The Race Card

Tony Brown 

Rac-ism - noun rac-ist - adj. & noun

1.A belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.

2. A policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

3. Hatred or intolerance of another race, other races.

Our nation’s history is full of examples of racism, the most obvious ones, of course, being the institution of slavery and the near destruction of the native Americans. This nation nearly destroyed itself over the practice of slavery with the civil war in the 1860’s. This self-correction came at the cost of about 500,000 lives.
For the soul of the nation it was worth the cost because slavery was ended as an acceptable practice. Native Americans were the target of early American settlers of various European backgrounds for many different reasons yet did manage to survive and today many tribes seem to be doing better. Racism and discrimination have lived on of course and, as it seems to be part of the human make-up, we do see it in today’s world.

Under no circumstance would I say that Americans are perfect. We are far from it. But we, collectively (as a nation), have a good soul and we love to help others. We are the most generous nation in the history of the world (I’m speaking of the people) and we do have the ability to self-correct. We do want to do the right thing. We do want prosperity for all. We are a nation of laws and as citizens our social contract is that we (all of us) agree to respect and obey these laws. Not all of these laws are good laws, but unless and until a law is changed, we have still agreed to obey it.

Along with this social contract we have the right, and actually the obligation (for future generations) to protect the sovereignty of our nation. In fact this obligation, or promise to protect, is probably the clearest task given to our Federal government, as stated in the Constitution. We are not invulnerable or impregnable. We are subject to attack and invasion, both from without and within and we are at risk of losing “America” every day.

For the European-American our checkered past has put us in the position of being the only people who can be racist. Of course, if one were to actually study this, there have been countless acts of racism, discrimination, and brutality committed by people of all races throughout human history. Many of these acts have been committed by people against others of their own race. This will probably be the case as long as humans exist on this planet. But, here and now, politically correct dogma in the U.S.A. holds that it is only the white man who can be racist.

Because of my very public position on the issue of illegal immigration, i.e. –That this city has some serious problems with the impacts of illegal immigration – I have been accused of being a racist. So I have two questions: What does racism have to do with illegal immigration? In this part of the country most illegal immigrants happen to be of Hispanic descent. And, does mentioning the name Mexican, Latino, or Hispanic in a discussion about illegal immigration make me a racist? I support legal immigration and oppose illegal immigration. To me the country of origin, skin color, and language spoken do not matter.

Unfortunately, when you look at the politics of 2011 California (and many other places) you are looking at a very complicated, controversial, contentious picture and the race issue is right in the middle. That is why most people are very reluctant (afraid) to deal with the issues of illegal immigration. Any person who dares to deal with this in a forthright fashion does so at the risk of criticism and being labeled a racist (there are other consequences too). The cost to us, here in SJC, as in many other locales, is that our paid and elected officials have become very reluctant to deal with urgent situations that need attention and leadership. They lose the political will to make difficult decisions, if they even had it to begin with.

Back to the definitions of racism, as seen above (taken from a dictionary). One can see the definitions do not identify one particular race as being inherently racist, and other races as being inherently victims of racism. I believe that each person has a choice in the matter. Anybody can be a racist or anybody can be free from racism. Environmental conditioning probably plays as large a part as anything here but I don’t believe that this absolutely dictates one’s beliefs or actions. But, somehow, our society has come to accept the notion that racism is strictly a white property. In reality though, it is owned by everybody. In our fear of being labeled racist, we accommodate and enable acts of racism to occur every day.

Right here in San Juan Capistrano one doesn’t have to dig very deep at all to find many examples of this. Laws not being enforced equally – There are laws being broken by illegal immigrants without consequence. These include entering the country illegally, working illegally, driving vehicles without a license or insurance, obtaining ID fraudulently. If one has entered illegally more then once this becomes a felony. Yet our local and State law enforcement have decided to look the other way. Looking the other way when the legal American violates the law? Not gonna happen. This is racism. Service providers, using public money and facilities, target Hispanics, legal and illegal, for free goods and services when these very items could benefit people of all races. At these places anybody but a Latino is discouraged from getting the help. In most instances non-Hispanics are not even aware there is help available because these providers market only to the Hispanic. This is racism. School districts, using public money (that’s your $ and mine), target Hispanics (both legal and illegal) with extra services and programs. Non-Hispanics are excluded from many of these free, or low-cost programs. This is racism. The Catholic Church, including our own Mission Basilica, provides many benefits directed to the Hispanic Community, both legal and illegal. By openly aiding and abetting illegal immigrants the Catholic Church is flouting our Federal laws. They are sending the message that their illegal Hispanic parishioners are above the law. This policy has led to the point where a lot of non-Hispanics now feel that something is wrong. A growing number of these people have left the Mission Parish and are dispersing to other nearby churches, including St. Edwards in Dana Point. This is racism.

From a Non-Hispanic perspective we don’t understand why the race card gets played so much when there are real concerns (concerns that any reasonable person of any race would have, such as safety, legal, financial). American society has changed into a multi-racial society over the decades and it doesn’t seem like one race dominates another any more. What is most troubling to me is that white persons are victimized by racist acts as much as the next race but are the only ones who get the label “racist” or “hate crime” attached to them. Reverse racism is alive and well in our city, our state, and our country but we should stop playing the race card game…it is a game where nobody wins.

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