Racism in America: Let’s drop the guilt

Kathryn Liss's commentary on racism was pointless, full of innuendo and lacked any semblance of factual information ["Ending Racism," June 9]. She stated, "Like most Americans, Asheville residents are still confused about race." What in the world does that mean? … Just for the record, I believe every person should have equal opportunity and be treated with equal respect, and my history is unblemished in that regard. But I also believe not all people are created equal.

Liss proceeded to reiterate [UNCA Professor] Dwight Mullen's list of "things that aren't right," as if everyone else is to blame for any disparities that exist in the black community. That argument might have had virtue 50 years ago — not today. The blame game has no merit any more.

Ask Condolezza Rice if opportunity exists. … Ask Colin Powell if being the son of Jamaican immigrants destined him to a life of government dependency. If opportunity did not exist, could he ever have become a four-star general and the 65th U.S. secretary of state? Need I mention Barack Obama? Please don't tell me blacks are repressed, oppressed and depressed…

I, like [Liss], do not have deep roots here: I am first-generation [American] from Italian-born parents. When my father arrived, he was assaulted daily and treated with less-than-human status in every social and economic environment. Yet, my parents were proud to be in America and excited to explore the opportunities here. Not knowing any English, they still chose to break family tradition and not name their children after family members, but to tag us with American names because they desired to be an integral part of American society and not an exclusion to it…

Do you really want to heal racism in this country? Let's start by addressing the true segregationists, those who offer every American right, plus a plethora of benefits and exclusivity to one group only…

The first step toward a harmonious society is an equal playing field. What one group has to the exclusion of others certainly will promote animosity and contempt, not cohesion and accord…

Accusing others for the problems of some and offering blame as a solution are an insult and a deceptive ploy. We will never eliminate racism until we purge unilateral equality.

— Ron DeBenevento


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13 thoughts on “Racism in America: Let’s drop the guilt


    Greetings, While I truly was hoping to read something in this article that was based on some form of knowledge or, at least, common sense, needless to say the article didn’t rise to the ocassion. The writer asked the question about how can the oppressed black race blame the system when the likes of Condelezza Rice & Colin Powell had the opportunity to live the American dream? In a new book entitled, THE GOD DEFINED SELF (A LAYMAN’S PERSPECTIVE ON RACISM IN AMERICA), author, Andre’ D. Davis brings to light information contained in National Sec memos 200 advanced by Nixon’s National Sec. Advisor Henry Kissinger & memo 46 advanced by Zbigniew Brzezinski, …1)specific steps…to inhibit coordinated activity of the black movement in the U.S….8)to support the nomination at the federal & local levels of loyal black public figures to elective offices, to government agencies & the courts…to give the appearence of black leadership & enhance the stratification of social classes among American blacks… This is the reason for the success of certain blacks in America. This book delves deeply into this subject of racism & has a view of racial reconciliation in focus. A must read for all Americans. Someone, please send the writer a copy. Thank you. Sincerely, Andre’

  2. dhalgren

    Not knowing any English, they still chose to break family tradition and not name their children after family members, but to tag us with American names because they desired to be an integral part of American society and not an exclusion to it…

    Soooo, if “Chequethia” would only change her name to “Sarah” she would do much better in life!?

  3. dhalgren

    Yes, after 3 or 4 hundred years of slavery and being bred like farm animals, they should just suck it up and get over it! Look here, my big brained friend, some people do get lucky and with hard work (and affirmative action) they do succeed. But, the odds of anyone of any race enjoying the level of achievement that Condi, Barrack, and Colin enjoy are slim. Lottery odds are better. Family connections are more important than merit. The game is rigged. (which is a damn good reason to tax the hell out of the rich)

  4. Barry Summers

    Here, here, dhalgren.

    I’m noticing a not-so-subtle brand of pushback on race discussions lately. There is a strain of righty that has hit on the “If you talk about race than you are responsible for racism still existing” strategy. This letter is a variant of that – affirmative action, or whatever “plethora of benefits and exclusivity” that African-Americans receive – that is the root source of racism today, not any continued animus stirred up by whites. Truth is, racism is alive and well in this country, and calls to pretend it isn’t simply allow genuine racist behavior to flourish.

    Consider this story:


    A Prescott AZ school was in the middle of having a large mural painted on an outside wall. The mural featured four actual children at the school, two whites, one Hispanic, and one African-American. The artist reported people driving by yelling racial slurs at him & the children as they worked. A local City Councilman who had a radio program called the project “pathetic” and suggested that painting the faces of various races of children amounted to some sort of provocation, which the white townsfolk couldn’t be held responsible for.

  5. Barry Summers

    The principal of the school responded to these racist acts by telling the artist to go back in & ‘lighten’ the skin color of the offending children’s faces. Disgusting. Mind you, these are actual children, working on a painting on their own school, featuring their own faces, and they’re told by a City Councilman and their school principal that the color of their skins are provoking people, and they have to be painted out.

    The Councilman lost his radio show over the controversy, thankfully. Speaking of City Councilmen on the radio, our own Carl Mumpower continues to refer to Barack Obama as “President Boo” on his podcasts, and pretends that he is unaware of any racist connotations to the term. Riiiiggghhhttt…

    This week, he also told the story of one ‘Larmondo Flair Allen’.


    Go ahead, google him. I’ll wait. He was apparently a drug dealer in New Orleans who died in a shoot-out. His obituary lists him as the father of nine children by the age of 25. Dr. Carl tells this story dryly, and ends with the comment that it’s “good” that Larmondo is dead. Carl failed to mention that this young African-American man died violently over 6 years ago. The reason that the story is still alive is that it has been constantly re-hashed by white-supremacist websites like stormfront.org, thestateofwhiteamerica.blogspot.com, chimpout.com (don’t go here unless you can stand prodigious use of the ‘n’ word), whitelocust.wordpress.com, stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com, etc. etc. Our own good Dr. Carl has used his airtime to re-package this story as if it just happened.

    Why, Carl?

  6. travelah

    Barry, you do not seem able or willing to distinguish between discussions on race and race baiting for political gain.

  7. Barry Summers

    That strikes me as a distinction that makes my point. Yes, there is cynical posturing and provocation on race, and that is recognizable and distinct from a sincere discussion about race. Problem is, it’s difficult to impossible to watch a movie when someone is screaming “Fire!!!” into your ears. And maybe that’s the intention. It’s difficult to impossible to talk calmly about race when people are screaming “N*****!!” at children painting a mural on a grade school. The notion of encouraging a discussion about diversity (which inspired this mural in Prescott) gets tossed overboard when politicians are heard supporting violent rhetoric, or spouting it themselves.

    Are you saying that race-baiting should be ignored?

  8. pff

    [b]Need I mention Barack Obama? Please don’t tell me blacks are repressed, oppressed and depressed… [/b]

    I know, right? Racism ENDED when Obama was elected. Now, its just reverse racism against the oppressed white christian male.

    I mean, I’m white and i’m sure my ability to get a job has nothing to do with my skin color or class placement whatsoever. Nope, just my boot strapss

  9. travelah

    Race baiting should be identified as such and dismissed as an inappropriate rhetorical device.

  10. travelah

    pffstickums, no, there are other reasons that affect your abilities. I don’t think the pale color of your skin has anything to do with it.

  11. pff

    [b]pffstickums, no, there are other reasons that affect your abilities. I don’t think the pale color of your skin has anything to do with it.[/b]

    actually trav, i was referring to the *ease* at which my class placement (of which my skin tone is a major aspect) allows me to find employment, but thanks for showing yourself to be nothing but assumptions trolling for relevence.

    Unless you meant those ‘other reasons’ to be my rippling muscles and enormous intellect, not to mention winning personality.

  12. chops

    DeBenevento: “That argument might have had virtue 50 years ago — not today. The blame game has no merit any more.” … “Please don’t tell me blacks are repressed, oppressed and depressed.”

    If you accept the fact that there was racism 50 years ago, then you must consider that ancestral privilege has some
    effect on present-day descendants.

    In my opinion, this effect is only magnified over time – somewhat like the process of compounding interest: a minor disadvantage 50 years ago results in a major disadvantage today.

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