Thursday, February 15, 2007

Absurd Texts of American History (V, b): Paul Harvey

The problem with using this Paul Harvey book is not finding absurd texts. It's that there are just so many. How to choose?

Well, here's one sure to warm the souls of all Americans. I personally love his understanding of America's racial history.

"Negroes and Indians"

"In the early American slave states, the law provided for the welfare of the slaves.

The constitutions of the slave states generally specified that the slave owners must provide their slaves adequate housing, food, medical care, and old age benefits.

The Mississippi Constitution contained this additional sentence: "The Legislature shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves...(except) when the slave shall have rendered the State some distinguished service."

Again: The slave was guaranteed food, lodging, medical and old age care--but the highest honor the state could bestow for distinguished service was to set a man free from this security.

The state's highest reward was to give a man the personal responsibility to find his own job, pay his own way, to look after his own welfare.

Eventually the slaves were set free--free to earn money they could keep, to build or buy their own houses, to arrange for their own medical care and to save for their old age.

Then they weren't slaves anymore.

On the other hand, consider the American Indians.

The Indians we made permanent wards of the government. Them we gave "security." The American Indians we placed on reservations, assigned 13,000 federal employees to look after them. That's one federal employee for every 30 reservation Indians.

The Indians became steadily less self-supporting.

Today the average American Indian--once so virile, strong and self-sufficient--would likely die of starvation unless fed by the government.

American Negroes, who were slaves just one long lifetime ago, are today mostly self-supporting, self-respecting, responsible.

The evolution I have just described--progression on one hand and retrogression on the other--has nothing to do with the color of a man's skin or the shape of his cheekbones.

The Negro was free to work or loaf, to starve or to win a potful.

The Indian was secure. There was no reason for him to educate himself or to learn to manage his own affairs or to be productive. It's not his fault, it's ours.

Just as it is going to be our fault if we let our leaders repeat this tragic error on us.

There are those today who think Americans are too ignorant or too worthless to be trusted with our own destiny. They are convinced that they would starve in the streets unless Government looked after our welfare.

Welfare! Man this is what American blacks were freed from a hundred years ago.

When the politicians guarantee "free gifts" and we rise to the bait...

When the politicians write laws "for your own good" whether you like them or not...

They are offering the rewards of 1862!

A free meal, a free roof, free medicine, a guaranteed job--and we're trapped into being somebody's slaves again!"

Good Day!