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Rev. Jesse Lee Paterson
[COMMENT: Thanks be to God for a brave black man who can speak the truth to white men. He is pleading for white men to do the same with black people. Let's get on with it.
BUT -- that requires that we begin speaking the hard truth to each other... E. Fox]
Little white excuses
Posted: January 20, 2007 1:00 a.m. Eastern
Fear is a sickness. It will crawl into the soul of anyone who engages it.
Flint Sky (from the movie "Apocalypto")
My recent column, "Is there 1 white man with courage?" brought in a flood of e-mail responses to my office. Most readers agreed with the premise that years of scapegoating and charges of racism have intimidated white Americans to the point that they no longer speak out to black Americans on issues concerning race and morality.
The e-mails were very honest and revealing about the dilemma in which white Americans find themselves. I especially found interesting how often well-meaning whites excused their lack of courage and failure to speak up to blacks often blaming the media, liberals in government, social pressure, etc.
Most of us have no money and therefore no power or credibility and fame with which to spread our opinions and have them be received.
One white man with "courage"
Every time a white speaks up, they are slapped down hard by everyone government, media and liberals. ...
No one wants to be called ugly names or have their reputation and character assassinated, so the white community feels it's better just to agree and keep our mouth's shut.
And this man not only has an excuse; he passes the buck to another white man:
As one of those white men you refer to, I will just say that the fallout would be pretty substantial. Surely someone is out there that could do this; it's just not me.
It's apparent that whites are very much aware of their own fear on this issue. It's also clear that too many white Americans have a bucket full of excuses to justify their inability to criticize immoral behavior by many blacks.
Americans have a great legacy of courageous men to live up to who have conquered evil with good; at times it has cost them greatly.
The average white American today is only being asked to speak a little truth, yet, most find this difficult to do. This type of weakness is unheard of in American history.
What if George Washington refused to cross the Delaware because it was too cold?
What if Allied forces refused to land at Normandy because the beach was too crowded?
What if Ronald Reagan had said the Soviet Union was too mean?
If these men used excuses to stop them from doing what they had to do, how much worse off would America and the world be today?
Many whites even some ministers say that they're "born again" Christians, yet they, too, make excuses as to why they won't speak up to their misguided black brethren.
Can you imagine the Savior of the world saying:
As a white Christian man, it's becoming more difficult to speak out against any form of wickedness.
1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear. "
I'm not asking white folks to go out and be reckless, but I am encouraging you, for the sake of your soul, your children and the future of our country, to stop making excuses and start speaking up to black Americans!
When I asked the question, "Is there 1 white man with courage?" I did hear from a few brave Americans.
These are men and women who realize that up to this point they've lacked courage. They acknowledge this fact and are taking steps to change.
I accept your rebuke of white males as cowards. I take responsibility for my own cowardice in this matter. Whites shouldn't blame the media, just as blacks shouldn't blame whites. Each American needs to take personal responsibility to govern themselves.
As a white American, your words cut me to the very bone. But they didn't hurt because they were ill-conceived or hateful; on the contrary, they were so deadly accurate. I have long ago stopped blaming specific groups for their misbehavior in this country. I'm done blaming Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. The conservative black Americans are doing their part to counter this tide, but as you have questioned, where are the conservative whites in this battle?
To own up to one's lack of courage and shortcoming without excuses is courage. This is the cross that white Americans must bear if they are to live up to the legacy and tradition of the great Americans who went before them.
Let's make 2007 the year that we banish white guilt, white fear and excuse-making from the hearts and minds of white Americans. In reality, white Americans have nothing to fear but white fear itself.
Get Jesse's book, "Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America."
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is founder and president of BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, and author of "Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America."
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