These are odd times we live in. During his 1964 speech known as A Time for Choosing, Ronald Reagan said, “history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening.” Whatever you may think about Reagan or Republicans in general or the 1960s, there is a wealth of warning in this quote, for everyone.
It’s a great compression of the old quote that forever escapes positive attribution. Cultures can operate in cycles, because of the nature of the human interaction. So, what we may have right now is easily lost over the next generation or two, given circumstances or failures in the transmission of values.
Anyone who has paid attention to the headlines, especially those of the new media (which does a much better and more honest job than the dying MSM [mainstream media]) has seen a renewed infiltration of violent rhetoric in ‘race relations.’
Slavery took a long time to abolish in America after ratification of the Constitution, consuming roughly seventy years of discourse, causing irreparable harm to the federal/state relationship. In spite of the revisionist history taught today as though there is nothing redeeming in American heritage, there were many legitimate reasons why the atrocious practice took so long to destroy.
Firstly, there is the fact that slavery has been the norm throughout most of history, and wasn’t even racially-based until judeo-christian principles were brought to bear against it, during and after the Great Awakening. Christians could not reconcile the right to own man with the principles of equality they were extracting from the Bible, and thus race came into play in America, in order to dehumanize its victims and bolster support for a practice that was doomed at last.
I’ll skip over other reasons to focus on the second; many abolitionists, and many founders and framers, were in favor of ending slavery, but were concerned about the prospect of the nation’s future after doing so. They understood the necessity of the civil society. That is to say, freedom doesn’t simply happen randomly. Mankind is perverted by the sin nature to violate the natural freedoms of other men, slavery being an excellent example. But this sin nature, unlike an institution like slavery, cannot simply be abolished. There are limits to what we can do to fix human nature. See Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions.
So, to abolish slavery overnight and double the number of free citizens voting, and expect that those who had been oppressed for generations, sometimes in horrendous ways (although many slaves were treated benevolently, even though they did not experience freedom), was to risk pulling down the civil society.
Put easier, we should be careful how quickly we pull the rug out from under ourselves, because we may not end up with firmer footing on the floorboards; we may end up on our hind end.
Many abolitionists were concerned that freeing slave populations that were equal in size to their oppressive masters would end up throwing the American states into outright chaos and anarchy, destroying the very institutions which were being used to defame the travesty of slavery in the first place. One step forward, a thousand steps back.
From our position today, that may sound like an absurd fear. After all, America was inevitably brought into a civil war over the matter, over states rights vs. human rights. Inevitably Lincoln won the war, and inevitably Americans have become more integrated as a society.
But there is no inevitability in history that was produced from real decisions made by actual people. After all, the war between the states was itself a reflection of that fear, that the nation could be torn apart, disemboweled by the sin of slavery. No study of the war can find anything but devastation in much of the land and the souls of men. So much could be said on this! I shall have to defer for space.
Yet, I wonder… could those fears be proving correct in some small way, a hundred and fifty years late? Now, no one thinks that black Americans are going to rise up and revolt and take over any state. That is not at all what I am saying.
I mean to point out this tiny sliver of the racism industry which does not seek reconciliation, but feeds off of discontentment and fosters the bitterest hatred and animosity. It’s an ultra-minority, in that it’s a miniscule portion of a minority population of America. Refer to those links up there, again for a refresher. These New Black Panthers are not content with the current state of blacks who now have rights of self-determination and opportunities abounding. A huge portion of the black population is happy to make their way, improve their lives, raise families and so forth. But a tiny chunk seem to think that self-determination is selling out to the white man (which begs so many questions I’m not sure where to begin).
It seems that no amount of reconciliation will ever be enough to satisfy those who revel in critical race theory (the idea that all things must be endlessly criticized in order to bring about improvement by destruction). If you apply critical theory to racism, suddenly all things are racist, all circumstances are racist. Thomas Sowell is called a race traitor because he has his own mind and doesn’t subjugate his opinions to popular support of those with similar melanin content. Now, black kids in inner-city schools who try to get an education are hounded by their peers for ‘acting white.’ Even Clarence Thomas, who rose from true poverty to become a Justice on the Supreme Court, is called an Oreo cookie (black on the outside, white in the middle), because he does not check his ideology with the race hustlers.
Awful as racial history in America has been (and frankly, that ignores the fact that slavery worldwide has been almost entirely culled by Western aspirations; the British and Americans), to the racism industry it will forever be the stain on the hands of America that cannot be washed off. No matter what, say the modern day race hustlers, the Constitution will forever be a document whose sole purpose was to enshrine bigotry. Like MacBeth at a sink, conservatives are forced to temper every single statement with a clarification for racial purposes. Out, damn spot! Out I say!
One is led to believe the modern racism industry isn’t so concerned with oppression as they claim; the primary focus is to maintain racial class-warfare and division to reinforce the traditional leftist mantra of doing away with Constitutional limitations on policy. Intentions are the gods of the left, because intentions speak to the character of the intendee. Results are something else entirely, and tend to be what conservatives focus on (because intentions are only worth the rhetoric behind them, and don’t matter all that much in the face of results).
Getting back to that old Reagan quote, should we allow ourselves to be torn apart by the smallest possible minority of agitators and thugs, for sins we have spent our entire history addressing, redressing, and self-effacing over? Make no mistake, these thugs are not at all interested in greater ethnic cohesion. Their firm goal is re-establishing oppression, just the other way around, this time.
Here’s a clip from a rough draft I am currently writing:
“Things don’t work that way, Denver, not usually.” For a split second, Maddox reminded me of Steck, the way my mentor used to offer the wisdom of his experience. “For most of history, man has ruled over man without mercy, and whenever the oppressed can finally get a leg up, they return the favor.”
Grievance is understandable, although in America’s generally free-market system, grievance is an enormous waste of time and effort, when you could be improving your lot rather than complaining about what other people think of you. However, if the matter has turned from grievance to destruction of the civil society, it should be roundly condemned from all quarters, and any lawbreaking should be harshly punished. I am concerned, in this regard, recalling another book I recommend…
In any event, America is not a racist nation, and those lingering embers of division need to be observed for their absurdity. We have free speech so people like these New Black Panthers can tell who they really are before they show it with brutality and violence.