“I’m Addicted.” “You’re Racist!”


Hello again. Good to be with you.

Those two claims might (or might not) have been made by the same person; they do represent related thinking.

Both addiction and race-based and other types of victimhood are becoming paid-for lifestyles. Both place the blame for their situation and the solution in the hands of others. There is a high correlation with the people who are making one claim or the other; both assertions tend to be made by people who share similar thinking–look no further than the daily news for proof. Finding a path to success individually, and for our society, demands that we expose both excuses as what they are–excuses at best, and scams at worst.

Pause for, “Why is this a topic of interest?” Because the word addicted is coming to mean “it’s hard” in the same way that victim is evolving to mean, “they are being mean to me.” Yes, there is such a thing as real addiction and there are true victims; however, these real cases comprise less than 5% of the cases portrayed in the media. Cases where private insurance premium payers and public taxpayers are paying to treat claimed issues. Treated over and over again, and frequently without success.

Addicted: Addiction does not mean that it is hard–or even extremely hard–to stop doing something harmful. Addiction means doing something where it would necessarily result in massive, adverse physical and/or mental effects. Adverse effects sufficiently incapacitating they cannot be handled without professional intervention.

As Jesse Jackson said, “You may not be responsible for being down, but you must be responsible for getting up.” Mr. Jackson would tell the 95% of the so-called addicted and victims to simply stand up by themselves, and find a way to get on with it.

Racist (Victimhood): “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” Voltaire. The most egregious victimhood claim is racism. Everything from reparations–read that cash, and lots of it–to milder forms of payback, e.g., affirmative (re)action, are being either demanded in the case of reparations, or are being presently implemented in the case of affirmative action. And massive amounts of welfare money continues to be spent claiming to deal with the vestiges of racism. How else could anyone justify giving large amounts of taxpayer money on a continuing basis to able-bodied adults?

Claiming that racism still exists in a significant way is big business. Some people simply make a career out of it. See Al Sharpton. Those claims fuel an ever expanding series of bureaucracies and mounting sums of money. We are being told that both the bureaucratic time and the money are being used to deal with racism that continues to be virtually unchanged, and alleviate the suffering that it causes in the meantime. Don’t believe that for a second. It has to be clear that incidents of racism have been decreasing rapidly for the last 150 years. Starting with a civil war that caused more casualties than all of America’s wars together, continuing with the integration of virtually every element of our society, the Civil Rights Act of ‘65, and the election–twice–of a black President. But the government agencies and monies aimed at racism grow. As the real incidents of racism, e.g., slavery, segregation and discrimination are confronted and weeded out, racism-related charges now must be non-specific, charging “institutional” or “systemic” racism.” But if those charges are to be proven valid, there must be specifics behind them. What are they? The racism lobby needs to keep their claims, now largely non-specific if true to any significant degree, alive and well. To paraphrase, “If racism did not continue to exist, it would be necessary to re-invent it.” (Luden)

Less in the news, but deeply damaging, are other claims, e.g., the assertion that all obesity is a disease, creating yet another class of victims. The American Medical Association labeled obesity a disease so they can charge for treating it. This leaves the patients who buy into this fiction with the view that the doctor needs to cure their obesity in the same way that a doc would need to cure pneumonia or remove an inflamed appendix. The patient’s role is to lie back and let someone else handle it. And pay for it.

What is our role as compassionate individuals in a caring society re addiction and victimhood? When it is real, we are called to lean in hard, and do our part in assisting the afflicted. No standing back, no waiting for others–or the government. When either addiction or victimhood are claimed and not real, we have an equally important responsibility to stand up and say, “No. This is not real. You can do this.” And the “No” part in the face of false claims will do as much for those in need as coming through for others when the situation is real. Helping those in need and helping those not in need to stand up for themselves are both necessary, powerful, and compassionate.

Let’s go back to the Statue of Responsibility blog; the diagram will help us understand this week’s topic.

As always, responsibility starts with us as individuals. Including standing on our own two feet whenever possible, and helping/encouraging others to do the same.

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

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4 Responses

  1. Charlie Reply

    First thing that needs to be settled is a definition of racism. There is a “philosophical” form of racism which holds that some race or culture is inherently superior to another. I believe that this sort of racism today is followed by a small number of borderline personalities, mama’s boys, schizophrenics, and others that most of us would consider maladjusted. Then there is a personal form of racism in which we make judgements of individuals based on their skin tone. These judgements may be based on personal experiences, statistics, or news articles that give the impression that whole portions of society share a certain point of view or set of behavioral traits. This latter form of racism certainly exists in many forms today, and it takes a certain amount of mental discipline not to fall into that trap. A certain local comedian with whom I share ethnicity has created a good career out of making note of the tendencies of the many groups in Hawaii, and we all laugh because we “know people like that” and even take pride in our own cultural quirks. Since most of us here are of some mixed heritage, this stereotyping is not taken very seriously and pretty much is considered good-natured humor. The exception is if you are angry with someone, you will tend to refer to him as a “dumb” (insert ethnic group here)”.
    I like to think I’m above all that and treat all people the same until their actions and words demonstrate who they really are. There is probably a certain amount of self-deception in that, and I likely do make subtle changes in my approaches to people based upon a subliminal estimate of how they will react.

    That being said, what is happening in society in general? The liberals will cite statistics that show that certain groups must be discriminated against since the percentages of this or that group in a certain economic or professional class do not match the population as a whole. Of course, those same liberals will then turn around and say that this or that group is “different” in some way and that society is failing because it does not compensate for those characteristics. This brings us into that whirlpool where we can’t set any standards of behavior or skill because a certain group statistically cannot meet those standards, which leads to lower expectations of that group, which leads to lower performance by that group leading the not-so-liberal person, as well as the group member, to conclude that, yes, that group is somehow inferior. (Pause now for the sound of a flushing toilet.)

    Consider, then, the current so-called conflict between the police and black communities. (I say “so-called” because I think that much of it is overblown by the press and those who benefit most from there being a problem, such as the Association to Counter Lawyer Unemployment). There was recently a show on PBS which noted that desegregation had actually had a bad effect on black communities because black leaders and professionals, instead of being forced to stay in the ghetto, had moved to the suburbs, leaving the less mobile, less educated behind to be led by folks who feed on conflict and misery. Logically, this “left behind” group will experience more crime and drug abuse and resultant hostility to law enforcement. Which brings us to the cops. Here are a group of mostly high-minded folks who want to serve the community. They operate in a high risk environment and have to make quick judgements as to the intent and threat level of those they encounter. Unfortunately, their experiences are going to cause them to make those judgements based somewhat on appearance, and often they will be wrong. Add to this the few bad apples who vent their anger at suspects. This experiential racism becomes anecdotal evidence of a perceived institutional racism, leading to more hostility and, again, the sound of a flushing toilet.

    Will, you keep asking for solutions. I think the only way out of this is Leadership, which neither the current president nor his predecessor could provide. Everyone needs to try to take the high road, turn the other cheek, show tolerance, reach out. I know that several people have taken this approach, but it still seems to be the exception worthy of the news and viral videos, rather than the normal way of dealing with people. I just keep praying.

  2. Sid Reply

    Entitlement and victimhood are different stages of the bloom and fruit of the same root. Sadly, this plant is a vicious, noxious, and invasive weed that continues to spread in the current environmental conditions that support it’s offensive. It will die out in an environment of personal accountability, respect, and love for others. The question remains, how do we restore that type of balance to our current environment?

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