Open Mind


Open Mind


Offie Wortham


Trans-Cultural Awareness Institute

Telephone Counseling Nationwide

by appointment only

Offie C. Wortham, MA, PhD

is a certified member of the Associated Psychotherapists of Vermont

Previously faculty member at Rutgers, Antioch, Marist, Johnson State and Temple University teaching psychology, urban anthropology, career planning, and criminal justice.

Special Consultant for two years with the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI Academy, Quantico, Va., designing curriculum for the first FBI classes in Psychological Profiling, Serial Murders, and Crime Scene Analysis, (Now called CSI).


Offie C. Wortham

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“When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

Part one of four of a major essay by Dr. Offie Wortham

The Trump administration has come under fire from all sides as the border crisis has become the biggest story in the country. Why is it a winning strategy for him to galvanize conservative voters to possibly win the 2020 November elections? President Donald Trump's immigration policies follow economic nationalism. It's a departure from decades of a U.S. immigration policy

As we review the history of immigration practices in the United States we see a recurring pattern of a manufactured fear of immigrants:

·       They will take away jobs

·       They are a threat to the “peace and tranquility” of our citizens

·       They are unable to adapt to American culture

·       They include radicals who will promote terrorist attacks

·       They are all criminals and drug pushers

·       They will become a drain on our Social Service programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid


Current Immigrant practices of the Trump administration recall previous failures in policy.


The Trump administration’s first year of immigration policy relied on claims that immigrants bring crime into America. As of 2017, according to Gallup polls, almost half of Americans agreed that immigrants make crime worse. But is it true that immigration drives crime? Many studies have shown that it does not.

The facts about Immigrants and Crime 

Multiple studies have shown immigrants are no more likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans or U.S. citizens. In 2018 alone, four separate studies concluded there is no direct link between illegal immigration and violent or non-violent crime rates over the last three decades. A large majority of the areas have many more immigrants today than they did in 1980 and fewer violent crimes. In 136 metro areas the immigrant population increased between 1980 and 2016 while crime stayed stable or fell. The 10 places with the largest increases in immigrants all had lower levels of crime in 2016 than in 1980. This analysis is one of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies of the local immigrant-crime relationship. It spans decades of metropolitan area data, incorporating places with widely differing social, cultural and economic backgrounds, and a broad range of types of violent crime.

And yet the argument that immigrants bring crime into America has driven many of the policies enacted or proposed by the administration so far: restrictions to entry, travel and visas; heightened border enforcement; plans for a wall along the border with Mexico. 

Less than 12 hours after President Donald Trump addressed the nation about a manufactured “crisis” along the U.S.-Mexico border, commentators on Fox & Friends had already begun repeating his inaccurate, fear-mongering talking points with added dramatic effect.

Host Ainsley Earhardt spoke directly to viewers during a segment of the show  suggesting “those illegals” crossing the border were coming to the United States to sell dangerous drugs, rape, attack people with hammers, and murder innocent children — and American citizens were paying for them to do it. He said “imagine if this were your child being killed by an illegal alien”.


Earhardt, then proceeded to describe in detail the gruesome deaths of Americans killed by undocumented or suspected undocumented immigrants, as the president had the night before. He told the Fox audience that they’re footing the bill for “one of those illegals” to come here, do drugs, rape you, then murder both you and your children. 

During his nearly 10-minute speech from the Oval Office later that night, Trump similarly pushed misleading or false talking points about the border, labeling immigrants as criminals in an attempt to persuade the public of the need for a southern border wall. “Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now. How much more American blood must we shed?” He also blamed the opioid epidemic on the illegal drugs that cross the southern border for “poisoning” innocent Americans. He said, “Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border.” (The majority of drugs that come across the border, as border officials themselves have admitted, pass through legal ports of entry, smuggled in trucks or other vehicles, meaning a border wall would likely do nothing to stem their flow.)

From September 12, 2001, until December 31, 2015, 24 people were murdered on U.S. soil by a total of 5 foreign-born terrorists; while 65 other foreign-born terrorists attempted or committed attacks that did not result in fatalities. During the same period, 80 people were murdered in terrorist attacks committed by native-born Americans and those with unknown nationalities.

The research cited previously is not the only study showing that immigration does not increase crime. A study in the 2018 Annual Review of Criminology, by Graham Ousey examined years of research on the immigrant-crime connection, concluding that an overwhelming majority of studies found either no relationship between the two or a beneficial one, in which immigrant communities bring economic and cultural revitalization to the neighborhoods they join. (Of the 3,252,493 refugees admitted from 1975 to the end of 2015, 20 were terrorists, which amounted to 0.00062 percent of the total. In other words, one terrorist entered as a refugee for every 162,625 refugees who were not terrorists. Refugees were not very successful at killing Americans in terrorist attacks. Of the 20, only three were successful in their attacks, killing a total of three people.)

The Conservative Response:


Confronted with the threat of Islamic terrorism, well-known conservatives like Larry Kudlow, David Bossie, and Ann Coulter have called for a complete moratorium on immigration. “Now is the time for Congress to show the world that America is committed to ending illegal immigration and putting the ruthless coyotes, cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers out of business,” declared Donald Trump in his State of the Union address. 


“The construction of a ‘tall, powerful, beautiful’ wall in the wilderness would serve mainly to inflate the profit margins of the people-smuggling industry – enriching the very ‘bad hombres’ whom Mr. Trump says he wants to keep at bay,


America does not have a border crisis but a problem with addressing the specific situation of families from Honduras and Guatemala who are coming to the United States for safety, economic opportunity or both.


The administration should not “meter” asylum seekers at ports of entry. In addition, U.S. immigration law should provide more ways for individuals to work legally on temporary visas, whether through a new law or bilateral agreements. “A guest worker program will also alleviate the number of asylum seekers as many will simply be able to apply for a visa to come to the country rather than making the perilous journey where they may fall victim to criminals who control illegal passage,” notes immigration attorney Matthew Kolken. 

“When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

Part two of four of a major essay by Dr. Offie Wortham

The history of the fear of Immigrants in the US


The act of dumping English convicts led to the first passage of immigration enforcement legislation. Ironically these laws were passed by recent descendants of criminals that had been sent over previously.


Conditions in other countries (push factors) caused many immigrants to leave their home country and specific conditions in the United States made those immigrants choose to immigrate here (pull factors). 


However, the large influx of immigrants frightened certain groups of people. In a report from the Congressional Select Committee in July 1838 congressional members thought the increased immigration rates was a threat to the “peace and tranquility of our citizens” and classified immigrants as “paupers, vagrants, and malefactors…sent hither at the expense of foreign governments to relieve them from the burden of their maintenance”.


The anti-immigrant fears led to organized groups against European immigrants such as Order of the Star Spangled Banner and the Know Nothing Party. In particular they wanted to ban Catholic immigration. In 1853 there were riots when Irish Catholics tried to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in NYC.


The Red Scare of 1919–1921 had fueled xenophobic fears of foreign radicals migrating to undermine American values and provoke an uprising like Russia's 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.


Concern over Japanese ethnic and immigrant groups during the Second World War prompted the Canadian and U.S. governments to intern most of their ethnically Japanese populations in the western portions of North America. As in most countries, many people in the U.S. continue to be xenophobic against other races. 


Fear was so widespread that Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt decided to establish the Dillingham Commission to report the effects of immigration on the country. The results concluded that the United States was not benefiting from immigration because the immigrants were inferior to United States citizens. The Commission recommended that the United States no longer accept immigrants from Eastern and Southern Europe and furthermore all immigrants were to pass a literacy test. In 1917, under the Wilson administration, Congress passed the first comprehensive immigration act which included a literacy test requirement.

The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the Asian Exclusion Act and National Origins Act

Part three of four of a major essay by Dr. Offie Wortham

         This was a United States federal law that prevented immigration from Asia, set quotas on the number of immigrants from the Eastern Hemisphere, and provided funding and an enforcement mechanism to carry out the longstanding ban on other immigrants.


An 1882 law had already put an end to Chinese immigration, but as Japanese (and, to a lesser degree, Korean and Filipino) laborers began arriving and putting down roots in western states, an exclusionary movement formed in reaction to the "Yellow Peril". Valentine S. McClatchy, founder of The McClatchy Company and a leader of the anti-Japanese movement, argued, "They come here specifically and professedly for the purpose of colonizing and establishing here permanently the proud Yamato race," citing their supposed inability to assimilate to American culture and the economic threat they posed to white businessmen and farmers. Despite some hesitation from President Calvin Coolidge and strong opposition from the Japanese government, with whom the U.S. government had previously maintained a cordial economic and political relationship, the act was signed into law on May 24, 1924.


The act set a total immigration quota of 165,000 for countries outside the Western Hemisphere (an 80% reduction from the pre-World War I average), and barred immigrants from Asia, including Japan and the Philippines (then under U.S. control). The act reduced the annual quota of any nationality from 3% to 2% of the number of foreign-born persons of such nationality residing in the United States in 1890 (though more recent censuses existed). The reduced quotas were set to last through 1927. No quotas on immigration from the Western Hemisphere were put in place.


According to the U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian, the purpose of the act was "to preserve the ideal of U.S. homogeneity.


The provisions of the act were so restrictive that in 1924 more Italians, Czechs, Yugoslavs, Greeks, Lithuanians, Hungarians, Poles, Portuguese, Romanians, Spaniards, Chinese, and Japanese left the United States than arrived as immigrants


The law was not modified to aid the flight of Jewish refugees in the 1930s or 1940s despite the rise of Nazi Germany. The quotas were adjusted to allow more Jewish refugees after World War II, allies in China and the Philippines. The immigration quotas were eased in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 and replaced in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

Similar to the start of European immigration, the Chinese started immigrating to the United States after a population explosion and a food shortage in China. Other push factors were the Opium War and the Taiping rebellion. While in the United States the Chinese endured constantly changing U.S. immigration priorities. When immigrants could be used for cheap labor they were instantly recruited and embraced but the second an economic shift took place in the United States, immigrants were given the cold shoulder.

What is Trump’s “Base”?

The characteristics most likely to be shared by a member of The Base are a non-college white person, over 50, evangelicals, and the rural. They have few positive contacts or relationships with people of other religions or ethnic and minority groups. Therefore, they create stereotypes. These are not merely voters for Trump, but they are those who appear to support him through thick and thin, those who, in his words, would still vote for him even if he shot someone on 5th Avenue. These are people who enjoy his tweeting and his insults to others, and they are a reflection of his mind and actions.

Non-college men appear to have been trampled by globalization, the dissolution of manufacturing employment, and other negative economic factors for the last few decades. The causes are mysterious, but these men and their mates seem to be deeply angry and identify with the political extremism manifested in Trump.

Although white men without a college education haven’t suffered the same historical discrimination as blacks, other minorities, or women, their suffering is not imagined. The Hamilton Project has found that the full-time, full-year employment rate of men without a bachelor's degree fell from 76 % percent in 1990 to 68 % 2013. While real wages have grown for men and women with a four-year degree or better in the last 25 years, they've fallen meaningfully for non-college men. They who agreed with the statement “people like me don't have any say about what the government does” are also likely to be a part of Trump’s base.

Trump has been a master of generating fears of non-white outsiders, by likening Mexican immigrants to rapists, calling African countries “shitholes”, promising to deport illegal immigrants and to build a wall between the U.S. and its neighbors, pledging to keep Muslims out of the country during the Syrian diaspora, and playing coy with his relationship with the KKK.

But he also tells a simple three-part narrative to further attract the now fearful follower: America is losing; Donald Trump is a winner; and if he remains president, America will become a winner too. This Great Man Theory of political change, however, strikes many as potentially dangerous. It is a classic example of promising a tradeoff of more security for less liberty and implies a form of authoritarianism. Trump identifies specific outsiders as threats, and grants chosen government agencies and certain private organizations special powers to pursue aggressive policies to destroy them. He’s cautious toward the Israel-Palestine conflict, yet he told Fox News he would kill the families of ISIS members to stop their advance, something awfully close to a public pledge to commit war-crimes. His base blindly supports his domestic security policies that have been astonishingly hawkish. He’s promised to shut down mosques, keep a database of Muslims, and round up the children of illegal immigrants. Indeed, when you put it together, Trump’s promises to protect his white in-group from non-white outsiders’ looks like a classical example of shameless race-baiting.

Why are 380 people in prison in Vermont without a trial?

Many of us Vermonters are confused why are there over 380 detainees in the Vermont prison system who are being treated the same as convicted criminals? Why are these individuals, who have not been found guilty of any crime, taking beds needed for the prisoners sent to Mississippi?

Legally, there is a world of a difference between a detainee and a prisoner. A detainee is someone detained for purposes of avoiding flight during the period of litigation. The constitutional presumption of innocence is still there. Their confinement is not supposed to be a form of punishment. Until the court has pronounced guilt, detainees should only be secured and never treated the same as convicted criminals. When they do get to trial, many will be found innocent.

Detaining persons prior to trial is prejudicial to the person's ability to afford a defense attorney.  The accused loses their job, possibly their housing and belongings.  Their car might be impounded and sold at auction to cover storage fees.  And their reputation is irreversibly damaged even if found innocent.

In the past in Vermont we had jails, usually county or city facilities that housed prisoners from arraignment through conviction, and for sentences usually no longer than one year. Today, Sheriff’s detention facilities in Vermont primarily consist of a one-room lockup to hold a person for a few hours until they are moved to a prison. Pre-trial inmates in Vermont are detained for years before they are tried and sentenced, meaning they can go for a long time without seeing their friends, family, or children. When did this arrangement begin?

As Washington County State's Attorney Rory Thibault recently said, "I think it's not consistent with Vermont values to hold somebody just on the simple reason they can't make bail payment or secure a bond."

The purpose of my article is to seriously examine the practice of keeping innocent people in prison in Vermont and treating them as hardened criminals. If most of these individuals were leased on bail, or on their own recognizance, there would still be 150 beds available after the 230 are brought back from the private prisons in Mississippi.

Transcultural Awareness Dining

Schools and workplaces should have eating places that are set aside for students and workers who would like to know more about each other. In our Multicultural society there is an emphasis on differences which divide us, instead of similarities which bring us together. We should seek common ground.

Many choose certain schools and workplace environments for their diversity. Not to self-segregate and have little or no communication between each other, but to get to know more about a person from outside of their own sub-culture. With a change in circumstances, enemies sometimes become friends.

A Transcultural Awareness Dining Area could be a set-aside area for eating or communicating in a cafeteria or dining room where people would meet specifically to learn how to communicate with an individual from a different ethnic group, race, religion, country, gender, or socio-economic background. This type of stress-free interaction would be a good way for individuals to break away from groups or individuals who are ethnocentric or bonded by a fraternity, group of jocks, nerds, intellectuals, secret society, or some other confining clique. It can even help a couple to be free to sit apart and learn something about the interests and world of their associates.

The area should also be Cell-Phone Free. Not mandatory, but with a sign or poster of cell-phone with the wide red line crossing it diagonally. It is obvious what the advantages would be to uninterrupted discussion if cell-phones were voluntarily turned off in the area.

Simple to initiate, and possibly of great benefit to students and the workplace. Transcultural Awareness Dining will help produce a zone of true communication and community.

Secret Voting in Congress

The Answer to the Gridlock

“Had the deliberations been open while going on, the clamors of faction (special interests) would have prevented any satisfactory result.”
Alexander Hamilton… 1792


I have examined the lifespan of the gridlock in Congress and it is clear that there was a specific time in our nation’s history when the present gridlock began, when Congress stopped using the Secret Ballot.

Up until 1971 there was Secret Voting in the United States Congress. In 1970, the 1970 Legislative Reorganization Act (LRA) was enacted, and it brought a form of transparency and “accountability” to the 92nd Congress on January 3rd, 1971. The US Congress switched from being one of the most closed institutions in history to one of the most open. Congressional voting and meetings that were once secret were thrust open in a wave of ‘democratic’ transparency. The LRA fundamentally changed the way federal law is drafted. Before the reform, the vast majority of legislation (including the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Civil Rights Act, and the Environmental Protection Act) was drafted, debated and amended in committees behind closed doors. For nearly 200 years, these committees weren’t just closed to the public; they also denied access to the President, the press, foreign bankers, oil company lobbyists, other members of Congress, etc. This secrecy didn’t just apply to the markup sessions; it also applied to all voting in committee. To this day we don’t know how JFK, LBJ or James Madison voted on a single amendment when they served as members of Congress.

“Among the most consequential reforms of the 1970s was the move toward open committee meetings and recorded votes. Committee chairs used to run meetings at which legislation was “marked up” behind closed doors. Only members and a handful of senior staff were present. By 1973 not only were the meetings open to anyone, but every vote was formally recorded. Before this, in voting on amendments members would walk down aisles for the ayes and nays. The final count would be recorded but not the stand of each individual member. Now each member has to vote publicly on every amendment. The purpose of these changes was to make Congress more open and responsive. And so it has become – to money, lobbyists, and special interests.” — Fareed Zakaria 2003 — Future of Freedom

The 1970 act encouraged open committee meetings and hearings, required that committee roll-call votes be made public, allowed for television and radio broadcasting of House committee hearings, and formalized rules for debating conference committee reports. Many of these reforms were adopted in the name of opening up the legislative process to the public eye. The reform of longest-lasting significance provided that House votes in the Committee of the Whole be recorded on request, which ended the secrecy often surrounding members’ votes on important measures. There was no way to open up the legislative process to the people without also opening it up to lobbyists and private interest groups.

How many Americans remember the time before open meetings and public roll call votes? How much did behaviors change when public monitoring began? The increases in transparency were followed by increased narrow-interest lobbying. This fundamentally altered how the U.S. Congress and state legislatures operated. Congress significantly became more susceptible to the influence of powerful outsiders and fraught with ferocious partisanship.  Some of the new reforms, like mandating recorded votes were widely supported by the press and members at the time. Similar reforms were quickly mirrored in many state legislatures.

Before 1970, without any access to information, lobbying was a difficult business. The few existing lobbyists were separated from the drafting of legislation by guards and heavy wooden doors. As a result, they were often entirely unable to ferret out the legislators who chopped their amendments or edited their legislation – information that is essential to a successful lobbyist. But with the passage of the 1970 LRA, this crucial information was served up on a platter. As a result, powerful pressure groups could suddenly hold individual legislators directly accountable by offering rewards (of campaign finance) or punishments (negative advertising, etc.).

The 1970 LRA (signed by Nixon) quietly eliminated this protective secrecy overnight. Immediately, everyone on earth had access to nearly every amendment and vote “from hopper to floor.” As a result, the lobbyists (previously excluded from participation) stormed inside and have since become powerful and imposing mainstays during the writing, drafting and editing of legislation. This has been a major coup for interest groups. Since the time of Thomas Jefferson, lobbyists were forced to wait outside – in (as their name suggests) the lobby.


Mr. Trump’s presidency has pushed an already dysfunctional Congress into a near-permanent state of gridlock that threatens to diminish American democracy itself. One reason for the polarization and inability to work together is the pressure exerted by the leaders of the two major parties to grant assignments and support for any bills they recommend, and pressure to get representatives to always vote as a block and never vote for anything sponsored by any member of the opposition. Presently, not openly voting with your party could eliminate important financial aid from a PAC or major contributor. Legislators are not bad people, they have just inherited a bad system and they haven't yet found the courage to change that system to one that is more democratic. They presently feel helpless before the influence of big money. Shouldn't they be able to shake off that influence if voter accountability were doing its job?

How can we make it safer for our representatives to enact the changes that are in the interests of the common good? Are there ways to reduce the punitive behaviors that threaten those who would change? Are there safeguards that can be introduced that raise our sense of security? Is there a step-by-step approach that makes it easier for both parties to move toward the common good? Yes, anonymous voting, wherein the voter’s recorded vote may be recognized by the voter but not by others. Maintaining the Legislature’s nonpartisan nature is more important than any small loss of transparency from casting ballots secretly.

One of the key flaws in our current democratic system is public/recorded voting in Congress. It encourages transparency and accountability of Congress but it also enables the sale of votes to others, powerful lobbyists, and conditional campaign donations. How do the voters really feel about this? Could secret-ballot voting be part of the solution to reestablish real democracy? We need to help the representatives work in service to the interests of their constituents rather than to follow their own narrow positions.

Secret voting prevents the party leaders from controlling the vote of any of their party members, and it allows each legislator to vote for a bill on its merits and what they believe is in the best interests of their constituents. Congress is now more polarized than at any time since the end of Reconstruction. It is hopelessly gridlocked, and predicted to get worse when the Democrats control the House. We need a major political reform to fix it. Secret voting in Congress is a possible solution.

The open access has distorted the dynamics between legislator and lobbyist. This has resulted in an enormous gain in power for special interests and a resulting loss of power for the people. The result is that Congress has flipped from being the people’s representative in the 1970s to today’s fearful corporate handmaiden. Surveys of senators have concluded that open meeting requirements were the largest single cause of a decline in the ability to negotiate and to make politically difficult trade-offs. The more political we make the process; the less we will be able to do what is right.

Why do we really have a drug problem in Vermont?

         Too many of our Vermont children have no formal, or informal pre-education before elementary school. Vast differences quickly show up in the progress of the child before the 3rd grade. Ultimately, over 40% of the youth in Vermont fail to finish high school. Over 70% cannot qualify to be accepted into the Army, Navy, or Marines. 23% fail the written test. And the rest are rejected because of obesity, being physically unfit, a criminal record, or no GED or high school diploma.

Our Vermont Community college, which is open admissions to anyone with a high school diploma, a GED, or the ability to pass a test, has a graduation rate of 21%!

        Local and statewide employers have more jobs than qualified applicants. They actually expect their employees to be able to pass an employment test which measures reading ability, writing, and simple math skills such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication. In our automated society, one must be able to learn complex skills. Even after ignoring arrest records and no diploma, it is still difficult for many employers to find qualified job applicants.

        So what happens to the young person, who has just failed out of high school and community college, is rejected by the military and is denied the employment opportunities that offered training and decent wages, and finds themselves in a group of their peers on the street with over a 50% unemployment rate?

        What would you do? Many accept low paying jobs and remain there for the rest of their lives. Others get more education online or through correspondence programs. And still, others get very depressed and angry and begin to use drugs and become drug addicts and sellers. If a person is not interested in opiates’ they will not use them, regardless of how plentiful they are. To blame our drug problem on suppliers is not the answer.

As Governor Scott has recently said, “I’ve called for reforms that will provide savings which can be re-invested in a cradle-to-career system, which will not only provide quality educational opportunities at every stage of life but make Vermont an education destination, attracting working families, so we can rebuild our workforce and grow the economy.”

        Can more parents be helped by government programs to prepare their children for school? Is education the key to avoiding failure and rejection in the future? Until we can admit that more help should be given to the unprepared parents we will continue to ignore the cause of the drug problems in Vermont.

Affirmative Action should be based on Need not Race!

The recent Trump Administration decision to remove race as a remedy for diversity was a good one. Isn't it racist to assume all Blacks or other minority students need affirmative action? Affirmative action was originally intended to give an advantage to Blacks because they were generally considered academically inferior to Whites and others. All Blacks were labeled as "disadvantaged." Is the term ''disadvantaged'' still synonymous in some people's minds with African Americans or blacks, American Indians and Hispanics? Isn't it about time we let the term only apply to those who are subjected to severe economic and social disadvantages, unfavorable living conditions or circumstances and vastly unequal levels of preparation for higher education? If we could do this, race would not be a factor in the definition, but lifestyle would.

I am a person of partially African descent, sometimes called Black or African American. Many people make the tragic mistake of believing all individuals who are identified with a specific ethnic or racial group share the same worldview. Nothing could be further from the truth. My perceptions and reactions to events in the world are very different from most who consider themselves spokespersons for all Black people.

As far as affirmative action is concerned, there are many youth who have benefited from this program and have gone on to accomplish great deeds. I believe, however, that if the special consideration had been based upon need instead of upon race, most of these good students would still have been admitted and still have gone on to successful careers. Academic standards should never be lowered for any specific racial or ethnic individual or group because of their ethnicity. This is racist!

In my first Physics class at Antioch College, half of the 18 students were valedictorians! All of the others, except me, were Westinghouse finalists. A student admitted to that college with SAT scores 200 points below their classmates would probably reinforce a stereotype of inferiority. Fortunately, I got an A+ on the first test, the highest grade in the class.

Without affirmative action the minority enrollment at many colleges would drop from 15 percent to 4 percent. Why would this be a bad thing if the remaining 4 percent did as well or better than their peers and went on to compete successfully in the work world? The drop-out rate for Black males at some community colleges is over 90%! Is this good for the youth who were told they were “college material”? What psychic damage has been done to millions of youth who failed every course in their first semester, and then dropped out?

Aren't we tired yet of seeing black athletes exploited on the basketball courts and on the football fields? Does it help race relations in this country to reinforce negative stereotypes about the academic inferiority of certain ethnic groups? Who is being helped when students are put into a situation where the odds are high that they will fail?

What about the ''advantaged'' black students? Would Condoleeza Rice or Cornell West have qualified as disadvantaged blacks deserving preferential treatment merely because of their perceived ethnic identity? Would it have been logical to have treated either these two brilliant individuals as needing any kind of special help or treatment because of the color of their skin? Or would it have been highly insulting to them and their parents? Did Obama’s daughter need Affirmative Action to get into Harvard?

Isn’t it boring to expect everyone to follow a "party line" about affirmative action or anything else? The insecure leaders of many minority organizations have a disproportionate amount of power and influence over the minds of the many good people in the country, especially white liberals, who are afraid to voice their true beliefs in fear of being called a "racist." Whatever happened to freedom of thought? Is everyone out there afraid of being branded "politically incorrect?"

So What is Donald Trump?

I have been attempting to figure out why people are attracted to Donald Trump. We all realize that the press is as divided as Congress. If your only source of news is FOX are you any more informed than the person who only listens to NPR? I usually listen to three different sources of news every day, including FOX with my friend Juan Williams. I also subscribe to Time Magazine and read articles online written by journalists on the right and the left, just like I had to do in college.

This short article will attempt to begin a serious discussion on the qualifications of Donald Trump to be President of the United States. I will use information and opinions from a variety of sources. (I have a degree in Political Science, and a Master’s in Psychology, and I have tried to do a professional analysis of this subject and not be influenced by personal ideology.)

Your meeting with President Trump

Try to imagine that you are at a very high-class social gathering with your companion and you get into a conversation with Donald Trump. He will most likely be uninterested in events in either of your lives. He will tell you about his recent accomplishments, and plans for future adventures. If you are a male, he might lean over and whisper in your ear about how he would “like to grab the pussy” of that beautiful woman across the room. He might also brag about some of his many extra-marital affairs and how one of his mistresses, Marla Maples, was “The best sex I ever had.” If you are not shocked enough to excuse yourself from his presence, he will continue the one-sided conversation for perhaps another half hour.

He might talk about the success of his reality TV program, The Apprentice. Reviews now say that the ‘reality’ in Trump’s reality TV wasn’t real. “In every episode he acted out dramas of control over submissive contestants seeking his favor, wilting at his denial of it and fawning at his approval. Under Trump, winning was the road to serfdom. The subtext was pathos, not only on the part of the supplicants but also in the boss’s trademark phrase, ‘You’re fired.’ No matter how many people Trump rejected, he couldn’t force his own acceptance.”

According to the highly respected psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton, and hundreds of other mental health professionals, “President Trump exhibits malignant narcissism, a sociopathy, paranoia, a delusional detachment from reality, and more. He has delusional levels of grandiosity, impulsivity, and the compulsions of mental impairment. He has a detachment from reality”, and of “a hypomanic temperament” (restless, impatient, easily bored, supremely confident, impulsive, and risk-taking with a minuscule attention span). He is also an extreme present hedonist who lives in the moment “without much thought of any consequences of his actions or of the future” and says “whatever it will take to pump up his ego and to assuage his inherent low self-esteem, without any thought for past reality.” It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to notice that our president is mentally compromised, with his furious tirades, conspiracy fantasies, and aversion to facts and attraction to violence.

Trump’s chief motivations, are “self-aggrandizement and self-defense which makes him “paranoid and supersensitive,” with underlying low self-esteem, which is characteristic of extreme narcissists. He strikes back at critics with the hyper aggressive reaction of a cornered wolverine. Twitter is his cocaine. It’s his very own personal transposition of New York tabloid culture from his fingertips through his Smartphone at 3AM, which allows him to evade the entire national press corps. He loves doing that because part of the thrill is humiliating them.

The source of his magnetic attraction for the aggrieved white lower-middle and working classes is his ability to play upon their fears of losing jobs and status to immigrants and people-of-color. How else could he get away with calling “all Mexicans criminals and drug addicts”, or saying “the Africans are better off living in America than in the huts they came from?” What else are these remarks for, if not the ill-informed and gullible who feel left behind and at the mercy of forces they don’t understand? “In terms of level of education, the voters who most favor Trump are those whose minds remain uncluttered by any learning beyond junior high school.” He rouses the crowds at his rallies to a fever pitch – ‘knock the crap out of them’ – he encourages an atmosphere of violence and fear to find true believers in his Duck Dynasty territory, “I love the poorly educated.”

His ignorance is absolute. He has no knowledge of any president. He was told by Steve Bannon that he should adopt Andrew Jackson as a kind of pet. (Andrew Jackson would have despised Donald Trump as a person of inherited wealth and privilege.) There are many negative things to say about Andrew Jackson, he was a racist, who initiated “The Trail of Tears.”

After his nomination for president, Trump talked about his fondest wish: winning New York State. ‘We are going to win this state,’ he proclaimed, adding that he had won the Republican primary there ‘because nobody knows me better than New Yorkers’. Unfortunately for him, New Yorkers did know him. If there is one subject that has unified discordant New Yorkers over the past five decades, it has been Trump. In 2016, he lost 87 per cent of the vote in Manhattan, and most of those who voted for him probably did so with distaste, casting their loyal Republican votes for a man who for most of his life donated money to Democratic candidates in a Democratic city. (Trump also lost in Queens, carrying only 22 per cent of the vote; in Brooklyn, he won less than 20 per cent; and in the Bronx, about 10 per cent.)

He was a failure in New York real estate and hardly anyone in New York would deal with him in the business world. This is little understood by his fabled base, who think of him as this golden figure in the intro of The Apprentice. Actually he is a pariah in New York business circles. His word is not to be trusted. He doesn’t understand how to conduct business. He stiffs his contractors, and he has worked hand-in-glove with the mafia throughout the years. When he went into his various bankruptcies, he went to foreign sources for money. That is the origin of the crisis with the FBI that’s beginning to play out now in his presidency. To get attention away from his criminal activities, one reason for sharing secret Israeli intelligence with Russians, as Trump recently did, is for starting a war in which he’d emerge victorious?

When a person poses a danger because of mental disturbance, psychiatrists are mandated to report, to incapacitate and to take steps to protect the public. Professional experience would suggest that his dangerousness is likely to increase. “I’m just watching King Kong climb to the top of the Empire State Building.” Sidney Blumenthal 

Black Man/Black Panther

How does a black man feel being the only person of color in a theatre in Vermont watching Black Panther? I was the person and it was one of the loneliness feelings in my life.

Neither I, nor anyone else in theatre had ever seen a movie like this. A first-class, and highly acclaimed, action movie written, directed, and starring black people! Should I be proud? Should I be nervous, and worried about some negative racist violence directed toward me? Would I be considered second class? Or should I simply be amazed that race relations have advanced so much in the past 50 years?

When I was a child I never saw a black face in a commercial, in an advertisement (except Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben), and hardly ever in a motion picture or on television except Amos and Andy or a special appearance by a super star like Lena Horne or Harry Belafonte.

Seeing black folks as writers, producers, directors, and almost the entire cast was a new and exciting experience. Especially when the film is being almost universally applauded as an excellent production, and is one of the most successful movies in box office history.

This is a new day. After spending almost half my life in the Civil Rights Movement, it is gratifying to see the progress we have made. From the miracle of a black president, to the success of this great movie, much has been accomplished.

But the Movement is not over. All of the goals have not been accomplished. Racism is still alive and well in this country, and even in Vermont. Poverty is no excuse for ignorance. And immoral and unethical behavior has no color line. Lifestyle is more important than race, and movies such as Black Panther set a high standard of morality, tolerance, and conduct for the children of today, and their parents and guardians.

At the conclusion of the movie I sat in the theatre relieved that the production was so great, so well received and so positive about the future possibilities for life on earth. The feelings of hope were so strong they eradicated the issue of race and I was no longer alone.

“Social Relationships”

From my upcoming Autobiography

My Life Outside The Box

The Adventures of a Rolling Stone

I have never been invited to join any secret or elite social organization, and none of my former wives or children were ever invited to join upper-middle class organizations like the Links or Jack and Jill.

I also never aspired to become rich or famous, and I told my mother this when I was 17 years old. By then I had already been introduced to the Negro upper-class in Westchester County by my weekly column on youth parties printed in the Westchester County Press, a small black newspaper put out by Rev. Adams in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.

I received invitations from the newspaper to attend up to 4 parties a week in Mt. Vernon, Rye, White Plains, Mt. Kisco, Yonkers, Tarrytown, Ossining, or Hastings. I often brought along several of my male friends so that they also could meet and associate with educated girls from highly successful families. Some of my friends immediately gravitated to this new environment, and several eventually married into this upper-middle class lifestyle, where the parents asked what your parents did, which prep school or Ivey College you attended, exactly where in a city did you live, and what were your career goals? I eventually dated one of the girls and often was invited by her father to spend a weekend with them at their summer retreat on Sag Harbor. All of the five friends I took to these parties became either doctors or lawyers.

I turned down admission and scholarships to Cornell, the University of Syracuse, and Howard University because I did not want to go to any college with fraternities. I did not want my social life controlled by others. I picked Antioch College [illus.] because it was a very progressive and selective college that did not allow any “secret societies.”  

I believe it would have been helpful for my career if I had made social contacts with more individuals who were in positions of power and influence. My preference for friends and associates, however, has always been based upon similarities in lifestyle, not race or ethnicity.

Multiculturalism is the opposite of Integration

Problems with Multiculturalism


  1. 1.    Multiculturalism has become a buzzword all over the world and it has acquired mostly a positive connotation. Nevertheless, there are voices that point out the drawbacks of this policy.

  1. 2.   
    Many people think multiculturalism just means showing respect and tolerance to other cultures and faiths. But that's not what multiculturalism is at all. The end result of multiculturalism is the Balkanization of a society.

  1. 3.    To support multiculturalism we must recognize, affirm and institutionalize cultural differences in the public sphere. It describes a set of policies, the aim of which is to manage and institutionalize diversity through the public recognition and affirmation of cultural differences.

  1. 4.    Multiculturalism refers to the presence of diverse racial and ethnic minorities who define themselves as different and wish to remain as such.

  1. 5.    It seeks to Balkanize the curriculum by making it represent selected ethnic groups and certain other groups that supposedly comprise America's diversity.

  1. 6.    Multiculturalism is also known as cultural pluralism.

  1. 7.    The multicultural education movement's efforts to impose “cultural diversity” on college and grade school curricula are fueled by just this particularism.

  1. 8.    The Cult of Multiculturalism and the promotion of cultural diversity actually increases the divide between the mainstream culture and the different ethnic cultures.

  1. 9.    Afrocentrists are an example of a group that belongs within the multicultural movement.

  1. 10. Many have blamed the policy to be emphasizing a segregated view of minorities.

  1. 11. Multiculturalism is a process through which ethnic and racial minorities compete to obtain support from authorities in order to achieve certain aspirations

  1. 12. It is a “Psychology of separation” which immigrants are encouraged to adopt, and which in the end determines ethnic groups to form enclaves within the total society.

  1. 13. By emphasizing the importance of maintaining ethnic identity as different from an American identity, multiculturalism enforces division and not integration

  1. 14. The concept of “cultural tolerance” was promoted by the Multiculturalism Act in Canada to hide a racist approach to ethnic groups.

  1. 15. The contours of the new approach were designed in the decade of the 1970s. The national and state governments asked people to categorize themselves into these five synthetic groups in order to give those with “a history of discrimination” protected class status.

  1. 16. Multiculturalism is when you have the long arm of the Census Bureau instructing 300 million people to identify themselves as one of the five groups in the ethno-racial pentagon of Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and non-Latino whites.

  1. 17. In 1977, the Office of Management and Budget issued Directive 15, which mandated the classifications we have to this day

  1. 18. Multiculturalism appears not as a cultural liberator but as a cultural straightjacket, forcing those described as members of a minority cultural group into a regime of authenticity, denying them the chance to cross cultural borders, borrow cultural influences, and to define and redefine themselves

  1. 19. The multicultural movement  “has encouraged us to view peoples and cultures as more systematically different than they are”

  1. 20. Contrary to optimistic projections, Brazil's multiracialism did not so much produce upward mobility for dark Brazilians as reinforce a myth of mobility. That myth has undergirded a pigmentocracy that continues to privilege whiteness.

  1. 21. A similar outcome is possible in the United States. Various peoples of color—Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and light-skinned African-Americans—could well intermarry with whites in increasingly large numbers and join with them in a de facto alliance against darker-skinned blacks, who might remain racial outcasts even in a more racially mixed society.

22.  Ethnocentrism promotes Endogamy, which is a form of self-segregation; a community can use it to resist integrating and completely merging with surrounding populations. Minorities can use it to stay ethnically homogeneous over a long time as distinct communities within societies with other practices and beliefs.

So Who Came To Your Funeral?

I went to a really great funeral last week. Everybody in the family seemed to be there. It was in sharp contrast to one I had attended less than a year ago. This recent funeral was for an uncle. The previous one had been for a first cousin.

At the large church funeral for my uncle, there had been a genuine sense of loss expressed by hundreds of people, relatives and old friends. At the funeral for my cousin (at the funeral parlor) fewer than 10 people came to pay their final respects.

Same family, quite different funerals. "Why ... ",I asked myself, " ... do so many people feel moved at the passing of one person, but are totally disinterested in the death of another?" How do we decide if we will attend a wake or a funeral? What kind of a life must a person have lived to actually move people away from their busy schedules for a day, or even an evening?

The uncle was a very quiet, gentle, and giving man, who had lived in the same small town in the same house, with the same wife - for almost 50 years! The cousin, who had spent many happy summers with the uncle and his family, was raised only 20 miles away in the center of Harlem, the infamous ghetto in New York City. He became a high school drop-out, an alcoholic, a drug addict, and, finally, a convicted criminal. (It was well known that he had actually spent time in prison; something unheard of in this very middle-class family.) He was one of the few "Black Sheep" in the family, and was actually quite an embarrassment to many of his relatives.

He was not "successful". He did not live in a very nice neighborhood. He had never had a steady job, and he had no education to speak of, and he was supposed to have had a number of children all over the place from various women he had lived with.

As we get older, we tend to get more realistic about the transitory nature of our own existence. We are no more equal at death, than we are at birth. "Who ... "I found myself asking" ...would come to my funeral?" As my relatives and former friends pass judgment on my life, how many will take the time or energy to even pick up the phone, or send a card, much less actually attend my wake or funeral?

One important factor which will determine who will mourn our passing is who will even know about it. If your name has been in the press over the years, and you are some kind of a celebrity, hundreds or possibly thousands will mob to your funeral just to say they were there, and to see some "famous" people. Regardless of the kind of life you really lived, or what you ever did for others, or if you were even a nice person or not.

If you have been very mobile ( or transient) you probably have "friends" scattered all over the world. The person with 100 friends in one place will have a much larger turn-out than the "world traveler" with thousands of acquaintances in ten or twenty different locations. Distance is an important factor which will make a person really think hard when he or she is trying to decide if you warrant the outlay of possibly hundreds of dollars and a day or two of precious time.

Let's be honest. When we consider the reputation, stability, life style, and the socioeconomic status of the deceased" we are not surprised at who will or will not be missed. If there is an afterlife, I just hope I'll be able to give a good report when my spirit is asked, "So who came to your funeral?" Maybe the final judgment I've always heard about isn't made on another plane, but on this one. Not by a God or some celestial computer, but by my relatives, my friends, and my peers. It may sound harsh, but we do seem to get out of life what we put into it. Here's hoping that when you're asked the big question you can respond with a little bit of heavenly vanity and say, "Oh lots of people, and it was a really grand affair."



          Much has changed in the country and the world since 2017. The United States is now a nation less obsessed with global competition, and more concerned with the promotion of decent living standards for as many citizens as possible. In 2019 a group of cyber scientists, led by a team of teenagers, managed to successfully drain the personal bank accounts of the richest 100,000 people in the world and redistribute the funds into the bank accounts of everyone else.

Campaign financing laws were enacted world-wide, and thousands of grass-roots folks were elected to governments where they proceeded to propose and pass legislation that provided Universal Health Care and Universal Education through graduate school as they have done for years in France.

Laws were passed to put high tariffs on goods from Asia that could have been manufactured in this country. Tax incentives were given to companies to not move their business out of the country, but to provide more jobs in the United States. The national, state, and local governments have become the largest employers as private industry has increasingly automated. Schools now have smaller classes and employ many more teachers and fewer administrators.

The United Nations was strengthened and so were the military forces of the organization. This enabled the United States and many other nations to reduce their military budgets by over 90%. With the elimination of all lobbyists from the halls of Congress and state legislatures, the newly elected officials proceeded to vote on issues based upon their merits and not the contributions from individuals and corporations. The Supreme Court the Citizens United decision.

I have set up an organization called The Transcultural Awareness Institute for identifying and solving serious social problems. It has a full-time staff of five people who are all highly educated professionals that I have stolen away from high-profile positions at top universities and think tanks. We have attracted backers who have deposited over $100,000,000 into our five bank accounts. When we decide to tackle a problem that has been insolvable for scientists and academics, we can call together (with all expenses paid plus a $5,000 a day consulting fee) the best minds in the world for a 3-5 day workshop that will produce an answer to the problem.

We have a track record of having done this over 30 times already. The first successful effort was a planning session held at the United Nations headquarters in New York in 2018. We decided to find a way to prevent and cure Alzheimer’s disease. My team identified the individuals who were the top ten experts in the world, and we invited them to meet together at our expense. Plus of course the $5,000 per day consulting fee.

The workshop was held at a retreat in Switzerland for one week. Thirty top graduate students were also invited from all over the world. In addition, the directors of research of the five largest drug companies were invited. At the end of three days word leaked out to the world press that a gene had positively been identified that was the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. We had to deny this rumor and told the press that yes progress had been made, but they would have to wait until the final press conference at the end of the workshop.

We really had found the gene by the third day. But we had to have definitive discussions and tests before we would make any announcement. By the beginning of the fifth day there was unanimous agreement among all the scientists and scholars present that the cause and cure for the disease had been found. Agreements were made with the five drug companies on how to quickly manufacture and distribute the newly discovered drug. The drug would be free world-wide because all the countries in the United Nations were assessed an amount of money determined by the number of people in their country that that had the disease. This money was collected by UNESCO and paid to the drug companies.

We worked with the Gates Foundation on our next workshop. This one was on Aids. Again we assembled the world’s experts for a retreat in South Africa. This effort took two weeks to find the cause and cure for Aids. But here again, we were successful.

Tooth decay was one of the most challenging problems. We knew from meeting with many scientists what the cause of tooth decay was: sugars and other things we put into our mouths. The problem was how to stop the decay if people continued to eat and drink certain items. We came up with a solution practiced by a tribe of herders in Outer Mongolia. They had no tooth decay in any of their people. The solution we found was a small plant that only grew in the mountains near their villages. They had been using it as a sweetener for hundreds of years.

Once we travelled to these villages and acquired samples of these plants we tested them for six months in a candy we gave to 5,000 children in ten different countries. All parents and children were told of the experiment and the parents were given $500.  There were only 20 cases of tooth decay discovered after the six months. We had little control over what else a child may have drank or eaten. The only group of professionals that were not happy with the drastic reduction in cavities of course were the dentists.

Important Developments since 2017

Much had changed since 2017 in the United States and the world. Let me site 50 of the most dramatic changes that have occurred in the world in the last 13 years:

1.Because of the newly enacted “campaign financing laws”, less affluent people have been able to get on the ballot, and this has changed the composition of our lawmaking bodies in the United States and around the world, and there has been a sharp decrease in the number of politicians who are lawyers and business executives.

2.For politicians in the Congress and state legislators the term limit has now been set to be 10 years.

3.There are no longer commercials and ads on TV and the Internet. There was a shift in the world back towards the values of community, spirituality, and integrity, and away from competition, materialism and disconnection. The not so wealthy consumers and others were shown that merely purchasing something new was only artificially created instant gratification to make them purchase an expensive item to make them think they had improved their social status. Instead of improving their social status, people were getting into suicidal debt and severe financial problems which became the primary reason for divorce and many family problems. With the revolution in grass-roots politics and campaign financing, citizens passed laws at the federal level outlawing all commercials and ads on TV, radio, and the Internet. Companies now sponsor programs in the same way programs are sponsored on National Public Radio (NPR), or the Public Broadcasting System (PBS).

4.Children are now being taught from pre-school how to defend themselves against any commercials that still may exist. They are taught commercials are designed to brainwash a person to be a mindless consumer by the extensive advertising industry which only serves to reinforce increasing consumption so that other people can get rich while they are programmed to think they really need many things. As soon as they start to use a remote they are taught to recognize commercials and “mute” them.

5.World-wide, individuals over the age of 18 have been issued a secret 5-digit password which must be entered via the remote before they can view any pornographic, adult, or extremely violent programs on TV or the Internet. This password must be reactivated every two hours. There is a severe fine for any person who gives their password to a child under 18. The password can be changed at any time by the owner of the password.

6.A pill had been developed that cuts down or eliminates a desire for alcohol. Within a few years, alcoholism was reduced tremendously nationwide.

7.Very good tasting and nutritious soft drinks were introduced that eliminated the craving induced by nicotine, and smoking was reduced dramatically. People were also educated through advertising by the federal government about the dangers of smoking, especially cancer. The intelligent and the less educated soon came to understand that smoking excessively was a self-destructive suicidal behavior.

8.A team of scientists from the Congo won the Nobel Prize for curing the ringing in the ears called tinnitus.

9.People who were frozen earlier can now be thawed out, because most of the diseases that almost killed them in the past have now been cured.

10.Cataracts can now be prevented and cured, and many eye diseases have been corrected and many people who were blind are having their sight restored. (Even I have been told that I might regain my sight within a few years.)

11.The life expectancy is now over 110 in the United States, China, Japan, and most of Europe. People in general are living longer and healthier lives.

12.Many more adults are living in retirement communities not only in the United States but abroad. There are many very nice retirement communities not only in Mexico but throughout Latin America, the West Indies, Africa, Asia and Europe. These are also many desirable international retirement communities where people meet from all over the world. In these retirement communities one or two can make it on their Social Security and have their own small house or spacious apartment. They can even have gardens and a garage for their car.

13.Near many of the retirement communities are Boys or Girls towns for children who do not live with any parents or relatives. By being close to the homes of the children these older adults can get paid to work with them and share their skills, experiences and wisdom. All of these planned communities have excellent schools, beautiful libraries and higher educational institutions where people can keep learning and teaching others.

14.Ocean going ships are very large and they are extremely safe. More people are going on cruises and trips all over the world, and this has become one of the major forms of recreation. Many adults have a permanent small apartment on these ships, which is less expensive than a nursing home or retirement community.

15.Antarctica and the North Pole have become major tourist and retirement attractions, and there are all sorts of activities at these sites all year long. There are large enclosed recreational parks and facilities almost a mile across where people can go swimming or skiing, and meanwhile beyond the enclosure it might be 100° below zero.

16.There are fewer and fewer limb and bone replacements as scientists have discovered the conditions that caused the need for a limb replacement.

17.A meritocracy system similar to civil service is now administered for all medium and high level government positions. To be elected to the City Council you have to pass an exam. To be elected to the office of Mayor you have to pass an exam. This exam system is utilized for every elected official up to the President of the United States. 

18.Salaries of athletes, movie stars, and entertainers were reduced dramatically, and the highest paid people in society have become teachers, scientists, engineers, people in the medical profession, and the people who are helping people. These are the people who now receive the greatest financial rewards.

19.As the salaries of the athletes are reduced the cost of admission also came down dramatically.

20.People in private business are still allowed to earn as much money as they can, but they are not able to exploit and cheat people the way they did before because citizens now have the right to see all tax returns on-line annually.

21.Less educated people are paid good wages and are able to have a very nice standard of living. This has not only happened in the United States, but it is happening world-wide, so people do not have to be migrating from one country to another. The living standards have started to become similar in all the countries worldwide.

22.Millions of people worldwide are now educated up to the same high standards as those in the West, and they are being encouraged to stay within their own countries. Aid is being given by the United Nations to those countries if necessary, in attempts to build up their own economies to keep the people within their own borders.

23.The funding of the schools in different school districts in the United States is no longer dependent upon local taxes but upon state and federal taxes. This has lead to an equal amount of money being spent on each student nationwide and more money available for needed resources and teachers.

24.Jobs are now guaranteed by the city, county and state governments for all the graduates of high school, colleges, training programs and technical schools.

25.The size of schools has dramatically been reduced, and the large schools with over 1,000 students have been broken up into smaller schools with no more than 500 in a high school, middle school, or elementary school. The large public universities were broken up into smaller colleges and classrooms were reduced to no more than 20 to 30 students in a class. This created hundreds of thousands of jobs for full-time teachers and professors.

26.Student loans were eliminated for college because money for a college education is now guaranteed all the way through graduate school, the same way it is in France. A student has to maintain at least a C average to get their way paid all the way through graduate and professional school. In other words, there is now universal free education in the United States.

27.All existing student loans were forgiven.

28.Reading has been brought back as a major form of recreation through carefully designed educational programs from the elementary to college level. Most people are now watching relatively little television and playing fewer video games and spending less time with their electronic devices or on the Internet.

29.Very large and thin lightweight iPods type devices have almost replaced books as the primary way to read a book, newspaper, or anything else. These electronic devices also hook up to the Internet and are used as video-telephones. They are in 3-D, and for privacy a person can plug in a headset with glasses and earphones that will shut off the large device and allow the person to see the picture on the glasses in 3-D and hear the sound stereophonically. There is also a built-in microphone in the stylish headset. If a person is driving a car or vehicle the headset would not work while they are in the drivers’ seat.

30.Children are strongly encouraged not to watch more than a certain number of hours of television each day. This can be controlled by a timer set by the parent or guardian. To get the children away from TV and the electronic devices, parents and guardians are being paid to go to classes to learn how to become more involved with their children in a wide variety of recreational and educational activities, especially outdoors.

31.People can no longer get married in a few minutes by just showing a drivers license. They now have to go through a week long counseling process.

32.In an effort to stabilize marriages, both parties now have to re-sign the marriage contract every year within two weeks of the anniversary date. If both parties do not sign within two weeks of the marriage anniversary, the marriage is automatically dissolved. This has put great pressure on both parties to remain a desirable partner.

33.Abstinence is encouraged and taught in all the schools in the country. But birth control is also given out to children over 16.

34.Abortions are still legal, but highly frowned upon. The number has decreased to less than 50% the number in 2012 since all women must now see a video of their fetus and listen to the heartbeat before they can get a legal abortion.

35.There are Muslim enclaves within many countries in Europe where Shria law is   practiced. If a person desires to leave these enclaves, they can call a 911 number for help if they are being physically or mentally abused. The person will be escorted out at once and put in a witness protection program or a secret group home.

36.In the United States there are communities within each state similar to the Hasidic Jews in Kiryas Joel, in Orange County New York. Here different religions and sects such as the Amish can be left alone. If anyone is being physically and mentally abused they can call 911 for help at any time. All of these separate towns or cities are under County and state laws and are patrolled by county and state police. When these people are arrested they are tried in the County and the state and federal courts. There are branches of local banks within these communities, and insurance companies and whatever companies they want operate within these communities. There are large and small manufacturing plants and there are large and small farms. Communities are structured by religion, nationality, or ethnicity. Children who want to leave these communities are raised by the each state in group or foster homes, or planned youth communities.

37. The schools in these communities are part of the regional school system and there is competition between schools in terms of academics and athletics.

38.Mexico and Israel signed an agreement for Israel and their Mossad to send 5,000 secret police to eliminate the drug cartel. The operation took only two weeks for this to be accomplished. In return Mexico has leased the state of Tabasco on the Gulf of Mexico to Israel for the next 500 years for $100, and the entire Jewish state of Israel has moved to Mexico. It is 7,000 Km larger than the former state of Israel. The people who were in Tabasco have chosen to stay in the country and they have dual citizenship in Israel and Mexico.

39.Marijuana has been decriminalized and so have some other drugs. People can now get their drugs cheaply, as they have been doing in several European countries, and the prison population in the United States has been reduced by 75%. Former prison guards have been reeducated to be counselors and teachers in technical schools and programs such as Upward Bound and the Job Corps. The walls have been torn down along the Mexican border as millions of Mexicans have returned to Mexico as their economy has improved and there are now plenty of well-paying jobs.

40.Unitarians separated from the Universalists in 2017 and decided to actively recruit members to their congregations. They were following up on some of the writings of Thomas Jefferson who wrote in a letter on June 26, 1822, “I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian.” Through ads and personal contacts the Unitarian Church now has the largest membership of any organized religion in the United States. Its appeal is its secular nature, social activism, and the complete freedom it gives every individual to believe whatever they want to believe about a God or Gods.

41.The “One-Drop Rule” has been officially outlawed by the Supreme Court, and people are no longer considered African American or black just because any of their ancestors were from Africa. Lifestyle has become a much more important factor in forming relationships than race, ethnicity, or nationality.

42.Forms asking for racial or ethnic identity are no longer used in the United States.

43.Casinos are allowed in every state and run not just by Indians but the state itself, with very strict education in the communities and in the high schools about the negative aspects of gambling.

44.New cities and satellite cities have been built outside of the major cities around the world. This has been a successful program to reduce the congestion and poverty in some major cities. All of these new cities are connected with the center city by high-speed rail transportation.

45.More highways were designed where large trucks and cars are now divided by separate roads.

46.Food prices have come down dramatically as price supports were eliminated and competition was increased. Farmers now grow more food on more small farms as many of the big farms were voluntarily broken up.

47.There is now plenty of food being produced around the world, and poverty and starvation have been drastically reduced.

48.There is no longer mandatory prison sentencing. Prisons focus on rehabilitation, not punishment. But we still do have probation and parole. A parole officer's caseload can now be no more than 30 people. Clients do not have to report in person, but they can report electronically, via Skype, from anywhere in the country. When they check in, the GPS implanted in their arms will specify exactly where the person is. As long as the person is on probation or parole they will have the device implanted. As soon as the probation or parole is over, the electronic device will be removed.

49.India and China are the most powerful and influential countries in the world.

50.Most of the electricity in the world is now generated by geothermal, followed by solar, wind and hydro.

A Transcultural Awareness Experience


          Why, some may ask, is there a need for another discussion or workshop on ethnicity or race? What ever happened to Integration? Wasn’t that what we were fighting for during the Civil Rights Movement? Why can’t we just accept and celebrate the new world of Ethnocentrism and Multiculturalism, and the ethnically separate graduations, dorms, dining halls, and even classrooms?

The Transcultural Awareness Institute is part of a process created by Offie Wortham and Pete Seeger for a series of dialogues at the Howland Center for Cultural Exchange in Beacon, NY in 2001. The purpose was to promote dialogue and the exchange of information and understanding between individuals from different socio-economic classes, ethnic/racial groups, and various ethical or religious groups.

What is Transcultural Awareness? How is it different from Multiculturalism?

We propose transcultural dialogue in distinction to mere intercultural dialogue. This points to the capability of transcending (and, thereby, transforming) one’s own horizon of understanding towards other forms of cultural self-realization, rather than just relating and comparing abstract contents of one’s own cultural environment to another. In the process our own cultural awareness is shaped by the interaction with other cultures, and it reaches a level beyond its original setup.

This approach, versus one with a Euro centric orientation, is one of dialogue on the cultural, level. Based on a concept of culture as "a system of interconnected values, perceptions, and modes of interaction" this approach requires a new doctrine of public education which should make understandable the values and world views of other civilizations, doing away with any form of cultural exclusivism, tribalism, or ethnocentrism.

Multicultural training focuses on cultural differences which limits a persons’ ability to apply acquired cultural knowledge in providing culturally appropriate interventions to culturally diverse individuals. Culture-specific knowledge about racial-ethnic groups may be unintentionally misused and become stereotyped generalizations. Similarly, the use of culture-general knowledge may also overlook important nuances necessary in making culturally appropriate judgments. The ability to develop appropriate intervention strategies and techniques are dependent on the ability to acquire and utilize cultural awareness, and cultural knowledge.


Cultural Knowledge is at the core of Transcultural Awareness.


Limited cultural knowledge results in a reliance on stereotyped generalizations about racial-cultural groups that increases the likelihood of inappropriate decision-making. Research has proven direct ongoing cross-cultural interactions facilitated cultural knowledge and cultural empathy, enabling helping individuals to connect with cultural diverse others to understand and appreciate the uniqueness of their daily lives, and to recognize universal commonalities that exists between them. Inherent in this level of knowledge is a better understanding of the social and political context in which other individuals live their lives.

A major difference between this experience and others is that it does not use the buzzwords "multiculturalism" or "diversity training." It also does not assume that the major social problem in the world is racism. Of course it acknowledges that racism does exist, but the Institute believes that the larger problem is one where conflicts and misperceptions about life-styles must be examined and discussed.

The educational system in any given cultural environment must reach beyond the exclusive interpretation of that very culture’s specific traditions that, in turn, shaped the very understanding (self-comprehension) of that culture. This has to be transcended towards the inclusion of other (genuinely different) traditions that have been shaped independently of one’s own culture into the cultural understanding of any given community (civilization). We must have an understanding of the other, of that which is different from ourselves. This implies a more profound awareness of our own culture; it allows us to define ourselves more adequately in distinction from the other(s).

The consequences in the field of education are obvious: Our educational curricula should not only include the teaching of Greco-Roman and Christian traditions but should also convey the knowledge of non-European traditions and religions such as Islam and Buddhism. Total Euro centric ignorance of other cultural environments that have been shaped outside of Europe and the United States has been the main breeding ground of cultural chauvinism and the root cause of imperialist aggression over the centuries.

Transcultural Awareness requires a reorientation of the information and media sector in regard to the stereotyping of other civilizations (the most drastic example being the present stereotyping of the Islamic civilization by the West).

On the level of international relations, this approach towards cultural self-comprehension requires a new method of cultural diplomacy, abandoning the propaganda-style presentation of one’s own civilization and promoting genuine transcultural encounters. The traditional crusader spirit has to be overcome in transcultural encounters, and the hegemony of Euro centric worldviews and life-styles in the international media and entertainment sector has to be counterbalanced by the unbiased presentation of other lifestyles.

          Each of our events is designed to bring people together to discuss a subject of common interest. By placing individuals in discussion groups with others from differing backgrounds we hope to broaden the perceptions we have of others, and to reduce the number of stereotypes we all have of people we normally never socialize with as peers. (We have put on similar events in New Jersey, New York and in Atlanta, Georgia.)     

          Transcultural Awareness is not limited to racial or ethnic awareness. This approach can be used to sensitize individuals from different nations, different classes, different age groups (the "Generation Gap"), or between male and female. It would be especially useful for individuals who must work in tense situations with others who are products of an entirely different, and often conflicting, lifestyle or subculture.

Multiculturalism, on the other hand, was conceptualized within the historical and sociopolitical context of the United States, and referred only to race, ethnicity, and culture.  

Policymakers and planners, government officials, teachers, law enforcement personnel, employers, supervisors and others in important positions of authority and power would greatly benefit from non-threatening encounters between themselves and the recipients of their decisions and actions. Transcending the horizon of one’s own tradition is the precondition for a better understanding of that particular cultural tradition.


This experience can open up opportunities for acquiring a set of personal attitudes, social sensitivities, and intellectual skills that are rarely, if ever, realized in regular workshops. 

This experience is designed to improve your awareness and knowledge of transcultural communication in preparation for working and socializing with individuals from a different lifestyle. We will use a participatory and active-learning approach which will emphasize an appreciation of cultural values, similarities and differences.

The attributes of cultural competence have been identified as using a tripartite model:


1.     awareness of one’s own personal beliefs, values, biases, and attitudes,

2.     awareness and knowledge of the worldview of culturally diverse individuals and groups, and

3.     utilization of culturally appropriate intervention skills and strategies


Assisting individuals to become self-aware and to examine their cultural attitudes/beliefs is an important attribute in developing cultural competence and increasing individual effectiveness with culturally diverse clients.


Innovative approaches to cultural competency-based training seek to move trainees to a level by which they are better able to consider differing worldviews and engage in critical reflective thinking in making judgments about situations that may differ from their own.


We have to learn to ‘see’ a situation from multiple perspectives and, if necessary, to reconcile them. It is about developing multiple potential interpretations and using critical reflective thinking to

choose which alternatives are most likely to provide effective strategies.


In meeting the needs of a diverse nation and advancing global understanding, there is a demand for finding people who are culturally aware, culturally sensitive, and have specific cultural knowledge about individuals representing cultural groups who may live in the United States and around the world.

In 1940, transculturalism was originally defined by Fernando Ortiz. He defined transculturalism as the synthesis of two phases occurring simultaneously, one being a deculturalization of the past with the present, which meant "reinventing a new common culture". Such reinvention of a new common culture is based on the meeting and intermingling of the different peoples and cultures and the formation of a new form of humanism based on the idea of relinquishing the strong traditional identities and cultures which were products of imperialistic empires interspersed with dogmatic religious values. He also stated that transculturalism is based on the breaking down of boundaries, contrary to multiculturalism which reinforces boundaries based on past cultural heritages.

Transculturalism is rooted in the pursuit to define shared interests and common values across cultural and national borders. It can be tested by means of thinking "outside the box” of one's cultural upbringing, and by seeing many sides of every question without abandoning conviction, analogous to the way a chameleon is able to scan the environment in two directions at once without losing one's cultural center.

For those who are concerned about the future of the human race, a universal dialogue of civilizations is of crucial importance for the future of mankind, because such a dialogue is a basic condition of peace and stability on both the national and the transnational level. As stated by UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim in 1974: "No nation, however large or powerful, can escape from the fundamental reality of our interdependence."

A Transcultural Awareness Experience

Unitarian Church, Montpelier, VT

Fall, 2017

(We search for a Common Ground)

Led by Offie C. Wortham, Ph. D.

(Contact @ if interested in attending the program in the Fall of 2017)

Does Lifestyle Matter more than Race?


          Is a person’s lifestyle more important than their ethnicity or race in determining how successful they will be in achieving some form of happiness and success in their life? Too many people are failing to consider this important question because they cannot see or understand society beyond racial terms.

There are certain standards and patterns of behavior in our society that are admired and respected. There are others that are not. These patterns cut across lines of socio-economic class and education. Even among the least educated and less affluent there is an awareness of when a person “has no class.” The lifestyle of an individual is a more accurate indicator of the values, morals, ethics of an individual than their race or ethnicity.

The past Obama phenomena can be understood better if we view his acceptance as an acceptance of a preferred lifestyle. Highly educated, financially successful, articulate, clean-cut and “nice looking,” moderate in his politics, somewhat religious, and a good family man. This is the perfect image America wants to project to the world, and to itself. Obama transcended the racial issue by having the perfect lifestyle that we all desire! This far over-shadowed his mixed ancestry.


Conforming to the lifestyle of the group in power usually assures individuals of more acceptance and less discrimination. People like to associate with people who are as much like them as possible. We feel more comfortable with those who share a common language, religion, culture, and worldview. On the one hand we preach diversity, but in reality, we want to be with people who are just like us. This could be intellectually, spiritually, or who dress as we do, like the same past-times or hobbies, sports, or music. 

          Adults in the past were miss-educated to believe that various ethnic groups were either inferior or superior intellectually and morally. This is what we call racism. Certain aspects of a group’s culture; their music, their diet, their religion, their speech, their dress, the way they walked, and even their art, were deemed inferior and sometimes almost sub-human. 

We reject or accept certain groups or individuals because of their speech, their mannerisms, their behavior, their interest in education, and their appearance. The amount of money they make does not move them up one notch in social acceptance, as long as they continue to act and look like immoral and ignorant clowns. We have always discriminated by lifestyle throughout history. Only recently have we become confused and introduced race or ethnicity as primary factors in determining acceptance of human behavior, and forgot that lifestyle is really much more important than race.

If we could look at race, lifestyle and class as completely separate factors, then that would make the subject of this article easier to understand. However, the reality is that there is no way to completely untangle the interrelationship between lifestyle, race and class.

Your personal perspective reflects your racial lens and bias. Consider this: all things being equal, the less-educated of all racial groups will naturally end up at the bottom of the economic totem pole. Whites being in the majority of the population should outnumber blacks and other minorities at that level, and they do. However, past generations of under-educated whites have benefited the most from the  discrimination/exclusion of blacks and other people-of-color which resulted in most of them getting and keeping jobs and other benefits that they did not merit. This artificially suppressed the progress and advancement potential of generations of bright and talented minorities that became ensnared in poverty and despair. The greatest obstacle to a class based struggle in the United States has always been the racism of poor and working class whites. They would much rather cling to the lie and myth of white supremacy, even at the expense of their own economic advantage. This helps one to better understand the victory of Donald Trump. Lower class whites are also ill-treated in such an economy as the recent financial recession proved, but they are continually invited to vote against their own economic interest and against those 'others' who are taking their jobs, their education, their neighborhoods, and their country.


Some people think that it is social class alone which is the single most important factor that determines how ready a child is to learn when they start kindergarten. According to Kay S. Hymowitz at the Manhattan Institute, she writes that poor white kids score considerably lower in reading and math skills than middle-class white kids. Add race to the mix, and class still remains the Great Divide when it comes to school readiness. The educational achievement gap is now almost two times higher between lower and higher income students than it is between black and white students. “Since 1970 the class gap has grown by 30 to 40 percent, and has become the most potent predictor of school success,” says Stanford University’s Sean Reardon.


While single parent families are far more common among African-Americans than whites, less educated whites — who also tend to be lower income — are seeing an unprecedented dissolution of their families. Seventy percent of whites without a high school degree were part of an intact nuclear family in 1972; that number plummeted to 36 percent by 2008. (The comparable numbers for blacks were 54 percent and 21 percent.) This bodes ill for both populations, as father absence and family breakdown are strongly associated with poor outcomes for children, especially for boys.


The high demand for adult use of narcotics today also tells a very sad story. Polemics around poverty being tied to race are being diluted by this fact and the situation is very dire for this underclass as well as the societal impact this will have over the next 50 years. The scope of the problem is expanding to very large proportions and it cuts across racial lines. We may indeed be moving toward equality between ethnic groups in this country, but not through raising people up, but by dropping more people into the cellar, because the majority of Americans regardless of race are falling behind.


 It is very clear that people at a higher socio-economic level can afford more of the comforts of life and can live better and therefore have fewer worries. They also associate with people with similar positive accomplishments. (Went to a dinner party last week where the educational level of the doctors, professors, lawyers and artists around the table averaged around seven years beyond high school.)

          The research on educational gap shows that the income gap is increasingly widening in last decades and the bigger income gap is related to bigger educational achievement gap. Ask any teacher who teaches in an elementary school with significant economic diversity and they will tell you that the children of wealthier families come to school not only better prepared; but also with higher IQs. Once a family has acquired a level of higher education, (regardless of race) they make sure they pass that asset on to their offspring. Social skills or the lack thereof presently account for a good part of class disparities. However, a working class background is not always the reason for poorer reading and math scores.  

Pete Seeger Tribute

I first met Pete Seeger when I moved to Beacon, NY in 1999. On the first Friday of every month he held a meeting at his Sloop Club in Beacon. The Sloop Club was an offshoot of the Clearwater, which Pete had formed to clean up the pollution in the Hudson River. I made up my mind to meet Pete, and within a year I was the treasurer of the Sloop Club and even lived with my family in Pete’s original small house right next to his home at the top of a private mountain.

I enjoyed accompanying him on the train, or driving him to visits to his doctor in Manhattan or to visit friends. It was amazing to see the crowds of people that gravitated to him in Grand Central Station, or walking down the street wherever we went.

Pete was so humble and kind to everyone he met, inviting some of us to Thanksgiving Dinner with his family. Mickey and I spent weekends with Pete and Toshie and their daughter Tinya. The guest room was on the top floor of the barn that Pete had built himself. It was crowded with boxes of letters, instruments, awards and photographs which were eventually heading to the Smithsonian. There were instructions written on the walls of the bathroom in magic marker on how to flush the toilet and turn on the shower. Mickey was horrified when Pete showed us to the small room, and then expected us to sit down and sing with him. He introduced us to a new song, “God’s counting on You”, and the three of us sang the 8 verses together for the next hour. 

It is still difficult to comprehend that Pete and Toshie are no longer physically with us. Their partnership, their vision for a just and clean planet, and his music and her drive, affected the world for the better, and we will never forget them.

Read More Columns by Offie Wortham OPEN MIND SEASON 1 in the Archive.