Who is a racist?

In the 1976 movie Network, character Howard Beale encourages people to open windows and shout, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Howard Beale

Well, I am going to do what Beale suggests via this blog.

“I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!” 

Usually I do not write in first person when creating a post for this blog. That’s because I don’t want to be the subject of a blog post. All that changed, however, after my post “Looney-Toon Politicians” was published.  One reader started accusing me (and this blog) of racism just because that particular post pertains to comments made by a politician who happens to be black.

Me a racist?  The only thing that I hate more than racism is Satan.

If I am a racist, then I am a lousy one, as demonstrated in my story “A Radiant Love Story” , which describes how I gained my daughter Radiance. She would chew out anyone who would call me a racist. By the way, my late wife was a Latina immigrant.

 

My daughter Radiance

 

If my criticism of  Congresswoman Frederica Wilson makes me a racist, then radio talk show host Larry Elder is also a racist. He wrote a commentary in which he calls Congresswoman Maxine Waters “Kerosene Maxine”. In the commentary Elder says this:

Waters’ tea party attack once again exposes her as one of the most racist, hateful and vulgar members of Congress — prompting Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum to call her “vile.” He was far too kind.

Oh, if you don’t know what Larry Elder looks like, then here is a photo of him:

 

Larry Elder

Now, I want return to the claim that Congresswoman Wilson made about African Americans being unemployed because of racism. What Congresswoman Wilson failed to do is to connect the dots between African-American unemployment, the distribution of African-Americans throughout the USA, and the level of unemployment throughout the USA.

Here is an excerpt from a report issued by the U.S. Department of Labor:

The labor market difficulties of blacks and Hispanics are associated with many factors, not all of which are measurable. Some of these factors are their lower average levels of schooling; their tendency to be employed in occupations with high levels of unemployment; their greater concentration in the central cities of urban areas, where job opportunities may be relatively limited; and the likelihood that they experience discrimination in the workplace. These and other factors may make it especially difficult for some black and Hispanic workers to find or keep jobs as the overall demand for labor contracts during economic downturns.

Notice that the report is referring to both blacks and Hispanics, not just to blacks.  Also, the report does not say that racism is definitely a cause of unemployment among blacks, but that discrimination in the work place is likely, meaning that the Department of Labor is guessing that racism is a factor in unemployment. Guessing is not equal to evidence.

As it turns out, the U.S. population of African-Americans is not evenly distributed across the USA, as revealed by the following chart:

Now, here is a chart showing the unemployment rate in each state:

Notice that African-American populations are highest in the southeastern USA, which is generally where the unemployment rates are the highest.  So, the high unemployment rate of African-Americans could be the result of where African-Americans live, instead of being the result of racism. My criticism of Rep. Wilson’s claim was prompted by the above statistics, not by any racism on my part.

Finally, all too often a claim of “racism” is an “ad hominem” attack used by someone who has lost an argument. The claim is also a “red herring” used to take people’s attention away from something wrong that someone has said or done.

Sure, racism still exists. However, a party is innocent of a charge of racism until proven guilty. Neither Rep. Wilson nor this blog’s critics have proven guilt. All that they have done is cry “Wolf!”

By the way, when I was age 14, I was given the choice of either attending the high school nearest my home, or attending a high school in another part of my city.  Most of the kids that I knew attended the one nearest my home. I chose to attend the high school that was farther away. The name of that high school is Booker T. Washington, and during the days of racial segregation, that school was an all-black school.  That school is not the kind of school that a white racist would choose for an alma mater.

Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa, OK, my alma mater

 

 

 

 

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