America - A Once Great Nation
When Carefully Selected Hatreds Are Allowed to Set Domestic Policyby Sheldon Tam, Linda Christas Class of '11
As a person of Asian descent, if I so chose, I could look back on history and note all sorts of injustices that have been perpetrated both by Asians upon Asians and other ethnic populations upon Asians.
We are all familiar with the hiring and labor abuses of ethnic Chinese in 19th century America.
Still, today in the US, there is a certain feeling that Asians are not necessarily cut out for leadership positions. As a result, despite stellar academic records, people similar to me in appearance are elected to public office in numbers well below their percentages in the US population.
Asian students by the thousands, having worked hard under the assumption that America is a land of equal opportunity, suddenly find that just working hard isn't enough, as places at elite public universities go to students far less qualified because of factors having nothing to do with ability or diligence.
Finally, contrary to the evidence of brilliant leadership when given an opportunity, and, as documented by their performance in other countries, CEO positions at American Fortune 500 companies are just not offered to Asians. This is not a glass ceiling. It is what I will call an amber ceiling.
Well, I am not about to send a horde of lawyers forth to curb the freedoms of others to correct these injustices. Injustices of this kind cannot be remedied through yet more tribalism. When an attempt is made to do that, one ends up, as in Nazi Germany, with one tribe slaughtering everyone else.
Couldn't happen in America? Think again!
Blacks, of course, point to slavery, as the heinous abuse it was, and still is in Africa.
I am not in any way downplaying the terrible reality of slavery, since Asia has a long history of slavery in one form or another as well.
We should not even downplay black slavery in America, despite the fact that Africans sold into slavery were captured in raids by black tribes, and were either going to be sent to America or the Caribbean as slaves or killed.
Very few of my public school black friends knew that, had there been no slavery in America, instead of going to new multi-million dollar schools, they wouldn't be anywhere at all, their ancestors having been put to the sword. Maybe that was taught somewhere, but I doubt it. Just not in the curriculum approved by the school board.
Why review the behaviors of the Imbangala or the Nyamwezi tribes who waged war on their black brothers in order to capture people for export as slaves? Why focus on the Ashanti or the Yoruba, even though, without them, there would have been no slaves to begin with for whites to purchase? Perhaps I missed that in my American public school history classes.
Why speak of the one million one hundred thousand white Europeans who were kept as slaves by Africans during the time our US history books excoriate white America.
White slaves? You are kidding right? Well, no I am not! And, as far as I can tell, there aren't any programs at all to compensate the descendants of those slaves. Are there? If so, I must have missed them in my social science assignments.
Occasionally, victorious black chieftains would use captured blacks as slaves. However, black chieftains much preferred white skins for those positions. After all, they could have black slaves any old time. And, if American black ancestors had been kept as slaves by the chieftains, today their descendants would have an opportunity to be running around the Congo with old Russian rifles or living luxurious lives in refugee camps.
However, why bring all of this up. It just makes everyone mad, and creates a situation where others will be hurt in the present as a result of that anger, thus creating a never ending cycle of abuses.
Moving right along with our litany of tribalism, I realize that the Jews and the Kurds, and the Armenians and the Irish, and God knows everyone else, can point to oppression, to persecution.
Scots still seethe when they think that, after Robert the Bruce won Scotland's independence, just a few generations later, the Country was once again unified under the English throne.
The actor, Sean Connery, Mr. Scotland, almost lost out on his chance for a knighthood because of his negative comments relative to the bloody English.
So, let us just say, if one wants to make a case for oppression, one can do that. And, if one REALLY REALLY wants to do that, one can REALLY REALLY do that.
The important thing though is not to allow such sad histories to dictate domestic policy anywhere IN THE PRESENT.
When that happens, there is no end of the unfairness, the cruelties that are perpetrated in the name of reparation, which, in actuality, is simply disguised tribalism.
French Canadians of New England, for many decades, had the lowest per capita income gains in America, well below blacks or Hispanics. They were, unfortunately, not able to parlay their persecutions into a payday in America during the Civil Rights movement.
Art Torres, former Hispanic Insurance Commissioner of California, in a formal speech, said (paraphrased) "We were here before the white man, and we will be here after they are gone." This was said to a mixed audience of stunned California voters.
Eldridge Cleaver, in a speech given on the California State University Sacramento campus, said, "We will not be satisfied until there is a black baby in every white belly." Really, Eldridge!
So, what happened that blacks in America were finally able to put it to America?
Well, the Civil Rights movement happened. Rich white guilt happened. Lyndon Johnson happened.
It's hard to tell a black man that slavery DIDN'T happen. The same as it is hard to tell a Native American that his or her people WEREN'T slaughtered.
It's also hard to tell native Hawaiians, who cannot afford to live in their once paradisaical land, that they HAVEN'T been disadvantaged by US statehood, especially because that vote for statehood was riddled with irregularities.
All that aside, now we have Americans, several generations actually, who have new stories of oppression to tell, as black and brown citizens who were not as qualified as their white or yellow sons or daughters were promoted to positions of power by the force of incredibly short sighted laws.
Radio Star Michael Savage
Now we have personalities like radio's Michael Savage on a decades-long rampage, telling of his many published scholarly volumes, and how they could not make up for his skin color in university hiring competitions. Who can disagree with him? I certainly can't. It happened, and it was wrong.
Now we have several generations of persons who were stopped well below their rightful place in society, which would not have happened had liberal intellectuals actually understood what they were doing from a well rounded social and moral perspective.
All these hatreds. All these feelings of deprivation, these stories won't go away anytime soon. Male, female, white, black, yellow, red, handicapped, sick, maimed, religiously oppressed. Gosh, will the list never end?
And, the saddest fact of all is that, with all the social engineering, the unfair promotions of folks based on skin color; with all of that, the US is now dead last in most categories that count, except American football, basketball and baseball, as well as the number of practicing lawyers and citizens in prison.
Our high school and college students are integrated all right, except in the lunch rooms where they can't wait to dine with others with the same skin color.
Our colleges, where free speech is a thing of the past, and where the young are pretty much being prepared to do nothing with their lives at the age of 25, unless they have graduated from law school. And, then, with their law degrees, they can make a living taking up various grudges and making the situation worse.
If I could simply waive a wand and have everyone forget they have a skin color; if I could cast a spell so that the handicapped would be incapable of dwelling on their conditions or, better yet, cure them all, I would.
If I could take every history book that talks of the concentration camps or slave ships or Mexican land grabs or Mao's starving his population or Stalin's murdering millions, and burn them all I'd do it immediately.
If I could simply erase all of that and just have everyone love the principles contained in the ten commandments, even if they were written elsewhere, and not part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, I would.
God bless us all, and God save us all. We certainly aren't going to save ourselves.