The above column by T.D. Jakes is a poignant read. The paragraphs I want to focus on is the heart of the article. His sons are 30 years old now, but they were 7 at the time. I became a T.D. Jakes fan when he wrote an inspiring article in the wake of the tragic Virginia Tech shooting. Many wanted to assign blame. T.D. Jakes called for love and understanding. On race relations, this Dallas Deacon remains a Beacon.
“I have twin boys who are almost 30 years old now. But when they were very young, I was sitting with both of them in the predominantly white environment of my home in West Virginia talking about things fathers discuss with their sons. I shared with one of my sons, that when I was his age my skin tone was very much like his, very light. In a matter of fact way, I mentioned that as I got older, my skin darkened and changed to become much more like his brother’s skin, which was darker.
My son, whose skin tone was lighter, began to cry profusely. I was befuddled by his reaction, but when your 7-year-old is crying without a reason and you love him, you investigate it immediately! So I asked him why he was crying. He blurted out, “I don’t want to get blacker, Daddy!” He looked at me in total anguish and said something that left me astounded. He said, “Because if you are black they hate you more.” He cried so hard that I took him in my arms so that he couldn’t see that I too was shedding a tear or two, myself. I was hurt for both of my sons, and I was hurt with them.
I was stunned. How could I have let myself be so busy trying to provide for my family, that I didn’t realize how I had not equipped them for the harsh realities of a world that can at times be both cold and unwelcoming to those who are outside of our “norm?” Do not misunderstand me, I know all too well from my own experiences, how things can be when you are a minority in a majority world. But what I didn’t know, was that this 7-year-old had encountered this level of anguish at such an early age, and that he had resolved in his own way that if he could avoid getting any blacker he might not have to feel the painful consequences of looking different.”
This should never happen. No child should be crying his eyes out and begging to be somebody else. I personally remember what it was like to be a Jewish child surrounded by Christian kids. I did not believe in Jesus, and was therefore a freak. I wondered why God would bring me into the world to be different from everybody else. My parents tried to convince me that I was “special,” but that means nothing when seeing all the kids singing together, and me being different.
My parents had no idea about how bad the abuse was. After all, we were in a normal, middle class neighborhood, a supposedly “good” neighborhood. My parents worked all day to put food on the table. They tried their best.
My parents even told me as an adult that had they known how horrible it was, they would have home schooled me. I have said on more than one occasion that every public school should be shut down and declared a failure. Yet that is not what this column is about.
T.D. Jakes is telling a story of life in 1985. Yet where are we in 2008?
I believe that race relations in this country have never been better. I also believe that racism still exists. So does reverse racism.
Yet racism and reverse racism are losing power. They are dying, and society will be better off when they are completely killed.
The problem is that some people want to have “discussions” about race that are an absolute waste of time. Discussions are worthless unless everybody has a right to speak.
The problem with this is that the left will then ask if this includes the KKK offering their views. No, of course it does not. The Klan does not get represented. The left then decides to slice the pie further, until nobody who deviates from the left has a right to speak.
This is how black women on “The View” can use the n-word, while telling Elizabeth Hasselbeck that she cannot use it.
First of all, Elizabeth Hasselbeck should stop crying. She is naive to think that those women all love each other. Hasselbeck is a conservative, which means that the other women will shove her under a bus the minute she steps out of line.
Second of all, the n-word is disgusting. Nobody should say it. It is vile. This idea that black people can say it to each other with love is nonsense. It is a way of making white people uncomfortable. It restricts speech for some. The purpose of this is simply to scare white people to death. The purpose of this fear is revenge.
That is the heart of race relations in America today. There are people that see what happened in America’s past, and never want anybody to ever feel that pain again anywhere. Then there are those that simply want vengeance.
Barack Obama, for all of his flaws, is palatable to many white people because he is not giving the appearance of anger. His wife is threatening to people because she does not seem to possess his kindness towards others.
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton represent the vengeance wing of black America. They pray on guilty white liberals. They’re existence can be summed up in a two word philosophy: get whitey.
Get whitey is what allowed the entire Duke lacrosse team to be savaged by a guilty white liberal District Attorney. The rape victims had a case that had Swiss cheese holes, and D.A. Mike Nifong decided that the voters of North Carolina would reelect him if he won, irrespective of the evidence. He withheld mitigating evidence. In the long run, justice was done, Nifong was disbarred, and the Duke students were vindicated. Yet the reputations of these young men may never be restored.
Get whitey was the mentality that thrashed innocent men.
The problem is, whitey has had enough. Whitey is tired of being told every day that they are bad people.
I represent myself, but my views are shared by many people in America. I have contempt for black “victimcrats,” as well as guilty white liberals.
As a white conservative republican, I have every right to speak about problems in black communities. Either everybody gets to speak, or nobody does. The idea that since it is not my community, that I have no right to talk about it, is garbage. Unless that is acknowledged, then there is no point in a dialogue. Liberals love meaningless dialogues where only they get to speak, and everybody shakes hands, declares the problems solved, and celebrates for having a dialogue. Whether or not the actual dialogue actually accomplished anything is irrelevant.
Once conservatives are given the right to actually have opinions without being labeled as racists or bigots, then and only then can an actual discussion actually take place.
Here are some honest thoughts, free of any liberal guilt.
Slavery was disgusting. It was one of the most shameful episodes in American history.
Having said that, an apology for slavery is pointless. It is a useless symbol. An apology without anything to rectify a situation is hollow and meaningless. That is precisely the point of those who want the apology. The next step is reparations. This is out of the question.
Reparations for slavery can never happen. For one thing, there is not one person alive today that owned slaves. To blame descendants who were not born at the time is absolutely immoral. Also, how would reparations get distributed? Who decides who gets what? Also, who decides who gets their possessions taken from them?
My father is a Holocaust survivor? Should I have the right to walk into some German family’s home in Cleveland, Ohio, and demand that they give me their possessions?
What about the Indians, or as politically correct people call them, the Native Americans? Should every American, black and white, be forced to give up their possessions to the Indians? When does the madness stop?
Yes, slavery was awful. I would even call it evil. Yet world history is replete with bad acts. Unless the actual perpetrators can be brought to justice, nothing can be done. I would love for the possessions stolen from my late grandparents to be returned. Those possessions were most likely burned before my great grandparents were murdered. If one of those actual terrorists is captured, yes, there should be retribution. Simon Wiesenthal has brought many of them to justice. Nevertheless, rounding up German rock band “The Scorpions,” will not help anything. They are not murderers. They are musicians.
So what needs to be done? How can we help race relations in America?
The answer is so simple, and yet some people cannot grasp it.
The answer is for people who are racists to simply stop it. For those who see racism, they need to condemn it. For everybody else, good people must be given the benefit of the doubt. Also, it is imperative that people who pray on past racism to justify more racism must be equally condemned.
I will condemn David Duke. I will also condemn Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Past blots on America such as slavery do not give these two criminals any right to engage in counter criminal behavior.
The next thing that needs to be done is to judge people equally before the law, and punish people specifically according to the law. If white students hang a noose on a college campus, burn a cross on a lawn, or scrawl racial epithets on other people’s cars, then yes, punishment should be severe. However, a new trend developing on college campuses is for minorities to engage in these acts against other minorities or even against themselves, in the hopes that whites will get blamed. These students should also be given severe punishments.
The response of some colleges is to ignore the latter scenarios. The rationale is that even though it is wrong to fake racial crimes, it highlights the problems of race, which promotes dialogue.
Again, the idiocy of dialogue rears its head. There is nothing to be gained by speaking about atrocities that were less pronounced before the fake activities occurred. Otherwise women would be encouraged to file fake rape claims to highlight the problem of rape. This thinking is insane. Rape already exists, and it is known as a problem. Fake rape claims do not help rape victims. They hurt them, in the same way that the little boy who cried wolf eventually ends up hurting everyone.
Honest conversations about race mean that everybody is accountable.
Tawana Brawley lied about being raped because she was scared of her stepfather, and had stayed out late. She blamed white men for raping her. No such rape occurred. Al Sharpton blamed white police officer Steven Pagones. Pagones sued Sharpton and won. Sharpton never paid. Both Brawley and Sharpton belong in jail.
On the flip side, Charles Stuart murdered his pregnant wife and blamed a random black man. It was an insurance scam. The scam unraveled, and Charles Stuart committed suicide by jumping off of a bridge. While one can say that justice was done, the case was poisonous for race relations in America.
As awful as the Stuart case was, and as much as it hurts that a black man was falsely accused, perspective is necessary. The killer was brought to justice. The system worked.
America is not the same place it was 40 years ago, or even 10 years ago. DNA evidence has made our justice system stronger.
I will be the first person to say that money cannot give a man falsely imprisoned his time back. Reuben Hurricane Carter is now a celebrity thanks to Denzel Washington, but that will not give him back his lost years. Also, in that situation, yes, he should sue, and he should win.
Whether the Duke lacrosse team or Reuben Carter, these witch hunts have to stop.
Having said that, this does not mean the justice system is racist. This does not mean the death penalty is racist. Black men commit a disproportionate share of crimes in America. That is why they are a disproportionate share of criminals in jail.
The Presidential election of 2008 is also critical. If Barack Obama wins, racism will not have ended. If John McCain wins, that does not mean racism is worse than ever. In the National Football League, the idea of a black quarterback was once unfamiliar. Doug Williams in 1987 changed things. Now black quarterbacks are just another part of the game. Kids do not even notice.
Things will be good in politics when a black man runs for President, and everybody yawns. The story will be boring. We are not there yet, but whether Barack Obama wins or loses in November, his candidacy should be celebrated as progress. However, it is insulting to say people will vote against him based on race. I for one simply disagree with his views. To make the 2008 election a referendum on race would just make things worse. The second an analyst or pundit tries to imply that voting for John McCain is based on racism, that noxious notion must be slapped down hard. Ending racism is not about forcing people to vote for a black man to assuage past guilt, because again, nobody alive today is responsible for the past pain. Ending racism is about looking at McCain and Obama, and considering their color irrelevant.
Perhaps in 2012 both parties will have a black American heading the ticket. Then we shall see if the conservative is considered to be an “Uncle Tom,” or “not authentically black.” If that is not racism, I am unaware as to what racism is.
Conspiracy theories also need to be debunked. America in general, and Ronald Reagan in particular, did not create AIDS or crack in a deliberate attempt to destroy black people. Theories like this are corrosive towards society. AIDS and crack have decimated people, and people of all stripes, including white republicans, want both of these horrors to be defeated.
What it comes down to is getting to kids before it is too late. Children do not know how to hate. They have to be taught. Instead, telling them how to love is vital.
My father is a republican. He is also a retired school teacher, as is my mother. My father taught inner city kids for 30 years. There are young black men in America today who are decent members of society, and some of them will credit my father for this. Some of them had no food on their table. My dad bought more than one kid a hamburger.
What my father did not do is give kids a free ride. Even if they were beaten at home, there were no crybabies in his class. He cared for them like they were his own children. Even the toughest kids loved when he would do his George Jefferson impersonation, strutting back and forth in the lunchroom with his hands behind him yelling out for Weezie.
Yes, my father was compassionate. He is also a conservative. He never used the label, but he should never have had to anyway.
Children are apolitical. They are race neutral. When parents hear their children use an epithet, the parents must step in and stop such language.
No child should ever feel the way T.D. Jakes’s kid felt. No child should ever hate his own skin.
The good news is that the haters are fewer in number than ever before. Too many people despise racism for the haters to win.
The road is long, and never easy. Yet my father managed to raise a son who became a productive member of society, while educating and inspiring thousands of children.
Bishop Jakes also raised a pair of sons, and preaches to a congregation of over 30,000 people.
One is black and one is white. This is irrelevant. What matters is that people were inspired.
Now it is up to Bishop Jakes’s sons and me to lead the next generation of good people. We have to do it. Society needs our generation to continue the progress.
We are not there yet, but we are absolutely moving in the right direction. It will not require dialogue. It will require action. Those who act will not be given ticker tape parades. Many of their names will remain unknown.
Yet the world will thank them by simply being a better place.