The modern manifestations of the USAs historic human rights abuses are in areas of urban blight, crumbling schools, voting suppression, redistricting, shipping jobs overseas for dirt cheap labor (and the housing conditions that go with that poverty level) a justice system that is not fair but selective. It is a concept of humans as chattel and it goes far back into human history.
The President addresses the Nation
Yes, the things happening here and now are what destroys today's lives. The rise of corporations and profits ahead of people are destroying society. Sadly, all the choices for politicians are all bought and paid for by our new "overlords".
And this is what is so sad about all of it - exploitation of the many by the few.
I suppose my point about slavery was to point out that in the USA, people dwell on the issue of black slavery - hence Obama himself inferring to the basis of suffering by African Americans. Ignoring the history of their own country including the enslavement and abuse of others that were not of African origin, is to promote one people and their abuses while ignoring all others. It is to ignore how and why it was policially advantageous to promote and initiate laws that oppressed people of color while not so advantageous to do so with those who were not of color. It is highly likely that the majority of black people in America if told about the history of white or indian slaves before them would even have heard about it and it could be equally as hard for them to try to understand it, given the political brainwashing of 'white privilege' used to create continual division and separation between people. White privilege is not a term that should ever be allowed - wealth and power and politics - those are the privileged and are not relevant to race or color. sammieswife
As it relates to the President and his speech - he said that the nation must address the problems faced by young black males.
“We need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African-American boys,” he said, adding that he and First Lady Michelle Obama often discuss the issue.
George Zimmerman was mentoring 2 African American children whose father is serving a life sentence in prison - I think he believed he was trying to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
People don't want to see the truth, just a reflection of their own prejudices
The films Gettysburg and Gods and Generals dealt with the Irish immigrants being drawn into the Civil War from both the North and South. I think it was the battle at Fredricksburg VA. where Irish had to fire on Irish from both sides. Also the film Gangs Of New York. But I can't recall in school ever reading about the indentured servitude and slavery Europeans experienced when coming here. Now the subjugation of the Native Americans was written about in our school-history books. There are so many gaps in our knowledge of History.
Thanks Sammie for saying what I have been trying to say.
If any are not familiar with the racism and treatment of poor whites and several other minorities other/along with blacks, try reading " Not Quite White" by Matt Wray and also recently thanks to Glander I discovered the book, " The worst hard time" Timothy Egan. The people who settled what came to be called The Dust Bowl were poor whites, Mexican, Indians and immigrants ( many of the Russian/ Germans ) These poor people were thought of as throw-away people and no one cared when they started starving and dyeing from dust. The ones who left and went to California weren't much better off, watch Grapes of Wrath. There were signs that said " No okies or dogs". It should be required reading along with " the Grapes of Wrath".
" Gangs of New York" . shows how the Irish were just white- blacks ( not using the N word here but figure it out ). They were considered lazy no count drunks, good for nothing. Sound familiar? Hispanics people here made up most of the migrant workers and were often not even allowed in public places. I lived among them for a time due my mothers heath and losing our home. Who was /is working in coal mines? Mostly poor whites. If our president wants to start talking about racism and the terrible injustices of the past and present, maybe he should try opening his eyes. He was not oppressed, he lived a charmed life compared to most of us .
He WAS NOT TM.
Viola- Even if you think the President has lived a charmed life and has his eyes closed to the injustices of other groups I believe he still did everyone a service by getting us to speak and read more on the issues of racism and inequality. Here we all are speaking about these very things, bringing up the groups not often mentioned who also experienced prejudice and bigotry. I believe this is the very dialogue he was hoping for.
But the biggest issue today by far relates to young black men ... why, despite being a low percentage of the population, do thay make up a disproportionately high number of both victims and perpetrators?
It's the unspeakable truth that dared not be mentioned ... until now. That is the dialog that Obama has made possible.
Every culture has criminal elements, why does the problem in the black community seem so much more endemic than others? I don't buy the 'slavery hundreds of years ago' argument because many are ignorant of the past and facts of history.
This is the difficult and frank discussion that needs to happen. Some people won't like it and will use anything and everything to shut it down which will include every accusation of racism and victimisation imaginable.
Be warned and be prepared. No need for hyperbole - facs and evidence should be the focus.
Every year there are cases here in Orange County that come forward of some wealthy family holding their servants and housekeepers in virtual enslavement in the home, paying them far less than minimum wages, working them long hours. It boggles the mind to try and get inside their heads and contemplate why they would treat someone that way.