Mychal Massie is Chairman of the National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives-Project 21 – a conservative black think tank located in Washington, D.C. He was recognized as the 2008 Conservative Man of the Year by the Conservative Party of Suffolk County, N.Y. In December, 2011, he was recognized as one of the 20 most influential black Republicans. Mychal is a prolific blogger, a nationally recognized political activist, pundit, and columnist. He has appeared on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, NBC, and talk-radio programming worldwide. A former self-employed business owner of more than 30 years, Mychal’s complete Bio is mychal-massie.com/premium/bio All racists have one thing in common. They are hateful human beings.
Perhaps an unspoken truism is “Hypocrites you will have with you always.” While sinfulness is part of human nature, hypocrisy goes back to the Garden of Eden when Eve first rationalized that truth can be subjective, hypocritically disregarding the wisdom of He who is Truth. Throughout the ages it has been evident that the human ability to rationalize what is wrong is unlimited. Today it is evident in the pro-choice movement that rationalizes the taking of helpless human life but hypocritically objects to the killing of helpless animals. To them, right is what they want it to be regardless of any common thread of logic.
So it was with some of our Founders. While well-deserved accolades of wisdom are bestowed upon them for the brilliant government they created, they were never-the-less human beings – many of whom did not escape the human affinity for hypocrisy. Most notable among them was the much revered Thomas Jefferson. The very man who wrote “all men are created equal” was also a slave owner – a hypocrisy that he somehow managed to rationalize away. But Jefferson was a mortal, like the rest of us, and embraced his share of hypocrisy.
After living through another February – or Black History month – and all the tidbits of information about the cruelty of slavery and those that rose above it, it seems appropriate to examine Jefferson’s hypocrisy a little further. The enigma of liberty-minded men who either owned or permitted the ownership of slaves is troubling and needs to be examined so we can come to terms about our past without sacrificing our future.
Jefferson’s hypocrisy cannot be explained by either the Enlightenment or Christianity. How could the man that wrote and reasoned that “all men are created equal” own slaves? Understanding our Founders’ and their contemporary pastors that preached revolution instead of submission may hold the key. It may very well be that “equality” to Jefferson and his contemporaries did not mean that all men – as we think of this today – are equal in the sense of their human value before an Almighty God. Their concept of equality can be traced back to their experience with Great Britain and its body of government that ruled over their subjects in America – with their subjects in America not having any credible representation. For them it was not a matter of humanity but of squelched representation. The representation of the Colonies was subordinate to the government in Great Britain – creating a kind of inequality that is based on unequal – or in equal – representation. Quite a difference from our concept of equality today.
Additionally, slavery based on ethnicity had replaced slavery based worldwide on defeat in war. A reality that goes back to Mohammed and his preference for slaves kidnapped from Africa. While this seems inhuman to us today, centuries ago is was an accepted practice. The inhabitants of Africa didn’t wear well-fashioned clothing or live in sophisticated housing. To the Europeans of the day, they seemed inferior. Thus they were able to keep their racist illusions alive. Again, humans have the capacity to rationalize that which is convenient for them at the time. Oddly enough, Jefferson was a strong opponent of slavery – at least until he inherited slaves from his slave-trading father-in-law. As history has documented, Jefferson had quite an appetite for the finer things in life that only money can buy, so it is easy to understand how somehow he managed to rationalize that keeping these slaves was the responsible thing to do for his wife and her family’s posterity that financially benefited from this inheritance.
Yes, hypocrites we will have with us always, and those in the plantation-rich south that based their financial portfolio on the backs of others, also argued that those human beings under their whip should be counted for representation in Congress. They understood that counting their slaves for representation meant that they would have more representatives in Congress, thereby protecting their power in government to continue this atrocity. Call it hypocrisy or irony, but it meant that the slaves that were counted for representation actually had no representation at all but contributed to the continuance of their unequal representation. Wow – almost hard to wrap one’s mind around. Again, this goes back to inequality of a different kind but still an inequality that our Founders should have well understood.
If only this type of hypocrisy or racism ended with the Civil War. Unfortunately, it continued in the form of Jim Crowe laws and exists today in the political party that benefits from the votes of the downtrodden in very subtle but still racially abhorrent ways. While these racist Democrats can often be heard slandering their opposition with charges of racism, they hide behind the mask that others have not pulled away. Nowhere is it more evident than in their often repeated mantra to defend illegal Mexican aliens: “If we deport them, who will clean our homes, pick our fruit, or do our landscaping?” It appears that their defense of these vulnerable illegals is that they are part of the lower class of wage owners – a racist mantra par excel lance. In other words, we need them to be our servants – to do the work we don’t want to do. How insulting – but worse – how racist – and how like the rich southern plantation owners! The more things change, the more they remain the same. Whether it’s a scalawag benefiting from the persecution of those who trust them, Muslims capturing vulnerable Africans, Klan members persecuting those whom they look down upon, or hate-spewing representatives – a racist, is a racist, is a racist. Just pull the mask down and you’ll find they all have one thing in common: they are hateful human beings who can rationalize just about anything for their own personal gain.
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