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I was a victim of Racism…many times

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Last year I was the victim of a racist attack. 

Yes, I’m a white-guy, English speaker, American Patriot, veteran Army officer, heterosexual, a senior and…wait for it…a Conservative! Someone read a comment I made on a Facebook post during the summer of 2020 and replied that I couldn’t possibly understand what I was talking about because of my “white privilege.” They demanded that I apologize for commenting (even though my comments were respectful and rational) and accept my permanent privilege handicap. Well, no. I don’t go down that easily.

Since these were colleagues and long time acquaintances of mine, both white and black, I felt compelled to reply. So, I wrote a rather detailed summary of the difficulties and limitations I had to overcome in order to succeed in my career.

I was a Jim in the Jim Crow South

Having grown up in Little Rock, Arkansas during the 1950s and 60s, I often struggled with racial confrontations and closed-minded people both black and white. I’ve been intimidated, threatened with knives and guns, and surrounded by people who said they might kill me.

My father was a telephone repairman and we didn’t have much money. He was also a National Guard officer and served during the Little Rock Central High School racial conflict in 1957. I had no connections in the community, no college degree, no special skills and no big dreams of success. I expected to be a nice person but an ordinary and unremarkable one. I was not an excellent student, had never been an athlete and didn’t run with a crowd of privileged people. We were working-class folks who knew that, if we wanted anything, we would have to work for it.

Start at the bottom 

Since I had no college degree I worked in warehouses, unloaded boxcars and trucks, drove delivery  trucks, swept floors, shoveled dirt and gravel, cleaned storerooms, stacked boxes, and even worked one miserable day in a factory. I quit that job before it had a chance to reorient me to drone status. I was a bill collector for four years and had to go alone into the rougher parts of town often at night to call on customers who did not want to see me. I had to repossess log trucks in the Ozark mountains too. You could argue that at least I got those jobs and it was probably because of my skin color. Not true.

I got the jobs because I walked door to door and applied for work anywhere and everywhere until I finally found a job. A minimum wage ($1.25 an hour) job in most cases. I was turned away more often than accepted. There were black employees there too and I answered to them much of the time. I was the underling. They were the supervisors.

In one instance my job was in a grocery warehouse and I worked long shifts unloading boxcars and driving a fork lift. My boss was white and my coworkers were black. At night I would have to walk two miles from the warehouse through the East End of Little Rock, an all-black part of town with numerous gangs, to my roommate’s place of work so that he could give me a ride home. I was frequently challenged, threatened and ridiculed during those walks. It was scary and humiliating. We lived in a cheap apartment with a bad roach problem.

When I was in basic training in the Army my training company was heavily black and we few whites were constantly “dissed” and threatened. My platoon sergeant was a black man, who I respected, and he had two associates who were also black. When they spoke, I jumped. It was not OK to talk back. After the Army I worked at the Housing Authority as a low-level clerk whose job was to interview people in distressed housing and help them get rehabilitation loans to fix up their homes. I worked only with blacks in this position. I could go on but I think you get the point.

Now we see who he really is!

The “racist attack” was a pile on through emails, phone calls and social media by a number of people both black and white in my professional association. They were completely enraged by my unwillingness to embrace “white privilege” and apologize for expressing my opinion. They organized discussions about me without my knowledge. They threatened to file ethics charges against me. There were no grounds for such a charge, but for the woke Left, accusation is the same as guilt. Then they can say you have been accused even if you weren’t guilty. The label still sticks. The worst part of all of this was its impact on my professional reputation.

I was informed by friends that there had been a lot of talk about me lately and some people were pretty angry. Nobody confronted me directly, that would require rational thinking and open discussion. My accusers all agreed with the woke point of view and so there was no real “discussion”, it was just accusations and agreement. They said, “He’s one of the big names in our profession, and now we’ve finally found out what he is really like!” Forty years I’ve been active in the field of professional speaking and training, served as the National President of the National Speakers Association, and worked with thousands of colleagues, and now they think I’m someone different?

Not being one who leaves such things unaddressed, I contacted the national headquarters of my association and presented the facts. I also spoke with some woke-sympathetic black colleagues so they could “educate” me as to how I was wrong. But, again, where was my crime or sin or error? All I had done was present verifiable facts that contradicted the popular opinions of that group, and I did so in a respectful way, not as an angry protestor.

“Jim, you didn’t have to have ‘the talk’ with your Dad before you drove your car.” No, I didn’t but I was pulled over and threatened more than once when I was driving through a distressed area. “What are you doing here white boy?”

No, I’ve never been black, but I have also never been confined to a wheel chair, or had much of my skin burned off, or been afflicted with a speech impediment or had cerebral palsy. But that doesn’t keep me from understanding the fears, frustrations and challenges that my friends who actually do have these conditions are facing. That doesn’t keep me from being sympathetic, respectful and encouraging to them. I’m not a racist, sexist, Marxist, Fascist, Ageist, or many other “ist-types”. But I have experienced racism, discrimination and threats just based on being who I am.

Quit your belly aching

Before you interpret the above as whining, let me say this: I am super-blessed! My life has been wonderful despite the difficulties. I live in America, the most race-friendly country in history and the most free country on Earth. Tens of thousands of immigrants come here seeking to upgrade to our set of problems. They say “Let me in! I want what you have.”

My career has been challenging but it has paid off wonderfully. I have a great family, good health, wonderful friends, Intelligent colleagues, and a life that I thank God for every day.

No doubt much of this also applies to you. Though we do have problems in America, we amplify them too much. It’s as if we got free tickets to a great concert but had some taller people sitting in front of us and our chairs were uncomfortable. What about the concert and the free tickets? Stop complaining. Just fix the problems please.

America has acquired a bad habit of whining! It’s time we grew up and got over our discomfort. Sure times are tough occasionally, and for some, almost constantly, but we all have it so good here! Let’s learn to become more appreciative and thankful. Race is not an issue worth fighting about. Let’s celebrate the human race and show the few racists how miserable they are compared to us. We can eliminate racism in America within one generation by simply refusing to consider it a limiting factor. Stop measuring it, talking about it, or fighting over it. Put down the signs, change your marches into celebrations of the good in America. Don’t try to make everyone comfortable, instead make yourself a better person and help others to do the same. Make America Grateful Again!

 

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Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE is an Executive MBA Professor, Author of 21 books, Hall of Fame Professional Speaker, Top 1% TEDx video (2.4 million views), US Army veteran, Singer/Songwriter, and Lifelong Motorcyclist. He is known as "Your Virtual VP" for his Advisory/Mentor work with organizations worldwide. Based in Texas...and proud of it!



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Business

What America Do You Want?

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What have we done to the shared values that made America great? Do you shake your head as you listen to the nightly news or the latest Biden gaffe or executive order? Yes, it has been amazing to watch Americans come together to help their neighbors in the face of Hurricane Ian, but hurricanes have an end to their destruction. Between now and November, we must remind Americans of the disaster we face if we do not elect candidates who will put a stop to the Biden Administration’s destructive policies and priorities. America’s future depends upon it.

We know that every improvement is the result of change, but we are now learning a very painful lesson—not every change is in improvement! Biden’s America hardly resembles the country our Founding Fathers envisioned. Fake news abounds, unchecked by mainstream media. Dissent is silenced or, even worse, labeled hate speech. The value of work, personal responsibility, and perseverance are replaced with honoring victimhood, fueling racism, and encouraging dependence.

We might heed the words of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 5:20) when he warned: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” The prophet could say the same thing about Biden’s America today!

We are becoming the fake news capital of the world. Speaking to Democratic governors recently, President Joe Biden compared Italy’s new and conservative prime minister Giorgia Meloni to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping. Meloni campaigned on God, pride in country, and defense of family values to win the election. Even the direct rival she defeated, ex Italian PM Matteo Renzi, defended her: “Personally I was against Giorgia Meloni, I’m not her best friend. We are rivals, but she is not a danger to democracy. The idea there is a risk of fascism in Italy is absolutely fake news.” Biden’s reckless diplomatic statements are dangerous and irresponsible. America has and must expect more from her presidents.

When most Americans are concerned about their own safety and the rise of crime in their communities, Biden’s Washington remains focused on a never-ending investigation into the “January 6th Insurrection.” The Democrats seem to feel it is the worst travesty to hit America since 9/11. While many who participated in the “insurrection” remain in jail, Democrats are still calling for police budget cuts, an end to bail, fewer prosecutions, and early release for true criminals. To prevent criminals from being homeless after serving time, President Biden has even promised housing for 100% of those who have done criminal crimes. At the same time, his administration has done little or nothing to improve housing for veterans, seniors living on fixed incomes, or working Americans on the verge of losing their homes in the face of the inflation-driven increases in the cost of living.

Instead of challenging and encouraging all Americans to earn their own American Dream, today’s Democrats are arguing for a guaranteed income for all Americans, In America, we promise the freedom to work in pursuit of one’s own happiness. Now, Democrats want to provide a guaranteed income whether you earn it or not. Why work when you can be dependent on your tax-paying neighbors?

Americans wonder why there is inadequate housing, but Washington seems to ensure that building and owning rental property doesn’t pay. When government mandates rent moratoriums, property owners are left holding the bag. Owners must still pay their mortgages and maintenance expenses while renters get a free ride and can’t even be evicted. Why would anyone want to own rental property in today’s America? Want more housing, let capitalism work.

And just what has happened to our guaranteed freedom of speech? If you dare say that you are a MAGA voter who still believes there was rampant fraud in the 2020 election, you must be shamed into silence as an obvious domestic enemy worthy of scorn. In today’s America, the Left can say anything they want about Trump or conservatives and still post away on social media, but even mention election fraud or tyranny from the left, and your freedom of expression goes away. “Hate speech” rules are one-sided and a true threat to our freedom of speech.

Democrats try to tell us that the Southern border is secure, and they rail against conservative border governors sending even a few illegal immigrants to Democrat-controlled cities like Washington, Chicago, and New York. They claim they are “sanctuary cities” ready to protect illegal immigrants. But when put to the test, they plead for National Guard troops and for President Biden to do something! He has been doing something; he has been sending illegals by the bus loads to red states for well over a year. We do not have a secure border, and even Democratic mayors in border cities know something needs to be done. President Biden, it is time to finish the wall and secure our border. It’s time to elect candidates who will demand just that.

If this is the America you want, vote Democrat. If not, embrace the GOP’s Commitment to America and get ready to take back the future of this great country. Yes, it is time to Make America Great Again!

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Life

Like a Category 5 Hurricane, Kamala Harris is a Threat to All in Her Path

Nations that strive for ‘equality of results’ dampen the spirits of their citizenry

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Vice President Kamala Harris is proving to be the perfect complement to Joe Biden. She mangles what she says almost every other time she’s in public. You can count on her for ‘word salads’ that are either cringe-worthy or all together unfathomable.

Days ago Harris explained, “I know we’re all thinking about the families in Florida and Puerto Rico with hurricane Fiona, and what we need to do to help them in terms of immediate response and aid… We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity.”

Huh?

She went on, “Understanding not everyone starts in the same place, and if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities.” Harris, you see, is all about chasing the illusive notion of ‘equality of results,’ whether it’s following a natural disaster or any other aspect of society.

Fixated on Illusions

Following her ill-conceived message, Christina Pushaw, the rapid response director for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, jumped on Harris’s words, and rightfully so:

Harris is fixated on the equality of results trap, in which most Marxists and socialists are ensnared for their entire lives.

Away from hurricanes, Harris believes that equal opportunity in the U.S. is not sufficient. Her raison d’être is championing equal results. Wikipedia says, “Achieving equal results generally entails reducing or eliminating material inequalities between individuals or households in a society and usually involves a transfer of income or wealth from wealthier to poorer individuals, or adopting other measures to promote equality of condition.”

As with so many on the Left, Harris thinks sees the role of government and society at large as ensuring equality of outcomes. ‘Residents’ of America, illegal aliens included, ought to enjoy the same benefits as everybody else. In her view, it’s not nearly enough to offer individuals a sound education, counseling, job training, apprentice programs, equal employment opportunity, and unemployment compensation.

Leftists in Never Never Land

As with nearly all ideas that the Left supports, if something sounds good then, gosh, it must be so! Let’s have it passed in Congress!

The itty-bitty, unrelenting problem with this political viewpoint is not everybody gives the same effort. Do you recall the kids in your high school class who constantly were slacking off? How about the ones who smoked behind the school building? And the students who often were tardy or absent? Or, who constantly made trouble?

Some of these students were regarded as the cool kids, showing up in all the right places around town and having a fun time (largely because they were not doing much homework). They didn’t study hard as you did. Hey, no problem! In the world of Kamala Harris, they each receive a free, all-encompassing, lifetime, ‘hall’ pass.

Do you also recall the kids who cheated on exams? Or, perhaps their lesser sin was cramming the night before a test and barely passing. You, however, prepared days in advance by reviewing the homework assignments and exercises in the textbook.

So What’s New?

In the workaday world today some of your ex-classmates, the ones who slacked off, are still proceeding in the same way. They drink or smoke or are chemically dependent. They look forward to taking the easy way out. Predictably, they desire more and more government benefits. They vote Democratic because the party keeps dangling proverbial carrots in front of them.

“Equality of results” is a socialist/Marxist if not communist platform. The notion reveals the major inherent flaws in the thinking of its advocates. Globally, nations that strive for equality of results dampen the spirits of their citizenry.

Invariably the intrusion of government elites, such as Harris, into so many aspects of people’s lives yields the emergence of a ruling class that is above all others. These puppet masters contend that they uniquely possess the wisdom to ascertain what is best for everyone, and exactly how these remarkable outcomes will be achieved.

In reality, the elites gum up the works. Favoritism rules. As in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some animals (people) are “more equal” than others. Societies that mandate “equality of results” drive people to emigrate to places like America, or at least the few free parts of Europe.

Conversely, nobody risks their lives and their fortunes to live where a privileged ruling class, who are ‘more equal than the rest, determines what is best for everyone.

Reality Strikes

Individuals throughout the world simply do not approach their careers or jobs with the same vigor, smarts, or dedication. Many adults exert little effort or mis-directed efforts, and merely get by. They are unlike those who carve a path for themselves, generate wealth, and provide for their families. Most kids know this by age nine.

The U.S. Declaration of Independence rightfully declares that all men [/women] are created equal. This does not imply that everyone has the same capabilities. Skills and aptitudes vary! Some people are knowingly suited for a certain field of endeavor; others spend years or decades unsure where to best apply themselves. They settle into a work routine that might earn them a living but doesn’t offer a great life.

Welcome to reality. The government is not omniscient. The government cannot legislate equality of results. The government can’t delve into the lives of each and every citizen to provide some gilded path for each to follow. It is not possible and even if it were possible, it would not be desirable.

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