There are many Christian Fundamenetalists who also happen to be homosexual, if not a member of the LGBTQ community.  My late partner, Dr. Morris Taylor knows first hand the pain and suffering these people go through. He was a leader in the Seventh Day Adventist community. Below is the text of an address Dr. Taylor gave to the San Diego Adventist Forum telling and sharing his journey in grappling with Christian Fundamentalism and his own identity. I beleive this can be both a comfort and inspiration to anyone struggling or questioning their sexual identity.

Please read and feel free to share with any all who need to hear Dr. Taylor’s important message.

(If at the end of thios message you would like someone to talk to I have some resources added to the right of this article.)

Dr. Morris Taylor’s Address on Homosexuality for the San Diego Adventist Forum
by Dr. Morris Taylor 

Hi! I’m glad to be here in San Diego to share ideas with you. Part of me feels like a freak from a foreign circus and another part of me feels like an alumnus at a homecoming. Many of you may feel conflicted or uncomfortable for whatever reason. I embrace your hurt and care about how you feel. We are in this together. Each person engaged in this discussion deserves our respect, regardless of whether others agree or disagree. So, let’s all relax. We can be family. 

Congratulations to the San Diego Adventist Forum. For over two decades you have fostered dialog regarding issues of current interest to Seventh-day Adventists! Dr. Larson, I thank you for inviting me to share in this presentation regarding the “Interface between Christianity and Homosexuality”. 

I am a Connecticut yankee by birth. Until I was drafted into the U.S. Army, I had no idea how provincial I was. I had never traveled outside of New England and New York State. My first airplane ride was aboard a transport plane with no windows or seats. I was scared. Upon arrival at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, I was waiting in line at the mess hall. The question everyone was asking, “Hey, buddy, where are you from?” “I’m from Boston,” I answered. One of the guys derided in a raucous voice, “Oh, you’re one of those tea party boys!” 

I am honored to be here for three important reasons. First, I would like to witness that it is possible to be both spiritual and gay. Second, because I empathize sincerely with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered persons within the church, I want to be sure you get the message, “God loves each of you.” Third, I hope that I can make some practical suggestions how the church can welcome L/G/B/T people into fellowship. 

In your kind introduction, Jim, you mentioned that I am a professor emeritus at Andrews University. “E” means “out of” and “merit” means that I deserved it.’ More seriously, I am presenting my personal experience and my own thinking. My participation in this symposium in no way reflects the views of Andrews University. I am speaking outside of my area of academic expertise. 

Each of us has a story. In the telling of our stories we have an opportunity to grow in mutual understanding of what it means to be part of the human family. I am a homosexual person. It takes courage to tell you part of my story in a public setting. I did not choose to be gay. Given our lot within the church and society, no one I know would choose this sexual orientation. This is just who we are. For the most part I will tell my own story with brief references to the stories of other people whose lives have intersected mine. 

I am truly indebted to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and their educational system which nurtured me and, to some extent, limited me. With gratitude I salute kind persons who gave unusual contributions to my development. A public school teacher who paid for my church school tuition for several years. The wife of a college president who gave me a warm bath and clean clothes on Friday afternoons. An academic dean who helped me learn to drive a car. I am proud of my Adventist heritage. 

In the l940’s and l950’s people living in a conservative rural community were not likely to meet gay men or lesbian women. My large family was poor; we used kerosene lights and outdoor plumbing. Reading material was limited with almost no magazines or books in the home. When the Sears mail order catalog arrived, I enjoyed at length the pictures of men’s underwear and swimsuits. My interest in artistic activities was often squelched, sometimes by ridicule. From age eleven, boy friends were important to me, although I had no sexual contact with any of them. Since I was rarely chosen for team sports, I would spend recess talking with my special friend. Older men also interested me even though my world was largely filled with women. Because of social pressure at the Adventist school, I took a girl to the annual banquet. Some girls would try to get my attention; but in all probability I would never have wed if left to my own inclinations. 

When I returned from the U. S. Army in l955, I married a lovely woman, Elaine Myers. My wife and I planned for and welcomed our four wonderful children. Each of them has become well- rounded individuals and high achievers. 

After their mother’s tragic death from an auto crash in l976, we pulled together as a family. I tried to assume the role of both parents. A year had not passed when friends were talking to me about marrying again. They introduced me to Rilla Ashton. I realized that it was best for my children and me to accept this stabilizing influence. It was important for these young adults to have role models in their impressionable years when each was making a decision regarding his or her marital future. Rilla still is a great stepmother and a beautiful person. 

For my entire professional career of forty years, I lived and taught on Adventist college campuses -- Atlantic Union College, Walla Walla College, Southern Adventist College, Pacific Union College, and Andrews University. My proverbial homosexual closet had locked doors most of which I myself did not dare open. Silence and secrecy seemed the only safe haven; however, I feel cowardly for having chosen this path. 

These are some reasons this gay person remained sequestered. Adventist’s literal interpretation of the Bible regarding homosexuality leaves little room for independent thought; discipline for homosexual behavior comes swiftly. Self-revelation continues to be dangerous because confidentiality is virtually nonexistent even in most counseling venues. Because spouses, children and extended family are incorrectly perceived to part of the cause of homosexuality, they often feel guilty or shameful. To protect those who are precious to you, therefore, a gay or lesbian person usually represses everything. In ultraconservative societies information about homosexuality is deliberately suppressed. Denial is so severe that the church has used legal action to be sure that “Seventh-day Adventist” and “homosexuality” cannot coexist. The fear of shunning is palpable in Adventist subculture. 

Meanwhile, I saw students, colleagues and friends being fired, committing suicide, suffering mental illness, running away and enduring alone. During my professional years I never spoke to an Adventist in a situation where we both admitted to being gay. Unfortunately, persons struggling with their own sexual identity are sometimes among the most rabid in their denunciation of others; it can be an unconscious way to deflect detection. Even heterosexual persons are suspected of being gay if they speak any kind word or show compassion to the unfortunate persons who happen to be homosexual. So the barbaric dance perpetuates itself. 

May I read a poem which I wrote in 1993 expressing what it is like being a gay person living in a straight society. 

COLOR ME GRAY 

COLOR ME GRAY
An opaque shadow furtively creeping along a wall 
whose psyche is seldom seen
COLOR ME GRAY
An old garment with color waning
by wearing and washing and wearing again
COLOR ME GRAY 
A lonesome tear trickling down a face
to join those of yesterday in salty embrace
COLOR ME GRAY
A silver fox slinking across a wintry landscape
whose path is rarely traced
COLOR ME GRAY
Bright ideas mixing together to become
dulled and dingy in hue
COLOR ME GRAY
The trustee in gray flannel suit
playing conservatively by the rule
COLOR ME GRAY
A venerable, acceptable non-color
smugly conforming to accepted norms
COLOR ME GRAY
No sun, no glow, no rainbow...
only drab, dreary, interminable gray.
(Copyright 1993) 

 

COMING OUT 

Over a period of several years I gradually opened the multiple doors of my closet. As I said earlier, “We all have a story.” I would like to focus on some defining episodes that occurred during the process of admitting to myself that I was a homosexual person and eventually becoming more comfortable if others knew. 

One Sabbath my family and a few friends were eating dinner on our patio. The conversation drifted to President and Mrs. Clinton’s proposal for the overhaul of health insurance. A seminary professor asserted, “I don’t see why my tax dollars should go to benefit unwed mothers and persons with AIDS. I had recently attended the funeral of one of my young friends who died from complications due to this dread and mysterious disease. At his memorial service I had the opportunity to greet Matthew’s mother personally. I assured her that Matthew spoke lovingly of her despite the fact that the family had virtually disowned him. Apparently she was not able to hear me, for she replied that she must leave and get something stronger to drink. Matthew’s father, a Baptist minister, chose not to attend the radiant and comforting service celebrating Matt’s life. I was sad and angry about the attitudes of both the Adventist and the Baptist preachers. 

The gay bars in Chicago seemed to be the only place where I could meet persons like myself without fear of outing. I had never gone to bars and did not drink alcohol. The smoke was awful. One evening, in the semidarkness I noticed a man with a clerical collar. I hoped that this might be my chance to talk with an understanding person, so I moved closer leaving a seat between us. I ordered a cranberry juice and offered to buy him a drink. Above the raucous music we chatted about my situation. Violating my own defense system, I told him my correct first name and my church affiliation. He responded with insight and compassion for he came to this bar purposely dressed as a cleric to minister to gay persons. He shared the story of his brutal dismissal from an administrative position in a prominent church related university. When his name appeared in the local newspaper for a minor infraction deliberately provoked by undercover operatives, he was given twenty-four hours to vacate his office and apartment. My fear of being apprehended and fired increased, so of course, I reinforced the doors to my closet. 

On another occasion I struck up a conversation with a good- looking guy at a beach. After a pleasant swim he invited me to his prize-winning Victorian house. As we were talking seriously in the hot tub of his secluded garden, he asked, “What church do you attend? My lover and I are looking for a place to worship.” Ordinarily, I would have been instant in witnessing to my faith, but I realized that a gay couple would not be welcomed where I worshipped. When I did mention my church in the best light possible, I discerned that he was disturbed. My new acquaintance had been a top executive with the Ford Motor Company. His neighbor was a Seventh-day Adventist minister. They had been friends available to fix lawnmowers or play golf until one day the preacher discovered that his neighbor was gay. Never again would the Adventist speak to him. The pride I once felt in my denomination turned to shame. I did, nevertheless, continue to teach my Sabbath School Class of twenty-five years in the choir loft. 

My first opportunity to worship with homosexual people came unexpectedly. A thousand miles from my home seemed a safe distance to attend a Metropolitan Community Church, a congregation largely made up of homosexual Christians and those who respect them. I was thrilled to be among hundreds of worshippers enthusiastically entering into praise. Midway in the service I was overcome with joyous emotion and began to weep. I was embarrassed and apologized softly to the gentleman seated next to me. Whereupon he grasped my hand firmly and spoke gently, “Don’t worry. I cried for two years when I found this church.” He had been an active member of a conservative church and an elementary school principal in Michigan not far from where I was teaching. After being dismissed from his job, he moved to Florida where he and his partner are successful and happy. During that service my heart rejoiced and sang; however, I reluctantly returned to my own church. 

For two or three years I read insatiably about homosexuality. Certainly I did not go to any library or use normal search methods that might be traced. Instead I visited bookstores in Chicago and purchased whatever I thought might be helpful. Gradually I understood how homosexuals, along with women and persons of color, feel about the omission of their place in history. 

Among the subjects I explored was the relationship between religion and homosexuality. I read about twenty books on this subject. Next to the Bible and the Desire of Ages by Ellen White, Chris Glaser’s book Come Home! influenced my devotional life the most. I still treasure the extensive marginalia I wrote while on this spiritual journey. Let me share two. “I decided here to pray about my homosexuality. Heretofore, I guess I sort of blamed God and asked ‘Why?’ Surely this aspect of life, my life, can be prayed about and shared with God. I feel so reticent to include God. Guilt dogs my trail. I doubt myself, blame myself and hate myself, not all the time, but all too often. O GOD! Please show me that you care. I want to trust you. I won’t let go until you bless me with your loving acceptance. Amen.” And later I wrote, “Should I choose to come out, I would find a church fellowship like this [a church which treats us as family, not strangers]. That may make me a closet Adventist. Not necessarily. I suspect they [another church communion] would welcome my Adventism a lot more openly than SDA’s would welcome my homosexuality.” 

One spring day I was sitting with my car windows rolled down waiting for my wife to walk past so we could go to the school cafeteria for lunch. My pastor chanced by and asked if he could join me. I readily agreed. Unbeknownst to him, I had spent all morning phoning the six mental facilities on the university insurance list to determine if one might be gay friendly. I had already come out to the pastor so it was no surprise to him when I asked, “Do you feel comfortable with my teaching the Sabbath School Class in the choir loft?” After considerable ‘hemming and hawing’, the minister asked, “Isn’t this too dissonant for you?” From his subsequent comments it became obvious that he would rather I resigned. His rejection was so startling that I pointed to the car seat he occupied and replied, “ If Christ were sitting where you are, he would say, ‘I love you’.” My spirit grieved when I realized that it was inevitable that I must give up my passion for spiritual witness within my church. I voluntarily admitted myself to the mental hospital the next morning to receive the professional help I needed. 

An associate pastor and his wife invited my wife, Rilla, and me to go out for dinner. As I suspected, he hoped that we could get better acquainted and talk about our marital situation. From his own experience he was able to talk with us about the Biblical ideal of marriage in a nonjudgmental way. Over a period of months we conversed and prayed together. Even when it became evident that Rilla and I would live separately, he continued our friendship. During a university vacation period this pastor was celebrating the Communion. Rilla had left with the ladies for the foot washing, and I decided for the first time in my life that I would just sit in the pew without participating. This minister walked directly to me and invited me to participate in the service of humility with him. His spiritual nurture for me, feeling an outcast, was evident. I accepted his invitation. 

MOVING TO SAN FRANCISCO 

On June l, l998, I took my Steinway piano, the antique cherry desk and a few other personal belongings to San Francisco where I now live with my partner, Tyler Kelly. He and I joined Grace Episcopal Cathedral, which is only two blocks from our home. Each of us had become dissatisfied with the exclusionary practices of our respective churches. My leave-taking of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was the only honorable route available to me given my sexual orientation. It is my view that a loving God would not create me an abomination nor require me to deny who I am. Tyler and I enjoy worshipping together in a welcoming environment. The Dean of Grace Cathedral, while attending a conference in a distant city, was asked if his congregation and clergy tolerated homosexuals. He replied, “Absolutely not! They are part of who we are!” 

The Biblical quotation chiseled in stone over the doorway to Pioneer Memorial Church, at Andrews University, “An house of prayer for all people”, used to bother me because I felt excluded. In no way do I repudiate my forty years as a Professor of Music, a church elder, and Sabbath School teacher. I bask, however, in the inclusion of my new church home. 

Soon after I joined Grace Cathedral, I was enjoying the fellowship of the coffee hour when a man came running across the room to embrace me warmly. To my shock it was a former piano student of mine at Andrews University. He introduced his partner of sixteen years, and we proceeded to catch up with our experiences of the past twenty years. He told me about the struggle with his sexuality while on an Adventist campus. A counselor, in whom he had confided as a maturing graduate student, broke confidence. Within days he administration threatened to expel the student. As it turned out, he was allowed to complete the quarter and graduate. However, he was discriminated against in his job applications and recommendations which forced him to accept a mundane job outside his education as a master of music.

I am trying to diffuse my resentment and anger by becoming part of a process of reconciliation and healing. Recently, I spearheaded the development of a pamphlet entitled “The Episcopal Church Welcomes Us.” This was the result of a group effort and received approval by laity and clergy. After the worship service this material is prominently displayed. At the break you may wish to peruse a copy and for a suggested 50 cent contribution you may take it with you. I have a dream that someday you may wish to develop a comparable flyer which is entitled “The Adventist Church Welcomes Us.” 

OBSERVATIONS FROM MY EXPERIENCE 

I am learning to take responsibility for who I am. As a human being, I deserve space to survive and thrive. There is room for me at the foot of the cross and at Christ’s communion table. I further believe that the Holy Spirit speaks equally to all persons. It is my privilege to become a child of God, no more and no less. There are no conditions or limitations of God’s love towards each person. The religious right has no right to deny my rights or rites (r-i-t-e-s). 

After careful study and reflection, I continue to believe that the experiences recorded in the Bible serve as a springboard to our understanding of Deity. Revelations about God are ongoing and vital to spiritual progress. Some well-meaning church members may limit their spiritual growth by a proof text response to the Scriptures; I choose, however, to grow beyond the need to hide behind societal norms or traditional Biblical interpretations. Cultural and denominational bias serves me negatively when it permits me to dismiss or demean persons different from me. 

I think that it is important to acknowledge my past, to grieve injustice towards lesbian and gay persons and to repent of sins towards them. That includes times when I was speechless when my voice might have made a difference. Homosexuals were singled out for special torture during the holocaust and there were pitifully few who even spoke out or even today know that this horror happened. Unfortunately, across the world we are still the objects of violent hate crimes. I urge all thinking citizens to renounce violence. Until we have infinite knowledge, infinite wisdom and infinite love, we cannot administer infinite justice. 

In my opinion the theological arguments for and against homosexuality are as inconclusive as they are conflicting. I have read extensively on this subject. Because I am a gay man, it is difficult to view the discussion objectively. I admit my bias resulting from who I am. Serious consideration leads me to conclude that the prejudice and insecurity of some heterosexuals within the church also skew the picture. I submit that similar challenges to the collective moral conscience include other social issues such as the Biblical treatment of Gentiles, the colonial treatment of slaves and the present treatment of women in the church. I embrace the transcendent principles of love, honor and acceptance that permeate all genuine spiritual paths in the solution of ethical dilemmas. 

Is homosexuality a sin? The oft-repeated slogan, “hate the sin and lover the sinner,” does not help. Unless I know the answer for sure, I am not able to condemn the existence of homosexuals, nor judge their behavior, nor deny their privilege of establishing loving relationships. I cringe when I hear that AIDS results from a judgment of God. I reject extreme statements which accuse L/G/B/T people of sins which encourage God to withdraw his protection from America or any other country. 

Correct information goes a long ways towards dispelling fear. Issues surrounding homosexuality are complex and there are no simple answers. Scientific evidence and statistics may be played to advantage on either side of the debate. As scientists map the human genome the hereditary aspect of homosexuality is becoming clearer. Homosexuals are human beings who happen to be gay or lesbian. Offensive stereotypes and derogatory labels harm all who use them. Christ’s compassion demands the application of the “Golden Rule”. 

From an ethical perspective it seems imperative to ask gays and lesbians about their experience and trust them as equals. There is enough blame to go around, and both homosexuals and heterosexuals are caught up in the moral dilemma. All thinking persons are challenged to participate in making our homes, schools, churches and workplaces more open and tolerant. The churches have a current opportunity to help provide basic needs which are often denied gay and lesbian persons. 

Boys and girls thrive in a secure environment at school free from derision and physical abuse. Youth belong within the loving embrace of family instead of experiencing censure and banishment. High school and college students should participate in honest discussions of sexual issue; they have a right to confidential and professional counseling and they need openly gay and lesbian role models. Adults deserve job security, equal housing opportunities, protection from hate crimes and social acceptance. In the event of illness or death homosexual people deserve visitation rights, legal protection and honorable burial. The churches have a golden opportunity to take a lead in overcoming heterosexism and homophobia. 

A PERSONAL TESTIMONY 

To my way of thinking homosexual persons have considerable gifts to contribute to the church. Gays and lesbians make up a disproportionately large segment of the helping professions such as health and pastoral care, the artistic vocations such as music and other arts, and the teaching areas in a broad spectrum. To deny these persons an opportunity to serve within the church community impoverishes the Seventh-day Adventist Church. 

At this point in my spiritual journey I feel more at peace. I am still flawed and human. Yet I am content to trust God’s grace and I try to accept each day with optimism. Many opportunities for ministry come my way. It remains a privilege to dialog with any person or group of people about my faith including my lifestyle and sexual orientation. 

Since you have invited me and because I am part of a controversial sexual minority, I have emphasized this aspect of my life on this occasion. Sexuality constitutes only a portion of life. I crave acceptance as a whole person, rather than being a case study or a prickly example. On this occasion I do not have time to share with you a more complete life story. I would rather reminisce about my wonderful family, my successful career and my artistic delights. . 

When I was a boy soprano, I often sang at evangelistic meetings. Return with me to enjoy a gospel song, “Just as I Am”. God’s unmerited mercy accepts each of us as we are. I want to share this message with new meaning in a piano arrangement by John Innes. I am grateful to be alive. I am glad to be gay. God is still good.

 

For security reasons, I prefer using Twitter, hastag #arnoland if you have any comments or questions.

In the well-meaning and surprisingly banal book, White Fragility by Robin Di’Angelo, there is a discussion around ‘White fragility’ in talking about racism. I don’t think the term fragility does it justice, it’s a little more like short-fused, nasty, vicious and mean. However, I do admit White Short-fused Nasty, Vicious and Mean Snappiness does not make for a catchy title—but how about The White Rabid Defense Reflex? Or more to the point, nod to JP Sartre: White Racial Nausea. Either way it seriously understates the larger issue in which this fragility must be seen.

In reading the book, I came across a disturbing quote from Robin’s introduction about how America was founded: “Yet the nation began with the attempted genocide of Indigenous people and the theft of their land.” I dare say this quote is itself an example of what I don’t like about White ‘Fragility.’ Fragility hardly accounts for the petulant, barbaric and cruel greed of White America. In my lifetime, the forces of overt White Supremacy have hardly ever been greater. It currently controls the White House, the Supreme Court and and holds the legislature captive.  What checks and balances are there on that? Overt White Supremacy doesn’t even recognize freedom of religion as it will viciously gun down and burn down all it doesn’t like—including churches of which we have sad but plentiful evidence. 

As if Overt White Supremacy isn’t enough, there is the pervasive Covert White Supremacy putting its stamp all over everything White America touches. And every White person participates in Covert White Supremacy, in something come to be called ‘White privilege.’ The Constitution’s Second amendment’s current interpretation cannot be seen as anything else than a continual support for white supremacy infrastructure. Just look at the NRA. The right to protect yourself? Only with guns never civil rights, assistance to the underprivileged or any kind of mercy to anyone: shoot first ask questions later (if at all) should be NRA slogan. 

If you delude yourself other wise about this ubiquity of White Supremacy, just look at the history of indigenous people of America. There should a lesson for all: a reckoning to the Whites and a warning to the Blacks. There you will see what White American supremacy is truly capable of: anything.

What white people did to the indigenous people of America is perhaps the most revolting act of barbarism—not of the 19th Century or the 20th—but I dare say unprecedented in human history (though I must claim ignorance of Canadian and Australian history which have also used settler colonialism to steal land from its indigenous population. Everyone hates comparisons, especially with the Nazi card, but what the Nazi’s did was miniscule compared to what American whites have done. Think about that. Think about the revulsion you feel at the mere mention of Adolph Hitler and now multiply that and look in the mirror. My guess is you don’t feel the same revulsion, let alone worse.

The Nazi’s attempted a genocide and did not succeed, the European Jewish people, the Yiddish culture, social democrats, LGBT, communists, etc. survive to this day, even in Germany. We can still read yiddish literature. We can still read Karl Marx. Magnus Hirschfeld’s ground breaking works are also not obliterated. None of this is true of the societies, peoples, nations, cultures, languages that White people have obliterated off the map. What better example is there than the state of Indiana. Ever see Indians there? Associate indigenous people with Indiana? Tribes used to live there. In fact quite a few: Potawatomi, Shawnee, Kickapoo, Delaware, Winnebago, Wea, Wyandotte, Ottawa, Chippewa, Menominee, Fox, Sauk, Creek and Miami according to Indiana’s own governmental website. Today: no Indians. No Indians in indiana. No Native American reservations in Indiana. What happened to them all? The Great Removal. The forced march of indigenous people from their land regardless of human cost so White people can settle there.  In researching this, I came across a beautiful example of Covert White Supremacy. Here is a description of the Indian Removal Act of 1830: 

The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. 

First, there were no unsettled lands, these were lands owned by someone else. Secondly, the effect of the law removed indigenous Americans  in a huge area including substantial lands east of the Mississippi—even lands that were already ‘settled’ (aka owned) by Whites. Whites have a history of a pretty loose concept of ownership and what you can own. Those are the very concepts enslaving the Whites now.

If there is any question of the existential threat posed to the Black community by Whites, or anyone else who gets in their way, let the spectre of the murdered millions of Native Americans, let the tortured communities forced marched starving to death across the American west testify how far this can go. America’s name for its particular brand of  Nazism went by some pretty nice sounding names such as Manifest Destiny. This was not attempted genocide. This was genocide. But really not. Genocide does not dignify what America had brought about. As far as I know there is no word for what was done. The United State of America committed a Genocide 10x. Actually it’s more. There are countless number of Native American tribes that are extinct. The colonization of America was the most gut wrenching act of brutality ever perpetrated by mankind. There is nothing I know of on such a scale in human endeavors.

Being able to see thing in this light is not easy. Two things helped. First an excellent lecture on White Supremacy by Jeffrey Robinson of the ACLU and the Trone Center for Justice and Equality. A link to the lecture is in the related links section.

Secondly, there is an excellent book by Jeffrey Ostler entitled, Surviving Genocide: Native Nations and the United States from the American Revolution to Bleeding Kansas, which is volume one of an exhaustive study of the Native American tragedy.  Mr. Ostler, who was part of a previous volume by alike minded scholars entitled Why You Can’t Teach United States History Without American Indians, quoting the New York Review of Books, this volume “addressed critical omissions in writings about the Plains Indian wars, [but] gave little hint that [Ostler] was piecing together this grand synthesis. But Juliana Barr’s opening chapter to that collection laid out the geopolitical premise of Surviving Genocide:

At the time of European invasion, there was no part of North America that was not claimed and ruled by sovereign Indian regimes. The Europeans whose descendants would create the United States did not come to an unsettled wilderness; they grafted their colonies and settlements onto long-existent Indian homelands that constituted the entire continent.”

Now, this is not new information for me. I have known this all along since I was a teenager, thanks to my civil rights minded mother. But the quote above gives a lurid backdrop for the story to follow by Mr. Ostler and the book is unrepentant in its cogent in your face but erudite account of the genocides that were perpetrated on the Native Americans by White America. For even with that knowledge imparted on me by my mother, I must also mention my father’s favorite writer was Louis Lamour, and loved to watch western movies on television. The American coexistence of an oblique recognition of genocide with the overflowing self-aggrandizement and moral relativism of the American western literature and movies created a mythology that allows White supremacy not just to be sublimated but glorified and celebrated. It obscured for me what should have been plain and clear.

According to Ostler, in 1492, the estimated indigenous population of North America was something upwards of 13 million. Ostler reports in the early 1900’s that figure was  270,000. This does not represent a slaughter of 12.7 million people but generations of 13 million people. and many cultures, languages, and peoples. I dare say the actual number could go as high as 100 million.

This poses a much larger and more humiliating reckoning awaiting White America. There is no part of American history in the first five hundred years and beyond, not tainted with some account of the Civilisation-cide of indeigenous people. From Plymouth Rock to the 49ers to the present day reservation system which resemble concentration camps when compared with the rich origins of indigenous civilizations.

Was there anything White America did not take away from the indigenous population? Life, land, culture, even belittling their very name by calling them collectively American Indians and everything they owned American Indian. The name itself an insult to them, to real Indians and a dehumanization of them both.

Whites should consider ourselves lucky that we are in a position to offer Black Americans reparations, restitutions and remedies. Because in the scope of American actions to the indigenous population we have nothing to offer. Nothing of value anyway. We can only offer glorified concentration camps where Native Americans get a modicum of autonomy, unless they are economically in our way, recall the Keystone pipeline. I recall driving on the island of Maui—absolutely beautiful place until you get to a rugged desert area which is called, with straight face sarcasm and insulting irony, the native homeland.

So let White America be on notice: your history is one of unforgiving bigotry and greed. Reaching out a hand to Black community has to cost you it has to undo that greed, or it is literally worthless. But if there is one thing Whites hate to give, and that’s their money or resources, for it is the basis of all their power. It is funny how Whites project their worst characteristics on Jews. And of course Jews are discriminated against. And Jews are increasingly the target of Overt White Supremacy. I can even say my father had an employment application ripped up when a hiring manager found out he was Jewish. Nevertheless, he still had access to White privilege. Not enough to be a billionaire, but enough to get a well paying hardworking job as a construction electrician, whose union membership did not reflect the racial diversity of where we lived, in Detroit, Michigan.

So let the Black community be on notice. In the coming years there will be many attempts at mollification dressed up in all sort of fancy names and sloganed-laws that mean opposite of what they purport. Keep your eyes on what really matters. For already, I am getting all sorts of emails from White America of all sorts: companies, politicians, and celebrities and these emails are all full of mea-culpas that are not worth the paper they are written on—oh wait it’s not even paper, that would require a resource, instead it’s an email. Not worth the email it’s written on, has an even more degrading sound to it.

I am also member of groups where Whites are taking all sort of nonsensical initiatives to cosmetically make changes that assuage  White guilt but completely irrelevant, extremely low priority, or at least unimportant to the Black community. These initiatives are diffusing attention to what really matters: Black lives are being lost in roughly two ways: directly by murder and indirectly through lives and talents wasted for a lack of access to resources (education, opportunity, community assistance, etc.). Anything that does not mention this is a sure fire path to some concentration camp, a free Negro State in the heart of Death Valley with an all you can eat buffet that’s empty of anything nutritious. Everyone White and Black: keep your eyes on the prize and let’s learn from the American indigenous population just how cruel and heartless Whites are capable of.  Jim Crow laws? Some scattered massacres? Lynchings? Look at the indigenous population of America to realize you ain’t seen nothing yet. Consequently, the reckoning can not happen fast enough while there is still time.

(Okay, it’s 2,000 words on racism, I think that’s all I can handle today.)

 

For security reasons, I prefer using Twitter, hastag #arnoland if you have any comments or questions.

Since 2016, we’ve entered the Era of incompetence, or if you like, the Counter-Enlightenment (or if you prefer the Un-enlightentment or the Anti-Enlightenment). Science, Factual Knowledge, Rationality have been replaced by "Saying makes it so" neo-Medieval Do It Yourself Reality culture. Scientific facts, reality, reason, things we had taken for granted have been blatantly and crudely attacked. Racist policy, which I ahd hoped would have no basis in law and been banished since the Jim Crow Laws have come back with repeals to voter rights acts, thinly veiled and overtly racist driven policies of the US Government and many local governments. Luckily their time is running out as many who have been lulled into a sleep of dispair are finally being awaken.

The Trump administratin ind their supporters are quickly becoming irrelevant. They want to destroy the environment, well the pandemic is reversing the tide on our consumptin whether we like it or not. But must stunningly, the rise of racist policies and actions are finally about to get their comeuppence. 

The packed right wing executive and the packed right wing courts and the gerrymandered districts have given the Far/Alt Right unbridled power. But America is charting its own path without them. The government is disassociated from the people.

Trump has and continues to try to make this country an authoritarian autocracy but for the first time since his taking office I sense he is losing this battle, The dumbing down of the American people has been stunningly successful, until now.

The main difference now has been the drawing back of the curtains on the Trump Administration and revealing the blanket incompetence to deal with real issues that immediately effect us with incontrovertable evidence.

Trump’s destruction of the climate, of the ecology, and the theft of our economy and the demise of our international leadership have all been too abstract to fight the visceral racist objectives, divisive tactics of his Administration and his actual Fake-News Orwellian double-speak media apparatus.

However, now it is different. His incompetence is hitting America where it counts: in the wallet and in the gut.

From coronavirus we can see our family, friends, and neighbors die. Before, Trump could even divide families. But when my cousin dies, I don’t ask what party they supported, I fight for their lives. And I see a government too incompetent and self-absorbed to help me.

From abject Racist policies can see our fellow citizens murdered. The very public murder of George Floyd and the lackadaisical response of government on every level: city, state, federal, legislative, executive, and the Courts, etc. lead to a major protests which quickly disintegrated mostly due to rioting provocators on the right and rioting police. 

Again, the Trump incompetence and opportunism that have plagued the response to the demonstrators has exacerbated the situation leading a whole nation, and many parts of the world to awaken from their 3-year slumber (some have been sleeping a lot longer than that) to finally take notice.

Now everyone can see the incompetence, meanness, and stupidity of those in the White House. Hopefully this Age of Incompetence is coming to its inglorious conclusion. But they will not go quietly but the drama has been set in motion. I cannot say let’s see what happens, now that we’re awake lets make it happen. 

Keep protesting. And for those who hesitate because they fear the rioting police, I say jump in. Accept the minor risk but feel it as our People of Color face everyday soemthing magnitudes worse. So risk a lump to save a life: it's a fair bargain. Get involved.

Already many good things are stirring to get involved with: 

  • protests on the streets
  • efforts national and local to defund, scale back the police, and otherwise take away the types they had abused for fear too long
  • Directly challenge racist words, actions and policies from friends, co-workers, family, services, etc.
  • support candidates poised to unseat the Age of Incompetence leaders, judges and politicians.

The Era of Incompetence might just give way to a renewal of the Enlightenment, no better respresented than in the Finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. 

Get involved even if you do just one of these steps you can join our community. Get involved and we will feel Schiller’s Ode to Joy which ends Beethoven’s Ninth coming to reality:

O friends, no more these sounds!

Let us sing more cheerful songs,

more full of joy!

Joy, bright spark of divinity,

Daughter of Elysium,

Fire-inspired we tread

Thy sanctuary.

Thy magic power re-unites

All that custom has divided,

All men become brothers

Under the sway of thy gentle wings.

Whoever has created 

An abiding friendship,

Or has won

A true and loving wife,

All who can call at least one soul theirs,

Join in our song of praise;

But any who cannot must creep tearfully

Away from our circle.

All creatures drink of joy

At nature's breast.

Just and unjust

Alike taste of her gift;

She gave us kisses and the fruit of the vine,

A tried friend to the end.

Even the worm can feel contentment,

And the cherub stands before God!

Gladly, like the heavenly bodies

Which He set on their courses

Through the splendor of the firmament;

Thus, brothers, you should run your race,

As a hero going to conquest.

You millions, I embrace you.

This kiss is for all the world!

Brothers, above the starry canopy

There must dwell a loving Father.

Do you fall in worship, you millions?

World, do you know your creator?

Seek him in the heavens;

Above the stars must He dwell.

George Floyd will not have lived in vane. He is igniting a crucial moment in American history. Now is the time to rise to the situation.

COVID Shut down, shelter in place, death counts, these were the top of mind concerns of the country. The news was an endless drone of the same pandemic. Even as the occasional story would touch on how minorities were being disproportionately effected both economically and in health, still the main concern was the virus and what to do about it. That's all changed now.

The pandemic is still a threat. But to paraphrase Warren Buffet, only when the tide goes out do you discover who's been swimming naked. Michael Pollan recently used this quote in an article in The New York Review of Books to show how the pandemic has laid bare the fragility of our food eco-system. The pandemic has also laid bare the rabid racist behavior that continues to plague our nation. Then, George Floyd gave human form to this terible plague. And it does seem a plague. What does the pandemic and police violence share in common? They attack disproportionately at our most vulnerable.

By recent news coverage it does not seem like the police or the authorities are really learning anything. But it's time we did. How do you stop racist behavior from controlling our actions? Racism tries to rob people of their humanity, Therefore we need to instill people's basic humanity, There is no one who is disposable. This must be the new emphasis of our nation. 

This has far reaching consequences: it means equal opportunity, equal, education, equal health care, equal humanity must drive our public policies and our private convctions. White privelege and class privelege have ruled for too long. Every aspect where white privelege gives an unfair advantage there needs to be a counter weight giving everyone an equal boost. 

Affirmative action, like civil rights, needs a resurrection. I had prayed we had once come so close. My mother was a civil rights political activist and the inspriation for Jamie's mother in The Rites of Passage. She thought for sure we were headed to a new era in 1967, in the aftermath of the Detroit Riots--and indeed the riots that swept the country. 1968 was to be the difference. And it was: in the opposite direction. Our civil rights were murdered by the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.  What an amazing difference: instead of Nixon we could have had Kennedy. 

So now, here we are again. back where we started from. It's time to lay down our racist ideas and embrace humanity, embrace Black Lives Matter with all of our hearts and souls. It will take us to a new revolution and hopefull a new new deal for America: and a new equality.

I have been working diligently on preparing for the release of my upcoming Volume II of the Goldberg Variations. I apologize for the delay, but one of the minor sources of the delay is a writers block because I can’t seem to get something off my mind unless I write this post.

As we know there have been several reports of the alarming rise of suicides, especially white middle aged men. . (e.g.  Suicide Epidemic Has Swept Across American West - Rolling ...www.rollingstone.com › culture › culture-features › sui…The emergence of youth suicide: an epidemiologic analysis ...www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › pubmed; https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/suicide-is-not-someone-elses-pro...)

Suicides in general seem to be up among all genders and races, the white race seems to be the particular riser, and many say it is coupled with the new white man’s burden: the opioid epidemic. But evidence does not really bear this out completely, as the linked article here from the Trust fior America’s health may indicate. (https://www.tfah.org/report-details/pain-in-the-nation-update-while-deat...) .

Nevertheless, there does seem something emblematic going on and that is the lowering prospects of economic mobility among middle class whites. Some would even say that this has lead to a ‘rise in the racism. I don’t see it that way, I am one who believes the amount of racism in the world, follows something akin to the first law of thermodynamics: it is always conserved and never destroyed (or created). What has changed is the readiness of a huge segment of the white population to act on their racism as a motor for public policy. 

This rise in racist politics is a sadly typical human response to (quoting from wikipedia article on Ressentiment: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ressentiment) a sense of hostility directed toward an object (People Of Color) that one (white republicans) identify as the cause of one's frustration, that is, an assignment of blame for one's frustration. This assignment is done in a completely misplaced manner that avoids targeting the real culprit of their economic woes.

One of my favorite, life affirming, philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche saw this quite clearly in his development of the concept of ressentiment [from the French word for resentment], but that’s not what I want to discuss here. Rather how the alt right media (Fox News, Brietbart, etc.) have successfully redirected frustration at the market economy toward people of color. 

It helps explain the huge rise in support for such desperate people as Trump: the very personification of ressentiment, and Bernie Sanders the personfication of—not democratic socialism—but democratic New Deal-ism which aims to take down the market economy as the sole source of public policy.

Even though Sanders is no longer in the presidential race, and Biden, the Democratic establishment candidate is the only one left, it is nevertheless still a Sanders/Trump dichotomy: will people continue to support racism over attacking the root cause: the market economy. And Biden just may be more suiccessful at it, because Sanders needed a revolution in thought, but Biden just needs this epidemic.

The coronavirus epidemic has lead to a subtle radicalization of Americans. I may live to eat these words, but i think you will see a democratic landslide of epic proportions as Americans white and POC rally around not only addressing the market economy issues; but as the human toll of the COVID19 continues to rise a rally around our basic humanity and rejecting our baser racism.

This revolution is already happening globally. The powers that be, the establishment if you will, still hold reins, but even with them in charge we are noticing things such as: the Republican billionaire’s Senate approves a bailout that includes substantial money for the poor. Obviously the lion share still goes to billionaires, but still it is a profound change of direction. The French President Emmanuel Macron is offering the French auto industry bail out money but only if they move some factories back to France, another move--albeit subtle--of forcing manufactruring to consider something other than the profit motive. More and more governments are coming forward with welfare for the corporations and people and those who don't are beginning to rebel. Bolonsaro in Brazil, Putin in Russia are among the many facing historic drops in their popularity. 

This leads me to the belief that a second coming of FDR is in the offing as is a second coming for the democratic party in America. We can only hope they get it right this time, and they can put forth the agenda that places national unity ahead of racism. The net effect of which will most likely be the improvement of the suicide statistics for whites, which will no doubt leave others, mostly People of Color, wondering, "Is this why we did this for?"

 

For seurity reasons, I prefer using Twitter, hastag #arnoland if you have any comments or questions.

The Coronalvirus has caused an enormous amount of rescheduling and various delays to the publishing supply chains.  My publisher is redesigning the book launch for Volume II of the Goldberg Variations, The Redemption of the Damned, to be virtual, if necessary.  The good news is I can do book readings, and other events remotely to anywhere in the world. So, please, if you know if a venue that might be ingterested in a book reading around September, please let me know.

Here is the complete text of the ArnoLand Press announcement:

Volume II of the Goldberg Variations is delayed until the fall
Due to delays owing to the coronavirus crisis, we have to delay the release of Jonathan Taylor’s upcoming installment of the Goldberg Variations, The Redemption of the Damned. There has been a shortage of supplies and essential workers (to our business not apparently society) and this has held up both our publication process and our supply chains. We are doing our best to correct this situation. And as soon as we have alleviated this situation we will let everyone know.
In preparations for returning to business, we have agreed to a new release date with the author, Jonathan Taylor.  The new date it is expected to come out will be September 15th. Please mark your calendars. We will have a series of book launch events that will be either virtual or in person as determined by the best scientific and medical minds. 
If you would like to stay abreast of these events, or if you are interested in hosting one, please do not hesitate to contact Peter Paulus of the ArnoLand Press and peter@arnolandpress.com.

I have great news to report: I have a publication date for Volume II of The Goldberg Variations.  For the details, I'll just copy the announcement from the ArnoLand Press:

"This is by far the most ambitious venture I have ever attempted, I wanted to take the journey of Jamie Goldberg to its inevitable conflicts that Jamie has wanted to so dearly put off," stated Jonathan Taylor the author of new forthcoming entry into The Goldberg Variations series, The Redemption of the Damned.

The ArnoLand Press is pleased to announce the long awaited second volume of The Goldberg Variations. The book is anticipated to be on the market this coming May.

The first volume, entitled The Rites of Passage, was critically acclaimed and well received. The second volume, titled The Redemption of the Damned promises to be an even more gripping and compelling read than volume 1 has proven to be. In volume 1 we saw Jamie struggling with many things but specifically his being gay. 

Now in volume 2, Jamie Goldberg, newly out of the closet in 1980 Detroit, thinks coming out of the closet will solve his problems. But his darker secrets remain. He cannot seem to face these traumatic secrets let alone accept them. He discovers that human sexuality is a lot more complex than merely gay versus straight. He experiences profound societal pressures, parental rejection, and social alienation after openly admitting he is gay. But he also learns that his struggles with sexual acceptance, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts only begin with coming out. In short, he realizes that coming out of the closet can pose more problems than it solves. Sometimes he is sustained only by his own wry sense of humor; other times he is sustained by music, theater, and ultimately by a cast of Detroit characters who accept him as he is even if he does not. Ultimately, he has a date with his past he cannot escape. That confrontation threatens to damn him or possibly redeem him. 

I have many heroes, I am embarrassed to list some of them here. People who have played positive roles in my life and inspired me to do as well as I can. A random partial list—people with an incredible strong sense of integrity, and wisdom: Harvey Milk. Gustav Mahler, Golda Meier, Winston  Churchill, Malcolm X, Theodore Heschel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hermann Hesse, John Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Menelik II, Johannes Brahms, Martin Luther King, Jr, Senator Phillip Hart. Part of my embarrassment is that I know to many people some if not al of these people had their very negative sides. That’s what fascinates me.

I have come to ask myself what a great leader is? I think one must separate a great leader from a great person. No one is perfect and we are all a product of our times. They were flawed people, they had traits we deplore, some did absolutely terrible things but they also attained great things. Things that inspire me. Things we certainly could not have attained and without them our lives would be significantly less than they are now.

So, I wonder what makes a great leader. What makes someone you can respect for what they have achieved if not for the person they are. 

I also look inward at myself and at these great people and know they achieved tremendous feats from which I benefit and which I certainly could have never attained myself.

I look at myself too and I see myself in their time and in their situation and I dare say I would have made fare greater errors in my own stumbling road to mown imperfection.

As I contemplate these heroes of mine—I am reminded of a prayer from the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people: the ashamnu.  The ashamnu is a prayer where we confessor sins from a-z—literally according the Hebrew alphabet. When I was a kid I remember saying to my Rabbi that I thought the prayer was silly because why did I need to confess—for example to murder as I had never committed such a crime. He did not respond to my question until his Yom Kippur sermon when explained that we confess our sins communally and though we may not have commit this or that sin as a community have committed all of these sins. As a community we therefore confess our failures—even if we did not commit these sins we have failed to prevent them and failed to live in a community that does not participate in them.

In a way, if you take the arbitrary list of heroes I list at the title of this post, I think you would end up with an entire Ashamnu’s worth of sins and failures.

I won’t nor do I want to apologize or defend or even justify the shortcomings of my heroes. They have inspired me and they have inspired me to do well. To do better. To think better. And to realize in my own humanity I am not a bad person but imperfect. I look back on 2018 and see mistakes as well as achievements. My mistakes and my flaws do not diminish me—even when I think they should. They are a testament to 2019 where I will continue to make mistakes and attain achievements. 

At the end of the my life, as Jean-Paul Sartre put it, they will draw a line under my acts and deeds and tally up my life. Though I live in the shadows of my heroes and on the backs of generations who have fought before me so that I can be a step ahead. I realize, with warts and all my heroes still stand tall because we still reap the benefits they have given even with the pain they also have imported on us. 

Harvey Milk. Gustav Mahler, Golda Meier, Winston  Churchill, Malcolm X, Theodore Heschel, Friedrich Nietzsche, John Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Menelik II, Johannes Brahms, Martin Luther King, Jr, Senator Phillip Hart.

There is a humanitarian disaster going on in Yemen. In a world of humanitarian disasters this one truly has our hand in it. The root cause is the civil war whcih is being relentlessly conducted  with American backed Saudi support to the goverment forces against the Houthi rebels. But this is no time to blame one side or the other it is a time to act to help the best we can those staring and dying.

I had often been saddened because I could nothing about this. The military situation was so bad no aid organization coud be there. Now I learn that Doctors Without Borders is daring to be there to do what they can with their clinics. 

Children are dying, people are starving. I appeal to anyone reading this: please give what you can to Doctors Without Borders. The link is here. Those of you employed check out if your employee will match your funds. Mine will 50% so I will give through them. But if you dion't please use this link. 

The link: https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org

(Mein Führer: Besser Rot als tot)

Writer's note: I started out writing a satrirical piece about how far would the republican populists go in their murderous racism, and i decided to place it in the future as a vehicle to actually explore the current tenor and trend of the debate if we continue to leave this unchecked. So read this piece and wake up America!)

Washington DC— Sometime in the future a house judiciary committee meeting

John Conyers XVI: Rico we have to talk about this later. The Chair wants to start the debate now.

Rico Oakman: John, this won’t take long, what do you think of my idea?

Conyers XVI: Changing the name of the Democratic party is something we should not take lightly, Rico.

Oakman: But this way, we can compete with the Republican Trump Imperium by appealing to their base as well.

Conyers XVI: But The name—

Oakman: I like adding word ‘socialist’ as our forbearer Mr. Bernhard Sanders would have liked.

Conyers XVI: I know combining it with your pro labor idea…I don’t like it. Putting all that together has a bad connotation—know what I mean, Rico?

Oakman: What do you mean, it has a nice ring to it. I like the name what’s wrong this it?

Radolph Duke-Cruz: Gentleman! The hearings are about to begin.

Oakman: Yes Radolph we’re done! (aside to Conyers)We’ll discuss this later but I have the votes.

Duke-Cruz: The House Judiciary Committee will come to order. We have a proposal from Congressman Oakman—

Josephus Schmoe: I object Chairman! Are you really going to let a democrat talk? We saw from Mr. McConnell, what happens when he let just one democrat talk, look what happened to him.

Duke-Cruz: I doubt they will hang me upside down from a cross just for letting them talk about what Congressman Oakman said was a small matter, Continue Mr. Oakman.

Oakman: Thank you Chairman Duke-Cruz. The current proposal does need some explaining before this key vote. We, the Democratic party—or I should say as we shall soon be know as the National Democratic Socialist Workers Party—

Conyers XVI: I object we have not approved the name—we haven’t voted on that.

Duke-Cruz: Please Congressman Conyers we have learned absolutely nothing, if we have not learned that voting is a mere formality. Continue uninterrupted Rico.

Oakman: Thank you, I want to address people’s concern about the current proposal. We feel this is the only real democratic people-focused solution to both racism and immigration. With our current technology we can use gene therapy to make everyone white. We have tried affirmative action, operation head start, the peace corp, immigration reform and these have not worked. Indeed we all know the definition of insanity is to try the same thing again and again even though it has proven not to work.  Let me repeat, we all know the definition of insanity is to try the same thing again and again even though it has proven not to work.  Making every body white solves the problem. White police cannot accidentally shoot a black man if he is white.

Duke-Cruz: It’s even better than that, The police couldn’t shoot someone who does not exist. (Oakman chuckles)

Schmoe: You can’t agree with him!

Duke-Cruz: Wait your turn, Joe.

Oakman: The problem is solved! The lack of darker skin color also means we can at last abandon policies that make no sense: affirmative action, outreach to ghettos, multi-cultural hypersensitivities. Indeed there will be no ghettos since nowhere will there be a concentration of anything other than white people. And with the immigration problem. Economically speaking, we know there was never an immigration crisis. Moreover, this country’s only native population was mercilessly annihilated by my friends across the aisle.

Schmoe: Objection! This is a committee meeting there is no aisle.

Oakman: Okay, by my friends on the other side of this podium.

Schmoe: Thank you.

Oakman: Nevertheless, I repeat there has never been—from an economic stand point—an immigration crisis. Our economy would grind to a halt if it were not for our generous immigrants to the south who will work at slave labor wages to gather our food, take care of our children, wash our dishes and paint our houses—that remind me my sink needs repairing. Anyway, the only real problem with immigration is their skin color, which makes many people across the aisle—other side of the podium!—uncomfortable. Their newly lightened skin would ease these concerns and allow our economy to flourish as they work for their slave wages along side their newly lightly colored black neighbors.

Schmoe: If everyone will be white what would prevent one of us—I mean one of the white people from working for slave wages? Besides, if I may, the very idea that anyone not racially related to us could possibly pass as us is at best mendacity and at worst deception. Call a spade a spade, that’s what I say! Let’s have racial integrity and pay them what they re worth and we what we are worth.

Conyers XVI: You can’t do this, I am shocked! This would mean the annihilation of entire cultures.

Oakman: Well, we do have a precedence in what we did to the Native Americans.

Conyers XVI: That’s like saying concentration camps are a precedence for putting us all in death camps.

Shmoe: Well objectively speaking, it is a precedence.

Conyers XVI: Are you saying death camps were a good thing?

Shmoe: I am just saying it is a precedence. Whatever we think about it, there is an international legal precedent. We are a nation of laws. Don’t start judging the law, we are nothing without the rule of law and this was one of them …somewhere… we can’t cherry pick the laws we like and the ones we don’t like.

Peter Flinder: I would like to speak in support of this proposal.

Conyers XVI: You, Flinder! 

Flinder: As a member of our newly named NDSWP, I want to say I would support this.

Conyers XVI: Your supposedly my friend Peter!

Flinder: I am, but this would stop your constantly jamming down my throat that I am an invisible minority. Now you would be just as invisible and we can be minorities on equal footing! That’s all I want, equality.

Nick Chauchesqueue: Stop this gentleman. This a charade.

Duke-Cruz: We’ve heard long enough from the Democrats, Nick, what have you got to say?

Chauchesqueue: This is unacceptable, making black people white, the idea is absurd. We need this plurality to exist, if for no other reason than to sustain our GDP in the revenue from private jails. My goodness God almighty, we might as well close death row! Think of that: the unemployment! Not just the laid off workers but the walking undead, too. Entitlements will skyrocket!

Schmoe: I can see other problems. How could we control lower quality white people, like Eastern Europe—no offense Congressman Chauchesqueue— these people would take advantage of this whole program and claim to be whitened. How would we know? They could claim to take advantage of our slave labor program—I mean our reduced minimum wage program—for new illegal residents. This would make us the new European Union—good grief then California, New York and who knows else would exit the union.

Chauchesqueue: Exactly. These black people, which you don’t change just by changing the hare’s fur—their skin color is also but a superficial covering up of bleeding hearty Communism of the worst kind. We see right through this. Does changing their skin color change the way the would vote? If we give them a voice, they’d be a trojan horse of democracy!

Oakman: Gentlemen, you are quite wrong, changing their skin color will change them—it will give them White man’s privilege.

Chauchesqueue: Oh! Genius man.

Oakman: And if we have learned anything we have learned the lengths people will lie to themselves and others to protect their white privilege. Well, to protect their newfound white privilege they would be obliged to step up in solidarity with us to do the same—probably even against their own people who refuse to participate in our program.

Conyers XVI: Good god!

Duke-Cruz: Stop trying to hijack God as your argument! Preposterous: black people turning white!

Oakman: We have proof! Look at Clarence Thomas or Ben Carson. I imagine how much more easily we can make more of them if their skins really were white.

Chauchesqueue: But they aren’t white.

Oakman: What are they then? Conyers doesn’t even admit black republicans into the so-called non-partisan black causcus. They might as well be white already.

Conyers XVI: Good god!

Duke-Cruz: Jesus Christ, stop using God as a defense.

Jesus Christ: It doesn’t bother me, he’s talking the name in vain.

Duke-Cruz: All right.

Shmoe: I am confused. They’d be white black people or white latinos. What do we do then?

Oakman: If there’s any problem it will right itself out in a generation: the long range effects are perfectly clear.

Duke-Cruz: Then we’d have to have some system of registration to track them for the first generation—you know keep an eye on them. We could put them automatically on the sexual predators list and no fly zones, etc. Oh, I have it, let them wear a black triangle on their coats.

Schmoe: And the latinos can wear brown ones.

Duke-Cruz: That's discrimination. 

Shmoe: Then have them wear triangles the color of their original sin--I mean skin.

Duke-Cruz: That's an even worse idea we won't be able to tell anyone apart. Just make it brown, that's what most of them are anyway despite what they say.

Chauchesqueue: We have agreement?--Oh no, no no, what was I thinking? This can’t work! Cruz-Duke! This is just white washing the problem—literally whitewashing. If I may say, what I like, is this legal precedence—LEGAL precedence—of the concentration camps. 

Shmoe: But, consider the expense? 

Duke-Cruz: Now gentlemen, let’s compromise. Work camps, clinics, they’d both be expensive. We could give them government guaranteed loans that would automatically garnish from the wages. They could finance their own camps or their own clinics whichever way we go.

Conyers XVI: Good god! Whichever way—it’s already a choice between the two? Let’s drop the hole matter.

Shmoe: You see! This is a democratic power grab pure and simple. So I would like to introduce the amendment. I’ll make it a friendly amendment to Oakmnan’s proposal with a budgetary tie in. 

Duke-Cruz: Then, depending on which way this vote goes, we can buy stocks in the supporting company.

Oakman: Oh wow, I never even thought of that one.

Shmoe: Why you are a Democrat and we are in charge. I’ll even support the Democrat’s who cross over to vote with us to get them lobbying jobs before they get lynched in their hometowns.

Conyers XVI: You are the one’s doing the lynching, Sir!

Shmoe: If we do away with black people then who lynches who is a mere academic issue.

Oakman: I do object as well. I mean, Do I still get credit for passing the law if the amendment is accepted?

Shmoe: We’ll see Oakman. And Conyers, lobbying is not that bad once you try it. Trust me the hours are better … so is the food.

Agnus Merkle: There is no problem with immigrants why are we even debating this?!

Duke-Cruz: Congresswoman Merkle? Get her out of here! Jesus, who let her in anyway. This is a men’s committee. It is so difficult being a leader in these conditions. John, let me ask you a question, which would you prefer? Death camps or becoming white?

Oakman: You could get a sun tan after the operation. I don’t have a problem with that.

Chauchesqueue: Wouldn’t bother me either.

Conyers XVI: My leader, I suppose better red than dead.

Duke-Cruz: Thank you, common sense prevails. Next, item—oh it’s irrelevant now, putting prisoners in coal mines. I guess we can go home, our work is done.