Monday, September 07, 2015

Do Black Lives Matter?

Yes, of course. But that does not appear to be the actual question posed. The question being asked is "Do Black lives matter more than other lives?" The answer is no. Emphatically.

I grew up in Canada. There were never any Black slaves in Canada. Black people, as I grew up, were just that, black People. There were not a lot of black People in Canada and I encountered few in the 25 years I lived there. Among those few I encountered was Marion Cumberbatch, our housekeeper of long standing. So, anecdotally I suppose you could say that they occupied the lower levels of society, much as they did/do in the USA. On the other hand, there was the white Scottish housekeeper who worked for a neighbor's family, so who knows.

Being a Jew I benefit from a long tradition of sympathy with oppressed people (we can talk about the "Palestinians" some other time) but I find myself less and less sympathetic to American Blacks as they continue to take advantage of  unconstitutional, in my opinion, so-called Affirmative Action programs while rampaging here and there in protest of the unfair treatment they claim to be enduring at the hands of White Americans.

The reason for my lack of sympathy is the Alice in Wonderland nature of their campaign. Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown were thugs who were killed in self-defense.

"Hands up, don't shoot" is a complete and ugly distortion of the facts.

As "presentism" (judging historical figures by today's moral standards) takes hold in America a lot of history is being revised or eliminated. Did you know that 268,000 mostly white Union soldiers died to liberate black slaves? Or that another 300,000 or so were wounded in the same pursuit? Or that more than 1.5 million mostly white men served in the Union armies? Did you know that those 1.5 million represented about 20% of the male population of the North? 1 out of 5 men served. Or that in 2015 dollars the Union spent $147,000,000,000 ($36,700 per slave of the 4,000,000 then in bondage) to liberate the slaves? Apparently even our hillbilly ancestors knew that "Black lives Matter". Too bad their sacrifice has been completely dishonored by the dreadful conduct of so much of the black community recently.

Did you know that the first president of the NAACP was White? Did you know that the chairman of the NAACP in 1914 was a Jew? No? I thought not. Can you think of a reason you don't know that? I know, you would rather not. Me too.

Here is some of the NAACP's history as it appears in Wikipedia:

The conference resulted in a more influential and diverse organization, where the leadership was predominantly white and heavily Jewish American. In fact, at its founding, the NAACP had only one African American on its executive board, Du Bois himself. It did not elect a black president until 1975, although executive directors had been African-American. The Jewish community contributed greatly to the NAACP's founding and continued financing. Jewish historian Howard Sachar writes in his book A History of Jews in America of how, "In 1914, Professor Emeritus Joel Spingarn of Columbia University became chairman of the NAACP and recruited for its board such Jewish leaders as Jacob Schiff, Jacob Billikopf, and Rabbi Stephen Wise."[19] Early Jewish-American co-founders included Julius Rosenwald, Lillian Wald, Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch and Wise.
According to Pbs.org "Over the years Jews have also expressed empathy (capability to share and understand another's emotion and feelings) with the plight of Blacks. In the early 20th century, Jewish newspapers drew parallels between the Black movement out of the South and the Jews' escape from Egypt, pointing out that both Blacks and Jews lived in ghettos, and calling anti-Black riots in the South "pogroms". Stressing the similarities rather than the differences between the Jewish and Black experience in America, Jewish leaders emphasized the idea that both groups would benefit the more America moved toward a society of merit, free of religious, ethnic and racial restrictions."[20] Pbs.org further states, "The American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the Anti-Defamation League were central to the campaign against racial prejudice. Jews made substantial financial contributions to many civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, the Urban League, the Congress of Racial Equality, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. About 50 percent of the civil rights attorneys in the South during the 1960s were Jews, as were over 50 percent of the Whites who went to Mississippi in 1964 to challenge Jim Crow Laws."[20]
As a member of the Princeton chapter of the NAACP, Albert Einstein corresponded with Du Bois, and in 1946 Einstein called racism "America's worst disease".[21][22] Du Bois continued to play a pivotal role in the organization and served as editor of the association's magazine, The Crisis, which had a circulation of more than 30,000.
Moorfield Storey, who was white, was the president of the NAACP from its founding to 1915. Storey was a long-time classical liberal and Grover Cleveland Democrat who advocated laissez-faire free markets, the gold standard, and anti-imperialism. Storey consistently and aggressively championed civil rights, not only for blacks but also for Native Americans and immigrants (he opposed immigration restrictions).

Yes, American slavery was an abomination. Yes,  there continues to be identifiable racism in the USA. There always will be. Just as there will always be anti-semites, anti-Irish, anti-fat, anti ugly and so on. Most of us keep fighting to make these anti's as marginal as possible.

Ugly, racialist movements like "Black Lives Matter" only serve to make those of us who believed in the fight for equality cringe and stand down. Apparently nothing is enough so why bother.




1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I very much agree. Love you! - Annie

5:41 AM  

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