By Carla Harper
Strong and impressive non-white heroes are emerging in America, particularly blacks. They are seeing through what economist Thomas Sowell calls the “poisonous and self-destructive consequences of a steady drumbeat of ideological hype about differences that are translated into “disparities” and “inequities,” provoking envy and resentments under their more prettied-up name of “social justice.” They are breaking out of shackles, in some ways created by revised history that made blacks look like unique victims of white supremacy. Story after story is emerging of strong black figures from the past and today.
There’s a revival underway. We are realizing that division based political tactics that flame an us against them fire, rich against poor, oppressed against oppressor is nothing more than a diversion from the real issues. Many are focusing on the real issues. We care about the national debt, about the oil gushing into the gulf, about reviving private sector jobs not more paper pushing, government jobs, about persevering our relationship with true allies like Israel and Great Britain, and most of all we want to restore the constitutional republic established in 1789.
The rhetoric, sarcasm, and immature governance have worn thin, and the veil has split open. Nancy Pelosi’s fake wide-eyed fear of tea partiers, Bob Etheridge’s creepy grope at a student reporter on the street, Bob Stark’s hubris toward concern for border issues, Charlie Rangel’s failure to pay taxes despite being head of the Ways and Means Committee until recently – these are the attitudes and people that have driven previously non-political people (of all color) out of their homes and businesses and into the public square.
The evidence is all around us as candidates and activists alike are refusing to make race or ethnicity a political calling card. The Frederick Douglass Foundation founded by Dean Nelson, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. (Great-Great-Great Grandson of Frederick Douglass), Timothy F. Johnson, and Troy Rolling, openly proclaims “We are Devoted Christians - Proud Black Americans - Active Republicans.” The organization is attracting blacks and whites to their message:
- We live in a land of liberty where natural rights of individuals precede and supersede the power of the state.
- We are a constitutional republic in which government power is limited and employed for the purpose of providing legitimate public goods rather than for the benefit of insiders and narrow interest groups.
- We are a free market in which persons, individually or collectively, have the natural right to sell goods and services to willing buyers, and in which the individual pursuit of economic opportunity benefits all.
- We are a free society where citizens solve social problems not only through government but also by working together in families, neighborhoods, churches, charities, and other private, voluntary organizations.
Candidates of color are taking primaries not because they talk-the-talk of race politics, but because they proclaim values generally embraced by average Americans such as pro-life and fiscal conservatism. Nikki Haley is poised to become the first female and first non-white governor of South Carolina along side black, Republican nominee for Congress, Tim Scott. In North Carolina, another black Republican, William Randall, won a congressional run-off against what some would have thought the more likely white, haughty, establishment candidate. Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana is standing up to the bureaucratic response to the oil spill clean-up, including shut-down of the oil and gas industry, in effect.
Texas Republicans also gave a black congressional candidate, Stephen Broden, the nod. Blacks are lining up for Senate seats too: Marion Thorpe, Florida; Milton Gordon, Louisiana; Corrogan Vaughn, Maryland; Michael Williams, Texas (see more conservative black candidates ).
Writer, John Avlon, says “The party of Lincoln is reclaiming its real roots.” Where does this audacity, this inspiration come from? Thanks to the work of people like David Barton with Wall Builders and Glen Beck we all are rediscovering our real history.
There are dark places and wounds, but it is not devoid of goodness, truth, and light. Again, quoting Thomas Sowell, the take home message is “If the history of slavery ought to teach us anything, it is that human beings cannot be trusted with unbridled power over other human beings — no matter what color or creed any of them are. The history of ancient despotism and modern totalitarianism practically shouts that same message from the blood-stained pages of history.”
Great black history makers are being brought back to life because we are all hungry for truth. We’ve all had a nagging sense that something is just not right; that the divide is artificial.
For example, James Armistead (1760-1832) was one of the most important American spies during the Revolution. As a slave in Virginia, he witnessed much of the War; and following the British siege of Richmond in 1781, he asked his master, William Armistead, for permission to serve in the cause of American independence with General Marquis de Lafayette, a young Frenchman who came to fight with the Americans. Armistead became a double spy and his crucial information helped bring a victorious end to the American Revolution.
Jordan Freeman (? – 1781), a freed slave, fought under Lt. Col. William Ledyard. He speared and killed British Major Montgomery as their small fort was overpowered by the British. Once captured, a British officer asked the American prisoners, “Who commanded the fort?” Colonel Ledyard replied, “I did once. You do now,” and handed his sword to the British officer, as was customary with surrender. The British officer then took Ledyard’s own sword and thrust it through Ledyard’s body all the way to the hilt.
Among the witnesses was black patriot Lambert Latham. (When the flagpole of the fort had earlier been shot down by the British during the battle, Lambert grabbed the American flag and held it high until he was captured.) Latham had stood silently with the other American prisoners, but upon witnessing the coldblooded murder of his commander, first hand records recall: “Lambert … retaliated upon the [British] officer by thrusting his bayonet through his body. Lambert, in return, received from the enemy thirty-three bayonet wounds, and thus fell, nobly avenging the death of his commander.”
On this Independence Day, I’m remembering the famous Frederick Douglass words: “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” Happy Fourth of July!
Photo from www.frederickdouglassfoundation.com
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