Am I Racist?

Category: Weekly Columns

Different kinds of brains

No, I do not think I’m a racist. But, I do wonder how my thinking towards race has evolved over the years and especially in light of recent events in my life.

My boys are bi-racial. My two wives were both of a different race than me and I’ve dated different ethnicities and races, religions, and other varieties of women plenty before I married the first time, at 39.

cartoon about prejudice

Nor am I homophobic having worked in showbiz for decades and losing a dear friend to AIDS back in the early eighties.

But, my views on other political issues could be characterized as moderate or conservative and it seems all too often that conservatives are labeled racist, homophobic, islamophobic, sexist, xenophobic, and any other phobia that can be used with the goal to marginalize their views rather than engage in a fair and honest debate. It’s a heckuva lot easier just to call them “ists” and “phobes” rather than deliberate the issue.

I grew up in the fifties and sixties. I came from a liberal – JFK liberal, that is – Jewish family where FDR was a G*d and my parents only voted democrat. I was in college during the Vietnam era and participated – unwillingly – in the draft lottery where I received a high enough number for it not to be an issue, shortly before the war ended.

Denis Leary on racism

I did not attend anti-war rallies or get active in any “peace” movement, though I did love Phil Ochs, a very political “protest” singer of the era as well as all the big folkies and rock ‘n’ roll groups of my generation. My interest in the politics of the time was limited except for the potential sexual opportunities that seemed available to everyone but me in those days.

Later, I entered showbiz where being Jewish and Democrat/Left are synonymous. Again, I didn’t participate much in politics, but did sort of go along with the general flow of Hollywood.

In my thirties, I started to become politically aware and began listening, reading, absorbing, and forming my own opinions. The issue of race equality was already borne deep into me from my childhood, my parents, my religion, my college years, but also my own gut instinct that a human being should be judged on their actions rather than religion, race, or ethnicity.

Is a Panda racist

Nothing in my political education ever changed that belief that an individual should be judged on his or her merits, period.

Yet hanging recently with my urban chick friends and hearing their stories I’ve reflected, perhaps deeper than ever before, on how lucky I was to have the background I had and how – for many – their backgrounds can truly be a hurdle to overcome.

Their stories include ample use of slang, swearing, and phrases like “baby daddy” and other references to their large and varied family structures. One of them had two kids before she was twenty. The other did not finish high school, though she came from a family that wasn’t poor, but she just gravitated towards the wrong group of kids.

Racist stereotypes

Both have extended families that would need an Excel spread sheet to keep track of. The number of half-siblings is considerable as is the lack of marriage between most of their parents, stepparents, and other adults in their lives. This is their natural order, their view of the world.

Further, both spend money like it’s going out of style. They were never taught to save and the things they spend on seem so wasteful to me. I was taught from the moment I could add to be conscious of money and spending.

Little things such as ordering soft drinks ALL the time is their norm. Spending any available cash on so-called beauty supplies, alcohol, weed, and fashion is just their way. And, their parents do much the same.

beautiful people

Their view of the government is simply get whatever you can. Their view of society is sue if you can get something, regardless of whether it really is right.

And, all these views are accompanied by a sense of knowing-it-all that is astonishing to me, given their financial travails and struggles, let alone their youth since both are in their twenties.

But, I began to see how their backgrounds informed their thinking. How we differed so much on basic ideas, especially when it came to money and spending. And, further, though I surely don’t think of myself as racist, I did begin to think of myself as incredibly fortunate with my upbringing in comparison to theirs.

I suppose the only part of their lives I sort of envy, is the extended families they have. Mine is so small that holidays often are melancholy events while their families could fill a stadium.

Yet, one of these young women is seeing her “birth” father for the first time since she was a little girl. He’s fathered ten kids from a number of different women. He’s now open to renewing his relationship with his daughter and she is terribly excited about it. Wow.

Am I racist? Absolutely not. But, was I fortunate in having the upbringing I had and the parents I had. You bet!

  • jack43

    I recently saw the results of a worldwide study that ranks the United States very low among nations in terms of racism. Yes, we still have racists, but their views no longer carry the force of law or the blessing of the citizenry. Indeed, racists are now pariahs in polite company in the US. I was surprised to learn that racism has become more prevalent in France. Interesting. That being said, “racism” has become one of the favorite ad hominem attacks practiced by progressives in the US. The reason is obvious. The President self-identifies as black. Therefore, progressives argue, anyone who disagrees with him is racist. The truth is that conservatives and libertarians disagree not only with the President, but also, all of his progressive allies regardless of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. We disagree on ideological grounds. But, “racism” is a powerful word. We recoil from it when we are its target. It is not only emotionally upsetting, but also engenders a physical reaction. In truth, those who hurl this epithet in our direction without just cause, simply lack the ability to respond to our ideas. Thus, when you hear “racism” think “f-you!”

    • Bruce Sallan

      Exactly @jack43:disqus – it’s so much easier to simply dismiss the conservative point of view by calling us names! That is largely because most every pov on the left is based on emotion – the moment you bring facts to the discussion, you’re called names!

  • Jen Olney

    Agreed Jack and Bruce. The term racist now is used to describe anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the other’s POV. I’m not a racist, I was born in an area of DC/Baltimore that is very diverse, my friends look like the UN. I am a conservative now, after being a democrat for 25 years. I find that I align with the values better and the progressives have ruin whatever liberal feelings I may have in the past. I consider being “liberal” my young and dumb years as I grew up and realized that the world wasn’t cut and dry. I find that many young people only turn to democrats because it’s cool, not because they really believe the liberal agenda is right. Far too many are misinformed about our economy and our culture today.

    • Bruce Sallan

      SO very well-said @twitter-121085582:disqus – thank you so much! I know such smart people! Makes me happy!…truly…

  • Ellie Totten

    Well said, Denis, I couldn’t agree with you more!

    • Bruce Sallan

      @ellietotten:disqus – who is Denis?

      • Ellie Totten

        I thought Denis Leary wrote the piece. However, if you did too, kudos to you as well! 🙂

    • Bruce Sallan

      @ellietotten:disqus – YES, what Denis said is important!

  • Lisa Ladrido

    Right on! It makes me ill each time I hear the “R” word being thrown around if you disagree with the current administration. It truly is an immature way of communicating their viewpoint. Thanks for posting Bruce! (Love your Panda!)

    • Bruce Sallan

      Thanks @lisaladrido:disqus – wish it were really MY Panda!

  • Enyo

    Bleeding liberal. I’m not a racist in terms of thinking that others are somehow superior/inferior due to skin or religion… but I do confess to cultural ignorance at times, and I work hard to learn about those different cultures that I come in contact with in order to avoid saying/doing the wrong/stupid thing.

    • Bruce Sallan

      @twitter-169923893:disqus – this column is NOT about everyone is one race; it’s about what I learned from two specific young women who I got to know pretty well. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on the good fortune I had growing up. As for “Bleeding liberal” – I sure hope you’re not calling me that? I am as far from a liberal (by today’s definition) as they come!

      • Enyo

        Nope, I’m a bleeding liberal. 🙂 You actually made me think about my own cultural biases, which is a separate thing from racism at all. (The arrow pointing to my profile pic was missing before “bleeding liberal.”)

        • Bruce Sallan

          I’m glad I made you think @twitter-169923893:disqus since that was my intent for this column…sure made me think AND be grateful for my good fortune in life!

  • Ann Mullen

    Bruce, you and I are cohorts. When I was young and in college, I went to anti war rallies a few times. My daddy told me that I would become more conservative as I got older. I didn’t believe him, but guess what, I have become older and conservative. I am a Libertarian now and have to keep my head down wherever I got to avoid the rotten tomatoes from all sides.

    • Bruce Sallan

      @2bb8b87e34e5b07798466f1920156127:disqus – hold your head HIGH and proud. When last I checked, we were still allowed to choose our beliefs here!

  • Stephen

    Bruce, have you ever read about the concept of Privilege? Simply, it’s the notion that white, middle-class, straight males in western societies have such a different life experience that the deeper concepts and consequences of X’isms or X-phobias are lost on us. (I say “us” because I fit those categories, too.) The concept of Privilege is a challenging discussion, with plenty of thought and rhetoric filling both (or many) sides of the issue. But it’s a logical part of this conversation, especially considering some of your previous columns on Political Correctness.

    • Bruce Sallan

      It is indeed @disqus_HCHPUBQPFq:disqus – but the opposite view may be victimization or USING your “station” in life as an excuse YOUR WHOLE LIFE! I came from only ONE aspect of that “Privilege” – an intact loving mother and father. My parents were decidedly lower middle class. But, they worked hard and survived many tough tests – including losing 2 of the 3 children they had! Staying a victim FOREVER is a choice IMO…

      • Stephen

        Yes. And hence the challenging dialogue on the subject. I agree that people who choose to use the victim position inherently puts themselves at a disadvantage right from the start. And people who hold on to victim mentality in spite of opportunities or choices completely disrespect the individual challenges and suffering that all people endure.

        • Bruce Sallan

          Well put @disqus_HCHPUBQPFq:disqus

  • Stormnet Media

    Ok Bruce, you “snared” me on this topic. I try to stay away from topics of discussion like this because I feel it polarizes instead of bringing us closer together. Granted, we do need to talk about issues of race but if you have to ask, then you probably already have your answer [wink]. Why do Americans have to question why people are the way they are? Isn’t it safe to say that most minorities in America have it tough enough without the insidious negative thoughts people have “behind their backs”? I’m glad you appreciate your upbringing and cherish your values but try to see what you have in common instead of seeing the difference. We Americans have lost what it is to truly be an American. It starts with seeing your fellow man/woman/child as a citizen of The United States Of America. I served in the Army, my mother served in the Air Force [RIP]. I’ve had a 5 star upbringing. Didn’t have it all but I never felt I was impoverished either [isn’t that what being a middle class American was all about?]. I don’t think you’re a racist but when I see people different [ethnicity, economic, social], I try to bridge the gap, not see how wide it is.

    • Bruce Sallan

      WELL SAID @stormnetmedia:disqus

  • Dawn Abraham

    Hi Bruce

    I had to see what was going on with this post it has caused such an uproar. I have to say that it is nothing like what I expected. First I don’t see any book anywhere. Either I’m blind or you removed it. You made a great point about making a living.

    One thing I found out awhile ago is anything said to you, isn’t about you at all. It’s about them, anyones feelings about your book where it is, how long it’s been there is the way one person views life. One person Bruce. You were upset because she should know you but it doesn’t have anything to do with you Bruce. It’s her perception of life coupled with her fears.

    It’s amazing to me that anyone makes a dime on the Internet. Everything is free and then when someone finally tries to sell something it’s an outrage. It cracks me up really. I’m disappointed that I can’t see this offensive book offering. ;))

    Have you ever read the four agreements? Check it out sometime you might like it. Thanks for suppling my morning entertainment. I hope your book doesn’t dissapear from your website. There are always going to be people who don’t like something your doing. You can’t please everyone but you can die trying. XOXO

    • Bruce Sallan

      LOVE you @DawnAbraham:disqus. I don’t cower but I did choose – in this case – to remove the promotion for my book given this is a sensitive topic. Here’s the link to view it:

      Boy do I agree about what you said. I know it’s RARELY about me – it’s what the other person brings to everything in THEIR life. Heck, I know the same is often true when my wife is upset with me.

      Nonetheless, I felt the follow up comments had validity therefore I removed the self-promo in JUST this column.

  • Andi-Roo

    To be fair, conservatives were accused of being racist well before Obama took office. Let’s not rewrite history and pretend otherwise. Also? The reason conservatives are accused of being racist is that they do tend to be mostly white, and thereby, are not in the best position to understand minority concerns. And, being white myself, I can get why that would be difficult. You and I were not “just” born into the privilege of committed parents and decent familial upbringing. We were also born white. That’s a HUGE thing, and nothing to be dismissed. I have lived all over the US, and overseas as well. And I can tell you something — all white neighborhoods are generally racist little collections. I currently live in a small village in the center of farmland-USA. My half-Hispanic son got all kinds of razzing when we first moved out here, and I wonder how my quarter-Ecuadorian daughter will fare as she gets older. There are no other colors out here. And they stick out like sore thumbs. Not because of their parentage (they do have different fathers), and not because of their economic status (we are above the poverty line, but only by about $50), but because of how they look. Granted, they have “won over” their peers, but tell me something — is that something that YOU, as a white guy, EVER had to do? Wake up EVERY SINGLE DAY knowing, “I’m not white. I’m not white. I’m not white.” I lived in San Antonio, and the poor mostly consisted of minorities (black and Hispanic) — and the racism between them, and against whites, and from the whites unto the minorities — was rampant. For Jack to say that racism exists less than it used to is all well and good… but in the South it’s still as loud and proud as ever… or more so now than ever before, because we can find like-minded individuals via social media. I lived in another part of Texas, a small pocket in the east, where it was perfectly normal to refer to darker individuals as niggers and anyone who owned a gas station as a sand nigger. That was common vernacular. It wasn’t hidden, and it wasn’t socially unacceptable. It wasn’t whispered. It was just the norm. So yes, do count your blessings, white people — men in particular. You are very, very fortunate indeed. It still sucks to be a person of color in this country. Why? Because there are still racists, the majority of which are still conservative, and they are still trying to deny it exists.You can’t really fix a problem if you don’t acknowledge it’s there, or if you try to downplay its potency.

    • Bruce Sallan

      @theworld4realz:disqus I’m Jewish and when I was a freshman in college, one of my dorm-mates – I KID YOU NOT – asked where my horns were! I’ve experienced prejudice in many forms. Sexual harassment from powerful women in showbiz in my early years, political and social ostracizing during my showbiz years for not towing the party-line, and I’ve married two Asian women and experienced, ironically, some occasional prejudice from their families. My boys are 1/4 Japanese and I recall little or not problems for them.

      All that said, what irks me is that WE – aka white guys – are not allowed to raise questions about “people of color” or the “gay” community simply because we are not a member of a particular group. Does that make our observations always wrong or biased?

      How about the Muslim community where there has yet to be ANY large uproar or protest from the 90%+ moderate and good muslims about the hateful minority in their midsts. Are we not supposed to be concerned about what is happening to their community even when they choose to be quiet about it?

      I firmly believe that racism still exists but oddly enough, it’s worst in Africa among blacks against blacks! More blacks kill other blacks here and there than whites kill blacks by a gigantic difference. Where is the black community when something like Rwanda is happening? They’re still decrying racism here when millions or being hacked to death there? Excuse me?

      I’m not at all upset with you @theworld4realz:disqus – I’m just ranting and venting as I’m wont to do!

      • Julie Cohn


        I loved your article, and I get what you are saying 100%. I do disagree with Andi-Roo. Perhaps there are pockets of (white) racist towns in this country, but not every white person is a racist, nor is everyone who had a bad upbringing a liberal who mooches off the government. I do agree, Bruce, with your statement that we are a product of our upbringing, but sometimes in unusual ways.

        I was the daughter of a true “hippy”. She used to hang with a group of hippies in the late 1960’s Laguna beach artist community (which included Timothy Leary). We were dirt poor, and for about six months lived in a mail truck and tent in Laguna Beach state park. We lived on welfare and panhandled at the hotels in LG (I was 4 yrs old). I remember seeing my mother trip out on acid. I remember her teaching me to steal candy from stores. I remember her leaving us in a church in San Francisco for three weeks while she went off to protest the war and god knows what else. When our welfare ran out, she moved us to Salt Lake City because she heard the welfare program was better. She was wrong. When she could not longer afford to take care of her four kids, she put us in foster homes in SLC and Philadelphia. When I came to live with my parents (who adopted me at age 5) I had no clothes, except the dirty ripped clothes off my back. I went from a hippy life to a strict conservative Catholic home. The shame of what my natural mother did (the drugs, teaching us to steal etc) stayed with me my whole life, and shaped me into the person I am today. I would never take a government hand-out. I would do whatever it took to take care of my family on my own. I am probably not as conservative as my parents who raised me, but I will never allow myself to be the liberal-thinking, live-off-the-government type person that my natural mother was. I have worked hard my whole life, because I never wanted to allow myself to be the person she was. I am certainly not perfect, but I am not her, nor will I ever be. Her behavior shaped me to have little tolerance for those who do drugs/drink etc, have tons of kids, and live off the government, because I saw/remember first-hand how irresponsible she was. The welfare system in our country is flawed. Everyone in this country can rise above their hardships and become a
        better person, regardless of their race. The argument for slavery is
        old, and perpetuates racism to remain. I absolutely believe there are people who should be on welfare short-term, but people should not use welfare as an excuse to circumvent their long-term responsibilities and goals.

        I consider myself a fiscally conservative, Reagan loving moderate, but I have gay friends and love them for who they are, not who they sleep with. Two of my sons best friends are black and Indian, and I love them as if they were my own sons. I wish people would see that just as there are many “shades” of liberal, there are also many “shades” of conservative, and that life is not all black and white. (Excuse the analogy.)

        Also, perhaps Andy-roo needs to go back and look at that history she was referring to. Back in the 1950’s, it was the Democrats who opposed desegregation in the schools, not the Republicans. The Republicans were trying to end segregation.

        As far as your comment about Rwanda, I so agree! I think some people (such as celebrities) like to stand on soapboxes to make themselves feel more important. If they really took the time to research and understand some of the issues of the world, they might see the truth, but they would rather preach in the dark.

        Sorry to ramble!

        • Bruce Sallan

          @Julco1:disqus – I love ramblers (not the car) so NO WORRIES – love and appreciate it! AND, I agree with EVERY word you wrote! Wow…so right on (forgive the sixties expression – lol). Sadly, many people that have such poor beginnings and poor teachers (your biological mom) tend to repeat the pattern. When someone turns it around, such as you, it gives me/us hope! Well done!

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  • Maritza

    I enjoyed reading your post and found your point of view interesting, nevertheless there is a sustainable amount of racism in the United States. I’ve felt it many times through out my life, but I’ve never let it get to me!

    • Bruce Sallan

      TY @disqus_DUOvyoCUtn:disqus – and good for YOU!

      • Maritza

        You know I used to be conservative. I just read and listened, but never would really agree or disagree, I’ve changed a bit along the way. Better said, I’ve obliged myself to change along the way. I’m still not sure if it’s right or wrong.

  • Deone Higgs

    Thank you for sharing your insights in such an honest way on a often neglected topic, Bruce. It’s these types of exchanges that will permit us to cross barriers that we didn’t necessarily have any parts of putting in place.

    As an openly gay black man in an interracial relationship, I tend to get “the stares” and “secret whispers” that get spoken through actions. In most instances, it usually comes from the most likely source… or, should I say, I didn’t expect it to come from “home.”

    While I am not much into politics or religion nowadays,, but political conscious and more spiritual than religious, it boils down to respecting one another’s right to choose what is accepted, or not.

    My partner of six years and I have had to entertain “the race issue” on a personal level, as well as, on an impersonal one. He’s a white guy from Ohio who happens to be Baptist and Conservative, and well, I am none of the above. :)) Sadly, that’s what some people tend to see before they even give either of us the time of day. But you know what I am most grateful for, more than anything else… I am glad everyone in the world isn’t walking around with their eyes wide shut and the minds closed off to anything or anyone that doesn’t fit a certain mold. Open-minded, free-spirited people makes the world spin! Gotta love em!

    • Bruce Sallan

      And I so LOVE your comment @Deone_Higgs:disqus – YOU got my column! Rather than tried to find what was wrong with it, you chose to find what is right with it! I’m so grateful! If/when you and your partner are in L.A., let me know so I can you both for coffee, lunch, or whatever! Would love to meet you – I love “diverse” couples that find each other. My wife and I are pretty darn diverse, too – and it’s just so cool that we CAN find each other these days!

  • Anise Smith

    Thank you so much for writing this post because it opens the door to a discussion which is something that is really needed, especially in an era when it seems as if we have rolled back to the 60’s as far as race relations is concerned.

    I applaud you because so many would never acknowledge differences let alone open the door to a much needed discussion about race. Discussion is, after all how we get to know other people.

    I grew up in the 70’s and I was a part of the first generation that really saw change due to the civil rights movement. So growing up although I knew racism did exist I have very little experience with hate being directed toward me, then.

    However I find that NOW things have changed some 40+ years later and NOW I have to have a “what to expect” conversation with my teenage son. Additionally I see so much more hate rhetoric than ever before.

    The reason that conservatives are viewed as racist is that their policies push toward things that ARE NOT in the best interest of people of color. Additionally a lot of the people that represent that party have made racist, sexist, homophobic comments. Under those circumstances it’s hard not to view them as such. The past political race did absolutely nothing to dispel that, it only reinforced it. Also conservatives aren’t exactly know for having compassion for those that are less fortunate regardless of color.

    As for the women that you described, the women that you know may be the exception and not the rule. ( At least I hope so ) Although some of my friends tell me that I am the exception not the rule because I grew up learning about savings, not getting over on they system, we did NOT have children at a young age without being married and my father was married to my mother and did NOT father children outside of my brother and myself. I think that the issues with those ladies are more economic and generational as the 20 something generation have vered away from the path of my generation.

    Although I do not have the same life situation as your lady friends, I am still viewed in the same light by the masses as those women, because I’m black. I am not automatically viewed as a woman with a graduate degree, a home owner since I was 24, a tax payer or regular American citizen.

    I too am fortunate for my upbringing but the difference is that as a black woman I STILL have to prove that I am NOT the getting over on the system type, take what I can get from the government, kind of black women which is an uphill battle. For the majority of educated, intelligent, tax paying black women, this is our struggle.

    Thank you so much for the GREAT post and opening the dialogue!

    • Bruce Sallan

      Wow @AniseSmith:disqus – what words of wisdom you shared – thank you very much. Of course YOU have additional credibility for obvious reasons. The only place that I differ with you is the perception that conservatives don’t care about others – the poor, ethnicities, etc. THAT is what is the big LIE that main stream media perpetuates and the flacks on the left. Rather than debate, they simply call them names.

      I assume you know that conservatives are MUCH GREATER donors to charity than liberals/Democrats? By a LARGE margin. Heck, our Vice President donated something like 27 cents to charity according to his last tax return. What is MOST interesting is to listen to or read people like Thomas Sowell – a black conservative. I’ve NEVER read something of his that wasn’t right on and brilliant!

      I sincerely hope – as you suggest – that this column does elicit further dialogue – especially of the intelligent NON name-calling kind you just demonstrated.

    • jack43

      Anyone who contends that we’ve gone back to the 60s is ignorant of what happened in that time. The law hasn’t changed. Discrimination has not suddenly become legally permissible. Nor is racism tolerated in polite society. It only flourishes among scattered bigots. Also, to disagree with a black President does not amount to a prima facie case of racism. There are innumerable valid reasons to disagree with his progressive agenda and his lack of leadership based on ideological arguments. Finally, the view that conservatives are racist because “their politicies push toward things that ARE NOT in the best interest of people of color” is prima facie discrimination not founded in fact but rather belief. Consider the evidence. The birth and growth of the world’s most successful economy has been greatly nullified during the past century, ever since progressivism began to hold sway in government. Just as the black community was catching up (the rate of income growth among blacks exceeded that of whites just before the Great Recession began) the nation, predominantly white, elected a self-proclaimed black as President and since then, no segment of the population has suffered more than the blacks. Unemployment has risen faster and wealth has diminished faster, not because of discrimination, but rather because the economy is failing and the black community had not had time to build the reserves to resist it.

      Let me close on the subject of “hate rhetoric”. What is its source? Progressives. They are the ones who slam doors on discussion. They are the ones who hurl epithets. They excuse any act by demonizing their opposition. Borrowing the words of Sir Thomas Moore in “A Man For All Seasons”, they are willing to cut down laws in pursuit of the devil. This land is planted thick with laws and the Attorney General publicly proclaims that he will pick and choose which he will enforce and he will not enforce criminal laws against “his people”. Which white Attorney General ever said such a thing?

      • Anise Smith

        Everyone is entitled to their own perspective. That my perspective differs from yours does not negate my experience. That you disagree with what I said also does not change my experiences or views on things. That you call me ignorant STILL does not change MY perspective on this topic. My experience is mine and your experience is yours.

        • Bruce Sallan

          Again, well said @AniseSmith:disqus – I’m curious your thoughts to my reply to Jack?

        • jack43

          My perspective is not based on experience or beliefs. It is based on evidence. The course of the economy is clearly evident in statistical analysis. The plight of the blacks is similarly demonstrated. Can you put aside your prejudices and take an honest look at the evidence?

          • Bruce Sallan

            @jack43:disqus – my wife always says that my tone is what irritates her – whether I am right or wrong. I tend to agree with you but I do see @AniseSmith:disqus ‘s point because it felt like a personal attack. I urge you both to see that you both are on the same page, if not looking at things from different perspectives!

            What I see are two smart and thoughtful people – period!

          • jack43

            Louis L’Amour often observed in his fiction, that people wandering unknown paths would frequently stop and look back at the path they had just followed. The reason for this habit is that the path would look far different on their return than it did when they were travelling in the opposite direction. That is a clear difference in perspective. What we have here is two people looking at the same path in the same direction and seeing two different realities. Who knows, Anise could be correct and I could be entirely wrong. However, there is no possibility that we are both correct. Either progressivism has hurt the economy or it has not. The evidence clearly indicates a statistical correlation between the rise of the influence of progressivism in our nation’s affairs and the decline of its economy. The evidence clearly indicates that Republicans fought for freedom of the slaves while Democrats fought to maintain slavery. Also, Republicans joined with a few conservative Democrats to pass the Civil Rights Act while the majority of Democrats, surprisingly including JFK, fought it. Unfortunately, progressivism has worked its way into the ranks of the Republicans and they are Democrat-lite these days. This is why I am neither. I chose to follow the evidence rather than anyone’s dogma.

          • Bruce Sallan

            Let’s NOT forget that Lincoln was a Republican, too @jack43:disqus

      • Bruce Sallan

        @jack43:disqus – what continues to CONFOUND me is how many people and leaders in the black community do NOT see this? Not only has Obama been destructive for the country and world at large, he’s been – as you say – especially destructive (NOT intentionally, but because of his foolish and naive beliefs) to the black community. But, this is true WHEREVER the left/democrats lead – such as in Detroit where Dems have controlled the state for decades.

        I know black people are as smart as any others – HOW can they miss this? Why aren’t they listening to Thomas Sowell, Justice Thomas, Condi Rice, and so many other eloquent and oh-so-smart black pundits? Heck, even Bill Cosby basically sees what’s going on and he’s an “every man” who EVERY ONE has loved for decades!

        • Anise Smith

          Politics are very individual Bruce, everyone selects the politician that best fits their needs. Black Republicans do not represent mainstream Black Americans because they are out of touch with the black community.

          In the past race, who could possibly have represented the individual needs of the average black person, certainly not the Republican choice? The mainstream Republican choices are out of touch with the needs of the black population more than the black Republicans because at least they are outwardly black and I’m sure they may still be a little familiar with who they are on that level.

          What I don’t understand is HOW could people expect black people to be on board with a candidate that does not meet our needs, YET they are not on board with a politician that doesn’t fit their needs? Republicans just don’t fit the needs of the mainstream black population, I don’t think they ever have and I doubt if they ever will. The Republican party is aware of this, black people are aware of this. This is just an it is what it is kind of thing. It’s not good or bad, it’s just how it is.

          Everyone selects the politician that best fit their individual needs. Republicans usually don’t fit the needs of the average black person. Although NO candidate is perfect, as they ALL are embroiled in a very flawed system of government filled with corruption, and problems beyond what anyone could imagine, being the leader of the free world holds lots of responsibility.

          Ultimately, we all have to select the candidate that most closely fits our needs. If my views are not conservative, why would I support a candidate that is and that goes against my core liberal beliefs?

          If you are a business owner, you are a bit above average income and you need tax breaks for your business you will go with the candidate that is on board with that. You would NOT go for the candidate that is talking about eliminating the tax breaks. That’s a no brainer. It’s expected and what any intelligent person would do if that were their goal.

          However, if you are low to moderate income, you have no healthcare and a very low paying job and you need subsidized childcare for your child, you will select the candidate that best fits your needs. YOU will not go for the candidate that may eliminate or change those services. Again, no brainer.

          This goes back to my original point, politics are very individual. If I had conservative views on life I would go with the conservative candidate. Since I am extremely liberal ( not as in a liberal moocher on society because I have worked my ass off for everything I have and have NEVER been on any form of public assistance..I use liberal in the sense that I like freedom to make my own choices with my body, like my education etc. ) I go with the candidates that best fit my needs.

          BTW: I am an Independent.

          • Bruce Sallan

            @AniseSmith:disqus – do you read Thomas Sowell or listen to Larry Elder? What do you say to their writing/speaking on these issues?

            And, IF the black community were so much better served by the Democrats, why are they worse off in EVERY Democrat-controlled involvement.

          • Anise Smith

            I am so flattered that you think I am so young that I have not lived enough life to know what’s good for me. LOL …Although I look young, or so I’ve been told. I am 46 and I’ve been around long enough to see what works for me and and what doesn’t work for my family. ALL regular everyday black folks know what’s good for us collectively as a group and as an individual.

            We are just a small percentage of the population and trust me no matter how educated or uneducated, we know what’s in our best interest and what is NOT. Besides, you guys are the majority, you have enough people on your team. So you lose a few million black folks. 🙂 crack it up as a loss. The majority of main stream black folks will NEVER join your team of conservatives. It’s nothing against you as a person, because you seem like a really cool guy. However, like I said before, ultimately everyones political choice has to be good for them.

          • Bruce Sallan

            Again, I thank you for this dialogue @AniseSmith:disqus – but why haven’t you answered by question about the thinking of conservative black men and women?

          • Anise Smith

            Thank YOU again Bruce, for opening the door to dialogue. I honestly have no opinion at all about black conservatives that I would be willing to share in this forum.

          • Bruce Sallan

            Fair enough @AniseSmith:disqus – btw, if EVER you are in the L.A. area, I want to take YOU out for coffee or a meal and a spirited discussion, I’m sure!

          • Anise Smith

            That sounds like a deal Bruce 🙂 I am always up for spirited discussion, especially if it can be done without name calling. That’s how we get to know one another!

          • Bruce Sallan

            @AniseSmith:disqus – Sweet!

  • Rebecca Erwin

    Thanks for sharing. I never understood judging a person by their skin. I do thank my parents for that and my formative years as a military brat. On a military base, everyone are friends. The only color that matters is the uniform.

    • Bruce Sallan

      TY @rebeccaerwin:disqus – we obviously agree and it’s great to know and see how the military has also evolved in race relations – AND more recently with the inclusion of women in so many areas as well!

  • UnifiKshuNaShun

    What you do screams so loudly at me, I do not hear your words. I love this article! I love the humanity, the reflection and mirroring of the human journey blending with the evolution of self. Well written. I thoroughly enjoyed your article. Peace…

    • Bruce Sallan

      Thank you @BigMamaBlaze:disqus – I appreciate your comment…I think this dialogue is universal and oh-so-important!

  • David W.

    JFK, FDR — by initials they are known. That’s when you know you’re an icon.

    • Bruce Sallan

      Yep, DW @disqus_dU5ulU60s7:disqus

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  • Minista Jazz

    This is so right on time for me today.

    • Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_N9B0GlA5TT:disqus – why is that, Minista?