Cosmic Justice and Classism

The economist Thomas Sowell is a true working class hero. He was born in the Jim Crow South in 1930 with his father dying shortly thereafter leaving his mother, a housemaid, with five children to raise. As a child, his encounters with white people were so limited he did not know blond was a hair color. He and his extended family eventually moved to Charlotte, North Carolina then to Harlem, New York City. After serving in various manual labor and other odd jobs, he was drafted into the military in 1951 during the Korean War and was assigned to the Marine Corps. After his honorable discharge, he went on to use his G.I. Bill and subsequent educational opportunities to attend Howard University, Harvard University, Columbia University, and the University of Chicago to get his Ph.D. in economics. He is now at Stanford University.

 

In many of his essays and subsequent books, he argues against the concept of cosmic justice that is required talk throughout the American upper class, its law, and its intelligentsia — its social justice warriors — to hide its will to power. He defines cosmic justice in relation to traditional concepts of justice as follows:

For those with this view, “genuine equality of opportunity” cannot be achieved by the application of the same rules and standards to all, but requires specific interventions to equalize either prospects or results. As Rawls puts it, “undeserved inequalities call for redress.” A fight in which both boxers observe the Marquis of Queensberry rules would be a fair fight, according to traditional standards of fairness, irrespective of whether the contestants were of equal skill, strength, experience or other factors likely to affect the outcome– and irrespective of whether that outcome was a hard-fought draw or a completely one-sided beating. This would not, however, be a fair fight within the framework of those seeking “social justice,” if the competing fighters came into the ring with very different prospects of success — especially if these differences were due to factors beyond their control.  “The Quest for Cosmic Justice” by Thomas Sowell

I have spent most of my life disagreeing with him, but I must now admit at least partial error in my disagreement. Gradually, as I have gotten older and fortunately or unfortunately my idealism has been diluted by pragmatic reality, I have learned to agree with him but only to the extent of rejecting cosmic justice in the rule of law but not as a normative goal through social and cultural goals that existentially may never be achieved. The existentialist absurd individual who has made a leap into morality as an individual dealing with other individuals in daily life must continue to struggle for cosmic justice as an end in itself with its own independent meaning. As I have argued before in this series of essays, social economic classes are a necessary part of human social group struggle against the universe. We need to admit their existence in order to minimize their unfairness and for society to prosper even though existentially I will always protest their existence in reality.

 

One objection to Sovell’s arguments is that even traditional concepts of fairness such as those exhibited by the rules of sports incorporate pragmatic means outside the rules to make them fair. For example, in boxing there are weight classes. It would not be considered a “fair fight” for a 135 lb. lightweight to be matched up against a 235 lb. heavyweight. These types of class distinctions are made in all rules of sports varying from baseball with its various levels of amateur and pro playing to golf with its handicaps and onto Formula and Moto racing with classes based on engine size. Mr. Sowell seems to admit to the validity of this objection in some of his other writings and implies the need for a social equivalent to sports classes. For example, in his criticism of affirmative action, he argues it disadvantages the lower classes because they cannot compete on the same level as upper class college students and thus drop-up at higher rates; he argues they would be better off attending a college with others of their class thus allowing them to graduate and work up to upper class education. “”Affirmative Action Around the World” by Thomas Sowell.

 

Furthermore, as a young man, I objected to his argument because I took on as a moral code the classic so-called Warrior Ethos: “I will never leave a fallen comrade.” Why should I leave any fellow workers behind in my battle for victory over the powers-that-be, especially if I win the battle or the war? Is that not also the Christian Ethos: “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves”? Romans 15.

 

My first step to agreeing at least partially with him was my military service and reading of military history. Turns out warriors leave their comrades behind all the time. The trials for cowardice of the Battle of Arginusae generals for leaving stranded drowning sailors behind and the Marines dragging their frozen dead with them as they retreated from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir were a rarity in military history including Marine Corps history and for all military units in world history, on land and on sea. During hasty retreats, leaving behind the wounded, the dead, and the equipment while running like hell was much more common.

 

Next, I was changed by my years spent in the American system of injustice. In it, though one might occasionally win a battle against the powers-that-be, in the end, one always lose the war. The law is full of talk of diversity, victims, and social justice but the end result is the same as in all systems of injustice throughout history: maintain the power of the status quo. The reality of cosmic justice at work in the law is twofold: 1) changing from time to time whom it advantages and disadvantages so as to keep competing social groups including the male and female sexes in constant conflict; 2) transforming being a victim of injustice, including its own, into a culture of victimization that gives meaning to victims’ lives and to those who want power over them so they do not become motivated to force real change in life. In fact, many cosmic justice warriors and their camp followers are more happy in their culture of victimization and poverty than I have ever been or will be in fighting to avoid it; so much so that they are willing to promote and procreate their myth onto messing up the lives of posterity.

 

One clear example of this process at work is American Indian culture — a fabricated culture that does not really even exist. If there is any meaning to the words “American Indian” other than to give upper class Americans and their intelligentsia something to pity, it would be only to reference a particular trial culture, i.e., Cherokee, Navajo, and so forth. However, these tribal cultures died out long ago with the best and brightest individuals of those cultures long ago having mixed into American culture as all other immigrant groups of the past have done and as occurred throughout history between conquerors and those conquered. What remains of those dead tribal cultures consist of a bunch of modern day Americans pretending to be tribes as a source of meaning in their lives and as a means to get government assistance. American Indians are the most impoverished social group in the country and statistically lead in single parent households, mental illness, child abuse, crime, drug problems, and education dropouts with a resulting lead in juvenile crime. Yet, their so-called leaders with their will-to-power need to protect their fiefdoms of power on government provided reservations continue and foster the farce of American Indian culture. At any level of power, those in power, including the big fish in the small pond of American Indian reservations, will convert any intentions — either good or bad — into a means of power as an end in itself, even intentions of cosmic justice. No good deed will go unpunished by the powers-that-be if they can use it as a means of maintaining their power or of obtaining more power.

 

A future example of this culture of victimization will be the black Americans left behind by their upper class brothers and sisters using new school racism as a means to get and stay upper class. Please see my previous essays on New School Racism. As I predicted in those essays and in greater detail in “Between the World and Us” (that is already coming to life by the demands of black Harvard University students for a separate graduation ceremony for black graduates), the solution for racism by Ta-Nehisi Coates and other black members and friends of the upper class is: establish a separate but equal education system for “black bodies”, letting black men commit self-genocide by continuing to kill each other, letting black women raise families by themselves, and creating black ghettos with the help of a new 21st Century slave master: government. Thus, thanks to cosmic justice warriors, we have come full circle: the solution to racism will be racism.

 

For any working social construct concept of fairness to be useful to humanity’s struggle with the universe to survive, as with fairness in rules of athletics and other sports, it must accept the presence of social economic class struggle as a present and future necessity. This presence is not a basis to create laws giving preference or preventing discrimination among class as occurs with all preferences present in civil rights laws serving only to hide class conflict while aggravating it. The acceptance of the necessity to have class conflict is necessary as a basis to eliminate and negate such law in order to allow classes to work and struggle within themselves for individual success and to compete with each other for overall social success. Civil rights laws result from the arrogance of the Orwellian High who view workers as hopeless idiots doomed to a life of misery, drug addiction, violence, and meaningless deaths without their aid and control. Billions of Orwellian Middle and Low throughout history have loved and been loved and have struggled and triumphed in every day struggles for life, property, and liberty. These struggles have created modern Technological Society. As basic fairness, this Society must allow us the freedom to continue our struggles among ourselves to control the present and future of the Technological Society our struggles have created.

 

A cosmic justice concept demanding illusionary equality for all enforced by the law’s monopoly on violence at the expense of equity for all through social and cultural pragmatism helps only the powers-that-be. The first stumbling block for application into Technological Society of Sovell’s “genuine equality of opportunity” with social economic class acceptance will be the law. How can we bring this pragmatic concept of fairness to life in the present delusional reality of the American system of injustice in which law negates and then demands a monopoly of violence for its power of negation of all social and cultural norms other than its cosmic vision of justice?

“White No More” / Part II

The below diagram is taken from one of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein’s contemplations on the nature of language and is called a duck-rabbit (it is covered in more detail at www.sandpebblespodcast.com):

duck_rabbit

If you have any life experience with ducks and the word ‘duck’, when I tell you the word “duck” while you view the above diagram, you should see a duck. If you have any life experience with rabbits and the word ‘rabbit’, when I tell you the word “rabbit” while you look at the diagram, you should see a rabbit. What someone who has had no experience with ducks or rabbits would see in the above diagram is up for grabs. This diagram and similar diagrams and contemplations cannot be ignored as dealing with “optical illusions” otherwise all of reality should be ignored as optical illusions since you have no way of telling when you are in the position of someone whose limited sense experience sees neither a duck nor a rabbit or only one but not the other. How do you know there is not another animal in the above diagram that you do not see because you have no word for it?

 
The point of this diagram and the associated philosophy is to establish that once the human mind is sophisticated enough to create and think with rational symbols such as words, the thinking is a two-way street between sense experience and words. Reasoning consists of a “fabric of language” as the philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine beautifully described it. At the exterior is the sense experience that acts as the starting threads of our language but almost instantaneously the threads are intertwined with words describing that sense experience; some or all other experiences and words; and the relationships between some or all other experiences and words so that almost instantaneously it becomes difficult and perhaps impossible to separate the words from the sense experience. As empiricists in a scientific age, we must assume that all of us have the same sense experience for the above diagram and its reality does not change as different individuals view it, but such is not true of the words used to describe it. Eventually, words become their own reality and create sense experience that seems to be there and to be as true as the initial sense experience that started the threading. The essential job of modern Western philosophy is to point out when we are confusing or making the reality of words into something more real than the reality of reality. As Quine beautifully and concisely stated in his essay The Two Dogmas of Empiricism:

The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges.

 

It is because of the above problem that science uses the scientific method to become pragmatic and differentiate itself from non-science or pseudo-science. If you want to get into these issues in more detail, I suggest any book by the philosopher Norwood Russell Hanson or starting with the philosophy of language and science podcasts at www.sandpebblespodcast.com.

 
Even through just a casual inspection of the language of racism, we can see the above two-way street at work. Somewhere in human history, there may be a thread of the fabric of racist language in which white skinned people for the first time met black skinned people and for the first time used the word ‘race’ as a differentiation between white-skinned and black-skinned bodies. Whenever that first thread stitching occurred, it is now lost among millions of other threads in modern language and perhaps was removed and replaced with another thread and is gone. This is evident even in the simplest uses of the words ‘race’ and ‘racism’.

 
For example, the Plaintiff Plessy in the post Civil War 19th Century Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson that established the separate but equal doctrine of Jim Crow laws was an octoroon, he was only 1/8 black by birth and could have easily passed and did pass as white — he could have and did ride in the front of the train in the segregated Old South any time he wanted. That is why he was chosen as the Plaintiff for that case. The Plaintiff Counsel were trying to show how irrational the concept of race was and that therefore how irrational and thus unconstitutional legally enforced segregation must be. For reasons discussed in my book The Law Illusion, the brilliant Injustices of the Supremes disagreed. Even before the 19th Century, the word ‘race’ for racists had uses way beyond just for reference to someone having ‘black’ skin. If Plessy was ‘black’ because one of his eight parents/grandparents was black, what about if he was 1/16 black? How far back does or should a racist go to define race? It is evident that for racists, words such as ‘race’, ‘racist’, and ‘black’ mean much more than skin color. They are used to create a word reality of social and cultural relations much of which has little if any relation to the actual reality of human social and cultural relations.

 
How this word reality becomes more powerful than reality and in fact contorts reality to fit the words is evident in the obsession by Nazi jurisprudence and legal culture to differentiate their Aryan Herrenvolk or master race of the Volksgemeinschaft or “people’s community” from their slave Non-Aryan races such as Jews, Romani, Slavs, Poles, Serbs, Blacks, and so forth. So, for example, some in the Nazi legal culture argued one was Jewish if one was only 1/16 Jewish blood. Eventually, the criterion for being Jewish was set at having at least three Jewish grandparents; two or one rendered a person a Mischling leaving open the possibility of your extermination to the discretion, mercy, and wisdom of the judiciary — you can read in history the results of this reliance. These arbitrary standards became law in the same way anything becomes law: through the arbitrary and random ethics or will for power decisions of a bunch of bureaucrats.

 
How about our modern supposedly non-racist politically correct opponents of racism, those that condemned Dolezal for using ‘white’ to mean only a “biological identity thrust upon her” that she can change as she wants thus resulting in the loss of her livelihood? How do they use words such as ‘race’, ‘racism’, and ‘black’? Are they a two-way street for them? It appears they are schizophrenic on this issue as I will contemplate next.

Diversity Past and Future / Part II

In the modern world, as discussed in http://www.sandpebblespodcast.com, the meaning of a word is its usefulness. The word “diversity” in normative speech is now primarily used as a nominal sign of political correctness without reference to or even foundation upon any words expressing any experience other than political correctness. Ignoring political correctness for a moment, what is the usefulness of the word “diversity” in speech referencing the living or even non-living?

 
In its simplest use, “diversity” in reference to life on earth generally refers to the variety of life in nature. Without doubt, one should be amazed to a point beyond rational comprehension on the variety of life on earth. From the deepest, darkest caves to the highs of earth’s atmosphere and back down to the hottest deep ocean volcanic vents, life somehow has gotten a hold and struggles to exist. However, even in this simple use of the word “diversity”, the struggle aspect is inherently part of it. The diversity of life in nature exists in harmony only if by harmony one means a constant state of war: from the smallest plankton soaking up the sun so that it can be eaten by sea creatures, to the spider waiting to catch a fly so that it can eat it alive, to the largest predator constantly patrolling to keep out competitors for the youngest or weakest prey in its territory, and onto the predators and scavengers of the sky looking down for unsuspecting prey or carrion. This harmony of this life diversity in nature is certainly not the harmony of politically correct “diversity”.

 
The same can be said of the diversity in the non-living aspects of the harmony of nature. Starting with a “Big Bang” and then continuing into the foreseeable future, unless the universe is destined to expand infinitely into a cold dark abyss, every non-living thing in nature derives from some form of cataclysms that luckily we do not notice in our daily lives because geological time is so much more extreme and even more rationally incomprehensible to us than the variety of life we try to concentrate on and need to concentrate on in order to survive. The harmony of the diversity of nature is certainly not the harmony of politically correct “diversity”.

 
Using “diversity” as a reference to pre-historical or proto-historical human life does nothing to improve upon this harmonious perpetual state of war. As up-to-date empirical discoveries and findings of modern archeology and anthropology establish of which many are available for further study in the magnum opus “War in Human Civilization” by the historian Azar Gat, the closer human society gets to be in a state of nature, the more violence is an accepted part of social diversity. Rousseau’s “state of nature” in which human freedom existed free of a repressive state apparatus or domination by fellow humans was delusional, as delusional as Hobbes’ version of life in the state of nature as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. If a pre-history or proto-history human could survive long enough, they could live a long, happy, healthy, prospering, and flourishing life in a state of nature — if they could survive long enough.

 

The reality is that the usual calm and peaceful lives of hunter-gatherers, pastorals, and early agriculturalists lived under a Sword of Damocles consisting of the constant threat of attack by neighboring hunter-gatherers, pastorals, and early agriculturalists. These attacks by neighboring warriors did not involve what we now consider to be old school warrior mentality or a code of mano-a-mano fighting. According to the archeological and anthropological record dating from the earliest Levant and Anatolia sites to the most modern Aborigine, Pacific Islanders, North and South American Indian, and even from 20th Century New Guinea Highlands sites, really old old school warriors saw the honor of battle as consisting of ambushes upon other tribes while they slept in the middle of the night in which all men of fighting age were immediately killed and beheaded as war trophies and the women and children taken as wives and slaves. The 20% male casualties rate for males through war and homicide of Aboriginals discussed in Part I is actually at the low end of the spectrum. In some Pacific Islander warrior cultures, it was usual to find in the historical record 33% war/homicide rates for males (that is an astonishing one out of every three males) and for archeologists and anthropologists to dig up entire villages burned to the ground with their beheaded male inhabitants buried in the rubble. No wonder Pacific Islanders were willing to risk weeks and thousands of miles at sea on giant row boats looking for new islands to inhabit hoping to find peace — which usually turned out solely to be a new battlefield. This harmony in diversity is certainly not the harmony of politically correct “diversity”.

 
Azar Gat in his “War in Human Civilization” goes on to describe how this warring “state of nature” became the enormous variety or diversity of life in ancient city-states and then nation-states. Basically, pre-historic or proto-historic powers-that-be consisting of small village chiefs or “big men” freely chosen to lead by small groups of warriors kept up with economic and technological developments by continually consolidating with or conquering other powers-that-be eventually to create city-states and onto nation states in which the powers no longer needed to rely on voluntary election by small warrior groups but instead relied on administrative enforcement of conscripted warriors through the law’s majestic monopoly on violence. As this developed, since the conscripted warriors could no longer conduct sneak ambushes upon unguarded villages in the middle of the night, the powers created a new warrior mentality requiring organization into, for example, a Greek phalanx or Roman century for battle. The ancient city-states accepted a great amount of diversity of ethnicity (usually treated the same as race), religion, tribe, and freeman/slave status in its society and ranks and inter-societal fighting among them as long as all paid their taxes and answered the call for battle without challenge to the powers. This harmony of diversity is not the harmony of politically correct “diversity”.

 
So what is the harmony in diversity that modern Western nation-states and their powers are crying about? They certainly do not mean humans creating and being loyal to a variety of actual or delusional physical needs, ethnicities, races, religions, or political or economic classes to the exclusion of all others so that through dialectical competition and struggle humans can evolve into the future of humanity as is true of the natural world and all prior human history. The exact opposite, the intent of new school diversity is to eliminate this type of old school diversity and the competition and struggle inherently in it. So, what is it they are looking for? Can it be the diversity described by the Bible in Isaiah 11:6, “[a]nd the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them.” Are the secular atheists and agnostics of modern Western nation-states ignoring history, archeology, and anthropology to define “diversity” as a word whose usefulness derives from Biblical hope and faith? Though they do not want to admit it, this is the only definition of politically correct “diversity” they use — only without the biblical reference. They want to skip the concepts of Divine Law and Natural Law and jump right into Human or Positive Law to force the wolf to dwell with the lamb, the leopard to lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion to sit together so that a little boy or girl can lead them.

 
So, this biblical/Christian version of harmony in diversity is the harmony of diversity intended by secular politically correct “diversity”. Is such possible by skipping the Divine Law and Natural Law basis for this concept of diversity (assuming the biblical references can be skipped) and going straight to the majesty of the law enforcing Positive and Human Law? How? By force? We will get along or else! Or else what? What powers will decide what “getting along” means?

Coates and New School Racism: “Something In It For Me?”

“But I did not take education seriously until I saw something in it for me, aside from what everyone else thought.” This is how the genius commentator and thinker on racism Ta-Nehisi Coates ends a series of blogs and articles written by him and one about him by another journalist in which Coates summarizes his philosophy for presenting education to black males in middle and high schools. This is an important topic. Only 60% of black males graduate high school. Of those that do not graduate, 60% wind up in jail. Reading his philosophy based on his failed experiences with education is a very enlightening experience on race and racism in the United States. Not because the comments are in any way enlightening — as usual his comments are sophomoric at best, just spitting out what rich white people want to hear. They are enlightening because they embody the modern American new school racist’s justifications for racism yet Coates is too clueless to even know it, thus further nurturing that racism unintentionally.

 
According to Coates:
— For high school, he was admitted to the prestigious Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, one of the top public (that is free) high schools in the country. While a freshman there, he was arrested for punching a teacher in the face and suspended on suspicion of assaulting another teacher. Somehow, because of his educated parents’ argument to the school and the court, he avoided both jail and getting kicked out of the school. In gratitude for such leniency, he made it to his senior year with a 1.8 GPA and failing the English requirement but none of it mattered because he got into another fight and was then expelled but still avoided jail. These results did not bother him because he did not see in education “something in it for me.”
— In preparation for formal education, his mother, who was a teacher in the Baltimore Public School system, began home schooling Coates at age four teaching him to read and write and then to start writing essays about “me”, his problems, his sense of injustice, and how he felt about “me.” His preparation continued into a middle school that was so advanced it tried to teach him French in the 7th grade but he thought it was all a joke, “only an opportunity to discipline the body”, that involves “writing between the lines”, “copying the directions legibly”, and “memorizing theorems”. He writes “[t]hey were concerned with compliance” and “Algebra, Biology, English” are just excuses for “discipline.” He did not agree with his older siblings who saw and used education as the means to their engineering, business, and graduate degrees. He did not see “something in it for me.”
— He supposedly wanted to attend Baltimore Poly because it was a way to avoid the violence in his neighborhood and the other schools. According to his descriptions of that violence, it was instigated either by him or by his father’s beatings of him. So, as the cause of the violence, he did not get away from it but simply brought it with him. As a young black male, he was a success in adding to Baltimore crime statistics in which young black males that are only 10% of the population commit 50%-60% of the violent crimes and 75%-85% of the murders. Education did not stop his violence because he did not see “something in it for me.”
— Despite such a resume for his college application, thanks to his father’s book publishing business and employment as head librarian at Howard, he was able to get admission and a free ride to Howard University for five years without graduating. Other than the learning he received from his sexual exploits in college, he did not graduate because he did not see “something in it for me”
— Coates is the second youngest of his father’s children. His father had seven children with three women. Giving his father the benefit of a doubt and thus assuming that his college-educated father was not a stereotypical black male who sees relationships with women as solely a means for free sex but actually financially supported the three mothers of his children and did not make them rely on government welfare, public funds, Medicaid, and single mother households to raise his children for him, his father’s business and education must have been fairly successful to provide such financial support for a family of eleven people in total. Despite these good family examples of the power of education, family support, and hard work, Coates still did not see “something in it for me.”
— While at Howard, his father’s connections got him a job at a local black owned newspaper where Coates finally saw “something in it for me.” As a result of that “something”, he goes on to describe some of its rewards: spending time in Paris with his fellow intelligentsia enjoying French society; spending time in Aspen with rich people; going to “Ideas Festivals” with his fellow creative genius minds of American intelligentsia.

What was the light he finally saw that he could not see before and of which he informs black males?

 
As is true throughout history, we live in a world of misery that at its worse includes barely literate and even illiterate barefoot, peasant families living in war zones or drug infested, disease inflected, unsanitary shanties governed by despots or such inefficient, uncaring governments that they might as well be despots. Despite such misery, even in the worse conditions many of these ignorant peasants still imagine and dream: about getting an education somewhere, anywhere; of emigrating to the United States; of learning English, French, Italian, German, or anything to get the hell out of their misery; of the benefits of duty and loyalty to hard work, love of family, and respect of family; of the benefits of duty, loyalty, and love to teachers and to those who show compassion and caring for them; and most important, who can still have empathy for nonviolence and hope for a better life, even the leap of faith to religious hope. So, did Coates see the light that he was a selfish, self-centered, ungrateful, violent, lazy, arrogant, pompous, ignorant fool who lacked the insight to see the opportunities freely handed him by the love of his family and the altruism of society, who also lacked the imagination to see anything beyond the small pond in which he was the big fish? Did he see the need or at least feel the guilt to apologize to those he hurt, including the tax payers and financial donators who gave him a free ride through most of his life? Did he see the need to tell students about the historical significance of Western Civilization and their luck of living a society that is the end result of millions upon millions of lives who suffered and died with hope attempting to pass on to posterity Christian duties to love your neighbor as yourself, to live in truth, to have faith, to repent one’s sins, to give proof of humility, to love justice, to be merciful, to be sincere and wholehearted and to endure persecution and suffering for these virtues?

 
No, he became enlightened to see all is forgiven without even need of asking for forgiveness because of the excuse that some of his ancestors were slaves and he was black. The two must be taken together. We all have ancestors who were slaves. His enlightenment was that his childhood problems ensue from the slavery resulting from his African ancestors capturing their enemies and through Muslim traders selling 5% of them to the American colonies — that is the only slavery that matters. He saw this “something in it for me” and the need to pass this excuse onto posterity. Thus began his career as a genius writer.

 
According to Coates, true equality will mean “black people in this country have the right to be as mediocre as white people.” Shit, Wall Street bankers and managers are selfish, self-centered, ungrateful, violent, too lazy to see or care about the effects of their acts, arrogant, pompous, ignorant fools who lack the insight and imagination to feel empathy. So for true equality, black people should be allowed to be and do the same, right? A racist will see in Coates not only the true equality he wants but an unfair preference by the powers-that–be in which they treat a mediocre and selfish person, writer, and citizen as a genius simply because he is black and says what rich white folks want him to say. A racist will see the Coates family’s and his community’s failure to call Coates on his ignorance and hypocrisy as a further unfair preference granted to him because he is black.

 
Of course, such racism is irrational and morally wrong. One should not judge all blacks by this one individual Coates. One should not racially profile, refuse to associate, or refuse to employ blacks or discriminate against them in anyway simply because of bad apples such as Coates or any other like him.

 
One should not; but why not, is there “something in it for me”?

New School Racism: White History Month Week Four

In this last week, my honoree is more of a sympathy case than a role model but is still someone I will use as a standard by which to judge new school racists’ future acts, statements, and character to see if I should reject my new school racist opinion of them: the soldier Thersites from Homer’s Iliad. Some might object that Thersites is not a real person but a fictional person. There is no way of knowing if he was a living person, based on one, or simply an analogy for the common soldiers, sailors, and workers that are the pawns of all wars, but it does not matter. As contemplated in http://www.sandpebblespodcast.com, often analogy and honest fiction are often the only way that language allows us to choose truth over illusion and to reach and discuss truths “whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”. To me, Thersites is more real than the physically actual yet truly fake, illusionary creations of campaign strategy and marketing that call themselves presidential candidates.

 
The Iliad in written form dates back to the 7th – 8th Century BC but existed as a memorized oral tradition another at least 4 – 5 centuries before that. It depicts the last period of the ten-year siege of the city of Troy, the Trojan war, by a coalition of Greek city-states. The reasons for the war vary both in the Iliad, in histories, and in historical analyses. It could have been practical, the Trojans were supposedly pirates charging passing Greek ships tolls to avoid being boarded and ransacked or held for ransom. It could have been hormonal; since polygamy was common in that era and rich men took up all the wives they could support (which was a lot), there was always a shortage of wives for the lower class men and thus raids upon other tribes for their women were occasionally organized. The only certainty is that of all wars: for some reason benefitting them, the powers-that-be decided they wanted a war and were able to arrange events so that they got what they wanted.

 
Theristes had the guts to say so. As the Greek King Agamemnon was rallying the troops for the glory and honor of battle, Thersites scolds the King to his face:

Son of Atreus, … what are you dissatisfied with now? Your huts are full of bronze and plenty of women, the choice spoils we Achaeans give you whenever we take a town. Are you greedy for the gold that the horse-taming Trojans may yet bring you as ransom for a son, whom I or some other Achaean may have taken captive? Or some young girl to sleep with, that you will keep apart for yourself? It is not seemly, … that you, our leader, should bring evil on the sons of the Achacans, …
[then, turning to his fellow soldiers]
… soft fools, base things of shame, ye women of Achaia, and men no more. … leave this fellow here to digest his prizes in his old age and learn whether he can get along without us.

Depending on the translation, the reward for this honesty that even Homer admits stated what all the other soldiers were thinking, including the great Achilles, was either Odysseus or Agamemnon beat Thersites to a bloody mess or beat him to death.

 
The lesson here is as I have written before in this blog is that social and economic classes, including a ruling class having the only power to force “ought” statements on the classes below them, have always existed in human society and always will. As even the slave morality of Christianity admits, “[f]or the poor always you have with you”; however, it also states an obligation to help the poor that supposedly modern Technological Society has subsumed into its culture. The first step to dealing with this unavoidable classism in human society so that humanity can continue to materially progress thus making being poor less physically miserable is to accept it so that it can be incorporated into social reality. Western Civilization is what it is in large part because of the Roman Republic’s centuries of flourishing through acceptance of classes and thus the creation of such things as the Plebeian Council, Plebeian Assembly, the Conflict of Orders, Hortensian Law, jury trials, and the Plebeian Tribune that served as good marketing for the concept of republican and democratic forms of government into the Renaissance and into our own American Revolution more so than the short life of Athenian democracy. A democracy in which millionaires choose other millionaires to be in control of democracy is not a democracy, it has become a plutocracy; a vote for any candidate or system so chosen is a waste that only gives the powers undeserved credibility.

 
The problem is Thersites’ demise. Is that the inevitable ending for honesty on this issue of classism? Hopefully not. The Roman Republic was eventually beaten down by the law’s majestic protection of chattel slavery and thus the Patricians’ access to cheap labor. There is a short window of opportunity before wage slavery is permanently entrenched by the majesty of the law and has the same effect upon our American Republic. One good aspect of technology is that “[p]rogress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” — Robert A. Heinlein. Civil disobedience is an option now as it always has been in history and may be easier than ever before in history given our reliance on technology and its necessary requirement that we all must follow orders and do what we are told efficiently and orderly. According to the sociologist Jacques Ellul, “[n]ot even the moral conversion of the technicians could make a difference. At best, they would cease to be good technicians. In the end, technique has only one principle, efficient ordering.”

 
Time to prove him wrong out of laziness if nothing else. This is an individual decision based on each person’s life and status in life so I can give no specific guidance as to what any individual should do in terms of civil disobedience — just general guidance as in these white history month blogs. One simple and easy act of disobedience would be of your supposed duty as a citizen to vote. One of my sponsors (The Knights of Thermopylae Inn of Court) has a call to action to vote in the November election by writing in your name or voting for any third party as a protest vote against the mainstream candidates and parties — all of which are a joke and are only getting worse. This is an easy protest and disobedience of your civil duty to vote for which you will not get caught (we still have a secret ballot); in which technically you are doing your duty to vote; and that is pragmatically no different then choosing between the mainstream Mutt and Jeff, Beavis and Butthead, since a vote for any of them is a wasted vote anyway.

 
Along with the acts of my honoree Thersites that resulted in his suffering severe physical abuse if not death, I view such a simple and safe call to action and protest vote as a vote against New School Racism.

Can We Have Racism Without Having Racists?

According to the powers-that-be, the recent court decision of NAACP et al v. Patrick McCrory et al from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit striking down North Carolina’s voter I.D. law by reversing a lower federal district court decision approving the law proves that racism against blacks is still systematic. I do not care and really there is no answer to the question as to whether the North Carolina law was or was not a violation of the Voting Rights Act. The judges could have gone either way and the conclusion would be “law.” As I have repeatedly stated, the law as justice is an illusion, it is really a monopoly of power by those in power to enforce their ethics — their “ought”. As could have been predicted with great accuracy from day one of judge assignment to hear the case, the democratic appointed judges of the 4th Circuit voted one way and the republican appointed district court judge voted the opposite way. What bothers me is that this arbitrary partisan decision by a bunch of hack political appointees is used as a substantive argument for systematic racism. The 4th Circuit decision states no one involved acted with racist motives, so how can you have racism without having racists?

 
The McCrory decision is more than 80 pages long but as customary in modern legal culture, about 79 pages are verbiage either saying nothing of substance or missing the substance of what is going on. According to the three honorable justices of the Fourth Circuit who ruled North Carolina’s recently legislatively passed voter I.D. laws to be a violation of the Voting Rights Act, the following facts are undisputed:
1. Unlike postbellum and Jim Crow voting laws specifically intended to stop black voters from voting based on racism, that is based on the belief that people with black skin color are too mentally inferior to vote, the present voter laws are “not mean[t], and we [the court] do not suggest, that any member of the General Assembly harbored racial hatred or animosity toward any minority group” — that is, the legislators and governor are not racists.
2. The subject voter laws passed by the Republican North Carolina legislature and governor was intended for partisan purposes “to the benefit of one political party and to the disadvantage of the other”: to lower the democratic voter turnout. Since most North Carolina blacks are democrats, this partisan intent would “most heavily affect African Americans” by reducing their voter turnout.
Thus according to the Court, “intentionally targeting a particular race’s access to the franchise because its members vote for a particular party, in a predictable manner, constitutes discriminatory purpose”. That is, by discriminating against democrats, since most blacks are democrats, by semantic necessity they are discriminating against blacks and therefore the law violates the Voting Rights Act.

 
So, the historical and factual — not purely semantic — situation is that North Carolina had racist postbellum and Jim Crow Southern Democrats who hated blacks and decided to use voter laws to stop black voters from voting Republican (after the Civil War most Southern Blacks were Republican). It now has Southern Republicans who are not racist but are using voter laws to stop Democrats from voting Democratic (this now includes most Southern Blacks due to the realignment of the parties in the South following the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s). So, success! The politicians are treating black democrats as they would white democrats — factual equality is achieved as to politicians’ cynical maneuvering of voting laws. We can now concentrate on important issues such as why politicians are wasting time on such political maneuvering given our country’s difficulties or, given those difficulties, whether to start creating universal qualifications for voting instead of letting anyone who can show up anywhere near the voting booth vote. Yet, no, there is still racism?

 
Regardless of whether or not there is a Voting Rights Act violation, this concept that racism can exist without racists is another example of New School Racism. According to Mr. Coates, “race is the child of racism, not the father.” Though his writing never makes clear what he means by this dogma, my conclusion is that he means to say it is racism that sees race in the world, race is a construct of the racist mind not of any realistic or pragmatic mind. According to the honorable Fourth Circuit, the Southern Republicans who passed this new voting law are not racists, they just hate the Democratic Party and Democrats regardless of skin color. The state officials did not bring race into the voting law through a belief that blacks are mentally inferior; they made a partisan decision to stick it to democrats based on their belief that democrats are inferior. They are treating all democrats, whether white or black, as equally inferior and as usual with politics and politicians they will do whatever they can to stop the opposing politics and politicians from winning elections.

 
If “race is the child of racism, not the father”, who are the racists in the McCrory case? Was race brought into it by the Court and its interpretation of the law? The three judges who issued the Fourth Circuit McCrory opinion were democratic appointees, either by Clinton or Obama, while the District Court judge who approved the voter law at issue was a republican Bush appointee. Is the more likely explanation based on human nature that a panel of Democratic judges did not like the fact that Republicans were trying to reduce Democratic voter turnout and instead of just saying so they used “race” as a smokescreen to hide this unarticulated premise of their reasoning? If “race” truly “is the child of racism”, the racists are the three democratic judges of the Fourth Circuit who brought racism into a case in which their own admitted undisputed facts state there are no racists.

 
In the philosophy of language there are paradoxes such as the Ship of Theseus going back to ancient Greek philosophy trying to make sense of the meaning of words that are supposed to involve identity. Modern versions are the paradoxes of George Washington’s Axe and of the murder weapon. If a museum exhibited an axe once owed and used by George Washington to cut down his famous cherry tree but then because of wear and tear had its handle and head replaced over time, is it still “George Washington’s axe”. If an archaeologist finds the discarded handle and head and reassembles them, is that “George Washington’s axe?” A murderer uses an axe for the crime but before being caught, over time, replaces the handle and then the head. Is it still the murder weapon?

 
These would not be paradoxes if they state, “George Washington’s axe” had its handle replaced by a gas motor and its head by a chain — in this case, it would be his chainsaw. Same with the murder weapon; it would no longer be an axe but a murderer’s chainsaw. This is true regardless of their still being used to cut wood. If you eat oranges because you hate apples, you are an apple hater. If you eat oranges because oranges have much more potassium as well as more Vitamin C and folate than apples, then you are not an apple hater but an orange lover. If you get the racist out of racism, regardless of the motives and any adverse results to anybody’s interests from the acts motivated, the acts are not motivated by racism and there is no racism. If you call it racism anyway to help you gain power at the expense of dealing with more important difficulties faced by our country, you are a new school racist with the same sense of entitlement as old school racists but unfortunately much more subtle and difficult to see, understand, and remedy because of the 80 pages of trees hiding the forest.

New School Racism: White History Month Week Three

In this third week, we have another group honoree who I will use as a standard by which to judge new school racists’ future acts, statements, and character to see if I should reject my new school racist opinion of them: Lowell Mill Girls. This historical group consists of the female workers who went to work for the textile corporate mills in Lowell, Massachusetts during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the United States. These workers were all predominantly from farm economies. By 1840 when the start of America’s Industrial Revolution was gaining full steam, the Lowell textile mills employed approximately 8,000 women making up about 75% of the workforce. These women came to these mills freely as a way out of the drudgery of life on the farm that was never as romantic or idyllic, at least not for the average peasant farmer, as many modern fictions make it appear to have been. They came not only to obtain supplementary income for their family back on the farm but also to gain economic independence as women earning their own salaries and for the cultural and educational opportunities offered by life in the big city.

 
Initially, factory life with the economic, cultural, and educational independence it granted these women gave them high expectations for a better life, and they saw it as a very good opportunity. The women were hired through employment contracts of one year that could be renewed. The average female worker stayed about four years. During the height of these expectations, there were often found grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and their young children as young as 10 years old working in the mills together. The women usually lived in dormitories provided by the mills or in area boarding houses and thus quickly developed social bonds regardless of their life backgrounds. As should be expected of human nature and reality, gradually these expectations deteriorated along with the deteriorating factory conditions. The human mind is capable of the concept of infinity and the will to power that is usually never satisfied solely by material conditions, regardless of how well they may be at any given time. All social and even economic improvement is relative. To be a living human requires that there is and always should be hope for a better life either for oneself or for others.

 
When the conditions in the factories deteriorated; working requirements of 60 hour weeks or longer became the norm; the economy went through booms, recessions, and depressions resulting in the factories cutting wages and income support; and the working conditions got more dangerous, by 1845 the women formed the first union of working women in the United States called the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association and published their own newspaper called The Voice of Industry in which workers published essays, reports, and critiques of the Industrial Revolution and their own personal conditions. At present, unless you are very familiar with history, it is hard to appreciate the courage of such acts. As indicated by my prior blog on the Hay Market Square Riots, in the 19th century organized union activities could and often were considered an illegal conspiracy subject to both criminal and tort violations.

 
Not only did they organize unions and start protests and strikes but they were successful protests and strikes. These early successes gave hope to other union organizers and eventually led to the golden age of union organizing from 1881 to 1905 in which historians have documented approximately 37,000 strikes by workers against their working conditions. This golden age was gradually destroyed by the majesty of the law through numerous judicial rulings and legislative acts along with their judicial interpretation varying from the Norris LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act of 1932 to the Taft Hartley Act of 1947. That last Act began the end of the second boom in union organization during World War II and post-World War II that was in large part responsible for making sure that the wartime profits of the powers-that-be trickled down to all workers. By the 1980’s, the golden age of unions was dead and the power of unions finally ended with the Reagan administration and its forced breakup of the PATCO strike of 1981. Since then, except for government workers — the employees who are in the least need of any type of unions — unions in the United States are not only seen as a remnant from the past but even among workers the powers have been able to indoctrinate into them and market the idea that unions should be archaic remnants of the past and are evils to be avoided. True, unions were greedy power hungry organizations, but the fact is ignored that they had to be to survive and win against the greedy power hungry corporations they were fighting who had the law on their side.

 
As I wrote earlier, historically the only essential difference between chattel slavery and wage slavery was the wage slaves’ ability to maintain social and cultural relationships that allowed for the formation of rebellions against the powers-that-be. Materially, the chattel slave usually had a better life but not spiritually or socially. The material success of modern Technological Society has taken this power away from the modern world of wage slaves. Workers are now wage slaves with access to all the material necessities of life but none of the social bonds once necessary to gain material necessities in life. With the leisure, marketing, and communications power provided by modern technological success, the powers-that-be are now free to keep us fighting among ourselves by fake struggles such as new school racism.

 
Most present workers in relative, qualitative terms are probably no better off than the Lowell Mill Girls: many still work 60 – 70 hours a week to survive; as a result of a lifetime of work, 80% of America’s workers will wind up owning about 10% of the economic wealth they create; 40% of the wealth produced by their lifetime of work will be owned by the richest 1%. Problem is that instead of working 60-70 hours a week in a noisy, smelly, polluted factory, most workers spend their time in heated, air-conditioned spaces, with whatever hope they have for the future routinely negated by the constant fear of losing the present while having no social or cultural connection to any other worker in the same bind and thus having no social or cultural option to rebel against it — only the existentialist rebellion allowed to any individual who can overcome the fear of losing whatever they have. O’Brien’s Room 101 from Orwell’s 1984 has come to life but it is no longer a room with a rat cage but a sterile, pleasantly decorated, warm, friendly room with surround sound of bullshit negating conscious, complex tragedy and thought in the classical sense, to replace it with fear, hatred, and the joy or pain of either triumph or self-abasement loss in nonsense battles over bull-shit but no dignity of deep or complex sorrow nor of clear rational thought.

 
Oh well, beats working 60-70 hours a week in a noisy, smelly, polluted factory. In case you may disagree and are starting to look for options that I do not see, I leave you with the following quote by an anonymous author known as “operative” in the Factory Tracts pamphlets published by the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association:

When you sell your product, you retain your person. But when you sell your labour, you sell yourself, losing the rights of free men and becoming vassals of mammoth establishments of a monied aristocracy that threatens annihilation to anyone who questions their right to enslave and oppress.
Those who work in the mills ought to own them, not have the status of machines ruled by private despots who are entrenching monarchic principles on democratic soil as they drive downwards freedom and rights, civilization, health, morals and intellectuality in the new commercial feudalism.

Nice speech. I would be happy for now if the aristocracy and private despots would just stop bombarding me and messing up my watching of the few NFL games I watch with their new school racism and claim of entitlement to their status as aristocracy and private despots because some of them are black.

New School Racism: White History Month Week Two

In this second week and in honor of Labor Day, I give you White History Month’s first group honoree whose members I will use as standards by which to judge new school racists’ future acts, statements, and character to see if I should reject my new school racist opinion of them. The group consists of the Haymarket Eight: George Engel, Samuel Fielden, Adolf Fischer, Louis Lingg, Oscar Neebe, Albert Parsons, Michael Schwab, August Spies. They are essentially unknown in the United States but are celebrated throughout the rest of the world on May 1 of each year known as International Workers’ Day. On this day of 1 May, the United States celebrates Law Day intentionally set up on that same day to avoid publicizing the underlying reason for the rest of the world honoring the Haymarket Eight on 1 May: the Haymarket Square riots and trials in the United States.

 
As the esteemed members of the legal profession and the worshipers of the new god the law gather on 1 May to congratulate themselves on the majesty of the law and their profession, in these times in which even parochial celebrations are supposed to be cross-cultural, diverse, and whatever, the esteemed members of the Bar and the worshipers of secular law as the new religion should give some thought to the rest of the world’s celebration on our Law Day. The Haymarket Riot of 1886 in my great hometown of Chicago, Illinois occurred on 4 May but it was a continuation of labor rallies and strikes that had begun on May 1. During those four days, workers were demonstrating and striking for the absurd, at that time politically incorrect demand of a mandatory eight hour workday.

 
Having enough of this threat to Western Civilization, on 3 May the legal system sent in armed police to re-establish law and order resulting in the death of four workers. When armed police went to break up another rally on May 4, someone in the crowd had the audacity to fight back and threw a bomb at the police line resulting in the death of Police Officer Mathias J. Degan. Eight men were arrested and tried for conspiracy in his murder. (Though four workers and six other policemen were killed in the riot, these deaths were caused by police “friendly fire” shooting in the dark at anything moving — an embarrassing fact not warranting public inquiry).

 
Since the prosecution could not offer evidence as to who threw the bomb nor connecting any defendant with the bomber (most were not even at the rally and the rest had eyewitness testimony verifying their presence in public, plain view when the explosion occurred), the theory of prosecution was that the defendants had published anarchist views advocating the start of the strikes and rallies that created the opportunity for the unknown bomber’s acts and thus they were equally liable for the murder as co-conspirators. The trial judge using his common law powers used this theory of prosecution as a guide for his evidentiary rulings. My favorite part is Defense Counsel William Foster’s closing argument. Having abandoned all hope as he entered the inferno of closing argument (a feeling with which I am too familiar), he said to the jury:

If these men are to be tried . . . for advocating doctrines opposed to ideas of propriety, there is no use for me to argue the case. Let the sheriff go and erect a scaffold; let him bring eight ropes with dangling nooses at the end; let him pass them around the necks of these eight men; and let us stop this farce now.

That is what happened. All were convicted. Four of the men were hung, one committed suicide in prison, three had their sentences commuted to life or pardoned and were eventually released from prison. All this occurred after of course the Court of Appeals did its job of ignoring substantive error to bend over backwards to distort the law and the facts to find a way to affirm the judgment. Unfortunately for the legal system of the 19th Century, the death penalty has one unfortunate consequence that executive tyrants long ago learned to try to avoid, it creates martyrs. And thus we have the worldwide celebration of May Day.

 
As modern worshipers of the law congratulate themselves on seeing the light and accepting the law as their god and savior of humanity, I ask that we give some thought to what the rest of the world is celebrating and ask if the modern American legal system is really any different from what it was 150 years ago and of other systems of the past two thousand years or have just the nature of the injustices it protects changed? Thanks to the protections of the law, in 2008 just as in 1886: 1% of this country’s population still owns >40% of its wealth and power;  at any given time 10%-20% owns at least 80% thus leaving the remaining 80% to share and fight over the remaining 10% of wealth and power. Unfortunately or fortunately, thanks to technological progress there are no obvious martyrs to such injustice because the income disparity of our present Technological Society serves more to destroy the human spirit than its body. As the law’s worshipers celebrate its diversity of people of color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, and whatever, do we really have any diversity of ideas or is it still governed by “ideas of propriety” instead of ideas of substance? Now as then, would it be just as willing to kill in cold blood four workers for daring to challenge its authority?

 
It would and does every day. The present law as to “conspiracy” and “attempt” is even looser than it was in 1886. If interested in contemplating this issue, I suggest reading the books “Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent” by Harvey Silverglate or the linked “The Law Illusion” of this blog.

 
In honor of our group honoree especially of the honored dead, I leave you with their words by which to judge new school racists:

“It is not generally considered a crime among intellectual people to be a revolutionist, but it may be made a crime if the revolutionist happens to be poor.” — Samuel Fielden (teamster; death sentence commuted to life, eventually released)

“The forces by which the workers are kept in subjugation must be retaliated by force.” — Louis Lingg (carpenter; suicide in prison)

“No power on Earth can rob the working man of his knowledge of
how to make bombs – and that knowledge he possesses.”
— George Engel (toymaker; hanged)

“I was tried here in this room for murder, and I was convicted of anarchy. In rendering such an unjust and barbarous verdict, the twelve ‘honorable men’ in the jury-box have done more for the furtherance of anarchism than the convicted have accomplished in a generation. This verdict is a death-blow to free speech, free press and free thought in this country, and the people will be conscious of it, too. This is all I care to say.”
— Adolf Fischer (printer; hanged)

“You use your power to perpetuate a system by which you make money for yourselves and keep the wage workers poor. You rich men don’t want the poor educated. You don’t want anybody to be educated. You want to keep them down in the mud so you can squeeze the last drop out of their bones.”— Oscar Neebe (yeastmaker; eventually pardoned)

“It is entirely wrong to use the word anarchy as synonymous with violence. Violence is one thing and anarchy another. In the present state of society violence is used on all sides, and therefore we advocated the use of violence against violence, but against violence only, as a necessary means of defense. I know that our ideal will not be accomplished this or next year, but I know that it will be accomplished as near as possible, some day, in the future. — Michael Schwab (bookbinder; eventually pardoned)

 
“Once traditional slavery was abolished, capitalism created a new kind of slavery, where the working masses were slaves to their capitalist masters.”
— Albert Parsons (printer; hanged)

“The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.” — August Spies (upholsterer; hanged)

New School Racism: White History Month Week One

As written in earlier blogs, in response to rich white folks who happen to be black creating new school racism in which they selfishly use their black skin to help them with their careers and professional goals, I unilaterally designated September as White History Month to provide any blacks that want to call themselves white to benefit their career and goals a guiding standard by which to do so. A recent new, new school racist added to the new school racist list is 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick: a rich white kid who happens to be black who grew up spoiled and the center of attention his whole life in the sheltered bubble of California valley life thanks to his white parents rescuing him from his black mother’s abandonment of him. Having lost the center of attention in the NFL when he stopped being a starting quarterback, Mr. Kaepernick now has decided to draw attention to himself by calling himself black, and then on behalf of an imagined “oppressed” black minority community he has decided not to stand during the playing of the United States national anthem. Of course, Mr. Kaepernick’s protest does not go so far as rejecting any of his salary of 117,000,000 paid in United States dollars to him by one of the biggest oppressors and exploiters of black physical laborers in the United States: the NFL. Welcome to the list, Sir — if by some miracle you ever happen to see it. Since you have decided to use your skin color for selfish undeserved attention, advancement, credibility, and pity, I now assume that as a black quarterback you must be inferior to white quarterbacks. In order to prove me wrong and gain my respect, I give you White History Month’s first honoree against whom I will compare your future acts, statements, and character to see if I should reject my racist opinion of you: President Harry S. Truman.

 
President Truman will always be associated and his character examined by historians for centuries based on his decision to drop nuclear bombs on Japan in August of 1945 with the intent of saving millions of lives by a quick end to World War II, an act for which all politically correct liberals despise and condemn him. Unlike his predecessor the patrician Franklin D. Roosevelt, loved by liberals for saving capitalism from the Depression it caused while intentionally, knowingly, and deceitfully setting the stage to get the United States involved in World War II, Truman was a farm boy and hat salesman from Missouri despised by Congress, the military, and the military/industrial complex whom destiny forced into dealing with massive problems his haters, not he, created.

 
What historians will also be contemplating for centuries once the bombings are more distant history and some objective historical analysis is possible is why he stopped at Japan. For four years from the Summer of 1945 until September of 1949 when Russia set off its own nuclear bomb, President Truman and the United States were the only ones in the world that had control of nuclear bombs and the ability to drop them anywhere in the world. Think about that undisputed fact and apply it to any other nation/empire culture in world history, Western or Eastern, from Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Genghis Khan to Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, and so forth (including the empires of Islam) and make a reasonable inference as to what most likely would have occurred. Would they have used atomic weapons to create a world empire? Dam right they would have, and by the Machiavellian principles that govern world history they should have. Mr. Coates and politically correct liberals accuse the United States of being militarily imperialist; Mr. Coates derides America, “whose armies fanned out across the world to extend their dominion”. We had four years to extend our dominion across the entire world without need of fanning out, yet we did not do it. Why did we act differently from how all previous “armies” would have acted?

 
President Truman, a World War I combat veteran, had plenty of opportunity and motive to easily create a world American military empire based on nuclear weapons if United States culture had or allowed for such mentality. As soon as World War II ended, the Cold War with both Russia and China began. Forgetting about the economic costs and concentrating on human lives, just in the years 1945 to 1949 communist Russia and China cost the world tens of millions of lives directly by Soviet and Chinese communist oppression of its conquered nations in Eastern Europe and in the Far East that at least equaled if not exceeded the misery caused by Nazi Germany. If America truly had an imperialist mentality, it would have stopped the creation of these opposing communist empires by an imperialistic, militaristic threat and use of nuclear weapons. (Once Russia had nuclear weapons, the cost of communist oppression upon its conquered nations went into millions of more lives).

 
Instead under Truman the United States engaged in an internationalist foreign policy and renounced isolationism but did so without the threat or use of nuclear weapons. Truman helped found the United Nations in 1945 and issued the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to contain Communism. Truman oversaw the Berlin Airlift of 1948 and the creation of NATO in 1949. Truman as a matter of principle decided to recognize Israel on May 14, 1948, eleven minutes after it declared itself a nation, over the objections of everyone — everyone else feared hurting relations with the oil rich Arab states. Instead of unilaterally using nuclear weapons to enforce a Pax Americana upon the world as a true imperialist would have done regardless of the cost to the enemy, Truman got the $13 billion Marshall Plan enacted to rebuild Western Europe including the defeated foe Germany — about half of which has still not been paid back and never will be. Truman instead of using nuclear weapons that would have assured a unilateral world American empire instead lend $13 billion to defeated enemies expecting it never to be paid back? The supposed great General Douglas MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons to end the Korean War. Again, Truman refused. What kind of militaristic imperialism is this?

 
It isn’t. United States enlisted military personnel do not make a sacramentum militare to faithfully execute the commands of the emperor. The oath we take is to defend the Constitution, which the likes of Mr. Coates are always preaching about protecting as long as it does not involve risk for them. Unfortunately, the war profiteers from Connecticut Avenue to Wall Street and their commissioned officers use the naiveness and unfortunate circumstances of the working and middle class who always have and still make up most of the military to take advantage of our naivete on this oath to start wars that never should have been started and continue to do so but this does not change the nature of the present United States military as the only major military force in history whose purpose and intent are not to create empires either for the United States or anyone. In history the difference between the good and the bad is a fine line; on this fine line, the present United States military falls into the good side — at least for now.

 
We can thank President Truman for being a significant part of the reason for falling on the right side of the line. True, he did use atomic bombs during an actively declared war with the intention to end the war in order to save millions of more lives, but he refused to use them as a means of imperialism. It is a difference in intent, a difference that Mr. Coates and all politically correct liberals ridicule. However, in the reality of working class life in which there is no power to define social ethics, and free will and control over our lives is usually if not always missing, good intentions are often all we have to show for our lives and by which they are measured.

 
Furthermore, going to domestic issues, despite opposition from a conservative Congress who treated him as a hick from Missouri, Truman successfully guided the American economy through the post-war economic problems and maintained civil rights as both a personal and national moral priority. It was Truman, not his predecessor the upper class racist and pompous classist Franklin Roosevelt loved by liberals, who in 1948 submitted the first comprehensive civil rights legislation to Congress and issued Executive Orders to start racial integration in the military and federal agencies.

 
While in politics, Truman did not have girlfriends and hookers running around his offices or the White House as FDR and the liberal hero JFK and others did. Though political graft was common in his political era, he never participated in it. Upon leaving the presidency, Truman returned to Missouri to live with his wife at his mother-in-law’s house. He did not go on any corporate or commercial payroll because he believed that taking advantage of such financial opportunities would diminish the integrity of the presidency (can you believe that?). Other than his savings, a small real estate inheritance, and a personal loan to write and sell his memoirs, his only income was his old army pension of $112.56 per month, and he had significant debt from failed family investments. He received no pension for his service as senator or president. Luckily the book was a success and avoided having a former President go into poverty and bankruptcy. To avoid the possibility of such an embarrassment in the future, Congress subsequently passed the Former Presidents Act, offering a $25,000 yearly pension to each former president. At his death, his wife Bess Truman opted for a simple private service in Missouri rather than a state funeral in Washington.

 
Truman was not a working class hero. His life and power in Missouri, though a hick by Washington DC standards, always made him a big fish in that small pond. However, despite all his imperfections of which all humanity shares, as a human being with empathy for all and especially as a politician for whom power was not an end in itself but an obligation for duty, by intention and by acts President Truman is a fine example of what the United States flag should represent to all Americans — either white or black, regardless of whether you sit or stand during the playing of any formal or informal national anthem. If you are a rich white person who happens to be black and want to call yourself white, our honoree President Truman is one standard by which I will judge you.