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“Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels,” said the British wit Samuel Johnson (1709-84). A proud Tory, Johnson was speaking of us, during the American Revolution. Americans laughed and said Johnson, a worshipper of George III, must be talking about himself.

Racism is the last refuge of losers – and political scoundrels wanting the losers’ votes.

People have a natural and normal desire for some form of distinction. It may be essential to self esteem.

He or she isn’t smarter, harder working, better looking, more athletic, more artistic, more popular, more successful than anyone else, a racist tacitly admits.

It isn’t a lack of talent or virtue that holds them back, racists tell themselves. Some other racial group is holding them down.

Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, the “Black Lives Matter” crowd speak of “race traitors.” There is no such thing, because no one owes allegiance to a race. We are individuals, with our own aspirations, abilities and shortcomings, virtues and vices. We should be judged by the content of our character, not as members of an enormous herd into which we were born.

Blacks are as capable of intellectual achievement and moral behavior as are peoples of every other race. That has to be true for “all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights” also to be true.

Proof is the presence at the apex of the Bell Curve of such as neurosurgeon Ben Carson and economist Thomas Sowell. Marva Collins demonstrated in Chicago that poor black kids from the inner city are as capable of mastering – and appreciating – the classics as are white kids in the suburbs. Jaime Escalante demonstrated essentially the same thing with calculus in the barrios of east LA.

Genetics isn’t the reason why blacks cluster near the base of the Bell Curve. Blacks from the Midwest scored higher on IQ tests taken by draftees in World War I than did whites from much of the South, Mr. Sowell found.

If you say genocide is the most evil thing humans do to each other, I won’t argue. But slavery has been my bugbear ever since I learned of it at age 13.

More whites than blacks have been slaves. (Our word “slave” comes from Slav, the peoples most often enslaved during Roman times.)

For every African transported to America on a slave ship, 10 to upwards of 100 were taken by Arab slave traders.

A frightful 25 percent of Africans on slave ships may have died in transit. The death rate on the Arab slave routes was three times as great.

For all of recorded history –about 10,000 years – slavery was practiced by virtually every society on the face of the earth–in America for less than 250 years. Still, I think it an abomination that slavery was ever practiced where we believe “all men are created equal.”

Which is why I’m immensely proud of the millions of white Americans – far more than who ever owned slaves –who took risks and made sacrifices to free them, and of the messianic zeal that inspired them. For abolitionists, emancipation was a mission from God.

The slaves didn’t free themselves. Black racists not only ignore those who did, they imply that because they were white, Abraham Lincoln et al were part of the problem. This is noxious nonsense, a despicable slander and libel. It infuriates me and should you.

After her Facebook post blaming violence in black communities chiefly on black thugs went viral, black grandmother Peggy Hubbard was denounced as a “race traitor.”

“This is not about race,” she said. “This is about morals. This is about accountability and responsibility. We have to be responsible for the things we do and the things we say.”

White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era is a book written by Shelby Steele, whose father was a black truck driver. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

The political scoundrel who has capitalized most on white guilt and black racism is, of course, Barack Obama, the most racist president in US history.

Egged on by America’s Racial-Divider-in-Chief, the racists and scoundrels of “Black Lives Matter” are now calling for a race war and the indiscriminate killing of whites.

There are good people and bad in all races. Only when the good people, white and black, work together can the cancer of racism be excised from the body politic.

That can start when Americans pay attention to Ben Carson and ignore Barack Obama. As Dr. Carson explains, “We’re called the United States of America not the Divided States of America. We need a commander in chief who understands that and tries to promote our unity and not our divisions.”

Jack Kelly is a former Marine and Green Beret, and was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force during the Reagan Administration. He is the national security writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.