Posted Jul 16, 2016 by Michael L. Brown

Is there systemic, intentional racism in America today? Do large numbers of white Americans want to keep black Americans down? If not, why have other minorities overcome the odds to rise to the top of society while so many black Americans are languishing?

Let’s consider how other minority groups have fared in America.

Jews today make up less than 2 percent of our population, and they have certainly suffered discrimination here in America, let alone (in deadly fashion) around the world. As Wikipedia notes, “In the first half of the 20th century, Jews were discriminated against in employment, access to residential and resort areas, membership in clubs and organizations, and in tightened quotas on Jewish enrollment and teaching positions in colleges and universities. Restaurants, hotels and other establishments that barred Jews from entry were called ‘restricted’.”

Early in the 20th century, there was even an attempt to restrict Jewish attendance in Ivy League schools like Harvard. Yet all these obstacles (and many others) were overcome, and today, no one would deny the powerful influence Jewish men and women have in virtually every facet of American society. In fact, anti-Semites claim that Jews control Hollywood, the banks, the media, and the government!

Asian Americans make us up less than 6 percent of our population and have had their own share of obstacles to overcome, including the mistreatment of Japanese Americans during the World War II.

Yet Asian Americans are often at the top of their classes in the nation’s most elite schools, frequently leading the way in the business world and beyond. Why have they succeeded as relative newcomers compared to black Americans, who have been here since the inception of our nation?

Does this provide evidence that black Americans are being singled out for mistreatment and that there is an intentional, premeditated plan to keep black Americans down?

A white racist might say, “Not at all. This just proves that blacks are inferior.”

But not only is that an utterly despicable statement, it is also totally false.

Studies have indicated that recent African immigrants “tend to be older, more likely to have a higher education and a higher income, and less likely to live in poverty.”

A recent caller to my show, who previously lived in Kenya and Tanzania and who jokingly identified himself as an African African American (triple A, as he said), repeated to me what other recent African immigrants have shared on my show: Their lot is often different than the lot of other African Americans, and they find themselves getting better educations and better jobs.

So, what it is that keeps so many black Americans down, specifically, those who have been here for a period of generations?

It is certainly true that there are white Americans who hate blacks and want to oppress and keep them down, but I personally believe that accounts for a very small minority of white Americans. 

It is also true that black Americans often are not treated the same way white Americans are. But here too, I don’t believe this is done in an intentional, systemic way, which would have been the case during the days of segregation and slavery.

How, then, do we explain the very real disparity in our society between black Americans and white Americans, or between black Americans and other minority groups?

Why, on average, do black American families make so much less than, say, Hindu American families or Jewish American families (roughly $35,000 per black family as compared to more than $100,000 per Hindu or Jewish family)?

I believe it is the welfare system (and its related policies) that has kept black Americans down, however well-intentioned this system may have been at the outset.

Put another way, the system is enslaving many blacks rather than empowering them, destroying the family in the process, but it is not so much the result of systemic racism as it is the result of systemically flawed policies.

In an eloquent Facebook post, black NFL star and outspoken Christian Benjamin Watson asks the question, “As Americans, do black lives matter to us?”

He makes many valid points and raises many valid concerns, some of which indict white Americans and some of which indict black Americans, but at all points, he is redemptive, pointing to the cross and calling each of us higher.

Watson’s criticisms are fair and on target, including this one: “Black lives DON'T matter when some politicians enable generational dependency, stifling individual responsibility while others completely deny the importance of programs that are needed to help the marginalized. A crutch is the vital friend of the injured, its ultimate purpose to one day be laid aside as its former dependent walks on their own. If it oversteps its purpose the user will no longer feel the need to walk. Erroneously, they may not even think they can ever do so. Consequently, a stagnant, hopeless life seems to matter less.”

I agree with Watson that the system itself is flawed, even if the intent behind the system was good. And I agree with his other comments, indicating that many disparities do exist between black and white Americans, that there is injustice in our land, that the family must be rebuilt, and that our current policies are only exacerbating the problems.

But how do we address these issues? Obviously, provoking others to rage, anger, and violence only makes things massively worse.

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a controversial black leader who grew up without a father on a plantation during the Jim Crowe era, proposes a totally different approach. He argues that the only way for black Americans to move forward, regardless of injustice and discrimination and inequality, is to practice love and forgiveness, to rebuild the family, and to take full responsibility for one’s situation, refusing to blame others and refusing to depend on others

The entitlement mentality, which the government helped produce, is hurting black Americans not helping them, and while recognizing that there are genuine ways the government can help the poor and needy, our current system is doing far more harm than good.

It’s time for white Americans, like me, to stand side by side with black Americans, like Ben Watson, and say, “Enough with our flawed system. We stand with you against injustice and discrimination, and we want to empower you, not enslave you. America will not thrive until you are thriving.”

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Comments

truthforce posted a comment · Aug 16, 2016
This is an answer to the reverend who stated the election of oreobama as president as proof of how america has no bigotry. Funny how color means ideology and who they are for. Obama is black in pigmentation only. Any aware person who knows what is happening, the ilk of politicians, knows that no politician gets in office without making concessions in exchange for the enlargement of their wallets. And no politician can survive without supporting israel. Obama promised to get rid of monsanto, instead, he gave them full permission to do as they want to. There is not one politician who does right, if they think that they can make a difference, they are stupid. If they dont, they are obviously (and this is the case with all who have gone far enough to be a federal statesman) they have been bought and are all liars. Do a little research, and maybe read EXPOSING THE MONEY MACHINE an ebook on internet booksales websites. There are no real elections, just WWF type actors, who have been chosen decades ahead. What you see on tv is nonsense, and if you believe it still, you are gullible and cannot reason well, or think outside the boxes that they have created. i have heard your argument before, and like a typical pastor, are just repeating what you have heard.
truthforce posted a comment · Aug 16, 2016
Thank you for standing with me against bigotry, but then dont go around supporting police violence. You cannot be on both sides, both sides will be against you. Make up your mind, and be bold with it all. I see you and your heart, now take the truly biggest courageous step, and speak boldly what you really feel. If you do, you will feel so right and so good, and you will be with the righteous side, a courageous warrior. You know it is right, now come out of the boat, and walk.
truthforce posted a comment · Aug 16, 2016
Thank you for standing with me against bigotry, but then dont go around supporting police violence. You cannot be on both sides, both sides will be against you. Make up your mind, and be bold with it all. I see you and your heart, now take the truly biggest courageous step, and speak boldly what you really feel. If you do, you will feel so right and so good, and you will be with the righteous side, a courageous warrior. You know it is right, now come out of the boat, and walk.
truthforce posted a comment · Aug 16, 2016
You mentioned the minorities of Jews and Asians. I dont recall Jewish slavery in this country, nor Asian, except for centuries ago for railroad building. And you yourself admit to the bigotry which does exist. It is funny how you suggested that we not get people enraged about it. OHHHH, we should calmly and gently and apologetically ask very politely, oh, please mr. police officer, would you kindly stop killing blacks?? Or perhaps, mr. CEO, would you kindly, if you dont mind, stop paying your black employees minimum wage, and kindly stop giving yourself billions of dollars? I would appreciate that. Or Mr. politician, i humbly desire that you stop taking bribes and destroying the nation with your deceptions. That has worked not at all for centuries, and the powerful NEVER relinquish power without resistance of strength. Even Jesus the revolutionary spoke these words: Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. We cannot have freedom without fighting for it. Yes, anger and rage is most certainly harmful, because we all know how very effective asking nicely is. Dr. Brown, you seem intelligent, i believe your heart is right, (despite all the support of police, and your blind faith you appear to have), but start to get real. It would benefit mankind if some people stop their nonsense showing the truth by opposing it with arguments that are easily destroyed; but instead having intelligent people like you actually having courage to face the issues boldly and articulately. Be a courageous warrior for truth and justice, and speak your mind. Quit your job, love with all your strength, speak your mind, fight for justice. I have, been in jail 11 months in the past two years, have penned five books, and despite the poverty and danger, love what i do. I know you agree with what I say, now back me with your real self.
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Rev. Randy K. posted a comment · Jul 16, 2016
Yes, white Americans want to keep Black Americans down. That's why they elected Obama as President of the United States twice.