BLACK PANTHER

In America, and around the world, the movie, “Black Panther,” may become the highest-earning movie of all time!  Is Stan Lee some kind of prophet of the times with his continual development of evil versus good, with evil often winning?  Will the Disney and Marvel studios cause “Black Panther” to make more money than the other 48 movies developed from the creative mind of Stan Lee?  What causes there to continue to be a spiritual theme running throughout these movies?

The movie, “Black Panther,” resonates with a major theme: it is unwise and a sin against humanity to have resources that could help many, but to do so could put the one with the control of massive resources in the sight alignment of a greedy individual or group.  However, it is better to share one’s resources to help the less fortunate and ease the pain of humanity than to worry about the possibility of others greedily taking your resources and misusing them.  This movie reminded me of the initial work of the Black Panthers from Oakland, California.

The original plans of the Black Panthers of the 1960s included:

  • Stop the brutality of Anglo American policemen against African Americans;
  • Provide free breakfast and lunch for the poor students subjected to poverty in the inner cities;
  • Make education more relevant to African Americans;
  • Develop a culture of self-discovery and self-determination;
  • Demand decent housing and full employment for African Americans; and more.

However, the noble plans of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense were co-opted by spies and others of ill-will by encouraging guns and drugs to be used by many Black Panthers.  Without the strong wisdom of elders, the original Black Panthers fell somewhat short of what could have been one of the most successful militant organizations in American assisting African Americans.  The movie, “Black Panther,” had a major different twist.

In the movie, the theme of the original Black Panther was followed—like the Black Panther animal, do not strike first, but strike hard when challenged.  The subtle difference was the inclusion of visits beyond the grave for advice for the new king.  The movie also showed a visit for the nemesis challenger (Erik Killmonger) to the throne of Wakanda who also had a visit beyond the grave to gain some wisdom and insight from his father.  However, his revengeful mode turned him into a bad guy, just like what is happening inside the American culture.  While the spiritual side of the film may have emphasized Eastern religion traits (a well-known Yoga meditation exercise by Okoye, the personal guard of T’Challa/Black Panther).  But, there is also a subtle Christian or universal religious theme as well.

In the Book of Luke, chapter 12:48b in The Holy Bible, there is reference to a caution that much will be required of the person who has been given much.  In other words, what is the responsibility of Christians and those who believe in Yahweh who have much, but do not share as much as they could to relieve human suffering? Yahweh has always been pictured as One who is extremely interested in the poor, widows, and children.

Even in the First Covenant (aka the Old Testament of The Holy Bible), there are admonitions to help the poor (Leviticus 19:10; and 25:35; Deuteronomy 15:7, 8, 10, and 11; Isaiah 61:1; Zechariah 7:10; and Matthew 19:21.)  As far as a universal theme, found in many religions, and surely threaded in “Black Panther,” the Book of James, chapter 1, verse 27 describes what the Creator describes as “pure and faultless” religion is one that is concerned with the orphans and widows.  When Erik Killmonger discovered the selfishness of those who ruled in Wakanda with the ability to strike down aggressors, while giving power to the hurting, he was disgusted with his father’s people.  He trained to become one of the best warriors of the CIA/FBI group, learning how to take down nations through killing leaders and disrupting a country.  After killing the former king (or so he thought), he became king (for a moment) and was determined to use the power of Wakanda to strike down the mighty and lift the powerless.

Without knowing it, Killmonger was determined to make those with helpful resources do what they could do as shared by the honored teachings of many religions.  Even Jesus had strong words against the rich for not doing more for humanity and taught the importance of really doing good works to show one’s faith which his half-brother, James, continued to explore in the Book of James.  Also, the disciple/apostle John, had very strong words about love, especially in his three epistles.  No verse is so strong for Christian outreach to others than this one from I John 4: 20: “If a man says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that doesn’t love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?”

It appears that Killmonger and other self-righteous people, took the essence of this bit about those who have resources to help and won’t help need to be forced to help much to heart, even if someone like him had to kill and train and take over the kingdom of resources to do it!  Unfortunately or fortunately, this part of the movie comes so close to putting the light on the rich and those with resources sitting back doing nothing in every nation that perhaps world leaders with resources will do more than what they are doing.  If not, someone like Killmonger will plan to just take the resources and get back at those who have not done as much as they should for the poor and hurting within their borders!

Thankfully, someone like T’Challa/Black Panther will regain their rightful place as guardians of precious resources, challenge the earlier and present status quo, repent of their lack of action, and move forward to share resources for the positive development of all.  But, will there be another Killmonger rising with a revengeful and bitter spirit and take control and perhaps do more damage to humanity than the selfish rich and powerful leaders now in charge of such resources?  Stay tuned as the future unfolds—and as Stan Lee uses comics to portray a possible future for the world!

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Maybe It’s Just My Military Training…But,

I am very concerned about how our strivings for “political correctness” is destroying things that have made America a very strong nation.

I am watching how our educators and political leaders are rushing to make every group feel comfortable about living in America, even if it means kicking some of our historical values and traditions to the curb!

A lot of this newness is supposed to prove that we are not haters of those marginal groups like those in the gay community and those who follow Allah.  In order to do this, those who make and change laws by throwing away solid American traditions and historical morals are using some of the same laws that were developed to make up for the mistreatment of African Americans for almost 400 years.  Of course, no other group in America has so suffered like African Americans whose brainwashing by professional slave owners and others have almost turned many African Americans into a schizophrenic mess!

While Native Americans have had their traditions trampled, watched immigrants and others trample over and their burying grounds, and pushed to the curb, at least they were allowed to keep their language and could stay connected to their tribes.  Such didn’t happen to African slaves and those who became African Americans.  Not only were they denied opportunity to stay connected to their cultures, they were given just enough English to become “good” slaves, only doing what they were told to do.  They were also threatened with beatings and/or death if they dared tried to learn to read, or tried to do better to help them.

Eventually, strong fighters in the African and African American culture fought and educated Americans about the wrongs done to them.  And, there were some good people who invested time and money, doing all that they could to try to make up for the retardation perpetrated on this group.  Laws were developed, policies were instigated, and all Americans were encouraged to not discriminate against this group, or make life any harder on them than what had already been imposed on them.  Just when African Americans began to make some real headway for their civil rights, better employment, and security, a different wind has almost blown out their light for economic development.

That strong wind began to blow when Anglo American men encouraged their women to fight for their rights.  Although Anglo American women outstrip African American men in economic development and personal freedoms, policies were instigated to push the African American progress behind Anglo American women.  Of course, the change agents were smart enough to encourage ALL women to take advance of their new rights but made sure that the Anglo American women get more of the slices of the American Dream.

Eventually, other groups were encouraged to go after their rights: children, senior citizens, the disabled, gays, and then late-arriving immigrants who don’t even have to learn English to make more money than the average African American.  With all of these new “minorities,” the dollars and plans for the disenfranchised African American continued to shrink, causing many to give up hope that America would ever play fair with them.  When the courts ruled in favor of making sure that more African Americans receive a better education, housing, or employment, others also went to court, battling and winning more rights for their particular sex or ethnic groups.  Thus, more African Americans turned inward, losing hope for a better way of life and a fair chance to enjoy a nice slice of the American Dream.  Many just turned to emotional things that could give them temporary happiness which came through sex, drugs, and a life of crime.  However, there were always those African Americans who made up their minds that even if the government and employment laws turned against them, they would find a way to get a good job, or go into sports or entertainment or become a successful entrepreneur.  But, the wind of change has become even stronger against them.

This new wind came about because a few Muslims felt discriminated against, especially after the events of 9/11.  Muslim girls and women especially felt the sting of discrimination whenever they wear their burqas (Muslim clothing covering a woman’s head and sometimes her face (depending on the sect of the Muslim group).  People would make fun of them or shun them, or just treat them with disdain.  Understandably, some of the youth and adults come from military backgrounds and have suffered the killing of a family member or friend by radical Muslims.  So, by using some of the same laws that have helped African Americans have more opportunity and less discrimination, Muslims have encouraged educators, politicians, business people, and even other religious groups to help change laws to make non-Muslims give them more respect and less discrimination.  But, such doings also encourage those who are Christians not to wear anything that would identify them as Christians.  This wind has added to an earlier wind that said Christians could not and should not: pray to Jesus, have a Bible (especially a teacher).  It has become easier to teach Communism, about Allah, or almost anything else as long as it has no relationship to God, Jesus, the Bible, or anything connected to Christianity.  This wind is gathering strength slowly and sometimes quietly, but the damage is done to Christians, and to historic portions of the American way of life.  Some groups are up in arms and very alarmed.  As a Christian and a former military man from a strong military family on all of my sides, I am concerned about one particular report.

This group (whose name will remain anonymous for now) has discovered that some schools are bending over backward to show love to Muslims by allowing the teaching of Allah over the teaching of God in American schools.  But, it is not just Muslims that might be offended by prayers at sports games, or prayers or a Christian speech at graduation—native-born Americans with history in America over several generations don’t want such.  Teachers could get fired for having a Bible on their desk.  A student could be expelled for wearing a t-shirt with a Christian message or for wearing a cross or anything related to Christianity.

While prayer around some school flag poles was initiated by students, schools are not forbidding their own students from gathering and praying on school grounds that have been mostly paid with Christian support.  Even though such prayers have encouraged more ethnic groups to get along, and schools are having fewer fights or negative behavior, there are those who want all such positive actions stopped even though it has NOTHING to do with the so-called separation of Church and State.  Some schools believe that it is good to allow students to learn this statement to prove Muslims are welcomed: “Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger.  Praise be to Allah.”  Maybe it would be good to memorize this phrase when the Muslims take over America businesses, American schools, and the American government.  But, we must admire them…they are very strong evangelists for their religious beliefs, and not as wishy-washy as many Christians have become in America.  It has been said that if (when?) America becomes totally humanistic and New Age-oriented, or even Muslim-led, it will be because Christians in America failed to stand up strong for their beliefs in order not to offend any non-Christians!  These Christians probably haven’t thoroughly read their Bible and have not discovered how offensive the Bible really is towards those who refuse to be open to following the true and living God, whose name is Yah/Yahweh, and known by other names in the Bible.  The name “God” has been developed in recent centuries.  Even Muslims often used “God” instead of Allah when speaking to non-Muslims.  However, the Muslim God and the biblical God is NOT the same person!

Educators, politicians, and others are encouraging teachers to allow the teaching of the Muslim faith so that Muslims will feel more comfortable, and so that non-Muslims have a better understanding of this religious faith.  School cafeterias are even changing their servings in order not to offend Muslims by having pork served at the school.  School history books are being rewritten to provide a better appreciation of the good found within the Muslim faith, while the same books are giving less space to those who built this country in a positive fashion the best way they knew how, even if they did use slaves to help make America great.

As a former military person, and a proud patriot of America, I AM concerned.  No Muslim country would allow minority Christians to be better treated and not discriminated against.  No!  Many Muslim countries continue to slaughter Christians, rape their women, destroy their churches, and discriminate against them earning a decent living.  However, such actions are forcing more modern Muslims to want to have more freedoms in America, except they will not tolerate their children or any family member becoming a Christian.  Some will not even tolerate their women to have positive freedoms, but some women are kept like slaves in their own household, afraid to even let family or friends know how they are being treated.

When I became aware of all the Muslim groups training their people in how to move up in politics in America, I must admit that I became a little concerned.  This is not of hatred or discrimination; it is a matter of understanding their motivation and their rationale.  Those who don’t understand the military tactics of the Muslim faith probably have not been following how radical Muslim groups see the public schools in America as very fertile ground where they can plant the seeds of Islam into the minds and hearts of unsuspecting students, and even teachers.

Am I sounding an alarm against ALL Muslims?  Of course not!  I am just encouraging Americans, especially Christian Americans to become more alert to how their way of life and their faith is being trampled into the ground in favor of new laws to make EVERYONE feel comfortable, and to give EVERYONE whatever rights they feel that they deserve, even if those rights stomp on the rights of others whose ancestors did the best they could to make America great with freedoms without taking other freedom rights being taken away from others.

Hey! Can’t we all just get along?

Hey!  Can’t we all just get along?

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=rodney+king+beating+video#id=10&vid=538b29e9cbdefc91d743978d439710b5&action=view

Some people are quite angry at the stars of Fixer Upper, the wildly popular HGTV show hosted by the Waco, Texas, husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines because their pastor of Antioch Community Church, Jimmy Seibert, is accused of being “against same-sex marriage and promotes converting LGBT people into being straight.” No one is born gay or straight—they are just born.  Along the way of their development, their environment and/or personal development may point them away from the sexual birth, male or female, and direct them towards the gay lifestyle.  So, should such be warned that the gay lifestyle might not be in their best interest long-term, or should those so concerned just close their eyes and mind their own business?  However, if their business is to warn people against things that could cause a dis-connect between them and their Creator, should they be allowed to continue to conduct their business, or should they just act like everything is alright?  America is moving into some very murky waters when it comes to sexual control and individual rights.  Should the government or concerned people work to shut down porn movies and publications that may be leading people into a destructive way of life that could harm women, children, but especially marriages?  Or, should they just not look at such themselves, and allow people to do whatever they want to do because they feel like they should be allowed to enjoy whatever pleasures they want to enjoy?

When historic researchers on the subject, and biblical Christians see that such a lifestyle may not be the best for the individual, and is definitely spoken against in The Holy Bible, they have a choice to make.  Do they share their views, or do they keep silent?  If they keep silent in an age that declares a gay lifestyle is now normal and legally sustained, are they being hypocritical?  However, if they speak out, the liberal media, liberal judges, liberal Christians, and other Americans who may be liberal, conservative, or just open may want to persecute them, sue them, destroy their business, burn their church, or smear their popularity, or at least, shut them up.  Why?  Because they are now different from the growing group who would like no one to discriminate for any reason, even if such discrimination is based on historic and biblical reasoning.  But, what about those same type of people who claimed that racism and discrimination against mixed marriages, particularly marriages between black men and white women were wrong?  Weren’t they wrong, and didn’t “right-thinking” people pass laws to show them the error of their ways even though they claimed they were following historic and/or biblical teaching?  Yep!  Except they were not following ancient historical or ancient biblical teaching—they were following views based on teachings of their past three or four hundred years based on personal interpretations of their history research, and the faulty and limited understanding of their biblical research.

Oh, but there are other subjects!  What about conservative people attacking liberal politicians for  going to hear speeches by  Louis Farrakhan whose remarks certainly appear to be anti-semitic?  Does their attendance mean that they hate Jewish people?  Or, were they going to hear the prolific views of a well-spoken gentleman sharing some of the dark history of Jews who profited from slavery?  When truth is shared about a “protected” group, does it mean that the sharing by an individual is evil, demeaning, bigoted, racist, or even mean-spirited?  Could it just be a speaker giving his or her views on their subjected opinion based on what has happened in history?  Jews were blamed for the death of Jesus, the Christ, when actually it was key Jewish leaders in the first century who pressured the Anglo government of the Roman Empire to put Jesus to death by crucifixion.  Plus, the recorded words of Jesus were “No man takes my life; I lay down my life!”  So, those people who blamed the Jews for killing Jesus were ignorant of the historic facts.  So, cartoonists and writers and some who called themselves Christians persecuted Jewish people.  They even turned the brown and/or olive-colored, black-haired Jesus into an Anglo-looking character in order to bring in more pagan Gentiles (read, Anglos) into the religiosity of what has been called Christianity and did such fine marketing, painting, and sculpturing of biblical characters they have sold such lies around the world, but have reached millions for their religious cause, and caused other millions with different names to follow their lead, with some tweaking.  They knew that if you tell lies long enough to enough people, such lies would become accepted as the truth.  Now, if I gave historic records that pointed to the founders of the Catholic Church that did this, some would call me anti-Catholic, or maybe even anti-Christian.  Some might even find evidence that I have studied with Muslims and have Muslim friends and relatives, thus throwing me into the group that they might call anti-Christian.  And, if other people discovered that I have studied some Hebrew and Greek and that I could have Hebrew and/or Jewish ancestors, they would certainly think I was/am anti-Christian.

But, some would say, “What about your own personal views on the gay lifestyle and on those who say such a lifestyle is sin?”  Well, since I have relatives and friends who are in the gay lifestyle, they know my position, but they also know that I am still a caring and understanding person.  I have gone with a close friend to a gay party when I was single and stayed as long as I could since he wanted me to go to have a better understanding. Some years ago, my gay friend (and other gay friends) have encouraged me to try the gay lifestyle.  However, I have enjoyed my straight lifestyle and even understood as I grew that I might have been a little different from the “usual” boys and men, but my environment, mother, and biblical understanding helped me curb such desires, just like I have had to curb my dietary desires to develop the way that I am developing.  As far as I know, I have never tried to “convert” anyone to MY way of thinking; I have just presented the evidence, shared my views, and have let everyone make up their own minds.  It appears that Jesus also lived this way.

“Yeah,” some may agree, “but what about some of your friends who are quite controversial and outspoken against gays, or Jews, or Catholics, or Muslims, or Democrats, or Republicans, or liberal, or conservative, or whatever?  For example, President Obama had to change churches when the public turned against him running for President when they discovered that his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was very black militant and anti-white?”  Actually, I heard Rev. Jeremiah Wright when he spoke at a friend’s church in Oakland, California years before the Obama-Wright discussion.  I found him passionate about history, passionate about his university research that he had to keep quite about, and very passionate about truth.  You see, when he and other African American men were FINALLY allowed to learn Hebrew, Greek, and break open research books that had earlier been denied to African Americans, he had to be quiet.  At the time of his great discoveries regarding ancient Africa, he was told by his professors that if he ever shared everything he had learned with African American people, these professors and their connections would see to it that he become labeled as a heretic, a trouble-maker, and worst.  Well, for an up and coming man of the cloth needing to survive, Rev. Wright keep much of his research to himself.  However, after he had spent years building a financial future, he began to travel and share some of his views.  By the time the media discovered what he was about and connected him to a man, Barack Obama, running for the Presidency of the United States, he had shared a lot about the hidden history of the Catholic Church, about white Christianity racism and lies, and began connecting the dots for African Americans, especially African American Christians who did not have access to the knowledge he had acquired.  So, if I go to hear Rev. Jeremiah Wright now, does that mean that I am mean-spirited against Catholics, or that I hate white Christians for their lies?  No, for me it just means that I am interested in the content within the context of a well-versed man who knows more about some of the history than I know.  Plus, he is a great orator and a dynamic presenter!

So, I go back to my opening statement that I think was voiced by Rodney King when I watched a television news report: Rodney Glen King was an African American taxi driver, who became internationally known after being beaten by Los Angeles Police Department officers following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991 (Wikipedia).  Mr. King died June 17, 2012, but his words still live on in print, on tape, and in the hearts of millions who still ask the question: “Why can’t we all just get along?” Regardless of all the laws passed to give me equal opportunity with some others, there are still those who will not hire me just because they just don’t like African Americans, except the ones they may sleep with.  I just have to move on, shake the dust off my feet, give them space, and enjoy life without their friendship, without their understanding, and even without their opportunity for me to give my family a better life.  At the close of the day, we have to remember that we are NOT in Heaven, but thankfully, we have come through a lot of Hell to have the quality of life we do have.  And, there may still be a lot of Hell to go through as some of us do our best to understand those who are different from us, but hope that we can earn the opportunity to share our own differences and we each walk away, perhaps unchanged, but with a better perception.

Hmmm!  I wonder what happened to the guy who caught the Rodney King beating on video?  Wasn’t he an Anglo American?  Wonder why he even got involved?

WHY DON’T ALL AFRICAN AMERICANS JUST UNITE FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LIKE OTHER ETHNIC GROUPS?

There has never been a monolithic African American group in America. This is due to the deliberate attempt by slave owners, racists, and others to work hard to make sure that they keep early African slaves and their descendants (aka African Americans) divided. Such division was by size, color, age, language, tribe, and any other connection an African might have with another African.

 

This plan was also used with the descendants of African slaves, those rightly called African Americans (without the hyphen!). As long as African slaves and African Americans were divided, such as developing “house slaves” (N-word), and “field slaves” (N-word), a few Anglo Americans could control hundreds and make them do their bidding without worrying about a “black take-over.”

 

Of course, the average slaveholder could only afford 5-10 slaves.  The cost could have been around $400.  After paying for land, equipment, supplies, animals, and everything else to be a successful landowner, a slaveholder had to purchase and keep a slave at the lowest cost possible.  And, if the slave owner was smart, he would purchase younger males and females and use them to produce more slaves, saving him enormous costs.  If a male slave had great genes and produced very strong offspring, the slave owner could loan him out to other slave owners who could then use the male slave to impregnate as many of his young women as possible.

 

Using such male slaves to produce slave offspring made the slave owner quite rich while developing more slaves for other slave owners at very little cost.  Also, if the male slave was from a different African tribe, did not speak the language of the women, and had his own culture and language ripped away from him, slave owners had no fear in producing as many new slaves as possible.  All the slave owner had to do was to keep the new slaves divided against each other, ensuring they would never organize as a united group against the slave owner and his family.

 

These male slaves were often well treated as they were a great investment to the owner, and to those who used his services.  Such a process then could account for now why so many African American men since slavery feel comfortable in impregnating as many women as possible in America and other parts of the world—bad habits are hard to break!  Ahh, but I digress.  Let me return to telling why there is so much division among African Americans.

 

There is what some call “The Booker T. Washington and “W.E.B. Du Bois Syndrome.” Mr. Washington appeared to be a pacifist, one wanting to please white folk and train African Americans for jobs that would please white folk.  On the other hand, Dr. Willliam Edward Burghardt Du Bois, the first African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard University, appeared to be an agitating militant, wanting to train black folk into intelligentsia and train African Americans that they could do any job or position held by white folk.  By the way, Mr. Booker Tailaferro Washington also held honorable degrees from both Harvard University and Dartmouth College.  He didn’t use the doctor title much as he was very happy to be known as the principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, now Tuskegee University.

 

The historic work of these two great African American men showed that African Americans have their own personalities, even while they may work on a similar goal.  African Americans will even publicly denounce one another, or even kill other African Americans who do not agree with them. The work of Anglos in Africa to divide Africans, as well as Anglo Americans have been so scientific and so thorough in creating division among people of color in America that their work could last for hundreds, and maybe, thousands of years more.

 

Thanks to Dr. Mary Hoover (dec.) of San Francisco State University, and to Dr. Barbara E. Cannon of Merritt College, I was introduced to the various types of English spoken by various groups of African Americans.  They also connected me to the International Reading Association, showing me the power and potential of using the English language as a tool for development. These professors broaden my perception of language and showed me another reason that there is not one type of African American.  Then along came Wikipedia which added to my knowledge of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) (aka African American English (AAE); and Black English, Black Vernacular, Black English Vernacular (BEV), or Black Vernacular English (BVE).  At the same time, some African Americans speak Standard American English (SAE) just as well as Anglo Americans.  These are usually the more cultured and well-to-do African Americans who have lived much of their life entwined with Anglo Americans.  They are often accused by other African Americans as “speaking WHITE!”

 

Among the various African American speakers, there is a diversity that could be considered American English based on dialect, ethnolect, and sociolect.  Such speaking could be considered culturally spoken English by African Americans working in urban areas.  These African Americans can switch their style of English based on the group that they are with.  Such switching causes them to be considered bi-dialectal, a phrase I heard as a graduate student of Dr. Hoover.  She also connected some African American “street” language speaking by untrained linguists as Ebonics.  All such different language patterns and speaking styles further keep African Americans from being seen as one and the same in a group.  A massive investment in teaching all African Americans to speak American Standard English could be a means of lifting them out of poverty and employment oversight.

 

Another case in fact regarding the different thinking of African Americans is found concerning the celebration African American History Month. Some African Americans have denounced the month as not needed anymore as they have achieved success without talking about their history.  Other African Americans have stated that neither is there any need for such helpful laws as civil rights, affirmative action, or any special laws to help the masses of African Americans have equal opportunity for knowledge, training, employment, housing, or other such laws to give African Americans the same benefits as others in America.  This group is also made up of successful African Americans who had some bootstraps to pull themselves up to respectability.

 

At the same time, other African Americans have fought, bled, and died to give all African Americans the same benefits as other Americans.  And then there are other African Americans who could care less about either position as long as they are left alone to do whatever they want to do, including murdering other African Americans.  This is the method used by conquerors for thousands of years—divide the masses against each other, and you can control them forever and take all of their resources and slowly decimate them yourself, or encourage them to kill each other, or just allow them to slowly vegetate.  So, when one African American takes a certain position, expect another African American to take a different position, and watch the masses of African Americans talk about the positions, get angry against other African Americans for doing, or not doing what the other groups couldn’t agree on.  But, isn’t this just like every other ethnic group?  However, often when it involves power, control, and/or economics, Anglos will put aside their differences to maintain, or gain, more control!  Maybe in another thousand years, African Americans may see the necessity to work together openly for economic gains, and disagree privately like their forefathers and foremothers did when they were more spiritual and under more persecution.  Perhaps with African and African American ties to the ancient Hebrews, a spiritual revival may finally unite African Americans more than all the laws passed to bring unity within, and without, their tribal disunity!

Often, when one African American takes a certain position, one can expect another African American to take a different position.  Later, one can watch the masses of African Americans talk about the positions, get angry against other African Americans for doing, or not doing what the other groups couldn’t agree on.  But, isn’t this just like every other ethnic group?  However, often when it involves power, control, and/or economics, Anglos and other ethnic groups (possible exception is in the Middle East) will put aside their differences to maintain, or gain, more control!  Maybe in another thousand years, African Americans may see the necessity to work together openly for economic gains, and disagree privately like their forefathers and foremothers did when they were more spiritual and under more persecution.  Perhaps with African and African American ties to the ancient Hebrews, a spiritual revival may finally unite African Americans more than all the laws passed to bring unity within, and without, their tribal disunity!

 

 

Immigrants: Buffer Between Black and White

There is a lot of talk about how immigrants have built America.

There are those marching on behalf of allowing illegal immigrants be given permanent status even though they and/or their parents have broken the laws of immigration.  And there are hordes of people shaking their fists and demonstrating against President Trump for his stance on trying to make America safer by denying new immigrants from certain countries, and detaining other immigrants returning to America from countries known for terrorist activities.

After watching the growth of legal and illegal immigration since the 1940’s, I began to see how some white politicians, business people, and others have used immigration as a buffer between white economic success and black economic lack of success.  At one time black people comprised the second largest population group in America.  Now, with heavy emphasis on more legal immigration, and turning a blind eye to possibly illegal immigration of more than 11 million, African Americans are now the third largest population, following those who now identify as Hispanics who are now the largest, and fastest growing, population between white people.  Some has suggested that by 2043, Hispanics (legal and illegal) will be America’s largest population group.

When I worked in agriculture from the 1940’s to the 1960’s, I observed the growth of Mexican field laborers.  In my early years of serving as a migrant worker with my mom, a very hard-working native-born black woman, I saw the fields covered with mostly black workers, a few workers from Mexico and other countries, and some white workers.  Gradually, there were very few white workers, mostly black workers, and a growing army of Mexican workers.  I discovered that some of the workers from Mexico were enticed by farmers to come and work, and then return to Mexico.  I began to be appalled at the living conditions the white farmers gave Mexican workers, but the workers seemed to be so glad to work hard and make more in one day than they could make in their home country in a week or two.  They would come to America and work in the fields, with some working in restaurants, cutting grass, and doing other menial work along with the working class black Americans.  These immigrants worked hard together, looked out for one another, were not forced to learn English, and seemed happy to return to Mexico with their hard-earned money.  Then I began to see changes.

During my high school and college years, I noticed fewer black people in the field; fewer black people cutting grass; fewer black people working in restaurants; fewer black people serving as maids; fewer black people doing janitorial work; and even fewer black people repairing roads and building highways or doing construction work.  I was proud when my stepfather helped build the runway at Edwards Air Force Base, later used for Shuttle landings.  I was amazed at how he and other black laborers cut through the very dangerous Grapevine highway between Bakersfield and Los Angeles, California making the drive safer for future drivers.  But later, employment began to shift away from these men.

I watched the shifting employment with more immigrants from Mexico, other Latin America countries, and immigrants from Cuba, Russia, other parts of Europe, and immigrants from England, India, some parts of Africa, and others around the world flooding into America.  I observed some black leaders complaining and demanding more jobs for black people.  It appeared that the tide was turning against hiring black people in favor of hiring immigrants.  Black people were demanding more: more rights; more justice; more money for their labor; more job opportunities; more equal rights; better housing; better education; and a bigger cut of the American Economic Pie.  Black people began to become more demanding.  The immigration work force continued to increase.  Some other groups began to complain about the inequalities for women, for the elderly, for the disabled, for gays, and even from some field workers who were championed by Caesar Chavez who led vegetable and fruit strikes in the fields.  Farmers were desperate.  They demanded action from Congress to make things better for the farm laborers.  Politicians became more involved.  Business people didn’t want their lettuce and grapes to languish in the fields due to a lack of better housing, health care, and increased wages for the workers.  By this time, Mexican laborers had just about taken over the needed labor force for the fields.  Mexican leaders cried out then and now that if Mexicans didn’t do the cheap labor that farmers needed, who would do the work.  Labor unions, political leaders, and others saw their work result in better economic gains for Mexican and other field workers.  But, those who had done the heavy lifting and hard work of early farming and menial work saw their economics fall by the wayside.

Black people watched economic gains increase for others, while their economic gains diminished.  However, the drug, liquor, and sex market in black communities began to flourish.  Young black men who had dropped out of school and unable to find a “decent” job, found opportunities in these markets for making more money than their grandfathers, or even their high-school and college-educated fathers.  Other black people complained about their treatment from white people.  They took to the streets, even breaking laws and causing economic chaos in some cities.  Government programs for black people increased.  Politicians and corporate leaders wanted programs to keep angry, young black men (and some women!) busy, especially during the hot, summer months.

There were marches, complaints to the government, and demonstrations against companies either not hiring black people, or hiring fewer black people.  However, white companies were now protected from such complaints, thanks to civil rights’ laws—they could now hire “minorities” who were not black Americans and not be hauled into court for racism, discrimination, or favoritism.  They could avoid a black boycott.  They didn’t want a Dr. King or a Rev. Jesse Jackson, or other leader, calling them out for the hiring practices against black people.  The same laws blacks had worked for decades to get passed in Washington to develop a level playing ground for them now began to be used against black people in favor of white women, disabled white men, veteran white people, older white Americans, and now included white gays.  However, those groups were also some of the same people who hired people who looked like them, as well as hired “minorities” as long as they were not African American.

When the government encouraged unions to hire black people, especially black men, the unions dragged their feet.  Law suits had to be initiated against the unions.  Sit-ins had to be started against the unions.  The media had to be pushed to speak out against the unions regarding the continuing discrimination toward black people.  At last, unions began to hire and put a small trickle of black men into union training programs.  Black men were moved into apprenticeships.  Some black men became union leaders.  Black men were able to make enough money to buy homes, save money, and put their children into college.  However, this soon changed as unions were off the hook by hiring more “minorities.”  When the government forced companies to set aside some contract work for black people, the word “Negro,” was changed in favor of “minority.”  Of course, we wanted EVERYONE to be able to learn how to bid and get government contracts.  However, we assumed that the companies understood since they did not have any black people receiving those lucrative government contracts, the government would make sure that black people would finally get a level economic playing field, or at least, a still bumpy economic playing field, but with a chance in the future to really level the field with our hard-working ethics, honesty, and ability to come in under budget and on time.  Boy!  Were we fooled!

At some of the first meetings, we saw a large contingent of white women coming to bid.  Some of us laughed!  Surely, THEY would not get these government set-aside contracts.  Were we ever wrong! Although a few black people won contracts, most contracts went to white women and other “minorities.”  When we inquired, we discovered that many of the white male contractors “sold” their business to their wives, or stepped down to a position of vice president, and moved their wife into the president and CEO position.  These men knew the business, did most of the work in the field, but worked under their wives who qualified as “minorities.”  Almost every black man in those meetings were stunned.  But, they were also very angry.  Some even said: “They (white people) will NEVER give us a chance!  They will always make sure that they keep the money by finding some loophole.”  Of course, some contracts went to some immigrants who had not been the country very long, but they had those needed skills.  The same thing happened when we tried to get car dealerships and gas stations.  It seemed like others had more money, better credit, but as a “minority,” even as a white woman, they got the dealerships and the gas stations.  I met one very hard-working young man from the Middle East and asked how he was able to get a gas station.  He said, “My father and family members work hard.”  Okay, I was okay with that until he made the next statement, “We now have 37 service stations!”  Although everyone in his family worked hard, they also came to America with needed skills—and they had a lot of family members in America, and they all had what was needed: money!  Many of the black men with some skills in construction of houses, bridges, roads, and freeways then looked at the construction industry—again.  But, they found other roadblocks.

Soon, white and Hispanic women were not just working in offices, but were hired as flag people.  More Hispanic men were trained and hired to operate heavy equipment.  Black men complained bitterly to each other.  When I complained to a very large company about their lack of hiring black men, they would just point at all the “minorities” consisting of women and immigrants working.  At one company, I saw a black man working for a union and was so happy that I spoke to him.  He looked at me very strangely, and replied with an accent—he was from Sudan!  Later, I observed more “black” people working in gas stations and remembered how it had been for black men to get dealerships and gas stations, and was so happy to see that finally, black men were not just fixing tires and doing the menial labor, but they were behind counters.  When I spoke to some of them, they replied with an accent…they were from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Nigeria, and were from other Middle Eastern and African countries.  Although there were no longer native-born black men who came from native-born American parents, native-born American grandparents, native-born American great-grandparents, and those with native-born heritage going back to the formation of America, these other “black” people now qualified to be hired as “minorities.”  There were many who could not speak very good English, but they were bi-lingual, and some were even tri-lingual.  The employment gap for the masses of black people was becoming more narrow.  But, there were still some jobs that could hire black men and women, so many of us looked for other employment opportunities.

As I observed other employment opportunities, I noticed that many jobs had a phrase that would keep almost 100% of black men from qualifying—“must be,” or “preferred” bi-lingual!  As time went on, I noticed more companies placing signs in different languages to help newer immigrants.  While earlier-arriving immigrants pre-1960s had to, or were forced to, learn how to read, write, speak, and understand English, latter-arriving immigrants, especially since the 1980s did not have to learn any English.  Those who took the United States Citizenship Test and Interview could become American citizens after paying fees and jumping through other requirements.  I also noticed that they could take the test and go through the interview using subtitles and getting help in their own language.  Some immigrants had sponsors who taught them the ropes of citizenship and how to use benefits of living in America.  They were even invited to apply for federal jobs later, and shown how to run for office.  In fact, I noticed that many immigrants were given much more help for knowing how to navigate in America much better than native-born black people.  Some black people surmised that if the masses of black people had sponsors on how to interpret tests, and how to navigate the American culture like immigrants, many would no longer have any need for government programs.

While America was making the economic playing field more level for immigrants (and anyone white!), black people began falling further and further behind economically, educationally, and socially.  When I challenged some of those in authority about the continuing subtle racism and discrimination toward black people, I was told “They [black people born in America] have welfare and other civil rights programs to make things easier for them.  Plus, if they REALLY wanted to work, they would stay in school, have a better attitude, and pull themselves up by their bootstraps like immigrants and others!”  Of course, nothing was said about how to help those without boots, or those who have been so discouraged by subtle racism they were just stymied.  What was needed was for Americans to help with the leveling of the economic playing field for blacks who didn’t know how to do what was needed in order to create more opportunities for black people so that they would no longer need government programs!

Dependency on the government by black people has been going on since right after the Civil War, and it was still hard for the masses of black people to break away from guaranteed help to jump out and try to survive without government assistance.  Many had tried, but so many more had failed.  And with every failure came the impression that it would be impossible for some in the next generation to get the needed boots and the bootstraps to pull themselves up out of poverty, as well as climb out of the whole of near-poverty.  But, there was a thin sliver of hope from a few Americans willing to help get boots, bootstraps, and pull these descendants of slaves up out of the hole of dependency, despair, degradation.  Even during slavery, after the Civil War, and up to the present-time, there were a few people willing to give a hand up for many black people reaching up and reaching out.

Some politicians, corporate leaders, business people, ministers, reporters and editors, and social workers tried to make the economic playing field more level for black people, others worked hard to overcome any new law or plan that would help the masses of black people become financially independent with skills to take care of their families, enjoy a little American Economic Pie, and allow them to leave a financial legacy for those following them.  Thus, many black men found some leveling of the economic playing field by becoming more proficient in sports, music, and in the world of entertainment.  However, white men learned how to mimic whatever black men did and also mastered new moves on the playing field; copied black music for a wider general audience; and created more opportunities for those who understood money-making from books, plays, record labels, TV shows, and movies.  For example, there are a lot of black men playing football and basketball, but very few black managers, coaches, and owners.  As recruiters develop more ethnic groups, some looking like black Americans, into sports, there are fewer openings for black men in certain sports, like baseball.  White recruiters are also making sure that the buffer zone between white and black people become even more crowded with newer immigrants.

When public schools discovered that more white teachers were leaving the field of education, recruiters began recruiting teachers from Russia, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, and other countries.  Some blacks found it very difficult to compete with the better educated and better trained immigrants who often spoke better English, and knew their subject extremely well.  When the health industry found out that they needed many more people for almost every industry in health after the 1980s, instead of developing more black people, they sent recruiters to the Philippines, the Middle East, India, European countries, and even into Africa, to fill the employment gap that some black people thought would be filled by them.

These new immigrants rose quickly and became leaders in software corporations, in huge mega-billion corporations, in education, in politics, and in almost every industry in America.  Unfortunately, the masses of black people saw their almost bright future become gloomier.  However, the criminal market grew with their involvement in drugs, liquor, women, and other vices.  It seemed that there was little discrimination or racism in the underworld industry.  And, a lot of money could be made.

At the same time of the economic struggles of the masses of black people, some of the crème of black people continued to move up, regardless of racism, discrimination, bad policies, dysfunctional families, limited beginnings, poverty, and more.  Sometimes, it was a minister, coach, educator, business person, or just a concerned citizen who saw something of value in a black person and was moved to do something positive.  Without government pressure, without any civil rights laws, without threat of a lawsuit, without media attention, and without guilt of the past, these white people, Anglo Americans and some immigrants, took it upon themselves to join some Jews and other Anglo Americans who had been quietly helping an African American child, helping an African American family, helping an African American business, helping an African American church, helping an African American organization, or even helping an entire African American community achieve a measure of positive personal and sustainable economic development.  With such help, more than 5% of African Americans have been helped.

However, the wealth gap between Anglo Americans is about 20 times that of African Americans. This means if only 10% of Anglo Americans invested just 10% of their income in sustainable African American business enterprises, the wealth of African Americans would probably increase at least 2%, and the distance between Anglo American wealth and African American wealth may decrease a mere 1%.  Just imagine if 20% of Anglo Americans (2 out of 5) invested more than 10% of their wealth into African American sustainable enterprises, Anglo American wealth may only drop another 2%, while African American wealth would rise 3%, leaving Anglo American wealth only 13 times more than African Americans.  Such an investment may cause African American drug dealers to stop selling drugs as their brains would be needed to help run the sustainable African American enterprises.  Such a move could cut crime in African American communities about 50%, saving taxpayers at least 30% on their tax bill since America would need fewer prisons, fewer prison guards, fewer judges, fewer police, fewer police cars, fewer juvenile halls, fewer detention halls, and just fewer investments in operations that continue to take more funds from tax payers.  And, Anglo Americans and immigrants would increase their income from their investment in African American enterprises because many African Americans would just spend more money with them instead of sending money overseas since America is their only home country!  Do we have any takers out there?

But, What Can I Do About Racism?

Sometimes after I have conducted a workshop on racial reconciliation, or had a seminar on the same, someone will come up to me somewhat sheepishly and wonder just what they can since the problem is so huge.  Others might say they REALLY want to help out, but they just don’t know any African Americans.  Others comment that they WISH they could DO SOMETHING to ease racial tensions between Anglo Americans and African Americans, but they don’t want to do something that might make African Americans angry with them.  So, what do many of these good people do?  NOTHING! Or, they just figure that the government will continue to throw enough money at the problem that eventually the problems will just vanish without their involvement…except to pay more taxes.  Such has been much of the thinking in the federal government “trickle-down theory” that still has not worked!

 

When I hear so many good people saying they wish they could do something about working racism out of the public square, or even out of their conditioning, I think of the saying “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”  According to Paul Rosenberg, Editor, “A Free Man’s Take,” Edmund Burke, its supposed source, was a good man, but that doesn’t make the saying true.  From Burke’s mention on https://www.caseyresearch.com/articles/the-only-thing-necessary-for-evil-to-triumph-is, “Yes, there is a time when good men and women must stand up for what’s right, even when it involves risk, but that moment comes only after evil has already been well established and is powerfully on the move…People end up supporting evil because they don’t want to make up their minds at all. They want to avoid criticism and vulnerability, so they hold to the middle of the pack and avoid all risk.”

When I was in the military in the 1960s, things were still somewhat rough if one was a Native American, or an African American.  If one was a Native American, they might be called “Chief,” and some people would tease a little.  But, if one (me!) was an African American, the jokes were more stinging, and the treatment could be seen as demeaning by the one made the blunt of the jokes.  However, most of the military personnel did not tell demeaning or racist jokes—they just laughed while I frowned.  I don’t recall anyone telling the jokester that he was being offensive and that the hearer didn’t appreciate another service member being on the receiving end of unwelcomed jokes.  Eventually, one service member told me—privately—that he had come to see African Americans in a new light since being put in the service and interacting so much with me.  However, he told me that if I ever came through his town and he saw me, to not be offended if he crossed the street in order to not say a good greeting to me.  He said that his father had raised him to “hate Black people,” so he had to respect his training and family beliefs!

When an Hispanic man was asked his views on racial reconciliation for all in America, his response was, “If Anglo Americans and African Americans ever get their racial harmony together, it will be much easier for the rest of us to solve any of our challenges with racism!”

Over the years I have tried to respect the beliefs of others who don’t want to take chances in becoming a friend of African Americans (unless in sports, music, or entertainment!).  I understand that stepping out for truth regarding racism, and deliberately doing something positive to make a difference can cause some Anglo Americans to lose friends, lose business, lose church members, not get a promotion, or be ostracized by their Anglo American “friends” and/or family members.  Such fears keep these good people bound and frustrated and allows racism to continue quietly doing damage to potential good relationships between the two major ethnic groups.  However, I can offer a few simple steps to those Anglo Americans of good will who want to do something, but may be somewhat skittish:

1.      Take out a newspaper or magazine subscription to a print and/or Internet African American periodical in order to get a better understanding of the thinking of SOME African Americans (like any other ethnic groups, African Americans are not just one set of ethnic groups who all think alike);

2.      Listen to various African American music venues in order to not be narrow-minded from just hearing a little of African American rap or pop music;

3.      Become a friend to some of those African Americans in your school, club, church, workplace, military station, or other place where you both could listen and interact;

4.      Tell some African Americans that you have become friends with that you want to better understand African American history, African American thoughts, African American values, African American dreams, and African American frustrations (don’t be shocked if they look at you strangely!);

5.      Invite some African Americans into your home for dinner, to ride together to a game, and/or to go together to some African American venue so they can help you learn more of the African American culture, norms, thinking, challenges, and desires;

6.      See what African American organizations could profit from your volunteering on their boards after you have contacted the leadership to see if they would be open to your minority participation as a learner of African American culture, and not just as a late-comer to racial understanding for “guilt-cleansing”; and

7.      Follow your money to see what good your money could do to help develop stability in African American organizations doing what they can to develop their communities.

One great way to begin exploring how to improve positive relations with African Americans is to consider sponsoring a table at one of the many African American fundraising events.  Or at least, buy a ticket and attend the event with an open mind of a learner with a servant’s heart.  One group doing a lot for racial improvement is the work of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum.  Visitors have come from Germany, Russia, England, and other parts of the world to learn about the quiet history of how African Americans have been involved in EVERY war that has involved Americans since the media, history books, and movies cover up such history.  They were often amazed to learn how the West was really won by the work of the Buffalo Soldiers developing safety and progress as more Americans moved westward.  It would be great if readers to my blog could sponsor a table at the museum’s 17th Annual Gala on February 24th, or at least invest $150 and buy a ticket and attend, or buy a ticket and donate it to a veteran or disadvantaged person who may never have an extra $150 to attend such a world-changing event (http://www.buffalosoldiermuseum.com/?event=buffalo-soldier-national-museum-16th-annual-benefit-gala&event_date=2017-02-24).

If readers don’t do anything else to help improve racial harmony between Anglo Americans and African Americans, at least go to your local library and read unbiased books on the good that African Americans have contributed to America, as well as to the world.  If you don’t know where to start, just ask at your local library’s reference desk and they will be pleased to assist!

Damaging Protesters Against Trump Inauguration

I wonder who/what groups are funding these protesters in Washington, DC during the inauguration of Donald Trump and the changing of the governmental guard?
 
Watching protesters break windows, hold up disparaging signs, and giving the Washington DC the finger is not the way to represent free speech. Maybe it’s time to change “free speech” to “responsible free speech” with some better guidelines. If negative protests continue, there will be a boomerang effect which will have a very strong negative reaction and response from those in government, as well as those who are trying to restrain police overreaction. More laws will be passed; more rules will be placed on civil and human rights; more jails and prisons will be built; more taxpayers will push for bringing back the draft, especially for those not in school or working legal jobs; more people will be picked up for loitering and panhandling; taxes will become overbearing; the stronger will become more entrenched in their way of selfishness; and the weaker will have fewer rights and fewer opportunities.
 
Instead of getting those in power to listen to them and work for positive change to benefit more Americans. these type of protests shown today in Washington, DC, will turn the tide against those protesters. Don’t be surprised if in the future if there will not be fewer permits and tolerance for those protesting even thought their cause needs to be heard. At some point, protesters need to learn from history.
 
The Native Americans had a right to fight and have their voices heard about the encroachments newly arriving immigrants from Europe were making against their laws, their lands, their culture, and their economic resources. Some grew weary of listening to the forked tongues of the leaders of these new people. They were tired of the powerful and power brokers taking away their very livelihood. Many decided to protest more forcefully and even do to others what evil was being heaped upon them. They fought back with their bows and arrows, spears, guns, and whatever they could get their hands on. But soon they discovered that they were outnumbered, outgunned, and outmaneuvered. They had a right to protest. They had a right to be angry. However, when some of their tactics affected the innocent (and even some of the guilty!), public opinion turned against them, as did more weapons of decimation.
 
A few chiefs looked into the future and saw that all of their people could be wiped out if they didn’t just try to get along and work with those in power. These chiefs told some of their warriors if they kept fighting and losing braves, soon they would be no more, and they would not have any of their people alive to tell their history. In order to survive, some of these chiefs worked with their former enemies in order to learn to work within the system and turned their anger into constructive nation-building. Later, other groups led protest, turning their anger against the powerful who would not address their cause. But, the powerful had bigger guns and bigger laws. Then along came people like the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He had learned how to channel his frustration with racism into peaceful protests. He learned from Indian leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and others who led protests peaceably. Such peaceful protests and calm demonstrations turned apathy to their cause to anger against those who would not give these protesters the little what they were requesting, not demanding.
 
Although the leaders of such peaceful protests were often silenced by death, by betrayal, or by economic devastation, more people rose up and carried on peaceful protests until the leaders could not longer stop their ears, or close their doors. Such peaceful demonstrations caught the eyes of the world via television, and the powerful became powerless in some form, forcing them to listen and make some concessions. America became a better nation for all when such meetings came about. Regardless of how much we want to turn America into Heaven, that will never be. Heaven will remain peaceful Heaven without human greedy and grumbling needy. And, America will remain a developing country with human frailties with some people willing to listen, and those needing the powerful to listen and share power.
Maybe President Trump will listen to peaceful protesters.  Maybe he will hear their hurting hearts above their heavy voices.  Maybe he will reach out to Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders and get their input on global and domestic needs.  Maybe he will meet with Hispanic leaders and get their input on building the wall, sending back illegal immigrants and their children, while developing the job skills of native Americans.  Maybe he will meet the Congressional Black Caucas and listen to their thoughts, as well as to those of Congressman John Lewis.  Maybe he will meet with women who want assurances he will hire more women for his staff.  Maybe he will meet with LGBT leaders and hear their thoughts as they are a growing groups with which America must reckon. Maybe he will even meet privately with members of Congress who despise him hear their views on improving the country and moving it forward without totally dismantling ALL of the work and policies of former President Barack Obama.  Maybe, just maybe, we could all just learn to listen to each other and learn to just get along.