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Race identity incompatible with autonomy and liberty

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 07-31-2013 | in Government, Race, Democracy, Human Relations, Critical Thinking, Freedom,

NerdWallet reported Vallejo, California the most diverse city in the United States of America based on data from the U.S. Census. The website reported growing diversity in America as a source of pride among residents. The survey based diversity claims on federal government race classifications -"As of June 2012, people of color constituted 36% of the workforce." However, diversity claims based on ignorance and bigotry are cause for concern about Americans' reasoning ability and not pride.

People that claim pride in race identity have surrendered self-image and individual autonomy for group image and subordination to a unified force external to them. Racial groups with a distinctive genetic set not shared by any others do not exist in nature. Anthropology and genetic science discredited assertions of inborn or learned racial-group culture or behavior.

Racists-people that believe human race difference- credit common abilities and culture to black-race people of Africa, brown-race people of Asia, and white-race people of Europe based on similar physical traits among members. They even argue that research shows more common genetic traits among people on the same continent and among declared racial-group members than with populations of other continents. This is a specious argument given human methods of reproduction.

Humans reproduce by female and male sexual union with each parent contributing half the genetic material for the new human. Obviously, this reproduction method creates a new person different from either parent. Therefore, certain genes will predominate in populations where parents chose mates from a limited gene pool, like a continental area. Nevertheless, individuals in those populations show genetic differences.

Nature is not impulsive and does not produce inconsistent results. Results that nature creates when certain material and forces are present are always the same. Nature produces humans of different physical traits from the presence of certain genetic material. No matter differences in physical appearance, members of all populations have the ability to learn language, culture, and knowledge of other populations. This shared ability is evidence of one human species that share genetics of reasoning ability and adaptability.

All life on Earth has ability survive. Autonomous (self-directed) individuals improved survival potential when grouped as families to secure food, shelter, safety and to advance their general welfare. Families formed communities as equal humans sharing and exchanging units of production. Losses of individual autonomy and liberty developed as communities grew in size and some members sought to enrich themselves off the labor of others. History reports periods of political unification that advanced powers of the State (monarchs, dictators, religious leaders, even democracies) over the people by destroying individual autonomy. Commonly, a monarch and nobility exercised political power and privilege at the top and serfs as a featureless labor commodity at the bottom.

Citizens of the new American Republic had goals and the opportunity to restore individual autonomy and liberty. Instead, they yielded to greed and racism to continue authority of the State over the people. Owners of large plantations lacked the power to force race identity and enslavement on other individuals. They used the Constitution to extended State power over human rights of the people. The State used its powers to deprive people of liberty and the right of property-ownership of their body based on race classification. States limited voting rights only to male property owners. This disenfranchisement of working-class wage earners without property made them subordinate to wealthy property owners and not free. Eventually, States changed laws to enfranchise all white-race-labeled males.

After the Civil War, capitalists attacked human and civil rights protections in Amendments 14 and 15. Through the U.S. Supreme Court, they redefined the meaning of the 14th Amendment's mandate for equal protection under the law for all natural born and naturalized citizens. The Supreme Court reinterpreted the Amendment to grant corporations rights of a person. It reinstalled consideration of race in law by upholding State laws of racial segregation (separate but equal).

Some people protested the person status for corporations, but society allowed laws of racial segregation without much protest. Blinded by the emotional lure of racism and exhilaration from ideas of white-race-supremacy, most Americans at the time did not see that both Court rulings advanced the powers of capitalists over members of the working class.

Capitalists' achieved multiply goals from racial segregation laws. They disenfranchised and subordinated the recently freed people and kept them captive as cheap labor. However, low wages for any group of workers affects the bargaining power and wages of all workers. Therefore, white-race-labeled workers harmed their economic interests by supporting the brutal economic oppression of black-race-labeled workers. Capitalist pocked the wealth and white-race-labeled workers enjoyed the white race identity and power to degrade other humans.

Capitalists owned the corporations. They gained more influence over government with corporations classified as persons. Expanding corporate power met little opposition during the 20th Century from Southern voters that showed more interest about extending laws of racial segregation and oppression of black-race-labeled people than other issues.

American racism took an ironic twist during the 1960s. American society had made great advances for equality of opportunity after Congress approved 1964 Civil Rights Act, and 1965 Voting Rights Act. Then, some people previously targeted for economic, political, and legal oppression based on skin color and black-race-classification yielded to the emotional lure of race identity and racism. They supported the movement for African-American racial and cultural identity for them. They acted against self-interest of equality of opportunity. "A rose by any other name would smells as sweet." Racial segregation, economic, political, and legal inequality by any other name is as oppression.

My bitter disappointment on learning of the African-American movement continues today. I never embraced race for an identity. Even as a child, I recognized the intellectual trap of group thinking and the loss of personal identity. I wrote a book, "African-Americans and Other Myths, Confusing Racism with Cultural Diversity (1994) that warned of the negative results of adopting the African-American race identity.

As I expected, society supported the African-American Movement and used it as the foundation for claims of culture diversity of race (policy of separate-but-equal race segregation). Now government, writers, and society in general refer to a "White majority and black and other minority groups of color. In other words, only white-race-labeled people are of American culture.

As Americans remain distracted by race and ethnicity, capitalists and corporations are reducing the working class, 85 percent of Americans, to serfdom. The flow of wealth continues mainly to the upper 10 percent of families while employment, wages, and benefits for workers decline. Rights to vote and to own weapons are the people's most potent weapon against the State and capitalists power. Voting power of an aware and educated citizenry can overcome capitalists' excessive influence over government. Nevertheless, they must act before legislators destroy the power of the vote.

After America passed the Fifteenth Amendment that guaranteed voting rights without race restrictions, legislators in Southern states used poll taxes, intelligence tests, and intimation to nullify the voting rights of black-race-labeled Americans. A fact not well known to Americans is that those restrictions applied to white-race-labeled voters too. Many of them also were uneducated and poor. Those legal hindrances to voting permitted political party bosses to control election results by easing qualifications for voters that sided with them.

The Supreme Court and political bosses are attacking working class voters' access to voting booths again. The Court nullified sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that restricted State's authority to draft unfair voting law. Immediately, politicians seized the opportunity to pass laws that make it inconvenient for working-class citizens to vote. They do so with a wink to white-race-labeled citizenry that "we are reversing political gains made by those "black" folk." Nevertheless, those hindrances apply to all voters and inconvenience low-income areas most. This time those sneaky attacks on liberty and voting met more opposition from current voters that are more knowledgeable about threats to their liberty, economic and political rights.

I believe most Americans are fair-minded and they want to end inequality of opportunity based on race classifications. Nevertheless, they are confused about race claims. Most of them believe in race difference and support policies for equality of opportunity among the races. However, race is a fantasy and social construction. Therefore, the belief of race difference is a prejudice. Nature is not impulsive. It only produces the results of the material and forces present and not what people believe them to be. Prejudice and false belief about race difference will produce negative results for American society no matter how sincerely Americans want a different result. They must evaluate and change beliefs about race. Despite reasoned conclusions against them, people have difficult time discarding beliefs and conclusions with strong emotional attachments.

The Zimmerman jury verdict of not guilty is reprehensible.

Written By Kenneth Brooks on 07-14-2013 | in Government, Democracy, Human Relations, Critical Thinking,

A Florida jury returned a not guilty verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman charged with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. This trial was about Zimmerman, an armed self-appointed community watch person that chased teenager Martin at night, because he suspected Martin of criminal motives. I expected this verdict given the nature of the charges that provided the killer the option of a self-defense plea.

Undisputed facts: Zimmerman decided to follow Martin he suspected had criminal intentions based only on Martin's appearance. Martin's presence in the neighborhood was lawful. He was innocent of any crime or disruptive conduct, and had no previous contact with Zimmerman. Zimmerman called the Sanford, Florida police department and reported his unlawful conduct of following someone he suspected of criminal aims. Zimmerman admitted that Martin ran when he saw Zimmerman stalking him. Zimmerman admitted that he judged Martin of teenage years. The dispatcher warned Zimmerman not to continue his pursuit of Martin. Nevertheless, Zimmerman continued to chase Marin and advanced close enough to spark a physical confrontation. Zimmerman shot and killed Martin.

I have compassion for the parents of Trayvon Martin. They lost a son and the criminal justice system allowed his killer to walk free. I knew the jury would find Zimmerman not guilty by how they framed the question of guilt. Prosecutors argued that Zimmerman profiled and stalked Martin, who was returning from a convenience store after buying candy and a soft drink. Zimmerman pleaded self-defense based on Florida's "right to stand and defend law" claiming that he shot Martin in fear for his life. Then, the trial became a question of who had advantage in the confrontation making the victim Martin potentially blameworthy for his murder. One legal opinion concluded the prosecutor could win a conviction only if he proved Martin had not taken any action against Zimmerman. This is an absurd conclusion given the Florida law of "stand and defend since Martin was the victim. Commonsense should alert even people without a law degree to the unfairness and inequality of this development.

Florida law says: "A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

Clearly, those circumstances described in the law allows only for one aggressor and one victim of the attack. The undisputed facts show that Zimmerman was the armed person acting unlawfully as a vigilante- a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without police authority. He hunted Martin in the dark and approached close enough to spark a physical confrontation. Typically, the law asserts that someone that engages in an unlawful act is responsible for the outcomes whether intentional or not.

The Florida law does not allow for switched roles between attacker and victim during the confrontation of force that would allow the attacker the right of self-defense because the victim tried to stand and defended him or herself. Nevertheless, this jury decided the pursuing Zimmerman not guilty, because victim Martin inflicted some wounds on Zimmerman while trying to stand and defend himself. The self-defense option should have been lost to Zimmerman because he acted as a vigilante. He created any potential physical harm to him and the murder of Martin by ignoring the police dispatcher's instruction to wait for the police to arrive and not to chase Martin.

It appears from the State's original reluctance to prosecute Zimmerman and the jury verdict that laws of the old west apply in Florida. The person with the fastest gun, if armed, wins and the State does not convict him or her of a crime.

This jury found Zimmerman not guilty although he aggressively pursued teenage Martin who had run to escape from him. Therefore, it is likely they would have found Martin guilty if from fear he succeeded in killing Zimmerman. Perhaps the "stand and defend" rules apply only to certain victims and killers. Let us see what happens when a battered spouse, or one that asserted battery, kills their spouse based on the stand and defend law. Anyone has the right to defend him or herself without prosecution, but not if he or she was the original aggressor who claims fear of harm from defensive acts of the victim. The outcome of this trial is reprehensible.

People ask me if I believe racial prejudice influenced Zimmerman's conduct and the jury decision. I will not accuse Zimmerman of racial prejudice, because he did not make a direct reference to race about Martin and I am not a mind reader. However, he did display prejudice against Martin, by branding him a criminal-"these assholes, they always get away." -and stalking him based only on his appearance. I have no evidence of racial prejudice by jury members.

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