Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Why Can't We Live In Peace?

Addendum: article updated

To this day, peaceful and tolerant co-existence among the various races continues to elude humanity, especially in America. It is a brutal reality of our species that has haunted me for decades. One question lingers on the edge of my consciousness; if I can live beside a person(s) different in race, culture, and custom with complete respect and acceptance, why can’t everyone else?

America is a melting pot of, not only, different races but also racist bigots. Numerous descriptions exist of this hateful philosophy, of which, I shall list some examples:

  • White European intolerance of Native American culture and customs

  • White European's random inhumane treatment (not all slave owners were abusers) of African and Asian slaves

  • Elite ruling classes’ intolerance of the working class

  • Christian intolerance of Atheists and Secularists

  • Jewish intolerance of Gentiles

  • Asian and Hispanic intolerance of ALL other races

  • Reverse discrimination against whites by present day Black America

These are but a few of a wide range of intolerant racist bigotry that is consuming the nation at an alarming pace. But, what is the definition of a “bigot”? The current definition is: a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion. Combine archaic racism, which is described as, "a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others" to an already bigoted population and you have a disastrous combination, which breeds chaotic social disorder and general disdain for others different in color, class, or religion.

The uncomfortable truth is that racism never really disappeared in American society; it was relegated to an underground existence in our collective psyche during the Civil Rights Movement in the hope that it would never, again, rear its ugly head. Why, after 30 years, has our country failed to abolish bigotry and racism? The unfortunate answer is because we are all bigots and racists, whether we like it or not; and these archaic ideas should not be considered exclusive only to Caucasians. Blacks are racist; Asians are racist; and Jews have cornered the racist market with the Talmud and their daily contempt for anyone non-Jewish. Therefore, diversity is further dividing the nation because we have not developed congenial tolerant attitudes.

Over the course of many decades, Science eventually concluded that racism is a genetic trait long before the recent debacle of Dr. James Watson. Bigotry, on the other hand, appears to be a learned philosophy during our formative years. Just observe any other animal, organism, or species on the planet and you will get a pretty good idea why humans tend to congregate within the same racial community. Primarily, it promotes a general feeling of acceptance and understanding, that we are identifying with others like ourselves. It is no lie that, “birds of a feather flock together.” Furthermore, it is a natural and normal response due to our genetic make-up. According to vague religious interpretation, the question might be - did God establish racism in the creation of humanity? This is a question best left to the religious scholars, but it is, nonetheless, intriguing to ponder.

Now, am I postulating that any sentient human being behave like an animal? No, I am most definitely not. One of the few traits that ultimately separates all of humanity from the primal animal kingdom is consciousness. The power of self-awareness and the ability to reason are why we remain the dominant species on the planet. Culture and civilization also play a pivotal role in human development, since an ordered society establishes boundaries and acceptable rules of decorum. From the tiniest age, civilized humans learn the difference between what is right and proper and that which is wrong and inappropriate.

I can’t say enough about the advantages of a good, decent upbringing, which I was extremely blessed with. My parents believed that children should be seen and not heard (at least, until we could form a coherent opinion). My brother and I were taught how to behave, at that time, in polite society; we learned to respect all elders (teachers, clergy, the law, anyone over the age of 21), even if we disagreed with them we were not allowed to argue, but instructed to politely obey; of course, within reason. That did not mean, though, that we would jump in the car with a total stranger even if an adult gave the order. We were to address elders only with the proper title of Mr., Mrs., or Miss.; nor were we allowed to call any elder by their first name. It just was not done and was quite a taboo in the quaint, southern world of my childhood.

My mother was a devout follower of southern etiquette as was her mother. At one time, the family flourished rather handsomely in the old south and the social graces of the period were apparently passed down through the generations. In the post Civil War era, the family fell into financial ruin with a series of unfortunate divorces, which separated quite a few thousand acres of land and other property from several heirs. By the time my grandfather arrived in 1888, the family had been relegated to an obscure, impoverished status. However, that did not diminish their spirit or time honored southern traditions for grace and politeness in American society. There was no blame to pass around for their plight, except maybe themselves, which they most certainly kept within the family walls.

My mother grew up in a poor, sharecropper’s household working dawn to dusk in the cotton fields. She and her two older brothers walked several miles to catch the school-bus in rain or shine and the family survived without electricity until 1946 when mom turned 15. It is quite possible that my family is an anomaly in relation to “nature versus nurture.” Even though my parents came from very humble beginnings with only meager necessities for survival, they were still taught the values of respect, compassion, and consideration toward all people regardless of one's color or background, by their parents, which, thankfully, was ingrained into mine and my brother’s rearing. Maybe nature should have rendered the family cruel, resentful, and inhumane since they toiled in the earth day after day just to eat, but due in part to, the family’s inherited and refined American value system, they were able to rise above an unpleasant existence and thrive. Formal education eventually saved my mother from a life in the cotton fields and 20 honorable years service in the Marine Corps., produced a dignified American patriot that I was honored to call my father for 43 years.

By now, you’re probably asking yourself, what is the point in disclosing a brief part of my family history. I will attempt to convey those thoughts now.

What we are witnessing today in this country is nothing short of scary and disturbing. Several areas of Black America are totally out of control living with reckless abandon as though they were back in the Wild West. I am deeply disturbed and dismayed by the pernicious rape of white women, which usually results in the victim’s death.  The influx of illegal aliens are also a great cause of concern. Many illegals (mostly Mexican) have also been involved in the “white rape syndrome.” But for what purpose, I wonder?

Let me digress for a moment more. The movie “Braveheart” contained a rather relative line of dialog regarding race relations. During a meeting held by King Edward I, the Longshanks of Britain, he smugly touted to his ministers that, “the trouble with Scotland is that it’s full of Scots”, then he declared, “if we can’t weed them out, then we’ll breed them out.” Now, with complete dramatic license the writers wrote into the screenplay a rather primitive form of race abolishment called ”Prima nottae” (actually called “jus primae noctis”), which meant that the Lord of a village or castle, was given first conjugal rights to any newly married bride from the peasant class. In other words, the Lord of the Manner had the supreme right and privilege to have sexual intercourse with a bride before her husband; and wa-lah, nine months later an English citizen is born, not to mention, heir to the Lord of the Manner (although, it is probable the child would never be claimed). In reality, historians have found no evidence that this type of oppression ever occurred in Scotland.

Why then, is a recent horrendous rash of rapes being perpetrated against white European American women? Could it be possible that Blacks and Hispanics are attempting to breed them out, without actually being conscious of their actions least of all the implications. Granted, numerous attacks have resulted in many victims' deaths, but what of the fate of those left alive and possibly impregnated? Many religious sects of American society do not believe in abortion regardless of how the pregnancy resulted, even if that life is racially diminished. This insidious form of race abolishment, if it can defined in such a way, is not being perpetrated by white men upon Black or Hispanic women. The F.B.I., recently released this statistical fact a few months ago.

Rape is not my only concern regarding racial brutality in America. I am mostly concerned with the reasons behind their anger. It is reaching a crescendo where they feel compelled to bully and denigrate white Americans, in general. Weren't they given the keys to the kingdom decades ago when the political establishment capitulated to their every desire? From Affirmative Action, to government sponsored programs such as Welfare benefits, Food Stamps, Medical and Prescription Drug benefits, Education Grants, Housing, etc., the list is endless!

Growing up and living life in the south, I have been a silent witness observing the outcome of the Civil Rights Movement, and it appears to be an overwhelming failure. Part of the problem is due to the stark reality that a majority of Black Americans no longer have to seriously work for their survival. What happens when you give a child everything it wants? You spoil it, which results in the loss of integrity and self-worth. My life experience has determined, that humans, on average, have less self-esteem when there is no fundamental reason to earn it. All of us, regardless of race, must find the reason for our existence. We require purpose and structure to thrive in society; without this basic foundation many succumb to a life of decadence becoming morally and spiritually bankrupt with no real sense of purpose.

The alternate problem is Black American culture. I’ve lived around Blacks my entire life and the poorer class has no respect for their living quarters, except, possibly for their automobiles. Their property, although minimal, is usually littered with various types of trash. They do not seem to have any pride in the neighborhood or housing project in which they reside including their lawns. Most of their yards are knee-high in grass and basically neglected. Many houses are dilapidated because they are not regularly painted. This is mostly seen in the ghetto, however, many black middle class neighborhoods appear in the exact same manner. Let me be clear, that my observations are from a southern viewpoint because this is what I've witnessed over many years.

I vaguely remember the days before desegregation came to the south; I was a small child then. I do, however, remember many blacks from that time and can honestly report, that I have no recollection of them being disordered either in their personal manner or living conditions. Many, especially the women, were immaculate housekeepers having great pride in all their surroundings, no matter how menial. They were respectful, courteous, god fearing Americans. It mattered not to me or anyone else, that their skin color was different. We accorded them the same respect and courtesy that we had for everyone in the community. During this time, many will say that all southern blacks were forced to bow down to white society; in fact, this is untrue. Some blacks suffered under this kind of demeaning behavior; but, what I am trying to convey is that not all white people felt that blacks were in any way subservient to them.

As a result of white capitulation to the black community, the Mexicans are closely following behind their Black American cousins (no disrespect intended), regarding how many benefits they can usurp from the American White taxpayer. Now that white European Americans built up the country’s infrastructure with enormous cities, beautifully landscaped parks and recreational areas, better than average highways, interstates, and roads, and a burgeoning governmental empire; they are primed and ready to take back the country for themselves. Can any American, regardless of color, begin to understand why it appears virtually impossible to live in peace when control and conquest of others exist in society. White America is being pushed to the limit from all directions; Black Americans are suffering from a dual lack of self-esteem and self-worth from their habitual excesses; and Mexican illegals are not only demanding their rights, they want our land too.

Presently, I live in a multicultural neighborhood with the “hood” right around the corner. There is a mixed race (black/white) family to my right and a ‘legal’ Central American family to the left. Both families have children and pets. Except for one other white lady in the cove, the remaining families are African American. For the most part, the neighborhood is quiet and remains unaffected by the racial conflicts seen in larger cities and other urban communities. However, we do not socialize in any manner. The residents remain inside their homes, except to go to work or mow the lawn. In four years, I have yet to meet or say hello to neighbors only a few yards away. I have to admit that it is a strange existence in southern society. None of us grew up in this way, not even blacks, when they were relegated to their own segregated communities. Now, that we are integrated we keep to ourselves and rarely stick our noses out the door.

So, under the auspices of multiculturalism, are Americans living in a forced peace, a stand-off, or the only feasible way possible with other races dissimilar in custom and culture, which is to be unavailable to the community and invisible in their neighborhoods. Frankly, I cannot offer an answer - I only present the problem based on personal observations. I do have one possible solution. Isn’t it rather obvious that we cannot live in peace with others, different from ourselves, since many Americans lack the basic values of respect and compassion for the human condition? All of us, trapped inside this mortal coil breathe the same air, revel at the same stars in the cosmos, and suffer from identical agonies, whether physical or psychological in nature. The only aspect of human existence that divides us into separate parts of the same coin is our indoctrination, which begins at home with the very youngest and most innocent of us.

Sometime in the very near future, might all Americans, decide upon the concerted effort to rear their young with established values and moral principles that once produced a vibrant, and respectful society, that again, can be safe and secure for all people, regardless of color or creed. This endeavor may be our only hope, and ultimately, our collective salvation.