The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Posts tagged ‘slavery’

THE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL/AN AMERICAN ORDEAL

If I were a bookmaker, I’d lay 10/1 that George Zimmerman will be found guilty on at least some charge.  I’d feel very confident in that bet – and it has nothing to do with my review of the trial or the evidence which has been presented.  It has to do with the culture that is ever-present today in American society.

It is the culture that must find in the scapegoat “racism” the diversion to distract us from the fact that the policies that so-called liberals have put in place over decades have created a permanent, impoverished, uneducated underclass to which the majority of our black (or if you prefer African-American) citizens belong.  It is a tragedy, and anyone who has ever voted in Congress to expand or extend “welfare” rather than devise a program of “workfare” should, in my mind, be arrested, tried, convicted and jailed for life without possibility of parole.

I mentioned this in a much earlier post but an experience from my days in the temporary help business bears repeating – particularly in light of this trial and the overall culture we find in America today.  It is a story about a young black woman who responded to an ad and who was looking for employment.

One of our best clients, the Quaker Oats Company needed someone to do filing and make copies on their Xerox equipment.  The position was scheduled to last for two months but there was a good possibility that they might hire the individual permanently.

Most of the people whom we put out on assignment had extensive skills, far beyond the level of this position so our list of potential candidates to fill this spot was limited which is why we advertised the job.  The day after the ad appeared in “The Chicago Tribune” a young woman arrived at our office to apply for the position.  I interviewed her myself.

Because I was interested in maintaining my relationship with the client, I was willing to take a loss on this job and planned on paying the applicant far more than the going rate – specifically, I would offer a salary of three dollars over minimum wage – minimum wage or a few cents more being what the position was worth in the market.

I sat down with this young woman who was 22 years old.  She was dressed very appropriately for a job interview.  It was obvious that she had taken the time to try to put herself forward in the best possible light.  She seemed eager to find a job and, in fact, was the first one to respond.  I liked that about her.

She did not have a high school diploma – owing to the fact that the first of her children was born when she was 17.  She also had two younger kids.  Nevertheless, she seemed quite bright – and I was impressed with her attitude.  She wanted to do better for herself and her children.

After decades of interviewing people, sometimes you just have to go by gut feelings rather than documentation and I wanted to give her a chance to enter the work force.  (Other than having done some babysitting, she had never held a job).  So I offered her the position and told her what it would pay.

As I said, she was bright.  She asked how many hours a week she would be able to work so I told her 37-1/2.

She did some rough multiplication and came up with her weekly gross earnings.

Then she looked at me and said, “You know, I would really like to take this job but I can’t afford to.  I know there’s taxes going to come out of this, and I’d have to spend on carfare to get to and from, and I’d have to pay a baby sitter, and if I take this I would lose my welfare and Medicaid and one of the babies has got the colic.  I just can’t afford to take this job.”

I nearly cried.  This young woman was exactly correct.  It made no monetary sense for her to accept this job – and if not this one, certainly not any other at minimum wage.  Thus we had condemned her to a life on the public dole – a life in which she had only dependence and could never develop self-respect.  What a tragedy.

That interview haunted me for days and while I will not say it was the “Eureka moment” which caused me to march to a conservative way of thinking (I was already there), it certainly reinforced my belief that was the correct path.

That interview occurred about 20 years ago.  It would be incorrect for me to say that nothing has changed.  It has – and for the worse.  And every time politicians expand a welfare benefit, they tighten their grasp and twist the noose around the necks of those whom they need for the sole reason of getting themselves re-elected.

There is an obvious solution to this problem – so simple that you don’t need a PhD. in Economics to understand it.  Here it is.

Rather than cut off a person from welfare and Medicaid because they have found employment, simply reduce those benefits by a percentage, based on their earnings on their job.  In that way, the person is going to have significantly more money to take home and spend and will have an incentive to seek employment.  The other benefit is that the taxpayers will save money.  And perhaps the most important benefit is that the individual who is working will be able to take pride in herself.

So what does this all have to do with George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin?  Everything.

You see if you slap the word racism around loud enough and often enough; if you have the not very Rev. Al Sharpton bellowing it at the top of his lungs; if you have constant media attention paid to the trial of the allegedly “racist” Mr. Zimmerman; if you have Obama commenting on it; you have set the stage to divert the easily diverted public’s attention from the failings of our Congress; from our departure from the American ideal of America being a place where you can have anything you desire if you’re only willing to work for it; and from the real racists – who have built a power base composed of the ignorant, uneducated, welfare mothers and children who think having an Obama phone is the greatest thing in the world.

Those who have voted to establish this group that is only one step removed from slavery are the ones who should be on trial.  Not Mr. Zimmerman.

A MATTER OF COLOR

If you have ever visited Las Vegas in the winter, then you know that it sometimes gets below freezing here and that, of course, means that it’s “Chili Weather Time”.  We are in one of those weather spells now and there is nothing I enjoy more than some homemade chili to take the edge off our delightfully brisk weather.

Yesterday I assembled all the ingredients that I use, ground beef, hot Italian sausage, crushed and whole tomatoes, kidney beans and chili powder and some other spices and set to work preparing a vat of the stuff.  One of my neighbors had given me some roasted Hatch chilies and they went into the mix as well.

When cooking, I generally don’t follow a recipe exactly unless it’s something new that I’m trying.  That way, if I like a recipe but think it could use a little improvement, I have a baseline from which I can adjust in the future.  Having made many pots of chili over the years, I adjust the simmering pot of goodness – but in the case of my chili that adjustment is made by sight rather than taste.  I look at the color of the contents to determine whether I need to darken it by adding more chili powder.

Well, I am pleased to report that I was in chili heaven at dinner last night.  A large bowl of my concoction accompanied with some homemade bread, smothered and baked with lots of freshly crushed garlic and olive oil and I’m sure that I had a smile on my face as big as the Cheshire cat’s.  My color test had once again led me to bring this bubbling pot to the desired heat level that I enjoy.

A color test works well for me in preparing my chili.  It really doesn’t speak well, however, to those who represent us in Congress.  By that, I refer to the Black Congressional Caucus.  Why this racist group exists is beyond my understanding.

It would be hard to deny that blacks have had a tough go of it in the United States.  Most of us or our forebears arrived on ships – but for blacks it was on slave ships.  That’s certainly a hard way to get started in a new land.  But as tough as that was, if you look at the conditions in which many blacks in modern Africa still live, I think that most American blacks would prefer being here rather than there.  I don’t see any major exodus being organized or undertaken by the black leadership to move to Liberia.  Perhaps I have missed that news item.

Can you imagine the outbreak of righteous indignation if someone were to propose establishing a White Congressional Caucus – or an Asian Congressional Caucus or an Hispanic Congressional Caucus?  I think the only one who might institute a Native American Congressional Caucus is Sen. Elizabeth Warren – if she can get her genealogy straight.

It’s one hundred fifty years since Abraham Lincoln spoke the words of The Emancipation Proclamation.   Perhaps he chose New Year’s Day as a symbolic date for giving this speech – a New Year and a new beginning.  It’s time those black representatives in Congress buried the hatchet of race (my apologies to Sen. Warren for using that metaphor) and defined themselves by their accomplishments and not their skin color.

Racial prejudice is a poisonous potion – and only a mindless fool will choose to drink from it.  But those who see their world as being defined by their own skin color, inadvertently are the first at the bar to order up this beverage.  They keep this lethal drink popular and on the market.

To our Congressional representatives who happen to be black, I would like to offer a little advice.  It’s time for “Last Call”.

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