The Bridge: American Conflicts

By Darryl James

The nation we live in is conflicted with itself.

The conflict shows when we realize that the land was built on the backs of free African labor, while many so-called Americans hate both Africans and African Americans.

The conflict also shows when we hear so-called Americans proclaim that America is a Christian nation, while many of its citizens exhibit behavior that is anything but Christ-like.

For example, one would imagine that the so-called “Christians” would seek every opportunity to help others who are in need. Instead, the American Way is to judge those at the very bottom, and to do so in order to justify turning a blind eye to their need.

The most popular excuse is to pretend that the people who ask for money on the streets are all drug addicts or alcoholics, and so undeserving of any assistance.

Some people go as far as to lie and proclaim that the beggars are already on government assistance and are simply too lazy to accept a real job.

Sadly, these are people who probably go to church regularly and claim to be deserving of God’s mercy, even as they have no mercy for the common man.

I almost understand the thought process that advocates away from giving money to the homeless or beggars to avoid supporting a habit, but that is simplistic, in many ways, inhumane and in many cases, a lie.

The reality is that many of us who have homes drink and many of us even imbibe in controlled substances. But, we really have no idea what will happen to money we donate or give away, and if we are being freehearted, then it is only important that we give.

We donate freely to non-profit organizations without a thought as to where the money is going, and many of us tithe to the church without ever reviewing the church books. Our friends and family hit us up for loans and God only knows what use those funds will be put to.

Americans have some very strange ideas about people in need.

For example, ask a person who calls themselves Conservative or Republican and typically, they will tell you that too many Blacks are abusing the Welfare system, an ideology put in place by the late Ronald Reagan, which was proven untrue.

The fact is that the traditional Welfare Queens are white women abusing the system, and of course they are the traditional Welfare Queens, because they comprise the majority of the Welfare rolls.

Truth be told, many Blacks realize that Welfare doesn’t work, but the answer is not to villainize or punish those who need it as a failsafe for their families. The answer may be to deal with it even-handedly, like perhaps, curtailing corporate Welfare. But of course, Welfare Queens like Enron, the banks and airlines would get all strange on us.

Further, some people hold strange ideas about Affirmative Action, as though it is being abused and as though it is abusing Blacks. Their argument is that Blacks who enter college through assistance based on their skin color feel inferior.

My immediate response is: “Who asked you to think for us?” My second response is that the idea is dead wrong.

I am unashamedly a product of Affirmative Action and for the record, I don’t feel one bit inferior to anyone. I realized, even as a child, that the deck was created to be stacked against me and that if I got assistance with college admission, it would at least give me a chance to prove my worth.

Employment works the same way. If you give me the job because I am Black, that fact ceases to matter on the first day of work, when I will begin working my behind off to prove that I am qualified for advancement.

But I do realize that Affirmative Action can be abused and misused.

Affirmative Action got the dimwitted son of George H. W. Bush into Yale and the Texas Governorship. It also got him a baseball team and an oil company. Finally, it got him into the highest office in the land. Unfortunately, he has proved that his kind of Affirmative Action is a truly bad idea.

Affirmative Action for Georgie meant that doors opened for him that he should not have gone into. Opportunities were given to him that he was not only unqualified for, but at which he failed miserably, including the presidency.

Yet, I hear voices opposing Affirmative Action for African Americans, which only benefits the qualified to begin with. No Affirmative Action opponent can produce one shred of evidence that a student who nearly flunked out of high school was admitted to college on Affirmative Action, and there is no data to show that Blacks with little experience were given management jobs they were unqualified for.

It’s sad, but many otherwise, smart and forward-thinking Americans speak in platitudes, strongly and vehemently, without knowing what the heck they are talking about. Moreover, people feel too comfortable offering opinions about things that they don’t even have any way of knowing.

So, the next time you are doling out advice, or speaking sanctimoniously about social ills and who is doing what, think carefully, and if you don’t really know what you are talking about, just keep your mouth closed and your mind open. You may learn something.

But that’s a real live American conflict right there.

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on every Monday from 7-9pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at Reach James at


3 Responses to “The Bridge: American Conflicts”

  1. your article is filled with nonsense, but just a few thoughts…

    1st-i recently saw a a news piece about a university in florida that gave scholarships to near illiterate blacks simply because the kids could play football. teachers were letting the kids pass and even doing work for the kids all because the kids were good athletes. if that’s not affirmative action, i don’t know what is.
    2nd– Christian churches do more to help the homeless and poor than any other group or govt program, so i’m missing your point about Christians.
    3rd- statistically in proportion to population, more blacks are on welfare that’s fact. to suggest otherwise simply means you’re uninformed. 70% of black men don’t live in the home with their children.
    sir, most of the problems facing black people are cultural problems. it’s time to grow up and take responsibility for our own actions and stop blaming white people whom frankly none alive today were responsible for slavery and most responsible for jim crow are dead and dying. it’s a new era and time to take responsibility for ourselves. atleast use obama as a role model for becoming a self-made man, but for goddness sake, get off the democrat plantation because after years and years of voting for democrats, things have actually gotten worse for black people, not better-just take a look at the democrat run inner-cities and wake up.
    4th– where is all this “american hatred” of black people you write of? i’m black and i haven’t seen it.
    for weeks, there has been a $10,000 reward put up for any evidence of racism at the tea party rally in DC on the day of the healthcare ‘reform’ vote. no one has yet come forward to claim the money becuase guess what? the democrats are liars and race baiters. despite all the cameras, video and police there has not been any recoring of the politicians being called racial epithets. why do u think that is? surely if someone had video they would eagerly claim the money.
    it’s time to stop using the race card because it’s a very old and lame and frankly, no one cares. focus on why the black congressional congress has not advanced the issues of its black constituents in regard to family, education and jobs–focus on that.

  2. To tlen, I really doubt that you are Black. Hear is some food for thought everyday, GOD is in Control of Everything. And, we must please Him (GOD) and not man. Conflict is something all Christian must face. The great American Conflict will forever be classified as an ageless deep-rooted matter with epic proportions of good and evil opinions. This bridge must be shouldered with a compassion of God’s divine love and man’s forgiveness of others. I strongly feel that our answer can be found in Romans 12 and 13. But, will America come together and accept it? Peace and a Long!

  3. Excellent site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked
    about in this article? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get opinions from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Bless you!

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