I have absolutely no arguments against what you say, and few words of
consolation. People have rarely understood that there is a VAST
difference between theory and reality (implementation). The founders of
this country were high idealists and knew full well that their attempts
were not complete (thus the contained provisions to amend the
If people would pay more mind to the spirit of what is written in
religious works and worry less about whose beliefs are "right", our
world would be a lot more peaceful.
Likewise, the tenets of Communism and Socialism are just as ideal and
commendable as are the tenets of Democracy and Capitalism. It is
interesting to note that, once instituted by people, all four of them
have fallen prey to the same vices of greed and power, and equally
support the superiority of the few over the subjugation of the many.
There are a number of similarities between Marx's and Lenin's desire for
a "classes" society of the people, and the American desire for a
Democratic ("vox populi") government "of, for and by the people".
On your mention of being African-American and the inequalities you've
experienced in your life, I would like to share this point with you. I
was not raised with any kind of bigotry and don't consider myself one
now. But I have experienced such things. During the '70's, I was a
"Hippie" (well, ok, I still am) and experienced "profiling" long before
the African-Americans made it an issue. Later, living in downtown
Cleveland and even here in Akron, I have been subjected to racism by
African-Americans themselves. I am not welcome in "their"
neighborhoods; I am not welcome in "their" bars. And if I try to
complain, then they call *me* a racist. Go figure. But I think that
this is an issue which the African-Americans themselves are not
acknowledging and dealing with - reverse racism.
I was amazed to find out just last week from an African-American friend
of mine that there is even prejudice among their own. That "Black"
African-Americans look down on (what I call) "Coffee and Cream"
African-Americans because their blood-lines have obviously been mixed!
An interesting (and actually sad) example is my children. Of course, we
have tried to raise them to respect all *people*. Yet, they have been
picked on, had their bikes and other toys stolen, been called derogatory
names,.by African-American kids in the neighborhood. So, if they grow
up not trusting and respecting African-Americans, is it because they are
racist, or is it because this is what these kids have "taught" them?
Worth thinking about, I think, and I would like to hear your perspective
on this, off-list if you want.
Lawrence A. Parker
Philosopher and Educational Consultant
These are great words and I will keep them on file, if you don't mind.
Let us continue to discuss the questions and listen to each other's
perspectives...let us make it our business to come to an understanding
and allow America to become truly "the land of the free." We owe it to
those coming after us.