American society constructed illogical justifications for socioeconomic inequality based on race the past 236 years. However, a current federal directive describing White, but not Black, as a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Africa is a racist rant of unbelievable absurdity.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB ) approved Directive No. 15, "Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting" on May 12, 1977. It defined basic racial and ethnic categories for Federal statistics and program administrative reporting as follows:
American Indian or Alaskan Native A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America, and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliations or community recognition.
Asian or Pacific Islander A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands. This area includes, for example, China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, and Samoa.
Black A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
Hispanic A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
White A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.
By use, Directive No. 15 defined race to mean a class of persons having origins in any of the original peoples of a continent or land area. It asserted this meaning in descriptions of American Indian, Asian, and White. However, it used a circular description for Black, "A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa." This description excludes Black as a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Africa, or any place. It excludes from Black the descriptive meaning of being a race and suggests they are rootless people.
In contrast, Directive No. 15 describes White as a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, Middle East, and North Africa. However, Middle East and North Africa are only Eurocentric labels for southwest areas of Asia and northern areas of Africa. Therefore, it describes White as a person having origins in any of original peoples of Asia with Asians and the only race having origins in the original people of Africa.
OMB Directive No. 15's admits, "These classifications should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature. . . They have been developed in response to needs expressed by both the executive branch and the Congress to provide for the collection and use of compatible, nonduplicated, [sic] exchangeable racial and ethnic data by Federal agencies."
A theory has questionable logic that decides race classifications based on what people originally lived in certain places on earth. The disclaimer affirms that Directive No. 15 did not even have a scientific or anthropological basis for the meaning of race-deciding the original peoples of a continent or area. Therefore, government agencies spend billions of dollars reporting scientific interpretations of race data the directive says they should not interpreted as having scientific or anthropological support.
The human and money costs America allows from racial prejudice is irrational social policy. However, a social policy approaches mania when it intentionally creates those costs promoting racial prejudice based on race classifications the creator of the classifications says government should not interpret as being scientific or anthropological in nature.
The OMB reviewed the race directive in 1997. Nevertheless, it retained the Black and other descriptions despite some reviewers' recommendations for change. The Executive Department should repeal OMB Directive No. 15. Congress, State and local agencies should revoke all reports and analysis based on race classifications constructed without a scientific basis.
George Zimmerman, a gun carrying 28-year-old man, shot and killed a 17-year-old student named Trayvon Martin. More than three weeks later, rallies across the nation protest Sanford police department's decision not to arrest the shooter. The police asserted that Zimmerman's self-defense claim provides him immunity from prosecution under Florida law. This is a shockingly bad law if true.
Zimmerman saw Martin returning home carrying a bag of skittles and ice tea. He reported him a suspicious person to police. Sanford, Florida City manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr. reported this taped exchange between the call taker and Zimmerman.
"Are you following him?" Zimmerman replied, "Yes." The call taker stated, "You don't need to do that." Bonaparte said, "The call taker's suggestion is not a lawful order that Mr. Zimmerman would be required to follow."
The preamble to Florida law, section 776.032, states that, "The Legislature finds that it is proper for law-abiding people to protect themselves, their families, and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves and others."
The law says, "A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer."
Section 776.012-"Use of force in defense of person.-A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony."
This section appears to apply to a stand and defend action by Trayvon Martin the teenager stalked by an older much larger man with a gun. It and sections 776.013, and s. 776.031 do not apply to Zimmerman's use of force, because he was the aggressor according to Section 776.041 of the law.
Section 776.041 -"Use of force by aggressor.-"The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:
(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force."
Section 776.041 violates the right of the victim and victim's family to equal protection under State laws secured by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Florida's law sets the view of aggressors that provoked the violence as the only standard for deciding if the aggressors have immunity from prosecution for using deadly force against the victim. This standard discounts the victims' view-fear of harm and inability to know what the aggressors intend. Presumably, the victims' view would not count even if they survived.
For example, Zimmerman, the aggressor that killed Trayvon Martin, claimed that Martin attacked him after he had turned away. Obviously, he asserted this claim to show his goodwill intention to withdraw from the contact. However, he still had a gun. I doubt that Martin or a sworn police officer in Martin's situation would consider the threat withdrawn if the aggressor still possessed a gun.
Aggressors that invoked violence against themselves already showed undisciplined conduct and poor reasoning ability. Nevertheless, this Florida law uses the aggressors' opinions about their victims' conduct during the confrontation as the basis for the aggressors receiving immunity from prosecution for using deadly force against victims. This is an egregiously bad law and a virtual license to kill. It is an actual license to kill for the powerful and well-connected people like racist extremists where racial prejudice dominates.