The individual over the group
So, I have explained the basic elements of my theory. This is not a scientific study, with original data, control groups, or statistical analyses. This is just a presentation of some ideas that seem logical and socially relevant to me. However, I must emphasize that I did not write this essay to cast mean-spirited aspersions on black people or any other racial or ethnic group. And I do not mean to paint whole groups of people with a broad, ugly brush.
Just because people come from a certain racial, ethnic, or cultural group, that does not mean that they have to remain confined by whatever inherent limitations might generally characterize that group. There are always exceptions to the rule, and the individual can be much more powerful than the group, if he or she has a strong sense of individualism, self-respect, determination, will power, and discipline. Hell, a large part of my ancestry is Polish—certainly not among the most gifted or accomplished of the European ethnic groups—but I have somehow managed to do alright for myself!

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Needless to say, there have always been, there are today, and there always will be extremely intelligent and highly accomplished black people, many of whom are much “better people” (in the commonly understood way) than many white people. I’ve always admired certain elements of black culture, particularly in music (which has always been very important in my life). Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix—these are among my greatest musical heroes. And some of my favorite white musicians—from Elvis Presley to Led Zeppelin to Stevie Ray Vaughan—would have never even existed without the black influences that inspired their music.
Moreover, centuries of interracial genetic mixing and cross-cultural influences have clouded the very definitions of race and culture (though not in the ways asserted by the social constructionists), making any analysis of race-based issues very messy and confusing today.


While acknowledging limitations, exceptions, and qualifications to my theory, I still believe that it offers a well-meaning perspective that should be considered in light of the many serious problems in American society that seem to revolve around race. I have presented the ideas of this theory only as a possible partial explanation for some of these problems—as a way to perhaps better understand what is happening all around us today. Understanding is important, isn’t it?
In all humans, there is a complex mix of cultural and genetic elements that form the basis of who we are and what we do in our lives. But in each individual, there is a seed that can allow that person to grow into whomever he or she wants to be. Be an individual, not a group. That is the best way to “overcome.”