknowledging our humanity. When some did have wealth long ago – land (40 acres & a mule), economic prosperity (Black Wallstreet) or, were entrepreneurs (black owned businesses in the Jim Crow south) this was forcibly & violently taken from far too many. That’s not our fault, so you’ll have to excuse me if I’m weary of the whole “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” rhetoric hurled at black Americans. We did that, and were re-victimized many times over LEGALLY. It’s still happening on some level today via the judicial system. Do some of us gain economic prosperity despite this? Absolutely! but that’s not the point. Individual triumphs are anecdotal, nothing more or less. Collective ones, however, are an indication of economic stability, which is needed to have & maintain generational wealth. That should be the goal. That is our inherited disadvantage.

And last:

Manufacturing Fear: Hillary Clinton as POTUS & ISIS

isisI’m going to preface this by saying that this is more or less food for thought that requires some level of objectivity. In a recent discussion, a friend brought up his committment to vote for Donald Trump, because he thinks having a female president will open the door for more terrorist attacks from radical, Islamic jihadists. His logic and that of others, is that a woman as POTUS will give the appearance of weakness exceedingly more, from members of a culture & religion, in which women are totally subjugated & have very little freedom.This is within the context of an extremist, radical, Islamic microcosm, to be differentiated from the greater, non-radicalized Islamic culture. Obviously, all Muslims are not radicalized, and I don’t mind going further to say that most aren’t. My intuition initially says yes, they could view America as vulnerable with a woman at the helm, but that’s not reason enough for us to not elect a woman in any election. In fact, that line of reasoning is preposterous. Moreover, America may be embarking on its first female president, but we aren’t the first such country – that logic is lacking in precedents to buttress it. Having a female president may be perceived as a weakness by ISIS, and perhaps even domestic terrorists, but this can be advantageous in our battle against terrorism. Perception often doesn’t match reality. Doesn’t it benefit us to be falsely perceived as weaker? I’m not a fan of Clinton for a myriad of reasons, but this isn’t one of them. It can’t be. It’s a provocative assertion, and not altogether flawed, but it seems to me its more of a fear tactic than a cohesive, valid argument. Maybe I’m just not paranoid.Your thoughts?

Have a safe & productive weekend! Until next musing,

TK McEachin

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Walter Myers III: The LGBT Movement and the Pursuit of Ends

Walter Myers III

Walter Myers III

The problem, in my view, with the LGBT movement is not that they have a particular view they are advocating for, but the manner in which they pursue it. Regardless of whether I agree with their ends, which I don’t, I could at least respect them if they didn’t have to demonize the church or anyone else that doesn’t agree with them. There is something to be said for being gracious when you’re fighting for a cause, and the LGBT movement scores a big goose egg in that department.  The odd thing is that they make a moral argument to justify their ends, while rejecting any contrary moral arguments. We see this clearly in that they constantly denigrate Christian values, while saying that their values are superior. But how can they do this? They say their values are “progressive” values that have evolved over time culturally, but what exactly are progressive values? On what are they based? Christian values are based on thousands of years of history and observation of natural law, and were validated by the resurrection of Christ. Now many may argue that they don’t believe Christ resurrected, but they cannot argue the historical accuracy of Christianity, and they cannot deny that Christian values, when properly applied, promote love, patience, hope, perseverance, and tolerance of others with whom they disagree. So while the Christian has a set of timeless principles to work from, the LGBT movement has no objective basis on which to moralize. So why should anyone listen to them? Demonizing those who disagree with you and seeking government to force people to accept your point of view is hardly a sustainable moral ethic.

I know the rejoinder from someone in the LGBT community will be that Christians are filled with hate and discriminate against gays. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Christians are called to love and accept all human beings, and simply see the gay lifestyle as being one of many different sinful lifestyles. But Christians don’t seek to ban gays from living their chosen lifestyles, and don’t see their sin as any worse than premarital sex amongst heterosexual couples or adultery. These are all forms of sexual sin and I don’t see any Christians clamoring for laws that prevent consenting adults from entering into whatever relationships they wish to enter, even if they are wrong (which they obviously are in the case of adultery). They say that Christians are against “gay rights.” But Christians are not against “gay rights.” This is because “gay rights” are not any different from the rights of any other human being. We all have the same rights in this country by virtue of being human. So I don’t see anything special about being gay. If you’re gay, then you’re a human, and it doesn’t make you any different than anyone else. The LGBT movement would have us believe gays are somehow different and special, but I don’t see how they can rationally justify that. Being gay has no affect on one’s ability to get a job, love who they want, or live the life of their choosing. There simply is no broad or systematic discrimination today against gays any more than there is against blacks.

To continue reading, please click HERE.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are Thee Black or Are Thee Human?

Are Thee Black or Are Thee Human?

People write from their experiences mostly  & in my personal experiences, I have not experienced much racism, so when I write about it, it’s from research, talking to others that have experienced it more than I, and my own experiences. There have only been two incidents in my life growing up in Atlanta where I was exposed to it directly & both were on jobs. As I have navigated my way through my series on race, I’ve received a ton of feedback via social media or email. From some other black people, I often get messages explaining to me that racism does indeed exist as if I’m a naive & timid sheep needing to be saved from the slaughter, from the ” colorblind” butcher. It seems to be the opinion of some that I either haven’t ever experienced any racism, or that I’m a “wanna be white” or “sellout” (you fill in the blank), so I can’t see it. They couldn’t be more wrong about either conclusion but that’s their prerogative & I don’t lose any sleep over it. Has my experience with “race” made me more naive than the average person or blessed? Well, depending on who you ask, based on observation or assumption, you’ll get a different answer. As for me, my answer is perhaps both. The question is, do black people need to experience racism to be accepted as part of the whole? In the case of those who don’t, haven’t, or have very little – are we black enough?

I have seen racism manifested more with others than myself without a doubt but I have developed a philosophy of giving people the benefit of the doubt, especially if the alleged racism is not overt. I’m also not too naive to think that my experiences are not unique. I don’t think white people are racist in & of themselves just because they are white and consider that thinking to be quite lazy, to be honest. The same can be said for any whites who think all black people are New Black Panther, card carrying racists (or anything else), just because they are black. The irony is that neither the New Black Panter party or the KKK represent the majority (or even half) of either race but the American mainstream media (conservative & liberal leaning) perpetuates the meme that theyare representative of their respective racial groups. I’m not going to pretend to see most things as having a racial cause & effect just because I’m black. If the shoe fits to me, then I’ll wear it. If not I won’t. Some black people think that all blacks must keep with them at all times, a racial prism with which to view things “just in case” in America & I just find that a profoundly sad way to live.
Should I be on the “racial alert” in America? In my opinion, no. This “emergency” racial prism is carried around by some blacks just as I carry my emergency, rescue asthma inhaler. I don’t use it everyday it’s just there in the case of a medical emergency. Unlike my inhaler, some whip out that racial prism at first sight & disagreement with anything from the mouths of whites. People do stupid things for reasons other than race – bottom line. What I should be on the look out for are those who have not given me a reason to trust them, and until I have that, I’ll be cautious of all, for the sake of self preservation, regardless of their “race”. Making this survival tactic racial can get you killed, because one may let their guard down in the name of solidarity, prematurely. As an old friend of mine told me years ago, “I distrust everyone I don’t know on some level until they give me a reason to trust them”. He didn’t make it a black or white thing because no race is without the tendency for wrongdoing.

I find that sometimes when a black person disagrees with my positions on race & culture they do so based ontheir experiences, ignoring what mine may be. In other words, they define being black as a shared vulnerability & victim status that we all must have, unless white culture has permeated our thinking, rendering us therefore, unable to recognize this. Being black does not mean that I have  experienced racism, but in so many cases in America, black people have and do experience racism. Do you see the difference? I often get negative feedback when I share that I have only experienced racism twice on jobs because it is presumed that I will more often, because of my skin color. Some black people tell me I must be lying, or completely blinded to it. It is also presumed that because a person is white, they will at some point in their lives be a perpetrator of racism.  Having been a victim of more intraracial discrimination than interracial, I reject both presumptions.

 Being black to me is biological and cultural. I inherited my skin tone and other physical traits because my ancestors had repeated exposure over a long period of time to a certain environment, in which said traits were favorable to survival – nothing more & nothing less. The same can be said for being white or Asian. The beautiful thing about America, is that whether deliberately, through sexual assault or mutual love, now we have reached a point of having a nearly complete heterogeneous racial composition, so most black and white people are not “pure” anything. It kind of makes me want to ditch race altogether and just be…human. Just a little food for thought…Oh and for those who don’t get the title, check with your trekkie friends :)

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Philosophy, Society

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: