BLM: What Do They Want?

Bill Neinast

What does the Black Lives Matter organization want?

If it is respect, they are going after it the wrong way.  In the culture in which I was reared, respect was not given to you.  You had to earn it.

Pillaging, defacing, destroying, rioting, and such are not ways to earn respect. Changing language also is a poor excuse for earning respect.  How does dropping the use of master bedroom and bath, The Dixie Chicks, the Masters Golf Tournament, etc. extend respect to anyone or anything?

There is no way a white person can visualize living under a colored skin.  Stories and news accounts of what some minorities endure in America are poor substitutes for reality.

Seventy years ago, I was a racist.  I was not taught to be racist.  I caught it from the culture in which I was reared.  Adult Negroes (black was not even considered a term of idenity) were not addressed as Mr. or Mrs., but were just called by their first names.   “White Only” signs predominated over water fountains, waiting rooms,  and many other facilities.

The common reference to blacks was the “N” word.    It was simply a bastardization of the word “Negro,” the official designation of the black race.  Anyone who lived in the South before 1970 and claims to have never used the “N” word is a liar.

Going to the movies or other public functions where the Negroes were segregated into “their place” never raised a question.  That is just the way it was.  It was my culture.

Then in 1952, I entered the Army, a new world, a new culture.  President Truman had integrated the armed forces in 1948, and I melded into this new culture without difficulty.

Having Negroes as next door neighbors and work companions and addressing them as Captain, Sergeant, or whatever their rank might be caused no  discomfort and I obviously quickly morphed out of a racist.

The integrated Army also had an effect on my culture spawned racist father.  He visited me when I was assigned to Heidelberg, Germany.  On one of our trips, we spent the night in an Army hotel on a lake.  Shortly after we were seated for dinner, a Negro couple came in an sat at an adjoining table.

I was nervous during the entire meal, because I did not know what Dad was going to do.  He did nothing, and when we got back to our rooms, I said, “Dad, I was surprised. I did not know what you were going to do when that Negro couple came in and sat down next to us.”  His reply, “I was surprised too.  It did not bother me a bit.”  Thereafter, I noticed a much more tolerant attitude on my father’s part.

This short confession is intended to show how the culture in which one lives determines his attitude.  Change the culture and you get a new attitude.

So what is the predominant Black culture in America today?  For the past 25 years or so, black children have been reared without fathers.

Currently, 75% of black children are born into one parent homes.  Uncle Sam is the father—the bread winner.  In my generation, there were fathers in both the White and Black homes setting the example of being responsible for the family support and to respect authority.

Could the absence of fathers be responsible for the following statistics?

Young Black males are 7% of the country’s population, but account for 45% of the violent crimes.  95% of Black homicides are committed by civilian Black men.

Of all the cases of Black men being killed by white officers, I know of only one in which the victim was not being arrested for a crime he had just committed.

So here’s the perspective.

There is injustice and racism in America today, but this is nothing new.  A half century ago, the racist White culture was the sole cause.  Today, however, the needle may be pointing in the other direction.

Could the Black Lives Matter movement serve its community better by studying and modifying its own culture instead of blaming others? 

Or in the words of an old adage, get your own house in order before trying to change others.



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