The Real Meaning of Words

This past Friday night, Hillary Clinton branded essentially some 20-30% of Americans as being inside “a basket of deplorables.” She went on to define us with a litany of brands of her own making. What she failed to realize – or maybe she did – was that by making that comment, she identified herself as a bigot in the truest sense of the word for bigotry is defined as “intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.” The words she uttered that night in a New York restaurant where she had gathered for a fund raiser with a collection of top 1% left-wingers including Barbara Streisand branded Hillary Clinton as a bigot.

Clinton and other elitists tend to use words for their own purposes, without considering their real definition. This not surprising since the news media is notorious for using words in print and broadcast whose true meanings are far from the meaning they imply to it. A classic example is the use of the word Tarmac for what is actually a concrete parking ramp at an airport. Those who use it are ignorant of the true meaning of the word, which is actually a brand name for a method of paving roads using a mixture of tar and macadam, and there’s not an airport parking ramp in the world made of it. This is but one example. There are many words commonly used to mean something entirely different from their actual meaning. This is particularly true of words ending with the suffixes “ism,” and “ist.” Other suffixes that may be used contrarily are “ology” and “phobe or phobia.”

The most commonly misused terms are “racist” and “racism.” Before we look at their meanings, lets first consider the word “race.” Race is a Scottish word that literally means “to run.” Sometime around the 16th century the word was corrupted into a new meaning to define a particular group of people of common descent (it  was evidently used because of common characteristics “running” through descendants of a particular pair of ancestors.) It was later applied to groups of people of common appearance. By the mid-1700s, naturalists had adopted a concept of five distinct races – Caucasian, Mongoloid, Malaysian, Negroid and American, with the latter race being the native peoples of the Americas. Such people are now referred to as Amerindian. These five groups were identified as sub-species of the human race. Each group was identified based on particular characteristic – skin color, hair texture, shape of the skull and shape of the eyes.

Now, let’s look at the meanings of suffixes. “Ism” means a practice or belief, as in baptism, Methodism, communism, progressivism, conservatism, etc. In each case, the word means a practice, as in baptism, or a belief in the case of each of the other words. The suffix “ist” means one who practices a belief, philosophy or discipline, as in communist, Baptist, Methodist, geologist, scientist, etc. and etc. In short, words with suffixes have specific meanings. Unfortunately, in recent years, the meanings of many words have been twisted to something entirely different from their actual meaning. Racism and racist are undoubtedly the two words misused the most often. Simply, racism is a belief based on race and a racist is one whose beliefs are based on race.

In the 1930s, some people started referring to the policies of Adolph Hitler’s NAZIs regarding certain peoples, specifically Jews and Eastern Europeans as “racist.” The term was actually misapplied because Jews and Eastern Europeans are not really separate races, but are actually  branches within the Caucasian race. Hitler believed the Germanic peoples are a “master race” and other peoples are inferior. For some reason, even though he was a Jew himself, he held Jews in especially low regard and is believed to have wanted to exterminate them. However, Germanic tribe are just one of a number of tribes of Europe, all of which are actually Caucasian. The word was also misapplied because the true meaning of the word “racist” is one who studies races and holds to beliefs pertaining to race. Journalists mistakenly began referring to NAZI policies as “racism” although they were actually tribalism. They naturally began referring to white Americans, particularly in the South, as “racist” because of their perceived treatment of negroes and Amerindians. In fact, the word was misused because a racist is actually someone who adheres to racism, a belief based on race. Although there were some policies in the United States that were definitely based on race, they were not “racist” or “racism” in the true sense of the words.

There are, however, groups in the United States whose core believes are based on race and who can truthfully be labeled as racists. The best known group is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, an organization formed in 1909 and which was and still is based solely on race. Other groups in America of consequence based solely on race are the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Nation of Islam and the recently established BlackLivesMatter movement. Even the much hated Ku Klux Klan is not a racist organization in the sense that it is based solely on race.  Although some of its policies are based on race, the organization has other goals that are applicable to all Americans.

An organization similar to the NAACP that cannot be termed racial is the B’ nai B’ rith, a Jewish organization founded in 1843 to promote the Jewish people and the state of Israel (which didn’t exist when the organization was founded.) Instead of racial, the organization is actually religious since Judaism is based on religion as well as origin. However, Jews are actually Semites, a subspecies of the Caucasian race that also includes Arabs and was originally based on language. Basically, Semites are descendants of Abraham, Jews from his wife Sarah and Arabs from Sarah’s handmaid, Hagar. Another group that is commonly mistakenly referred to as being a race are Hispanics or Latinos, which are actually a different group. Hispanics are actually people who speak either Portuguese or Spanish. True Hispanics are white Europeans from the region the Romans called Hispania, specifically, the Iberian Peninsula. Latino is a recent term used by people from what they call “Latin” America, meaning the American countries colonized by Spain where Spanish is the predominant language. Latinos can be either Caucasian, Amerindian or mestizo, a term used for those of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestory. Some may be negroes. “Mexican” is also often mistakenly referred to as a race but it is actually a nationality.

After being applied to NAZI policies in the 1930s, “racism” and “racist” began to be applied to Americans who don’t accept politically progressive ideas pertaining to race in the United States. The progressive position – and that of true racist organizations such as the NAACP, SCLC and Black Lives Matter – is that members of the negro race deserve special treatment because negroes were brought to the United States as slaves and kept in slavery until slavery ended after the Civil War. In fact, slaves weren’t brought to the United States originally because it didn’t exist, and they weren’t brought to the British colonies – they were brought to the Caribbean, Central and South America by the Spaniards and Portuguese to work as laborers in sugar cane fields. Slavery was already prevalent in the Spanish colonies more than a century before the first African indentured servants were brought to the Jamestown Colony in Virginia by a Dutch ship in 1619. Because they had been baptized as Christians by the Spanish who purchased them in Africa, they were treated as indentured servants and set free after a specified period of time. There were free blacks in Virginia for several years prior to the sentencing of John Punch, an African indentured servant who ran away instead of working out his indenture, to slavery. There is some question as to whether Punch was actually the first slave. Another man named John Casor was indentured to an African named Anthony Johnson who had been indentured, then became a planter after his period of indenture was satisfied. Casor claimed he was indentured and due to be released but Johnson claimed Casor was his “slave for life” and a Virginia court agreed. Regardless, blacks owned other blacks in what became the United States almost from its inception until slavery was abolished by the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment.

“Racist” and “racism” have become pejorative words primarily since the adoption of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the resulting special treatment given to blacks. Many whites, with good reason, are resentful that blacks – and, now, other groups – receive special treatment in areas such as college admissions and hiring simply because of their race. Other words that have achieved the same status are “homophobe,” which is applied to those who have reservations about homosexuality due to Biblical pronouncements, and “misogyny,” a word that actually means hatred of women as a sex but which is used pejoratively as a label for those who don’t accept the precepts of feminism (another “ism” word that is a belief). It’s also applied to men who express disdain for a particular woman. A recent word thrown out by progressives is “Islamophobe,”  which is applied to those who have reservations about the immigration of Muslims to the United States. Those who used such words use them as expressions of disdain for those who don’t accept their own views regarding these particular issues. In short, they are used by bigots. (Bigot and bigotry are also misapplied – they are now used as synonyms for the modern use of racist and racism.) The irony is that with most of the pejorative words, those who use them are actually themselves guilty of bigotry. They are deplorable.

 

 

 

Khizr Khan and His Disgraceful Speech (The Khan Game)

Since I put this up, Khan has deleted his web site. It’s obvious he – and the Clinton campaign – want to hide that he’s an immigration lawyer who represents Muslims desiring to immigrate to the US.

By now, many Americans have heard of the speech Pakistani immigrant Khizr Khan made at the Democratic Convention on Thursday night. Khan got up and waved a pocket version of the Constitution around and claimed Donald Trump has never read it. In doing so, Khan made a huge mistake – the Constitution has nothing in it about immigration. Khan and his wife were invited to speak at the DNC for one reason and one reason only – because their son, a US Army captain, was killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber 12 years ago in 2004. This is supposed to give him and his wife “standing” to comment about Trump’s position on vetting Muslim immigrants.

As it turns out, Khan is a Pakistani lawyer who studied at Punjab University in Punjab, then immigrated to the United Arab Emirates then immigrated from there to the United States where he continued his legal studies at – Harvard. He now represents potential Muslim immigrants. KM Kahn Law. He is closely connected to organizations that have contributed to the Clinton Foundation. He took a swipe at Trump and Trump swiped back – then the media took after Trump and distorted everything all out of proportion while making Khan and his wife the flavor of the day.

Khan and his wife’s appearance at the convention is disgraceful because they are politicizing their son’s death for the Clinton campaign. Their son, an Army captain, died on June 8, 2004 when an explosives-laden taxi blew up at the gate of the compound in Iraq where Captain Khan’s unit was responsible for security. Although the young officer is being hailed as a “hero,” in truth he was more of a victim. It is claimed that he told the troops manning the checkpoint to hit the dirt then walked toward the oncoming taxi but that claim seems to have come from his father, or possibly from his posthumous Bronze Star citation. It really doesn’t matter – what matters is that he died. His death has only attracted attention because he was one of a thimbleful of Muslims who have served in the US military – less than 1/100th of a percentage of the military as a whole – and a miniscule number who have died in military service since 9/11 – 14 out of some 6,000 total deaths. (The term “Muslim” includes members of the Nation of Islam, a sect made up of blacks who claim to be Muslim that originated in the United States.) The sole reason they were invited to speak was because of their son and the intent of their appearance is to politicize his death and attack GOP candidate Donald Trump for his call for restrictions on Muslim immigration in view of the threat from Islamic militants worldwide.

Khan is not a recent immigrant and although his son was born in the UAE, he came to the US at age three and grew up here. The Khan family came to the United States in 1980 – 36 years ago. At the time they came here, the Soviet-Afghan War had just started, Ronald Reagan had yet to become president, Ossama Bin Laden had yet to be heard from and the Taliban was still merely an organization of ruling clerics. By the time of the 9/11 attacks, the Khans had been in the US for over 20 years. Other than the elder Khan being a Muslim immigration lawyer, their immigration has little relevance to the current immigration situation. The Clinton campaign dug them up because they couldn’t find any recent Muslim immigrants who had lost a son or daughter in the military.

In his speech, Khan made reference to Arlington Cemetery where his son is buried, calling on Donald Trump to visit it. Now, I have been to Arlington numerous times, most recently in 2010. Arlington is not the final resting place of American war dead as many believe. Although there are war dead buried there – mostly Union soldiers from the Civil War – most American war dead are returned to their homes to be buried locally. Captain Khan’s interment was only the 66th of the Iraq War. The graves in Arlington – and other veterans cemeteries around the nation – are of just that, veterans. If you look at the headstones at Arlington, you’ll see that most are of old men, many are retired generals and colonels, who lived long lives and were buried there in a place of honor. In fact, current burial regulations restrict burials to men and women who were either active duty or retired from the military at the time of their death and certain veterans – Arlington Burial Eligibility. Khan’s implication that Arlington shows “sacrifice” is way offbase.

Khan waved a copy of the Constitution dramatically and accused Trump of having never read it, and apparently implying that it somehow grants rights to Muslims to immigrate to the United States. In fact, the Constitution does no so such thing. The Constitution of the United States is the document under which the US government is required to operate but the only mention in it of immigration is a prohibition of Congress making any regulations pertaining to immigration until 1808. US Constitution. Immigration is governed by Federal law, specificially the Immigration Act of 1965. Prior to the implementation of the Act, immigration was based on quotas for immigrants of specific national origin.

Khan may be implying that the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment, somehow prohibits restriction on immigration based on a specific religion. However, such is not the case. The First Amendment religion clause does two things: 1. Prohibits Congress from passing laws establishing a state church and 2. guarantees the right for adherents of a particular religious body to exercise their beliefs. The First Amendment came about because of the efforts of Virginia Baptists, led by John Leland, a minister in James Madison’s home county, to  convince the new Congress not to establish any kind of national state church. As it was, except for Rhode Island, each state had an established church and sentiment was to allow four religious bodies – Anglicans, Congregationalists, Presbyterians and Baptists, in the new country. John Leland and the Baptists said no – make religious exercise completely free of state interference. Leland was running for Congress against Madison until the latter agreed to make guarantees of religious freedom his first priority. Even so, the states continued to have established churches into the 1800s, with Connecticut being the last to abolish its state church (Congregationalist.) The First Amendment makes no guarantees of a right for adherents to any particular religion to immigrate to the United States. In fact, the First Amendment – and the other amendments, make no guarantees of rights to foreigners of any kind at all. Even the Fourteenth Amendment only applies to those born or naturalized as citizens.

The Khans are representing themselves of grieving parents of a son who died 12 years ago. It so happens that I am the parent of a son who died 13 years ago but I accepted his death and put it behind me years ago. No, the Khans are not grieving parents – they’re Clinton supporters who are using their son’s death for political purposes. They’ve disgraced him and themselves in order to make political points.

 

 

Trump

It’s been some time since I’ve written anything in my blog, mainly because I’ve been busy doing other stuff, such as writing books. That doesn’t mean I’ve not been keeping up with current events, particularly the presidential race. Now that Donald Trump has definitely been nominated and Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee for the Democrats, I might as well get into it.

Let me start this off by stating unequivocally that there’s no way I would ever vote for Hillary Clinton. Even before she was definitely revealed as a compulsive liar with no regard for the protection of classified information by the FBI, I knew she had violated Federal policy by establishing her own Email server rather than using government communications channels as she should have done when she was Secretary of State. She did it because she knows that the National Security Agency monitors all government phone lines and Email accounts to insure that no Federal employee discusses classified information on unsecure outlets. Why she did is obvious – she didn’t want someone else reading her Email. The reason should also be obvious; she wanted to be able to communicate with people she shouldn’t be communicating with, people who were going to pay large sums of money to her family foundation in order to gain favor. Hillary was revealed as corrupt and dishonest years ago; the FBI investigation confirmed it.

My topic in this blog is not Hillary but Donald, or The Donald, as the media often refers to him. When he first announced he was running for president, like most everyone else, I thought he’d bomb out early in the campaign like he did in 2012. I’ve never been a huge Trump fan but at the same time, I did not see him as a joke as many have tried to imply he is. They like to refer to him as a “birther” without acknowledging that the idea that Barrack Obama was born in Kenya didn’t originate with him – in fact, it originated several years before Trump took up the issue. (My personal opinion about Barack Obama’s birth can be found at www.sammcgowan.com/obama.html.) As for Ted Cruz, his birth is beyond doubt – he was born in Calgary, Alberta to a Cuban father and an American mother and lived there until he was at least four years old. Although he was entitled to citizenship by virtue of his mother’s birth, he is not a natural born citizen – he’s a citizen because his mother at some point reported his birth to a US consulate or the INS and he received citizenship papers. Those who make fun of Trump as “a birther” have got rocks in their heads. The birthplaces of both Obama and Cruz are a definite matter for discussion. Criticisms of Trump for questioning their birth is not only invalid, anyone who offers it is showing their ignorance of the matter and the US Constitution.

Now, I did not watch the GOP debates and. As far as I’m concerned, debates are worthless because they do not show whether the candidate is actually capable of occupying the office for which they are running. Much has been made of Trump’s “lack of qualification” for the office of president of the United States but the Constitutional requirements for a president are really quite simple – he/she must be a natural born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years old and a resident of the US for the fourteen years prior to assuming office. Trump meets those qualifications, as does Hillary Clinton and all of the GOP candidates with the exception of Ted Cruz, who is not a natural born citizen. That Trump has never been a professional politician means nothing. In fact, it’s more of an asset than a liability. Professional politicians have been running this country for the past fifty-six years and they’ve made a mess of it. (Every president since Dwight Eisenhower has been a professional politician.)

Trump is often castigated for things he didn’t say, such as the claim that he’s against Mexican immigration. What he actually said is that we need to stop ILLEGAL immigration through Mexico. Yes, he said that Mexico sends us their lowlifes, which is not entirely without merit. Crime among Mexican immigrants is common – I live in the Houston, Texas area where there are a lot of illegals from Mexico and every evening there is something on TV about crimes committed by people of Mexican origin and many of them are illegal. Trump has not said he would curtail Mexican immigration – he has said he would curtail ILLEGAL immigration. That’s why he wants to build a wall along the Mexican border – to make it harder for illegals to cross into the United States. As for Muslims, it should be obvious to anyone who watches the news that there are problems in the world – and in the US – caused by radical Islamists. To let Muslim immigrants into the US without extensive vetting is folly.

Trump won the nomination not so much because of his stand on immigration, but on his concern over trade agreements that have led to the export of millions of American jobs overseas. I grew up in West Tennessee and returned there to live for a few years after I got out of the Air Force then lived in Arkansas for a few months and back to West West Tennessee. I then moved to Virginia, the home of my first wife, and from there to Kentucky and finally to the Houston area. I was transferred back to Kentucky then to Ohio where I retired and moved back to Houston. As a corporate pilot, I traveled all over the United States, parts of Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. What I saw – and what politicians and political pundits who spend their lives in Northern Virginia and journalists from the Northeast and West Coast don’t see – is that the America I grew up in no longer exists. Even as recently as the late 1970s when I lived in West Tennessee, there were still garment factories all over the area along with factories that made automotive parts. The garment factories are gone now, moved to Mexico or overseas, and the automotive parts factories have shut their doors. A large Goodyear plant that employed thousands shut its doors a few years ago. When I lived in Virginia, I saw how a local foundry that dated back to the nineteenth century was suffering. In Kentucky and nearby West Virginia and Ohio, it was the railroad yards and foundries. For a time, I worked for a company owned by the holding company that used to be US Steel – it now makes very little steel. What happened to all of these companies? Some have gone out of business but in many cases it was because they moved their manufacturing out of the country. This is particularly true of the garment industry, which used to have factories all over the South where cotton is produced.

Now, I don’t know if Trump will be able to make good completely on his promise to “make America great,” but there’s one thing for certain – he’s got a much better chance of following through than Hillary Clinton, who has yet to even mention any plans for government. All she does it talk about how she’s going to help special interests. She has no plan at all for the country – Donald Trump does.