It would be a frustrating and difficult task, for any educated, right-thinking American, to candidly attempt, to equate or rationalize, our common pretensions of an idealized, exemplary Nation, espousing freedom and equality for all, in light of its empirical history. The early suppression and marginalization of North America’s indigenous peoples, and the decades of inhuman enslavement of black human beings, (the latter practice, having, purported, religious license, in the King James Bible) are undeniable, and provide endurable mitigation, against any such pretension of eternal rectitude.
Observably, and happily, recent decades have been witness to a manifest and sincere undertaking, on the part of the American government and the people, to ameliorate the historic plight, of Americans of color, and, (belatedly), grant to them, proper assurances, of full, legal and societal equality; by legislation, jurisprudence and educative action. A full, and satisfactory, implementation of said legal and moral goal, candidly, still remains, a “work in process.” Provincial and outmoded sentiment, on the part of a relatively, small, recalcitrant, portion of the population, seems to sociologically, and culturally, lag behind the legislation, judicial decisions and programs, which assure the equality, of all of America’s population. In the year, 1857, in the Dredd Scott case, the U.S. Supreme Court (Hon. Roger Taney), ruled that a black man was not a “citizen, but, effectively, agricultural equipment, and should be returned to “its owner.” It was approximately, one hundred fifty years later, that Barack Obama, a black American citizen, was resoundingly, elected, to two successive terms, (2007 to 2015), as the President of the United States. A testament to hope.
However, bigotry still endures, as a chronic pathology, infecting many individuals; the metastasizing disease of prejudice, against black people, appears to stubbornly and persistently, thrive, in the, atavistic, hierarchy of reductive thought and uninformed perceptions, of such people. Right- thinking Americans, of all races, in this 21st Century, understandably, share an exhausted impatience, with such long standing un-American injustice. Accordingly, they have favored, and celebrated, legislation and programs, supporting universal equality, and the outlawing of racial prejudice, and preferences. As a consequence, it has, essentially, become rather, unremarkable, to observe people of color, now occupying State and local ranks of officialdom, such as, legislators, mayors, sheriffs, judges and police as well as other, previously unattainable, positions.
America, however, dare not pause, for a moment, to revel in its advances against the disease of bigotry, or relax its sentry- like surveillance for continuing symptoms of the pathology, lest we impact our rate of recovery and suffer relapse. There is a virtual, plethora of categories of racial injustice, yet to be ameliorated, such as exists in, the Criminal Justice System, the inequality of opportunity in employment, in admission to institutions of higher learning, and to unions, in voter repression and gerrymandering, and negative stereotypic profiling. America’s ongoing surveillance must, indeed, persist, until the time when it can be universally, and factually, concluded that racial bigotry is no longer an endemic, national problem.
The foregoing, comprises, a general recitation of the contextual basis, for the thematic (and, we believe, vital) point of this writing, which theme ( below) deals with the present process of selection of Candidates, for the next Presidential election.
The voters were presented, this time, with an unusually, large number of potential Candidates, a situation which, in an earlier writing, we have declared, “rather concerning.” Our view, then was, and still is, that a large number of Candidates, all from an identical political party, will not, consequentially, differ in major principle; thus forcing choices to be made on errant, populist grounds, such as, attractive or handsome appearance, tone of voice, dress, age or the like, instead, of suitable criteria, such as proclaimed philosophy, apparent capability, platform and intentions for the country.
We are informed that several of the Candidates have, recently, withdrawn, for various reasons, including, financial. A concern, publicly expressed by a few black members of the media, is, to us, ( as fervent supporters of equal rights), erroneous and lacking in analysis. The errant concern expressed, was that there might not be left, a black potential Candidate left on the panel. While, we agree that is salutary, symbolically, to have black candidates and officials, to demonstrate that all America is involved, it is far more important, to select a capable candidate, with desirable, Civil Rights credentials. On any rudimentary analysis, it should be abhorrent for any thoughtful, champion of equal human rights, to recommend the subject of color, as a political criterion. We presently have a black person, sitting as a Justice, of the U.S. Supreme Court, who, may, to some people, conceivably, symbolize, the equal importance of the Nation’s black citizens, but, we would prefer a Justice, black or white, who would take more interest, than he, traditionally has, in the historic redress of past and present injustices to black Americans.
Most distressing, by far, is the thoughtlessly expressed remarks, to the effect that, in the recommendation for office, race, or ethnicity, is a material consideration. The member of the media, who made the ultimately, thoughtless comment, (effectively, against his own interest as a civil rights leader), should, of all people, be opposed to the errant principle, of choosing a Candidate or any Leader, on the irrational and unjust basis, of color (a factor, which should be irrelevant). The, statements, effectively are singularly, foolish and retrogressive. It was Martin Luther King, who famously stated, that man should be evaluated, not on the color of his skin, but by the content of his character. We agree.