Aren’t you getting just a little bit tired of the racism game? Once again the NAACP is in the news, charging the Tea Parties with racist associations. What makes this charge particularly outrageous and impossible to ignore, is the ugly, racist side of the NAACP which was exposed by Andrew Breitbart.
I would like to remind everyone that we are living in 2010, not 1968. In fact, when Martin Luther King was assassinated, I was serving in the U.S. Army. In Viet Nam, my first company commander (a captain) was an African-American. Eventually I became a radio-telephone operator (RTO) for my platoon leader. When I was called up to replace the company commander’s RTO, whose tour of duty was ending, my platoon leader asked me to choose my own replacement for him. I had to choose from the squad RTOs. I based my decision on who had the most experience — who had been doing it longest. I chose my good friend, Jerry Faraci.
When word came down about Jerry replacing me, one of the squad RTOs came to me very upset that I hadn’t chosen him. He angrily accused me of being racist. He was the youngest, least experienced squad RTO. He was also African-American. This was when the term “Black Power” was taken quite seriously. Because I didn’t pick him, he and his buddies were about to teach me a lesson. My best buddy, Doc Leroy Lindsey, who also just happened to be an African-American, heard all the commotion and came over to the young RTO and explained to him he was way out of line. The accuser left, but he was still mad as hell.
The main thing I took from that experience is how much it hurts to be called a racist, when that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Subsequent to the turbulent sixties, I have lived with, worked with, and attended college and church with individuals of all races, religions and national origins. I have been answerable to African-American supervisors and bosses. I’ve encountered African-American professionals at all levels. In the more than 40 years that have elapsed since 1968, in my opinion, African-Americans have become integrated into society, to the point that any inequality they may experience as a race is no longer the result of ‘oppressive white racism’, as charged by the NAACP.
Far more influential in educational achievement levels resulting in economic opportunities is a persistent attitude among many African-Americans that to do well in school or succeed in holding down a job one must sell out by “acting white”. They see academic and professional success as something “whites” do, and so by doing the same, they lose their racial identity. This is the mentality that perpetuates poverty and ignorance. When African-Americans who have succeeded go to blighted communities to try to teach winning attitudes in young people and inspire them to work hard for worth-while goals, they are called ‘Uncle Toms’.
For me, as a Christian, the term ‘Uncle Tom’ is insidious and perverted. A character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, first published in 1852, Uncle Tom was a slave who was deeply loved and respected because of his Christian character and how his faith wasn’t mere words, but a deep conviction which determined every aspect of how he lived his life. Stowe’s character, Uncle Tom, moved the hearts of pre-civil war readers, most of whom were Christians themselves. And the book is credited for having awakened an awareness throughout America of the horrors of slavery and the moral imperative to end it.
Not only Christians, but anyone who cares about the just and decent treatment of all human beings would admire Uncle Tom and be inspired to live a meaningful life of faith. He is a model of virtue. And yet, ‘Uncle Tom’ continues to be used as a pejorative by those who see America as racist. Clarence Thomas was called an Uncle Tom. Bill Cosby (who earned a PhD in addition to his career as a comedic actor) was called an Uncle Tom. And the list goes on. You can’t be more successful or admired than these two gentlemen, yet they are seen as “acting white” by extreme leftists who would prefer that ‘minorities’ be given government handouts rather than the opportunity to achieve.
I wonder … as our demographics change (already in California there are more latinos than whites) will achievement in academics or the professions still be seen as a ‘white’ thing? Will punks in the ghetto still expect a handout and refuse to prepare for or compete for the best jobs? What will the NAACP do when all the best jobs are held by asians, latinos and Semites?
And would my minority status qualify me as a “colored person”? After all, beige and even pink are colors. No. It is clear that the NAACP isn’t really about color or race. They’re all about extreme political philosophy. Anything to the left of socialism or communism is fine and dandy. Anything to the right of center is ‘racist’, ‘Uncle Tom’ or ‘white oppression’.