DERELICT—In common usage, this word typically refers to a vagabond-type person. Dereliction of duty typically refers to failure to shoulder one’s obligations and/or responsibilities. I think yours truly may fit into the latter category as of late, because, as a regular philosophical blogger, my followers were likely expecting to hear from me before now. However, as the old saying goes, ‘I’ve had other fish to fry’.
Since late January of this year, weather permitting, every spare moment of mine has been spent in my gardens, clearing, fencing, tilling, planting, feeding, watering and finally harvesting. All of the above effort has been directed at fresh vegetable production for our local Community Kitchen which feeds free meals to hundreds of indigents daily. With the dutiful help of my dear wife Ginny and a friend, Carol Cain, we recently finished the harvest of roughly 1000 pounds of fresh cabbage.
With all other crops and projects under reasonable control, I decided to ‘rationalize’ my way onto the golf course this past week. With a worn out back and two arthritic hips, walking any distance is impossible. So if we can’t drive our golf cars on the fairways, I have to refrain from playing golf. It finally quit raining two weeks ago which allowed car traffic on fairways, so I took advantage of that. Now back to the business at hand.
During the last several weeks we have witnessed episode after episode of apparent dereliction of duty which were, again, rationalized as justification for episode after episode of looting and violence of all sorts.
So what are the causes of such derelictions. If one can believe any so-called news casts at all, it seems much of it was done by ‘hired guns’ for both political and social reasons. The leftists would use any excuse to blame President Trump for any and every untoward event of any kind in an attempt to sway public opinion against him. Then there are the genuine ‘lawless’ who seemingly want to take over chunks of entire cities so they can ‘have their way’ undeterred.
People who wished to protest peacefully had no chance—their voices and activities were drowned out completely. Thankfully, in our smaller cities and towns, civility pertained.
I am convinced that the breakdown of family life among black Americans is the prime culprit. Where there is no father-figure disciplinarian and role model, what can one expect? On the other hand, when black Americans were emancipated, what choice did they have but to migrate to the cities—and once there, what chance did they have?—slim and none. They were still enslaved in an economic system completely untenable—they had no money, they owned no land, they were forced to live in slum conditions. More importantly, they were neither positioned nor conditioned to obtain the one vital thing they needed for prosperity—-education. So the inevitable happens—unwanted pregnancies with no father figure, and a mother with no visible means for support of her child(ren)—a welfare state was created.
I grew up a total pauper. But I had two very distinct advantages that the average black child in the ghettoes and slums cannot possibly have— we owned a little 30 acre farm from which we produce literally everything we ate, and we had extremely dedicated, hard-working parents who taught us hard work, determination and perseverance. With that paradigm as a model, success was possible and it did, in fact, come to fruition—would that every black child had that same opportunity.
Oh there have been, and are now, thousands of successful, honorable black Americans—-they were the fortunate ones. I have no statistics to back my statement, but I’ll bet most came from stable homes, or at least had trusted guardians and advisors.
I know many very successful black people in West Kentucky. Our educational system here encourages all to strive for excellence. Yet there are many, many who seemingly can’t help themselves. Much needs to be done yet.
This is Father’s Day. Isn’t it a crime that so many black and white children are fatherless—they obviously had a sire—a father?—no.
But who is the biggest culprit in this charade? Without any doubt in my mind, it is so-called Christian Churches. I recall vividly about fifteen years ago, when I was formulating ideas for my first book, Wilderness Cry, my wife and I were having dinner with three other couples one night when I made that indictment of the ‘silent Churches’ regarding race. All but one of my friends bolted in ‘righteous indignation’ at the mere suggestion. I had just noted that, in general, not a single word was ever heard coming from any pulpit regarding slavery, or its aftermath, ‘implied slavery’. I was well aware by then that the almighty dollar was what concerned churches the most. Obviously, if churches were to point out the plight of blacks, then they were most obviously mandated to do something about it—that means spend their ‘almighty dollars’.
Furthermore, the mere mention of such an undertaking would alienate many parishioners, further reducing the coffers. Oh, if pressed, they might pay ‘lip service’—nothing more.
I believe without doubt, if there is lingering ‘systemic racism’, it comes straight from the ‘coward’ pulpits.
I recently watched a video interview of Cassius Clay shortly after he had won the Olympic Gold medal in boxing in 1960. He related how proud he had been to stand on that box, have that medal put around his neck, and listen to the playing of our National Anthe. He was so excited to get back to his home town of Louisville, KY, and celebrate with his friends and family. They went to a nice restaurant, and promptly were told that ‘blacks would not be served there’. He had been raised a Christian, but at that very moment, he determined that the Jesus he had been taught about was no friend of his—Allah became his God—Mohammed Ali became his name.
Where were the Christian Churches then—where are they now—where were they 400 years ago? You got it—blind, deaf, mutes.
Where do you suppose all that blindness comes from? Is not the Old testament rife with stories of slavery. Were not both Ishmael and Esau the products of slave girl impregnation by their Jewish owners? Were not the Jews enslaved for forty years by the Egyptians? I don’t recall Jesus addressing the slave situation in the Bible we have. I may sound cynical, but I’ll bet he did—we’ll never know—how many ‘versions’ of the Bible have there been?—you don’t suppose Jesus’ possible words about slavery could have been a ‘convenient’ omission, do you? Knowing Jesus the way I do, my suspicion is very strong.. As best I can tell, all those monstrous church buildings in Europe and elsewhere were built with ‘slave labor’. God must ‘love slaves’ because they built all those beautiful churches to ‘please him’—guess whom they really pleased—I’ll give you three guesses—Popes, Cardinals, Bishops.
Derelicts in dereliction.
If you care for a real education, read my two little books, Wilderness Cry, and Peace in Spirituality. As an adjunct, read G. Rattray Taylor’s book (out of print but available used), Sex in History—you’ll get an ear full.