Sioux Falls Black Lives Matter organizer claims we should feel guilt over “the system.” But, the system belongs to us all.

Did anyone read the interview this morning at Argus Leader.com from the organizer of the Sioux Falls Black Lives Matter vigil?  I can’t help but scratch my head at one of her statements:

Particularly, when you exist in a white body, you live in a system that has always told you that you are right. Being told you are wrong and feeling the guilt of that and not letting that guilt stop you from engaging in really important work is hard. It’s scary because we aren’t used to being wrong. It’s an important lesson to learn.

Read that here.

I guess I’m struck by how this woman lumps everyone into certain life experiences based on the color of their skin, aside from the choice of the phrase “exist in a white body.” And that somehow people of different racial backgrounds have different “systems.”

Martin Luther King marched, and died, in the 1960’s for a dream of an equal and color-blind nation. He spoke the words “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  I really don’t see how claiming that people who “exist in a white body” have one system that’s somehow “wrong,” by some unspoken and arbitrary measure honors that dream and unifies us.

MLK spoke about America as a promise, and under it’s framework, all men are created equal, and deserve equal access and opportunity under the promise. The American Dream is our only system, and it has nothing to do with race, except to remind people that it isn’t, and shouldn’t be a factor.

That’s what “the system” I was brought up in taught me. And I don’t think there’s anything that I was taught that is remotely “wrong.”

What do you think?

28 thoughts on “Sioux Falls Black Lives Matter organizer claims we should feel guilt over “the system.” But, the system belongs to us all.

  1. Porter Lansing

    The system is “white privilege”. But, I don’t feel privileged, one hears. How would you know? You’ve never experienced anything less. Quite simply, you can’t see the forest because there’s too many trees in the way. You can try to imagine but you’ll never really know what black people tolerate. The pertinent question is, “Do you care what black people experience?” Or are they just another group you need to suppress to increase your self-esteem?

    1. Porter Lansing

      Is the competition so intense you can’t be concerned with those behind you? Would giving them any help at all keep you from reaching your personal potential? Is keeping “social score” among other races important to you?

      1. Cliff Hadley

        Mr. Porter, among my life experiences were chunks of time living in Flint, Mich., where I was often in the racial minority, and working at a black college in Ohio. Also, as a college athlete I was around many black athletes. What I witnessed was the pressure blacks faced — not from whites, but from other blacks. That pressure focused on not acting “white” — code for doing well in school, getting married, raising a family, showing up, putting off fun, working toward goals. (Come to think of it, many whites don’t care much for those things either, for what it’s worth. But those values are often considered “white.”)

        The key is never, ever letting yourself — no matter what race you are — think or act like a victim. Once that happens, it’s all downhill.

        It’s similar to Indian tribal members who disparage striving and success, making it hard to leave the rez. Discouraging and destructive. And oh so human.

        So to answer your questions, whites aren’t holding back blacks or any other race. If that was the case, people with Asian backgrounds would not be doing so fantastically well. Rather, talk about privilege is a way to dodge personal moral assessment and blame others for just about everything. It’s cheap and it’s lazy. And it’s a damn shame.

        1. Anonymous

          ‘The key is never, ever letting yourself — no matter what race you are — think or act like a victim.’

          If historical roles were reversed and people in Africa colonized Europe, rounded up white Europeans, crammed them into ships, transported them to Africa and made the white people slaves, would your opinion expressed above still be true, Mr. Hadley? How about if North American Native Americans made their way to Europe, defeated the white people and forced them onto reservations? Or are you subtly playing the victim card to avoid admitting that events of the past perpetrated by White Europeans are not playing a role in today’s issues?

          History. Tricky thing, is it not? Or is it an inconvenient truth? Either way, historical oppression will always be fresh in the minds of the ‘minorities’ whose ancestors were oppressed. And that you cannot change. Ever. No matter how hard you spin it.

          1. Cliff Hadley

            Anon at 10:54… But the historical roles weren’t reversed, were they? The more accurate comparison isn’t a hypothetical, but the reality through history of what happens when cultures collide. It’s never nice and always produces winners and losers. And we do ourselves no good to talk of “historical oppression,” as though a magical alternative was ever a possibility.

            The fact is, American Indian tribes and African peoples would likely have continued to slaughter one another if whites had never shown up. And Arab Muslims captured and enslaved many more people of all colors than all blacks taken to America.

            Something to remember, too: Minorities of all races do better in the U.S. than anywhere in the world. That’s because, for many, they know they’re free and not oppressed.

            1. Anonymous

              ‘… but the reality through history of what happens when cultures collide. It’s never nice and always produces winners and losers.’

              And who were the losers when the American government expanded the country westward after the Civil War? What culture was oppressed by being starved into submission and forced onto reservations? And what was the skin color of the oppressors?

              ‘Something to remember, too: Minorities of all races do better in the U.S. than anywhere in the world. That’s because, for many, they know they’re free and not oppressed.’

              You have zero proof of that claim. You’re walking a very thin blurred line between reality and your imagination.

              1. Cliff Hadley

                I don’t deny the bitter experience of the past. But neither do I obsess about it. And if the roles were reversed, as you write in your 10:54 post, I’m confident I’d believe the same. And many in my tribe would hate me for it.

                As for proof, egads! Untold millions have come to the U.S. for a better life — and they found it. And that continues to be the case. Nearly one-third of the world’s population wants to move here. Why is that?

                1. Anonymous

                  You keep statistics on the number of people who want to come to the US? You know this to be fact or you’re just guessing? I understand now why you and the Plainsman parted ways. And why you briefly worked for the Daily Republic.

  2. William Beal

    By dividing people by race, gender & sexuality Identity Politics divides society into isolated, opposing groups of people.

    Identity Politics is the politics of self-pity, by claiming victim status as a source of power.

    The “Social Justice Warrior’s” deepest instinct is: “How can I make this all about MEEEE?”

  3. Anonymous

    I found it particularly interesting when the leader of Black Lives Matter is white – and was interviewed by a black reporter on KELO.

  4. Adam Zobel

    I agree with Bill O’Reilly; BLM is a terrorist organization. Obama is behind them 100% and will use this as an excuse to shove gun control and federal policing down our throats.

  5. Charlie Hoffman

    Porter what Planet have you been living on for the past 50 years?
    The only thing White Middle Class GUYS have going for them in America today is The United States Constitution.

    Porter you really need a life……..

    1. Anonymous

      Colorado is a US state. The US is part of the North American continent. The North American continent is part of the plant Earth. There you go, Charlie. In South Dakota, white upper and middle class guys have the Republican-controlled government going for them.

      But of course, Porter really needs a life.

  6. Anne Beal

    The most curious thing about the coverage of the Sioux Falls event was the statement from “state house hopeful ” Clara Hart.
    She has been in refugee camps. She felt safer there than here in the U.S.
    Isn’t safety the reason that refugees immigrate here?

  7. Anonymous

    Until all Americans point out that many of the Black Lives Matter supporters are racist because they are essentially condemning and attacking all whites, we will not be able to achieve racial harmony in this country. Everyone knows and nearly everyone admits that many Caucasians are to blame for that disharmony, but it is time that people of all races admit that people of all races are to blame.

  8. Anonymous

    To answer Pat’s question, naive “should-be” sentiments are irrelevant to what is. You can pretend race doesn’t matter all you want, but in the real world it does. To that end, I think Pat, Cliff, William, and Adam perpetuate racism.

    I say that because they purport to have a better idea of how people of color should act in America than actual people of color. How one doesn’t see white people telling people of color how to act without a two-way dialogue is itself part of the problem is beyond me.

    Disappointing that I really would not expect anything better from the self-contgratulatory echo-chamber of this forum.

    1. William Beal

      You’re arguing that “People of Color should act differently” than other human beings? Certainly there are (and should be) personality and cultural differences among people, but the basis of civilization is civility and shared values. Should we have “Separate but Equal” societies within the United States? E Pluribus Unum, or E Unum Pluribus?

      Those of us old enough to remember “Colored” water fountains and bathrooms, Jim Crow laws, enforced segregation and the civil rights movement of the 60’s know all too well what real racism is.

      Most of the BLM protesters appear to have been born since 1980 but we’re not living a half a century ago. German shepherds are not waiting to attack you because of your race because you’re using the wrong water fountain or trying to go to school.

      We’ve seen what happens when those in power try to control people with propaganda and lies. It starts race wars.

      1. Anonymous

        I don’t know if you lived through the same 60s that I did, but I distinctly remember the argument that blacks should be thankful for the civil war, and it was separate but equal. Subtlety is not synonymous with nonexistence.

    2. Cliff Hadley

      The irony of being called racist because I refuse to be condescending about race is truly rich.

      So what’s to be done? What example of any society in history can you provide that all of us should strive to copy? What’s the ideal?

  9. Adam Zobel

    HuffPost is a pro-Clinton propaganda machine (many of their articles end with a “disclaimer” criticizing Trump). Even though BLM condemned the actions in Dallas, they have sponsored numerous rallies that promoted cop killing.

    1. Anonymous

      Your opinion of HuffingtonPost is just that: your opinion. You’re a Republican and you don’t like its articles so naturally it’s biased toward Clinton.

  10. Father of three

    Having lived in all the regions of this Nation except the west coast, I can tell you that racism is alive and well in this country. While it may not be al blatant as it was in the 60’s, it is still there. I attended college in the South and when I moved into my apartment I received a visit from 3 members of the KKK. They wanted to give me their contact information because I lived in a “black” section of town and they were worried for my safety. I moved to SD and it was not the “blacks” that had that problem, it was the Native Americans. You can legislate all you want, but until people understand that it is education that will change the mindset, not just of the oppressed, but also of the oppressors, it will just pass on from generation to generation.
    How many of us know someone that doesn’t like a person simply because of their skin color? How often have you heard someone say, well, he’s an indian so he must be a drunk, or he’s a black kid so he doesn’t know his father, or he’s asian, so he must be good in math. All are racist statements but all are also readily accepted as truths by a lot white skinned people. I would say a majority, but I don’t have any facts or figures to back up that statement.

    1. Pondering

      I think you are making things up and showing your own bigotry against “a lot of white skinned people.” Shameful. You should take a long hard look at yourself, Father of three.

  11. Troy Jones

    Father of three,

    Let me answer your questions:

    1) Doesn’t like someone solely because of their skin color: I know literally thousands of people. I’ve heard that said maybe a half dozen times in my life (and half those times, the person is dead). So, statistically an insignificant number.

    2) Made such a statement about Indians, blacks or Asians: Again, I’ve heard such a generalization maybe a dozen times in my life.

    Who the heck to you hang out with if a majority hold these opinions? It doesn’t sound like they are very good people and you might want to find better places to hang out.

  12. Anonymous

    Identity politics is the practice of using the “divide and conquer” tactic of pitting groups of useful idiots against each other and waiting to see who wins.
    Every time this has been practiced the result has been the death & destruction of the idiots. Whether Catholics v. Protestants, Turks v. Armenians, Sunnis v. Shiites, Yorkists v Lancastrians, a few people have always managed to get large numbers of idiots to kill each other. The idiots get nothing out of these conflicts while the few people at the top who incited them acquire wealth and power. The people at the top have no more use for the idiots than Stalin did.