In response to M. Tembo's Fire Side: I simply don't recognize the country that Mr. Tembo describes. America today is similar to apartheid South Africa? The facts are that apartheid South Africa, like the Jim Crow South, was a de jure racist society. That has not been the case in America for 56 years, since the 1964 Voting Rights Act. As a matter of fact, our governments, federal, state and local, and large businesses hire and promote Black Americans on a preferred basis and have done since the Nixon administration instituted Affirmative Action in an effort to give a leg up to our Black brothers and sisters. Say what you will about Affirmative Action, it was instituted by a Republican president in a good faith effort to help our fellow Americans whom the white majority had treated horrifically for hundreds of years and badly for decades. There is no de jure discrimination against Blacks in America today. None.
Mr. Tembo writes that all whites feel threatened by Blacks gaining tiny concessions. The Voting Rights Act was not tiny! And socially/politically, here in Virginia, we voted for and got a Black governor, Douglas Wilder, and in 2008 a majority of Virginians voted for Barack Obama, a Black man, to be president of the country. Those things were not tiny either. I know plenty of Republicans who were worried about President Obama's policies, but I never heard anybody say they felt threatened. To suggest that America today is "parallel" to apartheid South Africa is an absurd slander. And to suggest that "all whites" feel the same way about anything is the very definition of racism.
Mr. Tembo mentions white supremacy. This term is often used, but rarely defined. That's because if it were defined it would be shot down for the canard it is. I don't know what it means. I do know that there are countless nonwhites who do very well in America. The two politicians mentioned above come to mind. Asian Americans come to mind. They have higher family incomes than do other Americans generally and equal or better achievements in personal health, longevity and capital/household formation. Are Asians white? Are they the same race as Europeans? No. Then whatever contributes to our Asian brothers and sisters' success, it isn't white supremacy. And then there are Black immigrants in America. According to an article by N. P. Suajlenka of the Center for American Progress, Black immigrants have a higher labor participation rate (73% vs. 67%) and similar college achievement (29% vs. 32%) than the general population. Education and work ethic is a powerful one-two punch. This success would not be possible if America were an apartheid state.
Education, marriage, babies. In that order. That's the "secret" of our Asian families. That will help our Black and white families achieve the American dream. Diatribes against our white brothers and sisters will not.
Thomas Imeson lives in Dayton.