Are you a racist?

Even if you are not a racist, you have probably been called one by folks in Washington or on television.

In politics these days if you want to degrade someone you call him a racist. If you are really mad, you say he’s a racist, then you add a few more big words with 4 or 5 syllables. Usually the poor guy has to look ‘em up in the dictionary to know what he’s been accused of.

If you’re called a racist you should know what it means. Here’s the main definition in the dictionary: Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another.

Racism has been part of this country since 1492 when Columbus landed somewhere in the Western Hemisphere. The Civil War and the Civil Rights Act were major “improvements.” Of course we still have a few racists (plus a few who believe the Earth is flat and we never landed on the moon). But nowhere near the 200 million racists that folks on TV and in Washington imply.

I’m not here to spout history, but rather to share how Will Rogers commented on race. You will note that he never said, ‘Go back where you came from’ but had his own humorous way of making that point, in the last line of the last quote below.

Will Rogers was 5/16 Cherokee and proud of it. He said, “My ancestors never came over on the Mayflower, but they were there to meet the boat.”

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“The sporting pages were where the news was this Sunday morning… A Mr. [Jesse] Owens, a colored lad of 21 years from Ohio State University broke practically all the world records there is, with the possible exception of horseshoe pitching and flagpole sitting.” DT #2747, May 26, 1935   [Note: this was the Big Ten track championships where he broke 4 world records. The next year he set new records at the Olympics in Berlin, infuriating Hitler.]

“I certainly was glad to read Mr. Henry Ford’s statement [apology] this morning in the papers in regard to the Jewish people. It was a fine thing for a big man to do. It takes big men to admit a fault publicly, and it has been a lesson to me.

From now on I am going to lay off the Republicans. I have never had anything against them as a race. I realize that, out of office, they are just as honest as any other class and they have a place in the community that would have to be taken by somebody. So I want to apologize for all that I have said about them and henceforth will have only a good word to say of them.” DT #300, July 8, 1927

“The Supreme Court says negroes in Texas have the right to vote at Democratic primaries. Certainly will seem funny to see the negroes and the whites voting the same ticket. First thing you know they will be allowing a white Republican to associate with a white Democrat in the South.  Yours for quality in politics regardless of quantity and color.” DT #191, March 8, 1927

“Before  I  forget  it,  this  week  the  Women’s  Federation  of  Clubs  is meeting in Detroit, and I wrote a thing the other day about a Cherokee Indian lady [Roberta Campbell Lawson] from my home who is running, and she’s the first vice president of the club.   But there’s some objection to her because she’s an Indian.  She should rightfully be made president of all the Federated Clubs….  And this lady, as I said, is wonderful. I hate to see her kicked out because she’s an Indian, because she’s a wonderful woman.  And so, any of you women who are going to Detroit next week don’t you vote my Indian out, or I’ll be on you from now on, I’m telling you.  Say, listen, don’t get our intolerance reaching as far down as the Indian, ’cause you monkey around with her, – I’m Cherokee, too – so she and I, we’ll just get together and run you all out of this country and take it back over again.” Radio, June 2, 1935  [Note: yes, she was elected president]

Immigration and Investigations

I wrote last time about the divide in this country over immigration. We all hoped that over the July 4th holiday break that Congress would decide on a reasonable process to relieve the problem at the border. But, no, they just made the divide wider.

Given the current conditions in this country, I doubt I will sway anyone to change their opinion.  Let me give you an example, a contrast in fact.

Suppose you have a problem with ants in your kitchen. Every night, late, you turn on the light and you see ants scrambling all over the kitchen counter. So you buy a few little containers of ant bait and place them at the back of the counter. But each night there are more ants than the night before. That bait is attracting ‘em!

Finally, someone suggests you get a different kind of bait, to be used outside, along the walls of the house. Wow! In a few days, no more ants in the kitchen.

As I said, this is a contrast. We’re not killing ants; we want to save people. Save them the expense, agony, humiliation (and worse) of getting to our border to find that only about a fourth qualify to enter.

A few of the three-fourths who do not have legal status are being deported. Certainly not all of them, but the ones who have had a judge order them to leave the country. They did not leave, so ICE will deport them. Several are gang members, drug dealers, or other criminals.

One news story you can bet on; for every thousand “criminals” arrested for deportation, one person who has committed no crime here will be accidently picked up. It will probably be a single mom with two kids, and most of the TV news media will focus on that one arrest. Don’t blame just the news media. Politicians in many cities are protecting those here illegally, forbidding their police officers to assist ICE.

Now hold on a minute. I’m not against immigrants. We welcome about a million legally every year. And we need a lot of farm workers. Many of those are seasonal to pick vegetables and fruit, but more are needed in permanent jobs, for example, in dairies and meat processing plants. Engineers are working constantly to come up with machines and gadgets to eliminate these jobs. And making it harder to hire immigrant labor will speed up mechanization. Did you know a robot can milk 80 cows a day? You would be amazed how many dairies “employ” robot milkers.

Congress is drooling at the opportunity to interview Robert Mueller. He does not want to appear at all, but has reluctantly agreed to be grilled for 2 hours. If every Congressman who wants 5 minutes of TV time to ask a question got it, Mueller would be tied up till September. Actually what they want is to give a 4-minute speech, and maybe then ask a question if they think of one.  My solution is easy: have each member submit his or her questions ahead in writing. By combining duplicates and eliminating questions Mueller answered clearly in  his report, he could be out of there in half an hour.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“”I am sure that it was only the extreme generosity of the Indians that allowed the Pilgrims to land. Suppose we reversed the case. Do you reckon the Pilgrims would have ever let the Indians land? Not a chance. Not a chance. The Pilgrims wouldn’t even allow the Indians to live after the Indians went to the trouble of letting ‘em land.”  Radio broadcast, April 14, 1935

“If we could just send the same bunch of men [and women] to Washington for the good of the nation, and not for political reasons, we could have the most perfect government in the world.” WA #78, June 8, 1924