by Elaine Walker, October 26, 2012 (Downloadable PDF file)
Another unfortunate and misguided emotional issue in society is racism and it's such a shame because it really doesn't need to be. Unlike the days where it was a very real and desperate situation, it is now largely based on false accusations and heated emotion and far less in logic. It's as if those who loudly proclaim to want to help racial "minorities" either simply don't want racism to stop because it helps their agendas somehow, or else they truly believe it's real after hearing the fallacy repeated so often. There are those who still genuinely feel discriminated against, depending on their particular personal situation, and I really don't mean to downplay their situation. But in a general overall evaluation of our society, it really does seem that we are mostly dealing with accusations of racism rather than real racism.
It's amazing to look at the amount of accusations of racism that have occurred since the election of our first mixed race president, Barack Obama. At one point one of his opponents, Herman Cain, who is black, was leading on the Republican side. If I thought anything of it at all it was that racism was clearly no longer an issue! Hurrah! How absolutely opposite everything turned out. Cain got called Uncle Tom and anyone who still dared not root for Obama was deemed racist. Conservatives apparently aren't supposed to be female, gay or black in this country yet. I did meet a few people who took Obama's skin color into consideration, versus the white John McCain who was ultimately the Republican opponent, but in a form of reverse racism they admittedly voted for Obama because of his skin color. I have never actually met anyone besides that who cared about the skin color any of the candidates, or anyone else for that matter. The so-called "racism" in the presidential campaign was 100% accusation.
It amazes me how we get called racists here in Arizona, against – of all the crazy things – Hispanics, whose very culture we revolve around and has shaped much of our architecture, dress, music and cuisine. Not including the many mixed race individuals, Phoenix is over 40% Hispanic. It's often cited that Hispanics get pulled over in traffic stops more than anyone else. I was shown first hand how impossible it is for a police officer to see who is in a car while pulling them over. In our state where the sun dominates the sky and temperatures get up 120 Fahrenheit, almost everyone has darkly tinted windows. Never mind that Arizona has the largest percentage of Hispanic police officers in the nation, making up at least 40% of the force! It's like accusing Texas of being prejudiced against cowboys or California of being prejudiced against surfers.
But accusations of Arizonan racism are so rampant and repeated in the media in an emotionally charged context that it's no wonder people have come to believe it.
Of course we Arizonans welcome legal immigrants and are not even hell bent on spending energy fighting against illegal workers! The accusation of Arizonians being racist against "Hispanics", whether they are legal immigrants, multi-generational Americans or even illegal workers is ridiculously unfounded and insulting. These false stories of racism have been so emotionally charged and often-repeated in the media that the real issues, which really should be emotional issues, get overlooked or worse – buried on purpose.
Real emotional issues
We Arizonans can't help but wonder why others don't seem to care at all about the Mexican citizens and Americans alike that are increasingly in danger of the drug cartel, illegal arms trading and the kidnapping/ransom schemes that revolve around the Arizona border. For instance, Mexicans pay good money to other Mexicans to drive them over the border, then are kidnapped by the very people who drove them over and held for ransom, among other horrific things.
But all I can guess is that those particular stories, for whatever reason, have not been framed in an emotional context in the media. In fact, they haven't been in the media much at all. If too many people become aware of these serious problems it might lead to more pressure to protect the border, and that would go against the status quo. I wonder if that fear causes the media to simply avoid reporting these issues in the first place.
Furthermore we Arizonans feel compassion for legal immigrants who have endured or are currently enduring the long and tricky process of legal immigration. That fact is flat out twisted in the media who often simply use the word "immigrants", not differentiating between legals or illegals, and thus blurring the whole issue.
Ironically, our former Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano, announced a state of emergency during the Bush Administration in response to illegal immigrants crossing our very long and porous border. "We've heard too much talk about border security and not enough action. All of America is waiting and time is running out," she said in a speech at the National Press Club. She estimated that the federal government owed Arizona $350 million for the cost of holding illegal immigrants in jail. She argued that that kind of money "could pay for all day kindergarten for every 5 year old in the state."
Now that she is Secretary of Homeland Security under the most Liberal regime in our history she has been most unhelpful with our predicament. Perhaps Napolitano’s opinion on immigration depends solely who her constituents are.
The hypocrisy doesn't stop there.
Just eight days before his inauguration President-elect Barack Obama met with Mexican President Calderon over lunch at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, D.C. and pledged he would take action to stop the flow of guns into Mexico from the United States. But once elected, his regime took part in a scheme called Fast and Furious that purposefully initiated a flow of guns into Mexico. The program forced Arizona gun shops to sell to the Mexican cartel in hopes of following the guns, yet didn't track the guns! This resulted not only in the death of one of our own border agents, but hundreds of deaths in Mexico.
Ironically, this should have been an emotional issue since it involved hundreds of deaths but instead was barely in the news at all.
It's hard to even imagine any legitimate reason for Fast and Furious other than to create more gun violence as the mayhem spills into the United States for the purpose of justifying stricter gun control laws.
Let me briefly point out one more fallacy as a result of oversimplified emotional thinking, and that is "stricter gun control leads to lower murder rates". This is only true if one cherry picks the data. Countries like Mexico, Brazil and Russia have stricter gun control laws than the United States and much higher murder rates. Israel and Switzerland have very low murder rates and a higher percentage of gun ownership. But the only country ever sited as "evidence" is Britain. It's true that Britain has stronger gun control laws and lower murder rates, but again, there are numerous cause and effect relationships at work in any given country. There is no direct causal relationship between general gun ownership and violence.
Gun control laws are primarily emotion driven rather than being driven by critically examining potential consequences such as the fact that the bad guys as well as government officials will have guns no matter what the laws are. It is usually the very people who seek more power and control over our lives that are the strongest gun control advocates. A good portion of the population is emotionally driven to believe that the government's overreaching gun policies actually exist to help us as if we are helpless otherwise. We are not children of the government. We are adults who have hired – and continually pay – the government to protect us.
And let's never forget the reason for our gun rights in the first place. In the case of a government who has completely overstepped its bounds and evolved into a tyrannical one, unfortunately the only way to regain our freedom is for the might of the people to overwhelm the might of the state. A government treads much more carefully when its citizens are armed. In every dictatorship the first thing that happens is that gun ownership is outlawed so that the general populace can no longer defend itself. For instance, before the Nazis began exterminating their Jewish population they needed to disarm them first.
An armed populace is the last and most important check on government abuse of individual rights. So in the course of continuing dialog about this most important right, we should never find ourselves drawn into arbitrary talk about which guns are suitable for sport shooting or hunting, even if it's in defense of gun ownership, because those issues are unrelated to our constitutional right to keep and bear arms and just detract from the real reason for the second amendment.
Copyright © 2012 by Elaine Walker. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given and author notified.