By John Velisek USN (Ret), staff writer
It was a while ago that our Attorney General, the one and only Eric Holder, claimed that our country was a bunch of “cowards” for not wanting to discuss issues of race. I am willing to discuss them. And contrary to the opinion of race baiters and progressive, grievance mongers, I won’t bow to the narrative they have developed over the past seven years.
Most Americans believe race relations in this country are bad and deteriorating. In my lifetime I have not had any difficulty with someone of another race. Perhaps that is because I was in the military for 20 years, an organization in which progress is generally based on merit rather than skin color or, increasingly, gender. To the Obama Administration, a “conversation” on race means listen to what we say and kneel down to the altar of racial concepts which bear no resemblance to reality.
But I believe a conversation is possible; an exchange of ideas without confrontation and without blustery, meaningless rhetoric. Some points must be made:
First of all, stop with the victimhood. Every time I hear a Black whine about “Whitey” keeping him down, my question is, how? What have you done for yourself, what has your community done? I know many blacks, again while in the military, that joined because the community they lived in would pull them back every time they tried to get out. I can understand that as a hindrance. When even family and friends ridicule you because you want to do better, call you an Uncle Tom and put as many impediments in your way as possible, it becomes more difficult to get out.
Also, the Obama Administration has shown a disregard for black families in America and a total lack of empathy for young blacks who are searching for more than just a hang-out, who want a job they can use to move on, start a family, and escape their sordid beginnings.
But throwing money at the problem will not help. Since 2009, education received $100 billion from the Obama stimulus and another $82 billion from the budget. Has it done any good, where did it go? The Baltimore Public School System ranks 2nd in the nation for money spent on students at a whopping $15,700 per year. Yet “only two thirds of students graduate high school, despite this high level of spending.”
Everyone, white, black, brown, whatever color, should have the opportunity of school choice. A program in Washington DC last year pulled a great many pupils, many of them black, from the sewer of the DC school system. Most of the students were excelling and the waiting list was long. So what happened? Obama cancelled it, refusing to set aside funds. Those same low income families, empowered by an education that could lead to a productive life, have now fallen back into a system that is unionized and pathetic. How pathetic? An incredible $30,000 is spent on each Washington, DC student, every year. A few thousand more would pay for a year at Harvard. Yet only 60% graduate and their SAT scores are among the lowest in the country.
The Obama record in education, as in many other areas, is disgraceful. It is the most polarizing administration that I can remember, divisive in both class and race. Yet this is the very purpose of the progressive (socialist) agenda. The less fortunate must remain the less fortunate, their every failing blamed on the successful, that is, the White and the Wealthy. Divide the sides, and nothing gets done. So in the vacuum created there exists fear, anger and a lack of morality and ethics emblematic of the radical left.
Stop blaming white racism for the failure of black leaders. Break away from the clichés used to define the two sides. If both sides would just shut up, sit down, and honestly listen to one another, perhaps we could make real progress.
John Velisek USN (Ret.)