Could we please have an honest discussion about race?

Much damage – a lot of it potentially irreparable – is being done to the republic behind the belief held by many that the United States is “systemically racist.” The slavery that existed on this continent from the early 17th century through the middle of the 19thcentury constitutes Exhibit A in that argument. The segregation that persisted well into the 20th century constitutes Exhibit B.

Exhibits A and B are being taught in schools while being culturally exploited for political and, most notably, financial gain. As the New York Post reported just last month, woke corporations and virtue signaling rich liberals have, by their donations, made it possible for Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Kahn-Cullors to go on a real estate buying spree. The 37-year old Khan-Cullors, an avowed socialist, has snapped up $3.2 million worth of high-end homes in the past year and is reported to now be eyeing property in an ultra-exclusive development in the Bahamas.

What’s missing from all of the demagoguery and wokeism on race is Exhibit C – an honest dissertation on the sea change on race in this country that began in the 1960s.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was sweeping and undeniable. Vigorously opposed by congressional Democrats and only put over the top in Congress by Republicans, the Civil Rights Act, in a single stroke, outlawed all forms of hitherto legal racial discrimination in every corner of the country.

But that was only the start. Much more significant than the passage of legislation was the changing of hearts and minds. Black people were always on board with the civil rights movement. The real transformation began when white people got on board.

The eloquence of Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, touched the collective conscience of an entire generation of white people. The dream of which King spoke on that August afternoon in Washington summoned white America’s better angels.

As a result, if you’re a baby boomer, you have lived through a cultural transformation. When you were born, department stores wouldn’t let black customers try on clothes. Separate public restrooms for black people and white people were the norm. A just-married black couple couldn’t check into a Las Vegas hotel.

When you as a baby boomer were growing up, use of the “N-word” was commonplace and socially acceptable. Today it’s abhorrent. On the day you were born there was zero chance that a black man could be president. A generation later, one or more of your children probably voted for Barack Obama – twice.

None of this is to suggest that racism is no more. None of this is to deny that black people face challenges in America that white people don’t.

But drill down deeply into the matter and you’ll find that many of the people making the most noise about race are doing so for political or monetary gain. An objective examination of the subject of race requires that the enormous progress that has been made be acknowledged. Any discussion that fails to so acknowledge is, by definition, dishonest.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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31 Responses

  1. Buddy Saunders says:

    Paul, you have a real and valuable ability to distill an issue into its core component, a launching point for deeper and more detailed exploration. Most people, both white and black–in fact all people–understand what you are saying and agree with you. In our daily lives we all get along respectfully, free of resentment and hate. The conflict, and the damage it may leave us with for a very long time, is generated by a tiny minority, the aptly-named Sharpton and his like, who cannot exist without demonizing white people. No racial discrimination, as Martin Luther King imagined it, exists in today’s America. Thus the race merchants move the equity goal posts constantly left so that progress, no matter how far it advances, is never enough.

    Paul, Unless you ask me not to, I want to run your piece in my own blog.

  2. David Roeder says:

    In the mid 60’s Lyndon Johnson took the Social Security money out of it’s “lock box” and put it in the general funds to finance his “Great Society”. After more than 55 years, other than buying some political votes, I don’t believe his Great Society has done anything to help and more than likely the black communities would be the first to agree.

  3. Matthew E says:

    Yes,political or monetary gain,it’s seems to creep its way in to everything, monetary more often. There used to seem to be lines folks wouldn’t cross regardless or a least they would attempt to hide it,in recent years the behavior ( often juvenile) of so called leaders whether in government or business has been taken to a whole new level,and apparently it’s laughed at and applauded,entertaining to some,shameful to others. Yes racism, bigotry still going strong,but maybe it was once worse,and BLM co-founder, looks like she’s doing no different than many others.Two wrongs don’t make a right ,but capitalizing monetarily on what you can ,again no lines.Damage that’s been done the last four years may be irreversible, and this may well exacerbate it no doubt,yes there is blame to go around in various places,no turning back now,I guess it was worth it to those who gained and still gain politically and monetarily.

  4. Ron Eagleman says:

    As long as the “racism” industry continues to turn big profits politically and monetarily, this country will continue to be described as systemically racist. The BLM movement is just an expansion of the RAS (Rev. Alfred Sharpton) movement, which has been going on for years. The only difference is that the “protestors” for the RAS movement used signs and bullhorns to shake down businesses; whereas, the BLM movement has added torches, looting, and violence to the RAS game plan. I bet Rev. Al feels like a piker when he sees how this Marxist group has improved his idea with such lucrative returns for the organizers. One of the critical pieces to the Marxist strategy is to divide the population into factions that distrust each other, and this constant drumbeat about systemic racism is perfect to accomplish that goal. There are some signs that the Black population is realizing that the Democratic Party is just another plantation, similar to the one they escaped by the hard work of the civil rights movement, and yes, the Republican Party. Is there any doubt as to why these plantation masters are frantically trying to import more reliable voters to “pick their cotton”?

  5. Richard Anderson says:

    Excellent column Mr. Gleiser.

    Yes, the current woke political climate being foisted on ALL Americans from “the left” is indeed dishonest.

    Provocateurs such as Al Sharpton, et. al. such as the leftist media pundits on ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN continually “bombard” the American public with the LIE of white supremacy being a serious issue or thing in our great country. It is NOT, and these people pushing this LIE know it’s not, but they are making money off trying to keep this blatantly false narrative alive.

    As well, these same people have a vehement hatred for conservative blacks who are going over in great numbers to support Republicans such as Trump because they know he offers a brighter future for all Americans. This is what is stoking this LIE is that the Dems have nothing else left to play but to make everything about race, to attempt to drive a wedge between all of us we Americans.
    NEW FLASH… IT’S NOT GOING TO SUCCEED! Love thy neighbor.

    We live in the best country of all time for all our people. To add, we are making it even better everyday because we are all Americans and we want the best for ALL are fellow citizens. That’s a fact. As President Trump said to paraphrase, Americans like to win, and win all the time! And we are going on to win more in the near future for us all by voting conservative Republican.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all. God Bless America.

    • Matthew E says:

      If I might ask being Democrats have nothing but race game left,what do Republicans have to offer? Not in simple terms ,I never hear any actual plans ( details) ,I hear limited government, strong military, low taxes ,etc but never any details on legislation, ideas,just what conservative means , just words,same thing over and over and over,no real proposals for improvement in issues that face us all,economy, healthcare,education, infrastructure, needs of elderly, children, drinkable water in homes( Flint Michigan)great example, environmental issues,the list goes on.This limited government idea, should we desolve things such as FEMA,FDA,CONSUMER PROTECTION, just to name a few,maybe Social Security, Medicare. Strip all those job killing regulations, allow industry to do what it deems necessary, no OSHA, DEPARTMENT of AGRICULTURE ,no more welfare ( subsidies)for farmers, maybe let the big Ag conglomerates buy their land,and they can just go get a job. Is the general attitude if you don’t achieve say a lower middle class standard of living in America you’re just not trying hard enough maybe lazy ? I’ve heard people say we all have the same opportunities the difference is what we do with them.

      • Darrell Durham says:

        Matthew, where were you when Trump was president? He offered less government regulation and business responded with record low unemployment for almost ALL demographics. Border security stopped the migrant caravans, then Biden reversed course. As for healthcare, Obamacare isn’t the fix we were sold? No, it wasn’t, and MORE government regulations aren’t either. Our infrastructure is crumbling around us and does need serious investment. However, because government has gotten so out-of-control it can’t agree on what infrastructure even is. Or ISN’T!! Social security, medicare, FEMA, USPS, IRS, EPA, etc. are great examples of government run amok – good ideas, horrible execution, over-regulation. The best ideas ever developed in this world are the results of private individuals and inventors, NOT government (the light bulb, the telephone, the PC, ketchup!) I’m not saying social programs aren’t needed. I am saying they require someone to earn money, then give that money to someone else, who then gives it to someone ELSE! When you get to the point where less people are in the first group than the last two, the program implodes Sadly, success is not a reality for everyone. In nature only the strong survive, ensuring the survival of the species. It isn’t always beautiful or equitable, but it works. Human intervention has destroyed nature and government alike

    • Matthew E says:

      Based on you’re paraphrase you mentioned win,wining all the time, other than it sounding good like many things sound good, what are we wining? Can you elaborate?

      • Richard Anderson says:

        One of the most important things that President Trump did was the creation of The 1776 Commission. The commission was to ensure that our young people in public schools are being taught about our proud and patriotic heritage we all share as Americans. Also, The 1776 Commission is about putting forth the truth and the facts to refute the damnable LIE known as The 1619 Project. The 1619 Project is nothing but radical wokeism and anti-Americanism with a goal to destroy America as Founded in 1776.

        But one may ask, just what would that mean? It would mean tossing out The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and The Bill of Rights because these most cherished of America’s documents (other than The Bible, which is under attack also) just don’t meet the prescribed marxist mob rule of “commissariat approved” woke agenda.

        I, like President Trump, love The United States of America! We live in the greatest country on Earth. But we MUST NOT let it slip away or lose it.

        Bob Woodson, American, patriot, and scholar, is doing outstanding work with his “1776 Unites” project which, IMHO, strongly defends the America we love and and believe in. In no uncertain terms he is 180 degrees COUNTER to the so-called 1619 Project and the propaganda it is attempting to entrap We The American People into believing.

        You say what are we winning? AMERICA!! And keeping “her” torch of FREEDOM and LIBERTY burning brightly for us and generations to come. I, for one, like Trump, will NEVER SURRENDER to the woke mob, Antifa, or BLM. The American people’s love of country is FAR greater than the marxist/fascist/socialist/communist cabal who hate “her.”

        2 Chronicles 7:14

        • Matthew E says:

          As long as there’s no “canceling” , and First Amendment upheld,all points of view,philosophy, or interpretation of history should be available in Educational systems,seems fair to me ,although I dislike the word “fair”.

          • Richard Anderson says:

            Canceling is wokeism which is at the very core of what leftism –marxist/fascist/socialist/communism– is. And to note, canceling or wokeism it is NOT a part of conservative Republicanism in any way, shape, or form.

            To put a fine point on it, The 1619 Project is NOT about the history of The United States of America, but rather it is intellectual dishonesty and rubbish concocted by small minds of envious and jealous people who despise America and all the greatness and goodness our country is about– meaning.. a CONSTITUTIONAL Republic under GOD.

  6. Darrell Durham says:

    Matthew, if you would like an example of private AND government involvement in a project, how about the internet? It has worked wonderfully, yes or no?

    • Matthew E says:

      So typical conservative ( Republican) policy is primarily focused on the better we all want ? Is that that “trickle down economics) I’ve been hearing about since Reagan?Would Republicans like to have total control to force their version of better? Of course right, while folks are so focused on threat of Socialism , Transgender folks, 1619 project, to name a few,it may not be bad idea to look at where all their tax dollars are going, old Ted said it resecently about tax brakes etc, don’t come to them if you’re looking for the usual while sticking you’re nose where don’t belong,(except donatioms) as clearly stated by McConnell, I’ll give him credit he spoke the truth their bought and paid for,and I have to mention one big pink elephant conveniently ignored,CORP. Socialism, PPP Loans, most will not be required to be paid back just latest example along with all the welfare ( Subsidies) going to all kinds of Corporations.

  7. Matthew E says:

    Well Trump gave Corp tax cut,yes had an effect on job that’s a good thing,but a job isn’t everything in modern industrialized society,good start though. Inflation ( cost of living) is huge issue,affordable housing ,just name few,and if job market ( labor market) gets tight and suddenly people of color are getting hired,is that really saying very much,maybe some people were hired because no one else was available, just a thought. From my understanding the deregulation didn’t start happening till towards the end of his admin.Its been said that the ” Trump effect” as coined ,for whatever reasons did cause a lot of businesses, people to seem to have more confidence, felt better about risk taking,so suggestion is it was more psychological than policy,tax cut primarily used to buy back stock .But it still had positive affect,jobs ,but nothing else so credit is due. Well there’s winners and loosers then,I’d love for the politicians to start saying that ,apparently for many generations their has been a bigger expectation from the wealthiest nation on earth,and it’s not ” Free stuff”, no one seems to disagree system is rigged,growing gap of haves and have nots. And internet, well created great advances but also probably more negative effect,it’ll probably be our demise eventually, if drinkable water(having not enough) doesn’t first,not in our lifetime though,apparently that’s what matters to many here and now not future.

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Matthew, are you sure you are not actually Professor Irwin Corey with the nom de plum Matthew E. ? Your posts seem to be written by this foremost authority!

  8. C M Solomon says:

    Our local Liberal Democrat Socialist is obsessed with “government action (guarantees)” as the final solution to provide EQUALITY OF OUTCOME (FAIRNESS) of “necessary” basics for all Americans from cradle to grave including “affordable housing”, for example. Would he approve of a $150,000 guaranteed annual income (funded by his ideal government) for all American families by which all the “necessities of life” can be purchased at the local family level? Wouldn’t this result in an economic boom and prosperity level in which all Americans would reach a fundamental goal of economic fairness throughout society regardless of race or political ideology? Would this remove the envy of other people’s income that exceeded this level even though they earned greater than $150,000? Should the government require that all corporations get government approval for all of their expenditures such that no “corporate favoritism” could take place? Please advise.

    • Matthew E says:

      I think others are more obsessed over government involvement, it seems everything seems to go back to that one way or another, except Corp. Socialism, PPP loans for example, companies should save for unexpected circumstances same as everyday people should,right? Hard to imagine any twisted argument against a more affordable (achievable) ” American Dream”. It’s about working people,not those lazy bums on welfare that some seem obsessed with,when that such a small piece of the ” Subsidies Pie”.

    • Matthew E says:

      The idea is BETTER not equal,only person suggesting equal seems to be you,and fairness is an opinion there will always be disagreement on that, it’s BETTER ,not equal ! NOT FREE STUFF,NOT HANDOUTS, idea that prosperity on basics etc could be better in America.

    • Ron Eagleman says:

      Yes Solomon, you are so right, the Socialism scheme is just an expanded “pigeon drop” scam which exploits the human frailty of getting something for nothing. Of course the promise of free stuff is very attractive, but unfortunately, always ends in the same place……..holding an empty bag. These same promises were given to residents of some of the most prosperous countries in the world, but always, NOT SOMETIMES, resulted in misery for all but the scammers. Even today, there are many individuals who are duped by this well-known con job, but are still anxious to participate. However, the big difference between being duped by the pigeon drop and the Socialism scam is that the pigeon drop only separates one from a sum of money; whereas, Socialism separates people from their money and freedom. Unless you have a deep hatred for your children and grandchildren, Socialism or “Santa Clausism” must be rejected! I do not want my loved ones to visit my grave site to curse and spit on my stupidity!

    • Matthew E says:

      Everything is not about Socialism vs Capitalism, despite how some want it to seem with obvious reasons, that political gain,monetary gain thing mentioned earlier, Relax a little!

      • Michael Reagan says:

        Matt, do you really know the meaning of Socialism/ Communism? The United States of America; a Republic (you do know we are a Republic and not a democracy?) through the Constitution gives us a capitalist society. Again, do you know the difference between a Socialistic society and a Capitalistic society? Either you a bomb thrower, agitator or you really do not know the meaning of the two. Our Republic and Capitalism unleashes the freedoms to be ANYTHING anyone dares to strive for. A.K.A Barack H. Obama becoming the President of these United States of America. Senator Kamala Harris the Vice President now. Colon Powell, Condoleezza and Susan Rice, Ben Carson, Bob Woodson, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, on and on. In any other society, their success would have been limited; but not here not now! Our battle to remain Free and a Republic is all about which way our government goes. THIS AFFECTS, INFECTS, AND CAUSES EFFECTS THAT DIRECTS EVERYTHING WE DO AND SAY. Don’t believe it, see Cuba, Russia, China, Venezuela, and all those other wonderfully suppressive Socialistic/ Communistic paradises across the globe.

        • C M Solomon says:

          Michael, I believe you have hit upon a solution to our local provocateur (bomb thrower, agitator, et al., with all due respect). A famous quote from Ronald Reagan says it all: “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” The mountain of real life education and the influence of evil political Leftists that can damage our “pursuit of happiness” as FREE Americans are too much to convey in Paul’s weekly essays. We are presented with silly arguments that remain very shallow and remind me of debating a “fence post”: a hopeless and endless exercise in futility.

          I do have a “brilliant” suggestion to help deal with these irrational conversations coming from the uneducated victim of the vile and fake media that he continues to digest. It is a “homework assignment” worthy of serious consideration. Paul’s “” has an option called “Archives” on every page from which he can select a month of essays. I would suggest that he start with January 21, 2021 at this link, or earlier:

          If he reads and understands Paul’s essays and the respective comments from ALL of the contributors from that date forward, he will be able to absorb the essence of our arguments even if he were to disagree in the end. It certainly can’t do him any harm!

          • Matthew E says:

            Well it’s a shame others opinions that may differ from you’re own is an agitation, oh well. Reagan may have been better as a comedian .

          • Matthew E says:

            Fear seems to be the essence, the underlying basis of much of Conservatism is obviously based on fear,that’s all I hear.

          • C M Solomon says:

            If we expose what the Marxist Commiecrats SAY they want to do to the Nation and are CAUGHT doing it, are we engaging in a FEAR tactic by warning the Nation of our eminent destruction if they are not stopped? The irrational rants of the lying Left never ceases to amaze me at how stupid they think we are!

        • Matthew E says:

          Well apparently yall just want opinions, thoughts from those who see things as yourselves, sorta like a support group rather than any hint of debate or real discussion. Fear is a powerful thing,fear mongering about the ” Socialist Boogeyman ” by the non fake news is working, they know exactly what their doing. There’s a reason it’s constantly spoken about and I do mean constantly.This country will never become a Socialist country.

        • Grace Evans says:

          Do you understand the meaning of socialism? You don’t seem to.

  9. Matthew E says:

    Who’s talking about fairness,envy ? Again that same old narrative again,regardless of what is said it always goes back to that,income desparity,shrinking middle class,inflation,and the idea these things should and could be better again in “wealthiest country ” .

  10. C M Solomon says:

    Everyone wants BETTER. Duh! The point is that the Commiecrats (Socialist Marxist Democrats) want one Party control of the US Government in order to FORCE their version of BETTER, i.e., MARXISM-COMMUNISM onto the American people WITHOUT their consent by way of a tyrannical dictatorship to TAKE from the “rich” (and borrow from future generations) to give to the “poor” (including ‘open border’ illegal aliens) in order to BUY their votes and enslave them by making them DEPENDENT on the government for food shelter and clothing, forever! Don’t be FOOLED by their treachery while they continue their Hate-America Race Baiting (Critical Race Theory) to inflame ENVY among our society. The Commiecrats are looking to enhance their own POWER. They are not trying to HELP the Nation’s prosperity or its people, but will HURT the Nation in the process! Q.E.D.

    • Matthew E says:

      Neither side is particularly concerned about the ( PEOPLE) ,only their big donors,it couldn’t be more obvious than present time, while people romanticize about our founding fathers and ” Constitution ” Freedom, Liberty, I guess democracy not so much anymore (,Jan 6th), they continue the charade, while their and their donors wallets get fatter.

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