The are Poor Whites. Before I get to that, though, it is almost as if Mr. Barack Obama set out to prove me wrong with respect to my most recent blog entry: Barack Obama and the U.S. Constitution. Of course, he had no such aim, since he has not a clue that I exist. But a dear friend did asked me what I thought of Obama’s stance last night. My answer is very simple: He played the racial blame game, as if the only reason why blacks in America are in the position that they are in is racism on the part of whites. For instance, he said nothing about the extent to which blacks can be ever so creative in engaging in morally wrong behavior, with the recent invocation of the “knock-out punch” standing as an ever so clear and poignant example of that. Nor, again, did Obama address the reality that far too many black men seem more interested in walking with their pants halfway down their ass than with doing something meaningful and constructive in life and for blacks generally.
And did I mention black-on-black crime? Blacks seems to be killing one another to such an extent that it looks as if blacks are doing the KKK a favor.
For those who might read this blog, let me be clear: I do not think for a moment that racism against blacks has disappeared from the shores of America. And I grasp that the sentiment of racism can manifest itself in rather ludicrous ways. I shall always remember walking out of my apartment about two years ago with a tie on, carrying a shoulder bag, and eating an apple only to have the somewhat older white woman coming towards me freak out. I mean how many males thus attired, be they black or white or whatever, grab a woman’s pocketbook?
But there can be no better indication of how little blacks expect of one another than that time and time again I have had a black person look at me in utter disbelief when I claim that I am a professor. Recently, one black thought that I was a janitor. Another who encountered me at Syracuse University’s Marshall Square Mall thought that I was an older student. And when I mentioned to yet another black that I was going to my office he asked: “What do you mean?” When I responded that I am professor he asked: “Are you sure?”
But the title of this blog is “The Reality of Poor Whites”. And I shall always remember the very, very talented but quite white student from the Syracuse area who could not get financial support to go to Syracuse University because “Say, Yes to Education” is essentially intended for blacks.
I gather all too well that the typical white person has not been the subject of the racism that blacks have experienced in the United States. But that truth is ever so compatible with the reality that there are many whites in America who, through no fault of their own, are tremendously impoverished. And what is worse, perhaps, is that such whites cannot obtain any sympathy by playing the race card. Why, it was just last semester that I taught a brilliant female student who is white and is tremendously struggling to survive.
Understandably, poor whites who are passed over time and time again might become bitter. These poor whites might become bitter as they watch well-off white liberals trip over themselves to excuse blacks for doing little if anything to better themselves or their community. These poor whites might become bitter because their poverty is deemed to be their own fault, whereas impoverished blacks automatically have racism as an excuse.
Perhaps, there are not many advantages to being older, but one of them is a sense of history. And an unexpurgated truth is that when racism in the United States was far worse for blacks it turns out that blacks were far more responsible.
No one, be the person Asian or Arab or black or white, will be the author of her or his own life if the person does not act responsibly. And at the risk of offending any reader of this blog-entry, there is an awful lot of despicable behavior in black communities nowadays that has nothing whatsoever to do with racism.
A most poignant truth is that no black is likely to become responsible if the person is always encouraged to believe that she or he always has racism as an excuse for acting irresponsibly.
A final comment: I do not know Obama’s personal life. But I am as confident as I am black that he lied in claiming that he was motivated by the unfortunate things that he had to deal with owing to racism. I do not know the heavy hand of racism. And there is nothing that Obama has said or even hinted at that would warrant the view that he does. What is more, it is despicable to suggest that only racism is the fundamental launching pad for aiding blacks.
© 2014 Laurence Thomas