Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I received a disturbing e-mail today. It was an essay by Tom Adkins, forwarded through a host of names (all whites as near as I can tell). I don’t know a Tom Adkins but I suspect he is the acid-tongued radical conservative who publishes, appears frequently on FOX News, and is married to FOX News Channel’s senior business correspondent, Brenda Buttner.

The piece, White Guilt is Dead, consists of ranting about African American complaints of mistreatment by whites, and then explaining why a white person no longer needs to feel guilty as accused. I’m not as disturbed by the content as I am about the hateful tone and the obvious rancor found in the piece. I’m also upset by the sheer volume of the e-mail recipients indicating that the sender has friends who would be interested in his caustic point of view.

According to Adkins, white Americans “enthusiastically pulled the voting lever” for a “very liberal black man who spent his early career race-hustling banks, praying in a racist church, and actively worked with American-hating domestic terrorists.” Therefore, Adkins says, as of November 4, 2008, “white guilt is dead.”

The writer’s tolerance for being skin-color hustled is now “ZERO,” he says. All those “black studies” programs that taught kids to hate whitey “must now thank Whitey.” Gangsta rappers should start praising America (beginning with the Pledge of Allegiance), knock off the Ebonics, and pull their pants up so their underwear isn’t showing.

Now, without being called a racist, he can say out loud that lazy black people are “poor because you quit school, did drugs, had 3 kids with 3 different fathers, and refuse to work.” He demands that blacks quit complaining that “Da Man is keepin’ me down, because Da Man is now black. You have no excuses.”

Adkins advises that it’s time to take “stupid” 60s ideas such as the race hustle, wife swapping, dope-smoking, free-love, and cop killing and toss them in the trash. Then wash the filthy hands that handled them. How, he asks, can any person deny America’s meritocracy when we now have a black man and wife who went to Ivy League schools, who got high paying jobs, who became millionaires, who live in a mansion, and who will soon reside in the White House? According to Adkins, Obama’s election has validated American conservatism.

And, finally, he points out that black Americans voted 96% for Barak Obama. He asks, “Shouldn’t that be 50-50 in a color blind world?” He asks every black person, based on the unequal vote, to seek forgiveness for their apparent racism and prejudice towards white people.

What do we have here? The issues raised by Adkins are the same shortcomings my fellow white acquaintances have grumbled about for years. They are characteristics that some black leaders have begged their constituents to change. They are the same traits that, when voiced, tag a white as a racist. They are the same trespasses that some African Americans excuse and rationalize, blaming on an unequal playing field. So while not new, they are important in that they continue to form the basis for constructive dialogue between all Americans. Barack Obama in the office of President of the United States is a giant step towards diversity that should welcome such discourse.

Now is not the time for in-your-face gloating. It’s the time to consider anger and accusations as a waste of time. We’d be better served by looking each other in the face, calling each other partner, and by starting to work together towards a color-free solution of our nation’s problems.

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