By David A. Franklin, Jr.
I am leery of anyone who claims that racism does not exist in present-day America. We see it, we feel it and some of us are touched by it whether overtly or covertly but it is taboo to talk about it; it is antisocial to express it. Is America living
the reality of what some social critics warn about escapism? These social critics say that the powers attempt to control society rather than actually bettering the condition of the people and they do this by providing a means of escape. Any
attempt of open discussion and frank dissection so as to face the stinking reality is repressed, stifled, contained, and kept in check. Mention racism and you hear a loud deafening “Oh no, you didn’t!”
One can correctly claim that this social sore has experienced some amount of healing over the past century, evidenced
by many positive experiences cumulating in the results of 2008 elections when the first African American president was convincingly elected. An endorsement by over 64 million voters and 349 electoral votes compared to his opponent’s 163 electoral votes. But we can in the same breath and with the same conviction admit that while this is welcome, while
it is obvious that majority of America of every ethnicity, creed, and age are ‘color blind’ and are advanced thinkers there remains the relatively few – a group that is large enough to spoil it for the country.Those proverbial “one bad apple” spoil the whole bunch and these ‘apples’ permeate not only the ordinary populous, but is widespread in seats of
governance and herein are the following:
1. America has become a “Mass Incarcerating State” which boasts the majority of prison inmates as poor, uneducated black and brown a fact that speaks to a ‘punishment policy’ where certain persons receive harsher punishment for the same misdemeanor. This situation feeds the Prison Industrial Complex worsened and is supported by the political influence on private prison companies. Florida holds first place and is the leader of the pack where as far back as in 2004, political parties in the state received almost 20% of their total contributions from private prison companies and their affiliates. As recent as in this month (April, 2012) Florida’s Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill which would send non-violent drug offenders to rehab after serving half their sentence in jail, claiming it is “a public safety issue”. A Republican State Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff of Ft. Lauderdale was the sponsor of that bill emphasized that these are non-violent offenders but Mr. Scott was deaf to the obvious.
2. A key feature of those incarcerated is education or lack thereof. Here again present day reality is reminiscent of those of pre-emancipation era when it was illegal to teach slaves to read and write and in post-emancipation in the South when it was illegal for free blacks to be educated while in the North (although it was not illegal), there were no
provisions made for them to be educated. Present day, there are woefully inadequate provisions made in inner-city communities for education. We see a continuum – undisturbed, unabashedly maintained and sustained by the powers that be.
The Current-day Situation:
For in excess of 150 years, civic inclusion has been the imperative in Western political existence. America has declared itself as the epitome of a freedom-loving environment for peoples of the planet to emulate. Continued undesirable
utterances and actions of some, overtly and covertly displayed by some belie America’s self-righteous claims:
Mitch McConnell and his single most important thing the Republicans want to make Obama a one-term president. A wish echoed by so many of his House and Senate Republicans and their surrogates in Congress and State Governments. Not to work to bring the country to viability and one nation under God with liberty and justice for all. ·
Pat Robertson – televangelist “ God is no fan of President Obama”instead of using his rare and one and on relationship with the Godhead to bring some blessings on America through this recession ·
Mitt Romney the chameleon with the ability to change color whenever the environmental conditions dictate who although he included individual mandate in his Romneycare purporting it would stop ‘free riders’ who do not buy insurance and who would become a burden on the taxpayers does not see President Obama’s healthcare plan as equal because Mr. Romney marches to the drum beat of the destructive and selfish thinkers of his party and not to the dictates of his own conscience (if he has one). ·
Advocates of the destruction of Planned Parenthood have robbed poor women of all races of preventive health care which they cannot afford ·
Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and other leading Republicans wanting to “take America back”. They are the fortunate in the society –fortunate in being provided good education, opportunities to excel in adulthood and business - contributed to by the environments in which they were born, nurtured and raised. They subscribe to the thinking of the white man I personally witnessed saying in a store in New York during the 2008 election period that “a black monkey could never and should never be in the White House”. This man expressed his opinion and belief in a very crass manner but the innuendoes of the learned and those in lofty positions translate the same.
President Obama has changed the ‘norm’ and disturbed the status quo. Some in the Democratic Party who we know as Blue Dog Democrats subscribe to this twisted view of one’s entitlement to success which excludes some and includes only the precious others. During 2008 through 2010 Blue Dogs worked alongside their Republican cohorts against progress so as to create destruction on anything the President put forward. They simply believe that he does not belong.
He does not belong as was in the case of the 15 year old black kid who in November of 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland was walking in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood and was beaten near to death by two Neighborhood Watchmen one Jewish and the other white. According to court documents, these vigilantes drove up next to their teen victim got out of their vehicle, and surrounded him. They threw the defenseless youth to the ground and proceeded to beat him with a hand held radio. A third person kicked him in the face and pinned him to the ground. He was searched even though he told them he had nothing on him and did nothing wrong. He did not belong as is the case of Trayvon Martin.
The President does not belong in the top job of the country as in the case of minorities in the workplace. The EEOC was established in July of 1965 which legislated a ban on discrimination in the workplace but “racial differences in employment remain among the most enduring forms of economic inequality” (D. Pager – 2009, Discrimination in a Low-wage Labor Market). The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows as recent as March 2012 in men 20 years and over the white population the unemployment rate of 6.6 is contrasted by 13.8 among blacks or African American men in the same demographics. It is the continuum from contrasting education opportunities, of hiring preferences based on who you are or who you are not.
All of the above negate America’s claim of superiority in the world in the areas of liberty and justice for all, civil inclusion, as being the beacon on the hill providing light to its own people and to the other nations of the world. The current reality of racial history is nothing short of barbaric!
Anyone reading this saying I am playing the Race Card. Yes I am…. It is a card that needs to be played towards an awakening of the global conscience and a call to action to address the travesty which has become America’s actuality.