Self-Exclusion Not a Good Answer

Self-Exclusion Not a Good Answer
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

You don’t have to be a doddering senior citizen to remember the explosive period known as the Civil Rights Movement. If you’ve not yet reached six decades of age, you should be able to recall the not-unreasonable demands for equal treatment among America’s blacks. They wanted to be included; they wanted to be looked upon as full citizens; they wanted to be judged by themselves, not by the color of their skin.

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Image by Rowland Scherman from Wikimedia Commons by the National Archives and Records Administration, public domain).

In many cases, their reasonable desires were taken over by militants seeking to tear the nation apart. Cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, and many more were torched. The victims were almost always the very people supposedly being helped. Subversive planning behind much of the chaos wasn’t supposed to be shown, even suggested. But it was the correctly identified spark leading to those fiery and frequently bloody days.

Some said the destruction and death were necessary. There had to be an end to treating one class of people differently. “Integration” was one leading cry of protesters. But radical bomb throwers who wanted more turmoil, not less, seemed to be almost everywhere. “Burn baby burn” was heard from coast to coast.

Then, the politicians and educators took some of these issues to the legislative halls and the courts. One result was forced busing where grade and high school kids were being put on buses and transported all over the area to satisfy some arbitrary quota based on race. At this point, black mothers joined with white mothers to protest the use of their children as pawns in an increasingly dangerous game. Did busing bring the various ethnic groups together? Not at all. In most instances, it made matters much worse. Some of the scars, mostly mental, still exist.

Race relations that were improving 50 years ago are still improving. But now, a new and upgraded form of race consciousness has set in. Recently, one of the more prominent places to find it was at Harvard University during graduation week. There, black graduate students – obviously with university permission – staged a graduation ceremony for themselves. They didn’t get their diplomas at this event – they would be passed out later with all the graduates – but they sought to make a point and it wasn’t built around cries for diversity. No whites, yellows, or Hispanics were invited to participate. And none of these highly educated and high IQ possessors carried a placard calling for an end to judging fellow man by skin color.

Ward Connerly is the President of the America Civil Rights Institute. As a former University of California Regent, he campaigned against racial preference in admissions to college. A man of mixed racial ethnicity, his skin is black, and he is considered to be  “black” by others. About separate black commencement ceremonies, he told the New York Times that showed a photo of the black Harvard grads parading in caps and gowns in their separate and unequal ceremony:

College is the place where we should be teaching and preaching the view that you’re an individual, and [you should] choose your associates based on other factors rather than skin color. Think about it. These kids went to Harvard and they less than anyone in our society should worry about feeling unwelcome and finding comfort zones. They don’t need that.

In other words, Connerly doesn’t like the idea of separating people by color. Nor, as shown by his years of crusading against affirmative action, does he have a good word for judging people by gender. So it’s safe to say that he’s an opponent of this whole idea of alternative graduation ceremonies with their unofficial diplomas and awards. The Times didn’t ask him, but it’s likely he opposes similar alternative ceremonies for LGBT grads springing up throughout the nation.

America became a better place when race consciousness and separating people started fading. Let’s keep it fading, not finding new ways to perpetuate all of it.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


The Dark Side of Muhammad Ali

The Dark Side of Muhammad Ali
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

All segments of the mass media, not to mention politicians, clergy, and entertainers, went overboard to heap praise on the late Muhammad Ali. Few offered anything about his many dishonorable stances and statements.

Malcolm X photographs Muhammad Ali after his defeat of Sonny Liston. (Photo by EPHouston (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

Yes, he was a champion in the ring. Yes, he showed a humorous side, especially when he knocked pretenders off their self-created pedestals. And yes, he exhibited admirable courage when Parkinson’s disease ravaged his body.

But labeling him a champion of civil rights and a positive influence regarding race relations, as many did, stretches the truth. Cassius Clay (the name given him at birth) said and did much worthy of praise; he even won an Olympic Gold Medal and the heavyweight title three times. But there was another side to “The Greatest.”

TIME Magazine devoted 24 pages plus the cover of its weekly outpouring of political correctness to laud the late boxing legend. Full-page photos of Ali consumed eight of those pages with smaller complimentary photos throughout the remaining 16. And even though TIME’s writer Robert Lipsyte capably informed readers about the rise and fall of much of the man’s career, he left out the darker side of the famous pugilist’s life. Sports Illustrated used 20 of its pages to do likewise.

Standing virtually alone, in dealing with the topic, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby acknowledged Ali’s athletic prowess but he recoiled at the praises given the man for his “civil rights” dedication. Jacoby pointed to flattering comments uttered by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and others. Many more heaped similar but undeserved praise on Ali while skipping his downside.

Early in his career, then-Cassius Clay fell under the influence of Malcolm X, the dangerous racist who founded the Black Muslims. He quickly renounced the name given him by parents, calling it his “slave name.” Adopting the name Muhammad Ali, he was interviewed in 1968 by Boston Globe columnist Bud Collins who quoted the emerging heavyweight boxing king as follows: “I know whites and blacks cannot get along; this is nature.” Then he began associating with Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. He even appeared at a Ku Klux Klan rally where a hooded throng burned a cross.

Playboy magazine interviewed the famous boxing great in 1975 and quoted his outspoken attitude: “A black man should be killed if he’s messing with a white woman.” About a black woman having a relationship with a white man, he said, “Kill her too.”

In his TIME article, Lipsyte included the contrary opinion of Floyd Patterson, one of Ali’s opponents and himself a black American. Considered a crusader for Christianity and America, Patterson offered, “The image of a Black Muslim as a world heavyweight champion disgraces the sport and the nation. Cassius Clay must be beaten and the Black Muslim scourge must be removed from boxing.” Ali was outraged that Patterson had referred to him by his “slave name.” Then he pummeled Patterson in the ring.

At an age when he was eligible for military service, he was initially deemed unqualified because of not meeting educational standards. Once those qualifications were lowered, he did become eligible but his stern refusal to serve in the military ended up with him in the courts. He was tried and convicted by a jury and sent to prison for several years. Answering questioners, he said, “I ain’t got nothing against them Viet Cong.” Had his determination to stay out of uniform been based on legitimate criticism of the way the war was being conducted, his protest would have made some sense.

Never apologizing for his racism and unwillingness to serve in uniform, and wracked by Parkinson’s disease as he grew older, Ali won nationwide sympathy for decades. But his medical problems grew worse and he passed away on June 10, 2016, at 74 years of age.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Restrooms By Choice?

Restrooms By Choice?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

As the assault on our nation’s cultural underpinnings continues, the latest attack against morality and sanity involves a choice of restrooms. If you’re a man, you can claim to be a woman and use the one where such use would in the past likely lead to your arrest. The same holds true for a woman who claims to be a man and prefers to use the men’s room. Many individuals who claim to have discovered that they have been wrongly assigned their gender identity have even submitted to medical procedures. They can deny who they are but they can’t deny nature.

The JBS action project supporting morality is a must if America is to return to its freedom-loving roots.

It will surely upset advocates of the so-called transgender craze to hear an opposing view – one that says each person’s gender results from action completely outside of any human being’s decision. Gender arrives at conception and it marks an individual for life. No tinkering, medical procedure, personal desire, or government edict can legitimately change that.

In the first chapter of Genesis verse 17, one can learn of the Almighty’s launching of the human race. The holy book tells us in clear terms, “… male and female He created them.” From then until now and beyond, a new human being is either male or female from conception. Even before birth, the newly conceived human’s chromosomes have determined its gender. In our country, as in most others, a newborn infant’s gender will also be recorded on a birth certificate that will forever indicate that person as either male or female.

The culture destroyers in the Obama administration decided that federal action was needed to protect the so-called rights of the transgender minority. The president sent a letter to every public school district in America telling the nation’s educators to allow students claiming a change in their gender to use whichever bathroom and locker room they choose.

The letter admitted that it “does not have the force of law.” It even employs the word “guidance” in place of the usual “must” or “shall.” Hence, it carries no obvious threat of federal punishments for those who don’t comply. But the possibility of withholding federal aid for balky school districts is real. And social pressures generated by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender minority (LGBT is their acronym) and their culture destroying allies can be, and have already been, employed to force reluctant officials in various states and communities to change or simply ignore their local laws and standards.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act bans discrimination based on sex. So the culture-destroying commandoes referred not to sex but to “gender identity.” And the individuals who desire to alter their gender identification are taking advantage of loopholes in the laws in some states where changes can be made in one’s birth certificate. They are, in effect, rewriting a legal document.

What would have been termed “madness” only several decades ago is now sweeping the country. It follows a Supreme Court ruling elevating same-sex marriage to legitimacy. Other attacks on our national culture include assigning women to combat roles in the military, killing an unborn child in the womb, and condoning entertainment that subverts morality. All of these assaults on our nation’s culture harm the collective sense of what has always been identifiably “American.” Our nation continues a descent into a new form of barbarism.

Regaining our cultural underpinnings can be accomplished. After all, slavery was once considered legal, even proper. But it was abolished. Allowing and even encouraging individuals to change their undeniable sex to their own choice of “gender identity” is dangerously absurd. It even amounts to shaking a fist at the heavens and saying, “Not Thy will but mine be done.”

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Celebrate Ending Slavery, But Apologize?

Celebrate Ending Slavery, But Apologize?
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On February 10th, Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a resolution containing a formal apology for his state’s role in the practice of slavery. Terming the odious practice an “egregious sin,” he stated, “A candid acknowledgement and acceptance of our past is the only way to understand our present and to take full responsibility for our future.”

In our country, which of course includes Delaware, slavery was abolished in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The practice has not existed in America for 150 years, meaning that no one in Delaware today, including the members of the state’s legislature who initiated the resolution, had any part in it.

When considering the existence of slavery in the United States, the far more sensible course would be to celebrate the fact that our nation did away with slavery. This is what Markell and Delaware’s elected officials should have done. And they should be joined in such celebration by the governors and legislatures of eight other states where similar proclamations have been issued.

No one denies that slavery existed. But the slaves who arrived in America were forced into bondage by black African leaders, and then transported across the Atlantic in British ships. All of those African chieftains who sold their own people into slavery, plus all those ship owners and crew members who transported them from Africa, and all of the buyers and sellers of human beings in our country are long in their graves. An apology from them would be appropriate, but it can’t be offered. Yet, any American living today has good reason to celebrate the end of slavery.

Leonard Patterson during his interview that was used in the civil rights documentary, Anarchy USA, produced by The John Birch Society.

Leonard Patterson during his interview from the civil rights documentary, Anarchy USA, produced by The John Birch Society.

During the 1930s, Leonard Patterson, a black American, joined the U.S. Communist Party. He spent two years in the Soviet Union receiving instructions about how to destroy the country of his birth. But he came back to America, soon quit the Party, and later told a Senate Committee of his conclusions about this country in February 1960. A contrite Leonard Patterson stated in part:

I have travelled in Russia. I lived there almost two years. I went all over Russia and I saw how the people live there. I have also travelled practically all over this country of ours, both in the Communist Party and since I have been out of the Communist Party. And I have had a chance to make up my mind about which is the best system. I have seen how the so-called national minorities live in Russia, in the Crimea, Yalta, in the Ukraine, and different places. I was born in the South, in North Carolina, and I know how we live in this country, and I make this statement very brazenly as to the “paradise” in Russia: With all its shortcomings that we have in the United States, if you want to put it on a racial basis, or a Negro basis, we American Negroes are better off, not only than minorities in Russia, but the so-called Great Russians themselves. I wouldn’t say there wasn’t room for improvement, but if you take it as a whole, we have the highest standard of living, we are better educated, we have more wealth distributed among us, and I defy anyone to deny it.

That was 1960. Blacks in America today, many of whom are probably descendants of slaves, enjoy a better life than many black Africans residing in Africa. And, according to the testimony of Mr. Patterson, black American were better off than the elite who lived in Communist-controlled areas.

Mr. Patterson and many other patriotic black Americans didn’t ask fellow Americans to apologize. He spent many of his later years warning them about Communist efforts to destroy our great nation. Having known this remarkable man, I know that he would agree that a celebration by Americans for having done away with slavery is called for, not any apology for the sins of more than a century in the past.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.