Sunday Commentary: President Obama Brilliantly Articulates the Frustrations of the Africa-American Community

Obama-Race

In the movie Remember the Titans, the fictionalized account of a true story about the integration of a football team in early 1970s in Virginia, the football coach in an effort to forge unity brought his players to the site of Gettysburg to remind them that the struggles that they faced that day were not new, and had old and bloody antecedents.

Forty years later, we have made much progress in the battle for racial and social equality; however, we have recent reminders, that race remains as polarizing and salient an issue as it perhaps ever was, even if the form of that polarizing continues to evolve.

 

I note the remark of a young African American UC Davis graduate from earlier this week, “If I had a penny for every time I’ve come across someone who thought racism (institutionalized or otherwise) was over with I’d be rich.”

Despite these struggles, we have made progress and spirit echoes by President Obama this week has both been praised, scrutinized, and criticized alike.

It was easy for critics to pounce when the President stated that he could have been Trayvon Martin.  But at the same time, conservatives criticizing the President for doing what he so rarely does, articulate for us all what it is like to not be part of the majority, miss that he has the opportunity to offer both a unique perspective and a role model as a way forward.

People wont to jump on the President’s case (and I have had a number of criticisms of his Presidency) should note some of the things he did not do.  First, he did not undermine the judicial process by second guessing the verdict.

When the President said, “when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son.  Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

This is the reality that every African American has to deal with in our society – prospect of being treated not because of their actions but regarded with suspicion because of the color of their skin and the location of their whereabouts.

In our own community, I have met professionals, professors, students, and working class people all of whom share the same skin color and common experiences of prejudice.  Those who defend racial profiling due to proximity of crime, need to remember that the root of the word prejudice is to pre-judge before getting all of the facts.

So here we have the President of the United States articulating what it is like to be racially profiled.  He said, “There are very few African American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store.  That includes me.  There are very few African American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars.”

He continued: “There are very few African Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off.  That happens often.”

I have written about the importance of the symbolic value of an African-American prejudice, but have been disappointed that President Obama, perhaps rightly, does not want to be the African-American President, but rather just wants to be the President.

But we needed to hear this because this is what too many of the people in our community have to go through on a daily basis.

Better yet from my perspective is that the President went further than this stating, “The African American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws — everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws.  And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.”

Part of the problem that many people have is that they have not walked in the shoes of others and in many ways they cannot fathom how these things begin to build over time.

If you are wronged once, you can turn the other cheek.  But when things happen over and over and over again, they become a daily part of life, not only does it become impossible to ignore it becomes your worldview.

I hear in the white community all of the time, why African Americans turn everything into a race issue.  That is because for white people, it is easy to see incidents in isolation for what they are.  However, when race is the dominant issue in your life every single day, it is only natural that you begin to see the world through the issue of race.

The President goes further – he also acknowledges the 800 pound gorilla in the room when he says, “this isn’t to say that the African American community is naïve about the fact that African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system; that they’re disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence.”

At the same time, he can articulate the concern of those in the black community when he states, “It’s not to make excuses for that fact — although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context.  They understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.”

This is the legacy that we have to confront if we want to be able to claim that racism really is a thing in the past.

The President, I think rather brilliantly articulates the tension between two very valid worldviews – the world view that the African American male are both victims and perpetrators in this dilemma.

“I think the African American community is also not naïve in understanding that, statistically, somebody like Trayvon Martin was statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else.  So folks understand the challenges that exist for African American boys,” he said.  “But they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it and that context is being denied. And that all contributes I think to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.”

If the President is dividing us along racial lines here I don’t see it.  I seem him articulating the frustrations of the African American community in ways that have never been done before by a President.  At the same time he is not blind to the problems and the challenges within the community either.

I don’t see where the criticism comes from articulating by some on Twitter for instance stating, “He is truly trying to tear our country apart.”

I see the opposite.  The country is already divided on this, the President is merely pointing out that historical perspective is necessary to understand the emotions that drive this political debate.

If anything, those of us on the left believe that the President has been too timid in addressing the issue of race and did not go far enough in his speech.  Given the inevitable backlash though, I think the President articulated the critical problems without drilling deeper.

Michelle Alexander in her essay on “Why America Treats Black Men as Undercastes” published in Time Magazine takes the debate a bit further writing, “One of the reasons that Trayvon Martin’s tragic death resonated so powerfully with millions of people of color, black and brown men in particular, is that it was one of those rare situations in this so-called era of colorblindness when suddenly the curtain was pulled back. All the usual rationalizations for routinely treating young black men as problems and up to no good, were stripped away.”

Following her new Jim Crow thesis she writes, “Our criminal-justice system has for decades been infected with a mind-set that views black boys and men in particular as a problem to be dealt with, managed and controlled. This mind-set has fueled a brutal war on drugs, a get-tough movement and a prison-building boom unprecedented in world history.”

“Today, millions of people of color are stopped, interrogated and frisked as they are walking to school, driving to church or heading home from the store,” she continues.  “The overwhelming majority were black and brown men who were innocent of any crime or infraction. Their mere existence was cause for concern, just as the sight of Trayvon Martin walking leisurely through his own neighborhood was enough to make George Zimmerman call the police.”

How do we begin to address these problems without discussing race?  The war on drugs is good case study because the argument that the reason for the higher rate of black incarceration gets stripped away.

“Studies have consistently shown that people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, yet black people have been arrested and incarcerated at grossly disproportionate rates during the 40-year-old war on drugs,” Ms. Alexander writes. “If people who abuse illegal drugs were viewed as people who have real problems–rather than people who are problems–then drug treatment would be the obvious and rational response rather than putting people struggling with addiction in cages, treating them like animals and stamping them with a lifelong badge of inferiority.”

Further complicating the problem is that once in prison, it makes it difficult or impossible to get a good job.  Requirements for marking the box as a convicted felon act as a barrier to future employment.

“Once released from prison, most people find that their punishment is far from over. Felons are typically stripped of the very rights supposedly won in the civil rights movement, including the right to vote, the right to serve on juries and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits. They’re relegated to a permanent undercaste,” she argues. “Unable to find work or housing, most wind up back in prison within a few years. Black men with criminal records are the most severely disadvantaged group in the labor market. In some places, more than 50% of people are in this demographic.”

In my view, President Obama did a very good job of articulating the problem and the frustrations of the African American community.  To the extent to which there was criticism and backlash, in part this is due to politics and the partisan polarization of our time and in part this is due to the fact that a segment of the population simply wants to believe that racism is over and somehow believes any mention or discussion of it is bad.

The Zimmerman-Martin incident should remind us that these divisions are alive and well.  Those who want to blame media coverage for fanning the flames, should remember, if there were no flames to fan, the media would just be blowing hot air.  Clearly that is not the case.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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116 Comments

  1. Robb Davis

    It has been interesting to read the selected “snippets” taken from Obama’s remarks on this issue in various news sources. Here is a more comprehensive look from [i]The American Conservative[/i].

    [url]http://www.theamericanconservative.com/success-for-president-obama-in-talking-trayvon-martin/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=success-for-president-obama-in-talking-trayvon-martin[/url]

    I am particularly intrigued by the last section.

  2. SODA

    thanks for that Robb; I was surprised at the commenter’s opinion….and especially liked the President’s quote to judge the ‘content of the individual’s character, not the color of his/her skin’…..
    The conversation as he puts it, will happen, it just won’t be as productive as if it were a more integrated discussion….agree or not. maybe both need to happen more.

  3. Davis Progressive

    there seems to be a disconnect between the idea of judging people by the color of their skin and ignoring the fact that people still are judged by the color of their skin even if sometimes we think that judgment has some merit.

  4. SouthofDavis

    President Obama said:

    > There are very few African American men in this
    > country who haven’t had the experience of being
    > followed when they were shopping in a department
    > store.

    I worked at a grocery store on the (90%+ white at the time) San Francisco Peninsula and we followed just about every young person that seemed to be “wandering” (especially young white males hanging out around the beer section).

    After my sister worked Christmas break as a 16 year old doing gift wrap at Nordstrom on the San Francisco Peninsula she got a job at 17 for Christmas break working for Nordstrom Security (dressing as a High School girl and pretending to be a “shopper”) she followed a lot of high school girls and about 99% of them were white (not a lot of black girls shopped at the Hillsdale Nordstrom in the 80’s).

    As long as black people continue to believe that they are the ONLY people that get followed at department stores, get crappy service at Denny’s or have a cop treat them poorly then we can never have a real debate about “racism” since most blacks (including the president) keep bringing up things like getting followed at a store, getting crappy service at Denny’s and having cops act like jerks as PROOF that we still have a lot of racism forgetting that (almost) EVERYONE (of all races) is followed in a store, gets crappy service at Denny’s and has met a jerk cop…

    P.S. I bet we won’t be hearing about the Roderick Scott (a Black guy) watching out for his neighbors who shot the white kid and like George Zimmerman (a “White-Hispanic”) was acquitted on any major TV network or newspaper:
    http://www.decodedscience.com/roderick-scott-the-black-george-zimmerman-acquitted-of-murder/33569

  5. Davis Progressive

    “As long as black people continue to believe that they are the ONLY people that get followed at department stores”

    where did obama state that? if you look at the history of davis for example, both students and minorities complain about treatment by the police. there is a city-ucd liaison committee and the last i checked there was a police subcommittee. of course within that group, the most aggrieved are young minorities, especially african american.

    the problem is that while young people can grow up and get old and stop getting followed, you still have 50 and 60 and apparently 70 year olds african americans in this community with complaints about police or treatment in stores.

  6. Davis Progressive

    “I bet we won’t be hearing about the Roderick Scott (a Black guy) watching out for his neighbors who shot the white kid and like George Zimmerman (a “White-Hispanic”) was acquitted on any major TV network or newspaper: “

    probably not just as we won’t hear about christopher smith or whatever the name of the fellow was who shot the african american in front of his family in west sacramento but was convicted. david covered it, but no one else on the planet did other than a da press release. so what’s your point?

  7. Davis Progressive

    Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O’Mara, in the wake of the not guilty verdict, said: “If George Zimmerman were black he’d never have been charged with a crime.” Former RNC chairman Michael Steele replied on Twitter: “Is he high?”

  8. Growth Izzue

    [quote]Zimmerman defense attorney Mark O’Mara, in the wake of the not guilty verdict, said: “If George Zimmerman were black he’d never have been charged with a crime.” [/quote]

    I totally agree with Mr. O’Mara. After their investigation the local police said there was no case and it wasn’t until race baiting politics got involved that Zimmermamn was charged.

  9. medwoman

    SouthofDavis

    ” As long as black people continue to believe that they are the ONLY people that get followed at department stores,”

    I don’t hear anyone saying that blacks are the “ONLY” people who are followed in department stores. I do believe that many blacks and whites believe that blacks are disproportionately singled out for increased surveillance. After the Zimmerman acquittal, NPR played some of the
    “six word” responses to the judgement. The one that struck me the most came from a white women writing in response to her feelings about her teenage son following hearing commentary from black women saying that they feared for their sons at night. She wrote ” I am not afraid. I’m
    white.” I was also struck by the submission of one black man who wrote ” Lady, I don’t want your purse.”

    Until we are willing to recognize that the color of our skin, like our gender, and our age informs how we see the world around us, we will forever be imprisoned by our view that our own perception is the only correct way to view the world.

  10. Growth Izzue

    Also everyone knows that now the DOJ’s investigation is just giving Obama’s base some false hope and the appearance that they’re actually trying to persue a civil rights case against Zimmerman because there’s nothing there to find.

  11. Growth Izzue

    It’s cases like this where there was no racism involved that cause the those that cry racism to lose credibility. A word to the wise, all you race baiters out there should choose your cases more diligently.

  12. Frankly

    I think President Obama almost perfectly walked the razor’s edge on this. It is clear that he is conflicted as you would expect for a successful and educated black man. I have no doubt that he sees clearly that the problems with the black community as largely a product of their own inability to grasp the opportunities and assistance already available. But I have no doubt that he also grabbles with the heart pull of so many tragedies and unfulfilled dreams within the black community.

    While blacks and their white protectors continue to externally blame and seek retribution for every imaginable disappointment, blacks will be perpetually locked into a state of suspended growth and development from an improper use of their individual and collective reservoir of energy.

    What we need to realize is that civil rights version 1.0 has been successful. It those that continue to beat the same drums of racism and group-isms that are preventing society from implementing a much-needed version 2.0. We will never make enough progress in achieving racial integration with race-baiting divide and conquer politics.

    Psychologists and sociologists have identified a common human and social phenomenon that is a key to human and social growth and development. It is simply that what gets practiced gets done. Studies have proved that a person can become more happy just by practicing the behavior of happy people. Similarly, it has been proven that modeling the behavior of successful people helps a person also become successful. In terms of groups, a common dialog that defines expected behavior leads to a level of compliance in demonstration of that behavior. Management science has adopted this principle in organizational leadership to great success. This is how Disney Land and Southwest Airlines continue to satisfy customers at the highest levels.

    Keep repeating something and it becomes reality.

    Here is what we are doing today…. we keep repeating that blacks are persecuted, oppressed, discriminated against, profiled, exterminated, etc., etc., We say there is hopelessness in the black community. We say that law enforcement and the judicial is biased against them. We say all these things and then wonder why there is no real statistical progress of improvement.

    Civil Rights 2.0 requires a change. That change is simply a complete migration from a black victim stance and profile, to one where we communicate a common expectation of successful behavior. To do this we need to stop protecting people from feeling like they are being shamed. First, we cannot and should not legislate for feelings. Second, shame can be a justified and valuable motivator since nobody wants to feel it. If you father a child and don’t take care of it, that deserves scorn and shame. If you mother a child out of wedlock without the resources to properly raise it, that deserves scorn and shame.

    A related challenge I see with us being able to move to Civil Rights 2.0 is this trend to dismiss American culture. As we continue to dilute our American culture with an explosion of immigrants lacking enough assimilation, racial integration will suffer and racial segregation will expand. We see that happening all around us with the number of majority black, Hispanic and white neighborhoods expanding. The problem is that we are losing our binding sense of self. If we cannot be culturally homogenous Americans because it offends liberal sensibilities, then we lack a binding sense of self and we become a collection of groups at war with each other.

    So, Civil Rights 2.0 requires an additional dialog about American culture… what it is and what it should be. And, we should reject the arguments from those that continue to dismiss the existence of American culture… because they and their arguments are hazards for all minorities and our future as the continued greatest nation on God’s green earth.

  13. SouthofDavis

    I wrote:

    > As long as black people continue to believe
    > that they are the ONLY people that get
    > followed at department stores … we can
    > never have a real debate about “racism”

    Then Davis Progressive wrote:

    > where did obama state that?

    Since he didn’t start with “like just about every other young kid in America he was making the point that “racists” followed him because he was (half) black.

    > if you look at the history of davis for example,
    > both students and minorities complain about treatment
    > by the police.

    I may have missed it but I don’t recall a white kid ever complaining about “racism” in the Davis police department where (almost) every time a black complains about the police “racism” is brought up.

    > while young people can grow up and get old and stop
    > getting followed, you still have 50 and 60 and
    > apparently 70 year olds african americans in this
    > community with complaints about police or treatment
    > in stores.

    It is unfortunate, but where California is about 7% Black and has about 30% Black prisoners over the years everyone I have ever known that worked in retail (even places where Black shoppers are about 1%) have told me that over 50% of the shoplifters they catch are black…

    I know there is some racism out there and I’m sure that there are more innocent Blacks (especially in the South) in jail than innocent whites, but if we want to move forward we need to all admit that just like anti-semitism and anti-Irish racism actual anti-Black racism is rare (even more rare for those under 50).

    We need to look at the why people often confuse something else with Black-Racism, Anti-Semitism or Irish-Racism (say the Black lady with a big empty bag dressed in a Wal Mart outfit in the $1,000 dress section of Nordstrom, the Jewish Guy with a NY accent yelling a young store clerk or the Irish Guy from Boston with a Southie accent yelling at Giants fans (after drinking 10 beers)…

  14. medwoman

    Frankly

    “So, Civil Rights 2.0 requires an additional dialog about American culture… what it is and what it should be. And, we should reject the arguments from those that continue to dismiss the existence of American culture… because they and their arguments are hazards for all minorities and our future as the continued greatest nation on God’s green earth.”

    I would definitely welcome such a conversation.
    Could you briefly define what you consider American culture so that I can compare your version with what I consider American culture to be ?

  15. Davis Progressive

    “It’s cases like this where there was no racism involved that cause the those that cry racism to lose credibility. A word to the wise, all you race baiters out there should choose your cases more diligently. “

    i wonder how closely you read obama’s comments here because, the issue he raises isn’t this incident in isolation. the problem is history and interpretation.

    you end up being followed around or pulled over without good reason on a consistent basis, you have a tendency to believe there’s a problem even in more ambiguous cases.

  16. Davis Progressive

    i have some issues with frankly’s interpretation of things.

    first, “I have no doubt that he sees clearly that the problems with the black community as largely a product of their own inability to grasp the opportunities and assistance already available.”

    i don’t think you have any evidence to support the idea that obama believes they are “largely” a product of what you state. you’re simply inserting your own biases and attributing them to obama.

    “While blacks and their white protectors continue to externally blame and seek retribution for every imaginable disappointment, blacks will be perpetually locked into a state of suspended growth and development from an improper use of their individual and collective reservoir of energy. “

    i really question how much contact you have with black thinking outside of a few prominent politicians.

    “What we need to realize is that civil rights version 1.0 has been successful. “

    we need to recognize that civil right (what you call 1.0) is actually at least the third derivation (abolition, reconstruction and finally the civil rights movement). so has it been successful? sure, it ended legal barriers to equality but failed to address social and economic ones.

    “Psychologists and sociologists “

    i don’t you have the expertise to cite either.

  17. Siegel

    “Also everyone knows that now the DOJ’s investigation is just giving Obama’s base some false hope and the appearance that they’re actually trying to persue a civil rights case against Zimmerman because there’s nothing there to find. “

    You’re an attorney now? Looking at the case in chief, I think the civil rights aspect and color of authority is the far stronger case than even manslaughter ever was. There’s considerable precedent for murder acquittals at the state level being prosecuted under civil rights law at the federal level. There is also a civil suit, which also would be a stronger possibility – they may not have been able to prove murder, but a wrongful death suit relies on a far lower preponderance of the evidence.

  18. B. Nice

    [quote]If we cannot be culturally homogenous Americans because it offends liberal sensibilities, then we lack a binding sense of self and we become a collection of groups at war with each other. [/quote]

    Frankly, do you think that the only way we can avoid being at war with each other is to become “culturally homogenous”.

  19. B. Nice

    [quote]Anti-Black racism is rare (even more rare for those under 50). [/quote]

    Check out this video…

    [url]http://friendsofjustice.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/white-guy-black-guy-pretty-girl/[/url]

  20. wdf1

    President Obama’s full comments on the Trayvon Martin case:

    here ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHBdZWbncXI[/url])

    It would be worth it for folks to see the full video before assuming the content of his remarks or the propriety of making them.

  21. B. Nice

    [quote]If we cannot be culturally homogenous Americans because it offends liberal sensibilities, then we lack a binding sense of self and we become a collection of groups at war with each other.[/quote]

    Should we all practice the same religion as a homogenous group? That would put an end to most of the wars we have with each other.

  22. Don Shor

    Americans have never been culturally homogeneous. At least now we’re only “diluting” our “American culture” instead of “degrading” it as Frankly said on the last thread on this topic.
    But:
    [quote]So, Civil Rights 2.0 requires an additional dialog about American culture… what it is and what it should be. And, we should reject the arguments from those that continue to dismiss the existence of American culture… because they and their arguments are hazards for all minorities and our future as the continued greatest nation on God’s green earth.[/quote]
    Sure, let’s have that dialog.
    I thought it was an excellent speech. It seemed very personal, to have little in the way of political motivations, and instead was the kind of thing presidents do best.

  23. Frankly

    [i]Frankly, do you think that the only way we can avoid being at war with each other is to become “culturally homogenous”.[/i]

    The US is the only country formed on the basis of an idea that begat a culture, and not a historical cultural basis that dictated all the ideas. This US model has MORE than proved its success even as it has had to constantly defend itself from those wishing to destroy it because of its success and/or their own miserable existence.

    We are being destroyed from within by those chipping away at the ideas because doing so chips away at our culture… and chipping away at our culture reduces the basis for us to be socially united and connected. Why are they doing this? I have been asking myself that for many years. In my analysis, there are a handful of reasons… none of them complementary, even as we can make the case that some have good intentions.

    The bottom line is that these people (white liberal elites) are causing minorities to fail to reach higher levels of social and economic integration.

    It is evidence of virtual servitude that is made apparent by the fact that almost ALL of the members of a particular minority group vote for the political party that contains those chipping away at our culture.

    Related to black-white race relations, the absolute worst thing in the white elite liberal experience would be the black community fully integrating into American society. This would represent a loss of a codependent relationship that really only benefits the white liberal elite. But it would be the essence of Civil Rights 2.0 and the final step in freeing blacks from the emotional turmoil caused by our ugly history of slavery, and the modern virtual plantation of black servitude to the political power of white liberal elites.

    Note that Hispanics are following blacks toward this same miserable end.

  24. Frankly

    [i]I thought it was an excellent speech. It seemed very personal, to have little in the way of political motivations, and instead was the kind of thing presidents do best.[/i]

    Like I said, I think he did well walking a razor’s edge. We are so polarized and hyper-sensitive. He is a black and white president. He is educated successful and wealthy. He came from a broken family and a missing father. There is more that he gets about the situation. But politics were certainly a consideration in his speech. He could not say everything he was thinking… I am sure.

  25. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]The bottom line is that these people (white liberal elites) are causing minorities to fail to reach higher levels of social and economic integration.[/quote]

    For me, this quote from you admirably illustrates the truth of a quote posted earlier on a different thread today.

    [quote]“When most people blame others, they do so because that is easier than to acknowledge life’s complexity or to search within for the sources of their unhappiness.”[/quote]

  26. Frankly

    medwoman, I think you misplaced this quote. It is referring to people that blame others for their own problems. I am blaming an organized political ideology for causing another group problems. I am not unhappy about a single thing about myself. If I was, I would be working to resolve it or accept it.

  27. medwoman

    Frankly

    I don’t think I misplaced it at all. I believe that you are interpreting the quote more narrowly than I am. You seem to think that everyone who does not share your version ( or vision ) of “American culture” is somehow responsible for degrading the country as you believe it should be. I am hard pressed to believe that you are happy about this circumstance as you have bemoaned it on multiple occasions. I am just suggesting that perhaps you might be more accepting of the current state of our country if you were more willing to consider the benefits as well as what you seem to perceive as the downsides of diversity.

  28. Frankly

    medwoman, but you lose the essence and intent of that quote by interpreting it so broadly.

    [i]I am just suggesting that perhaps you might be more accepting of the current state of our country if you were more willing to consider the benefits as well as what you seem to perceive as the downsides of diversity. [/i]

    I am 1000000000 percent in favor of diversity and absolutely see the benefits of it. But for us to maximize the benefits of diversity, we need a grounding basis of principles. Think of a giant tree of many different flowers, nuts and fruits (ha!). We should protect this tree at all costs because it brings us so much benefit. However, the roots must be sturdy, strong and tied together in a common system or else the branches will die and break and the entire tree would eventually come crashing down.

    You simply cannot point to a single country of anything close to the level of the diversity in the US and claim it is working well. It has worked well in the US for a reason. That reason is that people that immigrate here assimilate into American culture. American culture does not require a person lose their religion or their food or other material aspects of their culture of origin. But it does require them to drop cultural beliefs and practices that are in conflict with American principles, and it should also require that they adopt key American beliefs and principles. Doing so makes them connected with America and other Americans.

  29. Growth Izzue

    Siegel
    [quote]You’re an attorney now? Looking at the case in chief, I think the civil rights aspect and color of authority is the far stronger case than even manslaughter ever was. There’s considerable precedent for murder acquittals at the state level being prosecuted under civil rights law at the federal level.[/quote]

    The DOJ has no case, it’s all nothing more than wallpaper to try appease appease Obama’s constituents on the far left. Read up:

    [url]http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/17/why-justice-has-no-case-against-zimmerman/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS[/url]

  30. Siegel

    Gotta love the internets, 30 years working in law, some nameless person copies and pastes a Washington TIMES article. I don’t think he’s right, I’m drawing a blank (old age), but there is a federal statute of deprivation of civil rights under the color of authority, that this might fall under. He’s right you won’t get him on hate crimes statutes, but there are other civil rights options. He failed to investigate civil rights prosecutions in 60s to see what those crimes were prosecute under.

  31. Growth Izzue

    You are wrong and down the road when nothing ever gets done by the DOJ and they let this case blow over I’m going to remind you just how wrong you were. This is all nothing more then chest pounding because the DOJ has no case.

  32. Siegel

    I’m wrong? You don’t know that. I just explained why your cited article was flawed. Your response to that? You assert I’m wrong without offering any evidence to back up your claim. You have failed to offer a counter argument and instead make an assertion for which you lack the training and experience to know either way, you can only copy from other people’s work.

  33. Siegel

    “down the road when nothing ever gets done by the DOJ and they let this case blow over”

    I’m not saying they will take the case, I’m saying they have a case they could take. They’re going to have to decide their chances of winning the case and the fall out from losing it. So if you consider your main argument that the DOJ won’t file a civil rights case, you could be right. But that’s not my argument.

  34. Growth Izzue

    We shall see my friend, the DOJ’s threats are all smoke. I believe that the Martin’s will bring on a civil case but nothing will come from the DOJ.

  35. medwoman

    Frankly

    [quote]You simply cannot point to a single country of anything close to the level of the diversity in the US and claim it is working well. It has worked well in the US for a reason. That reason is that people that immigrate here assimilate into American culture.[/quote]

    I might agree with you….then again, I might not. This would depend entirely on your definition of the
    “American culture” that you believe we should all be assimilating into. I do not know, but I suspect that we might have very different definitions of what the is. I would love to hear a clear, concise definition of “American
    culture” from you so that I can compare my own concept.

    I also suspect that like most societies, our successes and failures are multifactorial, not based on the single concept of assimilation. But again, there would be no way of knowing without clarifying what each of us conceives of as American culture.

  36. Mr.Toad

    “You simply cannot point to a single country of anything close to the level of the diversity in the US and claim it is working well. It has worked well in the US for a reason. That reason is that people that immigrate here assimilate into American culture. American culture does not require a person lose their religion or their food or other material aspects of their culture of origin. But it does require them to drop cultural beliefs and practices that are in conflict with American principles, and it should also require that they adopt key American beliefs and principles. Doing so makes them connected with America and other Americans. “

    This is nonsense. Freedom of religion is the freedom to not assimilate.

  37. Frankly

    Meds, we have been there before. I have posted what I believe to be the 13 key values that define American culture and you read them and said you disagreed with them. That confirmed to me what I have suspected in your and other people that claim to be ideologically liberal… that you don’t like American culture as defined by the founders and our history and would prefer we change it. Unfortunately, you don’t have anything to point to as an alternative working model.

    What this comes down to is that liberals tend to be stubbornly idealistic in their pursuits. Even when there is nothing to prove that their designs have worked, they still demand their designs.

    Liberals are forever running up against the limitations for social governance and social justice nirvana brought to them directly by the very uncontrollable human nature they would prefer to control. Liberals don’t understand or otherwise just do not like a system of so much individual freedom of self-determination that can result in even a relatively small sample of disparate outcomes. They cannot see the forest of the trees even just sniffing a smidgeon of some need for increased social justice. The forest in this case is a huge pile of significant greater good. The few trees are those that fail to get with the program and fall behind.

    What liberals would have us to is to thin and stunt the forest so those few struggling trees look equitable by comparison. Slow down and reduce economic progress and pursuits and then prop up the slow so they can either catch up or feel better about themselves by comparison. That is a recipe for European style economic and social disaster.

    [i]This is nonsense. Freedom of religion is the freedom to not assimilate.[/i]

    That is nonsense, because freedom to practice the religion of your choice is part of American culture.

    But if your religion conflicts with other principles of American culture, then yes, we have a problem and you lose and American culture wins. After all, nobody forced you to come to this country with your anti-American-culture religion in tow.

    And I’m sure you would support the government taking out those Mormon fundamentalists and Christian isolationists. Your argument of religious tolerance is stained by your own ideological intolerance of Christianity to the point that you should be gagged from using it.

  38. davehart

    I certainly hope the Martins pursue a civil case and make sure that the shooter never has a pot to ____ in for the rest of his life. Commodification of every part of life including life itself is what makes this country unique (and coincidentally why our country “works” with so much diversity) because money is the great common demoninator of life more than anywhere else in the world. Civil suits in the courts put a dollar value on everything as the ultimate measure of justice. So let Zimmerman pay. Restorative justice might mean that he would be compelled to spend the rest of his life going around stopping other angry white guys with guns from killing scary, dark-skinned kids. Wouldn’t want to have to do that: put it on my VISA.

  39. Matt Williams

    Frankly

    [i]”So, Civil Rights 2.0 requires an additional dialog about American culture… what it is and what it should be. And, we should reject the arguments from those that continue to dismiss the existence of American culture… because they and their arguments are hazards for all minorities and our future as the continued greatest nation on God’s green earth.”[/i]

    You have made the argument above on a number of occasions over the past few years, and I’ve found a number of times (since you originally made the argument) to introduce it in discussions with second and third generation Americans. Those discussions were always interesting, but none more interesting than the one I had when I was in Chicago for a wedding two weeks ago. Chicago has always been very ethnically diverse, with a particularly significant concentration of people whose roots are Eastern European. A significant number of the wedding attendees were very representative in that respect. The overwhelming consensus amongst them was that your argument overlooks a very significant difference between their parents and grandparents (and a whole generation of immigrants) and the current generation of immigrants is that for the most part their forbearers were leaving a country that would have exterminated them given time. As a result there was a strong negative association with their respective native languages and cultures. Ethnic Russians felt AMERICA had saved their lives. Ethnic Poles felt AMERICA had saved their lives. Ethnic Germans felt AMERICA had saved their lives. Ethnic Hungarians felt AMERICA had saved their lives. Ethnic Slavs felt AMERICA had saved their lives. Ethnic Czechs felt AMERICA had saved their lives. Ethnic Slovaks felt AMERICA had saved their lives. Ethnic Persians felt AMERICA had saved their lives. With the exception of those who spoke Yiddish as a co-language, the wave of immigrants thoroughly and completely embraced America’s dominant language. For different reasons (the Potato Famine, e.g.) ethnic Irish felt AMERICA had saved their lives.

    When I got back to the West Coast I had reason to be talking with a group of second and third generation Asian-Americans, and they told a very similar story to the one I had heard in Chicago. The reasons that their Asian forbearers embraced English was rooted in different motivations, but the end result was the same . . . bring a hyphenated-American in the late 19th Century and throughout the 20th Century was no more desirable than being a Native American.

    The current wave of Hispanic immigration has no such negative identification with the immigrants’ country of origin. There is no fear of being caught speaking Spanish. AMERICA (and its language) hasn’t saved their lives. Some Hispanic communities (e.g. the Cuban-American community in Florida) look forward to the day when they can return to their country of origin, and as such work hard to preserve their native customs.

    Bottom-line, times change and the one-size-fits-all model that you argue for isn’t as robust as you appear to think it is.

  40. biddlin

    Frankly knows as much about what liberals think as he does the constitution. His ridiculous fantasy American Values would have been provincial in the Great Ike Age. It is a cynical diversion from the ugly truths that all of his Randian aphorisms cannot gloss over. Race matters in America and in Davis. Race hatred/fear is the last great hope of the far right-wing.
    The moral outrage Trayvon’s tragic death and the justice system’s failure has engendered may bring about a deeper understanding of race fear/hatred in our society, but can only bring positive change, when we are willing to listen to each other with open hearts and minds . Don’t tell people why they shouldn’t feel slighted, [b]hear[/b] why they do .
    Biddlin ;>)/

  41. Matt Williams

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”Meds, we have been there before. I have posted what I believe to be the 13 key values that define American culture and you read them and said you disagreed with them. That confirmed to me what I have suspected in your and other people that claim to be ideologically liberal… that you don’t like American culture as defined by the founders and our history and would prefer we change it. Unfortunately, you don’t have anything to point to as an alternative working model.”[/i]

    Frankly, do me a favor, so that I have them at my fingertips for future conversations on this subject, please send me an e-mail with those key values.

    One question I have for you, even without the key values at hand, is our founders were immigrants just like all the immigrants that have come in the intervening years since the 17th and 18th Centuries. What is it about the founders that qualifies them for a different assessment as immigrants?

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”What liberals would have us to is to thin and stunt the forest so those few struggling trees look equitable by comparison. [b]Slow down and reduce economic progress[/b] and pursuits and then prop up the slow so they can either catch up or feel better about themselves by comparison. That is a recipe for European style economic and social disaster.”[/i]

    The longest uninterrupted period of economic prosperity came during the Clinton Administration. Everything I learned in graduate school says that the reason that rather amazing success happened was because the Economy was never allowed to overheat and subsequently deflate. Said another way “slow down and reduce economic progress (growth)” is an extremely effective macroeconomic principal . . . and for that matter an extremely effective microeconomic principal. We all benefit from a bit of restraint.

  42. Frankly

    Matt – I will send that to you and also post it again for medwoman.

    [i]”We all benefit from a bit of restraint.”[/i]

    I get the rational perspective here, but I can’t say that I agree with it in respect to the economy. I blame the housing bubble and financial market meltdown on government meddling in our free markets. Fanny, Freddy and decades of below market rates from an activist Fed. The social engineering of CRA which came from Carter, and then the Clinton era repeal of long standing regulations on the banking industry. And then this Bush II “ownership society” push – which in itself is useful and nobel – but when forced by the hand of government it just added to the mess.

    Government should stay on the sidelines managing the game to foster maximum fair competition. Of course we should regulate. But we should NOT attempt to manipulate the levers of the economy to try and manipulate society. It really screws up the economy and society suffers… as we have seen over and over.

  43. jimt

    I think Frankly makes some very good points.
    I would like to add that though “divide and conquer” works to the advantage of the elite as they consolidate more and more of the nations wealth; from the standpoint of the individual politician; it is ‘wedge’ politics that provides a path for his personal success. ‘Wedge’ politics is almost an assured strategy for success of individual politicians in an over-arching environment of identity politics, where people are encouraged to identify primarily with race, culture, religion, etc. instead of Americans (the ‘melting pot’ assimilation of immigrants of 100 years ago, which was highly successful).
    And it worries me that Obama seems to be encouraging such identity politics by his statements; I’m dubious that his choice of stories and word presentation will improve racial relations and help people reach across to form more cooperative and mutually acceptable amicable relationships with those of other races. (I still stand by previous postings where I have contended most of what are commonly identified as problems due to racial differences are more accurately attributable to cultural differences.)

    By the way, I too have been followed by plain-clothes security in stores (I’m blond-haired and blue-eyed); more often when I was younger and grungier with long hair; I didn’t like being followed and found it annoying, and did feel a bit irritated and insulted by it–the last time I was aware this happened was a few years ago; was more amused by it and didn’t take it personal–learning to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune a bit better as I get older.

  44. Matt Williams

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”I get the rational perspective here, but I can’t say that I agree with it in respect to the economy.[b] I blame the housing bubble and financial market meltdown on government meddling in our free markets. Fanny, Freddy and decades of below market rates from an activist Fed. [/b]”[/i]

    I agree with you with respect to Fannie and Freddy, but I disagree with you regarding Greenspan. Housing is only one market segment out of many, and I’m not sure that I agree that interest rates were the root cause problem in Housing. Downpayment requirements were much more of a problem IMHO . . . much, much more of a problem.

    BTW, did you see today’s Op-Ed in the Enterprise? [url]http://www.davisenterprise.com/forum/opinion-columns/owning-a-home-isnt-always-a-virtue/[/url] I’m hoping David will arrange to publish it here in the Vanguard.

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”Government should stay on the sidelines managing the game to foster maximum fair competition. Of course we should regulate. But we should NOT attempt to manipulate the levers of the economy to try and manipulate society. It really screws up the economy and society suffers… as we have seen over and over.”[/i]

    For the most part I agree with you.

  45. Frankly

    [i]Bottom-line, times change and the one-size-fits-all model that you argue for isn’t as robust as you appear to think it is.[/i]

    Matt, thank you for writing something that gives me pause for deep thought on this topic. I will have to do just that before I comment because I think there is a possibility it has moved the needle a bit on my perspective.

    The only comment I can make before going to do more research and contemplation on this… if what you say is the de-facto difference – that hyphenated Americans of history were happy to leave their country of origin behind, and new immigrants are not – then I am still quite concerned with the lack of assimilation into the values that previously have been a basis for the country being so far above any others before and currently. I get the impression that liberals don’t care about that and would just as soon see the US sink to a lower global status if more people – other than white conservatives – feel at home the day they arrive. I don’t understand that sentiment. I frankly think it is evidence of some level of liberal mental or emotional disorder.

    Again, there is nothing compelling being offered up as a model for this multi-pot multicultural vision that liberals seem to be bent on achieving. It just seems reckless and destructive to the country.

    I compare this to parenting where children need a binding basis of family structure, values and principles which then roots them to allow them to go be creative within those reasonable constraints. Liberals tend to dismiss this too… more likely to echo Hillary Clinton that it takes a village commune to raise children, and families are not really that important. I disagree 100%. I see what strong families do to launch happy and successful people into adulthood. Communities cannot replace that, and I don’t think we should dismiss the importance of family values in parenting. I also don’t think we should dismiss the importance of American values because lacking them we become rootless. We become a country that not enough people really care enough about. We become just some system to exploit and use until there is nothing worthy left.

    I think about the idea of America as being a very important natural resource that needs to be persevered and sustained. That won’t happen if younger immigrants import their culture and reject Americanism.

  46. Don Shor

    [quote]After all, nobody forced you to come to this country with your anti-American-culture religion in tow. [/quote]
    Be sure to pass along this observation to the African Americans you know.

  47. Don Shor

    Matt, here is the essay that Frankly is using: [url]http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/pages/faculty/alee/extra/American_values.html[/url]
    It is a description, by a foreign service official, of the general characteristics of Americans. He used it to explain to people coming to America, mostly (from what I can find) from Asia, what Americans are like. He did not intend it as a description of values we should live by, but apparently Frankly thinks that is what it is. In fact, in his introduction, Mr. Kohls says
    [quote]“It is important to state emphatically that our purpose in providing you with this list of the most important American values is not to convert you, the foreign visitor, to our values. We couldn’t achieve that goal even if we wanted to, and we don’t want to. We simply want to help you understand the Americans with whom you will be relating—from their own value system rather that from yours.”[/quote]
    He might just as readily have explained that Americans really like to eat a lot, way more food than typical newcomers would be accustomed to, and that Americans really like guns. Frankly would then interpret that to mean that assimilation of foreigners coming to America would mean that they should overeat, buy guns, and shoot each other at rates that astound the rest of the world.
    Frankly has completely misunderstood Mr. Kohl’s list and purpose for writing it.
    It is an excellent description of what many Americans, particularly those of English, German, Scots-Irish, and similar ethnic backgrounds believe and how they behave. It is not an accurate description of how African-Americans or Chinese-Americans or Hispanic-Americans, all of whom have been in the United States for centuries, believe or behave. As such, since those folks are all Americans, it is not an accurate description of American values.

  48. Frankly

    [i]’it is not an accurate description of American values. “[/i]

    Ok Don, then please explain which of these 13 values you are in disagreement with, and what you would replace them with.

    I think they are exactly what we expect from people that want to make America their home. However, as Matt points out times might have changed. Today we might have immigrants that dislike these American values just like you and medwoman do.

    But again, if you are so sure these values do not and should not represent what it is to be American, then please tell us what we should value instead.

    Really, you see quite hostile to them. So it would be good to understand the source of your agitation.

  49. Frankly

    [i]”…
    After all, nobody forced you to come to this country with your anti-American-culture religion in tow.

    Be sure to pass along this observation to the African Americans you know.”[/i]

    Wow Don, do you know any African slaves? I would have expected that they have all died by now. By the way, Africa is always open for any American that does not like American values. In fact, with the exception of other countries’ restrictive immigration policies and their expectation that you learn their language and culture if you want to become a permanent resident, the world seems pretty much open for migration out.

  50. Don Shor

    What Americans value.

    Liberty, freedom, democracy, self-determination as a people.

    Equality: no caste or class system.

    Americans admire individualism and hard work.

    Americas favor the right to be left alone (right to privacy).

    Americans have generally favored expansionism and overall have supported our role as the dominant power in the world.

    Within different communities, centered in different regions, there are other values:
    Community: helping others who are less fortunate through community effort.
    Conservation: protecting natural resources from exploitation.
    Faith and secularism: each very strong in some regions, much less so in others; each with a long history.
    Tribal identity: the desire to stay together among ethnic peers, to preserve the old traditions and values, even while appreciating the material goods and freedoms of this country.

    There is no consensus (and has never been) about some values:
    The role of religion in the public sphere.
    The appropriate limits of government.
    The regulation of free enterprise.

    Obviously, many of these values are in conflict with each other. But it is common to have second- and third-generation conflicts about, for example, retaining ethnic identity while accepting the benefits of freedom and free enterprise. I think that is true in the ethnic groups that conservatives seem to fear most, and they simply don’t see it happening.

  51. Matt Williams

    Thanks Don for that link. It is an interesting list, whether used as you have described or used as Frankly appears to be using it.

    [u]U.S. Values[/u]

    Personal Control over the Environment
    Change
    Time & Its Control
    Equality
    Individualism/Privacy
    Self-Help
    Competition
    Future Orientation
    Action/Work Orientation
    Informality
    Directness/Openness/Honesty
    Practicality/Efficiency Materialism/Acquisitiveness

    I actually don’t see any that are obviously off-the-mark, but like most generalizations, it can be taken too far. Lets look at the alternative values list that is provided at the end of the article.

    [u]Some Other Countries’ Values[/u]

    Fate
    Tradition
    Human Interaction
    Hierarchy/Rank/Status
    Group’s Welfare
    Birthright Inheritance
    Cooperation
    Past Orientation
    “Being” Orientation
    Formality
    Indirectness/Ritual/”Face”
    Idealism
    Spiritualism/Detachment

    Change vs Tradition? One doesn’t have to go very far beyond DOMA and Proposition 8 to see that there are substantial areas on inconsistency/conflict within American society in this area.

    Equality vs Hierarchy/Rank/Status? Doctors and Lawyers and Engineers are just a few professions where hierarchy/rank/status is very highly prized.

    Practicality/Efficiency Materialism/Acquisitiveness vs Spiritualism/Detachment? Fundamentalism within the “traditional” religions of the US is rampant. Liberals are much more frequently associated with the Big Bang and Conservatives with Creationism.

    What these very clear exceptions to the values rule tell me is that “American Values” are a complex and ever evolving reality.

  52. Don Shor

    [quote]1. PERSONAL CONTROL OVER THE ENVIRONMENT
xxx Americans no longer believe in the power of Fate, and they have come to look at people who do as being backward, primitive, or hopelessly naïve. [/quote]
    I disagree that this is an accurate description of Americans. If you are deeply religious, you believe in the power of Fate. Many Americans are deeply religious and very fatalistic.
    [quote]2. CHANGE
xxx In the American mind, change is seen as an indisputably good condition. [/quote]
    This thread about immigration clearly disproves this observation.
    [quote]3. TIME AND ITS CONTROL
xxx Time is, for the average American, of utmost importance. …Schedules, for the American, are meant to be planned and then followed in the smallest detail.
 [/quote]
    I believe this is more important in some urban centers than in other parts of the U.S. Certainly people from New York would probably say it isn’t true of Californians.
    [quote]4. EQUALITY/EGALITARIANISM
Equality is, for Americans, one of their most cherished values. This concept is so important for Americans that they have even given it a religious basis. They say all people have been “created equal.”
    5. INDIVIDUAL AND PRIVACY
xxx Privacy, the ultimate result of individualism is perhaps even more difficult for the foreigner to comprehend. [/quote]
    As noted, I agree these are strong American values.
    [quote]6. SELF-HELP CONTROL
xxx In the United States, a person can take credit only for what he or she has accomplished by himself or herself. Americans get no credit whatsoever for having been born into a rich family. [/quote]
    I’m not sure I agree with this description. But it does reflect our egalitarian values.

    [quote]7. COMPETITION AND FREE ENTERPRISE
xxx Americans believe that competition brings out the best in any individual. [/quote]
    Probably most Americans do agree. I don’t.
    [quote]xxx Americans, valuing competition, have devised an economic system to go with it—free enterprise. Americans feel strongly that a highly competitive economy will bring out the best in its people…[/quote]
    Except that we strongly support a mixed economy, not a free enterprise system.
    [quote]8. FUTURE ORIENTATION
xxx Valuing the future and the improvements Americans are sure the future will bring means that they devalue that past and are, to a large extent, unconscious of the present. [/quote]
    I think this is arguable as a description, but perhaps applies to Americans more than, say, old Europe.
    [quote]x If you come from a culture such as those in the traditional Moslem world, where talking about or actively planning the future is felt to be a futile, even sinful, activity, you will have not only philosophical problems with this very American characteristic but religious objections as well. [/quote]

    If you are an apocalyptic evangelical Christian, you would presumably also have this problem.

    [quote]9. ACTION/WORK ORIENTATION
xxx … action—any action—is seen to be superior to inaction.
xxx Americans routinely plan and schedule an extremely active day. Any relaxation must be limited in time, pre-planned, and aimed at “recreating” their ability to work harder and more productively once the recreation is over. Americans believe leisure activities should assume a relatively small portion of one’s total life. [/quote]
    True, but I don’t see this as necessarily a desirable value. Especially since my income derives from people using their leisure time…
    [quote]10. INFORMALITY
xxx If you come from a more formal society, you will likely find Americans to be extremely informal, and will probably feel that they are even disrespectful of those in authority. [/quote]
    I agree with this description and wholeheartedly embrace it.
    [quote]11. DIRECTNESS, OPENNESS AND HONESTY
xxx Many other countries have developed subtle, sometimes highly ritualistic, ways of informing other people of unpleasant information. Americans, however, have always preferred the first approach. [/quote]
    I think there are significant regional differences in this respect, and don’t consider it something Americans necessarily value. In the West, and mid-Atlantic states, yes.
    [quote]12. PRACTICALITY AND EFFICIENCY
xxx Americans have a reputation of being an extremely realistic, practical and efficient people. The practical consideration is likely to be given highest priority in making any important decision in the United States. Americans pride themselves in not being very philosophically or theoretically oriented. [/quote]
    Yes. Except for that religion thing again.
    [quote]13. MATERIALISM/ACQUISITIVENESS
xxx Foreigners generally consider Americans much more materialistic than Americans are likely to consider themselves. [/quote]
    Certainly accurate as a description. I think most immigrants happily assimilate in this regard.

  53. B. Nice

    [quote]By the way, I too have been followed by plain-clothes security in stores (I’m blond-haired and blue-eyed); more often when I was younger and grungier with long hair; I didn’t like being followed and found it annoying, and did feel a bit irritated and insulted by it–the last time I was aware this happened was a few years ago; was more amused by it and didn’t take it personal–learning to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune a bit better as I get older.[/quote]

    You found it annoying, what if it happened to you all the time (regardless of how young or grungy you looked, or how long your hair was), would it become more then annoying and insulting?

    You say “the last time I was aware this happened was a few years ago”. Can a black man your age say the same thing?

    It’s condescending and dismissive of people’s experience to imply that they should be like you and not take personally when you have only gotten a taste of what they deal with every day.

  54. B. Nice

    [quote]3. TIME AND ITS CONTROL
xxx Time is, for the average American, of utmost importance. …Schedules, for the American, are meant to be planned and then followed in the smallest detail.
[/quote]

    This does not sound like me at all, am I not American? My husbands pretty organized, maybe I can get a green card.

    [quote]6. SELF-HELP CONTROL
xxx In the United States, a person can take credit only for what he or she has accomplished by himself or herself.[/quote]

    There go a lot of Davis parents who seem to take credit for their children’s successes.

    [quote]9. ACTION/WORK ORIENTATION
xxx … action—any action—is seen to be superior to inaction.
xxx Americans routinely plan and schedule an extremely active day. Any relaxation must be limited in time, pre-planned, and aimed at “recreating” their ability to work harder and more productively once the recreation is over. Americans believe leisure activities should assume a relatively small portion of one’s total life.[/quote]

    This sounds awful, maybe I don’t want that green card….

    [quote]11. DIRECTNESS, OPENNESS AND HONESTY
xxx Many other countries have developed subtle, sometimes highly ritualistic, ways of informing other people of unpleasant information. Americans, however, have always preferred the first approach.[/quote]

    Especially when someone cuts them off on the freeway.

    [quote]12. PRACTICALITY AND EFFICIENCY
xxx Americans have a reputation of being an extremely realistic, practical and efficient people.[/quote]

    I am realistic about the fact that I’m neither practical or efficient.

    [quote]13. MATERIALISM/ACQUISITIVENESS
xxx Foreigners generally consider Americans much more materialistic than Americans are likely to consider themselves.[/quote]

    I confused, am I supposed to be materialistic or not?

  55. jimt

    “It’s condescending and dismissive of people’s experience to imply that they should be like you and not take personally when you have only gotten a taste of what they deal with every day.”

    The implication comes from you, not from me; perhaps the condescension and dismissivity comes from another source as well. I offer ‘not taking it personally’ as a positive strategy for dealing with it; rather than opting for more negative strategies. There are other positive strategies for dealing with this as well; perhaps you underestimate the capability of people to handle such situations (there are in fact people who are minorities who have learned how to handle this without major psychic stress). Meanwhile, until we can change the world and human nature until everyone interacts with everyone else with perfect grace and sublime sensitivity; we must cope not only with racism (exhibited in similar measure by all races), but with a multitude of other poor behaviors that any person or group of people might express in part.

  56. Frankly

    Thanks to Don, B. Nice, Matt and jimt for commenting on this topic related to American culture. I think it is a very important conversation that we need to be having as a nation. I have a couple of observations.

    First, the list of values I quoted, despite Don’s inspected intent of the author, I believe accurately represent post industrial revolution American culture. Certainly this does not mean that 100% of Americans comply with every single value and nuance; the point was/is that this is the basis for who Americans have been… and that has led us to be the kind of nation where all of us have, for instance, copious freedoms, one of the highest standards of living in the world, and have the leisure time to spout our opinions on this blog.

    I note a personalization of these values rather than a confirmation or argument about their relevancy in defining American culture. I don’t see much usefulness in analyzing these things from a perspective of personal like or dislike, or personal does and don’ts. We are all unique and being unique is one of the key American values. I personally do not match, not do I aspire to match, all of these values. For example, related to TIME AND CONTROL, I live in California and Davis to enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle.

    So the issue is not how these match up with each individual choosing to make American their home; the issue is the flood of immigrants diluting the percentage of people in the country holding these values.

    Here is my analysis of cause and effect.

    Don and B. Nice contribute to a confirmation of my sense for why those on the left of politics are arguing for open borders, pro amnesty for illegal aliens and against the notion that there is no American culture worth defending. It appears that they don’t feel like they fit or belong in the America defined by these values, and this not belonging or not fitting in seems to drive a lot of their ideological and political views… including immigration. It seems that there is an affiliation with new first generation immigrants and other minority groups that might also feel like they fit in or belong in an American defined by this list of values. So, they are grouping together to transform America into something that they think will be better… and by “better” they are pursuing largely an emotional-related goal of feeling better about their own position in the country.

    But, I think this is very hazardous. What are we supposed to transform to? There is nothing that Don or B. Nice or any other person holding their views can identify as a model we are supposed to target. They are just unsatisfied with the current model and are demanding change for change sake… I guess hoping a miracle will occur were more dissatisfied people will feel more welcome and integrated.

    People really need to wake up to what is happening. The education system and the media are dominated by liberal elites with the same mindset as Don and B. Nice. They have brainwashed young people and other voters. Then we have allowed millions of poor and uneducated immigrants to flood into the country. These people obviously will not feel like they fit in. When we add this all to a new Democrat party that has turned far left and with hundreds of millions coming in from the likes of European socialist George Soros to fund their new efficient party apparatus to recruit new voters, we have a looming disaster of Democracy where American will be gutted from within.

    America is the only successful country that was formed on an idea. Immigrants need to assimilate to that idea. Liberals need to consider that their dissatisfaction with the country as is, will pale in comparison to the country that we will become, if they continue to disrespect what we truly are and how we got here.

    Liberals appear to be willing to throw the great America baby out with the bathwater just so they feel better. But in the end they will just cause more of us to feel much worse. My position is not anti-immigrant. It is a complete rejection of those that do not value, support and protect American culture. If there is a vision for a new transformed American culture, the case must be made. That case needs to be backed with evidence that it will be better.

  57. B. Nice

    [quote] I offer ‘not taking it personally’ as a positive strategy for dealing with it; rather than opting for more negative strategies. [/quote]

    Spoken from someone who has sporadically has to deal with being followed in a store this statement again comes across as condescending. This isn’t something that happens to black men every once in while, for some it is part of their daily existence. Suggestion that they “not take it personally” puts the burden of change on them, instead of where it belongs.

    [quote]perhaps you underestimate the capability of people to handle such situations (there are in fact people who are minorities who have learned how to handle this without major psychic stress).[/quote]

    I would argue that you are underestimating the effects these experience have on a person’s psyche. The fact that some people have learned to handle it is a weak argument.

  58. Frankly

    [i]I would argue that you are underestimating the effects these experience have on a person’s psyche. The fact that some people have learned to handle it is a weak argument.[/i]

    Why not teach coping skills? That is much more likely to have a positive result than to continue to stomp your foot and demand that everyone become perfectly sensitive to anything and everything that might have an effect on a person’s psyche.

  59. Don Shor

    Frankly: as to the “American culture worth defending,” I’ll just repost my reply below for your convenience from earlier in the thread.
    As to your specifics:
    I have been told that I don’t ‘fit in’ by right-wing people who think this is a Christian nation and who say that we are in a culture war. But I feel that I fit in just fine. I believe they are wrong.
    I don’t support “open borders blah blah blah.” I do support a path to citizenship.
    ——————-
    What Americans value.

    Liberty, freedom, democracy, self-determination as a people.

    Equality: no caste or class system.

    Americans admire individualism and hard work.

    Americas favor the right to be left alone (right to privacy).

    Americans have generally favored expansionism and overall have supported our role as the dominant power in the world.

    Within different communities, centered in different regions, there are other values:
    Community: helping others who are less fortunate through community effort.
    Conservation: protecting natural resources from exploitation.
    Faith and secularism: each very strong in some regions, much less so in others; each with a long history.
    Tribal identity: the desire to stay together among ethnic peers, to preserve the old traditions and values, even while appreciating the material goods and freedoms of this country.

    There is no consensus (and has never been) about some values:
    The role of religion in the public sphere.
    The appropriate limits of government.
    The regulation of free enterprise.

    Obviously, many of these values are in conflict with each other. But it is common to have second- and third-generation conflicts about, for example, retaining ethnic identity while accepting the benefits of freedom and free enterprise. I think that is true in the ethnic groups that conservatives seem to fear most, and they simply don’t see it happening.

  60. David M. Greenwald

    “Why not teach coping skills? That is much more likely to have a positive result than to continue to stomp your foot and demand that everyone become perfectly sensitive to anything and everything that might have an effect on a person’s psyche.”

    Two points in response.

    1. You’re assuming that people don’t have coping skills and you assume that if they did have them, that they would be indefinite. At some point no matter how strong you are you get worn down and on a bad day you may snap.

    2. Why are you putting the onus on the “victim” rather than the “perpetrator” here (terms used for ease of communication)? In other words, if someone is following me around the store, why is it my job to cope rather than your job to stop that stuff?

  61. Frankly

    [i]retaining ethnic identity while accepting the benefits of freedom and free enterprise.[/i]

    I was thinking about this. If you are motivated to retain your culture (e.g., reject American culture) and just benefit from the freedom and free enterprise, you are in fact a leech… just here to exploit the benefits of a country that others have fought and died to form and protect. When it comes to having to fight for America, you would likely just migrate back to your country of origin given that your value proposition for staying in America has fallen below a calculated level.

    Do you really expect us to remain as strong and as successful of a nation by importing masses of people that don’t aspire to become real Americans supporting and living American culture, and instead just live here because they get more stuff?

  62. K.Smith

    [quote]I have been told that I don’t ‘fit in’ by right-wing people who think this is a Christian nation and who say that we are in a culture war. But I feel that I fit in just fine. I believe they are wrong.[/quote]
    And, in some cases, it goes beyond some factions telling others they “don’t fit in” and on to something much more vehement.

    Here’s an example:

    [quote] By the way, Africa is always open for any American that does not like American values. [/quote]

    In some people’s views, you aren’t even allowed to -question- any so-called American values without being told you hate this country and need to get out.

  63. Matt Williams

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”I was thinking about this. If you are motivated to retain your culture (e.g., reject American culture) and just benefit from the freedom and free enterprise, you are in fact a leech… just here to exploit the benefits of a country that others have fought and died to form and protect.”[/i]

    Frankly, in one of my earlier posts in this thread I asked you why the 17th Century and 18th Century immigrants to this continent get different treatment in your thinking from 19th and 20th Century immigrants. Your comment above causes me to ask that question again. The 17th Century and 18th Century immigrants did exactly what you are decrying above. They came here, retained your culture (rejected the existing American culture) and just benefited from the freedom and free enterprise, So are you saying that in fact the 17th Century and 18th Century immigrants were leeches?

  64. Don Shor

    [quote]I was thinking about this. If you are motivated to retain your culture (e.g., reject American culture) and just benefit from the freedom and free enterprise, you are in fact a leech… just here to exploit the benefits of a country that others have fought and died to form and protect.[/quote]
    This is such a common source of tension in immigrant populations that it figures heavily in our literature and film. Read anything by Herman Wouk, for example. There are ethnic enclaves that enliven cities, and always have been. And those families always lament that their young people are turning away from the traditional ways and adopting Americanisms. It’s a balance. You don’t seem to see any value to balancing, and want them to all adopt your version of American culture, which is pretty much WASP culture.

    [quote]When it comes to having to fight for America, you would likely just migrate back to your country of origin given that your value proposition for staying in America has fallen below a calculated level. [/quote]
    This is so spectacularly incorrect that I can’t even believe you said it. Surely you know it’s provably false.

  65. Don Shor

    Meanwhile, the demographics of immigration and the pace of assimilation are changing: [url]http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_76.htm#.Ue1-kr9HwlJ[/url]

  66. David M. Greenwald

    Studies of that sort lead me to the conclusion that Frankly is operating more on (old) assumptions driven by ideology, than actual data. He’ll probably attempt to bolster his point with more dated and ideological sources, but he seems on thin ground here.

  67. Frankly

    I am familiar with that report.

    See the following.

    [quote]In the end, then, the evidence indicates that the increase in assimilation largely reflects a shift in migration patterns rather than wholesale changes in behavior. Immigrant groups more disposed to low levels and rates of assimilation have been less likely to enter and remain in the country in recent years. To underscore this point, Figure 8 replicates a figure derived from the first assimilation index report, updated to include the most recent data. It compares the assimilation progress of Mexican and Vietnamese immigrant cohorts. Vietnamese immigrants have been, and continue to be, one of the groups exhibiting the highest rates of assimilation over time; Mexican immigrants lie at the other end of the spectrum. There is no evidence that the average experiences of immigrants belonging to either group have changed much over time. The immigrant population, rather, has shifted towards having a higher proportion of Vietnamese-type immigrants, and fewer Mexican-type immigrants.[/quote]
    I and when the economy heats up again, this trend will change again.

    But, more importantly, we have a flood of non-assimilating poor and uneducated people already here and the only assimilating they are doing is to vote Democrat.

    [i] It’s a balance. You don’t seem to see any value to balancing, and want them to all adopt your version of American culture, which is pretty much WASP culture.[/i]

    Sure I support balance. My main point is that it is unbalanced now and growing more unbalanced due to the lack of insistence that we assimilate immigrants into American culture and values.

  68. Matt Williams

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”First, the list of values I quoted, despite Don’s inspected intent of the author, I believe accurately represent post industrial revolution American culture. Certainly this does not mean that 100% of Americans comply with every single value and nuance; the point was/is that this is the basis for who Americans have been… and that has led us to be the kind of nation where all of us have, for instance, copious freedoms, one of the highest standards of living in the world, and have the leisure time to spout our opinions on this blog.”[/i]

    As I was taking my shower this morning I was thinking about your values list and the thought occurred to me that the list is heavilly slanted toward a “mercantile society.” Agrarian values are conspicuously absent from the list. Another way to say the same thing is that it is an urban values list and that rural values are devalued as a result.

    If we look at how an Electoral College map tracks to those two possibilities, then it would seem to say that Republican values are devalued in the list. Thoughts?

    BTW, my wife read through the article and she pointed out one additional bias to the values set . . . age. The older a person gets the more they move toward a “fatalistic” mindset. It isn’t an accident that the expression “a fate worse than death” exists.

  69. Frankly

    [i]the list is heavilly slanted toward a “mercantile society”…

    Agrarian values are conspicuously absent from the list[/i]

    Matt, help me understand that point. I’m not sure I agree, but I might be missing your perspective.

    [i]If we look at how an Electoral College map tracks to those two possibilities, then it would seem to say that Republican values are devalued in the list.[/i]

    I absolutely do not agree with this unless you define Republicans as being all social conservatives. And even in that case, I really don’t agree so much irrelevancy with the list as see some difference of opinion on a couple of the values.

    [i]BTW, my wife read through the article and she pointed out one additional bias to the values set . . . age. The older a person gets the more they move toward a “fatalistic” mindset. It isn’t an accident that the expression “a fate worse than death” exists.[/I]

    Interesting, I did not connect any age demographic change to this list of values. But I agree that age changes values. Of course it does. So, that is worthy of consideration. I can use the example of my father who used to be more conservative than me but has changed as he has aged and grows closer to facing his own probable age-related needs to be cared for.

    But again though, I would abstract this list of values to be relative to an average American, not the individual American. For each individual, there are some values that will resonate more strongly than others. However, if we are looking at a large demographic shift where, on average, we are growing away from these values, I see that we are transforming American culture to something other than what it has been. And that worries me a great deal. It worries me because I cannot envision a better future moving away from these things.

    One way to look at this set of values is that they are representative of the engine that makes almost everything else possible. If we have too many failing to participate in the engine, the craft will stall and plunge. If age changes values, and we are aging, even more reason to assimilate immigrants to get the engine revving.

  70. B. Nice

    [quote]It appears that they don’t feel like they fit or belong in the America defined by these values, and this not belonging or not fitting in seems to drive a lot of their ideological and political views… [/quote]

    I absolutely don’t fit into the “America defined by these values”, there are not my values, nor our they most of the Americans I know. I would argue that this frustrates you and thus you feel like you don’t fit into the actual America that exist which drives a lot of your ideological and political views.

    [quote]They are just unsatisfied with the current model[/quote]

    What model? The one you say exists but most Americans don’t fit into?

    The education system and the media are dominated by liberal elites with the same mindset as Don and B. Nice. They have brainwashed young people and other voters.

  71. Frankly

    [quote]One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all[/quote]
    Liberal rewrite:

    [b]A culturally fragmented nation, under nothing, divided, with social justice for certain under-represented groups[/b]

  72. B. Nice

    Somehow I sent my message before it was finished:

    [quote]The education system and the media are dominated by liberal elites with the same mindset as Don and B. Nice. They have brainwashed young people and other voters.[/quote]

    Who are all these weak minded American’s so easily brainwashed? Can you even entertain the possibility that some of these young people have critical thinking skills and are using them to draw their own conclusions?

  73. B. Nice

    [quote]Liberal rewrite:

    A culturally fragmented nation, under nothing, divided, with social justice for certain under-represented groups[/quote]

    Sounds more like a frustrated conservative’s who can’t handle the fact the countries leadership is no longer dominated by one religious ideology, one gender, one social class, and one race.

  74. wdf1

    Frankly: [i]Sure I support balance. My main point is that it is unbalanced now and growing more unbalanced due to the lack of insistence that we assimilate immigrants into American culture and values.[/i]

    It doesn’t help with assimilation by having 11 million undocumented immigrants. A path to citizenship would create incentives for them to assimilate. Otherwise we move to more of a Roman system where there are citizens and then there are economic slaves (undocumented/illegal immigrants) who have limited rights.

  75. Frankly

    This is a very interesting study related to this topic. I had seen it previously and it took me a while to pull it up from a search again.

    [url]http://www.scribd.com/doc/150449403/PSB-Values-Survey-2013-Full[/url]

    A few related findings:

    – 95% answer “yes” to the following: [b]Is being united as a country something that America should strive for?[/b]

    – When asked: [b]Which values are most important for Americans to unite around? You may select up to three responses.[/b]
    69% picked Moral Values
    67% picked Family Values
    31% picked Religious Values
    29% picked Ethnic/Cultural Values
    24% picked political values

    Interesting that the same number (29%) picked Ethnic/Cultural values as being okay to be divided on. It appears to be a pivot point… and probably indicative of 100% disagreement between people holding one or the other view.

    – When asked: [b]Do you think it is important for Americans to have shared values?[/b]
    51% said “Very” and 40% said “Somewhat”. Only 7% said “Not Very” and 2% said “Not at All”

  76. Don Shor

    [quote]One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all[/quote]
    Until the Knights of Columbus, along with conservative Republicans in the 1950’s added the religious component, this was a reasonable description of some of the core values most Americans believe.
    But indivisible doesn’t mean we all act or dress or talk the same.

  77. Matt Williams

    Frankly said . . .

    [i]”Liberal rewrite:

    A culturally fragmented nation, under nothing, divided, with social justice for certain under-represented groups”[/i]

    B. Nice replied . . .

    [i]”Sounds more like a frustrated conservative’s who can’t handle the fact the countries leadership is no longer dominated by one religious ideology, one gender, one social class, and one race.”[/i]

    I disagree with you both. For Frankly, there is no group of people who argue and disagree on a more consistent and more vociferous basis than family members. I have found that whether those differences are between siblings or between parent-child, the intensity of fragmentation is greatest within families. But should anyone attack the family, that fragmentation disappears instantaneously and often ferociously. Why? Because we know that the strongest bonds are the ones that can stand up to the most rigorous testing, and that as we transform ourselves from child to adult exercising away the growing pains within an environment that is exponentially stronger and more resilient is significantly safer than exercising away those growing pains with a group of strangers.

    For B. Nice, I apply that description to Frankly here in the Vanguard. He is clearly a regular poster here. Clearly one of the “family” and as such is exercising away his “growing pains” with “family.”

    So I would be inclined to say that the 2013 version goes like this: [i]”One nation, under whatever existed before the Big Bang, indivisible, with reasonable liberty and justice for all.”[/i]

  78. wdf1

    Pledge of Allegience was adopted in 1942 ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_allegience[/url]), 166 years into the history of this country. Up until then, it included a Nazi-like salute to the flag:

    [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg/220px-Students_pledging_allegiance_to_the_American_flag_with_the_Bellamy_salute.jpg[/img]

    The pledge was originally written by Francis Bellamy ([url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Bellamy[/url]), a socialist. Someone who might not share Frankly’s values, but an American nonetheless.

  79. B. Nice

    [quote]For B. Nice, I apply that description to Frankly here in the Vanguard. He is clearly a regular poster here. Clearly one of the “family” and as such is exercising away his “growing pains” with “family.” [/quote]

    Well, he started it…(trying to sound like a disgruntled family member)

  80. Frankly

    Matt, you are a talented mediator and negotiator.

    I agree that family conflict is alive and well. I’m just advocating we keep the family together.

    Check out that survey link I posted at 1:39 PM. It is very interesting.

  81. B. Nice

    [quote]The pledge was originally written by Francis Bellamy, a socialist.[/quote]

    There was no main stream media back then so who was responsible for brainwashing her?

  82. Matt Williams

    Matt said . . .

    [i]”the list is heavilly slanted toward a mercantile society…

    Agrarian values are conspicuously absent from the list”[/i]

    Frankly replied . . .

    [i]”Matt, help me understand that point. I’m not sure I agree, but I might be missing your perspective.”[/i]

    Looking down the list,

    Personal Control over the Environment vs Fate — The vast majority of good farmers know that they are working under the tenet, “Its not nice to fool with Mother Nature”

    Change vs Tradition — Farmers lean much more toward traditional rather than constant change

    Time & Its Control vs Human Interaction — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one

    Equality vs Hierarchy/Rank/Status — Here I would say that the mercantile portion of American society is swung much more heavily toward Equality than the Agrarian portion is

    Individualism/Privacy vs Group’s Welfare — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one

    Self-Help vs Birthright Inheritance — For the most part Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one, but issues of “Who will inherit the family farm?” are more prevalent than issues of “Who will inherit the family business?” Thats why we have the NYSE

    Competition vs Cooperation — Here I would say that the mercantile portion of American society is swung much more heavily toward Competition than the Agrarian portion is, and the Agrarian portion has a much greater appreciation of the value of cooperation

    Future Orientation vs Past Orientation — The crops grow in the present, not in the future. However, in order to hedge their bets with Mother Nature, the Agrarian portion of American society has created the Futures Market

    Action/Work Orientation vs “Being” Orientation — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one

    Informality vs Formality — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one

    Directness/Openness/Honesty vs Indirectness/Ritual/”Face” — A lot of regional variation on this one

    Practicality/Efficiency vs Idealism — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one

    Materialism/Acquisitiveness vs Spiritualism/Detachment — In part because of Mother Nature the Agrarian portion of American society is less secular and more spiritual

  83. Frankly

    [i]Well, he started it…(trying to sound like a disgruntled family member)[/i]

    LOL

    Come on sis, you know I love you despite the fact that we disagree.

  84. B. Nice

    [quote]Come on sis, you know I love you despite the fact that we disagree.[/quote]

    I’m sorry, I just get so mad when you accuse me of brainwashing people ;-).

  85. Frankly

    Matt said . . .

    Looking down the list,

    [b]Personal Control over the Environment vs Fate — The vast majority of good farmers know that they are working under the tenet, “Its not nice to fool with Mother Nature” [/b]

    Farmers develop methods that serve to mitigate impacts from the environment. So, in that respect they are exerting personal control. The point is in other cultures farmers might not try because they truly believe it would be futile.

    [b]Change vs Tradition — Farmers lean much more toward traditional rather than constant change [/b]

    Farming is one of the most technologically-advanced industries in America. Farmers are always looking for change for improvement.

    [b]Time & Its Control vs Human Interaction — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one [/b]

    Agree

    [b]Equality vs Hierarchy/Rank/Status — Here I would say that the mercantile portion of American society is swung much more heavily toward Equality than the Agrarian portion is [/b]

    Again, equality as defined by these values is equal opportunity. And I see farmers are epitomizing this value. They will give their shirt off their back to help another hard-working person down on their luck, but don’t expect them to demand equal outcomes for unequal effort. I don’t see famers responding to much formal hierarchy or trappings of social status.

    [b]Individualism/Privacy vs Group’s Welfare — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one [/b]

    [b]Self-Help vs Birthright Inheritance — For the most part Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one, but issues of “Who will inherit the family farm?” are more prevalent than issues of “Who will inherit the family business?” That’s why we have the NYSE [/b]

    Agree

    [b]Competition vs Cooperation — Here I would say that the mercantile portion of American society is swung much more heavily toward Competition than the Agrarian portion is, and the Agrarian portion has a much greater appreciation of the value of cooperation. [/b]

    I disagree. Farming is much more competitive now on a global level than it has ever been. Even the local farming has high competition in many areas for a limited customer base. However, I think farm welfare corrupts some of this and attracts moochers to the field.

    [b]Future Orientation vs Past Orientation — The crops grow in the present, not in the future. However, in order to hedge their bets with Mother Nature, the Agrarian portion of American society has created the Futures Market. [/b]

    Farming is one of the most technologically-advanced industries in America. Farmers are always looking for change for improvement. They are future driven because they don’t see the “fruits” of their labor until after they put in the labor. Farming does, though, have a basis of professional cultural stability non-farmers are generally always outsiders. Growing up in a farm town, I had a good farmer-family friend that later grew apart. Then I heard he had been back in town for a few years and had rekindled his old friendship with another friend. I asked that guy why old friend had not contacted me, and he said “because you aren’t a farmer.” So in that respect there is certainly a bit of past orientation.

    [b]Action/Work Orientation vs “Being” Orientation — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one [/b]

    [b]Informality vs Formality — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one [/b]

    [b]Directness/Openness/Honesty vs Indirectness/Ritual/”Face” — A lot of regional variation on this one[/b]

    Agree with the last three except to point out that the farmers I know are generally very direct. They don’t mince words and don’t seem to care much for those more thin-skinned urban types.

    I agree with the one below.

    [b]Practicality/Efficiency vs Idealism — Agrarian and Mercantile concurrence on this one [/b]

    Materialism/Acquisitiveness vs Spiritualism/Detachment — In part because of Mother Nature the Agrarian portion of American society is less secular and more spiritual[/b]

    I’m not sure I agree with this either. I find farmers to be some of the most practical and objective people on the planet. They also tend to own a lot of toys.

  86. wdf1

    B. Nice: [i]There was no main stream media back then so who was responsible for brainwashing her?[/i]

    Probably the Bible. He was a Baptist minister.

  87. B. Nice

    [quote]Probably the Bible. He was a Baptist minister.[/quote]

    It is full this type of leftist propaganda… “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

  88. wdf1

    …and Matthew 25:40, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    Really dangerous, radical stuff.

  89. Matt Williams

    Frankly . . . my brother . . . we will have to agree to disagree on a lot of the agrarian vs. mercantile comparisons. My sense is that you are more focused on the agrarian process than I am and I am more focused on the agrarian outcome.

    BTW, it is clear that you don’t know many farmers who fly the Stars and Bars from their vehicles. Lots of Cornhusker influence in your perspective. 8>)

  90. B. Nice

    [quote]…and Matthew 25:40, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    Really dangerous, radical stuff.[/quote]

    Does Fox News know about this book? They may want to do an expose debunking it and it’s left wing agenda…

  91. Frankly

    [i]”for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”[/i]

    So then why are liberals so anti-Christianity and adamant that we expunge every trace of its practice from our artifacts of governance?

    Are they failing to recognize the source of the values they epitomize… or are they believing instead that they magically woke up being so intelligent and evolved that this was/is a natural impulse?

    Regardless, you need to make some small changes to the text to match that liberal version of the biblical passage:

    [b]”for I was hungry and you took money that was earned from the work of others to give me food, I was thirsty and you took more money that was earned from the work of others and gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me with even more money taken from others that earned it, I was naked and you gave me clothing… again paid for with money taken from others that earned it, I was sick and you took care of me… by forcing those that worked for it to give up some of their healthcare benefits, I was in prison and you released me because I was a victim and not responsible for my actions.”[/b]

  92. Frankly

    Oh no. This can’t be good for those Zimmerman haters and race baiters…

    [url]http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/07/22/sanford-zimmerman-rescue/2575217/[/url]

  93. B. Nice

    [quote]So then why are liberals so anti-Christianity and adamant that we expunge every trace of its practice from our artifacts of governance? [/quote]

    I’m just picking on “conservative christians” who’s stance on a lot of political issues is in direct conflict with Jesus, who’s teachings their church is based on. I could get into a whole church and state debate, but going back to our family analogy, I don’t want to get in trouble with “dad” for going off topic, (who in this family I’m assuming is Don?)

  94. Frankly

    [i]Why? What does it change about what happened?[/i]

    It impacts the media narrative, which impacts the political capital derived by the government pursuit of any case against him. It also probably strengthens any civil case against the media should it go to trial.

  95. B. Nice

    [quote]Why? What does it change about what happened?[/quote]

    Sorry, going to be predictable agree with David on this one. What relevance does this incident have?

  96. Frankly

    Hero saves people trapped in car after auto accident. By the way, it happens to be the same guy that Democrats and their minions want to lynch for trying to protect his neighborhood and defended himself with deadly force after being attacked.

    What this will likely demonstrate is that the media runs the show, and politicians follow like lap dogs only those issues that earn them a treat.

    The entire potential federal action has to do with the number of Zimmerman haters demanding he get punished even though he has been proven innocent from a trial. The media obliged by painting him as a bad guy. Now that he is a clear hero it will color him a good guy. That offset is going to destroy the motivation for the feds to bring any case against him. They will argue that this hero event had nothing to do with their decision, but we will know better.

  97. David M. Greenwald

    Hero saves people trapped in car, hero tried to save neighborhood from criminal. Same basic thing. One case he used poor judgment, the other case better judgment.

  98. B. Nice

    [quote]By the way, it happens to be the same guy that Democrats and their minions want to lynch for trying to protect his neighborhood and defended himself with deadly force after being attacked. [/quote]

    I’m not sure why he either needs to labeled a hero or a villain. I have no desire to lynch this guys, but I would certainty not consider his actions as they pertained to Martin heroic. Zimmerman’s desire to be considered a hero cost a kid his life. Frankly, do you have no sympathy for this point of view?

  99. Frankly

    [i]Hero saves people trapped in car, hero tried to save neighborhood from criminal. Same basic thing. One case he used poor judgment, the other case better judgment.[/i]

    Sure then, what about the 1000 plus other young black men killed by gun violence between the time TM was killed and GZ was acquitted? I think you are getting confused that this case is simply a legal conflict and not a media-driven political contest.

    At the very least, any decision for whether to prosecute or not will factor the impact of the story about his pulling people from the wreckage of an auto accident. Here is a guy with his life in danger from crazy punks that will kill him for retribution, and he is out pulling people from auto wrecks.

  100. Frankly

    This Florida case was very similar with the black man (Trevor Dooley) being the shooter of a younger and stronger white man and the black shooter got 8 years.

    [url]http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/civil/trevor-dooley-sentenced-to-8-years-for-manslaughter/1270967[/url]

    The fundamental difference is that the shooter in this case was proven to have provoked the fight in a rage. While the evidence in the TM GZ case is that TM was the one that raged and was the attacker.

    It is that evidence of rage/anger that is key. Make a mistake in anger and it is more likely you will be held liable by a jury of your peers. Make a mistake in judgment while calm while being attacked by another that raged, and you might very well be forgiven by the jury.

    But of course it will be evidence of racism to those that see the world this way.

    The difference here is that if Trevor Dooley had walked free there would not have been any public or political demand for the feds to try him on some trumped up civil rights case.

    So, yes it does appear that there is racism… reverse racism.

  101. medwoman

    Frankly

    I want to thank you and others for taking on this analysis of the 13 points you had posted previously. I honestly had no idea that you were referring to this set of 13 descriptors of characteristics of the average American as what you define as what it means to be an American. I also want to be very clear on my position. It is not that I do not think these characteristics would not be helpful to someone newly arriving to this country in providing a template for understanding what they are seeing. I do however strongly disagree with using them as a template for what we should aspire to be. Used in this sense, I see them as far to rigid and inflexible a structure which when taken to the extreme do not take into account the adaptability needed to deal with acceleration the rate of change brought about by scientific and technologic changes as well as by increasing mobility of populations.

    While you and Matt did an admirable job in looking at each point in terms of Mercantile vs Agrarian, I think there are also generational, gender, educational, professional as well as cultural and religious nuances to how each of these points will be analyzed. I think that while this list may have been more applicable say in the ’50’s when I was growing up, there is much more deviation from the “average” American now perhaps than you are comfortable with, and probably less than I would be most comfortable with.

  102. Growth Izzue

    David:
    [quote]Why? What does it change about what happened? [/quote]

    Please David, tell us what happened. Just the facts, not your theories.

  103. Growth Izzue

    The local florida police said there was no case against Zimmerman but politics took over and a trial ensued in which once again there was no case and he was determined innocent. That’s still not good enough for the vigilante left and Holder’s DOJ as they have taken on a mob rule mentality and want to get Zimmerman at any cost.

  104. jimt

    Re: Frankly: “Oh no. This can’t be good for those Zimmerman haters and race baiters…

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/…e/2575217/”
    (Story about Z-man car rescue).

    It turns out the family Z-man just rescued was white! From much of the rhetoric by the mainstream media; I wonder if some (not on this blog I don’t think; a little more sanity prevails here) will accuse Z-man of rescuing only those that are white; and shooting only those that are black; as further proof of his racism toward blacks! It may be argued that he was careful to check the race of the crash victims before pulling them out! (Of course continuing to fail to mention that Z-man once dated a black woman, had tutored and mentored local black kids, and several years ago had publicly stood up for a local black man severely beaten by the police, publicly denouncing the police for that action).

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