Monday, August 4, 2008

Granpa's Political Corner: Black American

Slavery has been practiced throughout our world by humans on humans for a long time. No race or ethnic group has been spared. Moors made slaves of captives without regard for race. White races made slaves of other white races as well as other races. African tribes made slaves of other tribal members. Slaves were bought and sold as commodities.

Slavery was also practiced in America and slaves were brought to America by slave traders. Most of the slaves were from Nigeria where tribes sold slaves to the traders for shipment to other parts of the world. It was estimated that from the 16 to the 19 century some 12 millions of black Africans were brought to the Americas, some 645,000 came to the United States with the majority going to Brazil, South America.

After the Civil War and after the 13th Amendment to our constitution slavery was abolished and people who had been slaves became free men and women. Although freedom from slavery had been accomplished these men and women faced many problems in adjusting to their new status. Who should they blame for the conditions they found themselves in? Until abolished slavery was not a crime, but practiced world wide. Perhaps those freed slaves should seek redress from the people who kidnaped them and sold them into slavery.

Some 145 years later all of the principals involved in slavery have died. However, their progeny live on. During this time America has done much to aid the descendents of the slaves in becoming American Citizens. America has tried to abolish discrimination. The Affirmative Action program was an attempt to prevent discrimination in education and other areas but was recognized as reverse discrimination. Welfare is available to the needy, etc. America has legislated opportunity, however, it is the responsibility of the individual to grasp opportunities and to succeed.

I must ask myself if these descendants are willing to accept that present day Americans are not the cause for whatever they deem their plight to be. More and more frequently I encounter Americans who identify themselves as "Black-American" or "Afro-American". In the previews of a CNN program "Black America" a woman is, I believe, saying "we must find our own voice". This identification is multiculturalism and flies in the face of unity of the peoples of a nation. It also encourages discrimination in that the hyphenated American is too good to be a plain American and to speak with one voice. If the person wishes to be identified with his country of origin, perhaps we should not refer to them as American. Since most of the original slaves are said to have come from Nigeria, to be politically correct, we could refer to them as Nigers. However, I think this would be divisive and encourage multiculturism as well as racial tension. However, that didn't seem to ma ke much difference to the Reverend Wright or his audience.

Granpa Graham

Thanks to Cary and Linzy for your comments.

In the blog spot I did not attempt to address the reasons why people do not take advantage of their opportunities. Of course there are many reasons why one misses an opportunity.

For the moment let me alter an old saying. One can lead a student to the pool of information but you can't make the student drink of that information if the student is not motivated to learn. How does a student become interested in learning? For me the main motivation comes from the student's family. A father and a mother who encourage their children to read and investigate the unknown create an environment that motivates the child to acquire information. Until that child wants to learn a teacher simply can not push information into them, it goes in one ear and promptly gushes from the other ear. Not all students are created equal, some are interested in history, some in math, some in archeology, some in woodworking, and so on. Should we require all students to follow the same course of study after they have mastered the basic courses? In today's environment I think one of the major hinderances to student learning can be laid directly on the doorstep of that student's par ents . When one creates a life that person must assume the responsibilities that go with creating that life.

The government (presumably federal) taxes the money you earned to support federally funded programs. We will never get back from the government dollar for dollar what we pay in taxes. When the government spends your money they attempt to control how that money is spent, i.e., they dictate what one may or may not do with the funds. Schools, hospitals, municipalities, etc. that have accepted federal monies find they may chafe under the oversite from the federal government. Look at the educational system we now have in place.

But I digress. I am far afield from my original intent. Will Americans, who happen to have deeply pigmented skin, accept the responsibility of motivating their children to learn and want to become responsible citizens of the United States?

Thanks again for your comments.

Granpa Graham


Linzy said...

Woah! Well said... Although I do not put all responsibility on the individual. As I see it, this socio-economic cycle is not so easy to break out of. Ask any person of any race from a poor background who has broken out of that cycle and that can attest to it. We need more government assistance in the form of education to help boost the opportunities for these children so that they can have a better chance of getting into college or even of graduating from high school. There should also be more mentoring and counseling programs in place, although many of these could come from local churches with subsidy from the government. Either way, more needs to be done, by individuals, NGOs and the government.

thisismamashouse said...

Wow. I seriously want to kiss you Granpa!

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