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The Color of SkinPosted Tuesday, June 10, 2008, at 1:25 PM
Manifest Destiny was a term used primarily by Democrats in the 1800s to describe the concept of expansion of white European settlers in North America, based on the premise that expansion was not only good, but that it was also obvious (manifest) and certain (destiny).
As a result of the belief of the superiority of the White race, Manifest Destiny was used as justification for westward expansion and the adverse consequences perpetrated on those outside of the White race.
Recently, Oregon added the state's racial history to its public school curriculum, causing a great deal of controversy. Some parents believe it makes White people look evil.
1) After slavery was declared illegal in Oregon Territory in 1844, the territorial government passed a "Lash Law" requiring that Blacks be whipped if they refused to leave the territory.
2) In 1849, it was ruled illegal for Blacks to settle in Oregon.
3) In 1850, "Whites and half-breed Indians" could claim land under the new Donation Land Act. Blacks were excluded.
4) The Lash Law was changed in 1862 whereby Blacks, Chinese and other multiracial people were accessed an annual tax of five dollars.
The list goes on.
Does this mean White people are evil?? No.
Does this mean those who control government are often bias and unjust?? Yes.
History is history. Teach it all and be honest about it.
I have a friend who is for Obama because Whites screwed it all up and it's time for a change. Apparently, this person believes the color of a person's skin should be the deciding factor in their leadership ability.
However, some of the most oppressive and evil governments today are in Africa. Black governments ruling black people.
1) In Zimbabwe last week, the ruling party tortured 70 people, killing 6 of them, in a "re-education" meeting. Suppression of human rights and organized torture are daily occurrences, based on political affiliation.
2) There were 21,000 murders in South Africa last year, much of it sanctioned by a corrupt government, based on social status.
3) According to the United Nations, as many as 400,000 people have died in western Sudan as a result of attacks by government forces, based on tribal differences.
The list goes on.
It's not skin color that makes a person good or evil, or leadership material.
When choosing a President, many people are swayed by race, personality and shallow promises. But what's really important is honesty, courage and common sense.
In the USA, it costs 1.7 cents to create a penny.
In the USA, taxes are unreasonably high.
In the USA, the government spends far more that it takes in.
In the USA, we are nearly $9 trillion in debt, and rising.
You don't need to be a genius to figure it out.
Governments inevitably become ever-expanding, inefficient, suffocating organisms if not properly administered and held in check. Plus, they tend to attract people who have an overwhelming desire to control others. Instead of protecting individual rights, they demand conformity. And in the wrong hands, regardless of skin color, they can become forces of evil.
Government is often the problem, rather than the solution. We need less of it, not more of it.
Manifest Destiny was neither obvious nor certain. It was a choice, made by those who assumed they were superior to others, based on the color of their skin. Perhaps they were mistaken. Perhaps they were simply self-centered, greedy people abusing their power.
Life on Planet Earth is a work in progress.
The human body is a container for a soul. The quality of the contents has nothing to do with the color of the container.
Quote of the Day -- "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." Martin Luther King
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.