Monday, October 31, 2005

A Village of Voyeurs

I heard an interesting analysis this morning. The topic to which the comment was attached is really irrelevant. The point is excellent.

We've become a society of voyeurs, choosing rather to watch life out the window than to get out and live it for ourselves.

On the lighter side, that's the only reasonable explanation for the boom of "reality television."

There's a much more disturbing point, however. We've successfully alienated ourselves from nearly every part of our own existence. In days gone by, when the internet and the modern obsession with anytime/anywhere communication were nonexistent, we actually lived, making our own way. Now, we can immerse ourselves in a fantasy world in which our problems are either forgotten completely (and therefore never directly addressed), or are attributed to the actions of another.

I tend to think this is the end result of a culture's obsession with extravagance. During the first half of the century (even more so after the Second World War), citizens of this nation were driven to achieve more and accomplish more than their parents. As that generation aged and procreated, the trend was towards granting their children all the fruits of their labors. That generation grew up in good homes, with the best of everything, and they didn't have to struggle to get to that point like their parents had.

When that generation grew to maturity (the "yuppies," for those who keep up with such terms), their children enjoyed even more affluence than their parents, again without the struggles that that generation's grandparents endured.

Now, up to this point, my analysis has mirrored much of what has been written about "Generation X," but here I'll veer away from the conclusion normally presented here, that Gen-X has no concept of morals, financial responsibility, etc. Those may be real problems, but they have little, if anything to do with my point.

The Baby Boomers drove station wagons and American luxury sedans, sometimes stepping down to the econo-boxes when it was time for their kids to go to college. The Yuppies selected from Mercedes, Volvo, Saab, and the occasional Audi, citing things like "engineering" and "fit and finish" as the driving criteria for that selection. Gen-X was arguably the biggest reason for Lexus and Infiniti to come about, as their concern for "old-world" refinement was usually located right next to their affinity for Victorian mores. An expensive, high-performance sedan from Japan was acceptable to them, despite the fact that they were paying an average of $10K more for a re-badged Toyota. Image was, in their world, everything (I could go into a rant about a $70K four-wheel drive vehicle here, but I digress). Enter the children of Gen-X. Many are reaching young adulthood, and as their Gen-X parents grasp for some long-overdue satisfaction out of life, they're looking for ways to fulfill expectations of exceeding their parents' achievements. This leads them into the realm of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston-Martin, and Bentley. Now, with these ever-increasing expectations of affluence come the stark reality that a smaller and smaller percentage of people really "make it" to the top. As the bar is raised, fewer are capable of jumping over it, and more are inspired to try to stretch their limited resources to reach it.

I know I've concentrated on vehicles, because it's a handy barometer, but consider how most of the 40+ crowd grew up dreaming of a summer cottage on the coast, and those younger than that willingly spend about three months' mortgage on that cottage on a seven-day Club Med vacation. The quest for affluence has truly permeated every aspect of society--not just our autos.

Back to the main topic now--
So, as fewer and fewer people really make it into the "in" crowd, we're more inspired to live out our fantasies of opulence through other means. For some that takes the form of a few drool-sessions at the Porsche website per week. For others, it's an uninhibited trip to Vegas or Mardi Gras. For others still, it's watching others on television vie for riches and affluence, and noticing that they're no better than the average citizen.

Most of all, it's about us becoming much more concerned with what others have and with how others live, when Americans once were quite preoccupied with making their own lives into what they wanted.

Perhaps this is at the root of some of the political discourse of late. Perhaps this trend serves to explain the corruption that seems be present in nearly every level of business and most areas of government.

Perhaps it's just my own personal pet peeve, and it's not really doing anything at all significant in society.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

How Not to Clean a Hard Drive (or, the final antivirus solution)

I must confess, I learned a lot over the weekend.

A little background.

I chase tornadoes. For fun. I have a gi-normous Ford Excursion, equipped with all sorts of gadgets that help my chasing experience, including my laptop (for GPS, etc., saving up for a MobileThreatNet system).

No, I didn't get it wet. Well, not exactly.

My wife and I took the kids to the State Fair Thursday night. Before the trip, I took my laptop off its perch between the driver's and passenger's seat, and carefully placed it in the back of the Excursion, face-down to protect the screen. Done it before. No problem.

Friday night, enjoying a rare string of three nights that my wife didn't have to work, she and I went out to eat, then made a quick stop by Wal-Mart. I probably should mention that we had originally intended to take her car, but my 16-year-old son managed to beg her out of the keys so he could go to Homecoming "in style." Anyway, as we left the store with our purchases, everything seemed quite normal. Indeed, disaster was looming large, albeit just beyond our limited scope of vision.

We loaded our packages, and set off towards home. The time was about 11:00 p.m. We were an hour from home.

Among our parcels was a couple of car-deodorizer canisters, the kind with the gel in the bottom that smells really good when the car's nice and hot, so that you feel like you're in a magically scented oven, rather than a conventional oven when you climb in. About ten minutes into our trip, I noticed a scent that I presumed may have eminated from one of the supposedly sealed canisters. My wife put my concerns to rest, as the canisters were both sealed, in small bags we had arranged on the back seat.

Riding home, the scent persisted, and I was sure something had come open, but I couldn't discern the particular aroma as belonging to anything we had purchased. I contemplated stopping and checking everything, but figured it wasn't really worth the time, trouble, and risk involved in stopping on the side of interstate at nearly midnight.

When we got home, we unlocked the house and I reached into the back to start retrieving our bags. The scent was particularly strong, and I readily discovered that it eminated from a bottle of ultra-super-mega-concentrated Dawn dishwashing liquid (Apple scent, no less) whose top had lodged in a fold of the bag just enough to partially open the top. No problem--I had, after all, bought a deodorizer for my truck, so this would let me delay the deployment of the brave little canister.

My first inkling that not all was well came when I moved the bag that contained the leaking bottle and revealed my laptop, still attached to the jotto-desk top, still upside-down, with some of the green soapy goo on the jotto desk. I actually didn't panic, but rather thought it good that the jotto desk was there, so the soap didn't get into my laptop, but probably just ran over the back, where its effects on the various ports and such would be limited. A quick wipe-off with first a dry paper towel or two, then a couple damp ones and a drying pass would make it all good as new, with a shiny spot on the laptop to boot. I picked up the laptop, observed that quite a lot of the stuff had run down the back and sat it on my kitchen counter with some concern, but honestly not that much.

After completing the unloading task, I attended my laptop. I looked again at the jotto desk, and realized that the actual area where the dishwashing liquid had dripped was between a couple channels in the bottom of the jotto desk in which were slots for some unpurchased and therefore unattached accessories. These slots, as the sharp mind would have deduced by now, allowed said dishwashing detergent to readily penetrate the cooling ports on the bottom of my upside-down-for-protection's-sake laptop.

Surely, I mused, not enough actually got into the thing to severely damage anything, did it? As I opened the laptop and observed the puddle of detergent on the screen, I had my answer. I immediately seized my precision screwdriver set and removed the battery pack. Continuing, I went through, carefully wiping off the green goo from the removable drives and the outer case. I pulled the keyboard off and pulled out the backup lithium button battery. Moving to the bar, I started disassembling in earnest. Pulling the fan/heat sink assembly, processor, memory, and other various components, I got down to opening the case for access to the bottom side of the motherboard. There was a curious foam eminating from some of the power-supply circuitry.

I feared the worst, but not to be dissuaded, I continued disassembling and wiping. When I had it down to the smallest parts not attached with solder, I pondered the possibilities, then decided water, whilst not particularly friendly to energized circuitry, it was probably better than trying to power-up the system with so much detergent still in all the nooks and crannies of the board. So I began washing each item, trying to get every bit of soap off of every piece.

I'll hearken back to my original description of the detergent. This wasn't a bargain-store bottle of "Dishwashing Liquid" brand detergent--it was the extra-super-mega-ultra-any-other-superlative-adjetive-concentrated Dawn. The stuff is formulated such that oh, about two drops is sufficient to completely and thoroughly clean a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

About three hours and more bubbles than Lawrence Welk saw in his entire career later, I had all the pieces laid out to dry.

The next morning, I was quite pleased that there was no water nor detergent left on any of the components, and I reassembled the computer. Every screw went in the right place, no spare parts--a good sign.

I tenatively plugged the adapter in. No smoke or sparks--a very good sign. Then came the moment of truth. I pushed the power button.




Not even a faint flicker of life. No fan spin, no light flickering.

My laptop was dead.

Well, after a few more hours (and a significant unplanned expenditure), I was the proud owner of a brand-new Sony Vaio laptop. It's so much better in so many ways than my old one, that it's hard to be awfully upset, but it was a major setback to some of my other financial goals.

I began this post by saying that I learned a lot this weekend, and the most significant thing I learned is that I can suffer an absurdly bizarre turn of events that cost me a large sum of money and not lose my cool. My wife even remarked that she was amazed at my demeanor. I suppose it struck me as so outlandish that I found it nearly humorous. I've also learned a particularly devious means to sabotage a laptop, if ever the necessity arises.

Lastly, I've learned that when the Dawn commercials claim that "a capful cleans a sinkful," they ain't bullshittin'.

Holy Toledo!

Ok, the title is about as witty as I'll get on this issue. Yesterday I watched as all auspices of civilization were torn away as a mob of savages rampaged in parts of Toledo, under the guise of "protesting" a Nazi rally.

And they were black.

The story isn't so much surrounding the question of whether the Nazis should have been allowed to rally. Instead, what is disturbing to me is that the sequence of events was, at least to some degree, expected by the city's leaders.

Does this say something about black culture? I don't accept that within every black person lies an innate tendency towards this type of behaviour. I do believe, however, that there exists within black society a set of factors in which this tendency is learned at an early age. I am not enough of a sociologist (or perhaps too much of one) to assign proper weight to the various contributors to this phenomenon, but I do think that rampant illegitimacy, entitlement mentality, and anti-white racism all play major roles.

The solutions to the problems are hard answers, but certain things need to significantly change.

One of the most noticeable things about the Toledo "riot" (quotated because this was decidedly not a riot, but rather a fit of opportunistic criminality) was the lack of any substantial force by the police department. Perhaps images of the use of firehoses against predominately black crowds during the Civil Rights movement discourages any show of force towards similar crowds, but a strong response to the opening motions of the melee would have prevented the event from escalating. Policemen should be authorized to use as much force as necessary (up to and including deadly force) in response to being targeted by rocks, bottles, and the like, and they should be willing to use such force. As it stands, there's no fear of retaliation, so there's no second thought given to such actions.

As to the underlying causes, the first thing that should be done is drastic welfare reform to stop the system from encouraging illegitimacy. As it stands now, more bastard children equals more money. No, maybe not most people's idea of a good way to make a living, but it has become a way of life to many, particularly among black Americans. There is currently neither an incentive for black men to father their children properly, nor for black mothers to keep from getting pregnant again and again, knowing that so long as she is responsible for a minor child, her food, housing, and healthcare will be provided by the government. To be sure, nearly every system will have flaws--those who unduly benefit, as well as those who abuse the system--but the current system is so horribly skewed against stable families that I'm not at all sure it can be reformed. It may truly be better to start again from square one, requiring re-certification under new standards. Those standards should truly help those who are willing to help themselves, but should have standards of responsibility to ensure that "baby factories" and "sperm donors" aren't rewarded for their efforts.

Secondly, the generalized "entitlement" mindset must be eliminated. Private citizens are "entitled" to precious little, but one wouldn't get that impression looking at the billions spent each year on "entitlement programs." I still remember when the shift was made from calling these disbursements "entitlements" rather than "benefits." The very idea that anyone is, through their own irresponsibility in life decisions, "entitled" to free food, healthcare, housing, utilities, or anything else for that matter, is diametrically opposed to the very principles of a free society. One of two things needs to happen. Either the eligibility requirements for the programs should be trimmed such that only the truly needy qualify, or everyone who could possibly qualify for the programs should sign up, breaking the system and necessitating a rebuild. Either way, the growth of the welfare state must be curtailed.

Third, and equally significant, is the problem of anti-white racism being taught in the black community. There is such rampant hatred and distrust of anything white that blacks have very nearly segregated themselves more completely than they were in the first half of the 20th century. Whether it's worse that such segregation is promoted by black leaders or that it is so readily tolerated by society is anybody's guess. Both aspects are abominable from my point of view.

Perhaps the most disturbing thought I had as I watched the drama unfolding in Toledo was whether this would be the first blow in some sort of racial conflict. There has been so much tension fostered by the elements I address above that I fear that such a conflict looms on the horizon, barring drastic changes to current trends. What's more, the mainstream media seems to play to these tensions, fanning the flames whenever they're given an opportunity. When so much airplay is given to racially-charged allegations and absurd conspiracy theories (Kanye West, Louis Farrakhan, e.g.), nobody is served, save those twisted individuals who actually want a race war. In the absence of clearer minds and kinder words, I'm reminded of the famous quote from Cool Hand Luke:

"...which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it."

Monday, October 03, 2005

In Fewer Words:

I just realized I've been extremely long-winded in most of my posts. In the interests of being more pithy, I'll try to sum up the past four posts here:

Hurricanes, race-baiters, and wimpy conservatives suck.


Why Can't We Have a "Damn the Torpedoes" RNC?

One of the most destructive trends is the incessant cry for "unity" between what should be two diametrically opposed philosophies on government's role.

Whether the Republicans actually could maintain a majority by playing upon the salient differences between their party's platform and that of the DNC will never be known, because they have allowed themselves to be drawn to the "center" by this trend, "center" meaning "not-too-radically-liberal-in-most-ways."

I didn't think that Bush, in either election, effectively differentiated himself from his opponent, something that cost Dole the Presidency at a time when much of the nation was quite dissatisfied with the Clinton administration. When people think they're choosing between "ash gray" and "slate gray," sometimes they just stay home. The only reason Bush came out ahead was that his opponents (both Gore and Kerry), in spite of the DNC's efforts, insisted upon playing to the liberal fringe, creating some defining issues upon which the people expressed their preference.

If only the RNC would learn to ignore their MSM caricatures long enough to actually do what they were elected to do. I took some flak from the left when I agreed that the American people had sent Bush back to the White House with a mandate--my point being that he was sent with a specific set of goals, and that the RNC would reap the fallout if he, for whatever reason, didn't perform those goals.

The fact that these things haven't been accomplished says as much about the lack of Republican leadership in Congress as it points to the lack of direction in the White House. I fear that Bush and the Republican Congressmen have been essentially neutered by the controlling interests in the RNC, as the "party" tries to position itself for the 2008 Presidential Election. They're doing the political equivalent of putting with a driver.

Bush should have nominated a well-known, solidly conservative judge to the Supreme Court this morning. I joked that Ann Coulter would have been a good one to pull out of the hat, if for no other reason than to send Kennedy, Byrd, and Schumer into shock, but I guess I was probably only half-joking, as I was in hopes that a staunch conservative would be proposed. As it is, Bush seems to have attempted to please everybody, and has, in so doing, angered both sides instead.

Will somebody please take a stand? I don't buy into the "absolute power" meme, because I haven't seen such power exercised. From the days of the "Contract with America," the RNC has exhibited an unwillingness to forage ahead ignoring the slings and arrows of the MSM and the left-wingers. Do they even remember how they gained the majority? Do they have any notion that they're being looked at as one of the greatest failures of representation ever seen in the nation's history. They were supposed to have been our voices on Capitol Hill. Their chief duty was to represent the wishes of their constituents.

Somewhere along the way, they forgot. Maybe they'll remember before it's too late for them, their party, and our nation.

I fear they won't.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Straight Talk About Race and Racism

I submit for your perusal:

"Now I'm black but black people trip 'cause white people like me; white people like me I but don't like them. . . . I don't hate whites, I just gotta death wish for motherfuckers that ain't right"
--"Race War"; Ice-T, Album: Home Invasion

"This will all be over in '99, so, niggas, give devils the crime; gonna be more devils dying"
--"No Surrender"; Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Album: Creepin on ah Come Up

"Like my niggas from South Central Los Angeles they found that they couldn't handle us; Bloods, CRIPS, on the same squad, with the Essays up, and nigga, it's time to rob and mob and break the white man off something lovely"
--"The Day the Niggaz Took Over"; DrDre, Album: The Chronic

"Bust a Glock; devils get shot. . . . when God give the word me herd like the buffalo through the neighborhood; watch me blast. . . . I'm killing more crackers than Bosnia-Herzegovina, each and everyday. . . . don't bust until you see the whites of his eyes, the whites of his skin. . . . Louis Farrakhan . . . Bloods and CRIPS, and little old me, and we all getting ready for the enemy"
--"Enemy"; Ice Cube, Album: Lethal Injection

"Rhymes is rugged like burnt buildings in Harlem; the Ol Dirty Bastard. . . . I'm also militant. . . . snatching devils up bythe hair, then cut his head off"
--"Cuttin Headz"; Ol Dirty Bastard, Album: Return of the 36 Chambers: the Dirty Version

"I come with the wicked style. . . . I got everybody jumping to the voodoo. . . . I got a gat and I'm looking out the window like Malcolm. . . . April 29 was power to the people, and we just might see a sequel"
--"Wicked"; Ice Cube, Album: The Predator
(editor's note--April 29 was the start of the post-Rodney King trial riots in L.A.)

"Deal with the devil with my motherfucking steel. . . .white man is something I tried to study, but I got my hands bloody, yeah. . . . I met Farrakhan and had dinner"
--"When Will They Shoot"; Ice Cube, Album: The Predator

"My own kind blind, brain-trained on the devil-level. . . . chasing down loot, Dole or Newt, who do you shoot. . . . rough stuff to the babies, spread like rabies"
--"Niggativity . . . Do I Dare Disturb the Universe"; Chuck D, Album: Autobiography of MistaChuck

“I may die in the scuffle but I’m taking forty devils”
-- “The City”; Wu-Tang Clan, Album: Wu-Tang Forever

"And death to you devils from the Old South"
--"Waitin' Ta Hate"; Ice Cube, Album: War & Peace, Vol 2 (The Peace Album)

This is a sampling of what has been recorded in the name of entertainment. Not by a couple fringe groups, but by "mainstream" rap artists (I use "artists" very loosely here). There's no doubt from context that the "devils" oft-threatened in these lyrics represent the "white devils" spoken of by Louis Farrakhan and Khalid Abdul Muhammed. Was there an outpouring of condemnation for this hate-speech from the black community or the music industry? Hardly. Ice Cube, a former Grammy winner was reviewed in Rolling Stone:

War and Peace Vol. 2, an improvement on 1998's scattershot Vol. 1, makes an argument for Cube's longevity. Few other MCs feature madly recontextualized Shakespearean verse, as Cube does on "Pimp Homeo." Cube also shows his flair for drama on the cinematic, post-apocalyptic rant of "Mental Warfare," an intro to the unrepentantly pro-gangsta "24 Mo' Hours." There are fresh departures here, too: On the single "Until We Rich" (which features Krayzie Bone), Cube imbues his old-school rhyming with a contemporary R&B flavor and a defiant optimism: "Don't talk about death/I got too much life to live." In a line like that, we see the badass spiritual resiliency that made Cube so worth imitating in the first place.

Not exactly a scathing indictment of hate-filled lyrics.

I could speculate what would happen if a white recording artist said anything derogatory about blacks, but I don't have to. When Guns 'N' Roses released their sophomore wide-release album, Lies, it contained a track titled "One In A Million" that included the line, "Police and niggers, get out of my way. Don't want to buy none of your gold chains today." Backlash was immediate. Even a fairly recent retrospective biographical of Axl Rose in Salon (subtitled "American Hellhound) read thus:

"Lies," for example, Guns n' Roses' second album, which came out in 1988, contains several songs that twist contradictory emotions into a rough, intriguing thread. "I Used to Love Her" tells the story of what sounds like a murder, yet it's widely considered a song about Rose's dog -- which he loved but had to euthanize and bury in his backyard. "Patience" preaches virtue in ballad form, but Rose breaks down in the end; and then there's "One in a Million."

The hateful, six-minute rant filled with lines like "immigrants and faggots don't mean much to me" brought hailstorms of criticism. Yet it sounds a lot like a parody of the late-'80s political mood. Once you overlook the sheer offense of what Rose screams, which is no easy task, the song looks more and more like a documentary of discontent, the preface to the white male backlash that we now acknowledge exists thanks in large part to Susan Faludi's book "Stiffed."

Rose's later career seems to support the theory that he's not so much ignorance incarnate as he is perpetually immature. Writing last year in Rolling Stone, critic Peter Wilkinson may have said it best when he noted that Rose is "a complicated man who can be sensitive and funny but who is also controlling and obsessive and troubled."

Hmm, Ice Cube rants about killing the white devils, and he's "worth imitating," while Axl's sole departure into the taboo renders him "perpetually immature" and "obsessive and troubled."

There's a profound disconnect here. Dr. King spoke of a "symphony of brotherhood," but the current state of affairs is much more reminiscent of the "jangling discords" he sought to eradicate. There is more dissent between races now, I dare say, than existed thirty years ago, the fires of racial tension being fanned by hatemongers like Jackson, Sharpton, Mfume, and Farrakhan. There have been no efforts whatsoever from the NAACP to leave the ugliness of the past behind in a quest for harmony. Instead that group (and others) seek out as many points of contention as they can find or invent. Part of healing is a cessation of picking at the wound. Dredging up "past injustices" and holding tightly onto a presupposition of oppression ensures that the wound will never heal, but will keep growing, festering, and seething with all manner of vile matter. The other tendency is to neglect the fresher wounds, those problems that currently face the black community, letting them get more and more gravely infected, when proper care would heal them in short order. My fear is that the infections will eventually grow systemic, threatening the entire body that is our great nation.

That outcome can come in many forms, but I think the most likely is an escalating amount of tension between the races that will culminate in an outbreak in violence between the races. The reason behind the ugliness of the South during the Civil Rights movement wasn't some deep-seated hatred of blacks--they were simply the focus of the action. The impetus behind those actions was a perceived threat to American culture. Through the years of slavery, blacks had been bought, sold, worked, and generally treated like animals, and it was the observation of many people that they acted the part. The freed slaves were seen as uncivilized and brutish, a menace to "higher society." Because they had been deprived of many of the influences of western civilization, and removed from the tribal structures that existed in Africa, the freed blacks were in a similar situation as a college-school graduate seeking employment. They can't be employed without experience, and they can't gain experience without being employed. There arose a set of leaders who taught blacks that the road to freedom was paved with education. Through the early part of the 20th century, blacks became educated in much larger numbers, and with that education came civilization. From that generation came Evers, Meredith, Parks, and others, who effectively prepared themselves to succeed and excel, in spite of still-rampant oppression. The indirect effect of that oppression was that blacks recognized that they would have to do even better than whites for recognition. This led to some of the sharpest and best educated professionals the nation has ever seen, in all fields.

Now the situation has changed horribly. In the dark days of racial oppression, blacks knew the challenges they faced, and struggled against it, ultimately becoming better, as strength built against resistance. Today, however, there is more of a trend towards citing past oppressions as excusing a lack of effort towards excellence. A mentality has arisen that in order to "right the historical wrongs" Americans should accept lower standards for blacks, and that blacks should have an easier time than whites to achieve the same goals. This is the entitlement culture at its most destructive, and the Civil Rights leaders of the 60s would be appalled at what their dream has become. Their quests for achievement have been ditched in favor of complacency in poverty. Their demands for equality have been burned at the stake, in favor of race-based set-asides and preferential treatment. Their hopes of a society that over time would become legally, morally, and perhaps socially "color blind" has been dashed against the rocks, hurled over a cliff called "empowerment."

The great voices of the Civil Rights movement knew that equality demanded a two-pronged approach. They had to fight the injustices imposed by whites, but they also had to prepare blacks for their roles in the brave new world they struggled to create. The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Medgar Evers also killed that two-tiered message, relegating it to a message of victimhood preached by their successors. Black America currently has precious few leaders even willing to admit that internal problems even exist amongst blacks (much less propse solutions), choosing instead to lay the blame for every woe of black communities on the injustices of the past and perceived prejudices of the present.

The end result of this mindset will be more and more self-destruction by the black community and continually increasing tension between the races. I was in hopes that the conversations that arose after Hurricane Katrina would lead to an honest and open discourse about race, poverty, and what needs to be done from both sides, but instead I'm seeing more dissent and blame, sprinkled with a generous helping of racist accusations.

What is the solution? Quite simply put, black people in America must realize that the trends that have guided them over the past couple of decades must stop. They must also acknowledge that a lot of blood was shed for them to have the opportunities they are currently squandering. They need to stop support and participation for "black-only" events and groups, and drop a whole lot of the "black pride" movement. While there is nothing wrong with being proud of your heritage, by maintaining separation you are creating a heritage of which future generations can only be ashamed. White Americans must also have a change of attitude. First and foremost, we must stop giving in anytime Jesse Jackson (or any one of several others) squeals "racism," and force him to prove his allegations, instead of extorting his way into another headline. If the allegation is true, own the error and fix it. Otherwise, force the accuser to put up or shut up. Whites absolutely must not give in to meeting wrong with wrong, or we will descend into the same type of conflict as we lived through in the 50s and 60s, and the burden of maintaining order falls squarely on the shoulders of us, the majority. We must acknowledge sins of the past, but refuse to be forced to wallow in them, recognizing that the past is out of our control, while the future is in our hands. We must also try very hard to put to rest any notion that blacks are in any way predisposed to certain behaviours because of race. What we see in the thugs that roam the inner city is learned, not inborn, behaviour.

On that note, parents of every race must be careful that their children aren't learning such through the rap and hiphop culture that has made a huge industry through peddling sex, violence, drugs, and hate. There are far greater problems that need to be addressed than what Ice Cube or Wu-Tang says on an album, but we've got to start somewhere.

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