August 1993 - Volume 12, Issue 8

Civil Rights ... an idea gone bad!

Semantics disguises the loss of a basic pillar of our freedoms which we cherish ... double jeopardy.

Many years ago, my grandfather pointed out to me one of the major contradictions within our government.

All men are not created equal.

I'll state the obvious ... take a look at any other person including those of your own race and peer group and ask yourself, are we really equal? Common sense should tell you that the answer is NO!

The federal government is using the phrase "All men are created equal" to legislate and regulate behavior which is viewed as "politically incorrect." The Department of Justice is now using the concept of Civil Rights violations to retry those who have been exonerated by trial or who have not received sentences which some deemed appropriate for the circumstances.

Either a person is guilty or not. One of the pillars of our American Justice system has been the fundamental premise that you can't be tried twice for the same offense. The Rodney King trial, the Miami trial, the Broskey trial all should send shivers down the spine of every American citizen as the defendants are retried for the same crime under the umbrella of civil rights violations.

Now if the prosecuting attorney does not like the verdict or if enough media pressure can be brought to bear upon the case, federal prosecutors can file a case alleging that the victim's civil rights had been violated. With the cost of trials to defendants extremely high in both personal and monetary costs, the double whammy of a second trial after being declared "Not Guilty!" is cruel and inhumane. The resources which the government can bring to bear upon any citizen is enormous. If double jeopardy becomes widespread, our basic constitutional rights will have been diminished significantly.

Civil Rights .. Enough already.

The stated purpose for Civil Rights legislation is to put people on an equal footing ... to create equal opportunity. Quota systems and race percentages are tools used by many in government to evaluate hiring practices, admission procedures, contracts, etc. Only in electronics theory and mathematics do two negatives make a positive. In attempting to make a level playing field, the government has spawned all types of chicanery and subterfuge as groups seek to take advantage of the non-existent "quota system."

Don't you find it amusing that no one has sued the NBA, NFL or baseball about the lack of representation of white people on the playing field. Apparently, quotas only count when African Americans do not have their perceived share. Why is it that both Thurgood Marshall and Michael Jordan do not have Afro American labels. Could it be that they have earned the respect of all Americans.

The chicken or the egg ... Which comes first!

As I see the Civil Rights problem, we are fighting the wrong battle. For Afro Americans and American Indians to be accepted as equals, they are going to have to change certain behavior patterns. To be treated as equals, you must act as an equal. Fortunately, many Afro Americans and American Indians have accepted the challenge and have become role models for future generations without losing sight of their own ethnic uniqueness. However, many Afro Americans resent the rise of this group referring to them as "white wannabe's" whereas American Indians who move off the reservation are viewed distrustfully by those who remain.

Use .. don't destroy!

The government has built low-income housing projects which after a few short years are in shambles. Yet, the residents want us to rebuild them. Who destroyed them? Many HUD projects were declared unfit for habitation less than 2 years after HUD acquired them. Many of these projects were torn up to get the copper plumbing, toilet fixtures were removed, light fixtures torn out and storm windows taken. In one Dallas project of 450 units, after two years of HUD ownership, not a single bathtub or kitchen sink remained. The destruction was so bad that the only solution was to bulldoze the project.

In many cities, whole areas only get picked up when church groups from outside the inner core have work days to pick up trash in low-income areas. Question ... why don't the residents pick up their own trash? After all, they put it there. Unfortunately, in two weeks, the neighborhood will probably revert to its former state because the local residents had no pride in the accomplishment. It was just something else given to them for free!


Welfare should not be a lifestyle but a means of short-term support!

Many welfare recipients are now third generation. Welfare should only be for short-term relief. The ADC program has contributed substantially to the demise of the family structure among low-income people including Afro Americans. By insisting that the fathers not live with the family in order to receive welfare payments, the government has created a mechanism for destruction of the family.

The Afro American community should be more concerned about the high birth rate of unwed mothers under 18. Many young women feel that having babies is a way to economic survival. The more babies, the more money and food stamps. The question about whether the children will become educated and productive members of society is not debated. Yet, until the cycle of dependency and hopelessness felt by many youngsters is broken, our nation will continue to see an overall decline in its literacy rate and increases in the crime rate.

Many liberals cite "lack of educational opportunities & equal facilities" as reasons for failure and want more funding for schools! What they should also point out is the lack of appropriate role models in many walks of life. It is only a very few who are afforded the genetics and skills to play professional sports. For the vast majority of the minority children, professional sports will not be an option so where are the other role models. Or do we just throw them away and let them try to survive the gangs which prey upon their inability to say, "No!"

To learn, one only needs desire, a degree of intelligence which is largely decided by the DNA gene component, a concerned teacher and an atmosphere conducive to learning. It also helps to have an inquisitive intuition. And most of all, it helps to have someone who cares about the student at home.

Let's look at education. We have spent billions on school improvements yet many in low-income neighborhoods resemble war zones. Who wrote the filthy slogans, broke the furniture, caused teachers to refuse to accept assignments because of violent acts, and generally trashed up the place?

When was the last time, you saw parents and students demand that the school board provide paint so that they could clean up the schools their children trashed.

Since the days of reading, writing, and arithmetic, we have seen one new education reform after another touted as the panacea for improving education. The actual result is that increasing numbers of secondary school graduates are not equipped to function in the world upon graduation. Perhaps, it is time to go back to McGuffey's readers, multiplication tables, sentence construction and classic literature to provide a foundation for coping in the 21st century. If Nobel Prize winners can come from one room schools, why do we have increasing illiteracy in large schools?

A major problem facing the Afro American community besides unwed mothers is almost a majority of young Afro American men are either in jail or killed before the age of 25. Until the Afro American community leaders insist upon improved standards of conduct, the gangs with their structure will continue to offer the sense of belonging which young people of all ethnic backgrounds seek. Society in general can not force this change, it must come from within the Afro American community itself.


Civil Rights legislation and quotas have caused the WASP to become more class conscious rather than less.

One premise of the Civil Rights movement is that today's WASP must suffer for the supposed sins of people many generations ago in the case of the Afro Americans. What many conveniently forget is that the slaves were sold into slavery by their own ethnic African brethren. However, I hear no recriminations about their actions.

The real problem is not lack of opportunity. We have always had immigrants from many ethnic groups both European, Asian, African, and Middle Eastern to this land who learned the language, found opportunity and succeeded. Rather the problem is a lack of vision found in certain minority communities who would rather seek a handout than a hand up.

In many cities across this country, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican and Middle Eastern immigrants have flourished. In fact, one of the major targets of the African American riots in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles were other minority owned businesses. Perhaps, the African Americans were jealous of the success achieved by these immigrants.

Enterprise Zones -- A retreat from the Melting Pot.

The recent emphasis on Minority-Owned Enterprise Zones points out one of the prime problems facing us today. In the past, American was a gigantic melting pot. Today, we seem to be returning to ethnic enclaves where interaction with other societal groups will be minimal. And that is the sad outcome caused by the current "Civil Rights" and "politically correct" thinking!

It should be obvious but until we all decide that those living in the United States of America are "just Americans" and that a person should be judged on their ability alone, we will never be truly free.

But then - - 'Tis Only My Opinion!

Fred Richards
August 1993

This issue of 'Tis Only My Opinion was copyrighted by Adrich Corporation in August 1993.

Tis.gif 'Tis Only My Opinion Archive Menu

Last updated - July 3, 2008