I try to keep my thoughts off this place concerning issues of politics and race. One of the great gifts I got when coming to my German class in Switzerland is that I was one of the few people that grew up in a country that enjoyed the beauty of freedom of choice, the ability to speak my thoughts and ideas without fear of getting thrown in jail, or worse, killed.
The Swiss and the other immigrants look at me a bit funny. I guess the normal path in Switzerland for an American who speaks English, usually someone in the banking world – is they don’t’ really even try to learn the language. I understand why, as German is a difficult thing to learn, and when the rest of the world moves to speaking your native tongue, you don’t need to change. I just happen to be in an area of Switzerland where Swiss German is the prevalent dialect. That means I don’t understand much of anything that is spoken.
Three things bothered me after the morning news run. A race riot near St. Louis, a journalist being executed by a radical Islamic group, and the unbelievable “tour rider” of Hillary Clinton.
First the race riot:
Sadly, there is another race riot in the USA in a town near St. Louis, MO. I even heard a teachers union in NY was backing a march by the reverend Al Sharpton. For the Europeans that aren’t familiar with reverend Sharpton, he is more familiar to me for the Tawana Brawley case where a black teen accused several white policemen of rape. It caused a complete mess. Somehow reverend Al got off scot free, while the other leaders working with him were reprimanded.
I really don’t know much of the story of what happened in St. Louis. From the media, I only know a young man is dead, the are is a firestorm for racial tensions, the country has to come to grip with police that resemble more of a military, and the media itself, which wants to report, yet, doesn't want to do what the police tell them to do while trying to get control and sanity back in the city. Like i mentioned, it is a mess. Social media is a new tool to pour gasoline on top of a fire that is already blazing away.
What I am about to write is probably not going to be very popular with some people, but after looking at the YouTube videos of the incident that started it where the young man lay lifeless in the middle of the street. I have to ask the leaders of the black community when they might work inside to change themselves, instead of expecting the government or another to help them?
The Swiss asked about racism in America. I mentioned 100 years ago, anyone that was from another country that didn’t speak English usually took some sh*t. Today, I mention the Hispanics who cross over the borders get picked on, the taxi drivers in NY have a stereotype, and the influx of Asians has ruffled some bubba’s feathers. I mention that the one group of people that still gets crap is the black community. When the Europeans ask why? I have to say; the Mexicans come to work, the NYC taxi drivers work, the Asians work. What has transpired with the black community is that kids look up to the sports and rap stars as their idols.
I do understand what it is like to come from little to work you way out into a world that has its systems and powers structure in place. The reality is that people at the top do not want the folks on the bottom to come up and enjoy the trappings of their lives.
What I don’t understand why the change from the black community has not come from within. The idols I see with the Michael Jordan’s, Dr. Dre, and Jay Z’s of the world is that I don’t think they see far beyond themselves and their egos to realize how much power and influence they have on the kids who buy their products. It might simply be they don't realize how many kids really look up to them? There is also the irony of the suburban white kids whose parents have too much money buying the stuff to look hip, but what I am trying to focus on is the problems within the black community.
Where and what is the modern black family today? How can young black men break from the path that basically says one will either be incarcerated or dead at a young age – particularly when benefits and weights are granted upon minority kids for education. I listened to the street language and commentary of the video of the young man that was killed and was saddened at the literacy level from the people on the street.
When I was in the FDR library in NYC a few months ago, the photo of an elderly woman, sitting at a table, taking part in a literacy course touched me. Click on, or if the link missbaves, load into your browser - to read about this amazing woman:
I guess what bothers me is that if anything is said about black people, even honest constructive conversation; the first card played is called the racism card. I remember a guy who I worked with in tysons corner who was fired, “this is racism! I am getting a lawyer!” I see the riots and the interesting problem law enforcement has after the government had a giant “anti-terrorism” giveaway of military equipment from our wars and the post 9-11 live in fear campaigns. Are we going towards a police state? Or will the USA blur between military/police like most of the rest of the world?
I never thought I would say this, but the one country that has the best shot at being big brother in Orwell’s 1984 is the USA. I have never seen so much privacy given up by the citizens, and so little received in return.
Then again, it is our own faults; we gave the data away with our social media.
To the leaders of the black community, It really gets tiring hearing about the race issues when I read the newspapers and see how many black on black crimes are committed that don’t get any attention from the politicians of leaders.
I am not sure if it is simply too profitable for a few leaders to not want change to happen inside the community. If one doesn’t know how, I understand, say, “I don’t know.” It is complicated issue trying to bring systemic change to a group where the live fast lifestyle and the feeling of oppression and lack of opportunity can take ones mind into not even having hope anymore.
But the change has to start within. You can take all the white on black crimes and make big issues out of them, but that is only a tip of the iceberg to the real problems within the community.
The reality is it doesn’t matter what race or skin color one has, within each group, there will be amazing people with warm loving hearts. Most will just be working a job to make a wage and feed their family. There will also be a lot of hateful and ignorant people who haven’t learned that inside, we all bleed red.
Hopefully this will be read and understood that it is not racist. It is one guy’s perspective living in a world where I encounter a form of racism with white on white each day for being different and not being able to speak the language.
I am struggling, but I am going to school to learn. To change to fit into my new home until I move back to the states and start helping inside my home country with nutrition and ways to give people a change and start.
Like I said, some days all you have is hope. You can never loose that, not matter how bad or hard life gets. Maybe that is where faith comes from? It is grown out of hope.
I will write about the photojournalists in a bit. I get sad as I admire Booker T Washington for what he did in providing mental and physical education for people. A lot of what he wrote is the foundation for how to grow systemic change. We use it for Agrowvillage.
Booker Washington was black. Why don’t today’s black leaders go back and read what he thought and did and create new opportunities for the community – sans race.
The reality is all we can really change is ourselves. We can’t expect anyone else to do the change for what we need to do, ourselves. There is nothing wrong with getting an opportunity of help, a gift to build something up. But when society twists help into an entitlement of handouts, all it will do is destroy and tear down, cause riots, and blame each other.