Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Slack for Black - Over

With Obama's election victory, America showed that it could, in fact, elect our first black President. This was an historic victory and to my mind says something about American culture, particularly non-blacks who voted in droves to see to it that America got beyond a harped-on racial divide.


Since the 60's and 70s, although the Jim Crow laws were banished and blacks were fully free men, new laws were passed which gave preference to blacks in the name of diversity. This was an attempt by some people who felt guilty for America's past to redeem themselves. What it did, since it was an example of injustice in reverse, was exact payment from blacks and whites. Blacks enrolled wholesale in the idea that racism, and their consequent being less than, was still a powerful determinant of their plight and that was by virtue of whites being white. This was all supposed to be unconscious on whites part and their existence as such was evidence of this subconscious racism.

This unleashed thugs such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, morally supported and apologized for by many others, who extorted millions from corporations in order to prove that they were redeeming themselves from this non-objective, original-sin version of racism.

Thus this notion spread through the culture creating a sub-conscious unearned guilt among many whites. (I'm sure it created sub-conscious unearned guilt in many blacks too; those who didn't want nor expect to be excepted from reality.) How it manifested itself was for whites to cut blacks slack rather than have them meet the standards that work for a particular industry or job. What this meant for whites is "Don't call blacks to account or you will be seen as racist." With stories on TV, in the newspapers and on the Internet, it was like a rainstorm. No one chooses a rainstorm, he just gets wet. He puts up with this and goes on about his business. Nevertheless, unless he specifically, consciously negates what he hears, he gets wet.

Since Obama's inauguration, he has taken bold action - the primary one being to spend the taxpayers' money long into the future and to convert the freedom of individuals and businesses to extensions of and property of the state. ("Of course you own your life. We just tell you what to do with it." Doesn't that have a familiar ring to it? Don't you blacks recognize this refrain?) Thus his actions are stripping the power of every citizen, including blacks, to live the life he wants to live by using his property and resources to fashion his life.

Last week on a particularly bad news day when Obama was acting the buffoon to the max taking still worse actions in terms of the economic principles that any idiot can see don't work when he looks at them from the actions he has to take in his very own life, I had had enough.

First of all, I do not agree with Obama's agenda, rushing everything without debate, unwilling to hear legitimate differences about his plans; and doing much under the cover of extraneous issues and people bashing. I consider him incredibly arrogant, dictatorial and imperial, and don't like him one bit. His actions tell me he is intending to drive America off a cliff. He violates the values I hold dear on every level - political and method of behaving. So, get that.

In the wake of that, I went to the grocery. I bought a single item and I wanted to handle the payment for that in a particular way. I told the black cashier what I wanted to do. She understood what I explained to her and agreed to it. I wanted to keep the cash in my wallet, so I wanted to use the amount I had in my debit account first and then add only what I had to add from my cash to keep my account solvent.

So, I looked at the amount she tallied and gave her some cash. She subtracted that and when I looked at the amount still owed, I realized I needed to give her some more cash. So I did.

She turned around to put the cash in the register and ring up a lower amount to come from the debit account. At that point I executed the debit transaction.

Whoops! She had not tallied the additional cash I gave her and so the debit overdrew my account. I blew up. Pissed to the max.

"What happened? Didn't you ring up the rest of the cash?"

She just looked at me. "No."


"I apologize."

In a loud voice, loud enough to be heard plainly in a circle with a 20 foot radius, I said, "You cost me 35 dollars."

"I apologize," she said.

I said, "Apologize hell! I'm going to the manager and have it taken out your pay check." With that I picked up my stuff and "harrumphed" over to the manager.

While all of this was going on, I expected the 3 or 4 people standing in line to start screaming "racist" at the top of their lungs. I wasn't sure what would happen and definitely was concerned about what I may have unleashed.

I told the manager what happened. I told her I yelled at the cashier, intending by shouting to rearrange her molecules because she didn't do what she said she would do. Calming down, I told her that I was thinking I may be able to correct the situation if I went to the bank and deposited some money. She said she would talk to the cashier about the matter and I told the manager that if I was unable to recover from the error, I would be back to submit my bill.

This ended my cutting slack for black. Whatever guilt I had unconsciously taken living in America was over.

That evening I had great energy. Truly, this was a breakthrough.

I wasn't fully happy with my public display however. It's not my usual way of behaving and I am sure I will apply other ways to accomplish the same end in future circumstances. I didn't lay a finger on the cashier which I was in no way tempted to do. You got to begin somewhere and so I did.

Last night I went to the grocery again. I noticed I was there differently. I was looking around at the blacks who work there and, specifically, I was looking at them as to whether they were doing their jobs and exhibiting competence. A new awareness was present.

Obama has caused this - probably unwittingly. His job is way bigger than the color of his skin. And, it is by the criteria of his position as President that he is now being judged - just as any other President would be. And that is exactly the criteria by which anyone should be judged insofar as we deal with people on a daily basis. There are other contexts for judging people for sure, but in the public context - when people are working, taking care of customers and doing their jobs, it is by the standard of what that job requires and implies that we should call them to account.

So be it. This is freedom for all people. Racism has never been nor will ever be anything other than treating a person according to the color of his skin rather than by his conduct and his character. If Obama's Presidency is ending the scourge of a racism that one never consciously embraced nor acted upon, then this is a very good thing.

"There is no escape from justice, nothing can be unearned and unpaid for in the universe, neither in matter nor in spirit – and if the guilty do not pay, then the innocent have to pay it." -Hank Rearden, Atlas Shrugged

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