What Is the Color Of the Soul Of a Man?

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Jun 21, 2015 No Comments ›› admin

by Lynn Woolley

This is a question that seems to take on more meaning with every passing day.

It’s a question that Dylann Roof, the suspect in the brutal murders of nine black churchgoers in Charleston should have asked. It’s something I’ve pondered and discussed on the radio. To bring it home a bit, what is the color of the soul of an American citizen?

A photo from a white supremacist website showing Dylann Roof, the suspect in the Charleston, S.C., church shooting. From the New York Times.

A photo from a white supremacist website showing Dylann Roof, the suspect in the Charleston, S.C., church shooting. From the New York Times.

We enjoy the freedoms this country provides under our Constitution, and those freedoms are now enjoyed by all of us. Beyond that, Americans of every color have hopes, desires, aspirations, careers, families – we all bleed red when cut – or shot. Our souls have no color. Unfortunately, some of us seem to have no souls.

Recent shootings in our country usually lead to revelations of some combination of drugs, mental illness, and, in this case, racial bigotry. And the shootings lead to questions. How we answer them is crucial.

Question #1: What is the color of the soul of man?

Some questions are easier than others. This is the easiest one of all. It was asked in Jimmie Driftwood’s brilliant song, written at a time when people in this country were oppressed for the sin of being black. Liberals of the time – God love them – expressed anger at the situation through music.

Video: Jimmie’s wonderful song from “Voice of the People” — 1963

This was before the current diversity movement brought race and cultural differences to the table as a political weapon. When black people congregated with folksingers like Peter, Paul & Mary to sing “We Shall Overcome,” they were crying for freedom – equality under the law.

They were not fighting just Republicans. They were fighting a perverted organization called the Ku Klux Klan that wore hoods and enjoyed hanging black people. The Klan produced a young recruiter or “kleagle” named Robert Byrd who would go on to become known as “the conscience of the Senate” and who would literally die in office. They were fighting Democrats like Al Gore, Sr. and George Wallace. Racism knows no single political party.

I suppose you could call me a “liberal” in that sense. As a child of the fifties, I became appalled at the treatment of black people in a time when they were considered inferior because of nothing more than their skin color. The light went on one day in 1967 when I was stepping into an elevator to go to work at a radio station on the top floor of  Temple’s Kyle Hotel. A co-worker, slightly older than I, was also going up. Memory from almost 50 years ago is faint, but I’ll do my best to quote him:

“Bridges, take us to the radio station.”

It was not meant to be disrespectful; that is just the way things were. Elevator operators were black – never white. And they were servants.

When we exited the elevator, I made perhaps my first-ever political statement. I turned to the operator and simply said,

“Thank you, Mister Bridges.”

And why not refer to him with respect? Did he not have a wife and family? Did he not take the best job he could get in 1967? Did he not bleed red?

In my college days that followed, my roommate and I performed on campus at the University of Texas. The Vietnam War was raging. Women and gays were talking about “liberation.” The Chuck Wagon riot had just occurred at the UT Student Union. It was both a terrible and wonderful time. Freedom was breaking out. I proudly sang the songs of the left: “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream,” “If I Had a Hammer,” and others. The liberals pushing freedom in those days were as right as today’s liberals preaching big government are wrong.

I came to believe – as I do now – that the soul of a man has no color.

Question #2: Did Dylann Roof act out of racism?

Yes. That part of the question is easy. In the fifteenth year of the Twenty-First century, we still have racists. Why that is true after all these years is the other part of the question. I don’t know if I can answer it – but I’ll try.

Question #3: What part does the diversity movement play?

Former Attorney General Eric Holder has charged that we are cowards about race and that we need to talk about it more. And yet, sometime it seems as if that’s all we ever talk about.

Video: Attorney General Eric Holder says we are “a nation of cowards” with regard to race

I wrote a column about diversity and how it has become a dangerous concept. A few hundred people read the column – and just one of them protested. This man, a member of a very famous Texas radio family, said that he “felt like taking a shower” after he read it. He un-friended me on Facebook. Not understanding his objections, I went back and re-read the column.

You can read it here.

The column is true, although I suppose today’s liberals would not understand it. The “liberals” that used to sing “We Shall Overcome” back in a day of rampant oppression are not the liberals of today. In the early 70’s when I was singing songs about freedom at the University of Texas, the lyrics rang true. The Constitution was not being applied to everyone.

Somehow, today, the term “diversity” has become a construct of the left, and is used in sanctimonious, almost religious terms. My alma mater in Austin worships at the altar of diversity as almost all colleges do.

The purpose of my column that seems to escape progressives is this: our country needs unity. We need a common language and a common culture to pull us together. We are splitting this nation up into enclaves – interest groups based on things such as race, ethnicity, language, culture, and so on. The concept of the Melting Pot is outdated in the eyes of today’s elites. I believe that we need a unity movement.

Question #4: Do we need to talk more about race?

My thought on this has been “no” for some time. I have believed that President Obama’s constant babbling about race, his denigration of police, and his harping on equality have kept the issue at a fever pitch. After all, this President sat in the front pews of a church with a blatantly racist pastor for twenty years, and claims to have never heard the racial spewing.

President Kennedy, a Democrat I admire for many reasons (and about whose assassination I wrote and recorded a song) once noticed that his guards were all white.

Video: 1975 – I wrote this song about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and recorded it in Dallas

Before long, we had a concept called “affirmative action” that helped black people get a leg up. I supported it and still do. But I do not support what it has become.

In my book, “Clear Moral Objectives,” I wrote about “Chocktaw Erectors, Inc.” run by American Indian Kevin Ball. This company with its very PC name and minority status received a contact for $100,000 worth of steel services when Dallas’ American Airlines Center was being built. Ball took full advantage of Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) regulations even though he probably could not have been picked out of a crowd as an American Indian.

Affirmative action was the right thing to do, but government has played a part in its corruption. Now, it’s a way to get government favors.

Note, too, that “equality” under God and under the law is most desirable. But that’s not what Obama means. He wants government to mandate equality. If he succeeds, there will be no reason to excel and America will atrophy.

I may be wrong. But I think we talk too much about race and equality. And SOBs like Dylann Roof hear it. But, again, I may be wrong. Comments are open below if you want to sound off.

Question #5: What about the warning signs and why we never act on them?

When I said in my column that “diversity” killed 14 people at Fort Hood, I meant that the Army knew about the jihadist leanings of Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Political correctness under the diversity movement prevented anyone from taking proactive steps to stop him.

In the current case in Charleston, we are learning more about Dylann Roof and his social media postings. He may have been taking drugs – but we’ll find out more about that as the details become available. In any case, Roof is a sick puppy. He did not hide it, and yet, no alarm bells went off.

This incident reinforces my belief that we had better think twice before we continue the national trend of legalizing drugs. We need to think about how to deal with people who are mentally ill and who openly show violent tendencies. Could we have prevented the Fort Hood massacre? The Boston Marathon bombing? 9/11? No; not with the country in the grip of politically charged diversity.

The gentleman who disagreed with my column asked if I objected to the various peoples who came through Ellis Island – after all, they were diverse. This gets back to the old Melting Pot concept in which our Founders expected that we would merge our cultures and become one. Relardless of Al Gore, Jr.’s stupidity, that’s what “E Pluribus Unum” means.

The diversity movement of today is nothing like that. It is dangerous and we’d better start heeding the warning signs if we want stop evil nutcases such as Dylann Roof.

Question #6: Should Charleston be politicized?

No. There is nothing that could have possibly stopped Dylann Roof from doing what he did – unless we address the issue raised in Question #5. New gun laws would not have stopped him. When evil people take guns into gun-free-zones such as banks and churches, they can kill at will.

When President Obama immediately politicizes an event such as this instead of comforting the victims’ families and the nation, conservatives get angry with him and MSNBC then accuses conservatives of being racist.

Video: President Obama speaks following the murders

There is time to debate gun laws after the victims are buried.

Question #7: What about the Confederate Battle Flag?

Design of the proposed Texas license plate

Design of the proposed Texas license plate

Newspaper reports tell us that Roof was a fan of this flag. On Sunday morning TV, some civil rights leaders discussed removing it from the South Carolina statehouse. Just days ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the state of Texas can refuse the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ bid to have a Confederate Flag license plate.

I am not here to argue for the Battle Flag. But I will argue for freedom of speech – which this ruling denigrated. I have already announced that I would not display such a license plate on my car. I find the War Between the States to be a fascinating subject for discussion. There are two sides.

One side believes the Confederacy was all about slavery – and little else. They believe the term “state’s rights” is code for racism. The other side believes that we would be better off today had the South won the war, and that Lincoln was a bad president for challenging the right of secession.

I believe the correct side won. Maybe we’d be better of if the South had won, but we can’t know that. (I have termed this type of thinking “futurephobia.” It means constant soul-searching about what might have happened if something had been done differently.)

Yet, if some people are saying that there were no honorable men fighting for the South, I disagree. We cannot take Twenty-First Century sensibilities and apply them to people of a different era. And yet, we do not fly the Swastika in this country. I believe in freedom of speech but I will never display a Battle Flag other than as a relic of history.

The answer here lies in history. The Civil War is perhaps the most significant of all our armed conflicts. There were people of faith and honor on both sides. To remove all vestiges of the Confederate side of the War would be historical cleansing.

Here is what I suggest:

The southern states should not fly the Battle Flag over their capitols. The University of Texas students that want to remove all the statues of Confederate figures should go away. Individuals that wish to display this symbol should be allowed to do it under the First Amendment. We should move on.

Question 8: How can the people of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church forgive the alleged murderer?

I saw them do it on TV. I felt tears welling up. I don’t believe that I could forgive as quickly as they did. Roof’s attempt to start a race war might actually bring us together.

Videos: From ABC news — Forgiveness in Charleston

I doubt that the politics of the people who were killed would be in sync with mine. But what does that matter?

Nine of my American brothers and sisters were killed by a crazed maniac. They were in a church, praying and worshiping, as is their right. Now is not the time for politics. Now is the time to mourn their loss and comfort their families. Soon, it will be the time to judge the young man who did this – not as God will eventually judge him, but as Americans judge him through our system of laws.

How did they do it? The members of Emanuel AME have shown forgiveness because of faith.

What is the color of the soul of a man? Whatever color it is, our immortal souls are exactly the same.


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