Monday, July 18, 2016

Attitude Makes All the Difference

Many believe that relations between whites and blacks have seriously deteriorated over the past few years.  This has reached an ugly peak with the ambush and assassinations of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge in the last few days.  

I can't claim to fully understand what black people experience in their lives and their relationship to the police and other authority figures.  Is there racism in our society?  Of course there is and the harsh reality is that there will always be racists, bigots, and other assorted idiots in the human race.  Racism will never be completely eradicated due to the imperfection of human beings.  What's a person to do?

Change starts with each individual.  President Obama lectures us on how the police need to acknowledge their racism and mend their ways.  This, however, is a two way street.  What responsibility do blacks have in this?  The fact of the matter is that blacks commit violent crimes at a higher rate than whites, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.  Black-on-black crime is rampant in some cities, yet the President doesn't seem to want to address this issue.  Police behavior is often in response to black criminal behavior; according to the FBI, the rate at which cops are killed by blacks is 2.5 times higher than the rate at which blacks are killed by the police.  

So where does attitude enter into all this?  Did you know that a black man by the name of Charlie Brown spent half his life in slavery and couldn't read, yet when he was freed he built a business domain in Brazoria County, Texas?  He eventually bought the plantation where he had been a slave, married his wife, who was also a former slave, and when he died in 1920, he was a millionaire. Where might Mr. Brown have ended up had he spent his life lamenting the injustice of slavery?  I doubt he would have achieved much success had he chosen to wallow in victimhood.

The first self-made female millionaire in this country was a black woman, Sarah Breedlove, a.k.a. Madam C.J. Walker.  Early in her life, she faced odds that were heavily stacked against her.  She was orphaned at 7, married at 14, and widowed at 20.  After she began losing her hair, she developed a line of hair care products, successfully fighting racism and sexism along the way and making a place for herself alongside America's elite entrepreneurs.  

The point I'm trying to make is that these black people achieved fantastic success long before affirmative action or the Civil Rights Act.  How could that be?  Racism, and in the case of Madam C.J. Walker, sexism, were much more common and blatant in those days, yet they triumphed in spite of it.  I suspect that attitude, determination, and personal discipline played a role in their success.  These are personal traits that are seriously lacking in many individuals of all colors these days.  

I'd like to see our so-called leaders quit talking about eradicating racism; it's impossible.  It will always be with us, so how about talking about achieving excellence and success in spite of it?  It can be done!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dear Mr. Trump....

Dear Mr. Trump,

Speaking as someone who voted for you on Super Tuesday, despite my serious reservations, I'd like to offer you some advice.  I normally don't attempt to speak for other people, but much of what I'm going to say has been voiced to me by others who agree with me.

First, please expand your vocabulary!  Some of us are sick of hearing certain words over and over, e.g, "disaster", "liar" and "tremendous" to name a few.  In addition, please quit telling us how wealthy and successful you are and how you've built a "huge" company.  Each time you tell us how rich you are, I have to wonder if underneath all that bluster you're really deeply insecure.  I've heard that the old guard folks of Palm Beach look down on you despite your wealth, considering you ostentatious and vulgar.  Could that be part of the problem?

Last, but certainly not least, please quit hurling personal insults at those who criticize or disagree with you.  Calling people names is immature, unprofessional and wholly inappropriate in one who aspires to be president of the United States.  You often act like a bully, which is most unattractive.  Now I hear that you threatened Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, saying he'd "pay a big price" if you can't work with him!  Why not say instead that you and Mr. Ryan will work together to iron out any differences between you for the benefit of the country? I do hope you realize that Congress is not subordinate to the president; it is the president's equal.  

Instead of sending out juvenile tweets, please devote some time to sharing details of what your policies will be like as president.  What, precisely, do you want to accomplish?  Are you wise enough to surround yourself with experts who know more than you do, or will you be like the current egomaniac in the White House who thinks no one knows as much as he does?  "Make America Great Again" is a pretty good slogan, but what specifically do you plan to do to achieve that goal?  

To your credit, you have prodded people to start talking about tough issues that probably wouldn't have been brought up in this election cycle.  A great many Americans are sick and tired of political correctness and your brashness has a certain refreshing quality to it.  How about taking it to a new level by adopting a more mature tone and filling in some details of what we could expect with a Trump presidency.  Please don't make me regret voting for you.