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There are a number of people, representatives of a certain ideology, who try desperately to convince Americans that a specific ethnicity within our country; Negroes, colored people, people of color, blacks, African-Americans; are under oppression. I realize that the term “Negro” is a bit archaic, but for purposes of effect, I’ve used it in my title. After all, the designation has changed over the years, and Negro was the common term for many years and preferred over “colored race” by none other than Booker T. Washington. I’ve never understood the use of terms such as African-American that are designed to separate rather than integrate. I’ve never thought of myself as a Scotch/Irish American; American being satisfactory to me. For purposes of description in the rest of this piece, and since I am commonly referred to as white, I will use the term black(s) to describe the aforementioned group.

In order for us to believe what we are being told, that blacks in America are an oppressed race, we must all suspend not only common sense, but other senses as well; such as sight. The line in the song from the sixties by Marvin Gaye and then Creedence Clearwater Revival (and credited to both Benjamin Franklin and Edgar Alan Poe) instructed us to “believe only half of what we see and none of what we hear”. Being from the group of Americans who are not only skeptical, but actually think, I take the above admonition seriously. So, forgetting what the chattering class is saying I should believe, I rely on keen observation and common sense. What would it look like for any people to be oppressed?

As I look around, I see blacks holding top positions in a number of corporations. I see blacks owning their own successful businesses. I notice that we have a black member of the Supreme Court, the highest position within the judiciary. I notice that there are many black surgeons, black professors, black authors, black truck drivers, black architects, black artists, singers, actors, and even hockey players. Not to mention blacks dominating professional sports such as basketball and football. Oh, and I notice that America has elected a black president, the highest position in the land; twice.

I look around middle class neighborhoods and I see black people owning homes with three car garages, basements, and walk in closets. I see blacks driving Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Lexus cars, as well as a few Ford’s and Chevy’s. I sit next to blacks at movie theaters, White Sox games, and in my local suburban church. I see blacks at the mall, shopping at Macy’s and Nordstrom’s among others; places that I choose not to afford. I see blacks attending Harvard and Yale. I try very hard, but I cannot for the life of me see oppression in these observations. How did these people achieve these things?  It seems to me that for the most part, the above groups of people have taken advantage of the principles associated with the so-called “American Dream”. They understand personal responsibility, hard work, education, integrity, and what it takes to be “successful”. They’ve assimilated.

And yet, even within the larger group of blacks in America, there is a sub-culture that has been created that rejects the traditional American culture of hard work, education, sacrifice and personal responsibility. Within this group, and within a portion of “white” America as well, I see uneducated, high school dropouts; unable to compete for even the most menial work. I see unwed black mothers with the fathers nowhere in sight. I see black teens running in violent street gangs; not only using, but selling drugs for money. I see a rejection of most of the traditional American societal norms. They don’t have respect for authority. They don’t have respect for property. They seem to want something for nothing; as if it’s owed to them. They have made for themselves heroes, whether rappers or athletes, who disrespect women, who reject personal responsibility, who impugn those who work hard to get a good education. I see blacks who roam the cities looking for innocent victims to beat and rob. I see blacks who think that burning down a local business is justified; whether it is in response to their team winning a championship or in response to something they see as a miscarriage of justice. Why have they chosen to separate themselves from the rest of society and not assimilate? Could it be that they’ve listened to and believed those who’ve treated them as children and who insinuate that they aren’t smart enough or good enough and that it’s someone else’s fault? Why do they choose and emulate heroes such as No Limit’s C-Murder, Capone-N-Noreaga, and Flavor Flav, rather than Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, and Walter Williams? Why do they follow Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan, rather than Dr. Ben Carson, Alan West, or Mia Love?

In looking at it all, common sense and my own eyes reveal to me that what I see is not oppression. How could the oppressor distinguish between the two groups? If they are all black, why would some be oppressed and others not? If there truly was oppression going on, wouldn’t it be obvious? The truth is that blacks are not oppressed in America. Most blacks, however, have chosen to empower those politicians who would try to convince them that they aren’t good enough to experience the American dream. To them I would say, “You’re far better than that.”