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Too much focus on race

Published 8:27pm Monday, January 6, 2014

By Joseph L. Bass

We are too much focused on race in regards to our social problems.

In order to find approaches that will improve society, we have to see society accurately. If we examine society inaccurately, we develop approaches that do not work. By being too focused on race, we hinder our thinking, and our approaches do not work.

Culture is more important than race in America. Consider the Crips gang member who threatened my life one evening in the South Central Los Angeles. He was black, and he wore everything blue, the Crips’ color. He was a big guy, and he let me know it was seriously inadvisable for me to help the police as a witness again.

Other than the color of their skin, how much in common is there between the gang member and Barack Obama? Their skin color is the same, but their cultures are different.

We need to determine which cultural patterns work well and which do not. We need to devise approaches to bring about positive change in the cultural patterns that hinder people’s efforts to realize the American dream. What cultural patterns made it possible for Barack Obama to be President of the United States? What cultural patterns caused the gang member to choose a life of violence and crime? How can we help Crips be more like Obama?

Consider the error in our thinking in approaching social issues associated with race and wealth. It is commonly known that white Americans make more money per capita than black Americans, and we associate that with a racial issue. “Conventional wisdom” indicates the reason for this difference is that black people were enslaved by white people. But this ignores the fact that Asian Americans make more money than white Americans and white people were never enslaved by Asian people. In fact there has been a long history of white people discriminating against Asian people on the West Coast. This being the case, there must be cultural issues that help Asians do so well in the mainstream economy.

What are the social patterns of highly successful Asians that help them make greater wealth than other Americans? I used to live in Gardena, which was then primarily an Asian community in the South Central area of Los Angeles. But there were also white, black and Hispanic people living there. How were the Asians different from the rest of us?

Asian family life showed the most noticeable differences. First, across the generations there commonly exists a helpful cohesiveness. There is little, if any, conflict among them, and divorces are rare. Family members and family friends trust each other and help each other in business relationships.

Second, Asian families stress the importance of education to their children. Asian students do much better in school than other students. Asian students also they help each other. I watched this day after day in the Gardena public library. I would walk to the library past community ball fields populated with white, black and Hispanic players. But the Asian students were in the library helping each other with schoolwork.

In our efforts to improve America, we are too much focused on race. If we look at society from a cultural perspective, we will discover that people who do well in America share common cultural characteristics, regardless of race. But too many of us are too focused on race to see the realities around us.

Joseph L. Bass EdD is the executive director of ABetterSociety.Info Inc., a nonprofit organization in Hobson. Email him at ABetterSociety1@aol.com.

 

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  • So What

    Obama is worse than a entire tribe of crips and bloods just his weapon is a pene as a suit and he comes from a culture of communism facisim and socialism including narcissim

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  • chief601

    “I don’t think Mr Bass Has Thought One Iota About Changing Culture, or Would. I Believe HE IS THINKING MORE ALONG THE Super Highway Of segregation segregation forever… ”

    I don’t get that from his writings at all. Can you elaborate?

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    • So What

      its too hard to change ones culture and a mindest it takes too much work that is what I mean govt dependency status easier than working status.Mr Bass also tried to even confuse things but only presented a weak connection of race to slavery and the hat he refered to s the civil war which is another false hood or stayement which is predicated on twisted an false conclusions made by blacks and published in historical documents and public educational tools used in classrooms fo k to college classrooms I suggest this fo mr bass nd ithers ti consider and think abt next time he in my opinion flippantly commented on little he had or has no ral knockledge of other than what his ulture ants him to know muchless understand because he has been mis lead and lied to by his own. for anothers pupose who has the ability to deny and keep him on a plantation of mental abuse its called education. Jefferson Davis was a US soldier, sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States, which states: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them…”

      Seems pretty clear cut…
      also The was no “Civil” War in this country. The South didn’t want to abort or abolish the Union or its Constitution. It only wanted to leave the Union to its own devices. And to trivialize this difference is to miss a very important point. Much like our current circumstance, the Federal Government had then (and incrementally continued to since) delegitimized itself. The alternative to lawful secession, the only other option to the Southern States, was subjugation. And that was unacceptable.

      In President Davis’ own words, “”If this action is once tolerated, where will it end? Where is constitutional liberty? What strength is there in bills of rights-in limitation of power? What new hope for mankind is to be found in written constitutions, what remedy which did not exist under kings or emperors? If the doctrines thus announced by the government of the United States are conceded, then look through either end of the political telescope, and one sees only an empire, and the once famous Declaration of Independence trodden in the dust of as a “glittering generality,” and the compact of the union denounced as a “flaunting lie”. I love the Union and the Constitution, but I would rather leave the Union with the Constitution than remain in the Union without it. Those who submit to such consequence without resistance are not worthy the liberties and rights to which they were born, and deserve to be made slaves. Such must be the verdict of mankind.”
      So Mr. Bass do you still see this as a too much of Race thing or a mankind problem that the creator of the problem is his race and he doesn’t care what effect it has on any gender sexual preference birth status, religious beliefs or skin color.
      in closing MR Bass, the real the history, will be r written by the race baiters changed and denied by the and the real racist blacks, Fact of the matter is, we haven’t enjoyed a Constitutional Republic since Lincoln took office. and even then not all the slaves were freed sir not the ones in the northern states. thus many men from both the north and south both black and white died in vain sir that is whats sad.

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  • MrJiggyFly

    Feel good stories do not sell; crime, misery and race issues sell. Integrity is highly overrated in journalism and reporting the facts is lost concept. Incorporate that with the race-baiters and the lazy and apathetic public and voila . . . race trumps culture.

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  • So What

    I think mr bass also forgot that it was eric holder our black attorney general who challenged the entire country ehen he said that white Americans were afraid to discuss race, I as a white American male a minority i say b.s. directly to Mr Bass. when we do or have we are called racist or worse now with that being said history shows that Knee grows vote democratic , well the last true democrat died when Tip Oneil passed since then the party has become the liberal party. so Mr bass, liberals blacks and demwits have rewritten changed and modified history to sell its agenda of lies and deceit. there in lies the difference of political afflictions and the races. Conservatives deal with facts and reach conclusions; liberals have conclusions and sell them as facts

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  • chief601

    “By being too focused on race, we hinder our thinking, and our approaches do not work.”

    Strange – after reading some of your previous letters you might want to see if you really believe this.

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    • NP

      Chief,, I was thinking the same thing. But, Mr. Bass has hit it on the head in my opinion. Now, Mr. Bass,how do you suggest we as a society embark upon changing the culture?

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      • So What

        I don’t think Mr Bass Has Thought One Iota About Changing Culture, or Would. I Believe HE IS THINKING MORE ALONG THE Super Highway Of segregation segregation forever…

        Suggest Removal

    • So What

      Well since the Peacock networks all of them are the propaganda division for the White House which currently houses our first post racial President who doesn’t govern all the people but just a select few. Because of race and black theology beliefs and teachings including hubris and narcissism never seen or displayed by a president before by this guy just might be contributing to the problem he has done nothing to improve on or correct the problem

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