This link is to an op-ed piece by Dr. Peniel E. Joseph, Professor of History at Tufts University. It was published in my local Bakersfield Californian. I felt drawn to respond to the good professor, since he seemed to want more open dialogue about race. I gave it my best shot! I even sent him a pdf copy of my 2010 book, “Guide 25 – 25 Constitutional Values for Politicians and the People Who Vote for Them.” Never heard a word after several attempts!
Peniel E. Joseph, Ph.D. Professor of History Tufts University
Dear Dr. Joseph,
I read your Profiling piece in my local newspaper. Upon reading it, you came across not as an angry man but one who has reasoned out all the points you made and came to cogent conclusions. That is why I am responding to it.
Then I saw your website which portrayed on first blush, much anger – something your students might take a clue from that is unlike the nature of the article. http://penielejoseph.com/index.html
I guess you could say I’m the prototypical Tea Partier – 78 years old, Roman Catholic (not quite prototypical), college educated (U/Illinois ’58 and on) and lily white more than disgusted Republican. I could give you a long list telling you I’m no racist, but that would come across as trying to mollify you. I do hope for a reasonable exchange from our widely different points of view. We have both been blessed and in some ways cursed in this great land. That’s life – we have to deal with it.
The first thing I must do is try to separate race from the points in this discussion. It’s not that race isn’t a factor, but for Tea Partiers it isn’t THE issue. Human beings of all sorts are always welcome to the Tea Party philosophy. Have you ever met Lloyd Marcus – a wonderful Tea Party favorite? My own intellectual heroes include Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter Williams. They all deal with issues as far away from race obsession as they can get. I’ll try to work from that level.
Arizona is a case in point. It has to do with border enforcement. It didn’t start with the Obama Administration. It has accelerated out of control since President Obama took office – including gun smuggling Fast and Furious. The Federal Government has a constitutional responsibility to control the borders, but has refused to do so and even sue states like AZ for trying to stop the bleeding. Drugs, illegal’s and Middle Eastern types that pass for Hispanic pour over the border, leaving behind trash and destroyed property.
How many Hispanics have had to sell their souls in prostitution or debt to get a coyote to bring them across the border? Some have died, locked up in a semi-trailer and abandoned in the hot sun.
My wife’s kindergarten classes always got asked what they want to be when they grow up. The usual fireman, teacher, mother, nurse, etc pops up. One boy wanted to be a coyote. My innocent wife was puzzled and asked him why he wanted to be an animal? He said, “No, Mrs. Todd, the guy that gets people across the border. They make lots of money!” There was a drop off house right across from the school. Have you ever come to the defense of Hispanics victimized by coyote’s? ACORN in San Diego was apparently involved with coyote’s.
In 2006 I got a call on my cell (213 prefix same as LA Area Code) from a land line in Delano, CA 661-725… The young man announced to me “Mohammed is coming across the border today!” He insisted I was his contact in Los Angeles. Accustomed to using cell phones, he neglected to dial “1” before entering the intended number, so he got me. The intrusion of jihadist Islam is a serious threat to the nation that if successful will produce a really two class society of big time haves and have not’s with no upward mobility, living under Sharia and Dhimmitude.
If my wife isn’t watching Fox News, she’s watching Oprah – even wrote her a letter last week! Have you ever extolled to your students the great number of blacks with acting roles in movies and TV series and more importantly commercials? I have to admit – blacks make great and delightful actors – just like Jews and Catholics make great comedians. I suspect this is a vestige of our tortured pasts. What do you think?
I live in a heavily Hispanic populated area. My son employs a number of Hispanic men, some who have been with him many years. He knows the border situation intimately because he has to cover his butt. He has helped a number of illegal’s gain citizenship without fanfare. One nod to our un-racism: Sean was Team Manager for the Fresno State Bulldogs while in college. He liked (really black) player David Grayson so much he named his now 22 year old son Grayson. Gray was invited to play soccer on Sean’s employee’s Mexican soccer team. I guess I brought him up right. Sean played baseball with Congressman Kevin McCarthy when they were kids. They have lunch every so often. Think Kev will listen to me? I burned him a fax this morning.
As for hatred of Obama, remember it took a plurality of whites to elect him. Your perception of his being reviled just because of his skin color is way off base. Of course many hate him because he’s black. How many hated and vilified George W. Bush because he is Republican? To the regressive “progressives”, he could do nothing right and has been caricatured as much or more than Obama.
There was even a movie out about assassinating him. There was a coffin effigy at his inaugural.
Most of us thought it was a great sign of the quality of the republic to elect a black man. I took my granddaughter to the theater airing of his inauguration so she could get a sense of history. A young black man – mostly blacks in the audience – was sitting in front of me. I asked him what he thought. Hassan said, “I never realized what a great country this is. People have always told me how bad it was.” His picture is in my Bible study book –“The Launching of the S. S. Me.”
His great orations on “Change” fired up millions. You probably have an encyclopedia of racist motivations, but for Tea Partiers, this is still not the issue. We are by and large very much attuned to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. “Progressives” like Prof Ed Telfeyan at McGeorge School of Law insist the DOI has no basis in law today. Ed doesn’t speak to me any more since I disagreed with him about Sandra Fluke and her need for taxpayer funded condoms. He idolized her – let’s say I had a different opinion. It’s all about a very living breathing Constitution that can be changed with the winds of politics. The DOI is the moral, spiritual and philosophical basis of the Constitution and the BOR is the logic that protects the ethics outlined in the Constitution. Without this we might as well have Cuba’s constitution. Sadly, our President told Vladimir Putin in 2009 that “for all practical purposes the Constitution is dead!”
The healthcare debate is a sad chapter in US history. It has nothing to do with race per se. Like Austria before Hitler and the communists were wrestling over a weakened country with 25% unemployment, both Austria and now USA had the finest healthcare systems in the world in their time. In the 1920’s and 30’s Americans would go to Austria for medical training. Healthcare is one of the three elements that are primarily local, community and church responsibilities – health, education and welfare. The corporal works of mercy more than met by religious and charitable hospitals combined with county and state facilities covered needs well and economically.
As a young engineer, I made a decent salary when my 3 year old son woke up one night with every joint in his body bright red. He was curled up and screaming in pain. He was referred to Children’s Hospital in San Francisco. The doctor – Kyasu, a famous pediatric orthopedist told us that his treatment would be quite expensive. He said - I’ll never forget it – “If you were poor, there are means to get treatment. If you were rich, you could afford it. But that you are middle income you could never pay the costs.” So, he referred us to Crippled Children’s Foundation that picked up the difference above what my company health care paid. It was diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, but lately I’ve heard Lupus has similar symptoms.
If you refer to page 107 in the AHC bill, you’ll find Muslims are exempt from paying for “gambling” – so under the Dhimmitude of Islamic ruled countries they get special privilege. In the DOI, the litany of complaints against the king included “pretended legislation” and “sending out agents to eat out the people’s substance.” This and the current immigration bill are so onerous, only Nancy Pelosi would be evil enough to tell us we have to “pass the bill so we could see what’s in it.” A Tea Party group took the yet to be passed bill and broke it into 20 page increments. Each volunteer - unpaid – took 20 pages and analyzed them as best they could and reported back. The bill is so full of bureaucratic license – basically giving Kathleen Sebelius or her successor power over life and death. There are poison pills, authorities that bypass our constitutionally elected officials, special privileges, draconian rules that could never be managed honestly or efficiently. That makes it “pretended legislation” – and – surely is sending out agents to pry into every aspect of our personal lives.
The net result is surely higher taxes, but the reason is not Obama’s race or maybe good intentions. Fiscally, it s all about the inefficiencies that occur when the combined principles of subsidiarity and solidarity are violated. (A good overall well documented source is Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “Caritas in veritate” – Charity in truth. For your convenience go to #58)
The American Association of Life Underwriters did a study of the costs that are incurred at levels of help.
• If I need a dollar and you give me a dollar, I have a dollar.
• If I need a dollar and I go to the local community or charity, they have to raise $1.20 to help me with a dollar.
• If my need is more than the local community can handle, I go to the state which must tax you $2 to give me $1 in help.
• If my need is more than the state can handle, the federal government must raise $4 in taxes to provide me with $1 in services.
The key is that at some time or another the individual and his family need help that may reach all the way to the Feds. The higher up the ladder, the shorter term must be the involvement of that level. Sadly, the highly inefficient Feds want to run it from the top, instead of being the source of last and very temporary resort. Might this be the biggest reason the states and nation are fiscally bankrupt?
Evidence of abuse and corruption shows with the so-called Obamaphone that is/was being handed out like candy, rather than to people who are homeless with no set place of residence – or the ability to pay for the privilege. One reporter got three phones within an hour because people were being paid to get the phones out. We complain that the rich get richer, but who considered the richest man in the world – a Mexican national – gets $10 for every Obamaphone distributed?
Another and far worse is the proliferation of EBT cards where people have figured out ways to accumulate cards, buy and sell them and purchase luxury items at taxpayer expense – you know the $4 tax and growing deficit to deliver $1 in EBT cards?
Muslims are apparently a select privilege group. In Michigan, they are able to get welfare for themselves, immediate family and the man’s 3 or 4 other wives who are identified as close relatives. The bad ones are supported by Arab oil money to build mosques and madrasas where anti-American Sharia and jihad principles are taught. The ones who appreciate the blessings of liberty are under threat of death. The sad part of our poor energy and environmental policies is we have enriched the Middle East potentates so much they fight any effort to develop America’s far superior energy resources. I live in a heavy oil and ag production area where George Soros is spending about $1 million through MoveOn.org and the UFW pushing anti-fracking bills and a very faulty immigration bill.
As for the Birther mentality, you have to ask yourself why Obama has a very shaded history including schooling and residences in Indonesia. His handlers spent millions covering his tracks and travels until finally presenting his birth certificate – an issue that should have been settled at his first school, registration to vote or run for office in Illinois. Multiple SSN’s and living under more than one name and his current one indicating by number it was issued in Connecticut before he was born don’t help.
All that is under the bridge. I’d just like to see one article he wrote as Editor of the Harvard Law Review. I have a picture of him at Harvard “on strike for diversity,” so I know he was there. I don’t know what this has to do with white supremacists. I do know of a black supremacist group in West LA that is very careful about who it admits – you appear too dark (like I’d know!), and on a professor’s pay, not rich enough. Seems like a human fallacy to me, though usually controlled by the golden rule – he who has the gold rules. I would like to discuss diversity with you some time.
Tea Partiers have pointed out there were heroic blacks fighting in the Revolutionary War and even Glenn Beck – a real student of history as are you – pointed out this morning that 10% of the Union Army was made up of blacks.
I can tell you from this side of the argument that while there is a lot of white anger directed at him, it was not because of his color. You may be thrilled with policies that violate the checks and balances established to protect and maintain our representative constitutional republic under God. Democracies are only good until the people figure out them can vote themselves “free” money out of the nation’s treasury until the whole system collapses. Disdain for, but mainly ignorance of the Constitution, capitalism (not the money and tax manipulation that passes for it today) free enterprise and our Judeo-Christian roots has been the source of anger for largely older folks because they were taught far different than the outcome-based, common core centralized corrupt union controlled nonsense we have today. Political correctness, a product of Academia, has negated polite discourse and created a false sensitivity to anyone who wanders the world looking for a place or person to be offended by.
I’m not sure what you meant by passing legislation aimed at achieving racial equality that is met with white resistance. We tend to forget that it was a Republican President Eisenhower that set off the opening of southern schools to blacks and the equal rights passed with Republican votes over the “dead bodies” of Democrats. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society has done more to destroy individual initiative of all people who would otherwise strive for upward mobility through hard work and education. We don’t all make it, but we all try. I’m flat broke because I put the last 25 years into trying to be an entrepreneur to incorporate good environmental technologies to clean up and maintain natural and industrial operations. I failed due largely to a) my own lousy salesmanship and b) bureaucratic ignorance and recalcitrance among regulators. So at 78, I’m still in there pitching - keeps me from getting Alzheimer’s!
In recent times, I’ve observed racial segregation to be largely by blacks and other racial and ethnic groups isolating themselves on campuses and creating segregated associations while pointing at whites who are just going about what they’re used to doing. Growing up in Chicago, we had our white neighborhoods - German, Italian, Irish, Polish, Lithuanian, Swedish – a Swedish woman doctor treated me for two bouts of mastoiditis, tonsils, and the loss of my left eye in a playground mishap. I’m sure she had her struggles as a professional. The ethnic groups fought in gangs but slowly integrated as boy met girl. I’m English, Danish, Swedish, Irish, German, Scotsman, French and Luxembourger. My Irish Dago buddy called me a half breed! Ethnic foods were also great unifiers.
Yet I remember my Dad was Service Manager at a near north side Packard Dealer. The Sons of the Pioneers who sang on the Grand Ole Opry and WLS – the “The Prairie Farmer Station” were also the
salesmen for the agency. My only contact with blacks was the group of men in the back of the agency detailing cars. I still remember their blue coveralls. It was during the Capone Era, so at one time my Dad came home with Machine Gun Mike McGurn’s ’29 Packard coupe. He had some great customers!
The Trayvon Martin case was a travesty, but not for the reasons you and the media have projected. First, Trayvon was no angel as he was portrayed in his 12 year old photos. If you get a chance to see the security camera shots on ABC where Trayvon was buying Skittles and Gatorade -an interesting combination I’m told, but in the last second as he’s leaving the store, both he and the clerk turn away. Trayvon reaches out of camera range and as he turns to walk out he slips something in his pocket. Was he shoplifting?
What the hell is a “white Hispanic?” I think the jury, working from the evidence or lack of it – the prosecution could have done better – found Zimmerman not guilty. Given the media hype and threats flying around from the professional shit disturbers, the jury had the courage to vote their consciences. They couldn’t prove racism because Zimmerman had a long track record of tutoring black kids and doing other community service. Was he a pain in the butt for the local police? Did he bug
Trayvon to the point of striking out at him? I don’t know.
I wish as much attention and leadership were paid to the kids murdered in Chicago every week, or the wild wind being reaped as young blacks are beating and even killing old white people or a young couple or that Australian visitor who jogged in the wrong place? Could Obama with his bully pulpit have exhorted the kids to excellence - to break the long history of poor neighborhood kids who want to learn being called every name in the book and beat up for their ambition? I’m amazed that few remember the first act of the new President in 2009 was to cancel funding for a charter school in DC largely populated by black students.
In the “progressive” disdain for the Bill of Rights, the right to keep and bear arms is always rolled out a something to be banned. There is strong Biblical precedent for our responsibility to protect our homes. With regard to gun control: Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 12:29 and Mark 9:40: “How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and make off with his property unless he first ties him securely? Only then can he rob his house. He who is not with me is against me…” Newtown was robbed of its greatest treasure. The single black mother trying to protect her family in a hostile environment would be denied if the Michael Bloomberg’s of the world had their way.
We have created a multistory outhouse out of a fountain of prosperity that needs to be righted.
My real fear for and about the President is his apparent dedication to the advance of Islam. It is more than obvious for some of us. For others, it’s the fundamental change he and his wife have extolled since he first ran for office. You speak of the ACA as something special. Neera Tanden, a Muslim Brotherhood operative bragged recently that she had a hand in writing the Act when in the employ of the ultra racist/atheist George Soros. His Open Society Institute and its arms are busy writing draconian bills. These should be written in Congress and never be over 100 pages in length so the average citizen can understand them. Look at the people he is surrounded with – scary to say the least. I’m not sure if they were his doing or that of others.
In 1950, the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote: “At the present time, the hatred of the Islamic countries toward the West has become hatred against Christianity itself. Statesmen are now taking it into account that there is a grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return on a broad scale, and with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power. Muslim writers say, "When the locust swarms darken vast countries, they bear on their wings these Arabic words, "We are God's host, each of us has 99 eggs, and if we had 100, we should lay waste to the world and all that is in it." I have the distinct impression the USA is being used as the 100th egg.
Rather than concentrating on race, ethnicity – except for the food – we need to work toward loving the gift of a wonderful country that is now our responsibility to present to our children intact and prospering. Every time I see lines of freight care rolling through our Valley, I see the great efforts at painting graffiti on them. Would that energy and talent be applied to love and beauty and the enrichment of all?
That is certainly my hope for you, yours and all the rest who want the best for our kids and grandkids. See what you started with that profiling article?
All the best. I hope, after all this I hear from you.
My family is hollering at me to watch a movie a young man made called “The Craig’s List Guy”. He started with no money, a laptop and a photographer and used Craig’s List for 31 days to convince people to feed, clothe, transport and hire him so he could survive. I better go watch the rest of it or I’m in trouble! Maybe there’s another message in there!
Jerry is a retired engineer with strong experience in environmental innovation which he still applies today with 2 clean water and energy saving technologies. His life avocation in writing and study of philosophical and biblical themes as they apply to the body politic's spiritual warfare. He survived stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006; now in excellent health. A graduate of the University of Illinois (1958, Industrial Engineering), Jerry had post graduate studies at both the University of San Francisco and the University of Santa Clara in California between 1961 and 1963 (Logic, Marketing). As co Founder and seminar presenter he was awarded a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Valley Christian University operating under California private-post secondary statutes for mid career student, VCU was the pioneer external degree school for mid career students. Its course structures were picked up by several well known Christian colleges. Hosted local broadcast radio and TV shows, "Religion on the Line" and "The News Firm" (jointly with wife, Joanne), respectively. Jerry has published several books that are available at Amazon. Jerry is available to speak as a visiting lecturer at the high school, college or community organization level. Jerry is married 55 years to Joanne Dean Todd – 3 children, 8 grandchildren.