I felt compelled to share this essay by my friend, Helen L. Burleson, Doctor of Public Administration
There was Littleton’s Columbine, Fort Hood, Virginia Tech and now Aurora’s Century 16 theater. Daily on the streets of Chicago and major cities throughout the U S children, especially boys, are killing each other. All of these tragedies have one thing in common – hatred and meanness. There is a culture of hatred within the fiber and fabric of America. Our children not only hate others, they hate themselves. This is the disease, hatred, that is so pervasive in America. Violence is a byproduct of hatred. Let’s get to the root cause. In order for the 1% to exploit all of us, Black, white, Christians and Jews, they have kept us separated for control over us. Scott Walker was caught on tape iterating their philosophy, “DIVIDE AND CONQUER.” As the venerable Nelson Mandela says, children are not born hating, they are taught to hate. When Senator Mitch McConnell says, “our main goal is to make certain that Obama is a one term president,” we have to ask the question, Why?
Racism is the underlying and root cause of the majority of hatred in this country; and, once a Black man or a mixed race man became President of the United States, all gloves were off. Just as LGBT people feel more comfortable coming out of the closet, the racists feel freer to express their racial hatred. What is the disease of racism that has affected generations of Americans – it is the illogical hatred of an ethnic, or easily identifiable racial group of people. Whenever we exhibit or practice irrational behavior, the pattern sets in and is passed down from generation to generation as factual. Those in charge or control of the media, research and literature then start false, unverifiable theories attesting to the fact group is inferior and should be shunned and kept apart from the rest of the people who have one thing in common – skin color.
Despite the teachings and examples of their parents and older adults, many of the children are beginning to question these teachings because more of them are interacting with Black people, “the untouchable group” and find that they are no different from themselves or their families, they are challenging their parents and the establishment. Now it is not rare to see the mixing of the races in the open. Race mixing is as old as mobility. Once people were able to travel from one country or region to another, race mixing resulted. Many people in America are French/Irish, German/Italian, African/Native American/Irish. Oftentimes these liaisons were not legitimized by marriage. The reason why American Blacks are so varied in color is because of this mixing, often by force.
After wars, many American military personnel come home with war brides and thus America has become mixed both religiously and ethnically. Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, a Jew and Huma Abedin, of Pakistani descent, who follows the teachings of Islam, former Sec. of Defense William Cohen and Janet Langhart Cohen, Real estate magnate Conrad Cafritz and Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Justice Clarence Thomas and Virginia Lamp Thomas, law professor Peter Edelman and Marion Wright Edelman, Civil Rights Activist Frederick Douglas and Helen Pitts Douglas, former Gov. Jeb Bush and Columba Bush and are among some of the noted people in interracial marriages.
The Chicago 7 were college students from wealthy white families who became anti-establishment. One was the son of the president of Commonwealth Edison, Williams Ayers, one was a descendant of the Rockwell Industries fortune, Rennie Davis, one became a venture capitalist, Jerry Rubin, one went on to marry Hollywood royalty, Tom Hayden and became a CA state legislator. These prodigal sons came home and later joined the establishment themselves. The Black youth in the inner cities, also disenchanted by the fate dealt them are also rebellious; but, they are neither equipped nor do they have the resources to act out the way the affluent white boys do, nor are they later embraced and incorporated into polite society. They are sent to prison.Both groups, filled with anxiety and disappointment leading to dysfunction, resort to a more antisocial form of behavior. Wanting power over their lives, the Black youth resort to drugs and guns to assert their personhood, their manhood.
By contrast, many of the privileged white boys get a gun and slaughter as many people as they can. When you look at their backgrounds, you wonder why would they turn to criminal, bizarre behavior – they feel unloved, devalued, manipulated and are guided by self loathing and loathing for others. A brilliant medical student with a quality education, a lovely home, and a glorious future, yet he arms himself and goes into a theater to destroy and take as many lives as he can, thus James Eagan Holmes’ name will live in infamy along with Loeb and Leopold who murdered Bobby Frank and Bill Heirins who murdered Suzzane Degnan.
The underprivileged Black boys, living in crowded undesirable worn out neighborhoods from which whites have fled, attending inferior schools until they are pushed out or are passed on to prison, feel the same emotions that the better off white boys feel and with their internal system on overload, explode and then turn on those closest to them, their competing gang bangers. The origins of this behavior are the same, external hatred internalized that becomes self-hatred, despair, disdain and emptiness.
America has become an incubator for this anti-social behavior based on hatred, contempt and isolating one group from the other. As Malcolm X says, “the chickens have come home to roost.” Another way of saying that is that we reap what we sow and America, especially, in the age of Obama has sown such ugly seeds of racial hatred, that our children have gotten off the track and are headed in the wrong direction. When Joe Wilson, hollers to the President of the United States, “You lie.” When illiterates Joe Walsh, Sarah Palin, and other racists call the President a liar, what are the children to think? We are the adults and are supposed to set the example. When the example is hatred and contempt, then that’s what the children learn. Visit any playground and you will hear name calling: fatty, four eyes, skinny – these are harmless names but still painful to the object of the taunting. When they hear stronger epithets at home, then children start using derogatory racial slurs. As they grow up and become older, the name calling and bullying become more hostile and aggressive.
Until we in America get at the root cause, address the root cause and solve or eliminate the root cause our children will continue to reflect what the adults do.
“Children learn what they live.”