Agents for a Pseudo-Idealistic Mentality

This website is a dedication to individuals who understand that humankind will never achieve idealistic goals. But, couldn't humankind at least trick us into believing that it is trying to achieve the impossible?

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Location: United States

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Racial Ignorance Surrounding the Katrina Disaster

When 72 percent of black people have strong feelings that Bush does not care about black people and 67 percent of white people have strong feelings that Bush does care about black people, something is not being discussed. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that. Blacks as well as whites have the right to believe that their feelings are based on reality. I believe that both blacks and whites are correct about Bush’s feelings towards blacks. Relatively speaking, Bush does and does not care about black people. It just depends on what side of the fence you’re on.

Michelle Malkin does not understand why people refer to blacks suffering from Hurricane Katrina as “my people.” Kanye West, Sean Combs, Aaron Neville, and other blacks who use the term “my people” were very well understood by W.E.B. Du Bois in 1903, author of “The Souls of Black Folk.”

“After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. We would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.”

W.E.B. Du Bois explained in 1903 what many of us have a difficulty in understanding in 2005. The request that blacks commit self-hate in order to help relieve the consciousness of a flawed nation will not be accepted. There is a dark history of the United States of America that has too often been ignored because of other people’s lack of desire and lack of necessity to confront it. Hurricane Katrina should incite a desire and necessity to confront America’s reluctant commitment to the advancement of blacks. America needs only to fess up to its mistakes surrounding race in order to regain the trust of all Americans.

Here lies in one suggestion to help America gain momentum in freeing us all from the stifling denial of this nation’s history. 1) Understand the baseless assumptions that govern people’s thoughts about individuals in our society. The most commonly held stereotype about blacks is that “blacks are lazy and inept.” This is a bad stereotype that lurks in many of the minds of Americans. Some people believe that social programs further “allow blacks to be lazy and inept.” If “blacks are lazy and inept,” then whites are assumed to be hard working and competent. This is a good stereotype that lurks in many of the minds of Americans. 2) Seek out the facts that oppose your assumptions. Dr. Condoleeza Rice is a black person who does not seem to be lazy or inept. She might be uninformed, but there are countless examples that show her effectiveness at completing tasks. Michael D. Brown is a white person who seems to be lazy and incompetent. There are countless examples that show his ineptness and laziness when faced with fulfilling his responsibilities, which lead to the loss of even more lives. 3) Now that you have successfully challenged your racist beliefs, abandon them. Try to seek out facts surrounding certain stereotypes that you know of.

Let’s put your newly found wisdom to the test. Why do most blacks believe that Bush does not care about blacks, while most whites believe that Bush does care about blacks? Both groups are speaking from the truth given the realities that they inhabit. At the crux of this USA Today Poll is the understanding by blacks that many people in society, even other blacks, hold blacks in contempt for their inability to be just as successful as Michael Brown. But, the underlying factor that no one considers when making this claim is that whites, like Michael Brown, would be just as poor and just as “unsuccessful” as blacks if they were black. In American society, whiteness gives certain individuals, like Michael Brown and Bernard B. Kerik, the privilege to be elected to high-level positions without having worked hard. How many blacks can you pinpoint as having obtained or been recommended for high-level positions without having high-level qualifications? How long did it take for FEMA to respond to the foresight, occurrence and eventual aftermath of the category 2 Hurricane Frances that plagued areas in Florida like Palm Beach and Broward County? Compare that response to the length it took for FEMA to respond to the foresight, occurrence and eventual aftermath of the category 4 Hurricane Katrina that plagued areas in Louisiana like New Orleans.

Blacks understand that the standards that they are held up to are much higher than the standards that whites are held up to in American society. Blacks, treated as second class citizens, try to strengthen their ties by uniting through the phrase “my people.” There is good reason for blacks to unite around each other. If other Americans don’t care to, whom else do blacks have? If laziness is an attribute that whites do not accept for blacks, then the same standard should be held for whites. There are too many hypocrisies festering in America. For example, affirmative action in school admissions should continue to exist as long as whites keep their privilege of legacy in school admissions. That is fair. Another example is that the immense wealth of some corporations of today was earned from yesterday’s slavery. The people who own these companies that built their monetary wealth on slavery ought to be brought to bear their responsibility. These companies profited from being lazy and forcing blacks to do the work for them. As a result, these companies are financially secure, while generations of blacks were left financially insecure and poor. There is always a cause and effect. The sooner America realizes this, the sooner America will be equipped like Cuba to respond to catastrophes, like Hurricane Katrina.

Intelligent Design?

Accepting God and evolution does not have to be a trivial concept. Pitting God against science is foolish and ignorant, whether it is an evolutionist or an intelligent design-ist. As a scientist, I have no qualms about being a Christian who loves to do research. In fact, the more research I do, the more I am convinced that a higher power had to have been responsible for it all.

Science is all about making educated guesses and formulating experiments seeking to understand natural phenomena. Unfortunately, no experiments can be made to prove the existence of God or God’s hand in the creation of the universe. Believing in God is based on faith, not on observation. To add intelligent design to the scientific curriculum in schools would not require science at all. If Christians want to teach intelligent design, they should have a philosophy class on the possible origins of life in the universe and include all non-scientific beliefs.

The crux of this debate is how it all began. Whatever theory one takes to be true, no one will ever know for certain how it was done. It is my belief that even in the first few books of Genesis, where some say may be mirrored from a Pagan belief; there is no conclusive evidence that the timescale God was working on is the same timescale that humans are accustomed to. I am a firm believer that we (our universe) may be, as String Theory suggests, a slice of a large loaf of bread. Our quest for the understanding of how it all began may never be realized because the facts that make up that understanding probably contain rules that we never could have the capacity of realizing.

Both intelligent design and evolution have one thing in common, at least. And that is, given a certain set of assumptions that are somewhat understood by proponents of either theory, the universe was created. What if those assumptions are wrong? One example that I can think of is suggested in String Theory. Factually, gravity is a supremely weaker force than all of the other forces that make up our universe, like electromagnetism, the strong and weak forces. What if the force of gravity was just as strong as or stronger than the other forces, but we didn’t realize it because gravity is diffused throughout an unimaginably, infinitely large space that contained more than our universe. What if our universe is a slice of a loaf of bread?
All in all, maybe God told us everything we needed to know. And maybe we don’t know as much as we think. I will continue to believe in the existence of God as well as cherish science.

For more info on string theory, there’s a 3 hour long video available at NOVA. You can see all of it online, albeit in bits and pieces at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html