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Who is Black? Who Decides? Who Cares? (EP.122)
16th April 2019 • Take 10 with Will Luden • Will Luden
00:00:00 00:08:56

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Barack Obama is ½ black, as is Tiger Woods. Both are seen as simply black. All-white Rachel Dolezal was elected president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP in 2014. Despite her darkening makeup, she was obviously very light-skinned. Yet she was welcomed as a leader in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Ms. Dolezal was 0/0 black. I am 1/14 black.

Seven Native American Tribes, including the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina, see you as qualified for membership if you are a 1/16th blood match. Twenty-three tribes, including the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma, Peoria Tribe of Indians and the Seminole Nation, will consider you if you have any sort of Native Americican lineage.

To the Nazis, anyone, regardless of religious affiliation, who had two Jewish grandparents was classified as a Jewish Mischling (mixed blood) of the first degree. A person with only one Jewish grandparent was classified as a Mischling of the second degree

Serena Williams, with two black parents, lost an important and controversial tennis match to Naomi Osaka, who has one black parent, and one Asian parent (see Tiger Woods). Many people, post Serena’s loss, blamed racism. Think about that one for a moment.

Today’s podcast/blog spotlights the often artificial designation of who is a disadvantaged minority–not to promote fairness under the law–but to create, justify and advance so-called social justice and other political agendas.

And that’s today’s 10-minute blog/podcast topic.


In America’s racial past, someone who was half black would have been called a mulatto. A quadroon was ¼ black, and an octoroon ⅛ black. I would have been a hexadecaroon. Those were pejorative terms, designed to “prove” that even if you were half, partially or even marginally black, you were really all black and therefore inferior in the minds of the bigots. That was their agenda. Isn’t it equally wrong to identify and treat people who are half, partially or marginally members of a certain minority race or ethnicity as full members for their benefit? This is most often done to qualify them for victimhood and the ability to draw financial benefits and claim the moral high ground.

We have gone from claiming that full or partial genetic membership in certain racial and ethnic groups proves inferiority and justifies unfair poor treatment, to using the same characteristics to prove superiority, justifying unfair favorable treatment. Both are equally wrong; both are equally dangerous.

We all see race and color. Everyone of us. Where we might be different is what we think and do after we see what we all see. Do we see excuses to declare either inferiority or superiority? Do we look for other ways to make unnecessary and unfair judgments? Or are we simply aware of those differences, which may be unremarkable, but still real, on one hand, or quite remarkable and useful on the other?

It is terribly wrong for a person to root against a black NFL quarterback because of race. It is fine and good for a young black man playing Pop Warner football to root for that same QB because of race. Am I being hypocritical here? Of course not. The first person was motivated by racial dislike. The second person was motivated by a highly-relatable example of excellence.

Tiger Woods just won his first Masters golf tournament since 2005. I love it because it showed the world that a man can come back even from a self-imposed hell. Once heralded by many as the player who might have become the greatest golfer who ever lived, his golf game disintegrated because of where his head was after his parade of egregious misdeeds. But he not only learned and recovered; he triumphed. Bravo. To me, this has nothing to do with race; it has everything to do with excellence, and recreating that excellence after a long and crushing down period.

Today’s Key Point: We all see color, race and ethnicity. We must stop–stop–using those legitimate observations to divide and conquer. We must stop using those characteristics as a means to achieving our own selfish ends. We must embrace those differences, seeing how accentuating the positives inherent in those differences help to make all of us, all races and ethinic groups, comprising the whole of humanity better. Call out the race baiters. Shame those who use identity groups and intersectionality to pit one set of human groups against another set of human groups. That’s a familiar, effective, and deeply destructive tactic called divide and conquer. Let’s be part of the unite and prosper, the unite and triumph movement. The Revolution 2.0™ movement.

Segueing from the specifics of today’s topic to overall principles, the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.

And do it all in love; without love, these are empty gestures, destined to go nowhere and mean nothing.

If we apply those two core principles, personal responsibility and brother’s keepers, simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.

The Founders, Revolution 1.0, were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.

Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean by “acting.”

  • Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
  • Comment in the blogs. Let others know that you are thinking.
  • Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
  • Attach links from blogs into your social media feeds. Share your thoughts about the link.
  • From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.

Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and going forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.

Join me. Join the others. Think about what we are talking about and share these thoughts and principles with others. Subscribe, encourage others to subscribe. Act. Let’s grow this together.

And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see

Links and References

I See Color and Gender…Don’t You? (EP. 116)

Native American Tribes

Thomas Sowell


As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act. And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Know your stuff, then act on it. Knowing your stuff without acting is empty; acting without knowing is dangerous.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.