Saturday, June 19, 2021

Juneteenth is for Everyone

"Juneteenth" is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating emancipation of enslaved African Americans.

But let's be clear: Juneteenth isn't a "Black Holiday". It's an American holiday, in which everyone has just reason to celebrate.  Let's list a few:

1. African Americans have reason to celebrate because this is the day celebrating the emancipation of slaves. That's right up front and center. And it gives us pause to consider the accomplishments of Blacks when they choose to embrace their freedom and act according to their own will. 

2. Liberty-loving Americans of all races have reason to celebrate, particularly those descendants of Civil War soldiers who fought, killed, and died to gain the freedom of those Black slaves. Let's be clear... slaves in America did not free themselves alone. While nearly 200,000 Blacks served in the Army during this conflict, White soldiers paid for the freedom of Blacks with their blood, tears, limbs, lives, and families. 620,000 dead. 476,000 wounded. 400,000 missing. This date is also a triumph of the perseverance and moral fortitude of all who served.

3. Constitution-loving Americans have reason to celebrate, as this date commemorates the realization of the dreams of the Founding Fathers. If compromise were not written into the Constitution, there would be no United States of America that included the slave states, and this day might not have come. But the Founders included a path to eventual equality in the Constitution: the slave trade is given a term limit, and the power of slave-owners was curbed by the "3/5 compromise" that limited their representation of people who were not allowed to speak on their own behalves. Both of these clauses were instrumental in bringing about the eventual abolition of slavery.

4. Descendants of Confederate soldiers have reason to celebrate. When the Civil War ended, Confederate soldiers were, by act of Congress, classed as United States Veterans. This wasn't some racially motivated move. Rather, it was adult move, in that we had are disagreements, we fought a bloody war, and now it was time to once again stand united as a nation. It was an act of unity vs. division, and one of the primary reasons that America could go on to be a "melting pot" of cultures (or "Mulligan stew" if you prefer).

5. Those who have been swept up in Critical Race Theory (CRT) have reason to celebrate, as this holiday provides a reason to re-examine the lies that they have been taught by mis-educated academics and adopt instead a proper understanding of the founding, history, and aftermath of slavery in this nation. Their fallacies are self-evident. If all Whites are racist, there could have been no Civil War. There could have been no Emanicpation. There could have been no abolition of the slave trade, and and no curb of the influence of slavers. Although there are still individual racists, God help us, it isn't "racism" merely to note that people have cultures. However, it is racist to be a supremacist, even if you believe in the supremacy of someone else. But if systemic racism in modern times were actually what is taught, there could be no Oprah. There could be no Denzel Washington, no Morgan Freeman, no Thomas Sowell, no Clarence Thomas, no Booker T. Washington, no James Earl Jones, no Beyonce, and no Barack Obama. The purveyors of CRT should take these lessons to heart and excise their own racism before casting their eyes on others.


Much of what I've just written may fly in the face of what some of you have been taught. Nevertheless, what I've written is true. Reparations were paid in blood when Whites took up arms against Whites and gave their lives to free people they had never met... some of those Union soldiers had never even seen a Black person. The Constitution did contain a roadmap of eventual equality. Just read the Federalist Papers. The importation of slaves was outlawed at the earliest possible date. The "3/5 compromise" was not about discounting the value of Black lives... it was about curbing the power and influence of their slavers. And unity is more important than division. It is unity that leads to equality.

I'm half Jewish and half Native American. I grew up in a predominately Black school system. I will tell you flat-out that people are people, however they look and wherever they're from. To demonize one group is to diminish yourself. And it doesn't matter who you demonize. There is no "acceptable" racism. Anyone -- and I mean anyone -- who tells you there is is a goddamned liar.

I relish this holiday. It marks the beginning of the culmination of this nation's ideals. It's a glorious thing to know that though every area on Earth has engaged in slavery -- and some still do -- this country was one of those that lead the charge, in the most dramatic way possible, to end it. ALL Americans have reason to be proud of that. And all have reason to encourage others to exercise the often untapped power that their freedom gives them. Of all the injustices that remain, the most pressing is that so many people are taught to believe that someone is holding them down when they choose not to stand up. If 3.2 million immigrants can come into this country and start their own businesses, you can, too. 

Enjoy the holiday. And whoever you are, enjoy your freedoms. Use them for unity. Use them for betterment. Use them for peace.

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Freedom of Speech


It's been a while since I've posted anything, mainly because I've been writing a book while at the same time battling cancer. But I would like to take time to post a couple of thoughts:

Censorship is evil. If you can't handle free speech, then YOU are evil. It's your reality. Live with it, or change for the better.

If you simply can't handle the thought that someone might express an opinion with which you disagree, you're not a liberal: you're a totalitarian. You're not a socialist: you're anti-social. 

The only way to test an idea is to pit it against another. If your thoughts are so fragile that you cannot under any circumstances allow that to happen, preferring to label competing ideas as "hate speech", defined as that which is at odds with your own beliefs despite your clear attempts to disguise that, then your own beliefs are too weak to defend. You have already lost the argument.

Again, it's your reality. 

 Live with it, or change for the better.