Trigger Warning: This is About Trigger Warnings

According to a new study, only about 31% of blacks said that they experienced discrimination “sometimes” or “often.” Comparatively, 27% of Hispanics, 23% of whites, and 18% of Asians were in the same category. That means that most minorities do not experience discrimination on a frequent basis. 


The actual question they asked was “In your day to day life, how often do you feel you have been treated with less respect or courtesy than other people?” The answers were “never”, “rarely”, “sometimes”, or “often”. That means 69% of black “never” or “rarely” experience discrimination. 

This was a scientific study that did not coach the respondents. They were free to interpret the question as they saw fit. 

The authors of the study said they were “surprised” by this finding because they expected the rate of discrimination to be much higher for blacks. 

Note that this study reported how each group felt they experienced discrimination. It did not identify whether there actually WAS discrimination. It was what they felt. Nor did it mention how strongly they felt discrimination. It was purely self-reported. 

Let me say here that I don’t want to minimize the experience of discrimination. Anyone who has felt discrimination can tell you how small and irrelevant it made them feel. And obviously there are different intensities of discrimination. The study does not address instensity. It only mentions frequency. 

Why does this surprise us? Because we are constantly receiving messages about racial discrimination, overwhelmingly against blacks. But the data does not back that up. 

If each of the groups reporting discrimination actually reacted in the same way about their discrimination, then Hispanic, white, and Asian outrage would less than, but not tremendously less than, black outrage. But this is not what we see in the news. 

But let me emphasize here that the discrimination reported in the survey is whatever the respondent identifies as discrimination. One of the most egregious kinds of discrimination that has been in the news during the past few years is that of white policement reportedly targeting and killing black men.Let’s ignore for now whether that is valid or not and assume that at least some (whether a majority or a minority of cases) of it are actually occurring. That’s on one end of the spectrum. 

On the other end of the spectrum is a perceived discrimination about incidents that often seem ludicrous. Recently, there were blacks from Ole Miss who were “triggered” because someone threw a banana in a tree. NC State University black students were triggered when a toilet paper noose was found in a bathroom stall. And there are others. Individuals on a witch hunt for racists will see this type of behavior as indicative of widespread racism, but the vast majority of Americans just see this as silly. It is a shame that we have to treat these kinds of incidents with the same validity as significant cases of discrimination. 

Racisl protests are almost exclusively about black racism and discrimination. It is as if no other group of Americans experience discrimination. If we were all reacting to discrimination in the same way, we would find Hispanics protesting slightly less than blacks, white protesting slightly less than Hispanics, and Asians protesting slightly less than whites. But it’s not like that. 
Again, I know some will read this and think that I don’t think discrimination is taking place. No. I know discrimination occurs, that it is sometimes horrific, and I believe that blacks probably experience more discrimination than other groups. But I think there’s an assumption that blacks are triggered much, much more easily than other groups. And I think there’s an assumption that no other groups should feel discriminated against. 

I understand the fact that lynchings of blacks were a terrible part of our past, but they have almost completely disappeared. I doubt that there are many black Americans alive who actually witnessed a lynching. That doesn’t make it inoffensive, but I wonder about the concern for “triggering” when most black Americans never saw it occur.

There are other groups who could just as easily feel triggered:

  • Shouldn’t Christians who have witnessed their brethren around the world being slaughtered on camera by Islamists with large knives be triggered by hooded men, large kitchen knives, and Muslim symbols?
  • Shouldn’t Korean- and Vietname-era veterans who were POWs be offended by anything that reminded them of the tortures they experienced in their own lifetimes at the hands of Communists? Should anyone be allowed to speak of Communism in a good way based on how these men suffered terribly?
  • Shouldn’t women (and men) who were trapped by forced sex slavery be triggered by scenes of prostitution on television and the movies? 
  • Should anyone be allowed to show entertainment that involves illegal drugs based on the number of people whose lives have been actually ruined by the same? 

It’s time for us to move beyond hyping and trivializing the discrimination experienced by one group and focus on how to remove discrimination by all. And it’s time for the Perpetually Offended to begin focusing on what others have experienced. 


The best and the worst of America

There are no protests going on in Houston.

The people of Houston are currently too busy recovering from the hurricane, watching out for additional flooding, and helping their neighbor. There have been numerous reports of people going out of their way to help others they have never met before. There are blacks helping whites, whites helping blacks, and lots of self sacrifice. Obviously that doesn’t apply to everyone, but reaching out to help others in need is something that we all do in a crisis.

Most of us want to be compassionate toward others. We all know that we could be there one day, and we want someone to help us. For that reason most Americans try to pitch in. We could instead try to simply protect our own and laugh at the tragedies of others. But that’s not the way most of us have operated. And we should be thankful for that. This is the best of America.

Contrast that with the protests going on in other parts of the country. In a number of places recently, we have seen very little respect for one’s neighbor. There is little respect for expressing one’s beliefs. And there have been attempts to silence those who oppose us with violence is the worst of America.

Maybe America needs to learn from its crises.

Clinton Health Initiative Spent Only a Fraction of Expenditures Directly on Programs

We have all heard about the Clinton Foundation, which includes the Clinton Health Initiative. The CHI was supposed to help treat HIV/AIDS, and raised $129M. Unfortunately, only $23M actually went to treat people. A whopping $72M went toward “salaries”. 

So, let’s go beyond politics and outrage. What was in the mind of those who oversaw all of this? You would have to have a pretty seared conscience to let this happen. You would have to accept that lining people’s pockets was worth more than actually treating them. 

Then there are the donors. Without a large outcry from donors, it would seem that most of all were okay with how the money was spent. They must have known it wasn’t going to be used to treat people, but enrich people.

There are the HIV/AIDS activists. You would think they would be angry, but I haven’t heard of any outcry. Were they okay with this? 

What about the people who received this as their “salary”? Presumably this included lots of people working at the Clinton Foundation.  How do they live with themselves?

The sad thing is that so many people were okay with this. Is the American society really that corrupt?


This Chip On My Shoulder Is Too Heavy for Me to Lighten Up

In my blog, I chose not to write about the Charlottesville incident because I’m not trying to inflame anyone. I’m simply looking at how people think. Some ways of thinking make sense. Others don’t. We all fail at this at some time. I hope we can learn from the stories I write about.

One thing I find interesting is how people who aren’t from the South think about the South. Having been raised in the South, I have had an affinity for many of its charms. One thing I especially like is how they have moved on from their past. Southerners do not want to go back to the plantation days and slavery. Slavery is wrong. That war was fought, and the South lost. They get it.

Today, the South often likes to poke fun at itself. Nowhere is it more in evidence than at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. I attended it recently, and thoroughly enjoyed myself, even the part about eating without utensils.

But there is an air of seriousness that seems to exist today with anything remotely or indirectly referring to the Confederacy, and that was on display in a recent Slate article about the Dixie Stampede.  The author, Alisha Harris, went to the Dixie Stampede. She seemed curious about it and seemed to think that it would display all of the bad things people often assume about the South. Everything she saw at the Stampede went contrary to what she expected to see.

Her opening paragraph tells us that she thinks about the entire show: “It’s a lily-white kitsch extravaganza that play-acts the Civil War but never once mentions slavery.” This colors her entire evening. She expects to see the Civil War played again, with mistreatment and enslavement of blacks. She’s thinking too hard. Parton intended this entire show as a good-natured inclusive show that focuses on competition between the North and South. No one fires a shot. No one is whipped. It’s all fun competition.

When Harris arrived for the show, she expected to be ostracized because she was black:

I was surprised to see more people of color than I expected—an Asian family here, a Latino family there. There were smatterings of black people, though I didn’t spot any who appeared to be there by themselves. Some were one half of an interracial couple, while others appeared to be there with their white co-workers or friends.

Again, at the “saloon” (which sold no alcohol), she found: Somewhat to my surprise, a couple of black women were working behind the counter. How could someone who is black actually want to work here? Aren’t they all racists at this show? She ended up chatting with a few white couples near her. Wouldn’t that indicate that she could put down her defensive stance and just enjoy the evening? No. She’s here to prove a point.

Parton, “racist” that she is, even included a Native American segment. The segment emphasizes their place in American History and in no way degrades them, but Harris seems to ignore that.

When the show gets to the competition between the North and the South, they don’t mention the Civil War, but instead uses a horse race, pig race, and toilet seat horseshoes as competition. The competition is good-natured, with one side sometimes giving the other side a “do-over” to show it’s all in good fun. (I think they do that to prevent anyone from taking this too seriously.)

In the end, the announcer says that the score doesn’t matter because we are all Americans. It’s a unifying way to end the evening, since no one wants to actually return to those days. The show is trying to bring us all together at the end of the show.

Yet Harris is always trying to find a way to somehow be offended. When she went to the bathroom she found “‘Southerners Only’ on a light-colored placard and ‘Northerners Only’ on a dark-colored placard.” She calls this “horrifying tone-deaf“, yet goes in the Southern bathroom.

At the end of the show, she’s still working on finding that racism:

As the crowd began to disperse, I chatted up the white couple next to me. They happened to be from Staten Island, in my hometown New York City, and looked to be in their late 20s or early 30s. They were there as fans of Dolly. I asked, “What do you think of the fact that in the show they claim ‘we’re all winners’ and ‘there’s no North and South,’ considering everything that’s happening in the news lately?” 

But the couple just says it’s really nothing. Harris is determined to get people riled up, but everyone is just there to have a good time. No one’s trying to stoke anger. Except perhaps Harris. She ends the story by comparing it to Springtime For Hitler. There’s nothing like playing the Nazi card to show your contempt.

The South buried the Civil War a long, long time ago. Certainly, there are white supremacists, but that small group of individuals is all over the country, and it’s not limited to the South. Most Southerners just want to live their lives and let everyone else do the same.

Lighten up, y’all.


Are you sure this is fake news?

We have all heard about the idea of”fake news”. News. Many times, however, it seems to be nothing more than someone claiming that a specific news item has inaccuracies. Or sometimes, It’s just that people don’t like what the news story says.

Yesterday, I read a news story about the secret service not having enough money to pay its people because the agents had too many people to guard and too many events they had to attend. I noted it with interest, but didn’t think much more about it after reading it.

It turned out to be a story that was unsubstantiated by the media. Standard journalism involves collecting information from multiple sources and verifying them for accuracy. Just because one person says something doesn’t actually make it true. It’s important to verify with multiple sources. 

This is not the first time I’ve run into this. It appears that the media is sometimes abandoning journalistic principles simply to get a news story. In this case, It was just information fed from one source. It’s distressing to know that we have to do a better job individually of looking at news and judging whether it is true or not. This should not be the case, but it’s the state of things right now.


Hungry Venezuelans turn to Colombia for a plate of food 

People of Venezuela are starving. Not the government delete , who have already stockpiled all the food they want. I’m talking about the middle-class as well as the vast numbers of people in the working class who are responsible for electing President Maduro. 

 As indicated in this article, Venezuelans are streaming across the border into Columbia just to get some food. And sometimes they try to find work for a day. All this occurs before they have to return back to their home. Most of the time, the food relief comes from churches and Christian groups. 

 This is really fascinating. Venezuela is a socialist government. By definition, socialism should share equally with everyone. The poor will be taken care of. No one will starve. Yet in Venezuela , just about everyone is miserable. Many are starving and face complete ruin. This is not what socialism is supposed to be. But we’ve seen this happening for a long time. And it will probably get worse before gets better. 

 Yet, or are church and Christian organizations that are offering help to these poor Venezuelans. This is not a government program from Columbia. It’s not relief from the United States. For all of the concern for people in Venezuela and even in our own country, it always seems to come down to concerned individuals who are helping others out of the goodness of their own heart. Government programs are fine, but they rarely are there first, and they rarely bring about full change.

Do we all need to be constantly enraged?

The white supremacist rally in Charlottesville certainly enraged much of our population. There were violent acts, many people were wounded, and one person was killed. As a nation, we should be coming together and uniting over opposition to any racial supremacy groups. After all, white supremacist groups are fairly small. They don’t represent either the left or the right. However, there seems to be a great need to yell at each other and get angry at each other over this incident. 

As the article below indicates, it seems like we have a constant need within our country to be enraged. New sites are now focused on whatever they can do to enrage one group against another. It’s not necessarily about coming to a common understanding, but simply being mad at one another. 

 Yes, Americans need to oppose white supremacy. But both the left and the right already do that. This blog is all about trying to get people to look past the outrage of the news and think about what is actually happening. And it’s an examination of how we think. 

White supremacists want to fuse and unite their worldview to those of a conservative worldview. This really can’t be done. The conservative worldview is very much based on Western Christian principles. At the heart of that is to love our neighbor as ourselves. That cannot be done if you cannot love a neighbor who is different from you. I know a wonderful lady who is a solid Christian and lived next-door to a homosexual couple. She really had nothing in common with them, but every Christmas, she would take them a loaf of cinnamon bread that she baked herself. Of course, not all those who subscribe to a conservative worldview live by its principles. But most do.

 Instead of getting up every morning and looking for something to be angry at in the news, it is time to think about what we believe and what others believe. It’s time to stop calling the other side crazy , and actually listen to their views. We can debate one another and refute one another, yet still show respect for one another.