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Against Affirmative Action

Four Menaces to Society, by Earl Gosnell

Part 1: Against Affirmative Action, Jan 2, 2003


Four Menaces to Society, by Earl Gosnell

Part 1: Against Affirmative Action, Jan 2, 2003

Prov. 30:21-23, "For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat; for an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress." In modern parlance it would be affirmative action, generous welfare, a bitchy wife, and the reversal of, "Blood is thicker than water." We will start with the first portion of this proverb that causes stress to society: "The earth is disquieted, and ... it cannot bear: for a servant when he reigneth," and use the popular term "affirmative action," although Biblical definitions do not always strictly follow political ones. If we touch upon complex social issues, we are not trying to solve them all, only point out a source of stress.

For someone who prefers a less intellectual approach—and for all that, my study doesn't cover every aspect of the subject anyway—, I recommend seeing the movie Kitt Kittredge: An American Girl Mystery and follow my review, how I treat the same subject there.

There's a companion passage in Ecclesiastes (10:5-7) "There is an evil I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler: Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place. I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth." The ruler comes up with some kind of civil rights act, the underclass rides in their pimpmobiles and WASPs are treated like dirt. It does have a familiar ring to it. Maybe the Bible is more up-to-date than I thought.

The servant who reigns has some bad company in the Bible.

1. "Remember, O LORD, what is come upon us: consider, and behold our reproach."

And here follow some problems that are a sign to us.

2." Our inheritance is turned to strangers, our houses to aliens."

Foreigners own our property.

3. "We are orphans and fatherless, our mothers are as widows."

Our children are being raised by single moms.

4. "We have drunken our water for money; our wood is sold unto us."

We pay, or pay too much, for basic services.

5. "Our necks are under persecution: we labour, and have no rest."

Our jobs are demanding and we have little or no time off.

6. "We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread."

We are dependent on foreign oil.

7. "Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities."

We are made to feel guilty because our forefathers mistreated their slaves.

8. "Servants have ruled over us: there is none that doth deliver us out of their hand."

Our very laws of the land are not against affirmative action, but promote it.

9. "We gat our bread with the peril of our lives because of the sword of the wilderness."

We get mugged in the city on our way home from work.

10. "Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine."

Crop failures.

11. "They ravished the women in Zion, and the maids in the cities of Judah."

Date rape.

12. "Princes are hanged up by their hand: the faces of elders were not honoured."

The innocent terminology of our elders is now politically incorrect.

13. "They took the young men to grind, and the children fell under the wood."

Flipping burgers for a start.

14. "The elders have ceased from the gate, the young men from their musick."

Modern music is no longer edifying.

15. "The joy of our heart is ceased; our dance is turned into mourning."

Rush Limbaugh is quick to point out that the liberals are not having much fun.

16. "The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned!"

We can't hold our heads up in the international community.

17. "For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim."

The news is too depressing to watch on TV.

18. "Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it."

Environmental disaster looms ahead.

19. "Thou, O LORD, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation."

But God is a constant.

20. "Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time?"

If you feel far from God, ...

21. "Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old."

... guess who moved?

22. "But thou hast utterly rejected us; thou art very wroth against us."


A Biblical view of slavery has been much discussed, so we will give only one quote from John Shelby Spong, Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism1

Paul accepted the institution of slavery as one of the facts of life. He made no effort to call slaves into freedom. He expressed a kind of pastoral compassion for the slaves but contented himself with fine-tuning the institution of slavery itself, so that it might be kinder and gentler. Paul urged the runaway slave Onesimus to return to his master, Philemon, and therefore to bondage, with the hope that Philemon would treat him kindly because of his service to Paul (Philem. 1:10ff). He enjoined the slaves in Colossae to "obey in everything those who are your earthly masters" (Col. 3:22). He balanced that admonition by urging masters to "treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a master in heaven" (Col. 4:1).

Apparently for Paul justice and fairness could be achieved inside the system of slavery by urging kindness. Here ... is an attitude that is difficult for this generation the world over, and on the lips of any politician today it would receive overwhelming rejection, even in a nation as violently race divided as South Africa. Yet for almost nineteen hundred years, slavery lived in the Christian West justified by an appeal to Paul and other biblical texts. There was not in the Christian West a sufficient moral sensitivity to challenge this inhumane institution. The dichotomy is best seen for me in that most overtly religious section of the United States, the evangelical Bible belt of the South, was the place where slavery flourished and segregation, the stepchild of slavery, was clung to with tenacity even into the latter years of the twentieth century.

To that we will only add that Paul in his 1st Corinthians 7 views on how to be heavenly minded suggests that freedom is preferable to slavery but should only be obtained through due process. "Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather." (1 Cor. 7:21)

On the political scene we want to look for a leader who held a Biblical viewpoint and was widely respected.
The nation's foremost black leader from the 1890's until his death in 1915 was Booker T. Washington. ...

Washington attained prominence in 1895 when he set forth his racial views in a famous address in Atlanta. The first task of blacks, he insisted, must be to acquire useful vocational skills. Once blacks proved their economic value to society, he predicted, racism would fade away; meanwhile, they must patiently accept their lot in life. ...

White Americans much admired Washington, who traveled widely, lectured frequently, and once dined at the White House with Theodore Roosevelt. His autobiography, Up From Slavery (1901), recounted his rise from poverty through honesty, hard work, and the help of kindly patrons...

Many blacks revered Washington as well, especially in the South, but northern blacks increasingly challenged his dominance. ...

Washington's most potent challenge came from W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963).

... A cultivated scholar of refined manners and a distinguished appearance, Du Bois set forth his differences with Washington in The Souls of Black Folk (1903). Rejecting Washington's call for patience and the exclusive cultivation of manual skills, Du Bois demanded for blacks full access to the same educational advantages and intellectual opportunities open to whites. Furthermore, he declared, blacks must struggle ceaselessly against all forms of racial discrimination. In his assertiveness and militancy, Du Bois set the direction of black activism in the new century.

—Boyer et al, The Enduring Vision2
I'm personally more inclined to align myself with the forgotten Booker T. Washington camp than that of Du Bois which is dominant in today's politics.

Let's look at our symbolic Negro from the Du Bois camp.

From 1957, when Martin Luther King became prominent in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the FBI monitored King's activities under its vague authority to investigate "subversives." ... The FBI's efforts to neutralize or even destroy King were intensified with King's increasing popularity as exemplified by his I have a Dream speech before 250,000 in Washington D.C. in August of 1963. ... The efforts now escalated to include physical and photographic surveillance and the placement of illegal bugs in his living quarters. The tapes of conversations in a Washington hotel were used by the FBI to imply that King engaged in extramarital sexual activities. ... At the very time King was receiving great honors such as the Nobel Peace Prize, Time magazine's "Man of the Year" award, and numerous honorary degrees, the FBI countered with briefings, distribution of the tapes to newspeople and columnists, and congressional testimony about King's ... private behavior. The FBI even briefed officials of the National Council of Churches and other church bodies about King's alleged deviance.
—D. Stanley Eitzen, In Conflict and Order3

"Martin Luther King was given to fooling around a bit, apparently, in his extramarital area. So the [FBI] pursued him relentlessly and got his whole life on tape. They'd bug his hotel rooms when he was on the road and come up with some gem like: 'Oh, Martin, your dick is so big!' Then they'd call his wife and play the tape into the phone."

... "The whole world remembers Martin Luther King for 'I have a Dream.' Only J. Edgar Hoover and his pathetic acolytes would remember him for 'Oh, Martin, your dick is so big!'"

—Kinky Friedman, The Love Song of J. Edgar Hoover4

It was common knowledge that MLK was a womanizer, but the populace by and large went for his message. Gal. 5:19, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery ..."

Let's see how that Galatians passage stands up against his 8/28/63 "I Have a Dream" speech.5

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. ... One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

Gal. 5:19,21, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; ... envyings ..." He envies the Whites in a way that Booker T. Washington didn't.
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the unalienable right of liberty ...

America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check; a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."

This guy didn't understand history or scripture, and his audience understood it less.
The Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson declared: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." It is customary to grow misty-eyed about the elegance and profundity of that formulation. It speaks in the vocabulary of natural rights, which many Americans find congenial, though without examining the full implications of the vocabulary.

It was indeed stirring rhetoric, entirely appropriate for the purpose of rallying the colonists and justifying their rebellion to the world. But some caution is in order. The ringing phrases are hardly useful, indeed may be pernicious, if taken as they commonly are, as a guide to action, governmental or private. Then the words press eventually towards extremes of liberty and the pursuit of happiness that court personal license and social disorder. The necessary qualifications assumed by Jefferson and the signers of the Declaration were not expressed in the document. It would rather have spoiled the effect to have added "up to a point" or "within reason" to Jefferson's resounding generalities.

The Declaration's pronouncement of equality was sweeping but sufficiently ambiguous so that even slave holders, of whom Jefferson was one, subscribed to it. That ambiguity was dangerous because it invited the continual expansion of the concept and its requirements. The Declaration was not, clearly, a document that was understood at the time to promise equality of condition, not even among white male Americans. The meaning of equality was heavily modified by the American idea of reward according to individual achievement and reverence for private property.

Robert H. Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah6
If the Declaration of Independence were a check guaranteeing equality in the new republic, the amount it was made out for was to let shop keepers run the government, and there was some doubt at the time whether they could pull it off, have enough funds to cover it. Now, the indentured servants were to be set free after seven years. If they had been held in perpetual slavery, MLK's speech would make sense applied to them, but not to the Negro slaves who were considered the property of their owners. For more on this subject see my reviews of the movies Eagle Eye and Obsessed.

The passage of time has thrown some light on King's intelligence. Seems he plagiarized his doctoral thesis. Boston University researchers concluded, "There is no question but that Dr. King plagiarized in the dissertation."7 Plagiarism falls under (Gal. 5:19-20), "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; ... emulations."

We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check.
It just doesn't work that way. In about 1995, I flew to Florida to visit my folks, making my connection in Denver. I sat next to a man with his wife who were returning home from a ski trip to Aspen. He was retired from a construction business which he used to own. He said the reasons he quit were two: all the environmental regulations and that Blacks refused to work. He said a white man would work in a ditch, but a Black wouldn't.

Our world is not all that rich; in some ways we are teetering on the brink of environmental catastrophe. We could use some labor intensive solutions other than importing illegal aliens. But MLK wanted it to be some other way. Gal. 5:19-20, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; ... variance."
For more on the problem of coveetousness, see my review of "Confessions of a Shopaholic."

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until ...

Gal. 5:19-20, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; ... wrath, strife, seditions." The Negro is not content with full citizen rights; he next wanted affirmative action, now he wants reparations, and after he gets that, what, punitive damages?
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal." ... that day when all of God's children, Black men and white men ... will be able ...

Here he has a creed which conveniently leaves off a biblical understanding of servitude and equality. For more on this subject see my review of the movie Rachel Getting Married. Gal. 5:19-20, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; ... heresies."

It's evident from the list that Martin Luther King was trying to accomplish his goals in the flesh. I mean, "adultery, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings." The people advocating reparations can put it into perspective:

"So some of those [frivolous] filings would be to your best case what historians say Malcolm X was to Martin Luther King. Malcolm made King's once dicey demands look mainstream," observed Hitt. "That's not a bad strategy," replied Scruggs.
—William Grigg, "The True Cost of RReparations"8
So Du Bois prevailed over Washington, and King over Malcolm in American politics, but since King was set against X, he didn't look so bad. Still, his approach was less than perfect. Psalm 101 vs. 2-4 , "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart [Paul]. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes [I have a dream]: I hate the work of them that turn aside [Du Bois]; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart [King] shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person [X]." It seems to me that while Americans to their credit did not want to get carried away with Malcolm X's revolution, they nevertheless took to heart the frowardness of Martin Luther King Jr.

In the late eighties I worked briefly as a temporary employee for a university. I had a Negro boss. They were monitoring traffic flow to develop a parking plan. One day I was to stand on a corner with a clipboard and write down the license numbers of cars going down the one street. A girl with a clipboard farther down would record the licenses of cars going by her, so we'd deduce the flow, subtracting the ones that had turned off. He explained it to us in his office, then drove us to our sites.

Well, I started recording numbers, but the traffic flow soon increased to where I didn't have time to write six numbers/figures for each, but I could write three. Most plates had three letters and three numbers. Since a three letter combination from a twenty-six letter alphabet gives more unique designations, 263, than three numbers, 1000, I just wrote down the letters.

At the end of the day the boss picked us up and looked at our clipboard. The girl had written down only the three numbers. The results were unusable for comparison. He asked me why didn't I write numbers instead since he'd told us to use them as we were leaving to go to our spots. I said that I didn't understand what he said as we were entering the car and he was right next to the girl and I was on the other side of the vehicle and there was background noise. I'd just assumed it to be light conversation. We didn't have a budget to do the study again; the parking would be based on those results.

I didn't mention, though it was the case, that it was his lack of diction and poor enunciation that made it difficult for me to understand his speech in the office, and impossible in the field. It's what I'd call typical Black speech, unsuitable for leadership.

Teachers [on] Black English. Typically they view the children's speech as "bad English" characterized by "lazy pronunciation," "poor grammar," and "short, jagged words."
—Dorothy Seymour, "Black Children, Black Speech"9

It is ... well known that a voice of the right kind is the most precious quality of a man in command.
—Eugene Rosenstock-Huessy, Speech and Reality10
If we make an unqualified Negro the boss of the new parking study, our parking situation based on it will be screwy. "The earth is disquieted, and ... it cannot bear: for a servant when he reigneth."

We hear quite another line in the media, more of a lamentation when the demographics of positions held do not closely follow population statistics. Is the media always reflecting a true problem by such reporting? Is it even important to?

Journalist Walter Lippman gave this definition of a newspaper's responsibility: "To bring to light the hidden facts, to set them into relation with each other, to make a picture of reality on which men can act."
—Mona McCormick, The New York Times Guide to Reference Materials11

A lot of affirmative action goals are presented without actually understanding the math involved.
John Allen Paulos, A Mathematician Reads The Newspaper12

Company Charged with Ethnic Bias in Hiring

Test Disparities Need Not Imply Racism

The Comedian Mort Sahl remarks that some newspapers might report a nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia with the headline WORLD ENDS: WOMEN AND MINORITIES HARDEST HIT. Sarcasm and hyperbole aside, victimization and the differential treatment of groups, whether intentional or not, are the basis for many a news story. The percentage of African-American students at elite colleges, the proportion of women in managerial positions, the ratio of Hispanic representatives in legislatures have all been written about extensively. Oddly enough, the shape of normal bell-shaped statistical curves sometimes has unexpected consequences for such situations. For example, even a slight divergence between the averages of different population groups is accentuated at the extreme ends of these curves, and these extremes often receive inordinate attention in the press. There are other inferences that have been drawn from this fact, some involving social policy issues such as affirmative action and jobs programs. The issue is a charged one, and I don't wish to endorse any dubious claims, but merely to clarify some mathematical points.

As an illustration, assume that two populations vary along some dimension—height for example. Although it is not essential to the argument, make the further assumption that the two groups' heights vary in a normal or bell-shaped manner (see diagram). Then even if the average height of one group is only slightly greater than the average height of the other, people from the taller group will constitute a large majority among the very tall (the right tail of the curve). Likewise, people from the shorter group will constitute a large majority among the very short (the left tail of the curve). This is true even though the bulk of the people from both groups are of roughly average stature. Thus if group A has a mean height of 5' 8" and group B a mean height of 5' 7", then (depending on the exact variability of the heights) perhaps 90 percent or more of those of 6' 2" will be from group A. In general, any differences between the two groups will always be greatly accentuated at the extremes.

Two Normal Curves

Two overlapping normal distribution curves

Small differences in the mean lead to large differences at the extremes.
These simple ideas can be used and misused by people of very different political persuasions. My concerns, as I've said, are only with some mathematical aspects of a very complicated story, let me again illustrate with a somewhat idealized case. Many people submit their job applications to a large corporation. Some of these people are Mexican and some are Korean, and the corporation uses a single test to determine which jobs to offer to whom. For whatever reasons (good, bad, justifiable or not), let's assume that although the scores of both groups are normally distributed with similar variability, those of the Mexican applicants are slightly lower on average than those of the Korean applicants.

The corporation's personnel officer notes the relatively small differences between the groups' means and observes with satisfaction that the many mid-level positions are occupied by both Mexicans and Koreans. She is puzzled, however, by the preponderance of Koreans assigned to the relatively few top jobs, those requiring an exceedingly high score in the qualifying test.

The personnel officer does further research and discovers that most of the holders of the comparably few bottom jobs, assigned to applicants because of their very low scores on the qualifying test, are Mexican. She may suspect racism, but the result might just as well be an unforeseen consequence of the way the normal distribution works. Paradoxically, if she lowers the threshold for entrance to mid-level jobs, she will actually end up increasing the percentage of Mexicans in the bottom category.

The fact is that groups differ in history, interests, and cultural values and along a whole host of other dimensions (which are impossible to disentangle). These differences constitute the group's identity and are what makes it possible even to talk about a collection of people as a group. Confronted with these social and historical dissimilarities, then, we shouldn't be astonished that member's scores on some standardized test are also likely to differ in mean and, much more substantially, at the extremes of the test-score distribution. (Much of this discussion is valid even if the distribution is not the normal bell-shaped one.) Such statistical disparities are not necessarily evidence of racism or ethnic prejudice, although, without a doubt, they sometimes are. One can and should debate whether the tests in question are appropriate for the purpose at hand, but one shouldn't be surprised when normal curves behave normally. As long as I'm issuing pronouncements, let me make another: the basic unit upon which our society or, indeed, any liberal society ("indeed" is a sure sign of something pompous coming up) is founded in the individual, not the group; I think it should stay that way.

Aside from having a questionable rationale, schemes of strict proportional representation are impossible to implement. Another thought experiment illustrates this point. Imagine a company—let's call it PC. Industries—operating in a community that is 25 percent black, 75 percent white, 5 percent homosexual, and 95 percent heterosexual. Unknown to PCI and the community is the fact that only 2 percent of the blacks are homosexual, whereas 6 percent of the whites are. Making a concerted attempt to assemble a work force of 1,000 that "fairly" reflects the community, the company hires 750 whites and 250 blacks. However, just 5 of the blacks (or 2 percent) would be homosexual, whereas 45 of the whites (or 6 percent) would be (totaling 50, 5 percent of all workers). Despite these efforts, the company could still be accused by its black employees of being homophobic, since only 2 percent of the black employees would be homosexual, not the communitywide 5 percent. The company's homosexual employees could likewise claim that the company was racist, since only 10 percent of their members would be black, not the community wide 25 percent. White heterosexuals would certainly make similar complaints.

To complete the reductio ad absurdum, factor in several other groups: Hispanics, women, Norwegians, even. Their memberships will likely also intersect to various unknown degrees.13 People will identify with varying intensity with various groups to which they belong (whose definitions are vague at best). The backgrounds and training across these various cross sections and intersections are extremely unlikely to be uniform. Statistical disparities will necessarily result.

Racism and homophobia and all other forms of group hatreds are real enough without making them our unthinking first inference when confronted with such disparities.

The fight against racism has metastasized into women's issues.
Who would have anticipated that it would be liberal Republicans in the Nixon Administration who would fulfill the cynical dream of Judge Smith when he added the words "or sex" to the bitterly won civil rights laws of the sixties. Smith thought that the thicket of sex discrimination would ultimately confound and discredit all the antidiscrimination efforts of government—in fact all the highest egalitarian impulses of liberalism. And he may have been right. ...

A key reason for our current failure is the tendency of bureaucrats and social theorists to look upon the society as an aggregation of individual units, scarcely differentiated except in income and employment. This bias is understandable. It derives from a seductive misconception of democracy and of the great moral mandates of our founding fathers. The assumption that "all men are created equal ... endowed ... with certain unalienable Rights" has been interpreted to mean that the laws of the land must be sex-blind: that men and women are essentially the same and wherever possible should play similar roles in statistically similar patterns throughout the economy (and where impossible, we should feel guilty about it). As government attempts to foster equal opportunity for liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is urged to apply the same standards to all citizens as individuals, whether they are married or single, young or middle-aged, male or female. Similarly, when the feminists speak of the need to consider us all "human beings" and "people," what they mean is autonomous rational individuals: men and women without powerful sexual drives reaching into all their relationships and without kinship ties binding them to their very identities. But such "human beings" exist only in actuarial tables and in the minds of fastidious economists and sociologists.

When such thinkers address the problems of equal opportunity, moreover, they seem to think exclusively in terms of individual financial prospects. The pursuit of happiness and the promotion of the general welfare are to be measured in the comparative income, housing, and employment of independent citizens. The sexual constitution is to be ignored. A conspicuous instance of this mode of thought is, of course, the Equal Rights Amendment, which declares it unconstitutional to differentiate between men and women in most public policy.

Yet for most people, the pursuit of happiness is inextricably tied to sexual relationships. The general welfare is best served when most men and women are socialized through love, marriage, and family. At the very core of these relationships and institutions, moreover, are differences — sexual, financial, and motivational. A policy that ignores or counteracts these differences in the name of statistical or numerical equality will tend to retard familial creation and male affirmation, and subvert the general welfare and the pursuit of happiness. The numerical symmetries will come at the expense of possibilities for real equality in human fulfillment. ...

In another major demand NOW "insists" that the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) devote itself to fulfilling the noble legacy of Judge Smith: the EEOC is to enforce laws against sex discrimination "with the same vigor as it enforces prohibitions against racial discrimination." Once again the women are trying to ride on the shoulders of aggrieved blacks. Once again they try to foist on us the notion that the differences between men and women are of no more practical significance than the differences between whites and blacks.

—George F. Gilder, Sexual Suicide14

One particularly offensive tactic of the rampants is to, compare the plight of American women with that of the American blacks—presumably antebellum and Aunt Jemima. Were I a militant black man, and offered this particularly odious comparison by this particular kind of white women, I would be strongly tempted to give her a foot in the tail. The analogy is patronizing, demeaning to the black cause, and of course untrue. Attempted marriages between the lib and the homosexual cause are equally patronizing, demeaning, and untrue.
—Charles McCabe, Tall Girls are Grateful15

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.

We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness....

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishing of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.


He allows her in Church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.


He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and to her God.


Now, in view of this entire disenfranchisement of one half the people, etc.

—Elizabeth Stanton, "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions"16
We see such a women's movement as an attempt for her to dominate contrary to her design in Genesis as a helper in man's world. She wants to rule in the church, in politics, and in business—which I didn't quote because of space constraint, and that it is well known. This is on account of the Fall, (Gen. 3:16b) " ... and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee." That's similar in wording to (Gen. 4:7b) " ... sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him." Because of the Fall sin desires to rule us, but we have to rule over it, and women desire to rule over men, but men have to keep the rule just as we must rule over sin.

In an economic sphere:

Crucial to the sexual constitution of employment is that, in one way or another, it assures that over the whole society, class by class, most men will make more money than most women. Above an absolute minimum that varies from country to country, pay and poverty are relative. What matters most for men, what pay is most importantly relative to, is women. A man who does not make as much money as the relevant women in his life or class, or his place of work, will often abandon his job and will pursue his women chiefly in the predatory masculine spirit that the feminists so understandably deplore.

The feminist contention that women do not generally receive equal pay for equal work, correct in statistical terms, may in part reflect a preference for male need and aggressiveness over female credentials. But in essence, the additional pay is part of a tacit social contract by which men are induced to repress antisocial patterns. On the immediate and superficial level, justice and efficiency—so stressed by the feminists—have little to do with it.

Of course, efficiency will be considered. To make the pay differentials too great would cause serious distortions. The marketplace must ultimately prevail. But a marginal bias in favor of men in the labor force will best promote economic and social order. It can be asserted with the greatest confidence that a modern society that did not socialize its males would be neither efficient, nor tolerable for women. ...

The reasons for unequal pay thus are numerous:

  1. the need for male social initiative;
  2. the need to give men a way to counterbalance female sexual superiority;
  3. the need to give money a positive effect on family creation and maintenance;
  4. the social need to induce men to follow careers and validate sexual identity in a socially affirmative way;
  5. the greater propensity of males to spend their money on the opposite sex;
  6. the greater social damage inflicted by unemployed males;
  7. the greater psychological dependency of males on their jobs;
  8. the indispensability of the alternative woman's role of socializing males and raising children.

As a general rule, relative female affluence has a negative effect in each of these areas. It retards social initiatives, enhances female dominance, deters family creation and maintenance, and subverts constructive male sexual expression. The money tends to cluster around the woman rather than support a couple. Her economic superiority undermines the sexual constitution and causes social breakdowns.

It should not be surprising therefore that men are paid more than women in virtually every economically successful society in the world. It is surprising that American men so thoroughly support the demand of the women's movement for a major governmental drive to achieve genuinely equal pay for equal or comparable work. For under current conditions of sexual disorder, this "reform" would promote most of the goals of the "extremists"—particularly the dissolution of the nuclear family.

—George F. Gilder, Sexual Suicide17

Trying to give women economic parity with men means sexual integration.
Throughout man's history, and above all, among primitive peoples, work groups have always been sexually differentiated. Men work together and women work together. But we rarely hear, either in history or in cultural anthropology, of work groups of mixed sex. Men hunt and women tend the village. Men build boats and women grow yams. In Europe women have traditionally milked cows, in America men; but on neither side of the Atlantic has milking been done by sexually mixed groups.
—Peter F. Drucker, Management18
That's how it's always been done, but now men and women are glommed together in the workplace. It used to be that an employer's responsibility was to have categories of work for men, and some for women. He was to mind his own business if co-workers got together socially and only intervene in extreme situations where he had to. Now he puts them all together and feels he can intervene in any situation no matter how minor, according to the whims of the current politically correct thinking. The employer was never given the task of educating people how to treat with the opposite sex. Look at the list.
Who can lay down the rules?—Physicians, teachers, ministers and parents are often called upon to establish definite rules for the conduct of the unmarried. When such questions come up they must be answered freely and honestly, but before they can be so answered, the instructor must know what he is talking about. The whole subject of sexual science has been so neglected, its essentials have been so clouded in mystery and modesty, that not one man or woman in ten actually does know what he is talking about when he attempts to give advice.
— J.L. Nichols, A.M., Safe Counsel19
Employers are not on that list, and just because one is on the list doesn't mean he knows what he's talking about. It's up to parents, teachers, ministers and physicians to instruct the unmarried about relations with the opposite sex; the employer is not to get involved except in extreme cases.
To take on tasks for which one lacks competence is irresponsible behavior.

An institution, and especially a business enterprise, has to acquire whatever competence is needed to take responsibility for its impacts. But in areas of social responsibility other than impacts, right and duty to act are limited by competence. ...

What the limits of competence are depends in part on circumstances. If a member of a climbing team develops acute appendicitis in the high Himalayas and is almost certain to die unless operated on, any medical man in the group will operate, even though he may be a dermatologist who has never done a single operation in his life. The dermatologist, though a qualified physician, will be considered irresponsible and vulnerable to both a malpractice suit and a conviction for manslaughter, should he operate on an appendix in a place where a qualified surgeon, or even a general practitioner, are within reach.

Management therefore needs to know at the very least what it and its institution are truly incompetent for. Business, as a rule, will be in this position of absolute incompetence in an "intangible" area.

—Peter F. Drucker, Management20
It is the minister, the teacher, the parent and/or the doctor who instruct us how to behave with the opposite sex. The most an employer should do is assign tasks to men and women most suited to their sex, or at least where they will work with their own. That's about all they should do to minimize conflict because its an intangible area where they are least competent. Of course, they should intervene in cases of outright harassment, which is like the dermatologist performing an emergency appendectomy on Mt. Everest; he had to. But down here in civilization relations develop at a routine pace and we have available counselors in the form of parents, doctors, teachers, and ministers. All the dermatologist is supposed to do is work on the skin. All the employer is supposed to do is make things right on the surface by having men and women in their appropriate fields and paying the man marginally more.

Our workplace is getting stressed out because employers are not heeding the right boundaries.

The Thomas Hill episode established a dominant paradigm of sexual harassment. In this paradigm, any manifestation of sexuality in the workplace ... is abusive if someone decides — perhaps long after the fact — that it was 'unwelcome.' Even if they don't mean harm, men who 'just don't get it' bear all the blame for sexual conflicts.

Faludi herself writes that women who are true adults 'acknowledge that sexual encounters are often muddy and fumbled affairs and that ... the response should be nuanced and in scale to the offense,' which sometimes means not reporting it.

Most people with no ideological agenda surely recognize that women contribute a great deal to 'sexualizing' the workplace.

—Cathy Young, "Groping Towards Sanity: Why the Clinton Sex Scandals are Changing How we Talk About Sexual Harassment"21

Not just men but women get stressed out in the workplace.
On the other hand, life is rarely ideal. The hours of satisfaction are frequently bought by weeks of drudgery—emotional as well as physical. Some of the more commonly acknowledged disadvantages of attempting the impossible, such as combining several full time activities, include lack of time for oneself (soaking in a hot tub of water is absolutely out), being unable to complete a task begun and—of course—physical exhaustion.

A different kind of disadvantage is the feeling of rage and resentment at the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) discrimination at the office — being denied leadership in a project "because we were sure you didn't want to go out of town," or being asked to take on a larger workload "because you're so efficient at that kind of thing." Life in the changing society has not yet eliminated discrimination against the career woman — it has only been disguised.

In spite of the advantages of independence and autonomy that the career woman has, it is ironic that in some ways, she is forced to become even more dependent on others. The 7 A.M. call from the child-care provider saying she (or he) can't take the children today or the message from the weekly cleaning lady (sexist again?) canceling her commitment for three weeks because she has decided to take an unscheduled vacation are events familiar to every career woman with children and a semi-chaotic household.

The system overload is on the woman who works full time, often coming from logistical breakdowns at home. The pressures at work are traumatic enough. When combined with criticism from other women — who have chosen other lifestyles — about "escaping one's responsibility to stay home and raise her own children," the load can become too much and the career woman may succumb to feelings of defeat and ultimately depression.

All of the above disadvantages have been mentioned by other writers, but there is yet another disadvantage rarely discussed —one that I have come to recognize only in the past few years. I refer to the feeling of apartness, of separateness from others. It is not loneliness but rather the sense of being different and unlike anyone else in practically all situations. Perhaps this sense of apartness could also be interpreted as uniqueness, and one might then wonder why it draws a negative rather than a positive response. A common example of this feeling of apartness is in a male-dominated sphere such as a medical school faculty where questions or statements by female faculty members seem to be challenged more frequently — or worse yet, ignored. The feeling of apartness includes some elements of exclusion, probably based on outdated and inappropriate mores about male-female relationships. Long-term relationships between male and female co-workers are highly suspect, and the availability of a mentor, especially in a highly competitive environment, is sheer fantasy on the part of any aspiring career woman.

Other elements make up this feeling of aloneness. In relating to other career women, even those in one's own specialty, interests and degree of investment rarely overlap sufficiently for close camaraderie. Many professional colleagues have chosen not to marry and/or not to have children. Others do not share the same interests outside of work and home (such as music, weaving, politics, etc.).

Finally, this feeling of aloneness may be exacerbated by a conscious decision by the career woman to generate more aloneness. A promising friendship with another woman may not be pursued because building that friendship requires time, and time is of prime consideration in any career woman's life. Priorities must be set and acted on unswervingly or the full-time career woman may find herself the victim of chaos.

The Liberated Woman, The Ann Landers Encyclopedia A to Z22
We can add to that, general confusion, as stated in Mabel A. Elliott, Ph.D. and Francis E. Merrill, Ph.D., Social Disorganization: 23
In a disorganized society, the lack of consensus is further evidenced in the uncertainty with which many of the major roles are defined. The major ascribed statuses and their accompanying roles are especially subject to these ambiguities. The wife in our society is not certain whether she should play the role of mother, gainful employee, glamorous mistress, or light-hearted companion. Some of these roles are mutually compatible and others are not. Many wives attempt to combine all of these roles in accordance with the conflicting expectations of our society, and in the process suffer partial or ignominious failure. The disorganization of the family under such ambiguous conditions is apparent. A woman's attempt to live up to all of these incompatible roles as a wife often results in personal frustration and insecurity.
—C.F. Mirra Komarovsky, "Cultural Contradictions and Sex Roles"24

And don't forget dryness of spirit.
For it is the spirit of woman that is going dry, not the mechanics that are wanting. Mechanically, woman has gained in the past generation. . . . [But] with our garnered free time, we are more apt to drain our creative springs than to refill them. With our pitchers, we attempt sometimes to water a field, not a garden. We throw ourselves indiscriminately into committees and causes. Not knowing how to feed the spirit, we try to muffle its demands in distractions. ...

In other times, women had in their lives more forces which centered them whether or not they realized it. ... Their very seclusion in the home gave them time alone. Many of their duties were conducive to a quiet contemplative drawing together of the self. They had more creative tasks to perform. Nothing feeds the center so much as creative work, even humble kinds like cooking and sewing. Baking bread, weaving cloth, putting up preserves, teaching and singing to children, must have been far more nourishing than being the family chauffeur or shopping at supermarkets, or doing housework with mechanical aids. ... In housework, as in the rest of life, the curtain of mechanization has come down between the mind and the hand.

—Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea25
Placing women en mass into the workplace merely exacerbates the problem.
Modern women are overworked, overstressed, and commonly feel unsupported and overwhelmed with good reason: At no other time in history has so much been expected of them. At least five days a week, they put on a uniform and march into an eight to twelve-hour battle. When they come home, they feel the need to clean house, make dinner, do laundry, love and nurture the kids, and also be pleasing and happy as well as romantically receptive to their mates. It's just too much to ask of themselves, and it's making them feel split inside.

At work, women are required to behave according to the traditional masculine rules of conduct. At home, they have to switch to being warm, giving, and feminine. It's no wonder women complain that they need a wife to greet them with love and tenderness at the end of the day.

Even a contemporary stay-home mother has a more difficult job than her own mother did because, with most other mothers at work and her kids' playmates at day care, she lacks the traditional company and support of other women.

In the past, a woman was proud to say that she was a full-time wife and mother. Now she may even feel embarrassed when asked, "What do you do?" Isolated from the support of other women, she must go it alone, as the value of her commitment is largely unacknowledged by the world.

Still, while women now need more support than at any other time in history, men also miss the ego boost they traditionally received from their mates.

—John Gray, Ph.D., Mars and Venus in Touch26
This stressed-out state of affairs in the home was in part a result of women's new status of equality piggybacked onto racial equality, which could have been expected as they were tied together in the past.
"The great principle," said Chief Justice Shaw, "advanced by the learned and eloquent advocate for the plaintiff, is, that by the constitution and laws of Massachusetts, all persons without distinction of age or sex, birth or color, origin or condition, are equal before the law. ... But, when this great principle comes to be applied to the actual and various conditions of persons in society, it will not warrant the assertion, that men and women are legally clothed with the same civil and political powers, and that children and adults are legally to have the same functions and be subject to the same treatment; but only that the rights of all, as they are settled and regulated by law, are equally entitled to the paternal consideration and protection of the law for their maintenance and security."
Roberts v. City of Boston, 5 Cush. 198 (1849)27
It was not what our founding fathers had in mind; indeed, the whole concept of women as a political interest group was lacking in the 1700's.
Historians seem to agree that for the first time "women emerged in the early nineteenth century as a distinct interest group."29 This means that about that time some women became conscious of their deprivation qua group and sought to challenge and end the subjugation under which they had been collectively placed by men. The challenge to this coercion may be described as a conflict relationship. We may define conflict as "a struggle over values, behaviors, power, and resources, in which each opponent seeks to achieve his goals usually at some expense to the other."30 How "expensive" one wishes to make the conflict for his challenger can be categorized in several ways. One type of conflict may be described as "zero sum." In this conflict A wants to destroy B completely, e.g., the Allies vs. the Nazis in World War II, Far more common is the "mixed motive" type of conflict (or game) in which, while A wants to gain certain objectives, it is decidedly in A's best interest to see that B makes gains too, and conversely for B. For if either A or B is totally "wiped out," then his opponent stands to lose considerable benefit too.
And after women became an interest group, portions of the movement degenerated to selfish interest.
It looks like the cause of women's rights is not going to prevail this year. I for one blame this largely on the concurrent phenomenon called Women's Liberation, which has little or nothing to do with the Women's Rights Movement.

Women's Lib is a radical, even revolutionary, movement which grew out of the radical brouhaha's of the 60's. The Women's Rights Movement is conservative, has a long and distinguished history...

But let a distinguished leader of the Women's Rights Movement, Catherine East, speak out on the differences between the two ... as she sees them:

"The term, Women's Liberation, can be appropriately applied to only a small segment of the Women's Rights Movement ... These women, primarily radical feminists, have thus far been mainly concerned with analyzing the origins, nature, and extent of women's subservient role in society, with an emphasis on the psychology of oppression..."

Mrs. East continued: "The Women's Rights Movement is largely composed of the kind of women that are in the National Association of Women Lawyers, the General Federation of Women's Clubs, the National Federation of Business and Women's Professional Clubs, the Women's Equity Action League, the YWCA and the League of Women Voters, and they are, by and large, pretty conservative as a group." ...

The Women's Rights Movement asks for equality under the law and for freedom of choice for a woman to decide what she does with her life. It does not tinker with the institution of marriage, or impeach the institution of the family, or seek to alter the ordained, and indeed natural, role of the sexes. When the distinction between the two movements is understood by one and all, women's rights will be constitutionally assured, and a good thing too.

—Charles McCabe, Tall Girls are Grateful31

The women's movements seem to have progressed in stages.
Though this first phase of the movement did not achieve full equality for women, its accomplishments were substantial. In addition to winning women the right to vote, to hold office, to own property in their own names, to enter universities, and to enter most professions and occupations, the movement established the legitimacy of employment for women of the middle and upper classes. Previously, there had never been any opportunities outside the home for these women, other than serving as governess to a wealthy family, working in a family-owned business, or entering a [convent]. Thus, in opening such occupations as nurse, teacher, secretary, and social worker, the movement effected a major revolution. After these early successes, however, the movement virtually died out.

The newer women's rights movement, which got under way in the 1960s, picks up where the earlier one left off. It seems to eliminate the remaining forms of economic inequity between the sexes — unequal pay, unequal access to jobs, and unequal opportunities for promotion. But it goes further: despite substantial differences in the specific goals and methods of its leaders, the basic message of the movement is that women must break out of the restrictive molds in which society casts them.

In various ways, leaders of the movement maintain that women, like men, should be allowed to develop, to perform, and to relate to those around them, not as females but as human beings. Thus their great hostility to the mentality (so widespread in the media and advertising industries) that portrays women largely as sex objects. ... Furthermore, they resent the view that women should necessarily be content with a wife-mother role, while men take it for granted that their husband-father role will be supplemented by a meaningful role outside the family.

—Gerhard Lenski and Jean Lenski, Human Societies32
In some ways, though, the cure is worse than the disease.
Women's rights movements have sought to combat these inequities in various ways, although most feminist writers have conceded that they are very deeply entrenched. ... The points at issue here are complex, and feminist writers have tended to be divided about them. The achievement of full sexual equality within work outside the home is not necessarily a desirable end in itself in the context of a capitalist economy.
—Anthony Giddens, Sociology33

Of course, not all women share the feminist views.
For example, women who center their lives around their husbands and children may consider feminism a threat to their most cherished values. From this point of view, feminism amounts to an effort to revise the law, the workplace, and the family—in short, to remake all of society—according to the radical political agenda of a few. Feminists, then, would dispose of the traditional values that have guided life and protected individual liberties in the United States for centuries. Additionally, some women believe that, in the process of recasting the conventional "feminine" spheres of life, including the home and the family, women will lose rather than gain power and personal identity.
—John J. Macionis, Sociology34

I've watched those who, largely, led the women's charge, who blunted it and finally discredited it, who messed their own nests until they mutilated their cause.
—Ken Jackson, Control35
Rather than being content with arrangements settled under law, portions of the women's movement are seeking to redress past oppression, whence their own version of affirmative action. It starts with the same philosophy as with racial equality.
During our conversation, one of the editorial board members expressed frustration that it seems as if the playing field will never be level, that racism will never completely end.

With a lot of work, Americans can ensure that someday all people will be treated equally simply because they are human, and with no other considerations.

—Michael Kleckner, "Slavery reparations should be made systematically"36
The other considerations not considered are a lot, and lacking them, our society has gotten itself all stressed out. Furthermore, other groups are trying to use that stressed out equality mechanism for their own selfish ends.
Many homosexuals worked in the Civil Rights Movement, not because they loved the blacks, but because they shared their plight of "discrimination" and because they were angry and wanted to rebel anyway. The success of the black community after enactment of civil rights legislation in 1964 was not lost on the homosexuals. They realized that they could force acceptance on sleeping Americans if they became active. They got their chance in New York City.

June 27th, 1969, is another "red" letter day in the rise to prominence of the homosexual movement. That was the night the New York City Police raided a homosexual bar called "Stonewall Inn." Instead of slinking off into the night, homosexuals threw bottles and cans at policemen, and a riot ensued. Now each year a "Gay Pride Week" is celebrated with a giant parade in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other cities. ...

Today they have most of the things they want: privacy, vocational acceptance in most fields, and very little harassment by the police at their favorite bar or bath. The hot-blooded young homosexuals aren't satisfied, however, for their ultimate goal has still eluded them: equal acceptance! Until Americans say "Gay is just as good as straight," they won't give up.

—Tim LaHaye, The Unhappy Gays37
The stress started and continues with not being content with one's position in life if it is too low. What is wrong with honest labor? Here is one answer:38
Can we learn anything from a rich man, like Bill Gates? I'm sure Mr. Gates has made some mistakes in his life (like King Solomon) but I recently read some remarks he made while speaking to high schoolers at Whitney High School in Visalia, California that I think fall under the category of good advice. Here are some excerpts:
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.
Your grandparents had a different word for
burger flipping—they called it opportunity.
Or if Bill Gates is too worldly to take advice from, then try, (Ecclesiasticus VII:15) "Hate not laborious work, neither husbandry, which the Most High hath ordained."

If one is not content, per Paul, per Booker T. Washington, then he may try to fight the system, per MLK et al, using questionable tactics resulting in a stressed out society per Proverbs.

Let's look at how he responded to sincere criticism accusing him of being a troublemaker, and see his example:

Martin Luther King Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"39
The letter was a reply to eight Alabama clergymen who, in a public comment, had condemned demonstrations in the streets.

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling our present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom, if ever, do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all of the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would be engaged in little else in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I would like to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.

It seems to me that he treated the constructive criticisms by men of genuine good will quite a bit different from the foamings of the rabble. Part of his answer justifying his troublemaking was:
You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in public schools, it is rather strange and paradoxical to find us consciously breaking laws. One may well ask, "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer is found in the fact that there are two types of laws: There are just and there are unjust laws. I would agree with Saint Augustine that, "An unjust law is no law at all."40
It constitutes a beautiful argument, turning the tables on his accusers, which is why it was included in the book on rhetoric that quoted the speech.

I don't know if you've read Lionel Hampton's autobiography yet—the bookstore had a zillion copies when I bought mine, but since his death, they may have sold out—, but if you haven't you may not be aware of this arcane bit:

I remember one time Walter White, head of the NAACP, ... told me about what led up to the Supreme Court decision in the school desegregation case in 1954. Walter told me he had gone to Roosevelt about school desegregation; he had gone to Truman about school desegregation. Truman told him, "Well, Walter, I'd like to help you, but you know the southern senators won't go for it. I'm sorry I can't help you." So when Eisenhower came in, Walter decided that time was running out and that he was going to take a chance on Eisenhower.

He phoned Eisenhower and requested an appointment. He said he went there and listed all the reasons why school segregation was wrong. He said that if the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case Brown v. Board of Education and ruled [for] desegregation, it would break the back of segregation in American society. He said, "Mr. President, this is the last chance for you to help us." Eisenhower listened, didn't say a word. But then he picked up the telephone, and said, "Get me Chief Justice Earl Warren." And he got on the phone with Warren, and he said he knew the president was not supposed to put pressure on the Supreme Court, but he was going to send Walter White over to talk to him about the case. And the Supreme Court decided to hear the case and ruled in favor of the NAACP lawyers and desegregation.

—Lionel Hampton, Hamp41
The U.S. system has what is called "separation of powers." International best selling author Richard North Patterson, a man with extensive legal experience—former trial lawyer, SEC's liaison to the Watergate Special prosecutor, board member of advocacy groups dealing with gun violence, political reform, & women's rights—, touches on the same separation-of-powers issue in his book Conviction. When the president's nominee of Supreme Court Chief Justice has to tackle the contentious issue of capital punishment which could reflect badly on him in the next election, there are limits to his ability to intercede.
"The Republican nominee is Frank Fasano, who's as ruthless as they come. A Supreme Court ruling which erodes capital punishment will give Fasano another weapon to pummel you with from now to next November. Caroline Masters owes you—you're the only reason she's there." Glancing at Avi Gold, the Attorney General finished. "You can't call Masters and tell her what to do. But if Avi intervenes, as I've directed, it sends a signal even the Chief Justice can't ignore. And it gives us cover in the next election."42
The Attorney General was instructing the Solicitor General (Avi) to send the Chief Justice a brief on the case which he was allowed to do as it concerned a federal statute—the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA). In the story the president wisely declined to get involved. But Brown v. Board of Education was a local issue, not a federal one, so President Eisenhower didn't have even that back door means to get involved. And he knew his involvement was wrong—"You can't call Masters and tell her what to do"—, but he did it anyway.

MLK's "strange and paradoxical" support of the desegregation law while opposing other laws takes on a whole new twist when we find such impropriety in the making of that "just" law. Comparing:

Human Action and Free Will43

To play rugby is to do certain things in accordance with a set of rules and conventions. The players on the field did not themselves invent those rules and conventions. They have a history and a present social context, and unless we take some account of that history and context we shall not understand what is going on. ... An account of what the game of rugby is must involve reference to the rules and conventions of rugby; and the rules and conventions of rugby cannot in turn be defined in terms simply of a given game of rugby: its being a game of rugby at all is dependent upon its conformity with these rules and conventions, which therefore have an existence independent of their exemplification in it. When in 1823 William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it, he is sometimes said to have `invented' the game of rugby football; but if this has any meaning at all it is a meaning conferred by hindsight. What he actually did on that occasion was to break the rules of the game he was supposed to be playing. The conventions and rules of games change, or are changed, from time to time; but what changes or is changed must already exist in order to change.
If rugby is popular today, that still doesn't make Webb a just rugby player for having broken the rules of soccer. I don't want to belabor the point, only show that sincere men can still raise questions, questions which even by MLK's example should be respected. The precipitous trying of Brown v. Board of Education led to the implementation of affirmative action.
Equality, the dominant theme of the Warren Court, made a sensational appearance soon after Earl Warren became Chief Justice in 1953. In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education held that racial segregation in public schools violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. I [Robert H. Bork] have argued elsewhere [The Tempting of America, pp. 74-83.] that, though the decision was correct and could have been supported by an analysis that took into account the original understanding of the amendment's meaning by those who wrote and ratified it, the Court's weak and disingenuous opinion, by the Chief Justice, indicates that the Justices believed they were departing from the Constitution in order to promote a desirable equality. The unfortunate result was that the Justices were encouraged to more adventures in egalitarianism that, unlike Brown, really did depart from the Constitution.

It was in the areas of race and sex that radical egalitarianism proved most potent. So strong was the impulse that, in a masterpiece of statutory deconstruction, the Court overrode the explicit text and legislative history of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (that it is unlawful for any employer "to discriminate against any individual ... because of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin") in order to allow preferences in hiring and promotion for blacks and women. The Court usually argued that the preferences were remedies for past discrimination. This makes no sense, since the person now being preferred is not the person discriminated against in the past. Even the requirement of past discrimination was dropped when, in Metro Broadcasting, Inc. v. FCC, the Court allowed racial preference in the grant of station licenses by the Federal Communications Commission despite the lack of any evidence that such grants had ever been tainted by discrimination. These cases all approved what is today known as "affirmative action."

Affirmative action, in the sense of preferential policies, is really a euphemism for quotas, and it is a perfect prescription for racial animosity. At the beginning of the civil rights movement's successes in the late 1960s, what we now know as affirmative action was unthinkable. The 1964 Civil Rights Act explicitly forbade all forms of discrimination on the basis of race or sex. Even so, it would not have been enacted without assurances of its backers, most prominently Hubert Humphrey, that there was no possibility of discrimination against white males. Today, that discrimination is everywhere, from schools and universities to employment, promotion, government benefits, and more.

All of this was done mindlessly and without public debate. As happens all too frequently in the United States today, courts and bureaucrats made the important and sensitive decisions about public policy. The public was, at best, reduced to the status of onlookers. Nobody asked whether blacks should be the only group to benefit from affirmative action, how long the preferences would last, or what the effects would be on race relations. What happened in the United States is what has happened around the world where affirmative action has been tried. Thomas Sowell, a conservative black intellectual, made an international study of government-mandated preferences for government-designated groups and found common patterns:

  1. Preferential programs, even when explicitly and repeatedly defined as "temporary," have tended not only to persist but also to expand in scope, either embracing more groups or spreading to wider realms for the same groups, or both. Even preferential programs established with legally mandated cut-off dates, as in India and Pakistan, have continued far past those dates by subsequent extensions.
  2. Within the groups designated by government as recipients of preferential treatment, the benefits have usually gone disproportionally to those members already more fortunate.
  3. Group polarization has tended to increase in the wake of preferential programs, with non-preferred groups reacting adversely, in ways ranging from political backlash to mob violence and civil war.
  4. Fraudulent claims of belonging to the designated beneficiary groups have been widespread and have taken many forms in various countries.44

The United States is no exception to the international experience. Preferential policies here were put forward as temporary measures, but Lyndon Johnson gave the game away when he announced that in "the next and more profound stage of civil rights" the object would be "not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as fact and equality as a result.45 We have been at affirmative action for over two decades now [1996] and, as could have been predicted, such equality of result as has been achieved is artificial. Proportional representation in various fields has been reached by diktat, by depriving people of freedom, which is what a policy of racial preferences does.

Starting the policy of preferential treatment was a serious mistake. Continuing it would be a disaster. There is no respectable rationale for continuation. The most frequently heard argument is the claim that active discrimination against minorities and women continues in this country. ... [I]t is extremely doubtful that such discrimination is at all common. Let us assume, however, that it is. The attempted justification fails, nonetheless. There are laws upon laws forbidding discrimination in employment and promotion, in housing, in voting, in access to places of public accommodation, in lending, and much more. We have the Civil Rights Acts of 1866, 1871, 1964, 1968, and 1991; we have the Voting Rights Acts of 1965, 1975, and 1982. There is agency upon agency devoted to finding and ending discrimination: the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Department of Education's Civil Rights Office, civil rights sections in various government agencies, as well as state and municipal laws and enforcement agencies. There are thousands of such agencies, and more than 100,000 government lawyers, investigators, and agents who spend hundreds of millions of dollars enforcing the laws and regulations. If that were not enough, there are laws providing for private lawsuits and an army of private attorneys bringing discrimination claims. If discrimination is provable, we have far more than adequate means of dealing with it.

This means that affirmative action is generally applied to a pool of minorities who have suffered no discernible discrimination. Imagine a group of one hundred Hispanic men, ten of whom are to be admitted to Stanford under a policy of preference. In order to imagine that discrimination is being cured, it is necessary to suppose that, by a rare coincidence, preference is given to an individual who has actually suffered discrimination but cannot prove it, and may not even suspect it. If there are any victims of undetected discrimination in the pool of one hundred—suppose that there are ten—the likelihood is that none of them will receive preferential admission to Stanford or, at best, one or two will. Statistically, therefore, any person who has been the victim of unprovable discrimination will usually go without remedy, while a person who has not been discriminated against will be given an undeserved benefit. It is difficult to see how a windfall for one cures an unsuspected injustice to the other. Affirmative action is simply irrelevant to discrimination.

Though affirmative action has few if any legitimate benefits, it does have heavy adverse effects. To start with what many will think the least significant, it is obvious that jettisoning the achievement principle for reward according to skin color or genital arrangements has a serious economic cost. Peter Brimelow and Leslie Spencer estimated that affirmative action's direct and indirect costs in 1991 were about $115 billion; opportunity costs added another $236 billion; the lowering of gross national product may have been about 4 percent.46 Worse, it all may be wasted. The authors quote Charles Murray: "There's hardly a single outcome—black voting rights, access to public accommodation, employment, particularly in white collar jobs—that couldn't have been predicted on the basis of pre-1964 trend lines." "That's pretty devastating," the authors say. "It suggests that we have spent trillions of dollars to create an outcome that would have happened even if the government had done nothing."

Karl Mannheim, a German sociologist, saw at least as early as 1940 the coming rejection of the achievement principle. He proposed that three principles for the selection of elites—blood, property, and achievement—have marked different historical periods.47 Aristocratic society chose elites primarily on the blood principle; bourgeois society on the property principle; modern democracy has stressed the achievement principle. These were never entirely pure principles; achievement, for instance, could lift one into the elite even when one of the other two principles was dominant. Of more interest to our current situation is that Mannheim also wrote: "The real threat of contemporary mass society [is] ... that it has recently shown a tendency to renounce the principle of achievement as a factor in the struggle of certain groups for power, and has suddenly established blood and other criteria as the major factors to the far-reaching exclusion of the achievement principle." If we recognize reward according to race, ethnicity, and sex as aspects or analogues of the blood principle, it is obvious how far the achievement principle has been discarded in America today in the name of equality.

Robert H. Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah48

Are the Negroes thankful for President Eisenhower's intervention? Well, he was mentioned in Lionel Hampton's autobiography we quoted. On the other hand Eisenhower did say, "There should be no hyphenated Americans." Negroes now want to be called African-Americans, a non-American people within America, now with special privileges, affirmative action, just the sort of privilege our American system, with its separation of powers was trying to prevent.

And how did they arrive at getting special privileges? When MLK led protests in violation of laws which he justified in part by white America's slow response to Brown v. Board of Education which was itself enacted precipitously through a disregarding the separation of powers.


We have been examining how making a servant the boss could be stressing out our society, per the proverb, and the obvious place to look is affirmative action. In our historical context that means we have to consider race relations from a biblical (Pauline) perspective, not the popular one. We have chosen as a point of departure MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, in particular his thesis that our founding fathers had made a solemn promise to the Negro that "all men are created equal," and like returning to him a check marked INSUFFICIENT FUNDS, America had defaulted on that promise. Since in a sense Affirmative Action is but an attempt to make good that putative promise with interest, it behooves us to examine the premise in the first place. Those closer historically would have understood our beginnings a little better.

Ante-bellum Southerners understood this world of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries better than they understood their own. The quest for enlarged opportunities which brought their colonial forebears to America was a personal objective which did not necessarily mean that they believed in the equality of all men. ...

The final clauses in the southern legal codes relating directly to the control of slaves were those governing free Negroes. The laws reflected the general opinion that these people were an anomaly, a living denial "that nature's God intended the African for the status of slavery."

—Kenneth M. Stampp, Professor of American History at the University of California (Berkeley), The Peculiar Institution49

For the revolutionary generation antislavery questions were subordinate to other concerns, and the federal Constitution came to terms with the institution. ...

In 1817 the American Colonization Society was organized with the support of many distinguished political leaders, Southerners John Marshall, James Monroe, and Henry Clay among them. Its purpose was to raise funds to remunerate slave owners and send free Negroes back to Africa. A paper was published and a far flung organization established. The response was wide; at one time over two hundred local auxiliaries were in existence with ministers and churches playing a prominent role. It actually ... accepted fully the notion of Negro inferiority. ... Yet some of the greatest antislavery leaders in the country were associated with it: Benjamin Lundy, Lewis Tappan, Gerrit Smith, James G. Birney, Theodore D. Weld, Elizur Wright, and many others.

—Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People50
Probably a good place to look for a summary of world view is the Missouri debates.
From December 8, 1819, until March 20, 1820, Congress discussed in all its aspects—legal, Constitutional, moral, political, economic—the problem of whether Missouri should be admitted to statehood with slavery or without it. ...

As Mr. Burrill of Rhode Island pointed out, one could find in the federal constitution not a single word that recognized color as a bar to citizenship. There was, of course, no answer to this argument: all one could urge in rebuttal was the practice of the several states. Even in Massachusetts, there was a law that forbade the marriage of a white person to an Indian, Negro, or mulatto; and did not this prove, said Senator Smith, that "we must look for the reason of this law, as in all the other states, in the universal assent to the degraded condition of that class of people, and from which none of the States would, perhaps, ever think it expedient to raise them?" ... The argument was weird; but the evidence he brought to its support was certainly formidable. In the Constitution of Kentucky it was laid down that "every free white male (negroes, mulattoes, and Indians excepted) shall enjoy the right of elector"; in the Constitutions of Ohio and Connecticut the same provision appeared. Indiana and North Carolina gave them the franchise but would not let them appear as witnesses in any suit against a white man. An Act of Congress of May 15, 1820, made only free white males eligible for the office of Mayor of Washington — although, during the twenty years that Congress had sat there, "a swarm of mulattoes have been reared in the city, many of whom, no doubt, had as illustrious fathers as any in the nation." Senator Smith's list was only a fragmentary one; but he had said enough to show that, where free Negroes were concerned, every state in the Union had discriminated against them in one way or another. Such a general discrimination, he thought, could be construed as a general acquiescence in their degradation; and though this degradation was technically un-Constitutional where the franchise was concerned, acquiescence placed it within the pale of the Constitution. ...

When Mr. Charles Pinckney told the House of Representatives that Negroes were "created with less intellectual powers than the whites, and were most probably intended to serve them, and be the instruments of their cultivation," no man arose to give him the lie. This positive denial of the assertion "all men are created equal" occasioned, of course, no surprise; from the beginning of the Missouri debates, the Declaration of Independence had been under attack. Nor did the fact that Mr. Pinckney had undermined the whole Jeffersonian creed of the equality of man really matter: the Southern Jeffersonians (though not so boldly) had been undermining it in every speech. Even Jefferson, who agonized over the status of the Negro, had been obliged to confess that the Linnæan hypothesis that all men were descended from the same ancient parents might break down when it was confronted with the Negro. Here he spoke and thought as a Virginian and a slave-owner; and though to the end of his days he longed for some proof to set his doubts at rest, and was a more sincere abolitionist than most men to the North of him, he never could reconcile these doubts with his belief in the axiomatic unity of the human race.

Thus we can hardly blame the members of the Sixteenth Congress if ... their assault upon Missouri should have failed because they could not bring themselves to believe in the equality of the Negro. The most humane philosophers had been unable to reach this conclusion.

—George Dangerfield, The Era of Good Feelings51
A good philosophy tells us:
It is well to be warned against seemingly self-evident principles such as that all men are equal, that every man is entitled to the products of his labor, and the like. A critical examination of these shows them to be either too vague to give us determinate results, or else productive of repellent consequences when strictly applied. It is also well to note the superior wisdom of the law (as against abstract moralists) in recognizing the claim of custom or the status quo as such. The latter create expectations, and to shock or defeat them is to effect an evil justified only if a greater evil can thereby be avoided.
—Morris Raphael Cohen, My Philosophy of Law52
Slavery at the inception of the "land of the free" was both status quo and legality.
There had been both Indian and Negro slaves in the Old Colony as early as 1646, at which time the authorities announced their intention of selling Indians or exchanging them for Negroes as punishment for offenses. ...

The Bay Colony had formally recognized the institution of slavery in its Code of Fundamentals, or Body of Liberties, adopted in 1641, being the first of the colonies to do so, anticipating even Virginia in this. Three years later, the "peculiar institution" was implicitly recognized in the articles of confederation drawn up by the United Colonies.

Chief Justice Samuel Sewall—peace be to his gallant soul—was one of the first to speak out against human slavery. In 1700 he published The Selling of Joseph, A Memorial, which upset many of the conservative. ...

When James Otis declared in his great Writs of Assistance speech in 1761 that slavery violated the inalienable rights of man—that all men should be free—, John Adams "shuddered at the doctrine he taught."

Slaves continued to be sold at Boston as late as 1788, when the traffic at last was forbidden. Massachusetts shipmasters, of course, continued their slave traffic ...

—George F. Willison, Saints and Strangers53
That was the legal situation when we declared our independence in 1776. It was also the status quo.
If southern colonists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries did little to improve the lot of propertyless laborers, their neighbors were hardly in a position to criticize them for it. To the north and to the south of them Englishmen, Dutchmen, Spaniards, and Portuguese held Indians, Negroes, and whites in bondage. This being the case, their use of unfree labor demanded of them a minimum of soul searching. Since their social institutions were not peculiar in any fundamental way, they lived comfortably in their world.
—Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution54
Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, our conservative founders, they did not think they were promising liberty right then and there to slaves when founding our country, and nobody thought they meant that either. To have attempted to free the slaves at the same time as founding America would have been to fight the Civil War concurrent with the Revolutionary War, so much would that have offended custom and law. The lesser of the two evils was to establish the United States as a free country, slavery notwithstanding. That could be taken care of at some future time, and it was.

This helps us to understand a Christian response to slavery. From a religious perspective the status quo would be the "civil religion."

Like other institutions of the culture, the churches, too, are susceptible to the pull of the civil religion and may be drawn into affirming an unthinking uniformity of purpose rather than responding to their expected roles as critics of the culture. To use an historical example, it is one of the scandals of American religious history that so many American religions failed to cry out against the practice of slavery and in fact often defended it. ... When American culture condoned first slavery and in the twentieth century segregation, religious groups responded slowly to issues of social justice because, perhaps even unwittingly, they sensed that they were up against not just "the world" or "government" but another religious system immensely more powerful because it was not split up into many different denominations but instead had a hold on the whole culture.
—Mary Farrell Bednarowski, American Religion55
Just as our founders could not have succeeded in a Civil War fought alongside the Revolutionary one, so how can churches be expected to succeed if they are already in a fight with "the world" (and sometimes with the government although we don't start that one) and then they take on fights with established institutions, even slavery? No, Christians have to fight compromise with the world, and accept the government they are under as instituted by God—unless the government itself starts a fight with the churches—, and as for slaves, treat them well, like human beings, and not make a big fuss about the institution, although to opt for freedom when that is available. For example.
A former slave, in recalling his life56 on a Louisiana plantation, thought it was but "simple justice" to observe that his owner had been a "kind, noble, candid, Christian man, ... a model master, walking uprightly, according to the light of his understanding."
—Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution57
To return to our subject, it was not a case of the Negro being given a promise of equality, much less a solemn one, and then America defaulting on it, but of an informal limit placed on the promise of equality in the first place. Rather than a check returned for insufficient funds, it was more like a blank check with a stipulation in its margin of an upper limit. Say, it was limited to "Not good for more than $1000." Our civil rights protests in the '60's wanted to grant equality to Negroes; say, raise the limit to $2000. Judge Smith in giving in under pressure included women and other categories in it, like raising the limit to $5000. When we raise the limit to more than where our forefathers set it, and then try to cash it, we may run into troubles irrespective of whether there are sufficient funds to cover it; there might not be enough funds for something else. Without a fixed manual labor pool, our environment might be further degraded. Our courts might get jammed with a multitude of lawsuits. Women may be overworked. At any rate, if we do not adopt Paul's laissez faire attitude to servitude, but instead try affirmative action to try to make up for an unfulfilled promise that our forebears never made, we could end up with the stressed out condition of the proverb.

Here is one professor's explanation of historical progression:

What the U.S. Constitution means is usually more a reflection of its readers than its authors. Consequently, the meaning of the Constitution keeps changing along with the changing generations of its readers. Although the framers' intent is certainly important, from a practical standpoint it has been the historical moment when our society read the Constitution that has shaped the history of its interpretation. ... More than this, the community's role in the reading is even justified because the Constitution is the product and property of the community more than of an individual.

When a text is central to a people or a nation, as the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution is, the history of its interpretation can serve as a window into the history of that people. One socially charged analogy in American history can illustrate. The landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954) overturned "separate, but equal" (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896) educational facilities for races as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that guarantees all citizens "equal protection of the laws." This corresponded to a changing American social landscape more than it did to the intent of the authors. The different interpretations of the Constitution in 1896 and 1954 reflected the changing social context of the interpreters. The text had not changed, but the readers and their social context had.

—William M. Schniedewind, University of California, Los Angeles, How the Bible Became a Book58

We misunderstand our society if we misunderstand history.
Notes Stuart Chase in Power of Words

Korzybski's time signal is especially useful for events in process, where the change is clearly recognizable. Seeing the date, one stops and reflects that the situation now is not what it was a hundred years ago, or a year ago, or ten minutes ago. Britain1066 is not Britain1920, and Britain1939 is not Britain1953, and to speak of "The American Way" as something fixed and unchangeable is to speak nonsense.
Equality1960 is not the same as equality1860 which itself is not the same as equality1760. When Thomas Jefferson wrote of equality, he was saying that slave owners should treat their slaves with respect and dignity. When Abraham Lincoln spoke of equality, he meant that the slaves should be free. When MLK preached equality, he meant that the descendants of former slaves should be given equal civil rights as everybody else. When we lose sight of history, the historically dominant whites end up feeling guilty because our forefathers never lived up to equality1960 when actually all they had promised was equality1760. We try to appease our misinformed consciences with affirmative action which does not change attitudes; if anything it makes them worse.

Again, it wasn't until President Eisenhower's meddling with the Supreme Court that a major hurdle was cleared for civil rights.

The Supreme Court was instrumental in sparking the civil rights revolution. Chief Justice Warren's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the school desegregation case, occurred during the relatively quiescent Eisenhower years and helped commit both Eisenhower and subsequent presidents to an activist role in the area of equal rights for minorities.
—Forrest Chisman & Alan Pifer, Government For the People60

"Look at it this way," she said. "The people who owned slaves, back in the nineteenth century, most of them considered themselves to be decent, upstanding, God-fearing Christians. They honestly didn't think what they were doing was evil. It would be easy to say yes, that owning slaves made them evil. But they didn't go around thinking they were evil. They thought they were doing the right thing."

"But they weren't," Sharia said. "And so they were evil. If I was to kill somebody, even if I thought it was a good thing, it'd still be wrong no matter what I thought."

"And yet we sometimes say that killing is justified. Look at war. The death penalty."

"Owning another human being is never justified, however you look at it."

Claire was not winning this; in fact, she suspected she was only confirming Sharia's absolutist thinking. And perhaps Sharia was right. Perhaps it was due to a sort of moral laxity on her part that Claire had let everything become so clouded.

"Think about it," she said. ... "A hundred years from now, society may well think that killing and eating other animals is evil. Everybody's seen the light, and they're all vegetarians in the twenty-first century. And they look back on us in the twentieth century and say, How could they not have known that it was wrong to eat meat? How could a whole society have been so evil? But of course we don't go around thinking of ourselves as evil. And yet the future may think we are.

"That's silly," Sharia said. "There's nothing wrong with eating meat. We have to eat meat. It's part of nature. You can't compare eating meat to owning slaves. They're two totally different things."

"We see it that way now," Claire said forlornly, ... "but the slaveowners thought it was natural to own slaves. So what if we're just as wrong about what we think is natural? What if the future judges us just as harshly as you're saying we should judge the past?"

—Paul Russell, The Coming Storm61
If we remember Paul's response to Philemon's slave freed not by right, our Christian response to civil rights might be more regressive.

Perhaps it would help to take an individual perspective. From Anita Taylor et al, in Communicating:62

The psychologist Abraham Maslow's analysis of human needs suggests that many needs of varying importance motivate human behavior. Describing the needs as a hierarchy, Maslow argues that the need actually motivating behavior in any situation depends on whether or not needs lower in the hierarchy are satisfied. Figure 6-1 shows this hierarchy.63


 love and belonging



Survival... At the base of the hierarchy are survival needs. To survive, certain basic physiological needs must be satisfied. These include shelter, food, water, air, reproduction—all the requirements necessary to sustain life. The need to maintain a constant internal environment provides some of our most basic, though often unnoticed, motivations. Survival motivations underlie many other needs and under most conditions must be satisfied before other needs will motivate. A person gasping for lack of oxygen will seldom be strongly motivated by less basic needs. Yet there are complex interrelations in human motivation. As you know, some people do deny themselves survival to satisfy other basic needs. Parents reenter a burning building to save a child; police officers live with the threat of bodily harm; a hero may risk death to stop a mugging. ...

Esteem... At the fourth level in the Maslow hierarchy are the needs for esteem. ... They involve needs for acceptance and respect by others and self.

By definition Affirmative Action is an attempt to make a person or group feel good about themselves, but unless he really is best suited for the job, he the one who had been cultivated as a servant placed now as boss will stress out the situation.

On a personal level it works that way; achievement has to come before esteem. A church's newsletter acknowledged Maslow's needs hierarchy when it quoted Bill Gates: "The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself."

My own story illustrates my main point. I was a conscientious objector in the Vietnam era based on some eastern religious beliefs I held at the time. I got converted in the Jesus Movement and wrote to my draft board saying my beliefs had changed and I hadn't worked out my new position on war yet. They allowed me to keep my status but wanted me to do civilian alternative service in a hospital for two years. I got a job as a dishwasher in one.

After a month I quit and came back to Oregon to serve the Lord. We were not supposed to quit like that. I just lived on a Christian commune, didn't tell the draft board my address, and didn't worry about it.

One day they made an announcement that our commune had acquired the status as a place where conscientious objectors could do their civilian alternative service. So I wrote my draft board, apologized about not keeping them informed of my address, and told them I'd like to do my service there at that Christian ministry.

It was much like Paul trying to square the runaway slave with his owner Philemon: (Philem. 1:10-14) "I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly." Although I was serving the Lord, the Lord wanted me to go back and square things with my draft board.

They wrote back giving me credit for the month I had worked in the hospital, back credit from the day I first joined that ministry, and I only had three months to go—which I gladly served out.

Now, draw an analogy: My draft service parallels the servitude of the slave Onesimus parallels the manual labor such as the Negroes, per Booker T. Washington, were to do to prove themselves useful to the whites. It must have seemed too much for Onesimus, otherwise why did he run away? I know the dishwashing seemed hard to me and the two years to go an eternity to a young man. The Negroes did not care for their lot either, and there seemed no end in sight.

So they didn't want to patiently wait for the Whites to accept them; they protested, rioted, and made speeches. Eventually to restore calm some civil rights legislation was enacted, but it was bitterly fought and not everybody was or is pleased with it, political correctness notwithstanding.

Okay, let's look at a best case scenario: The Blacks now went on to serve a higher ideal, just as I went to a commune to serve the Lord.

It is young republicans and libertarians, those who believe that the main measure of a person is their character and their ability to produce for themselves and society, that are now the true defenders of justice and the highest ideals of a society based on individual accomplishment.
—Bret Jacobson, "Racist charges undermine core beliefs"64
Now the Blacks (best case scenario) feel they can be most useful given equal opportunities. Say, this is even God's ideal, just as a Christian commune in my past was the way to go. Now the Whites look back and give the Blacks every break, just as my draft board did me, and Philemon was supposed to do for Onesimus. They would give the Blacks credit for the time they majored in manual labor just as I received credit for my one month doing dishes in a hospital. Then the Blacks would get huge credit for all their accomplishments resulting from equal opportunity, just as I got credit for twenty months I'd been at the commune. Then it was found I still had three months to go. Likewise we see that there are some times when we are better off not having a Negro as boss (he doesn't, say, have a leader's voice but that of a follower developed before he ever entered school), and there are some times when we need him to do manual labor (our environment is deteriorating and there no way to get around the need). To follow that democratic ideal, he still has some time to work in the ditch, not as boss of the project. I took it in stride, Onesimus took his situation in stride, why cannot everyone else? As the song"Cowboy Logic"65 tells us:
      That's cowboy logic; every cowboy's got it.
      He's got a simple solution to just about anything.
      If it's a job, do it.  Put your back into it.
     'Cause a little bit of dirt's gonna wash off in the rain.

It comes down to that ideal of "character and their ability to produce." It is a mark of character to accept one's position. Another proverb says, (Prov. 14:34) "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people." Our country was exalted as a place to freely worship God. It was not that Africa and Europe were free democracies and its peoples came over here only to have the African-Americans suddenly enslaved by the European-Americans. No, America was a bold successful experiment, the first of its kind, and if Negroes were not granted full equality at the time, well, our founding fathers did the best they could and who are we to judge them? At any rate, they did not promise the Negro equality; that came later.

In this nation exalted by its righteousness, over half our prison population is Black. Inasmuch as "sin is a reproach to any people," that character fault attaches to them so that MLK's wish that people be judged by their character helps their image about as much as his own mischief helps his. To be content, productive, and of a good character is better for our nation than to be bitter and expecting unearned privileges.

It's an interesting note on Paul's return of a runaway slave to Philemon, that he wasn't strictly following the Jewish law, (Deut. 23:15-16) "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee: He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him." It was a return but to a more humane treatment, the New Covenant Gospel which Paul preached getting to the fundamental heart of matters rather than strict externals. For that matter even the slavery of Joseph can be instructive. (Gen. 37:28} "Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt." Here is how Thomas Mann describes the Midianite merchantman's position in discussing Joseph's servitude:

What should I gain from prying into thy antecedents and perhaps learning that it standeth with thee the gods know how, so that thou wast not at all for sale and art not, so that I have lost mine own, or if I sell thee again it is a wrong and a trade with stolen goods? Go to, I will know naught of thy affairs nor their details, that I may remain innocent and in the right.
—Thomas Mann, Joseph in Egypt66
Such a purchase is reminiscent of a New Testament principle not usually associated with slavery but with idolatry which is also bad. (I Cor. 10:25) "Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof." A lot of the food sold in that ancient marketplace had been sacrificed to idols, so it was better for the faithful Christian to eat of God's provision without asking too many questions; so, should he end up in an economy where he acquires slaves, it were better for him to treat them humanely without delving too deeply into the history of the institution. If one wants to apply that principle.

Joseph suffered setbacks but eventually did OK. His response to his brothers upon being reunited with them is instructive regarding our topic of reducing stress in society. (Gen. 45:3-5) "And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life." They were "troubled at his presence," but Joseph spoke conciliatory words to them. I remember an account of someone traveling to South Africa and learning of a secret desire of the tribesmen there: They wished that their ancestors had been captured and taken as slaves so that they would have been born in America. The ones who were, if they were to speak from the perspective of gratitude that life worked out that way, it would go a long way to easing racial stress. For that matter practicing Joseph's chastity would result in children with their fathers present—and an extended family—which goes a long way towards prosperity.

Let's take a different perspective by looking at Kosovo:

The 1981 Student Demonstrations67

Laying the Foundation: 1971-1981
When reforms against repression begin, repression becomes less tolerable: so goes the Machiavellian proposition. Nowhere does this maxim hold more true than in Kosovo. From 1971 to 1981, Albanians in Kosovo progressively gained rights and, in the process, experienced unparalleled progress in the fields of education, science and culture. With the opening of the University of Priština in 1969, Kosovars had access to Albanian-language instruction in primary, secondary and university classes; institutes for Albanian literature and culture were opened; and cultural ties between Albania and Kosovo were permitted, leading to an influx of books from Albania to Kosovo, the exchange of visiting professors and even the planning of joint film productions. Although not perfect, the national "key" system—akin to proportional affirmative action—assured Albanian representation on managerial boards of state enterprises, in civil service and in provincial and federal government. During 1971-1979, the vice-president of the federal Presidency was a Kosovo Albanian, Fadil Hoxha, making him the highest-ranking Kosovo Albanian ever in Yugoslavia. Within the framework of Yugoslavia, then, Kosovo Albanians had never achieved so much in such a short time.

At what appeared to be the zenith of Kosovo Albanian achievements, those who seemed to be benefiting the most from the reforms, the young intellectuals, decided to take action to push for even greater change. The improved conditions for Albanians in Kosovo had created a better educated, healthier and more ambitious population. But also, by opening the door for hope, the improvements had tapped discontent. As a result, the decade of 1971-1981 was characterized by "a growing confidence among local Albanian leaders, who felt uneasy under Serbian 'paternalism,' as well as an increasing number of mass protests, demonstrations, and riots that rejected it unconditionally."68

The staging of Albanian demonstrations at this time period confounded Serbs. After all, things seemed to be going so well. "Minority rights of Albanians in Kosovo until 1989 were guaranteed beyond and in excess of international standards," legal scholar Vladan Vasilijević notes.69 The sentiment among Serbs was along the lines of: "We had given them everything, even their own university, their own government."70 But Albanians did not want to be in the position of being given anything. Despite the reforms, notes Sami Repishti, a U.S.-based academic originally from Kosovo, "the feeling of dependency on Serbia ... remained a major source of friction and deep dissatisfaction."71 Moreover, Kosovo Albanians felt a personal affront at not being considered a "nation" but only a "nationality," a lower status under the nomenclature of Yugoslavia. The insult of Yugoslavia not considering Albanians a "nation" could not be compensated with a university, nor with a provincial government.

In 1982, Yugoslavia was composed of six nations—Slovenes, Montenegrans, Croats, Serbs, Macedonians and Muslims—and all the rest of the groups of people were considered "nationalities" or "ethnic minorities." "Muslims"—ethnic Slavs who had converted to Islam during Ottoman rule—were the last group to be given the status of a nation (in 1968), having been allowed the appellation on the federal census in 1961. The term "Muslim" did not refer only to religion; the practicing of Islam was neither necessary nor sufficient for inclusion in this group. (For example, Muslim Albanians were not considered to be part of this national grouping of Muslim.) Rather, "Muslim" referred to a group defined by a bundle of markers of distinctiveness: language, culture, economic life, real and imagined history and a sense of territoriality. Albanians living in Yugoslavia pointed out that they had all those markers. There were more Albanians in Yugoslavia than there were Montenegrins; why should the latter be a nation while the former were not? The only reason, it seemed, was that they were considered to have a nation elsewhere—Albania—and thus they could not "have two." Some feared that the promotion of an Albanian nation in Yugoslavia would challenge the country's territorial integrity. Promotion of a Muslim identity in Bosnia-Herzegovina was thought to help serve as a buffer against territorial claims from Croatia and Serbia and, thus, promote the continued existence of Yugoslavia, but promotion of an Albanian Kosovar identity was viewed as a threat to Yugoslav unity. Some Albanian commentators suggest that Yugoslavia, being at its core a Slavic country, would never give a non-Slavic population, such as the Albanians, the status of a "nation."

By comparison, we take what is the core people of the U.S. and ask if Negroes can ever be totally integrated into it. Calling themselves African-Americans, it can be argued, serves to keep them outside the mainstream just as the Albanians already having an outside country weren't to be given a second one inside. Let's say, we take affirmative action to its next Machiavellian step. Does that reduce stress?

"I hope you appreciate just how absurd America recognizing a Palestinian state inside Israel really is. Imagine Mexicans in Texas and California terrorizing American citizens. It gets so bad, Mongolia tells the terrorists that they'll give them those states if they'll swear off killing for a month or two and promise to elect one of their gang members president. That's not unlike what Bush proposed."

"Now, that's not nice. We stole Texas and California fair and square."

"Swell. And I suppose when Jefferson bought the American West from Napoleon, he checked the title deed to see if he'd paid the Sioux for it?"

—Craig Winn & Ken Power, Tea with Terrorists72
If Mexicans terrorized American citizens, and we checked the old deeds and reinterpreted Jefferson's old promises, and we gave them their own states, would we have peace? The question might remain, why did they terrorize Americans in the first place? And how are we sure it will now stop? We might ask ourselves in the case of the descendents of liberated slaves, if they terrorize the country with crime, will affirmative action give us peace? Why all the crime in the first place?
There seems to be an increase in criminality when boys and girls try to improve their lot by going to the cities where the opportunity for crime is greater and settled custom exerts less force. The influence, however, of past tradition may last for a considerable time. Thus, the smaller criminality among the foreign born is to be explained not only by their age distribution but by the persistence of their home training, while the increased criminality of their more Americanized children is due to the fact that those accustomed to the old world discipline have difficulty in transmitting it to their children who are living under new conditions.

Does the existence of economic causes remove the necessity of punishment? The fact that some conditions leading to crime are removable does not prove that all are so. But what is even more important is to be on guard against the assumption that the elimination of social conditions can be effected at once. If, as human experience indicates, this is not so easy, we may well ask of our reformers: what do you propose to do with those guilty of rape, incendiary murder or the like? Abolish the cause? Admirable, when feasible. But so long as these offenses occur, do you propose to do nothing to the offender? Even if you propose to reform him, must you not detain him against his will? And is not such detention a punishment?

—Morris Raphael Cohen, Reason and Law73
It seems to me that a legitimate question can be raised regarding the home training and the persistence of tradition over considerable time of descendents of liberated slaves.
The slaves formulated legal and moral codes of their own. ¶The white man's laws against theft, for example, were not supported by the slave's code. In demonstrating the "absence of moral principle" among bondsmen, one master observed: "To steal and not to be detected is a merit among them." Let a master turn his back, wrote another, and some "cunning fellow" would appropriate part of his goods. ...

Dishonesty, as the master understood the term, seemed to be a common if not an inherent trait of southern slaves. ¶The slaves had a somewhat different definition of dishonesty in their own code, to which they were reasonably faithful. For appropriating their master's goods they might be punished and denounced by him, but they were not likely to be disgraced among their associates in the slave quarters, who made a distinction between "stealing" and "taking." Appropriating things from the master meant simply taking part of his property for the benefit of another part or, as Frederick Douglas phrased it, "taking his meat out of one tub, and putting it in another." Thus a female domestic who had been scolded for the theft of some trinkets was reported to have replied: "Law, Mam, don't say I's wicked; ole Aunt Ann says it allers right for us poor colored people to 'popiate whatever of de wite folk's blessings de Lord puts our way." Stealing, on the other hand, meant appropriating something that belonged to another slave, and this was an offense which slaves did not condone.

Next to theft, arson was the most common slave "crime," one which slaveholders dreaded almost constantly. Fire was a favorite means for aggrieved slaves to even the score with their master. Reports emanated periodically from some region or other that there was an "epidemic" of gin-house burnings, or that some bondsman had taken his revenge by burning the slave quarters or other farm buildings. More than one planter thus saw the better part of a year's harvest go up in flames. Southern newspapers and court records are filled with illustrations of this offense, and with evidence of the severe penalties inflicted upon those found guilty of committing it.

Ante-bellum records are replete with acts of violence committed by individual slaves upon masters, overseers, and other whites. A Texan complained, in 1853, that cases of slaves murdering white men were becoming "painfully frequent." "Within the last year or two many murders have taken place, by negroes upon their owners," reported a Louisiana newspaper. And a Florida editor once wrote: "It is our painful duty to record another instance of the destruction of the life of a white man by a slave."

—Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution74
Rather than bringing with them a code enjoining honesty among mainstream Americans, we see the slaves had one that allowed theft, arson, and murder. Affirmative action is not a complete solution and certainly not an immediate one for this persistent influence.

It is not the intention of this study to solve all our social problems, only to demonstrate four sources of stress to society, the first one being some form of affirmative action: "A servant when he reigneth." As Catherine, Don and Rick remarked in James Sallis's novel, Ghost of a Flea:75

"You can set up systems to provide basic needs. Service, employment, housing. No problem there. But what do you do about incentive? Much as we'd like it to, Maslow's hierarchy doesn't just kick in like an afterburner."

"Same dilemma as at the heart of socialist and communist forms of government."


"Whereas capitalism tends inevitably to monopolies and centralization of wealth," Don said.

I stared at him.

He shrugged. "Lots of spare time these days. I've been reading some."

"Because motivation has to come from within," Catherine said.

"Does it? There's no greater motivation, for some, than wealth accumulation. Status. Both of those are external counters. Meanwhile, what seems an evergrowing percentage of our population has no motivation."

For broader perspective, let's peek at one society which had peace without elevating the status of its ex-servants.
At last the planters "owned" Plymouth—subject to the mortgage, of course. And now what was to be done? How were the "stocks, shares, lands, marchandise, and chatles" to be distributed? For a time Bradford and his council toyed with the idea of excluding the "untowarde persons mixed amongst them from the first"—in other words, many of the Strangers who had come on the Mayflower and later ships. This would have touched off a terrific explosion, but wiser counsel finally prevailed. As all had borne the hardships and toil of building Plymouth, all should share equally in the division—at least all "of abillity, and free, and able to governe themselves with meete descretion." Indentured servants were to receive nothing but what their masters were disposed to give them or what "their deservings should obtaine from ye company afterwards."
—Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution76

Perhaps the best way to characterize Martin Luther King Jr. is found in Shakespeare's A Lover's Complaint:

     'For maiden-tongu'd he was, and thereof free;
     Yet, if men mov'd him, was he such a storm
     As oft 'twixt May and April is to see,
     When winds breathe sweet, unruly though they be.

MLK was passionately moved by the plight of his fellow Negro in America, and his rousing speeches nonetheless contained the sweetness of forgiveness and reconciliation.

     'His rudeness so with his authoriz'd youth
     Did livery falseness in a pride of truth.

MLK was rude to the extent of crossing lines, in his youthful exuberance, that landed him in jail. He "did livery falseness in a pride of truth" in his Dream speech by saying America had made a solemn promise to the Negro that he was created equal to whites and had then reneged on that promise, when the truth is there was no such promise given. It's a horse of a different color, Negroes by consensus not being included in the promise of equality. For the purposes of our argument against Affirmative Action it makes a difference, because if America had failed to come through on such a solemn promise, she might feel obligated to apply affirmative action to finally make it right, but if instead it is the Negro who now wants equality which our founders had not promised, it is more up to him to show himself worthy without special considerations.

     'Well could he ride, and often men would say
     "That horse his mettle from his rider takes:
     Proud of subjection, noble by the sway,
     What rounds, what bounds, what course, what stop he makes!"
     And controversy hence a question takes,
     Whether the horse by him became his deed,
     Or he his manage by th' well-doing steed.
     ¶'But quickly on this side the verdict went:
     His real habitude gave life and grace
     To appertainings and to ornament,
     Accomplish'd in himself, not in his case.
     All aids, themselves made fairer by their place,
     Came for additions; yet their purpos'd trim
     Piec'd not his grace, but were all grac'd by him.

The horse is the movement. Was Martin Luther King the champion guiding the civil rights movement to success, or was he merely cast into a favorable light by the success of a movement? The answer is the former seeing there is now a federal holiday honoring his birthday. Most states have a similar state holiday, and controversy surrounds the ones that don't. Only a very few states make that Monday a generic Civil Rights Day and let MLK be relegated to mere participatory status.

     'So on the tip of his subduing tongue
     All kind of arguments and question deep,
     All replication prompt and reason strong,
     For his advantage still did wake and sleep.
     To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep,
     He had the dialect and different skill,
     Catching all passions in his craft of will;
     ¶'That he did in the general bosom reign
     Of young, of old, and sexes both enchanted,
     To dwell with him in thoughts, or to remain
     In personal duty, following where he haunted.
     Consents bewitch'd, ere he desire, have granted,
     And dialogu'd for him what he would say,
     Ask'd their own wills, and made their wills obey.

MLK appealed to a broad range of people, mesmerizing them with his potent speeches.

     'For further I could say "This man's untrue",
     And knew the patterns of his foul beguiling;
     Heard where his plants in others' orchards grew;
     Saw how deceits were gilded in his smiling;
     Knew vows were ever brokers to defiling;
     Thought characters and words merely but art,
     And bastards of his foul adulterous heart.

He was untrue in his speech; he was beguiling. His adulteries were open knowledge at the time, and in retrospect his deceitfully plagiarized doctoral thesis has come to light. He was manipulative in his speeches.

     'He preach'd pure maid and prais'd cold chastity.
     ¶'Thus merely with the garment of a Grace
     The naked and concealed fiend he cover'd,
     That th' unexperient gave the tempter place,
     Which, like a cherubin, above them hover'd.
     Who, young and simple, would not be so lover'd?'

So we are a young inexperienced country, with a voter pool that favors the young, and Satan's ministers as angels of light. His speech carried weight with the masses, but it doesn't hold up to historical inspection. As Henry David Thoreau has noted—who opposed slavery:

What is called eloquence in the forum is commonly found to be rhetoric in the study. The orator yields to the inspiration of a transient occasion, and speaks to the mob before him, to those who can hear him; but the writer, whose more equable life is his occasion, and who would be distracted by the event and the crowd which inspire the orator, speaks to the intellect and health of mankind, to all in any age who can understand him.
—Henry David Thoreau, Walden77
Solomon and Shakespeare "speak to the intellect and health of mankind, in any age."

It is sadly ironic that Martin Luther King Jr. has been made into an icon of the civil rights movement. Remember his complaint about names from his Letter from Birmingham Jail:

... when your first name becomes "nigger" and your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."78
This corresponds to a reality that had an additional dimension as explained in Professor Kenneth M. Stampp's The Peculiar Institution.79
Even the most sensitive master called adult slave men "boys" and women "girls," until in their old age he made them honorary "uncles" and "aunties." In addressing them, he never used courtesy titles such as "Mr.," "Miss," and "Mrs."; except in Maryland he seldom identified them by family names. But in selecting given names the master often let his sense of humor have full play. If familiar with the classics, he found a yard full of Caesars, Ciceros, Pompeys, Catos, Jupiters, Venuses, and Junos deliciously ludicrous; and he saw to it that every distinguished soldier and statesman had his slave namesake. When a clergyman visited a Mississippi plantation to baptize forty slave children, he could "scarcely keep his countenance" as he administered the sacrament to "Alexander de Great," "General Jackson," "Walter Scott," "Napoleon Bonaparte," and "Queen Victoria," among others. This "scandalous naming" originated in the "merry brain" of the planter's sister, and the white visitors found "the whole scene irresistible."80
True, it was MLK's father's visit to Germany that impressed him with the great church reformer Martin Luther, so that he renamed himself and his son after him, which was not ipso facto a "scandalous naming," but to appropriate a leader so named as an icon of a movement to grant respect to members of the race descended from slaves so named is, well, ironic.

We are bombarded with a lot of rhetoric concerning race relations which seems at times to lead to the affirmative action solution, but there are other sides of the issue that don't get so much exposure. Perhaps the lessons of Kosovo could be applied here.

History as Myth and Experience 81

The most basic lesson [of] this book applies to all of us. Our identities as individuals and as members of groups are defined through the telling and remembering of stories. Real or imagined, these stories shape our understanding of ourselves as heroes, martyrs, triumphant conquerors and humiliated victims.82 The most dangerous identity is that of victim. Once we see ourselves as victims, we can clearly identify an enemy. Steeped in our own victimhood, we no longer feel bound by moral considerations in becoming perpetrators.83 ...

People are not unknowingly and blindly led to Truths. Rather, in a complex and self-perpetuating process, we seek out the Truths that best fit our notions of right and wrong, our idea of who is good and who is evil. These notions come from somewhere: from family, society, schooling, religion—the parts of our lives that wean us from ways of judging. "Socially and politically, we inhabit a world of unspoken premises, hidden dangers, subtle contradictions and quiet intractabilities, a world where nothing is quite as it seems to be, a world whose muscular realities warp and attenuate our values."84 ...

An old Balkan tale tells of a man leafing madly through one newspaper after another. "Father, father, can I help you?" his son asks. "No," the man brushes the boy aside and continues skimming only the headlines of the papers. At last, he jabs his finger at one crumpled page and cries, "Here it is! I knew it all along." He throws the other papers on the floor and clings to his one headline. That the other papers contradict this story is irrelevant. He has found the Truth.

I have tried to provide some of the "other" stories that would tell against minorities themselves becoming the perpetrators of stress caused by their occupying positions for which they are not qualified. In the final analysis, reason argues against affirmative action as an answer.

The belief that there are no opportunities for you is caused by the fact that you have hidden yourself in a cave of inferiority. Go out into the life of worth, ability and competence, and you will find more opportunities than you can use. The world is ever in search of competent minds, and modern knowledge has made it possible for man to develop his ability. No one therefore has any legitimate reason for speaking of hard luck or hard times unless he prefers to live in want. The more you complain about hard times, the harder times will become for you, while if you resolve to forget that there is such a thing as failure and proceed to make your own life as you wish it to be, the turn in the lane will surely come.
—Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and how to Use Them85
I live in a fairly peaceful neighborhood: friendly people, some community gatherings. One day I am walking home to be confronted with a neighbor's new dog that got into a real snit barking at me. That behavior has continued, evidently the result of some abuse in the dog's past.

One day the dog's mistress explained to me that if I remove my hat, the dog will probably stop barking. I tried it. It works. Evidently some man wearing a hat had once been abusive to the dog leaving it upset. Since I am bald, I usually wear a hat to keep my head warm, shaded or dry. Now when I see the dog, I take off my hat.

One day when I was standing on the corner talking to a Negro friend of mine down the street, I spotted the dog being walked coming our way. I quickly removed my hat and told my friend to take his off too. He didn't understand what I was talking about and left his on. As the dog came near, I expected a spate of barking, ... but nothing. Evidently it had been a white man who had abused it; it doesn't bark at black men even when they wear a hat.

In this land of equality, it troubled me, this racist dog, and I've thought about applying some affirmative action. If I got my black friend to abuse the dog, say kick it a few times, then it might start barking at blacks as well as at whites.

But if that happened, we might want to expand our affirmative action to include women. Why should we allow a dog to bark at men and not at women? Doesn't seem fair. We could have some women kick the dog too.

But why should grownups get all the grief? Kids can tease the dog too. That way it wouldn't practice age discrimination. And people whose religion has them wearing hats might be feeling shortchanged, so perhaps we could have everyone at least carry a hat and put it on when they see the dog approaching.

I could bring this up at a neighborhood meeting. I can picture it now, a sort of stunned silence after my presentation. At that point I would offer a plan that involves quotas, so many kicks by so many different groups each week. The neighbor gets a knock on his door to find some sweet neighborhood ladies offering to fulfill their weekly quota on the dog whimpering in the corner.

He might not like this idea, and we can probably see why. Why should we have to stress out the whole neighborhood to take care of some problem that none of us was even responsible for? Yes, he is sympathetic to the plight of bald white guys, but is that a reasonable solution? He might suggest alternately that we all have patience until his dog gets over it, whenever that might be.

In response, say, I preached an excerpt from MLK's speech about the urgency of NOW. I would be considered a nut. There are some problems, however much we are sympathetic about them, that only get cured through time. To try for an immediate solution only adds stress to the whole neighborhood. And if we are unwilling to torment a dog, then why are some so willing to torment a hapless employer with a knock on the door by the affirmative action committee saying, "Damn their qualifications, you need to hire more minorities."


To understand a biblical view of quotas as applied to racial balancing, it helps to return to Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail:
When you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger" and your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tip-toe stance never quite knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"; then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the blackness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.86
He then goes on to justify breaking what he considers unjust laws, in particular, holding a parade without a permit which he likens to the Israelites' refusal to bow down to idols which the heathen laws required of them while in captivity. It seems like a stretch to me, too, so we shall come back to that, but first let's consider his assassination.
June 8, 1968, James Earl Ray—the accused assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis that past April—was picked up in London trying to get aboard a flight to Belgium. Ray was an ex-convict, broke, and not too bright. But he was doing a lot of traveling around the US and Europe that year. He would be brought back to the United States to stand trial for the assassination of King, but many were not satisfied with the evidence produced on behalf of the prosecution, and Ray himself complained that he had been manipulated by his defense team.
James Earl Ray had been hypnotized in Los Angeles two months before the assassination of Dr. King—by one Reverend Xavier von Koss—and a book on hypnotism was found in his safe house in Toronto, one of the stops he made before escaping to Europe.
As a case study in the use of hypnosis as a method for creating the Holy Grail: the Manchurian Candidate, if he could be made to express racist feelings, then were he involved in a political assassination, it could be put down to race hatred, as it had been in the case of James Earl Ray and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ... It is entirely possible that his projected role was not as an assassin, but as a fall guy, a patsy ... as it may well have been in Ray's case.
When Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, it only seemed to justify the certain belief that forces of evil were behind the killing. ... This system was predicated on the belief that events are related by invisible threads of connection that link them in ways too subtle to be measured by the normal cause and effect paradigm with which we are all familiar. After all, this is also the concept behind astrology, the Chinese system of feng shui, and many another occult, spiritual or New Age fashion. One can point to the Jewish system of the Qabala as the forerunner of this system in the West. The Qabala was a means of finding hidden relations between words ...
—Peter Levenda, Sinister Forces87
I hope my reader is suspicious enough of "invisible threads" to allow me to present the most obvious and easily discovered one. Whether he was the assassin or not, or was manipulated by someone else, the name James Earl Ray has an uncanny link to MLK's complained-about name in his letter above. Oh, the order is rotated by one, but the comparison holds. 'When your last name becomes "John",' was MLK's complaint, and his assassin was named James. But John and James were both apostles of the Lord, both beginning with "J." I'm not sure if I'd complain about a name of one of the apostles. MLK did. And his supposed assassin was also named for an apostle.

'When your first name becomes "nigger"' is his other complaint, and his assassin's middle name was Earl. The end sound of nigger and the beginning sound of Earl are identical.

And, complains MLK, 'your middle name becomes "boy".' A three letter name ending in y. Like Ray.

Now, I don't suppose that necessarily means anything, certainly not by the cause and effect paradigm we are used to, but given MLK's penchant (in his letter) for comparing himself to various saints, we would be remiss as psychic investigators if we did not find a biblical major name like John or James that also matched the other two name types MLK lists. I propose David. There is a name right up there with John—or with James for that matter.

Let's see if the other two names match: nigger and boy. Well, nigger is from the French negre which means black, as does Negro mean black in Spanish, Portuguese, and perhaps Italian. Is David colored? And does his reputation as a boy carry over into adulthood? Well, remember when the prophet Samuel came to anoint the next king: (I Samuel 16:10-14) "Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The LORD hath not chosen these. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him." David was "yet the youngest" and "he was ruddy." And remember when David confronted the giant Goliath? (I Samuel 17:42) "And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance." No matter how famous David got to be as an adult, how is he most remembered? As the shepherd boy who slew the giant Goliath. And his complexion—ruddy—is a given in his description. So MLK's complaint that he is known by the name of an established man of God, by his skin color, and his boyhood reputation finds its link in David.

Now, I'm all for looking into the lessons of the saints that came before us, as many as one can find to apply, and MLK in his letter from jail certainly plumbed the comparisons to himself, but it is absolutely essential that we not neglect the lessons and comparison of David, not unless we are truly dense and can't fathom anything deeper than a straightforward cause and effect paradigm. And even then there is nothing to stop us from looking at David.

Now, what has David being ruddy got to do with anything? And yet, that's how he is known. The same could be said, what has being colored got to do with anything? But that's how a certain people is known.

On the American Roots radio program Charlie Pride was being interviewed in his office in Dallas, Texas. He said people had asked him: "How does it feel to be the first colored country singer?"
"How does it feel to be the first black country singer?"
"How does it feel to be the first African American country singer?"
His answer: "It feels about the same as being a colored country singer."

How did David feel being a ruddy giant slayer? Probably about the same as a colored success in any tough field. David had been taunted by his brothers when he came to fight the giant just as MLK complains of being taunted for trying to make a decent life in a tough world, 'when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored".' As Bob Dylan put it in his song, "But I would not feel so all alone./ Everybody must get stoned."

MLK's complaint was of 'when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tip-toe stance never quite knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness".' How is that so different from David at the time in his life when he was constantly fleeing from Saul? (I Sam. 24:1-15) "And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt. And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD's anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD. So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way. David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men's words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed. Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea. The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand."

I'd say that MLK's 'degenerating sense of "nobodiness"' corresponds quite well with David's sense of being chased by Saul "after a dead dog, after a flea." A nobody. Yet, MLK responded by suggesting, 'then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the blackness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience.' But how do we understand David in similar circumstance? He didn't lose patience and strike against the authority of the land Saul, or when he did and cut off Saul's skirt—instead of killing him—, "David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt." He was apologetic as was not MLK in his letter.

The note in my Criswell study Bible makes a point I believe that ministers were making to MLK in his day, to trust and wait on the providence of God rather than take matters into his own hands out of impatience. 24:6 "David's attitude toward Saul does not at all condone the wretchedness and vileness of Saul's life. David, however, does recognize two crucial truths. First, God's providential control of history is all that is necessary for handling Saul's case. Second, David must not place himself in the position of marshalling an attack against one whom God has placed in authority (v. 9). He again refuses to take matters into his own hands in 26:9. David's caution regarding rebellion against those placed by God in roles of responsible leadership, particularly of a spiritual nature, is worthy of imitation in every age."

Let's look at that next time David restrains himself. (I Sam. 26:9-27:4) "And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them. Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them: And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king? And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord. This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster. And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand? Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods. Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains. Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly. And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it. The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed. And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation. Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place. And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand. And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath. And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife. And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him."

David was at his wit's end, and MLK was at his wit's end. David fled to Gath, the land of the Philistines, the back of the bus, as it were, and Saul, well, he marshaled an attack on the authorities of the land rather than accept a lower seat, 'When you take a cross-country drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you.' No land of the Philistines for MLK. He's not going to sleep in his car. David had to rough it but not Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now getting back to treating a lack of a permit for their parade as if it were a case of not bowing down to the heathen idol, which comparison MLK wanted to make in his letter. Let's consider religious tolerance even in the days of slavery.

The white-controlled churches made an important contribution to the governing of their slave communicants. They disciplined or "excluded from fellowship" bondsmen guilty of such offenses as "disorder," thievery, "selling spirits on the Lord's day at meeting," "unchristian conduct," and "immorality." For instance, the slave Peter, a member of a Presbyterian church in Iredell County, North Carolina, confessed that he had forged a pass. Because forgery and falsehood were such "flagrant crimes," he was suspended from membership and "exhorted to repentance and [a] better life." A year later, Peter applied for the restoration of his church privileges, "professing a deep penitence for his sins, and a strong determination to lead hereafter a life of greater watchfulness and more prayer." Peter was forgiven.
—Kenneth M. Stampp, Professor of American History at the University of California (Berkeley), The Peculiar Institution88
The Whites did not make laws requiring a valid pass or permit as a means of removing Negroes from watchfulness and prayer. Just the opposite. Negroes who didn't follow the system correctly were exhorted to a "greater watchfulness and more prayer." Martin Luther King seems to have it twisted all around when he calls failure to obtain the right permit a refusal to bow to an idol. At least I have to scratch my head; he hasn't convinced me. One thing I do know is that David who refused to thwart an unjust king was held as an example of one who is against idolatry. (Ezekiel 37:23-24) "Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, ... And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them." Christians, to be sure, are not to defile themselves with idols, the firm Israelites in captivity spoken of in Daniel being a good example. That is correct. However, David is a type of our leader Christ, and David himself did not marshal an attack on King Saul however unjust that king was.

What I would like to do is look at what Henry David Thoreau said in the conclusion of Walden about just laws and unjust laws. He actually went to jail rather than pay a poll tax on slavery which he did not support. Maybe we should at least see what he has to say.

It is said that Mirabeau took to highway robbery 'to ascertain what degree of resolution was necessary in order to place oneself in formal opposition to the most sacred laws of society'. He declared that 'a soldier who fights in the ranks does not require half so much courage as a footpad' - 'that honour and religion have never stood in the way of a well-considered and a firm resolve'. This was manly, as the world goes; and yet it was idle, if not desperate. A saner man would have found himself often enough 'in formal opposition' to what are deemed 'the most sacred laws of society', and so have tested his resolution without going out of his way. It is not for a man to put himself in such an attitude to society, but to maintain himself in whatever attitude he finds himself through obedience to the laws of his being, which will never be one of opposition to a just government, if he should chance to meet with such.
MLK in his opposition to, say, the requirement of a permit for a parade, and on a larger scale the rioting and pilfering blacks, are "manly, as the world goes; and yet ... idle, if not desperate." I mean, a black man in frustration at the system shows his manhood by, say, robbing a TV store. That's idle and a bit desperate. Sure, he has struck back at the system but not in the same way as the Jews who refused idol worship when it was demanded of them.

David held a better example. (I Sam. 25:4-9) "And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep. And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name: And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel. Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased." David and his men looked to the preservation of the businesses around them, not their despoilment.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the licence of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
When David was poor and neglected and weak, at the mercy of the whims of a powerful unsympathetic king, we nevertheless see him as rich and protected and strong in the Lord. David was an example of having the correct inward disposition to God, "a man after mine own heart" (Acts 13:22), and his psalms attest to his rich inward life throughout the time he was being pursued by King Saul. The universe more or less made way for David and eventually he was crowned king. "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams ..." Such was the life of David. (Psalms 9:7-10,13-14,18-20) "But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. ... Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: That I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. ... For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah."

MLK said, "I have a dream." So, lots of people have dreams, and it is the ones who advance confidently in the direction of them that have the way open to them, as was Booker T. Washington's advice, to live a life of humility, service, and respect, and then the universal laws would change the system to be more to their liking. MLK lacked the confidence and faith to take that approach but wanted to force the realization of his dream. David had the way open before him, as was the case with Nabal's good wife overriding the bad response of her unjust husband.

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The faultfinder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man's abode; the snow melts before its door as early in the spring. I do not see but a quiet mind may live as contentedly there, and have as cheering thoughts, as in a palace. The town's poor seem to me often to live the most independent lives of any. Maybe they are simply great enough to receive without misgiving. Most think that they are above being supported by the town; but it oftener happens that they are not above supporting themselves by dishonest means, which should be more disreputable. Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them. Things do not change; we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts. God will see that you do not want society. If I were confined to a corner of a garret all my days, like a spider, the world would be just as large to me while I had my thoughts about me. The philosopher said: 'From an army of three divisions one can take away its general, and put it in disorder; from the man the most abject and vulgar one cannot take away his thought.' Do not seek so anxiously to be developed, to subject yourself to many influences to be played on; it is all dissipation. Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights. The shadows of poverty and meanness gather around us, 'and lo! creation widens to our view'. We are often reminded that if there were bestowed on us the wealth of Croesus, our aims must still be the same, and our means essentially the same. Moreover, if you are restricted in your range by poverty, if you cannot buy books and newspapers, for instance, you are but confined to the most significant and vital experiences; you are compelled to deal with the material which yields the most sugar and the most starch. It is life near the bone where it is sweetest. You are defended from being a trifler. No man loses ever on a lower level by magnanimity on a higher. Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.
Rather than meeting and living a mean life of a Negro, MLK wanted to shun it and call it hard times. But the sun, snow and sky outside the car he had to sleep in were just as glorious as those outside a fancy motel he was not allowed to stay in. His "I have a dream" speech said that the Negro would not be content until the Whites shared with him the paradise they live in. Henry David Thoreau is of the mind that the complainer will still complain even in paradise. Now that the Civil Rights Act grants coloreds the "paradise" too, are we really surprised that we're not relieved by a profound and pervasive contentment? Now it's affirmative action that's demanded while the blacks are not above robbery and dope dealing as a means of support.

To round out our comparison of MLK to David, I'll touch on two other aspects. David was anointed by the prophet Samuel as a prelude to his eventual kingship. Think of it in today's terms that one receives a college degree as a prelude to one's later position in life. Samuel poured the anointing oil on the shepherd boy David. In fact, he thought it was one of David's other fine older brothers that would get the anointing, but God directed him to young David.

Well, in doing historical research for a memorial to MLK, it was discovered that he had plagiarized his doctoral dissertation. This was a big news item briefly and then got swept under the rug. To take the analogy back to David, it would be as if Samuel did, in fact, anoint one of those older brothers instead of David himself.

Our last comparison is to David's instance of adultery. He saw beautiful Bathsheba bathing on her roof, he wanted her, he had her, he knocked her up. He brought her husband Uriah the Hittite home from the battle as a cover-up, but he stayed away from her while his comrades were on the battlefield. So David had him isolated and killed by the Philistines they were fighting.

God was not pleased. God's prophet Nathan confronted David and had him announce the punishment for the crime: "He shall surely die and restore fourfold" (II Samuel 12:5b-6a). In fact David was punished fourfold:

  1. The death of his and Bathsheba's son.
  2. The defilement of his daughter Tamar.
  3. The cursing of Shimei.
  4. The defilement of his concubines.
And David was like to almost be killed during the rebellion of Absalom.

Okay, let's set MLK in that context, and if the reports and rumors are true about him being a womanizer, then it was not a one time slip into adultery but an ongoing lifestyle. In that case it wouldn't have been one man left to fight the Philistines alone, but a whole company of husbands, brothers, and fathers of the women he defiled. Maybe they would have actually prevailed against the Philistines by sheer numbers alone. At any rate it wouldn't have been just one rebellious son after his life for God's judgment, but many sons. David was almost killed in a political assassination as part of God's judgment, and for numerous adulteries we may suppose he would have been killed.

Now, MLK given time for contemplation in Birmingham jail, in answer to some serious questions by ministers, men of the cloth, formulated his reply in a letter in which he made comparisons between himself and past saints and men of God. He particularly pegged himself as a David by the choice of names he answered to, and his lifestyle pegged him as a sort of anti-David. David was like to have been killed for his one adultery. Is it any wonder an anti-David was killed for his ongoing adulteries plural?

MLK was an anti-David, and David was a type of Christ. That makes MLK a kind of antichrist. Oh, not the big one, but one of his many predecessors. Now, it's the nature of the beast (Revelations), that he receives a mortal head wound, then rises back up to massive worship. MLK as one of the predecessor beasts was killed, but now we hear his speeches more than ever, our buildings and parks are named after him, and he has his own holiday. The masses worship him.

Perhaps further antichrists will attack other institutions associated with a Christ modeled society. Feminism to thwart male headship. Gay marriage. Eventually the real antichrist will get here and preach universal tolerance of everyone but Christians. That is not the subject of this study. I am looking into causes of stress to society, here by affirmative action.

I was walking down Centennial Boulevard in Eugene, Oregon one day when I noticed a sign posted on a pole. There were plans to rename the street to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and they asked for public input. I was horrified!

My letter in opposition contained a number of objections. Topmost was that it would interfere with my meditations. It was my habit to eat dinner in Springfield, then take Pioneer Parkway—named in honor of our pioneers who settled Oregon—out to Centennial Blvd.—named at Oregon's centennial celebration of statehood in honor of our pioneers—until I got to Skinner's Butte park—named in honor of Eugene Skinner the pioneer who founded Eugene—, and then climb to the top of Skinner's Butte where I would meditate for a couple hours or so feeling connected to Oregon in the pioneer spirit. This I did week after week for years. And now they wanted to rename one of the pioneer-honoring roads on my route to get there! Aren't there other roads they could name that don't have a special historical significance already?

I had several other objections, all to do with the stress of renaming this particular street. Others objected too. The suggestion for renaming this particular street was made by the NAACP in Portland, Oregon. Being from a different city, they failed to appreciate the meaning this street had already. They just picked a major road with not too many businesses on it.

The city counsel considered the objections and decided to table it. They would consider various other options to see if Centennial Boulevard were really the best choice.

One of the counselors, a Negress, threw a tantrum demanding Centennial be renamed immediately. She screamed, "God will judge you!" at the others. They then asked the businesses on the street if they would withdraw their objections, and when they did, the counsel renamed it forthwith.

So now we are getting into the area of the government operating out of fear of God's judgment. I think that since MLK's letter from Birmingham jail was a serious reply to the objections of ministers, then we ministers have the right to consider such issues as God's judgment—which MLK seemed unwilling to wait for, at any rate. Whether God would really judge a council for waiting to consider other options before renaming a street, over objections, after an antichrist, I shall leave to other ministers to debate. I am looking at causes of stress to society brought about through affirmative action, and here is as good a place as any to consider that stepchild of racial equality: quotas.

(I Chronicles 21:1-4,7; II Samuel 24:10-13) "And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel? Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem. ... And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel. And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly. For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David's seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me."

"Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants?" God was going to bless and multiply Israel. Why not just believe God and live with whatever result we have? Why number them? This was considered a sin. So is it a sin to go by racial quotas. We want to all get along racially, and all have opportunity, yes, but be it ever so free a country, setting racial quotas is the same kind of sin as was numbering Israel. That did bring God's judgment. Maybe we will get the same, either economically (seven years of famine), or militarily (flee three months before thine enemies), or medically (three days' pestilence in thy land). Maybe it has already happened. What do we call our most poignant recent tragedy but by numbers: 9-11.

Let's see how well that stacks up as a possible judgment against a nation that honors a multiple adulterer to the extent of changing its race laws to the point of quotas. I'm taking an excerpt from page 11 of a pamphlet titled Jihad in America! by Martin Mawyer, president of Christian Action Network describing "Islamic terrorism. Blow things up. Kill innocent Americans. Destabilize our economy, our government and strike fear into the hearts of Americans."

Sharia Law is planned for the United States

I have seen a video of a public stoning of four men in Iran convicted of adultery. Each was brought out wrapped in white sheets from head to toe. They looked like mummies, though there were slots in the sheets for their eyes and mouth. That way they could continue to breathe while watching the horror that was about to come. They were then buried into a hole in the ground up to their waists. Once burred, a crowd of Muslims picked up the right size rock and stoned them for over five minutes, their bodies bouncing back and forth from the brutality of the stones, until they were dead.

Iran even has a law on the type of stone to be used. Article 104 of the Sharia-inspired statute states: "Stones used in stoning should neither be so big as to kill the adulterous at the first or second blow, nor as small as a pebble." In other words, the adulterer must suffer agony and torture before meeting his or her painful, bludgeoning death.

The convicted adulterers were planted in the ground like a couple of towers, and then these objects crashed into them until they met a painful death. It does have a familiar sound to it. The airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers were not small like the single engine plane some kid flew into a financial building in Florida. And it wasn't a big bang like Oklahoma City that took care of business all at once. No, the building's tenants "must suffer agony and torture before meeting their painful ... deaths."

And who were these building tenants? Why, in the World Trade Center they were a diverse representation of people from all over the world. If having a racially, ethnically diverse group of people working together in the same place is a guarantee of God's protection against "fleeing before thine enemies," it didn't work so well in this instance. MLK plagiarized somebody else's doctoral dissertation, he had sex with women he wasn't married to, and he led a parade without a permit so we can have racial diversity in the workplace. Along comes a plane or two operating outside of any flight plan. It hurts this diverse group of workers, kills them. And if we don't rename one of our streets after this man right away, God is going to judge us? Think again.

Let's look at three verses from Psalm 11. (Psalm 11:4) "The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men." God is up in heaven but concerned about our affairs down here. His eye is not only on white people or black people, but on "the children of men." He tires us all. Sometimes it seems a slow working through history as in the case of David before Saul or the Negro slaves of America, but God still works with us, given a chance.

(Psalm 11:5) "The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth." God tried faithful David, but his soul hates the wicked and him who loves violence. Okay, who are these wicked? Somebody who cheats at college, cheats at marriage, and cheats at public meetings? I don't think God actually loves that. What about the lover of violence?

Oh, but the civil rights movement as led by MLK was peaceful, wasn't it? Well, it wasn't as violent as it could have been, but peaceful? Back around the early part of 1970 I was about to be graduated from college and lose my student deferment. One evening I headed over to the coffeehouse to listen to war protest songs to help me sort out my pacifist feelings. As I was walking down the sidewalk a long line of Negroes was coming the other way after having been to some kind of rally for their rights. Was I greeted with, "Peace, brother," as an acknowledgment of our common desire to have a peaceful world? Yeah, right! One of them socked me in the jaw. "Him that loveth violence." I gave him no cause to hit me. And I don't think he was an isolated individual in his approach.

A preacher friend of mine told me of his experience coming through the same city at the bus station in the same era. A Negro spilled hot coffee on him and told him he was sorry. Then he went over and spilled another cup on another white man sitting there.

He also told me of a woman, a sweet little old lady, who got in an elevator from the lobby and pressed the button for her floor. A buck Negro got in after her and pressed the bypass button canceling her floor, then pressed the button for his own floor above hers. She had to ride up to his floor and then go back down to hers. "You better start gettin' used to it," he told her. He used his size as an intimidation factor to take some "affirmative action." At one time he could have been reported as an "uppity nigger" and thrown out of the building, but that affirmative action is the way it has to be now. The Negro is allowed to have his number come first. It's not simply a case of being allowed to have a hotel room so he doesn't have to sleep in his car, but he gets to ride the elevator up to his floor first before the little old white lady goes to her floor below his.

(Psalm 11:6) "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup." The snare that came down on the towers was the planes ensnared in a terrorist takeover. The fire and brimstone was volatile jet fuel. And the horrible tempest was the progressive collapsing of the building(s).

I don't mean to sound so apocalyptic in this presentation; I don't know if I can really say such and such happened because of this or that—but maybe it did. What I am trying to show is that affirmative action in its various manifestations can cause stress to a society, and if a branch of government seems to be at odds with affirmative action when it tries to mitigate that stress—find a more suitable street to rename—, then they shouldn't be overly concerned about God's judgment against them for just doing their job.

A good movie to look at to help us think about these issues is Stranger Than Fiction. It is "the story of Harold Crick and his watch." Harold Crick is some kind of anal IRS agent whose life is predictable as pie. Everybody hates him. The plot of the film examines how his watch makes a difference in what kind of story it is, a tragedy or comedy. The story of Martin Luther King Jr. is a heroic tragedy. He set the people free but he died. But MLK was like a man without a watch; his watchword was "the urgency of NOW." He wanted all the changes to happen now—without having to wait—, and he was highly critical of the clergy that supported his cause but wanted changes to happen in their own time. Harold Crick was set up to be a tragic hero—dying in the process of saving the innocent—, but his watch was actually a part of the plot, capable, perhaps, of turning his story into a comedy.

For example, let's take his relation to his baker client Anna who literally hated to be audited. When Harold Crick encounters her on the bus, and sort of flirts successfully with her, he wisely exits the bus 27 stops early so as not to continue and make an ass of himself. Here a time delay is a positive.

Anna, we see, wisely delays making a commitment she would regret. And Harold would never even get the girl unless he took the time to pick up a guitar and learn how to play it.

In a world where 90% of people hate their jobs, Anna stands out as loving hers. She'd dropped out of law school in order to become a baker. Go figure. Does having the most prestigious job necessarily bring happiness?

Now, Anna as a matter of principle refused to pay 22% of her taxes to "the evil empire." That's why she was being audited. Her auditor, Harold Crick, in getting to know her, notices she just gives away a lot of her baked goods. He tells her she can deduct her charitable contributions and save the 22% on her taxes she doesn't want to pay. Anna replies that it wouldn't be an expression of her principles, but Harold points out it would keep her out of jail. That reminds us of Thoreau's principle of "the old laws being expanded, and interpreted in his favour in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the licence of a higher order of beings."

The lesson of the movie is that it's the mundane, the trivial, and the minutia that save us from death. If MLK would have lived by time constraints (Harlod's watch), he would have waited on a permit before holding his parade. That would have kept his civil rights goals within the timeframe of historical processes, true, but they still would have been reached (the boy saved). But the powers that felt it necessary to shoot him would not have bothered if his march could be stopped by a mere lack of a permit.

Let's take a verse from the Proverbs about accepting delay and see how it can turn a tragedy into a comedy. (Prov. 25:15) "By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone." I heard this story on the radio one day.

A woman had won a bunch of money in Las Vegas and decided to take her bucket of coins up to her room and return to join her husband in the restaurant. As she was about to step on the elevator, she noticed two Black men were in it. She told herself not to be a bigot and stepped in. The doors closed, but the elevator didn't move. She waited second after second, but it stayed put.

One of the Black men told her, "Hit the floor." She figured she better do exactly what they said, so she fell flat on the floor, the money spilling everywhere.

Well, the men helped her back up, and the one told her that when he said, "Hit the floor," he meant that she should press the button for the floor she wanted, not that she should drop to the floor. They helped her pick up her money and carry it back to her room. After she closed her door, she could hear them guffawing in the hall.

Well, she went back and joined her husband in the restaurant, and when she returned to her room, she found a dozen flowers, roses, each with a hundred dollar bill affixed to it. There was a note thanking her for the best laugh the two men had in a long time. It was signed Eddie Murphy and Michael Jackson.

Those two guys didn't push their floor first but waited for the woman with a load to go first to hers. It was that delay—"long forbearing"—which got her thinking she better do whatever they say—"a prince persuaded." When she returned to her room the second time, it was the "soft tongue" of a thank you note with flowers that broke the back of residual bigotry—"breaketh the bone."

This was a comedy, and it resulted in interracial harmony. The earlier elevator incident of the "uppity nigger" telling the lady she better get used to it as he took the elevator up to his floor first would likely end in tragedy. If he kept on doing it, he'd probably have to go sleep in his car, or worse, once he got booted out of the hotel. Then there would be the lawsuit. Maybe there would be a settlement. Thus he would have made his point, but the hotel guests would have been stressed out in the process. Thus does "affirmative action" place a whole society in stress.

...Whereas on the 22nd day of September A.D. 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States ... that on the 1st day of January A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State ... in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward and forever free...

... and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they make for their actual freedom...

...And I (Abraham Lincoln) hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence unless necessary self-defense, and I recommend to them that in all cases when allowed they labor faithfully for reasonable wages...

...And upon this act, sincerely believe to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God...

It is the "considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God" that slavery be abolished, and that our government not impede the efforts made to achieve actual freedom. The other side of the coin is that the now freedmen refrain from violence not necessary for self-defense and that they labor faithfully "in all cases when allowed." There is no automatic promotion to the top positions in labor, although they may make legitimate efforts to seek them. "Reasonable wages" means wages commensurate with the job, as opposed to the wages of a slave. As I've tried to show, affirmative action is not necessary to curry favor with either God or man.




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Proverbs Against Affirmative Action