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Weston, West Virginia

 
Bobing Along

 

By BOB BILLETER

Race Relations Big Problem


I would probably be shocked if I did a survey and discovered how many times in the past 5 years I have written about the race relations problem in our country. Almost every day there is a story on the TV news informing us that a police officer in one of our cities has been attacked, shot or killed.
What are we doing about this serious problem? It appears to me that the country has accepted this racial problem as somewhat normal behavior and is not concerned about it. Last week, as autumn was beginning from coast to coast, people were sitting in front of their TV sets watching the rioting and devastation in Charlotte, North Carolina. Another TV clip showed an African-American teacher stomping on an American flag in a classroom in front of his students. Another clip showed African-American athletes refusing to stand up when the National Anthem was being played.
We all know that not all African-Americans feel like this and act like this. The great majority of African-Americans are loyal, patriotic citizens. But obviously there is an element in the black community in our country that is disloyal and hates our country. At some of these protests blacks appear before the TV cameras and tell us that all white people are evil.
How ridiculous this is. There are good white people and there are bad white people. There are good black people and there are bad black people.
How can the blacks in these protests justify breaking into stores and looting them? They protest against what they see as criminal behavior by committing criminal acts. This makes no sense.
I think there should be a bigger effort make by the African-American community to stop this rioting, looting and fatal shootings of police and other blacks.
Of course there are blacks in the slums of our cities who are living in horrible conditions. I have been in many cities and have seen these conditions. But the African-Americans must pull themselves up and improve the conditions they are living in. This is what most of the people, who have immigrated to our country, have had to do. They have had to help themselves.
The immigrants who have come to this country for generations have not come here with thousands of dollars tucked into their clothes. They have been poor and many of them have not had good educations or skills. But they have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps.
Most of the immigrants were thankful for the opportunity to come to this country and prove their worth. Many of the hostile blacks seem to believe that the country is responsible for making them rich and successful. This is never going to happen in this country or in any other society.
More and more African-Americans with positive attitudes are becoming successful in our country. I am delighted to see this happen. Look at the money many African-American athletes are making tens of millions of dollars. White America is not attempting to suppress the African-Americans. It is obvious I believe that many of these poor people in the slums are using this as an excuse.
One of the succes stories we don’t hear much about is the success of integration in our armed forces. African-Americans can be proud of their achievements in our armed forces. Quite a number of them have risen in rank to become admirals and generals. All of which proves what can be accomplished by minorities if they get an education, work hard and have the right attitude.
I for one am very proud of the West Virginians that I know who were born into poverty and grew up in horrible economic conditions but who refused to accept such conditions permanently. They worked hard. Sometimes they worked 2 or 3 jobs. They lived sensibly. They saved a little money and got an education. Now they are a vital part of our society. African-Americans are not the only people who have suffered in poverty. A huge number of people in these hills know or have known what poverty is like. But I don’t know any poor hillbillies who are burning and looting stores.

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