To My Working Class Friends – On Voting

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I grew up in a working class family. It was clear then, and is clear now, that the Democratic party is the only party that cares about us. Let me explain why.

Dad worked as a yard worker, handyman, shipyard builder, as a clerk in a hardware store, and then 25 years as a machine operator. I remember fondly that he would bring home extra cookies for us, the oatmeal or chocolate chip flavored with additional hints of fiberglass and the occasional spiral of metal from his lathe. Even after retirement he continued yardwork for one family while picking up part-time janitorial work for the local school system. He was my grandmother’s go-to handyman, greeted at the door on our biweekly visits with a hug and a long list of chores.

My mother babysat as a teenager and worked in a hosiery factory until us kids were born, then took care of others’ children while we were growing up. She began cleaning houses for others once we were old enough to more or less fend for ourselves. She continued to clean houses – two clients a day for up to 4 hours each, five days a week – from when we were pre-teens until her final client passed away when Mom was 87 years old. She still bakes and makes jam for the extended family and friends.

Like my parents, I always worked hard, beginning when I was old enough to push a rotary lawnmower (i.e., rotating blades, no power other than you pushing it). I did yard work, cut cord wood, worked on a farm, worked in a factory making bug zappers, worked in a warehouse selling veterinary products, worked in a bathhouse, and did whatever else I could pick up in my small town. I managed to go to college by putting all my earnings into tuition and carrying work-study the entire time. Even after graduation I mucked out fish tanks the size of swimming pools, mucked in the mud to collect samples (flashbacks to my childhood in a steamer clam town), and worked long hours day and night alongside my lab colleagues.

I’ve worked my entire life, and while I did get education that allowed me to put away some savings, I never lost my blue collar work ethic or roots.

Which is why I’m so frustrated when I hear that working class white people like myself supported Trump in 2016. Why on earth would we think that a born-rich con man who has bankrupted six times would care about us?

The last four years have proven what we should have already known – he doesn’t. He never did. And nor does the Republican party.

When Republicans got control of both houses of Congress and the White House, what did they do? They gave a $1.5 Trillion dollar tax break to the richest handful of Americans. Did we see any of that? No, our costs actually went up because money was taken away from the services that we all use like roads. Did it create jobs? No, corporate CEOs killed more jobs and used the money to artificially inflate their stock prices, benefitting them but not us. In short, Republicans hurt the working class while shifting more of our hard-earned taxpayer money to the extremely rich and the wealthiest of corporations.

This has been the pattern for the Republican party since Ronald Reagan. Shift taxpayer money to the rich while getting rid of programs that help the working class compete to better our condition.

Republicans are against Unions because Unions protect workers; Republicans protect the owners. Democrats work to protect Unions, to protect workers.

In this time of COVID we’ve seen the same. The Democratic party passed a package that included regular checks for workers who lost their jobs. The Republican-controlled, Mitch McConnell-run Senate refused to consider it or present an alternative. Democrats passed a bill that would help workers get their jobs back, extend unemployment until jobs returned, and provide for health and child care to help workers get through this crisis. Mitch McConnell’s Republican Senate refused to vote on it. Even though Democrats passed bills and agreed to work with anything the Republicans came up with, Republicans never offered an alternative. And then Republicans dishonestly blamed lack of action on Democrats.

On top of this the Republican party has been trying to throw 30 million American workers off of the health insurance we are paying for, all to increase the profit of CEOs making $40 million annually to deny health care. Republicans lie when they say the Affordable Care Act (aka, “Obamacare”) is “socialism.” Republicans call everything that uses taxpayer money to benefit workers “socialism” (it isn’t) while having no problem giving taxpayer money to the rich who barely pay taxes (if they pay taxes at all). Meanwhile, the ACA has benefitted millions of working families. Republicans don’t like it because rich insurance companies might not make as much profit. Republicans lie when they say they have a better plan. They don’t, and they haven’t even bothered to propose one in the ten years since Obamacare (the ACA) was passed. It’s just another Republican lie.

Worse, Republicans have been trying to kill Social Security and Medicare, two programs that we’ve paid into all our lives, because they want to give them to corporations to make a profit. That profit comes from reducing benefits to you while increasing your costs. Again, Republicans lie.

Republicans say they care about the working class, but that’s proven a lie every single day. In every case in the last 40 years the Republican party has shown by their consistent actions that all they care about it increasing the wealth of billionaires and corporations. If they can take taxpayer money from workers and give it to the rich, they will do it. Proven. Documented. Every single time. If they can steal taxpayer money funding public education and give it to the rich to subsidize private schools while killing public schools, they will do it. And have. Even though the courts have found it illegal, the current administration keeps doing it because the Republican party refuses to act to stop it. In fact, Republicans encourage the destruction of education.

The Democratic party has done the opposite. In the last 40 years, Democrats have always worked to improve the lives of working people. They’ve proposed programs to increase access to health care, jobs, education, retirement savings. They’ve worked to expand access to day care for children so that workers can go to jobs. Proven. Documented. If they haven’t got them all passed it’s because Mitch McConnell in the Republican-controlled Senate won’t even allow a vote. Nearly 500 Democratic House-passed bills benefiting Americans are waiting for a vote in the Senate. These bills will all help working class Americans. Mitch McConnell and the Republicans refuse to allow a vote on any of them.

The fact is that when working class people, along with the middle class and the poor, have income, one hundred percent of that income goes back into helping the local economy. The American dream is built on the spending of workers. The rich take much of their money out of the economy and hide it in tax-free shelters overseas rather than spend it here. Worker money pays for your food, housing, groceries, kids’ soccer camps and music lessons. But it does even more. The money we pay the local hardware store allows the hardware store to hire a local worker, who can then buy his daughter a bicycle, who can use it to get a paper route, and then uses that money to buy penny candy and help that store pay their bills. In contrast, money paid to the CEO of Home Depot allows him to give millions to Trump’s campaign so that Republicans will create yet another tax break for the CEO to send jobs overseas and not pay taxes.

The Republican party likes to distract workers by blaming African Americans, immigrants, Muslims, gays, and whatever “other” they can use to keep workers from realizing how Republicans are screwing us. Jobs aren’t being lost to any of these groups, they are being lost because Republicans keep making it profitable for corporations to send jobs overseas.

Consider this: Every one of the worst states in the country when it comes to jobs, education, economy, etc. are all “red” states, states that have been run by Republicans for decades. Why? Because Republicans love to shift taxpayer money to the very rich, then kill every opportunity that helps the masses in the state build a working economy. Republicans then lie about “blue” states. In fact, it is the “blue” states that pay excess into the federal budget, and that excess is sent to “red” states who take more money from the federal government than they put in.

Democrats have actually worked to keep jobs in the USA. Democrats have also worked to increase educational opportunities so workers can be trained to take on high-tech and renewable energy jobs, as well as to get the skills needed to succeed in trade jobs such as carpentry, electrical, and plumbing. Republicans have activity worked to kill these opportunities over and over again.

Workers don’t want a handout. They just want a fair chance at bettering their condition. To improve their lives through hard work with the knowledge that they are treated fairly.

All of us have the power to influence the direction of the country. The rich seem like they have more power because they have the money to influence, but the rest of us have the power because we represent 95% of America.

All we need to do is vote.

Forty percent of eligible voters did not vote in 2016. If we all vote we can make both parties listen to us.

Joe Biden grew up in working class Scranton, Pennsylvania. He’s never forgotten what it’s like to work for a living. Like my father and mother, my uncles and aunts, my extended family, and myself, he grew up with a strong work ethic and a belief that good things can come to those who are honest and hard-working. The Democratic party hasn’t lost touch with us. Republicans have proven they don’t care.

So I’m asking all of you who consider yourself working class to vote for the Democratic candidates in November. Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for President/Vice President. Vote for the Democrat in your state-wide races like Governor and Senator. Vote for the Democrat in your local races, from Congressperson to state legislator to sheriff (and dog catcher, if that is still an elected position). Only by ridding the Republicans from office can we force them to care about us.

The Democrats aren’t perfect, but they clearly care about ALL Americans. Republicans have proven over and over again that they care only about the rich. Republicans don’t even care about the people in their own “red” states, as shown by how destitute most “red” states continue to be under Republican rule. Meanwhile, “blue” states are made up of both Democrats and Republicans, and their budgets show they care about ALL of them, not just the one. Proven daily.

I’m not a Democrat, nor am I a Republican. I’m just a guy who grew up with a blue collar work ethic and who struggled through jobs and getting an education my entire life. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve been persistent, just like my Dad and Mom and everyone else in my family. My goal of this post is to reach out to the kind of people I grew up with and remain a part of, whether they are old friends or people I’ve never met.

Workers built this country. And we can make it work for us as well as it works for the rich by getting out to vote.

So vote. Get your family to vote. Find two working class friends who didn’t vote in 2016 and get them to vote for the Democratic party in 2020. Ask each of those two friends to find two friends of their own to vote for the Democratic party.

Voting has already started in many states, and if you can vote early, either in person or by mail, do it now. Here is some more information on how to make a plan to vote.

Together we can change the country. We can make it work for workers again. Do do so, we must all vote.

David J. Kent is a scientist, a traveler, and an Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Make Your Plan to Vote Today

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Some states have already started early voting, both in person and by absentee ballots. If you haven’t already, you need to make your voting plan now. And that means today.

By plan I mean take the time now to determine how you will vote. Because of the coronavirus, most places have expanded their voting options. In many states you can vote by mail (absentee ballot) without needing any excuse, but in others you do still need an excuse (e.g., out of state, work as an EMT, etc.). You can also vote in person early in some states. Some states will mail you an application or a ballot automatically, but in most states you will need to apply for an absentee ballot.

This year is a critical vote. If you didn’t vote in the past, you must make sure to vote this year. There is no time for second guessing. We must vote to overcome the blatant voter suppression tactics being used to keep you from voting. The only way to save our democracy is to exercise our right, indeed our obligation, to vote.

Your vote means everything. There is a reason there are people out there trying to keep you from voting. Because your vote makes a difference. We must all vote.

So make a plan. Now. Here are some steps:

  1. Check your voter registration: Some states have arbitrarily eliminated voters from their registration rolls. In most cases those removed are legal voters. So check to make sure you are registered. If you’re in a state with suspect party rule, check again periodically.
  2. Find out what your state’s rules are regarding voting: Each state sets its own rules, which means some states allow you to request a ballot now while others won’t let you apply until a certain date. In some states you can’t vote by mail at all; in others everyone must vote by mail. Find out what your state requires. Don’t wait. Check now so you can make a plan.
  3. Decide how you will vote: Will you vote by mail? In person? Early? At your polling place on election day? Confirm your voting precinct and location if you vote in person. Keep in mind that early in-person voting may not be in the same location as your election day voting location. Decide this now so you won’t miss deadlines and won’t have to figure out changes at the last minute.
  4. Vote early if you can: Many more people will vote by mail this year because of the coronavirus. If you can, vote early to make sure your ballot is received on time. Vote in person early if you can. If your state won’t let you apply for a mail-in ballot until too close to the election, then plan to vote in person. [The post office is intentionally slowing down mail delivery, so don’t leave it to chance.]
  5. Put enough postage on mail-in ballots: Each state is different. Some provide pre-paid envelopes, others require you to put on stamp(s). Some will deliver with one stamp, others require multiple stamps. Make sure to check this now. Make sure to have the right amount of postage to ensure delivery.
  6. Follow the directions on mail-in ballots: Most ballots require your signature. Some also require a witness’s signature. Because of COVID, some states are eliminating the witness signature, but others still require it. Follow the directions exactly. States will not count ballots that haven’t submitted them exactly according to their rules, and some states will abuse this point. You may have to sign the ballot AND sign the envelope you return it in. Make sure you fill out your ballot and return envelopes exactly right.
  7. Your signature must match the one they have on file: Each of us signed our registration forms and the signature on the ballot must match what is on file. Do not change your signature as some states will use any deviation as an excuse to void your ballot.
  8. If you vote in person, make your plan now for how to get there: If you plan to vote in person, whether early or on election day, figure out now how you will get there and back. Prepare for the possibility of longer waiting times on election day. If you can’t drive yourself or take public transportation, make arrangements with a friend now for that day. Even better, plan a carpool group with your other friends so you can all vote.
  9. You can only vote once, so make it count: Contrary to what some people are saying, you only get one vote. If you vote by mail, you cannot vote again in person. That is why it is critical you make your voting plan now and follow through on it.

This election is the most important election in your life. That isn’t hyperbole. We all must vote.

If you’re a first time voter, ask others for help. You may have just turned 18 (or will by election day), so make a plan to ask parents/teachers/older friends/relatives for guidance on anything you don’t know. Get your friends together and plan to vote as a group (whether in person or virtual, keeping in mind masks and social distancing for safety).

If you’re older but haven’t voted recently or ever, now is the time to get out there and vote. Abraham Lincoln once noted:

“It is not the qualified voters, but the qualified voters who choose to vote, that constitute the political power of the state.”

Voting is not just a right in our democracy, it’s how we, the American people, exercise power. It’s our responsibility to wield that power by voting. Again, Abraham Lincoln:

“Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.”

We communicate our public sentiment by voting. If we don’t vote, public policy is set by oligarchs. If we do vote, public policy is set by representatives of the people.

We must all vote. Make a plan now, and vote.

More info: https://www.businessinsider.com/mistakes-that-can-disqualify-your-mail-absentee-ballot-2020-9

More info: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/5-things-do-keep-your-ballot-rejection-n1239375

David J. Kent is a scientist, a traveler, and an Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

All Veterans Must Speak Up

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My father, 1845

As were most Americans, I was aghast at the disrespect Donald Trump voiced – again – toward our military and our veterans. Reports show that Trump refused to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Paris because the light rain might muss up his hair. It that wasn’t bad enough, he called those Americans who fought and died in the first World War “losers.” From The Atlantic:

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

He also dismissed any service that would not immediately bring some personal gain to him, telling General John Kelly – at the general’s son’s gravesite:

Trump, while standing by Robert Kelly’s grave, turned directly to his father and said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

My father enlisted as soon as he was eligible and served at the end of World War II in France and Germany. He served his country. He was not a “loser,” as Trump, who lied and used his father’s wealth to avoid military service, put it.

Dad was proud of his service, and I was proud of him for it. His older brother also served. On the flight back to the states his brother’s plane crashed, killing his seatmate and many others but sparing his life. One of my Dad’s younger brothers served in Korea and Vietnam, a 20-year veteran. Most of my father’s and mother’s brothers served in the military at some point in their lives.

All of them served proudly, as did millions of men and women before and after them. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice. They weren’t losers. They were patriots in the best sense of the word. They should be honored for their service, not disrespected.

All veterans and active duty military must speak up against these atrocious and un-American words from Trump, as well as against his treasonous behavior and attitude. All of us, both in the military and not, are Americans. We cannot put up with such treason.

Trump insults ALL Americans. He does so continuously.

He must be removed.

[photo: my father, 1945]

David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

No, Today’s Republicans are NOT the Party of Lincoln

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You cannot declare that the Confederate flag and Confederate monuments represent “your heritage” and also claim you are the party of Lincoln. The Republican party of today is the Anti-Lincoln party.

Literally.

I addressed this in detail on my website: “The Party of Lincoln.”

Zachary B. Wolf offers a similar analysis on CNN.

The Republican convention this week has spent a lot of time trying to recapture the mantle of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican party president. But Lincoln’s Republican party is more closely aligned with today’s Democratic party, NOT the Republicans.

Lincoln’s party brought together many disparate voices that could agree on the main theme of restricting the expansion of slavery and promotion of progressive policies that benefited the masses. They sought an end to the race-based slavery that permeated the South. They sought to expand educational opportunities. They believed in an active federal that would “do for the people what the people could not do for themselves.” While health care was not an issue at the time (people who couldn’t get it died), Lincoln himself in his second inaugural address called for the nation to “care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.”

Sounds like socialism, today’s Republicans would say.

Today’s Republican party is for everything Lincoln’s party was against.

Not surprisingly, a Republican convention speaker (one of many from the Trump family speaking) used a fake Lincoln quote to promote the opposite of what Lincoln was saying in his real quote. This bastardizing of Lincoln’s words and beliefs has become second nature for a Republican party that despises everything Lincoln achieved, while dishonestly trying to claim they are like him.

They are the opposite of Lincoln. Proven daily.

If you haven’t already, read “The Party of Lincoln.”

Vote for today’s Party of Lincoln – the Democratic party.

And wear a mask.

David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

Death of a Heron

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Sad news on the day’s walk around the local pond. The green heron that I so look forward to seeing each day is no more. Instead of perching on a branch with an eye out for lunch, I discovered him splayed out on the grassy strip between the pond and the roadway, the offramp of life.

I’ve mentioned the pond before, my oasis in this time of pandemic-imposed home seclusion. Geese are a ubiquitous sight, the goslings growing from fluffball to adult over the months. A great blue heron, sometimes two, is a periodic visitor. The otter of my past post never did return, but the beaver once banished returned to his realm to lumberjack the trees on the water’s edge. Songbirds abound: cardinals, grey catbirds, robins, bluebirds, blue jays, and all the rest.

But my favorite was always the green heron. Once or twice there appeared a pair, but usually he was a solo act gracing the brush hanging over the waters. Lately he has been standing more out in the open on top of the concrete overflow dam of the pond. I hadn’t seen him the last two days. I wish I hadn’t seen him today.

Laying on his side, caught almost mid-stride, he seemed undamaged if unalive. I pondered how he may have died. Probably not hit by a car based on his apparent direction of movement and lack of mediolateral compression. Perhaps struck by a bicyclist on the path between the pond and the greenway? A catch and release by a playful hawk or attention-deficit-prone fox? Cardiac arrest? No way to know.

I prefer to remember him in his better days.

During this COVID pandemic I feel lucky to have a little bit of wildness within walking distance of my house. Going beyond the pond or the local grocery store is still a rarity, especially as cases and deaths once again climb. I’ll miss my heron, but I’ll still walk every day that I can. The psychological benefits are as important as the physical exercise. Maybe the other green heron will return to keep me company.

David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!

How to Be an Antiracist

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Almost a year ago I read a book called How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, a Boston University professor, author, and widely published essayist. I was ahead of the curve, it seems, as the book is one of several that are now recommended reading for those wanting to learn about racism, and more importantly, antiracism.

Last night I watched an online live interview with Kendi as he talked about his book and its relevance to the post-George Floyd protests and discussions about race. He reiterated some of the themes of his book, which is part memoir as he explores his own deep racist beliefs, both against whites and in many cases, other blacks. He describes how racist policies beget racist ideas beget racist thoughts beget racist inequality.

But wait. You’re not a racist. So this isn’t relevant to you, right?

I’ve never considered myself racist. But then, even the most virulent racists often don’t consider themselves racist, so I suppose personal self-categorization isn’t a good metric. While I did learn some things about myself that made me feel uncomfortable, this post isn’t a test of any individual’s racism. I’m writing about societal racism.

I talked about this more in White on Whites, so here I want to focus on a distinction that Kendi makes that I think is useful for us to keep in mind. Kendi would like to get away from the concept of being “Not Racist.” He argues, and supports, the idea that there are two states: Racism and Antiracism.

Racism is defined as supporting racist ideas or racist policies. While generally you shouldn’t use the word you’re defining in your definition of that word, this is a self-evident exception. Racist ideas are inherently obvious – they stem from white supremacy, the idea that people who are white are somehow superior to people of color. This nation has struggled under this concept for all of our existence. I provided a short history of systemic racism in America in my author website. White people enslaved black people on the false premise that whites were superior, when in fact the only superiority we had was the political power to keep people enslaved. That legacy continues to infect our society today. When white people call black people lazy, or stupid, or inherently not up to our white standards (even though most whites don’t meet those standards either), that is displaying racist ideas. Some racists are easy to identify; others are more subtle. But a person is racist because they express racist ideas. That’s the definition.

Racist policies may be a bit more difficult for most white people to see, or acknowledge. Kendi documents how even some acts designed to repeal racism, e.g., integration of schools, actually deepens racism. Elsewhere I’ve seen documentation of how even federal mortgage loan agencies actually encouraged white flight, the movement of whites from housing developments in the city that were expressly built for workers (mostly white at the time) to suburbs just as expressly designed to block the presence of non-whites. Redlining practices today continue the process by which society insinuates racism into policy.

So we have “racist.” Then Kendi shows that the opposite of “racist” isn’t “not racist,” but “antiracist.” The distinction is important.

Many people, as did I, consider themselves “not racist.” We rationalize that since we don’t use the “N-word” or overtly engage in racist speech or behavior, we must therefore by “not racist.” But that lets us off the hook for the inherent racism built into our society. As I mentioned in White on Whites, we whites have white privilege whether we acknowledge it or not. Our society allows us whites to pass through life never being singled out for scrutiny because of the color of our skin. That isn’t the case for people of color. Black men are disproportionately stopped by police, receive longer prison sentences than whites for similar (or lesser) crimes, and are generally under scrutiny for no reason other than being black. Politicians routinely dehumanize black and brown Americans because they know that, at least in one political party, dog-whistles and fog-horns of racism will strengthen their hold on their key voting block.

Let me quickly expand on that last point. There is a certain uncomfortably large proportion of the American people who respond positively to racist language. We have the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and blatantly racist politicians. These racists are obvious, but before the rest of us white people think those groups are outliers, think about the work of educator Jane Elliott.

Back in the late 1960s, immediately after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jane Elliot began her brown eyes/blue eyes experiment with her grade school class. She showed how easy it was to manipulate people into hating others based on their perceived “superiority” or “inferiority.” More recently she did another experiment with an auditorium full of white adults. She asked them to stand up if they would be comfortable being treated like black people are treated by society. When no one stood up she said, “See, you all recognize that society treats black [and brown and Asian and Native] people in this country differently than white people, and none of you wants to be treated that way.” Watch the very short video.

We know. We know our society is systemically racist. And none of us wants it for ourselves. It reminds me of when Abraham Lincoln noted that as much as plantation owners and slaveholding politicians claimed that slavery was a “positive good,” none of them wanted to take advantage of it for themselves. We know. And most of us do nothing about it.

Which is why being “not racist” is not enough. We must actively be “Antiracist.” We must work as allies to rid our society of the systemic racism that brings us all down. We must do the work.

Kendi suggests that this can be done from either a moral position – racism is wrong and immoral and needs to be eradicated. Or we can do it from an advocacy position – what would white America gain if we weren’t so easily manipulated by racist ideas?

I’ll do a follow up post on this last point shortly.

David J. Kent is a science traveler and the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, in Barnes and Noble stores now. His previous books include Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

Check out my Goodreads author page. While you’re at it, “Like” my Facebook author page for more updates!