READER'S EDITORIAL: TIME TO LISTEN AND TO CHANGE RACIAL INJUSTICE IN OUR NATION AND OUR WORLD

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By Andy Salmonsen

Photo, left, by Henri Migala:  George Floyd protest in La Mesa May 30 drew many white participants and people of all races marching in solidarity against racism and police violence

June 7, 2020 (Jamul, California) – This week, I spoke with a good friend and fellow musician.  He is truly a great person and a good man.  I could talk about his talent, his humor, and his personality, but that is not what this is about.  I asked if I could mention him in the post and he said yes.  But as I write this, I don’t want to mention his name because that’s not what this is about, and I don’t want to detract from what really matters.  I will call him Mr. C.   Mr. C Is black.  I asked him if I should reference black people or African American and he said black was ok.   Black lives matter.  I asked him that question because I am white, and I don’t know what it’s like to be black.  I have no idea.  72% of us in the United States have no idea what it is like to be anything other than white.

The conversation was about what I thought of the situation in our nation right now regarding George Floyd, and also why had I not posted anything about how I felt.  Mr. C is really feeling this, he is protesting and he if standing up for what he believes.  I listened to him as he told me how he was feeling and how a lot of his white friends seemed to say the same thing I did, “I don’t really post.”  Mr. C and I love each other like brothers, but I think he was wondering who I really was, who was I underneath in my heart and soul?  It brought me to tears hearing his voice and his pain.

The most important word in the world to me is Honor.  If I act honorably towards others I feel I can’t really go wrong.  I try to treat people with honor and respect unless they revoke those rights themselves.  I would like to think of myself as the most non-racist and non- prejudice person in the world, but I’m sure that’s not true.  I know that I completely believe it is appalling to judge someone based on their skin color, religious belief or lack there of, sex or sexual preference.  It is such a puerile and ignorant concept that it defies understanding to me.  It is dishonorable.

I know there are people out there who think that there is no racism like there used to be.   You are wrong. I have seen it firsthand.  I have seen our bass player, Ed, be discriminated against right in front of me.  Ed is my daughter’s Godfather.    He is a great dad, a good man and I love him like a brother.   We were at a gig in Kentucky and we were standing by the custom-built stage we were to perform on later that night.  The situation was that it was ok for me to be by the stage, but not Ed.   The event coordinator assumed Ed was kitchen help and should not be there.  She questioned him as if he were a criminal.   I honestly could not believe it was happening.

I talked to Mr. C about his life growing up and what he encountered.  One of his first encounters was when he was in grade school and the teacher singled out the black kids and put them in the corner for no reason.  He was called the “N” word as a child and up into being an adult.  He was stopped by police when he was a teenager and they  pulled their guns on him for being out after curfew, he was afraid he would be shot.  I asked another black friend about his experiences, and he said he always has a fear of something going really bad if he gets stopped by a police officer.   I don’t have that fear when I get stopped by a police officer.  I am white.   I spoke to three different black friends and they all had  stories of racism, fear and discrimination.  I know these people and they are good to the core.  We tend to say, “well, they must have done something to deserve the treatment they received.”   he only thing they did was to be black.

Now I also know there are very good people who are police officers as well, so I in no way want to make any blanket statements about law enforcement.  Generalizations and stereotypes are almost as bad as prejudice.  There are a lot of good officers out there that put their live on the line daily, and they deserve our support as well.   I don’t know what it’s like to have to worry about being killed on the job.  I am sorry for all the law enforcement officers who are good out there and are being attacked because of this.   The problem is that we have seen this scenario too many times.  

I think it’s fair to unfortunately generalize, that most of the media is so blatantly biased in their reporting,  and that our opinions are shaped by what they feed us.   In the George Floyd incident I saw a story that shaped the narrative of him doing nothing but cooperating.  I saw another where he seemed to be resisting arrest by not getting into the police vehicle.  None of these videos tell the whole story, yet we see what we want and believe what we choose.  The bottom line is he was arrested and killed for a $20 counterfeit bill he may not have even know was fake.  And even if he did, should he die for that? No.  

We live in a world where everyone has a camera and we now see everything.   I am pretty sure what happened to George Floyd has happened to a lot of other black people in the past, but no one was there to get it on video.  I don’t remember ever seeing something like this happen to someone white.  

Photo, right by Henri Migala: George Floyd protest in La Mesa drew thousands of people.

I am not sure I can make a difference in what I say, but I want to support Mr. C and my other black friends and colleagues and I want them to know that I will stand with them and will speak and act against racism and  the injustice of people being killed because of the color of their skin. There are good and bad people of every color.  The color of your skin does not dictate who you are. I will teach my kids what racism is in a more profound way so they really understand why it is so evil.  

I cannot recall any time in my life where I was discriminated against because I was white or was afraid of a police officer because I was white.  I don’t know what it’s like to have a mom or dad who had to use a certain bathroom because of their skin color.   I don’t know what it like to have a grandparent that saw someone lynched because of the color of their skin.  I don’t know what it’s like to have my family history traced to being a slave.  If you think that those things are in the past and should not matter, you are wrong.  If you think racism is a farce, you are wrong.  I would ask everyone  who is white to really talk to their black friends.  Hopefully you have a few.   Ask them if they have ever been discriminated against or felt afraid for their wellbeing because of the color of their skin.  I would bet my life savings that all of them will have stories to tell you.  

Photo, left: Thomas Jefferson (Creative Common image by SA-NC)

The following from Thomas Jefferson is often misquoted, which again is someone else trying to tell you what to think and believe.  But this is the full quote:

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure.”

Blood has been spilled.  Let it finally not be in vain.

And this quote which I slightly altered to what I believe it should be:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all human beings are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.  

I believe in this country with my very being. I believe in what the USA should be.  We are not what we should be right now, but we can be.  

I think being a racist is like being an alcoholic.  You know you are one, but you don’t really want to admit to it.  You hide it, but it’s always there.   Ask yourself if you have any racist thoughts or actions and change them.   Stop them.  Judge not, lest ye be judged.

Everything above I say with conviction and love and I pray we can change what is wrong in our country and this world.  

 

The opinions expressed in our readers’ editorials reflect the views of the authors. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.



 


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Comments

Not a Hero; but Victim of Racism and Police Brutality

The Minnesota police department released info on George Floyd's criminal record and autopsy showing trace amounts of drugs in his system. How does this justify kneeling on his neck for almost 9 minutes? I find the release of this information further proof that they really don't want to take responsibility for what happened. Even if he were just arrested for some brutal crime, the police are NOT allowed to be judge, jury, and executioners. And, for the record, at worst he was passing a counterfeit $20 bill; but I actually many years ago included one in a bank deposit. It was confiscated and I was out $20. I don't check my money for its being counterfeit, don't even know how, so I guess the bank should have called the police and if I were black I might be dead or, maybe, just beat up, both by the arresting officers, and in jail. 

There is NO valid scientific evidence that shows any difference between Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Native Americans, Orientals, etc in intelligence, creativity, compassion, honesty, etc. Every group has the best of us, the worst of us, and everything in between. However, overwhelming evidence shows that if one adjusts for SES, then Blacks don't have significantly higher rates of violent crimes or any crimes. And even lower class whites usually treated better. Adjust for problems from lack of prenatal care, medical care in general, housing, nutrition, education, and police behavior and Blacks are at a significant disadvantage.

Education - we pay for education by local district taxes, Poor people, especially blacks, go to schools with half the funding per student, lack of textbooks, often worst teachers, etc. One recent study found that blacks with college degrees, on average, have 2/3 wealth of white high school dropouts.

And it isn't socialism/communism to point out the above. If anything it is Christian. Jesus called on us to love, be compassionate, to give drink to the thirsty, to give food to the hungry, to give medical care to the sick, to show even compassion to prisoners. He called on us to be non-judgmental, to be forgiving and he rejected an eye for an eye. 

I could go on and on; but some just won't listen.

I suggest again to read book "Black Like Me". Southern journalist just injected chemical to change skin color, same person, read how he was treated, actually mistreated, life threatened, as he traveled throught the South. Imagine how you would be treated if you awoke, same person; but with your skin black. Also, movie is currently on YouTube; but book is better.

Talk About Delusional

@ Sagekind

You write: “Factually, you must be deluded, or think people are too stupid to see that your assertion the BLM is some sort of peaceful movement is belied by the facts. Burned out buildings. . .”

You ignore the facts that the vast majority of demonstrators have been peaceful. And historically, regardless of the cause, small groups have always reacted violently, doesn’t mean the cause was wrong or the vast majority weren’t peaceful. How about the Civil Rights movement or anti-Vietnam demonstrations? In fact, historically it has been cops and, for instance, national guardsmen who resorted to the most violence.

You write: "I invite you to come out of your "white castle" and live with me in south Chicago.”

Nope, and I wouldn’t move to areas of the country with a high percentage of alt-right either, nor would I move to any inner city impoverished area. I like living in a relatively safe neighborhood, though not as safe as Montreal or a number of European cities.

You write: “Lastly, and most laughably, your assertion that "Stalin wasn't a communist.. is a genuine insight into your own stance on communism, and your ignorance of it. I've been to Russia, and seen first hand what communism wrought, how it has crippled people even today. Anybody that would laud a mass-murderer like Stalin is beyond any ability to reason with. Your assertion that Stalin stood behind his word, "when appropriate" is the mantra of all tyrants.”

Where did I laud Stalin. I clearly stated: “He was a ruthless paranoid dictator. If Karl Marx had returned from the dead and visited Stalin, he would have been arrested, tortured, and murdered. . .Stalin wasn’t a nice man, he was an evil paranoid dictator. Even had his childhood best friend murdered for imagined threats. Finally his own wife couldn’t take it and committee suicide. Another tidbit of history. During 1930s Soviet Union had the most modern powerful military in world, including tank tactics later adopted by Nazi Germany; however, in his paranoia Stalin managed to execute almost all of the military generals and even colonels,”

You claim you are an educated intelligent person; but apparently don’t even understand what you read! And I repeat, he wasn’t a communist. Communism is the dictatorship of the proletariat, and even that dictatorship is intended to be temporary. Explain to me how the proletariat of the Soviet Union had any say so.

As for his standing by his word when needed, not in any way trying to paint a positive picture of him; but the United States has a long history of breaking its word. In fact, we broke every single treaty made with native Americans. And we are as guilty of war crimes as many other nations, perhaps more so. Just one example. To pressure Vietnam to agree to peace we bombed Hanoi on Christmas Eve. UN Observers who I met confirmed that we blew up their children’s hospital, miles from any military target and destroyed their electric power plant, all war crimes.

As for Lyndon Bains “Great Society”, two things: 1. the amount of funds used was far less than needed, actually only a small increase in Federal funding and 2. because of the Vietnam War (a war crime for two reasons, we weren’t attacked nor threatened by them, and destroyed civilian infrastructures) Johnson became so embroiled by the protests, etc., that his well-intentioned goals were damaged. Despite this he did get passed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Bills.

You write: “Evidence of your weak arguments is that you keep trying to expand them beyond the scope of my writings.”

You apparently don’t seem to understand much of what I wrote. I pointed out clearly that blacks receive far less health care, including prenatal care which means that the risk of various disabilities much higher. The reason for my bringing up Medicare for All. Just one of the reasons I gave.

You write: “But, that stands to reason as you likewise assert Mao, Pinochet, and the Shaw of Iran are "allies in the free world." What??? “

Wow. I wrote: “Just as we claimed Pinochet in Chile, the Shah of Iran, all allies in the free world, though ruthless murderous dictators.”

I think most reasonable people would understand that I was NOT referring to myself; but to U.S. foreign policy. It was the U.S. that overthrew democratically elected governments and then recognized ruthless dictatorships. See reference list below.

You write: “Stalin started his expansion of the Soviet Union when he first signed the agreement to not fight with Hitler. Idiotic statements like "the Russians would have defeated the Nazis, even if we hadn't landed at Normandy" belie your blind-eyed approach to history. You can't even admit the monumental effort that we made to storm those beachheads, and instead seek to diminish our soldiers“

I repeat that the Nazis were in full retreat after Stalingrad and Battle of Kursk, that there were 192 German divisions on the Eastern Front versus 60 German divisions on the Western Front, a few elite; but many undermanned. Yep, Stalin was evil, did expand into Poland on agreement with Hitler; but this doesn’t change the fact that the Russians had the Germans on the run and would have defeated them. And you missed that I wrote: “I knew several who were landed a Normandy, including dad of good British friend and I respect their bravery and sacrifice; but had we not landed at Normandy, the Russians would still have defeated the Nazis. D-Day was not the decisive battle, though it did free France earlier from Nazi oppression and that was a good thing.”

So, where did I diminish our soldiers? I could write about the Australians fighting against the Japanese, especially New Guinea, as brave as one could get; but still point out that they weren’t the major reason for the defeat of Japan.

And you write: “You can hide behind your so-called intelligence, books and degree, but that doesn't change the fact that you're a communist-sympathizing, murder-defending, mob-motivated ersatz revolutionary, who spouts the "communist manifesto" at every opportunity.”

FIrst and foremost you are absurd. I am not in the least a communist nor a communist sympathizer. I wrote: “For people like you, anything you don’t like is labeled socialist/communist. Sweden is a social democracy. On a per capita basis when I lived there they had a higher number of small businesses. Health care doesn’t fit into a market model, neither does public education, nor fire departments, water authorities, etc. So, in Sweden they function as part of government; but market competition is alive and well. You certainly don’t understand the difference between market goods and public goods.”

So, I believe in free markets for consumer goods; but such markets require real competition and an independent arbiter, e.g., government, so that one side doesn’t dominate. In U.S. government usually sides with the corporations. And where did I defend murder?

Besides it being obvious that you either didn’t really read what I wrote, didn’t understand it, or are just plain delusional, if you are living in the South Side of Chicago, why are you posting comments on a San Diego County Magazine???

Ich denke dass Sie sind sehr verrückt. Bitte. Gehen zum Teufel.

References: U.S. War Crimes

William Blum (2003). Killing Hope: US Military & CIA Interventions since World War II. Available at: https://www.cia.gov/library/abbottabad-compound/13/130AEF1531746AAD6AC03... [also for purchase on amazon.com

Major General Smedley Butler   War Is A Racket. Available at: https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf  [Butler is the most decorated marine in American history]

Mason Gaffney (March 2018). Corporate Power and Expansive U.S. Military Policy. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 77, No. 2. Pages 331 - 417. Available at: https://www.globalresearch.ca/corporate-power-and-expansive-u-s-military...

Stephen C. Schlesinger (1983). Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. Inexpensive copies available on Amazon.com  Also available San Diego Public Library

Ad-hominem, Your Immediate Response To Debate

Actually, I've not attempted to minimize murder, but to counter the obfuscation of the truth. Factually, Floyd is being held up as a hero merely because people like you say so. Factually, his last crime was being intoxicated on Fentanyl and attempting to drive while under its influence. Factually, I've already stated that what was done to Floyd was wrong, and never said his past justified being murdered, but that his past and current behavior should titrate his newly elevated status. I can't say what all cops would do in any situation, and neither can you. Factually, more white men are killed by cops than black men, that's a function of the greater number of them, not systemic bias against whites. Factually, you know nothing about me, but project your own emotional complex onto all of society, including me. Factually, you must be deluded, or think people are too stupid to see that your assertion the BLM is some sort of peaceful movement is belied by the facts. Burned out buildings, dead people, including Mr. Dorn a black man, are not peaceful, nor a means to get real change. I'm not impressed by a doctorate, as I too have an advanced degree, I too have many thousands of books in my library, I too was a political science major, but I've know many with advanced degrees who cannot reason. Your a perfect example of a person who picks his facts, extracts them from their context and uses them to obfuscate; substituting that abstracted construct for rational thought. You attempt to set me up by putting words in my mouth, motivations in my writing and racism in my heart. By the way, it was Lyndon Johnson who through his "Great Society" co-opted millions of blacks. His famous quote must surely be known to such a learned individual as yourself "Doctor." As regards your "black friends" trusting you more than mine trust me, I say your hubris is exceeded only by your delusions of grandeur. You cannot, at a distance, decide what my friends think of me, nor can I say what your friends think of you. Evidence of your weak arguments is that you keep trying to expand them beyond the scope of my writings. I said nothing about single-payer healthcare, a topic that by its nature is far to complex to be resolved by you and a few books from the comfort of your armchair. You're merely trying to bolster an argument I haven't made in order to "virtue signal" what a magnanimous, egalitarian, superior person you are. I invite you to come out of your "white castle" and live with me in south Chicago. Your books, nor your ersatz knowledge will avail you when you're being mugged and threatened with annihilation. Lastly, and most laughably, your assertion that "Stalin wasn't a communist.. is a genuine insight into your own stance on communism, and your ignorance of it. I've been to Russia, and seen first hand what communism wrought, how it has crippled people even today. Anybody that would laud a mass-murderer like Stalin is beyond any ability to reason with. Your assertion that Stalin stood behind his word, "when appropriate" is the mantra of all tyrants. But, that stands to reason as you likewise assert Mao, Pinochet, and the Shaw of Iran are "allies in the free world." What??? Clearly you're an ideologue who stands behind violent revolution, communism and tyranny, as you justify the actions of murderous tyrants all in the name of advancing "true communism," which is your erroneous belief that if on YOU could implement communism it would finally work. It doesn't work anywhere it's tried, with Venezuela being the most recent example. Oh yes, I trust everything that I read on Wikipedia...so much for your "scholarship." I won't even begin to start on your defense of Stalin in WWII, nor his subsequent cold war activities. Aber ich kann das sagen; Stalin started his expansion of the Soviet Union when he first signed the agreement to not fight with Hitler. Idiotic statements like "the Russians would have defeated the Nazis, even if we hadn't landed at Normandy" belie your blind-eyed approach to history. You can't even admit the monumental effort that we made to storm those beachheads, and instead seek to diminish our soldiers by stating, collectively mind you, the other nations involved "outnumbered" US soldiers.. What does that have to do with George Floyd? Nothing, it's just your insane invective against reason, to see your words in print, justify looting, burning and killing, and disparage the system that has brought you the freedom and livelihood you so undeservedly enjoy. Again, my simple point was that your mob mentality, violent, ends-justify-the means" defense of BLM and the complicity of all whites in racism (but not blacks) is wrong, mean-spirited and far more virtue-signalling, than virtuous. I won't be responding any further, for to respond to an illogical, self-aggrandizing ideologue is impossible. Every time make a point, you expand it, embellish it, insert motivations that are nothing more than self-projection,and thing bring in your entire "Communist Manifesto" to demonstrate YOUR real motivations. Yes, yes I've read Marx, Engels, Camus, Neitsche et. all., but I don't swallow their thoughts without examining if all they have is part of the story. You can hide behind your so-called intelligence, books and degree, but that doesn't change the fact that you're a communist-sympathizing, murder-defending, mob-motivated ersatz revolutionary, who spouts the "communist manifesto" at every opportunity. We will forever agree to disagree, but I fear anarchists like you can only be avoided, which I will do forthwith. Arguing with the insane, is itself insane. Du kanst mir am bukul nauf stiechen, " which bad spelling and all, translated from German means: " I turn my back on you." Peace

WRONG TO ATTEMPT TO MINIMIZE A MURDER

@ Sagekind

A little more information that you obviously missed. A few quotes. I suggest you read the entire article. From the Daily Mail:

“None of the officers could have been aware of Floyd's more than a decade-old
criminal history at the time of the arrest. The 46-year-old had left behind his past in Houston after being released from prison stemming from a 2007 robbery. . . .
Floyd had made changes to his lifestyle and a recent video has emerged of him
pleading with younger generations to make good choices and to stop gun violence.”

So, his last offense, a bad one, was 10 years in the past. He had two children and was gainfully employed. People, totally unaware, use counterfeit money. There is NO evidence he was aware the $20 bill was counterfeit; but again, the knee to the throat was TOTALLY AN ILLEGAL MOVE and cops are not judge, jury, and executioners. Bringing up his arrest record or even if he intentionally used a counterfeit bill does not justify what happened. Your bringing this up just proves your contempt for black lives, trying to reduce the culpability of the cops involved and NO, likelihood cops would have treated a white SUSPECTED of passing a counterfeit bill is virtually nil.

Many people claim to not be racists, often citing friends who are black; but deep down they are because they find some kind of excuse to separate their alleged friends from others. I am somewhat a racist, at times thinking negative thoughts, distancing myself from black youth; but when I become aware of this, I ask myself what is going on? The media and growing up must have picked up things unconsciously. The media because if a crime committed by a black they say so; but if committed by a white, they don’t mention his/her race. Difference between me and you is that I actively fight it by knowledge, extensive reading and remembering all the friends and acquaintances I have from all races and ethnic groups.

I find you absolutely despicable trying to justify/minimize what the cops did.

I fantasize turning you black for just a few months. Of course just now police will be on best behavior; but who knows what the future holds. We have gone through such LEGITIMATE protests in the past and little has changed and now we have become a polarized nation with racism more out in the open than for many years.

Reference:

DAILYMAIL.COM (2020 May 28). “EXCLUSIVE: A new start turns to a tragic end for George Floyd, who moved to Minneapolis determined to turn his life around after being released from prison in Texas.” Available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8366533/George-Floyd-moved-Minn...

Wow! Just Plain Wrong

@ Sagekind

You point out the predominant themes in black culture; but one can find similar themes in other marginalized cultures, include the alt-right.

You write: “As far as blacks having difficulty getting jobs, that is clearly related to their eschewing of our education system and not having the skills to improve their employment opportunities.”

Numerous studies have found that when given the opportunity, the encouragement, including operation head start, that blacks do fine in education. If they have brain damage from poor prenatal care, have experienced poor nutrition, violent environments, both from others and police, broken homes, what do you expect? My parents made sure I did my homework and checked it, a two parent lower middle class family. My dad had a small business, knew the local patrol officers, had weekly poker games, including one or two cops. When walking down the street sometimes one of the motorcycle cops would stop to say hi. Not the same experience of blacks.

You write: “As regards three-strikes, this is a mere straw-man assertion, for most criminals are only arrested for 10% of the crimes they commit - perhaps "thirty strikes" might be more accurate.”

One can say the same about white criminals, doesn’t change the fact that over a short time span the rate of imprisonment of mainly blacks skyrocketed. Doesn’t change the documented fact that blacks are stopped far more often while driving, etc. Doesn’t change the fact that once imprisoned even for minor felonies not allowed to return to live with families in subsidized housing. Doesn’t change the fact that numerous studies have found that for exact same crimes given much harsher prison sentences. And doesn’t change the fact that once released from prison employers often require on applications any convictions, thus seldom given a second chance.

In addition, several well-done studies have found about 100,000 incarcerated are factually innocent; but our so-called justice system makes it almost impossible to overturn a verdict, so the various innocence projects can only take on a few cases, many taking a decade or more.

As for “Saint Floyd”, doesn’t matter what his previous crimes were, the cops aren’t supposed to be judge, jury, and executioners. And what happened was clearly murder. At the time, he had done absolutely nothing to even lead to arrest. And kneeling on someones neck is NOT any technique as part of any police training. So, you think it was OK to murder him? What kind of despicable human being are you?

You write: “Asserting that ours is the "most violent of western civilization" may be true, but it pales in comparison with the violence in second and third-world civilization. The world has never been a safe place, throughout history, and pacifism only works in Marxist propaganda writing, to assert control until communists get into power. Then they all act as tyrants, like Stalin, who murdered 60 million of his own people to achieve the communist utopia”

Wow, let’s compare us to Third World nations. Why not compare us to Nazi Germany, of course we look better. Canada has approximately 1/5th the murder rate of U.S. despite having a higher percentage of immigrants and way higher percentage of refugees. Sweden, the same. And cops killing unarmed people, especially kids, almost unknown in those nations.

And Stalin wasn’t a communist. He was a ruthless paranoid dictator. If Karl Marx had returned from the dead and visited Stalin, he would have been arrested, tortured, and murdered. I actually have an undergraduate dual major degree, Political Science and Social Psychology. Took two courses in Political Theory, read a lot of Marx. One great book is Erich Fromm (1966). Marx’s Concept of Man. Read it, you may learn something; but I doubt it. Neither was Mao a communist. Just as we claimed Pinochet in Chile, the Shah of Iran, all allies in the free world, though ruthless murderous dictators.

And I doubt you are aware, but we started the Cold War. Stalin was evil; but when appropriate kept his word. He arranged with FDR to have spheres of influence. Stalin kept his word, when Greek communists tried to overturn government, he did NOT supply them with weapons. And he allowed coalition governments in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, etc. Roosevelt had pledge help with rebuilding of a devastated Soviet Union. Truman reneged. In addition, the Nazi general in charge of intelligence on the Eastern Front turned himself over to us and to avoid trial and execution claimed he had a network of informants in Soviet Union, that Stalin was planning invasion of West. Only problem was Stalin was tearing up railroad tracks in East Germany and elsewhere to use in Soviet Union, not exactly evidence for a planned invasion. With our breaking the promise to aid in rebuilding and the dishonest stories from a Nazi, the Cold War began and Stalin removed the coalition governments. Had Roosevelt lived, things might have been different. (note I have several books; but can’t find them just now. I have over 3,500 books, some stacked behind others on shelves). One interesting perspective on American history is currently on Netflix, “The Untold History of the United States.” I also have and read the book. I never rely on just one book or one author; but some interesting points.

As for killing 60 million. NOPE. Wikipedia has a good article, 20 million maybe; but probably even lower. Apparently you can’t even get your facts straight. Stalin wasn’t a nice man, he was an evil paranoid dictator. Even had his childhood best friend murdered for imagined threats. Finally his own wife couldn’t take it and committee suicide. Another tidbit of history. During 1930s Soviet Union had the most modern powerful military in world, including tank tactics later adopted by Nazi Germany; however, in his paranoia Stalin managed to execute almost all of the military generals and even colonels, so that when he attacked little Finland, he was held up for quite some time. I actually met when living in Finland some who were children of those who fought against Soviet Union. And when Stalin finally realized what was happening, he turned military over to only surviving generals and Nazi Germany was defeated, not by us invading at Normandy; but the Russian people. After battles of Stalingrad and largest tank battle in history at Kursk, Germany was in full retreat. And realizing what they had done to Russian people, they had 192 divisions fighting on the Eastern front versus 60 divisions on western front, a few elite division but many undermanned and manned by boys and old men. I knew several who were landed a Normandy, including dad of good British friend and I respect their bravery and sacrifice; but had we not landed at Normandy, the Russians would still have defeated the Nazis. D-Day was not the decisive battle, though it did free France earlier from Nazi oppression and that was a good thing; but on the first few days of the Normandy invasion, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealanders, Africans, and Free French outnumbered us, all equally brave.

You write: “BLM and Antifa are evil fingers of extension of the socialist-communist hand, using justified outrage of the wrong done to Mr. Floyd, to advance their agenda of extending tyranny to us all. They're using peaceful and constitutional protests to advance their idiot communist agenda that has never worked anywhere. Burning, looting and killing are not going to get white people, nor peace-loving people of any ethnicity to become willing to help resolve problems.”

Wow, you totally ignore ALL the studies of discrimination and brutality so BLM is just to further communism? Incredible. As for antifa, despite what some claim, it is not an organized movement; but a call for a more humane, a more compassionate, a more just society. I guess by your standards, human, compassionate, just are just catch words for communism. And those in power have used similar claims against the Civil Rights movement, against labor movement early on, etc.

You write: “Lastly, invoking injustices via Southern Belles, southern racism etc., only serves to point out that the democrats have opposed blacks from the beginning, as they were founded to keep blacks in slavery. They founded the KKK, they opposed Lincoln, and eventually shot him.”

Correct in that originally the Democratic party was the party of slavery; but things change. Starting with Nixon’s Southern Strategy, the Republican party has become the party of racism and bigotry as exemplified in Trump and his supporters. And even Nixon’s party of the middle class businessman is now the party of the corporations and super wealthy. And starting with the New Deal and through the 1960s the Democratic Party has become the party supporting more equality, more justice, etc. Not a perfect party, far more diverse than the Republicans. However, the KKK was NOT founded by the Democratic Party and Lincoln was assassinated by a small cabal, not directed by the Democratic Party.

And are we a democracy? Gerrymandering, voter suppression, corporations allowed to flood elections with money, among the lowest voter turn outs among the world’s democracies and the electoral college (Trump lost by 3 million votes). Revolving door between government officials, elected and otherwise, and corporations, power of lobbyists.

Once again, I suggest you read book “Black Like Me” and look at stories of even well-educated respected blacks being stopped, harassed, and even arrested by cops. And I have known numerous well-educated blacks, even colleagues, and I guess they trusted me more than those you know trust you because they confided in me their fears, their experiences, and the experiences of their friends and family members, not a pretty picture.

For people like you, anything you don’t like is labeled socialist/communist. Sweden is a social democracy. On a per capita basis when I lived there they had a higher number of small businesses. Health care doesn’t fit into a market model, neither does public education, nor fire departments, water authorities, etc. So, in Sweden they function as part of government; but market competition is alive and well. You certainly don’t understand the difference between market goods and public goods. Doubt you ever studied economics. Despite propaganda from for-profit health care system, internationally we rank poorly on multiple measures including infant mortality, life-expectancy, quality of life years with chronic diseases, and our system costs almost twice that of any other. And among those uninsured and underinsured, blacks represent highest percentage. Read my article. This past year the San Diego Union-Tribune posted several opinion pieces criticizing Bernies Medicare for All, pointing out how much it will cost over 10 years. I sent a letter to the editor simply pointing out that our current system over the next 10 years will cost 50% more. They didn’t publish my letter. Wonder why?

Instead of spouting platitudes, unresearched beliefs and biases, etc. why don’t you read some of the books I suggested. You might actually learn something; but I doubt it.

References:

Joel A. Harrison (2018 Aug 10). The Case for A Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System. PNHP. Available at: http://pnhp.org/news/the-case-for-a-non-profit-single-payer-healthcare-s...

Wikipedia. Excess mortality in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excess_mortality_in_the_Soviet_Union_under...

WRONG ABOUT ARE RESPONSIBILITY

@ Sagekind

You write: “Blacks cannot blame us for their lack of fathers in the majority of their families, nor for their tremendous high-school dropout rates.”

Actually they can blame us. Numerous studies have found that black men have difficulties getting decent jobs and are often the first during some downturn to lose their jobs. Also, especially since the three strikes laws, incarceration of black males has skyrocketed. What is more interesting is that studies have found that middle class white suburbanites use illegal drugs as much as inner city blacks. In fact, also white college students sell drugs on campus just for extra spending money. Somehow they don’t end up in jail. But it goes further back. Blacks get less prenatal care, poorer health care, poorer housing, poorer educational opportunities and are harassed a mistreated by police and government in general. So, we do remove fathers for petty crimes and we do make it more difficult for men to be able to afford families. And once having served time for even a petty crimes, not allowed to live in subsidized housing, so can't move back with famiies.

If you go back in history, e.g., early 1900s, crime rates in various poor sections of major cities were quite high and since different ethnic groups tended to live close to each other, e.g., high Italian on Italian, etc.

One interesting little tidbit. Black communities in Northern parts of U.S. established prior to Civil War have low violent crime rates. Black communities established in North post Civil War have higher crimes rates. And why? Well, studies have found that white middle class Southern women committed twice the number of murders as their Northern counterparts. In other words, part of reason for violence is Southern culture. Go back to the American Revolution and in the Southern colonies, patriots vs loyalists, often attacked farms when father was gone, killing every old person, women, and children. Just some tidbits of history; but back to the issue at hand.

So, you are right about black on black violence; but dead wrong that we don’t bear some of the blame. And some will claim that Blacks have made progress; but only a small percentage and even they are still subject to mistreatment. Henry Louis Gates, a professor, was arrested when walking around his own home. I doubt the same cop would have arrested a white man. And driving while black and getting stopped is well established fact. Another interesting tidbit is studies, for instance in New Jersey, found black drives stopped way more often than white; but in trunk of white cars drugs and guns more often found.

There is one book that I read when it first came out in 1960 that had the most profound effect on me: John Howard Griffin’s “Black Like Me.” Griffin was a white Texas journalist who decided to investigate racism. He arranged with medical help and some chemicals to darken his skin and cut his hair short. He then travelled through the South. He didn’t change his name, his accent, and when asked told where he was from, his kids, etc. Yet, his life was threatened several times, etc. In other words, he was the exact same person, just with darker skin. Since then I have had nightmares what would my life be like if the only change was my skin color. For those interested, currently YouTube has the 1964 movie at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww0q4XhxPAA

Another book that had a major impact was the late Harvard Professor of Philosophy, John Rawl’s 1971 book “A Theory of Justice.” From the back cover: “The principles of justice he sets forth are those that free and rational persons would accept in an initial position of equality.” Basically, imagine you are a soul in Heaven and don’t know what body you will be placed in, perhaps, male or female, to be born to a well-off family or a poor family, which race, in a poor developing nation or a wealthy nation, etc. Not knowing, what type of world would you want?

I am Jewish and have Arab and Moslems friends. I am white and have black friends. When I had my prostate operated on, the doctor was black and the anesthesiologist was Sikh. Both great doctors and really nice guys. And yes, sometimes I am nervous around black youth; but even more scared of the alt-right whites. We live in the most violent society among Western Modern Industrialized Democracies, violence by individuals and groups and violence by police. Though there are many good Americans, we have a long history of contempt for life and limb.

Below just a few books well worth a read. Gould’s debunks with science that racial differences in intelligence, compassion, honesty, etc. do NOT exist. Takaki’s book makes clear both the this country wasn’t built by whites alone and details our long history of brutality against various ethnic groups, indigenous people, and Blacks.

References:

John Howard Griffin (1960). Black Like Me.

Michelle Alexander (2011). The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Stephen Jay Gould (1996). The Mismeasure of Man.

Ronald Takaki (2008). A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America.

Richard E. Nisbett and Dov Cohen  (1996). Culture of Honor: The Psychology of Violence in the South

Racism & Police Abuse of Power

I acknowledge that you've made some good points, and I agree with some of them; however, the tired old mantra of black men being forced to abandon their families was never true for the majority of black culture. If it is true, as you imply, that we are the products of our culture, then one need only look at the predominant themes in black culture; extolling of violence, womanizing, drug use, prison-time, anti-white education, and holding up its lowest members for emulation. The worst thing is that the blacks I personally know who are successful, defined as middle-class perhaps, are not any of these black-culture memes. Yet, they are marginalized by their own kind for being successful. As far as blacks having difficulty getting jobs, that is clearly related to their eschewing of our education system and not having the skills to improve their employment opportunities. As regards three-strikes, this is a mere straw-man assertion, for most criminals are only arrested for 10% of the crimes they commit - perhaps "thirty strikes" might be more accurate. Take Saint Floyd, for example, who had multiple stints in prison, one for armed robbery where he held a gun to the belly of a black woman while his partners in crime ransacked her meager belongings. How were whites complicit in that? In fact, your entire comments appear to be coming from academia, where most institutions are rife with anti-western culture, and you assert outright lies ("whites don't end up in jail for selling drugs on campus") and stubbornly resist accountability by blacks because "whitey done it to them." Asserting that ours is the "most violent of western civilization" may be true, but it pales in comparison with the violence in second and third-world civilization. The world has never been a safe place, throughout history, and pacifism only works in Marxist propaganda writing, to assert control until communists get into power. Then they all act as tyrants, like Stalin, who murdered 60 million of his own people to achieve the communist utopia. Again I say, if blacks cannot acknowledge their own complicity, they will not be successful in breaking the shackles of victim-hood and irresponsibility. The majority of the blacks in my life are wonderful folks, and in my many years in college, I never once encountered difficulty with any ethnicity unless they were rabble-roused by anti-capitalists. There, in nutshell, is the real rub. BLM and Antifa are evil fingers of extension of the socialist-communist hand, using justified outrage of the wrong done to Mr. Floyd, to advance their agenda of extending tyranny to us all. They're using peaceful and constitutional protests to advance their idiot communist agenda that has never worked anywhere. Burning, looting and killing are not going to get white people, nor peace-loving people of any ethnicity to become willing to help resolve problems. Lastly, invoking injustices via Southern Belles, southern racism etc., only serves to point out that the democrats have opposed blacks from the beginning, as they were founded to keep blacks in slavery. They founded the KKK, they opposed Lincoln, and eventually shot him. Modern democrats are not helping blacks, precisely because they encourage victim-hood, irresponsibility and free handouts; they are the ancient remnant of the slave owner mentality, keeping today's blacks on their socialist plantation. The blacks I live with reject the memes of popular black culture and are successful in the doing so. Nobody today believes there are biological differences in intellect, ability and drive due to race, but the influence of mass media, music, education and cultural norms are affecting our entire culture with divisiveness. The first step in the right direction is to look at where we are really at, acknowledge our faults (white people as well) and stop allowing the socialists-communists from dividing us to conquer us. Peace.

Racism & Police Abuse of Power

A good article as far as it goes, however, it makes no mention of black on black crime, which is far more prevalent than any police on black crimes. You also give a pass to black racism, and violence against whites, merely because that is outside of YOUR experience. Well, let me say that I grew up in inner-city Chicago, and was accosted by blacks on a daily basis because of my skin color. If I did as you did, concluding that all blacks are good because of your experience, I would have concluded that all blacks are bad because of my own. Your solution is laudable, but only if it goes both ways, blacks need to look at their culture as well, and acknowledge that much of it is racist, extols violence, rewards, crime and is unaccountable for its actions. Blacks cannot blame us for their lack of fathers in the majority of their families, nor for their tremendous high-school dropout rates. The same week George Floyd was murdered, 60 blacks were murdered by their own in Chicago. The same goes for all large inner-cities. Where is the outrage? Until they can agree that it is a mutual problem, they will not make progress. We have to work together, but in truth, not in lies.