- Rob Maness - https://www.robmaness.com -

OPINION: Out of many, one.

Things are crazy at the moment. We’re forming little factions within our society. Purity tests are the norm and political leanings are at the forefront of almost every other conversation. I’ve been trying to make sense of the hyper-political, uber sensitive, and every changing topics of the day and sometimes it’s hard to communicate effectively. Most people communicate via text messages, or posts, or tweets. Little snippets or bullet points. Not nearly enough time or energy is put into not only fully explaining positions but also in understanding the true meaning of the comments or posts.

Let’s start with the elephant in the room, racism. In my opinion there has been a harmful clash of anti-Americanism that has attached itself to what I will call “anti black racism” or the idea that, although unproven, and unquantifiable, all or most egregious forms of racism are solely directed at black people……. An evil of humankind (slavery) has somehow been laid on our doorstep as though we as a nation were the sole creators, purveyors, and defenders of the institution. We know this isn’t the case, because the most popular/most widely published book in the world, “the Bible” has tales of slavery dating back 4000 years ago. We can also easily ascertain information that cites only 5-7% of Trans Atlantic African slaves came to America. Over 40 Percent of them went to Brazil, but I don’t hear throngs of people denouncing the Portuguese. Another 25 percent went to the Caribbean yet America in popular culture is the main culprit and most egregious offender.

It has also become popular to demonize western civilization and western culture for their decades old participation in the practice of slavery. In doing so completely disregarding the fact that the number of slaves in the world has actually gone up (Yes look it up) and in places like the middle east and Africa, young women are forced to marry and have children with much older men, living a life of absolute slavery in the worst way possible.  The denouncing of slavery is obviously correct, but the placement of blame is where I have the problem. Just as you can dislike a person’s past actions and still love them, you can rebuke a collective societies behavior and still be prideful. You can march and say “America was founded on slavery” and that is a valid point, but what no one seems to mention, is the second part of that statement, which is: “America was founded on slavery, reversed its course based on its founding values, became the wealthiest and most prosperous country in the world and is now the safest, most secure, upwardly mobile, and liberty minded country in the world for minority populations. Words have meaning and context matters. Just because someone doesn’t trumpet your slogan doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Jumping to conclusions about the meaning of their statements doesn’t make you heroic or righteous, it makes you a simpleton.

Liberty is hard to understand. Children recite the pledge of allegiance (which was written by an ardent socialist) the word is on our money, and almost every American has used or heard the world hundreds of times in their lives. The problem is that no one actually takes the time to understand what Liberty actually is/means. Liberty is the freedom to live without government interference. The very idea of majority rule was rebuked by the colonies with the enactment of the articles of confederation. Anyone who has read the federalist papers or is simply a history buff with knowledge of the Revolutionary war, understands that the original founding documents gave almost ZERO power to the federal government at the beginning of our REPUBLIC. Debt and money are what led to the creation of the United States Constitution, not liberty, not justice, and certainly not freedom.

—–Side note. The idea of citing the number of Americans who “believe in” or “think” this way or that is irrelevant in our Republic. We are NOT a democracy and majority doesn’t rule. And that’s what makes our country so unique, the rule of law is supreme, not popular opinion. Read “On Liberty” by John Stuart Mill, he can explain the Tyranny of the Majority better than I can. —

The very idea of America was a conglomeration of mini nation-states with their own laws and ways of life. Quakers in Pennsylvania, Puritans in the Northeast, Protestants in the South etc etc. What a fantastic idea right? If you don’t like the people, or behaviors of the region/state in which you live, you can freely travel to another one that more closely aligns with it … Unfortunately over the years we have ceded more and more power to the federal government and under the lie of equality and fairness they have chipped away at our individual rights (17th Amendment, income tax, social security, mandated insurance, the draft and the list goes on and on).

Before rebuking the last sentence, understand the only power a government has is force, or violence. Every law that is passed, every bill that is signed is backed by violence. So, before we scream “we should … ““it should be illegal to … ”” understand that means if someone doesn’t do that thing or does that thing in defiance of the “just and fair” law, you support violence against that person. Let’s say you get a seat belt ticket. You don’t agree with it, so you decide you’re not going to pay it. A warrant is issued for your arrest. Police come to your house. You decide its unjust and refuse to come with them. They use force and threaten you with death and then THROW YOU INTO A CAGE! Take any law, any bill, or any regulation and the end result is, if you do not comply, we will commit acts of violence against you.

When we talk about police brutality, we aren’t having the real conversation, which is the relationship between us and the government. It’s easy for the Federal Government to pass the buck and say it’s a police problem, or the police to say it’s the Legislatures issue, but they are one and the same. And we are giving them the reasons and authority to beat and kill and jail us by passing so many laws. What are you entitled to in America? Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness, right? So as long as what you’re doing doesn’t infringe on someone else’s ability to live their life, live freely or PURSUE happiness (not be happy) then you should be left alone. Instead we’ve decided to take our individual moral compasses and merge them with the laws of the land. Just because something is right, doesn’t mean it should be legal, and just because something is wrong doesn’t mean it should be illegal. Legal and Illegal are just terms to simplify the idea of whether or not you will be forcibly thrown into a cage or shot by the government.

While we bicker, and complain about aunt Jemima, and the 200 ku klux klan members left in America, the Federal Government is barreling down the tracks at full speed smashing our liberties and freedoms. We’re all so concerned with media magnified injustices that happen to a few that we are missing a major injustice that is happening to all of us. Instead of fighting each other we should be fighting the government, and their attempts to destroy individual rights and the original American way of life.

I will conclude with the admission that some black people do have a harder time than some white people in America. There are pockets of institutionalized racism, and there are racist cops and other people in positions in authority to try to oppress the black community. I will also say that I believe it is uncommon. Obviously making changes to policing policies is a good thing, any way we can reduce the authority of people who can legally commit acts of violence against us is a positive thing.

Where the entire conversation about institutionalized racism goes off the rails for me is personal responsibility. Almost 80% of black children are born to single mothers and 36% of abortions are done on black women even though they only make up roughly 13% of the population. 70 years ago, only 20% of black children were born to single mothers. We don’t have a situation where bands of racist white men are harassing loving black fathers and forcing them to abandon their children and mothers of their children. I’m not saying that a single parent can’t raise a child effectively in general, but I am saying that two parents, two incomes, and two families give a child or children a chance at better lifestyle, more economic stability and a much better outcome. Why don’t we have that conversation? How the government has basically rewarded single women for having children? Young women with bleak financial outlooks in impoverished communities become eligible for food assistance, housing assistance, healthcare, and college help when and if they have children. So can you blame them?

So, before regurgitation platitudes along the lines of “equality” “fair” and “justice” take a step back. Think to yourself, is this something that is truly 100% factually proven? Or is this simply how I feel? Is this an anomaly? Or is this common? Do I have all the facts from both sides? Do I understand both or all points of view on the matter? Or am I simply parroting talking points heard or read elsewhere. It isn’t impressive to regurgitate unoriginal statements or phrases, it’s lazy. The world is complicated, each person has a different reality and no amount of yelling, screaming, shaming, name calling, or passing laws will change that simple fact. Let’s all shut the fuck up about racism because yelling, looting, pointing fingers and demonizing each other obviously isn’t solving anything.

About the author: Jared Waning  is a Husband, Father, and OIF veteran- US Army Infantry


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