“I Am Not A Racist”

tribe: any aggregate of people united by ties of descent from a common ancestor, community of customs and traditions, adherence to the same leaders, etc.

Dictionary.com

Many of you know Anson Burlingame, either by his comments on this blog, his postings on his own blog, or by way of his contributions to the Joplin Globe editorial page. Recently, another commenter called Anson a racist, claiming that “to some degree all of us have it.” Naturally, Anson didn’t accept the designation. “I am not a racist,” he wrote. He added,

At my advanced age I know pretty well what my motives and fundamental “instincts” are in most situations.

In a later comment, he wrote:

I freely admit that, using today’s standards for calling someone a racist, I was raised as a racist in the 1940’s and 50’s. But over the years, 54 years (since HS graduation) and counting I have read and talked myself beyond, out of, such [animus], like many other older Americans have done during that period.

I know I have written a lot about issues involving race lately, but so be it. It is important, as far as I’m concerned. I think cultural angst among whites is a major reason we have such gridlock in Congress, as Tea Party Republicans, representing such anxious and fearful folks, have essentially been holding the legislative process hostage since 2010.

I wrote a long response to Anson’s comment on my piece about the sad racism that occurred here in Missouri, when marching black demonstrators passed through a couple of white small towns last week. My response included the following, which is related to the charge of racism:

As for the accusation that one or more commenters have now and in the past made against you—calling you a racist—let me say that I am very careful in applying that word to individuals. As you know, “racism” strictly means the belief that one’s race is superior to another’s race, necessarily implying the idea that the superior race should rule over the other. Historically, there is no doubt that America was founded by, and for years was governed by, racists, as black slaves were used to economically benefit white people.

You have never given me any reason to suspect that, despite your admittedly racist upbringing in Kentucky in the 1940s and 1950s, that you think white people are inherently superior to black people. But just like it is true that America still has a lot of work to do to rid itself of the legacy of slavery and white supremacy—our cultural institutions, after all, were built and maintained for years in that context—individual whites living in this culture also have work to do. That includes you and that includes me.

Without going into detail, I was also raised with the idea that somehow blacks were inferior to whites. For whatever reason, I never consciously embraced that idea. Perhaps it was because in my lower working-class neighborhood, most of the kids I played with when I was very young were black kids. My next-door neighbors to the east, less than 30 feet away, were black. Across the street lived black people. Across the alley in the back lived black people. Down the street lived even more black people. I was surrounded by African-American kids my entire young life. In all the ways that I could see, they seemed just like me.

In elementary school and junior high, one of my best friends was black (forget the cliché). I spent a lot of time in or near his home, a few blocks away from mine. I walked the streets with him and played neighborhood sports with him. In high school, my best friend was a black kid a year older than I. We spent nearly every school night together, riding around in his car delivering newspapers (it was his job, not mine) and then later cruising and listening to music (some might find it odd, but he was a fan of Steely Dan like I was).

But having said all that, I still catch myself getting a little irritated by, for instance, certain things I see in hip-hop culture, including the attitudes in some, but not all, of the music. I have to check myself sometimes. I have to remind myself that a thing like wearing your pants in a certain way is just an expression, a way of fitting into a specific “tribe,” if you will. I have my own specific micro-tribes I belong to. You have yours. We act and dress accordingly. We should be open-minded enough to allow others the luxury of belonging to, and conforming to, their own smaller tribes. But sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we look down on other tribes. Sometimes we think ours is superior.

In the same way, you and I belong, by birth, to a larger tribe of “white people.” Because we belong to that tribe, we have inherited certain benefits that come with our skin color. And we have inherited certain prejudices against that other larger tribe of “black people.” If we work hard, we can overcome many of those prejudices. But it is often really hard work. Some of the prejudices we hold we may not consciously be aware of. We may think we have rid ourselves of all the bad qualities of our upbringing, but it is inevitable that at least a few remain. That is just the nature of the case. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we react to black people in ways that look a lot like a form of, a much milder form of, the racism that not only served as the cultural backdrop for much of our nation’s history, but as the backdrop for our childhoods.

I will also suggest to you that because you and I belong to that larger tribe of white people, it is very hard for us, as part of the historically dominant tribe in this society, to get inside the heads of members of the black tribe. We may think we can do so, but it is really hard to pull it off. Our tribe was the oppressor, their tribe was the object of the oppression. That reality makes for very different ways of looking at the world, for understanding the way things work, for teaching children how to make their way through life.

As whites, we may think it is pretty simple: the old laws have been changed to reflect racial equality, so, dammit, just get on with it! Work hard and you will prosper now, we might say. You are every bit as free as we are! Except it isn’t that simple. Black people still face a lot of race-based resistance in this society. Some of that resistance is structural—see voting restrictions that disproportionately affect African-Americans, for instance—and some of it is found in the fact that feelings of white superiority still exist among members of our tribe, members who still mostly run things. You grew up in the ’40s and ’50s with it. I grew up in the ’60s and early ’70s with it.

And while it is true that such attitudes of white superiority have diminished, they still exist. An AP poll a few years ago found that “51% of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes.” The legacy of white supremacy, from slavery to Jim Crow, still infects white minds and still harms black people in so many ways, ways that you and I might be tempted to discount because we don’t experience them, don’t feel them in our bones.

All this is a long way of saying that you are not a racist in the historical sense. But like so many white people, including myself, we carry in our heads some residue of racist thinking, of thinking that our group of people with white skin is in some way or another superior to that other group of people without it. So, when you say, “I have read and talked myself beyond” racial animus, you may be right. I don’t believe for a second that you harbor any malevolent ill will toward black people simply because they are black. But neither you nor I can read or talk ourselves beyond all the racial prejudice that still lingers somewhere in our tribe-conditioned minds, especially when we interpret what it means when we see a black kid with drooping pants or when we watch a cop choke a black man to death on the streets of New York City.

Duane

19 Comments

  1. Ben Field

     /  December 9, 2014

    Duane.
    Send me your email address for a couple of photos I want to send.
    Picture for a moment that the video was not Eric Garner, but Santa Claus and the cop decided to jump on his back and choke him to death. Would there still be no reason for a trial?

    Like

    • I think that’s a good point, Ben. Whether people want to admit it or not, there seems to me to be a fairly strong element of race involved in the Garner case, whether it was conscious or unconscious. By the way, I sent you an email a couple of days ago. Did you get it?

      Duane

      Like

  2. Duane,

    Good thoughts as usual. I especially like the reference to the “tribe.” I find myself using that a lot in giving context to certain situations and then trying to understand them.

    Anson and I are basically the same age. We both graduated from high school in the same year. Of course, our experiences are different in the same way our particular tribes are different. That said, neither of us have ever had a black skin or walked a mile in a black man’s shoes (except maybe for a Camel cigarette. You have to be old to get that.)

    On that point, there is something in the racial issue that no law can change — white privilege. In fact, I would go further and say there is white male privilege and even white male cop privilege.

    I have heard blacks talk about how they are treated when they shop, or drive, or just cross the street. I’ve seen how they are mistreated in our justice system. Yet, I don’t live in that world, in that tribe. And I know I am privileged that I don’t.

    It’s one thing to be sympathetic or try to be understanding of the day to day lives of blacks, but we whites can’t ever have a full appreciation of it. As long as white privilege exists, people of color are going to have a rough time. Attitudes are not easily changed. Especially if such attitudes are ingrained in the tribe.

    But just wait till we whites become the minority. We’ll see how far privilege goes then.

    Herb

    Like

    • I do think that looking at things in terms of tribal mentality helps explain a lot of what we see. I am sure that evolution had a lot, if not everything, to do with the way our brains tend to favor fellow tribesmen, however large a particular tribe might be under consideration.

      I certainly agree that one can have sympathy and understanding of the cultural obstacles most African-Americans face and still not fully appreciate the width and depth of it. I often use the expression “feel it in their bones” because that captures the difference between an intellectual understanding of the problem and a more personal experience of it. White folks can possess the former and, except in maybe rare occasions, cannot have the latter.

      By the way, speaking of whites one day becoming the minority and how blacks will react to it, that reminds me of a wonderful story I read as a teenager from Ray Bradbury’s great book, The Illustrated Man. It’s called “The Other Foot” and I found a summary of it on Wikipedia:

      Mars has been colonized solely by black people. When they learn that a rocket is coming from Earth with white travelers, they institute a Jim Crow system of racial segregation in retaliation for how white people have treated blacks over the years. When the rocket lands, the traveler tells them that the Earth has been destroyed—including all of the horrific mementos of racial discrimination (such as trees used for lynching blacks). The blacks, feeling sorry for the white travelers losing their homes, decide to take them in and choose not to go through with their segregation plan.

      Let’s hope that’s the way things turn out because the age of white dominance will be over in a couple of generations or so.

      Duane

      Liked by 1 person

  3. King Beauregard

     /  December 9, 2014

    Pretty good video from a not particularly racist white guy, contemplating his role in things:

    Personally, I don’t trust anyone saying “I’m not a racist”. That’s is claiming perfect objectivity, which is an unachievable state of affairs for at least a couple reasons. The most we can reasonably claim, I believe, is that we’re not particularly racist but where we are we want to be corrected.

    Another video from the same guy:

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    • I really appreciated that Off-Monday Ramble video, KB. You know what I like about that guy, besides the good sense he makes? It is his occasional willingness to pause and tolerate a little silence while he thinks instead of just filling the time with something, anything. The story about his grandpa was not only very touching, but could be a story told by any number of white people. It’s a balance between condemnation and contextual understanding, the ability to explain without excusing. 

      As for the second video, if you spend a lot of time in the comment section of the various news outlets (as I do for some damned reason), you will find any number of comments on race-related stories or stories about Obama that serve as examples of what he is talking about. A lot of white people think they suffer discrimination and that blacks are actually treated more favorably, that is, when these white folks are not arguing that blacks deserve to be shot or beaten or otherwise mistreated because black men reject fatherhood.

      Excellent and thanks for sharing it.

      Duane

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      • King Beauregard

         /  December 12, 2014

        This guy’s channel is one of my favorites on the entire Internet. His “Five Stupid Things” series is particularly easy to get into.

        He’s also intellectually honest enough to go after his own:

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  4. ansonburlingame

     /  December 10, 2014

    Duane,

    Obviously, a reasoned and effective reply, both to comments on this blog and private emails recently exchanged as well.

    I will not expand at length on the continuing racial animus raised as a result of Ferguson and NYC in detail. I have a column in to the Globe to show my position on those events and will let it speak for itself. But as you know because I gave you a copy of my submission, my faith in the decisions made by a jury are the basis for my reactions to those events. 37 supposedly honest and unbiased (to the extent anyone can be) citizens were, alone, assigned the responsibility and accountability to make two separate decisions. They did so and the decisions were unpopular to say the least. Citizens (juries) are the only people in America that are allowed to render judgment on the behavior, according to written law, of other citizens, in the vast majority of criminal allegations. Should we change that? No, I say.

    This whole debate comes down to what resides within any man, in terms of his inner most beliefs. That is actually a very difficult understanding to reach on the individual level, sort of like “what makes ME tick”, “why do I do what I do”, etc. I suppose that is one of the primary goals of psychotheraphy, to get people to “face reality” and react in a considered and logical (to them) manner. Ulitmately that effort demands that a man be completely honest with himself. All of us fail, to some degree, in that effort but progress, not perfection, is the goal and I believe it is a life long effort, incremental small steps at a time, for a life time. If one is a Christian (can anyone really define that phrase?) then Christ is the only human that achieved perfection in such a quest. All the rest of us struggle. But forget religion as that is not the point.

    Perhaps my reply to Fields should have been “I do my best to not be a racist”. I could also say “I do not hate women” but rather I suppose should say “I do my best not to hate women”. I could say that during my military career “I was not a torturer” but instead should say “I did my best to act based on American ideals of conduct” when exposed to the stress of war (like) or other stressful situations. “I do my best not to lie, cheat or steal” is better than “I am not a liar or a thief”. “I do my best to act honorably” rather than “I am an honorable man”.

    For reasons I (nor anyone else) REALLY understand, in politics my position(s) usual become viewed as conservative, vice liberal. Such political sentiments go back millenia after millenia in my reading of history. The orgins of Whigs and Tories came about during the English Civil War in the mid 1600’s. Whigs were decidedly “royalists” supporting a Monarch but under a parlimenatry system as well vs Tories, identified at the time as “Irish mobs burning estates of the landed gentry”. Sort of sounds familiar in America today, right? But I don’t support a “King” and you don’t call for burning any “estates”. The whole history of the “English speaking people” has been a struggle between such “camps” except race seldom played much of a role until the British Empire became global, about a half century after the Civil War. Now even Great Britain struggles with racial issues however, Arab vs. English to a degree as is France struggling as well. Germany on the other hand has stated officially that multiculturalism is baloney, or words to that effect. Sure sound “German” (tribal) to me!

    Closing this difficult reply, I acknowledge that you write in an attempt to achieve the best possible solutions for America, in your view. I write in the same manner but with a different, fundamentally, approach in terms of what is best for America. The only reason I continue to comment herein is to show other honestly held perspectives AND to learn MORE in the details of “what makes liberals tick”. I, me, benefit from such exchanges, with you. And I have to hold my nose and ignore the best I can some of the more inflamatory remarks launched back at me.

    Accusations back and forth about personal motives, allegations of deep and dark motives, is the wrong way to conduct political discussions. But such exchanges are almost “normal” in America today. Having been an adult during Vietnam, race riots in the 60’s, protests in the 60’s and 70’s, I have certainly seen worse than what we are seeing today. Jim and I are probably the only ones in here that have “been there seen that” as adults. No, Herb was there as well but only in “Oklahoma” as far as I know. I on the other hand I “walked the Mall” in DC during……., and the streets of DC during …… as well. I lived in CA and Hawaii during some of those years as well and had to be careful when and where I wore my uniform.

    Politically in America, now or any other time in our relatively short history, has either side held all the right answers and certainly no one man has done so. But right now, I search in vain to hear a “liberal” acknowledge that improvement, deep and lasting improvement is desperately needed within the black community as well as in white police forces or the larger white society. Injecting such suggestions into a political debate today sometimes results in real animosity at the personal level. THAT is not the America I want to see or hear.

    Anson

    Like

    • Anson,

      1. Grand juries are typically tools of the prosecutor and, in Ferguson and Staten Island were used in a much different way than traditionally: to exonerate a cop without a proper trial.

      2. I appreciate the fact that you wrote, “Perhaps my reply to Fields should have been ‘I do my best to not be a racist.'”

      3. Your comments here are welcome, Anson, despite our many disagreements. I realize that sometimes people react to what you say by using “inflammatory remarks,” but, as I have found out over the last 5 1/2 years, that goes with the territory of public writing. You know all the names I have been called.

      4. I share with you a dislike for making “allegations of deep and dark motives” when arguing politics, even though sometimes it is fair game to question the motives of political figures or political parties. You and I have argued a lot over the years, sometimes pleasantly and sometimes harshly, but I continue to believe that you have “honestly held perspectives” on issues and aren’t here just as a troll to stir things up. It’s fine with me if you are here to figure out, as you say, “what makes liberals tick.” I was a conservative myself, remember. I wondered, too, what made liberals think the way they do. Now, I know the reason quite personally. And I know it is possible to rid oneself of what I consider to be the poison of reactionary thinking, even while keeping a healthy respect for tradition and social stability, things that conservatives and liberals can both value, even if we disagree on what the future should look like, or, more important, how to get there.

      5. Finally, it’s not that liberals don’t acknowledge that black communities are, like white communities everywhere, in need of repair. It’s no secret that there is dysfunction all around us on many fronts when it comes to responsibilities as good citizens. But things like black fatherhood and black-on-black crime, things that conservatives always bring up when they discuss issues like white cops killing unarmed blacks, are not relevant to the issue of discriminatory policing or an unfair justice system or many of the practices that have historically hurt black progress (see Henry’s excellent response below).

      Duane

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  5. henrygmorgan

     /  December 11, 2014

    Duane: Anson says, “I search in vain to hear a ‘liberal’ acknowledge that improvement, deep and lasting improvement is desperately needed within the black community . . .” I think he doesn’t search very well. For at least 50 years “liberals” (I don’t know why he puts the word in quotes) have been crying out for improvements in the black community. Why has it come so slowly? Here are a few possibilities.

    1. Redlining — the practice of many banks and other lending institutions of drawing a red line on a map encircling certain areas of a community, usually those with a predominately black population, where loans will not be made.

    Without loans, to black or white businesses, new businesses find it extremely difficult to get an enterprise underway. Banks will often dispute the claim that they redline, but numerous studies of banking practices show that the practice is widespread, almost always targeting black communities. The same studies show that default rates among black businesses, where loans are available, are not substantially different from those of white businesses.

    2. Transportation — Public transportation in most inner city areas is far less available than in white areas of the same city. If people cannot get to their jobs, they will not have their jobs very long. City fathers will always claim that there is a lack of funds to provide greater service in poor communities, and that may be so, but if funds were disbursed equally, there should be the same inadequate service available in both areas. Further, almost every state has a fuel tax that is designed to build and maintain transportation venues; in most states, the bulk of these taxes is assigned to highways, not inner city communities. Until we provide a way for citizens to get to their jobs, get to grocery stores, department stores, restaurants, etc., the economic base of the community is unlikely to improve.

    3. Election barriers — The whole nation seemed to be shocked that there were only three police officers on the force of Ferguson, Missouri, a community which is predominately black. Coupled with minimum presence on the City Council and other official offices of the community, blacks were often unable to effect a fair representation of their wishes and views. The same situation exists in many, if not most, black communities within the nation, and often for the same reason: inadequate access to the ballot box. Over the last ten or so years, this country has seen innumerable schemes to minimize voting opportunities. From Photo ID to restricted voting times and poorly placed voting venues, every possible means of denying the vote to blacks and other minorities have been instituted. If you can’t vote for the people who make the decisions about how a community is run, you are likely to have Ferguson, Missouri.

    4. Hope — Belief in the possibility to better oneself.
    As the Faculty Sponsor of the Afro-American Society at MSSU for eleven years, 1971-1982, I had the opportunity to observe the impact that Hope can have on young men and women. As there were no African-American faculty members at the college in 1971, several of my black students asked me, a white man, to be their sponsor. The following eleven years were the most rewarding of my entire life. The majority of the members of the Afro-American Society were young men from Kansas City or St. Louis at MSSU on athletic scholarships. None had fathers living in the home, and most did not know who their fathers were. The great majority of these students were from the “ghetto” of St. Louis and went to Soldan High School. One of them, Kenric Conway, defensive end on the football team, told me that he often had breakfast with the Black Panthers, being fed, as he said, “food and propaganda.”

    Their football coach at Soldan High, became a father figure to these young men, demanded good behavior and hard work from them, and showed them that there was a way out of the ghetto. He contacted the then-football coach at MSSU and the then-coach of the basketball team and recommended them for scholarships. I mention all of this to show what a difference Hope can have in an individual. What happened to these young people when they left Southern?

    Willie Williams, offensive guard, accepted a commission in the Navy as a Chaplain. He retired last year as a Commander and is presently working on a Ph.D. at St. Louis U.

    Robert Davis, running back, joined the Navy as a Chaplain, retiring last year.

    Kenric Conway, defensive end, entered the Army as a Chaplain, plans to retire this year as a Lt. Col. and become the pastor of a church in Panama City.

    Damon Clines, linebacker, earned his M.D. degree at U. of Missouri, and is an Internal Medicine doctor in private practice in St. Louis.

    Bill Hayles, defensive back, is a detective on the St. Louis Police Department.

    I have other stories, but I will leave it here as examples of what is possible with just hope and a chance.

    Anson said that he couldn’t find a Liberal who thought that the black community needed improvement. Look harder. I hope he and others can realize the impact of sharing their White Privilege with the black community can have.

    Duane, I apologize for this Burlingame-length response on your blog.

    Bud

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    • Wow, Bud. What a comment. No need to apologize (I am a fan of one expressing oneself at length when he or she has something important to say).

      First of all, those young men were lucky not only to have a high school coach who cared about them, but a sponsor in college like you. That is an impressive list, my friend. I am at a loss for words. It just shows what investing in people, rather than writing them off, can do. Man, oh, man.

      As for the barriers to progress you mention, you have it right. I was particularly struck by your inclusion of transportation difficulties in big cities. I noticed while on various trips to Boston and New York City and Philadelphia how hard it can be for some people, many of them African-Americans, to get to work each and every day (some of them to two or more jobs). When I was in Boston for instance, a lot of people near where I was staying left for work on a bus, then had to catch the subway, and probably walked some distance to their jobs from there. Compare that to places like Joplin, where we get into our cars and are at work in the city in ten minutes with very little effort. That makes a difference, a big difference.

      Thanks, Bud, for a great post.

      Like

  6. ansonburlingame

     /  December 11, 2014

    Man up Bud and speak directly if you choose to do so,

    My column that may be published is actually in response to yours, a long column praising MLK. At the spiritual level I fully support MLK and his “dreams”. I want all men to be judged by their character, not the color of their skin. But there is a whole different side to the argument over Ferguson and NYC that I write about, against you in part, but not written as such for a public fight.

    Probably the biggest complaint I get from liberals (I prefer “liberals” as all are not alike) is holding others in political judgement and speaking forcefully in that matter. I have been accused of racism for so speaking out against Obama and his political judgement which I like not at all in many cases.

    You as a “life long activist” (according to the Globe) have long called for improving the black community by throwing the resources of the white majority into such communities. It just doesn’t work very well and things get worse and worse. Duane keeps calling for more and more to be transfered from Peter to Paul, basically a white Peter and black Paul.

    The changes of which I speak are changes in the “character” of the black community (in SUPPORT of MLK) That cannot be imposed from without. It must come from within, starting with families, churches perhaps, and a host of other well meaning organizations. As the old anti-Civil Rights saying went, “You cannot legislate morality”. Do you agree with that one?

    Read Will’s column in the Globe today as well. ANY “law” (or regulation) should be enforced by law enforcement. Yet count all that we have today. We wind up picking certain laws to enforce. But no way, “liberals” say, not at the point of a gun. Are you ready to selectively disarm police? I would love to hear that call and how to do it!! Goodby cigarette tax in NY if you do so, which might just be a good idea, spoken as a smoker!!

    Anson

    Like

    • Ben Field

       /  December 11, 2014

      Anson,

      We are not talking about adopting a black family. We are not calling for A. Burlingame or conservatives to give their money to anyone. We are saying, as your wife does, that the videos in fact call for the prosecutors to do their job, and as in 99.9 percent of the time before the grand jury, succeed in getting a jury trial. Therein can all be aired in the cleansing sunlight. You can deny the statistics that prove the disproportiate death and arrests of black vs white, you can ignore the pleas of those that vote Democratic as anti-cop and not pro-justice, and you can twist and misquote our statements and call us bleeding hearts. That seems to be the modus operandi of many in the Republic party, I’m conservative, I’m the one in the right. Please listen to logic and do not discount the assertions of the folks that disagree with you. I read your blog on occasion and noticed very few that agree with or against your postings. In the last fifteen or 20 blogs the only comment I saw was your wife asking you to stop involving and misquoting her. So do not despair when those to the left ignore you as you do with Ms. Burlingame. I swear you remind me so much of A. Bunker, it is almost comical.

      Like

  7. henrygmorgan

     /  December 11, 2014

    Anson: I have never looked on commenting as a mark of manhood. I address Duane in my comments because I am writing on Duane’s blog. And I should note that I don’t address you because I place little value in your opinions. I have never addressed you directly for the same reason, my only contact with you through the years occurring on some one else’s blog, which blogs seem to be your primary forum for your views.

    You say that your primary conplaint against “liberals,” (I still don’t understand how the quotation marks distinguish one liberal from another) is that they accuse you of holding others in political judgement. I would suggest that it’s not that you hold those views but that they are so often wrong.

    As to your claim of blacks taking from whites rather than creating wealth in their own communities, that is an old claim of conservatives, ignoring the obvious fact that the wealth
    due the black community seldom if ever enters it. The wealth of the society is seldom distributed with any degree of fairness. Those who doubt this simply have to look at schools in the black community, utilities in the community, along with many other of the basic goodies of the society. Just one more instance of White Privilege.

    Anecdotal stories about all the things you were deprived of as a youth in Kentucky or me in Alabama do not suffice as evidence. However bad we had it 70 or 80 years ago, blacks always had it much worse, a fact that few in the society can deny with any degree of honesty.Your portrayal of a “white Peter and a black Paul is twisted at best.

    I read Will fairly regularly, and the Professor in me is always impressed by his writing ability while the liberal realist in me cringes at the absurdity of what he is saying. “Yet count all that we have today” (your words) should read “Yet count all that we whites have today.”

    I have no idea how any notion of disarming police or banning cigarette taxes enters into any discussion of any thing that I have said. You say that your discussion deals with the character of the black community. In so saying, you are suggesting that the black community has no character, a repulsive charge that I totally reject. The sight of an elderly black woman in the sixties dressing in her finest clothing to go join a Civil Rights march in which she knows that she is going to be badly beaten by “hate filled police” in King’s words or a young woman in the present who is willing to stand in line for hours to cast a vote in her black precinct while few whites are so encumbered exhibits to me character far in excess of that I see in the politicians, or other citizens, who have created these hateful obstacles to citizenship in this country.

    By the way, throughout your attack on me, you fail to address the issue you state of never meeting a liberal who believed the black community needed development within. Nice smokescreen. Henry Morgan

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  8. Humbly, aptly, bravely, fairly, soberly said. Whatever we think of ourselves on this issue, this blog should prompt some honest introspection.

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    • Thanks, my friend.

      Like

    • Humbly, aptly, bravely, fairly, soberly said. Whatever we think of ourselves on this issue, this blog should prompt some honest introspection.

      Amen, generalist, and with special kudos to you, Duane, and to Bud Morgan. I would have commented more myself, but my life is in turmoil right now.

      Like

  9. Anson’s frequent comments need a theme song.

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