Have you ever owned slaves? I haven’t. After years researching my ancestry in America and in Ireland going back to the mid-nineteenth century, I found no evidence that McLaughlins, Haggertys, Sullivans, McDonnells, Fitzgeralds, or any other branch of my family were slaveholders. Rather, many were near-slaves of British landlords. I feel no guilt about what happened to black slaves in America up to 1865, nor should I.
Neither do I feel any responsibility for discrimination against blacks in America during the 20th century. Catholics (which all my ancestors were) suffered from discrimination under British rule in Ireland until 1922. It continued until the 1980s or so, where the McLaughlin branch comes from in Ulster, but I don’t resent British people or Unionist protestants in Northern Ireland today, nor should I. It would only hurt me if I did.
That’s history – water under the bridge and over the dam. Virtually every race or ethnic group has suffered at one time or another. American blacks don’t have a monopoly on that. Some of my relatives here in America have suffered from discrimination against white males in the form of “Affirmative Action,” though it hasn’t been an obstacle for me that I’m aware of. I’ve written about all this in more depth here in a column titled “Heterosexual White Guy.”
Growing up in greater Boston during the late 20th century, I was infused with resentment of the British. Rather than look in the mirror, my extended family routinely blamed them for whatever difficulties or lack of progress we perceived in ourselves. That resentment was quite readily transferred to Yankee Protestants even after Massachusetts government was virtually taken over by us Boston-Irish-Catholic-Democrats at almost every level and John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected president. Then it was transferred to “the rich” where it remains ubiquitous in today’s Democrat Party. It wasn’t rational, but that’s how it was among the people with whom I grew up, and I was infected.
Overcoming that was a long process and I’m finally rid of it, but I haven’t forgotten how it was to think and feel that way. It helps me understand the Democrat Party’s appeal as well as the Obama campaign’s reelection strategy. Both still beat the same drum while America circles the drain under their leadership.
It’s all so clear to me lately as, down in Florida, I watch the “Reverends” Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson parrot the same tired victim language along with their fellow race pimps Louis Farrakhan and the New Black Panthers. Blame and resentment are their stock-in-trade. “All our problems stem from white racism and exploitation by ‘the rich,’ not from our own behavior or our own choices.” It’s their mantra.
America is stuck because too many black Americans wallow in victimhood while millions of other Americans feel guilty being white. Together, they comprise Obama’s base. His campaign rode that base to victory in 2008 and is revving up to ride it again in 2012. Both the “Occupy” movement and the orchestrated outrage over the Trayvon Martin death may both be understood in that context.
The Obama campaign nearly went off the rails in 2008 when the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago released a DVD of sermons by Barack Obama’s spiritual mentor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. First picked up by ABC News, it then went viral. “The world is controlled by rich, white people” bellowed Wright from his pulpit as other blacks in his congregation stood and ritually chanted agreement. That was just one of a series of outrageous things this reactionary, race-mongering hypocrite spewed from his Chicago church. Though Obama earlier claimed he’d attended Wright’s church for twenty years, he subsequently claimed never to have heard any of that vile filth and was shocked when he learned about it.
If ABC and the rest of the Mainstream Media hadn’t helped Obama smooth over and then close the lid on this Pandora’s box of campaign-killing material – and if Senator John McCain hadn’t ordered his operatives not to use it against his opponent – much more would have come out and there wouldn’t be a President Obama.
When he was thirty, Obama led a demonstration at Harvard in support of Marxist Professor Derrick Bell, who wrote at the time: “The whole [classical] liberal worldview of private rights and public sovereignty mediated by the rule of law needed to be exploded.” Bell believed the U.S. Constitution was racist and was reportedly invited to speak at Wright’s church. Obama was a true believer in all that too, but he’s been able to smooth-talk it over and mitigate political damage.
His lapdog U.S. media have given him a free pass up to now and are cooperating fully in Florida as the “Reverends” Jackson and Sharpton whip up another racial frenzy before all the facts are in.
Remember Sharpton and Tawana Brawley? Remember the Duke Lacrosse team? Remember Obama said the Cambridge Police “acted stupidly” when another of his black Harvard professors had a snit? When he said last week that, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” he was clearly implying that Martin was killed because he was black.
Remember, this is the Barack Obama who said: “White folks’ greed runs a world in need.” The president is in full campaign mode, stirring up resentment on one hand and pretending to transcend it on the other.
Or am I, like Obama’s grandmother, just thinking like a “typical white person”?
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Tom McLaughlin is a (now retired) history teacher and a regular weekly columnist for newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He writes about political and social issues, history, family, education and Radical Islam.