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Martians v. Black People: The way to avoid confronting racism.

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In June 2023, a former U.S. intelligence official testified at a congressional hearing that our government discovered and then covered up evidence of aliens on Earth.

The witness, David Grusch, alleged at a House of Representatives hearing that the Pentagon recovered crashed extraterrestrial vehicles and biological remains believed to be of “non-human” origin.

Apparently, the aliens figured out how to travel millions of light years to Earth but couldn’t figure out how to build a spaceship to survive the Earth’s atmosphere.

In our world of Google Maps, where you can see the clear details of a house across the world from a satellite, and smartphones take better pictures than professional cameras could just a decade ago, we still only can muster fuzzy photos of aliens, the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot.

These little flaws in logic aside, I understand why the prospect of interstellar neighbors with brains twice our size fascinates us. But the hearings also reminded me how quickly UFOs get our attention, while real problems like deep-embedded racism here on Earth go begging.

Conveniently, when pressed, Grusch admitted he didn’t have any firsthand knowledge of alien life and was just told the information by people he could not name because it’s classified. They’re trustworthy, he assured us.

A 2019 Gallup poll found that 68 percent of Americans believe the U.S. government knows more about UFOs than it’s sharing with the public. A third of Americans believe that some UFO sightings are extraterrestrial spacecraft visiting Earth.

Congress has held two hearings on UFOs in the last two years alone. Before those, the last time there was a hearing was in 1966 to hear testimony about alleged alien sightings in the middle-of-nowhere Michigan.

For some reason, they’re never in Manhattan, Chicago, or Miami.

Several of my social media connections and others went into a frenzy after the UFO testimony, announcing in one form or another, “It’s about time the government admitted this,” or, “It’s about time they came clean.”

Meanwhile, in a city near you, Black men and women face an Earthly threat.

Record numbers of books are being banned across the U.S. — on topics ranging from civil rights heroine Rosa Parks to the Holocaust — because they offend some groups.

Funny, but none of these folks sought to ban the countless racist books so many kids grew up on.

It’s not just book bans, though.

In 2022, Florida passed legislation to limit discussion in schools about race issues. Not, mind you, to encourage diverse views to be expressed so older students can decide for themselves, but to prohibit certain topics that might make white folks uncomfortable.

Another 16 states passed similar laws banning any discussion in schools about racism embedded in America’s institutions.

Legislative efforts in 19 states are seeking to end diversity training in education.

Most laws didn’t stop there. They also prohibit discussions about conscious and unconscious bias, privilege, discrimination, and oppression.

Another 20 states are considering their own discussion and teaching bans.

Most of these laws start with purported outrage over Critical Race Theory, claiming it unjustly attacks white people, even though most don’t know what CRT is.

Instead of allowing the older high school or college students to learn about this theory, even if alongside differing views, which I welcome, the mere consideration that race may play a major role in our American systems is under attack.

It gets worse from there.

Dozens of states have enacted more restrictive voting laws, which disproportionately impact Black voters.

In 2023, lawmakers in 32 states introduced additional bills to make it harder to vote.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg, and millions of Americans now support turning back racial progress we’ve had over the last 60 years.

Alien beings with tentacles and two fingers are exciting, no doubt. And our minds are capable of thinking about more than one thing.

But the anger and energy spent on headlines about our government allegedly hiding the existence of alien spacecraft or life on Earth versus the sometimes low or zero energy people put into demanding that the same government address racism in health care, environmental policy, policing, and housing is, well, a bit perplexing.

Has it ever dawned on anyone that green beings might leave our planet anyway if they saw how other people of color are treated?

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Jeffrey Kass

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