Saturday, April 17, 2021

Racism & Discrimination In America

There has been racism and discrimination in America, since our founding; but it much broader than often portrayed today.  Yes, Blacks and Native Americans in particular have suffered greatly from the legacy of slavery and the stealing of native lands; but they are not alone in dealing with racism and discrimination.  Virtually every immigrant group that came to America after the original colonization by English Protestants faced discrimination and some for religious reasons.  And, while those that came were never slaves, they might well have been as they worked in the mills, sweat shops, mines and to build the railroads under deplorable conditions and for very little pay.  

Name a group.  The Irish, Italians, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans, Jews, Mexicans, Arabs and various other nationalities have faced racism and incredible discrimination before assimilating into American society through hard work and education a few generations later.  Most of these groups came to America without speaking English.  People often forget that the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's, which ran the Democrat Party hated Blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants.  So much so that my Italian immigrant grandfather and the mafia in the little town we lived in Ohio drove the Klan out of town using shot guns.  I remember as a child that double barrel shot gun my grandfather, who never spoke English to the day he died, used to keep at the side of his bed.  

Have we forgotten the Chinese exclusion acts to prevent Chinese from coming to America.  Or the internment of Japanese Americans in prison camps by President Franklin Roosevelt during World War II.  And, what could be worst of all was the forced relocation of native Americans off their native lands to live on reservations in other states.  They called it the Trail of Tears as they were marched to Oklahoma with many dying along the way. 

Personally, I experienced racial discrimination.  When I was a young teacher in Los Angles public schools, I was being interviewed for an administrative position on the hill.  I was told that they were really looking for a Mexican; but since I was Italian, had a mustache and spoke Spanish I might be close enough.   They actually hired a Black woman that was not as qualified as I was.  It was reverse discrimination.  I could have allowed it to ruin my life, or cause me to be a victim with eternal resentment; but instead, it caused me to leave public education and go into business.  It was actually the best thing that could have ever happened to me because I have lived an incredible life ever since.   

The point to all of this is that many peoples have faced racism and discrimination.  Those who succeeded did not allow it to make them victims impeding their success.  Instead if they faced a brick wall, they either went around it, over it, or through it to succeed the way I did many years ago.  Yes, it could have been tougher than might have otherwise been the case.  Believe me as someone who started working at 12 years old, I know.  But so what.  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.   As a nation, we have to look forward not backward.  We have to make sure that all kids get a great education, which is why School Choice should become the law of the land.  Poor kids stuck in lousy inner city public schools need to have the same options as rich kids.

Most important, the answer to racism and discrimination is not rioting, looting and burning down cities.  Nor is it confronting cops that sometimes results in bad endings.   The solution to racism and discrimination is focus, discipline, passion and hard work, which are the key to success in life.  Never, never let anyone make you a victim.  If you do, they win and you lose.  

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