On this Martin Luther King Day I have a few thoughts and observations I would like to share.
America is a divided country largely because our political parties seem to embrace the politics of division to further their personnel ambitions. Our previous President and his followers inflamed racial tensions and caused violence and rioting with their racist rhetoric and actions. The black community embraced criminals such as Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin as heroes instead of violent thugs who preyed on those communities with reckless abandon. Many black neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland have seen large increases in crime rates because racist politicians have made police feel unsafe when they police and patrol those neighborhoods. In some instances even black police officers are reluctant to patrol predominately black neighborhoods because police feel like they have targets on their backs. A sad state of affairs caused by a failure in political leadership.
The federal government has attempted to enforce and legislate racial equality for decades and while the intentions may have been good the policies have led to more division and tension. In my opinion the government in this particular instance has over-stepped its boundaries by attempting to legislate a person’s character. Sorry government, like most things a person’s character is well beyond your reach.
When I was growing up my character was shaped by my parents. Sure, religion was a part of my upbringing but the teachings of the Catholic Church were something I feared more than embraced as a child. I was always worried that God was looking at me every moment of every day and I better behave or else. Paranoia I believe is still probably part of Catholic school curriculum. Anyway, my parents taught me to treat everyone as I myself would like to be treated. As I grew older I took this to mean treat people as people, not as a white person, not as a black person etc. just treat everyone the same. Respect someone until or unless they gave you a reason not to do so. Seemed fair enough, and through-out most of my life I have had friends who were from different races and beliefs and none of those differences ever seemed to matter. Good times indeed.
Unfortunately the government decided that they were going to force everyone to get along or else. Rules and laws were enacted to make up for past racial discrimination even though many people who had to follow these laws were never slaves or slave owners. Preferential treatment as far as education, jobs and other programs were enacted again to make-up for past indiscretions. This created racist laws and programs which were meant to fight racism. In my view not exactly logical. As a matter of fact it brings to mind something I heard years ago although unfortunately I do not remember the name of the person who said it “Two wrongs do not make a civil right”. In my view our government is still unfortunately over-stepping its authority by supporting colleges who have white privilege classes, supporting groups who want to rewrite history by destroying alleged racist monuments and by attempting to suppress free speech.
What the government has actually done has produced more harm than good. The Feds have created laws that label and designate people according to groups that the government decides are worthy of special privileges, programs or recognition. No unity or governing by treating people solely as Americans. They govern and treat citizens as various groups and voting blocks that they can control and subjugate. Pretty hard for citizens to embrace treating others equally when their own government doesn’t treat everyone equally. I believe the time is well past for Americans to stop allowing their government to lead by division. Treating each other as Americans and not African-Americans or Asian Americans etc… will scare the hell out of our political leaders. A united America which demands truly equal treatment from its political leaders will have erased division and discrimination as well as resolve the wrongs of history.
Just my opinion. Civil comments welcome.