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The self-harm of bigotry

Melvin B. Miller

Especially during Black History Month, Blacks are aware of the decades that they have suffered racial discrimination and violent abuse and still continued to remain patriotic Americans. The American principle that “all men are created equal” has always been perceived as a significant objective to enable Blacks to “keep the faith.” It comes as quite a shock to find that a substantial number of white citizens have supported an attack on the U.S. Capitol and apparently reject the primary principles of democracy.

Despite racial hostility and oppression, Blacks’ objective has always been to participate fully as fellow citizens of this great nation, even though much time and energy had to be spent to acquire civil rights. Blacks did not anticipate that white citizens would want to reject the sound democratic principles that serve as the nation’s foundation and substitute despotic anarchy. That always seemed an unlikely objective, because there is no advantage for working-class whites to obtain a higher standard of living by being subservient to the interests of the wealthy.

However, Black leaders have been concerned for some time about the inability of working-class whites to see the common economic advantage of coalescing with working-class Blacks. Whites objected to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, and they derisively called it “Obamacare.” They objected to food care benefits (SNAP) because they did not want to benefit Blacks, but it turned out that whites were among the largest beneficiaries of the program.

Clearly, some whites appear to oppose remedial projects simply because they might benefit Blacks, even though working-class whites would also be better off. For example, while Blacks protest the police shooting of Blacks, records reveal that twice as many whites are gunned down in the same way by the police. There are also twice as many whites as Blacks in America who are eligible for welfare assistance because of poverty level incomes.

It should be obvious to recalcitrant whites by now that Blacks’ desire is for improved benefits to be provided by government and to be shared by all Americans. Blacks do not support a plan that excludes any American because of so-called race or religion. The continued groundless antagonism of whites could ultimately create an impervious racial conflict.