© 2001 Chuck Klein

Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer, Aug 2001

The root of the race issue can be boiled down to one word: ASSIMILATION. Those who fail to assimilate, to meld into the melting pot, are doomed to being the outcast. Almost all minority groups that came to these shores learned to speak English clearly and without an accent, shortened hard to pronounce family names, swore allegiance to the flag - Americanized themselves. They, with minimal help from the Government, cast off the "old country" ways, embraced their new home and become as much like a WASP - for their public interactions - as possible. Almost without exception each kept religion and heritage personal and private. The Jewish people even invented Reform Judaism to justify the forsaking of black clothing and hats, untrimmed beards and Saturday (Sabbath) activities. Each group, from the Asians to the Vietnamese, also faced discrimination based violence, name calling, employment rejection and ostracism.

THE BEST OF CHUCK KLEINThe lone exception to this unwritten rule of Americanization is the Negro race. Though this class of immigrants arrived as slaves, they were set free at the cost of many non-slave citizen's lives. At least since the 1950s the remaining barriers to equality have fallen, yet these descendants have resisted joining the club. Instead of embracing Americanized names, attitudes and work ethics too many of the children of the slaves try to force their ethnicity on the rest of populace.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking: "What does he know, he hasn't walked a mile in my Reeboks." Maybe so, but my Florsheims have covered a fair distance. I can't personally relate to any of the six million of my people that were exterminated - in my life time - just because they were Jews. But, I can recount personal experiences such as: upon approaching the end of my probationary period as a police officer, the Lieutenant wrote to the Chief, "Patrolman Klein would be better off with his own kind of people." To say the Lt. made life difficult and tried to set me up for failure, would be an understatement. Or, the roofing nails in my driveway and the threatening phone calls after I, and a Black friend, stood up to the KKK.
I won't discount the fact that the American Black, per se, has been duped by its own government - more exactly by the Democratic party as far back as the 1960s. Lyndon Johnson, while he was President, set this country, and especially the Blacks, back a hundred years. His "Great Society" program was designed to enslave the Negro - to obligate all African-Americans to the government and make them beholden to the Democrats. Johnson's anti-assimilation plan of giving educational degrees and welfare funds has destroyed at least two generations. The Democrats' placate-to-stop-the-riots (circa 1965), coupled with the break-up of the family unit by rewarding women for having babies out of wedlock and encouraging such anti-assimilation practices as African haircuts and ebonics was a master stroke of genius.

Brilliance, inasmuch as the over-whelming majority of African- Americans still vote the Democratic ticket. Recent proof is found in Democrat Mayor Luken's handling of the April riots. The Mayor, following party lines of old, tendered money for meaningless summer jobs, promised street cleanings (placating) and ignored criminal conduct (anti-assimilation) by Black "leaders" during council meetings.
America and Americans are not perfect and there will always be some level of discrimination. Governments can pass all the laws they want, but they can never force people to mix with those with whom they don't wish to associate. I don't believe it makes anyone a racist if they don't want to live next to or go to school with or frequent a business where certain persons flaunt an attitude, dress in prison garb, use foul language, trash the neighborhood, commit crimes or force their music on them, none of which have anything to do with skin color.

The overwhelming majority of African-Americans are law abiding, hard working citizens - just like other melting-potters. However, being law-abiding and hard working is not enough in and of itself. Being a "good" American not only entails conduct that doesn't offend your fellow man, but a willingness to help your brothers and sisters assimilate - to become Americanized.