Archive for the 'Racial Issues' Category

Exploitation of Race Card Destructive to America

Exploitation of Race Card Destructive to America

The Radionian
By Ashton Pittman, Opinions Editor
May 2010, Volume 86, No. 7

A year and a half after we elected our first non-white President, the race card continues to play a shameful role in American politics. It seems almost impossible to criticize legitimately the President’s decisions without enduring accusations of racism. If anything, racial accusations have become even more prominent than before.

The latest issue to draw racial ire is Arizona’s immigration bill, SB1070. The bill allows law enforcement to verify the status of people reasonably suspected of being illegal immigrants.

Since being signed into law, it has met a firestorm of controversy. Politicians and pundits from across the nation have been quick to inject race into the mix, suggesting that the bill mandates racial profiling.

In a piece entitled “The Arizona of 2010 is the Alabama of 1963,” The Huffington Post’s Robert Creamer argued that the law will result in attacks against Hispanics akin to those perpetrated against civil rights marchers. Others have likened the law to the segregationist Jim Crow laws.

The immediate move to play the race card disregards the facts in favor of brash hysteria. The bill states, “The attorney general or county attorney general shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”

The truth is that illegal immigrants are responsible for a large amount of crime in Arizona, including drug trafficking, theft, violence and even murder. For the protection of its citizens, it was necessary for Arizona to pass a bill that would allow it to enforce its immigration laws.

The law is not about race; despite the fact that 76 percent of illegal aliens are Hispanic, the bill specifically disallows racial profiling. As bill sponsor Russell Pearce said, “Illegal is not a race; it’s a crime.”

Frankly, those who default to the race card anytime their beliefs are challenged represent an appalling form of intellectual cowardice. By marginalizing those with whom they disagree, they divert attention from the actual issue and avoid ever having to qualify the merits of their own position.

They also “divide and conquer” by encouraging people to vote along ethnic and racial lines. Perhaps they are the true modern day segregationists.

Exploitation of race for political gain is destructive. Its anti-intellectual nature undermines healthy debate and births racial animosity that did not exist prior. Most unfortunately, it diminishes the sufferings of all those who have ever truly faced the harsh reality of racism.

Out of respect for common decency, it is incumbent upon Americans of all colors to reject the gross abuse of the race argument, reserving it only for those times when it is plainly warranted. When that day comes, we can begin to engage in a national dialogue that exhibits some semblance of integrity.


Victim Mentality Offers No Legitimate Excuse

Victim Mentality Offers No Legitimate Excuse

The Radionian
by Ashton Pittman, Opinions Staff
April 2009, Volume 85, No. 6

In Tyler Perry’s most recent film [at the time of this writing], Madea Goes to Jail, there is a scene that takes place in a prison support group in which the minister admonishes those in the group to forgive those against whom they are holding grudges, in order to release themselves from the bondage of unforgiveness. When one woman protests, insisting that “You don’t know what my father did to me,” Madea speaks up, and begins lecturing her by telling her that she is fed up with people using the victim card and thereby excusing themselves from ever being successful in life.

One of the gravest vices in modern American society is this victimhood mentality that has been adopted by those who can point to unavoidable life circumstances, and then make the case that because of these circumstances, they will never be successful, and therefore even attempting to be such is futile. They eschew every opportunity for betterment that is presented to them, and resign themselves to a mundane existence in which the status quo is never challenged.

Some might say, “I am poor, and because of the greed of the rich, will always be this way.” What about women like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who rose from being a poverty-stricken single mother to being the world’s first billionaire author?

From Rags to Riches: J.K. Rowling, once a struggling single mother on Welfare, worked diligently on the Harry Potter series and eventually rose to international fame as the world's first billionaire author, due to a determination to emerge from the endless cycle of poverty and welfare that so many resign themselves to.

Still others may contend, “I am black, and because of racism, I will never be allowed to advance in life.” What about Michael Steele? He was raised by a widowed mother, who chose to work for minimum wage, refusing dependence on government assistance. By his mother’s example of personal achievement, he forged on to become the current chairman of the Republican National Committee, with a host of other offices and achievements under his belt.

Charges of sexism and recounts of tragic events in one’s personal history are some other oft-used justifications for a lack of ambition. The truth is, almost anyone can find a sticking point either in past or present circumstance upon which the victim card can be played. Some people will then enslave themselves to the government, placing their lives and financial security in the hands of a politicians and taxpayers. For others, it simply means settling for a dull, unfulfilling job and casting aside personal dreams and aspirations. It can even go beyond the financial side for many, affecting the emotional and psychological sides of life.

But isn’t this kind of thinking the exact opposite of what made–and hopefully, will continue to make–America great? What if our founding fathers and the people of the American colonies had practice such a mindset? What if they had given into the demands of King George III and Parliament, and relinquished all claims to freedom and independence, due to a belief that they had no chance of breaking free of Britain’s empirical bonds?

America as we know it would have never existed. But instead, they started a revolution.

“It is incredible that soldiers composed of men of every age, even of children of fifteen, of whites and blacks, almost naked, unpaid, and rather poorly fed, can march so well and withstand fire so steadfastly,” observed one French officer during the American Revolution.

Regardless of the circumstances of the time, these people moved onward, because they had a goal in mind.

“We have it in our power,” wrote Thomas Paine in Common Sense, “to begin the world over again . . . the birthday of a new world is at hand.”

This is the power that was endowed to all people by God; the power to choose the course of their own lives; to pursue new opportunities, and to overcome opposition. We should care for the least among us–not by appeasing a victimhood mentality–but by lovingly challenging them to achieve their true potential.

Claims of victimization as an excuse for failure may be applicable in some countries, but not in America; here, if we choose to become slaves to circumstance, we alone are responsible. It is our duty, not only to ourselves, but to our fellow man, to cast away the chains of victimhood and reach beyond what our circumstances tell us we can achieve.

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