racism \ a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce and inherent superiority of a particular race (Webster’s New collegiate Dictionary 150th Anniversary Edition)
The Trayvon Martin case has once again prompted a call for a dialog about racial profiling. Usually this means that the black community wants the white community to understand that they find profiling to be demeaning and sometimes potentially dangerous. That is understandable. Profiling in its most basic form is a kind of stereotyping. Many cultures and subcultures are stereotyped in derogatory ways and when a person of a certain culture, especially one who is aware of the stereotype and works hard to overcome it is, however judged in that way, it is insulting and demeaning.
Any truly productive examination of profiling however has to look beyond the rhetoric, to seek the real reasons why certain groups of people are profiled. More often than not, it has nothing to do with skin color; rather it is a reaction to the behaviors of a large portion of people within a particular group. We all profile to some degree. Anytime we approach a person we don’t know, we subconsciously size them up to determine whether or not they are a threat to our safety. If that person appears by his looks or actions to be a threat we will behave in a defensive manner.
That is not racism. It is human nature. Black people are not the only ones who deal with this, Many Muslims who choose to dress in the traditional Muslim fashion are also profiled because of the terrorism committed by Islamic extremists. The main reason why black people, particularly young black males, are often looked upon with suspicion is not because they are black, but because young black males commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes. These young men usually dress and behave in a way that is meant to be provocative, (baggy pants with underwear showing, hoodies and jackets during the summer). When young black males who are not out looking for trouble choose for whatever reason (usually because they think it looks cool) to imitate the troublemakers they will be perceived as being part of that group. After all, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. In fact, young white males who choose to dress and behave in this manner are also looked upon with suspicion.
Most white people want unity with black people and are able to look beyond skin color to see what’s inside. We are bewildered, saddened and insulted when we are accused of racism when it is so obviously not the issue. The black community needs to realize that more often than not, they are being judged by the content of their character and that character, for some in the black community is being found wanting. The people to blame for the mistrust between the black and white communities and the tragedies that result are not the so-called profilers, but the black hoodlums who terrorize not only whites, but their own neighborhoods as well. Beguiling their little brothers into a life of easy money, and wasted lives. Those law-abiding black people who have worked hard, educated themselves, and have become productive members of society who are tired of having to live with the taint of the hoodlums, need to understand that these problems will not be resolved until they look to the inside, of their community. Work with law enforcement and openly condemn the gang culture, and the entitlement culture and come to accept that maybe it isn’t about race after all.
Sean Patrick Hazlett at Reflections of a Rational Republican has thrown down the gauntlet and has asked other bloggers to list their technology predictions for 2012.
I am technologically defunct. Just starting this blog was a huge leap for me. I usually have to get my tech advice from my teenage kids. They love Apple. Now if I could just get them to eat one once in a while.
Here are my 2012 predictions. I chose to focus on issues that may be of importance to families. Some deal with technology, some not.
- As schools deal with budget cuts, virtual schools will become common. Children at all grade levels will take at least some of their public school classes at home online.
- The job markets will remain weak. As more and more families adjust to a reduced income, many people will choose not to re-enter the work force. This will create a return to the single income family with one parent staying home to care for the children. The stay at home parent will not necessarily be the mom. The spouse with the most income potential will be the one to return to work.
- We will no longer need to depend on Soyuz rockets to supply the ISS. Companies such as SpaceX will begin regular privatized missions late this year or early 2013.
- Video games will become more realistic. The gamer will be able to experience the feel of different environments. For example, feeling wet when in water, hot in a desert, or cold in the snow. He will be able to feel the sensation of various terrains beneath his feet and games will have sensors that emit real pain sensations when the player is injured in a battle. Thus giving our kids even more reasons to avoid playing outdoors.
- Biosphere resorts will become popular vacation destinations. Imagine relaxing in a lush tropical garden where it’s not too hot, not too cold, and no mosquitoes.
- The Mars Rover Curiosity will discover actual microbial life on the planet.
- Iran will test fire it’s first nuclear bomb this summer.
- Tensions with Iran cause gas prices to rise to over $5.00 a gallon this spring. This will result in real food shortages here in the US. In response more families will start to grow personal vegetable gardens. Several states will pass regulations to stop HOA’s from forbidding such gardens.
- Because an impending war with Iran will force us to stop our dependence on Middle Eastern oil in a hurry and because the technology already exists, I expect to see used vegetable oil become e popular as an alternative fuel.
- After the Republican Convention, Ron Paul, Michele Bachman and Rick Santorum will remain in the race as third-party candidates. The Republican Party will be fractured and Barack Obama will win the election as a result. This will cause the formation of a truly viable third-party and the election of a third-party president in 2016.
- Star Trek type replicators will become common in American homes. I know, probably not, but a mom can dream.
- And finally, all those of you who are expecting the world to end in December, and re using this, as your retirement strategy will be sadly disappointed come January 1, 2013.
I wish you all a blessed new year.
The Iowa Caucuses are coming, and the 2012 election is well underway. Soon our country will be awash in political advertising. Maybe awash is the wrong word, maybe flushed is more accurate. As we don our waders for another slog through the sewers of campaign muck, I would like to suggest an alternative strategy. Instead of the inane mudslinging and mind numbing irrelevant dirt digging, how about having the candidates use their very expensive airtime to actually inform us.
(For the sake of brevity I will use the grammatically correct masculine pronoun to mean both he and she.) My dream candidate will admit honestly to any skeletons in his closet before his opponents have a chance to discover them. This will show a humble candidate who can admit his mistakes, has the wisdom to learn from them and disarm his opponents in the process.
He will be able to defend himself against the criticisms thrown at him by the other candidates with honest and forthright answers.
He will use his advertising opportunities to inform us on his views, his record and his solutions to the problems facing our country. He will be truthful about his take on “hot button” issues. He will not try to spin his way out of a controversy, but will explain himself honestly and completely.
This dream candidate will absolutely refuse to engage in negative campaigning. No digging up thirty-year-old indiscretions, or irrelevant but inflammatory comments made by an opponent. No taking pieces of an interview out of context. No misquoting or twisting facts. The dream candidate will publicly disavow any private group who campaigns negatively on his behalf.
He will go on record, informing all campaign contributors that their support of his campaign will have no influence on his decisions and that his purpose in government is to represent his constituents.
I know. I’m dreaming. It will never happen. But it would be nice to see.
I hope the New Generation Hippies, the Junior Baby Boomers also know as the Occupiers realize by now that any hope of having a serious discussion of their grievances has been quashed thanks to their embarrassing shenanigans. It’s unfortunate because there truly is an intelligent debate to be had. People are really struggling. And not just the spoiled twenty somethings still living on their parents labor, or those living off of the tax payers. There are many of us who work hard every day and still can’t get ahead. Our benefits get cut, and raises are eliminated. Prices for basic needs are getting higher and higher and each week our paychecks are stretched as tight as a fat lady’s girdle. And we feel no one is listening. We hear a lot about corporate greed and class warfare these days. I think both sides have it wrong. At heart I suppose I am a capitalist. I believe that strong businesses free of burdensome government regulation are the foundation to overall wealth in our country. It is obvious however, that there is something fundamentally wrong when a CEO can earn half a million a year at a company that can’t afford to pay its lower level employees a decent wage or even worse has to let them go. Loyal, hard-working employees, deserve to share in the wealth of a company. Businesses that realize that keep a dependable well motivated labor pool who are satisfied with their jobs and work to keep a company profitable. Those who do not create an atmosphere favorable to the labor unions. Companies that choose to do business in an unethical fashion clear a path for government regulation. It all comes down to practicing good stewardship. American businesses need to realize that they have a responsiblity to do what’s right by their employees, customers, community and environment. Pay their employees a fair wage and benefit package, produce a quality product at a fair price, give back to the community they are located in and don’t exploit or pollute unnecessarily. In the town where I’m from, there was a man named H B Zachry. In 1924 he started his company with very little capital. He had a contract to build a bridge and had to finish the job in order to be paid. As the story goes, he didn’t have the money to pay his workers so he told the men if they would stay with him until the job was finished, he’d see to it that they were taken care of. The bridge was finished and Mr. Zachry kept his word. He even took care of men’s widows. Personally delivering bags of groceries to them. This was a man who truly understood the values that make up a good business ethic. The answer to cleaning up corporate America is not in persuading the government to step in and force American businesses to do the right thing. The answer is in changing corporate values. in bringing more men like H B Zachery into play. In a free market society, the real power belongs to the consumers. We need to be smart, do our research and use the goods and services of a business only if it operates in harmony with our values. The Occupiers are fond of shouting “power to the people not the corporations” but the people have had the power all along.