I Would Really Like to Understand
October 02, 2017
Here’s a shocker, I’m not black. So I admit, I have never lived in your skin, suffered your oppression, faced your challenges, or felt the racial prejudice you too often encounter.
I won’t presume to speak for you.
What I will do, however, is speak for a great many Americans, (yes, mostly white) who are frustrated by the new divide that seems to be growing between us.
We are frustrated because most of us truly believed that America was making real progress in healing the divisions that plagued us. We believed that the hateful behaviors and ignorant prejudices that dominated our culture for so long were finally receding … that America, while still not perfect, was making serious headway toward our founders ideal that all men and women were equal in value and dignity, and deserved to be treated that way.
I continue to believe the progress was real. More black Americans were escaping the constraints of poverty and getting good jobs, or starting their own successful businesses. Opportunities for education were improving. And more blacks were emerging into the upper and middle classes than ever before.
And yes, there were whites who fought this tooth and nail; they didn’t want an integrated America. But just like most blacks they also eventually saw the real benefits of an integrated America. A huge majority of whites realized that an America working together, serving our country together, being cops and firemen together, black and white doctors and nurses working together to heal their fellow Americans, is truly a wonderful thing.
Nowhere was that more plain than on America’s sport’s fields. Football, baseball, and basketball showed graphically we were stronger when we joined as team-mates. Everyone involved benefited — players and fans alike.
None of this is to say there wren’t problems. Too many blacks were still struggling, often trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty. Poor communities were virtually overrun with crime, lousy schools, and little opportunity.
Hopelessness took deep root in the minds and hearts of those who saw no real chance for change.
But only the most liberal idealogues refused to admit that it was less the prejudice and discrimination by white Americans that caused these problems, and much more the damage done by paternalistic government programs intended to fight the poverty they eventually subsidized.
Why were black communities more vulnerable to economic recession, while recoveries often bypassed them all together? Because 60 plus years of great society programs — and trillions of dollars of paternalistic government spending — had trapped the poor in dependence. The poor were unable or unwilling — or just didn’t know how — to break free and take back control over their own futures. The public schools that should have helped were instead captured by teacher unions more interested in making them great places to work than to learn. And their allies in government made sure education alternatives were out of reach.
Then came Obama who always took the opposite side against white cops when a black was part of the issue. Without evidence, Obama and his justice department blamed white cops and the departments they worked for. And when evidence did surface that the cop was justified in his actions, Obama said nothing. Abetted largely by a complicit media, the damage was done and further division assured.
Even more, Obama doubled down on the paternalistic government entitlement programs that removed any incentive for blacks to get off government handouts so they could have a real shot at improving their lives … no more work requirement, free cell phones, more food stamps.
He also advanced monopolistic control by teachers unions of the public schools that, at least in the inner cities, continued their steep downward spiral into failure.
So the result of eight years of policies that pitted blacks against whites, cops against blacks, rich against poor, Americans against Muslims and on and on worked to infect the wounds that seemed to be healing just a few short years earlier.
Just consider the movement called Black Lives Matter. To many it looks like a terrorist organization whose only agenda is to further divide us. They demonstrate violently and indiscriminately against all police. They claim the very notion of “law and order” is racist. Worse, they consider any sentiment that suggests ALL lives matter is fundamentally a statement for white supremacy.
BLM never protests black-on-black killings, or advocates black kids get better education alternatives, or helps find work for a black family on welfare. They did nothing to help blacks suffering floods and hurricanes in Florida, Texas, or Puerto Rico. Their mission is simple: attack police (black and white) and destroy property (including the property of minority owned businesses). It’s perverted and it won’t help.
But emotion and ill-logic are often contagious. So now we see professional athletes protesting our national anthem, and by association, the flag of the freest, most just, nation on earth in order to protest police brutality.
As I said at the beginning, I have NO idea what it is like to live in black skin and so I don’t presume to speak for blacks. But I would make a few suggestions for the sake of unity and healing.
First, if a cop - black, white or brown - discriminates against anyone based on race, that cop should be prosecuted. There is NO excuse for this.
Second, I would urge blacks to reconsider their relationship with liberals and democrats. They do not have your best interests at heart. Their primary goal is to consolidate power under their control. They want your votes and are willing to say whatever it takes to get them. But almost NONE of the benefits they offer will help you or your kids get a better life. Instead, they’ll work only to further strengthen the barriers against hope, opportunity, and prosperity.
Third, conservatives are not your enemy. We want blacks to thrive along side Americans of every color, religion, gender, and age. We want more and better jobs for black workers, better schools for black children, more secure homes for black families, and more opportunity for black entrepreneurs. We celebrate integration and the pursuit of shared values. And we know that when Americans of every color unite, we’re stronger, better, and happier.
Conservatives want a stable society of law and order. Integral to that though is an understanding that cops are constrained from running rough-shod over any American and must respect the rights of every American. It also means that if you break the law you pay the price.
I assume that the athletes “taking a knee,” along with their sympathizers, believe the left is on their side and will somehow deliver on their desires for a more just society. They should set aside emotion for a minute and consider the damage done by leftist policies over the past 50 years. And the good that has come when America has instead worked toward unity and shared prosperity.
Finally, let me strongly suggest they seek a sit-down with the president (and I believe he would meet with you) and state your issues. I believe he’s as concerned about solving the problems of discrimination as you are. Contrary to what the left has told you, our president and the overwhelming majority of whites in America, are not racists. I believe he will do whatever he can to resolve your issues through legislation, influence, or proclamation. Like the rest of us, he needs an honest, thoughtful, discussion of the issues.
What I know for sure is that hysteria and violence won’t work. Disrespecting our flag won’t work either.
John Philip Sousa IV is an entrepreneur, political activist, author and accomplished business person. John has worked in the financial services industry for over 40 years, built a highly successful marketing company, ran for congress at age 24, and in 2016 created and led the successful movement to draft Dr Ben Carson into his candidacy for President of the United States. John is author of John Philip Sousa, A Patriot’s Life in Words and Pictures and Ben Carson, RX for America.