Tuesday, February 02, 2016
Savant's New Words in February 2016
Now I don't bring up these historical matters to display my erudition. I want us all to be aware of the historical background of our struggle and the importance of continuing the struggle. For I was deeply disturbed when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a right wing legal suit against the Voting Rights Act by striking down the enforcement clause.
I was disturbed to see that many of us didn't see the significance of what had happened in 2013--possibly because many of the younger generation of Blacks don't grasp the significance of the Movement in Selma which in 1965 won them rights which they now take for granted...Rights that are now under siege.
So we are now face with the danger of renewed disfranchisement, as were our forbears after Reconstruction.
Disfranchisement, deepening poverty, mass incarceration, police terror and a whole new (and old) complex of oppression which Michelle Alexander calls THE NEW JIM CROW---and what do we have on our minds? Silly chatter in AA forum about why you don't want to marry a Black man or a Black woman? Incessant mutual recriminations between African Americans and Africans? Or maybe the stupefying Youtube entertainment involving "twerking" or Sotomayor's loony rants against Black women? Or maybe it's the obsession with the latest fashions, hairstyles and randy sex lives of silly celebrities? Silly chatter of TV talk shows?
What do we have on our minds, black people? Are we WORTHY of the sacrifices made for us by Rosa Parks and Dr. King and thousands of others who put their lives on the line?
Have we even the good sense to exercise and protect the rights which they won for us?
The fight isn't over. We may well lose those voting rights. Police brutality which existed in the 1960s and earlier has continued. And the poverty of millions which King hoped to combat with the Poor Peoples Campaign may even be worse than it was in those days.
Our honeymoon from social responsibility cannot last --at least not if we are going to be free and prosper as a community. It's later than you think. Wake up before it' s late.
Whites who sound like upper middle class whites are rare. And given the ethnic cultural diversities among the American people, whoever cannot discern the difference between popular AA dialects and popular dialects of the white poor are either tone deaf or obtuse. A sure sign of someone who is culturally deprived
So says the Right. But...as pointed out in CONSERVATIVSM AND RACISM, AND WHY IN AMERICA THEY ARE THE SAME, the most obstinate RACISTS, the most vehement and stubborn racists, are almost always right wingers, conservatives and sometimes right wing fascists. As much as weak kneed liberals piss me off, they're not the ones who lynched members of my family in North Caroline. I would defy anyone to prove that the KKK, the Christian Identity churches, white nationalists and militiamen are more racists than the Open Society Institute, NAACP, or more leftist groups like the Democratic Socialists of America, the League of Revolutionaries for a New America, etc. When it comes to racism, the Right gets FIRST PRIZE hands down. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that no blacks got mobbed at gatherings for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. But we recall the mob violence against a black guy at a Donald Trump rally, And it's not "liberal Democrats" imposing new voting restrictions which disproportionately obstruct black and brown voters. (We didn't have in Md. the problems voters had in the Republican controlled state of Florida).
The Republican Party in the time of Lincoln and Reconstruction was the most LEFT of the two parties. That has long ceased to be the case. The Democats, at least in the South, was the most RIGHT WING party. Also, the Republican Party DID NOT lead the Abolitionist Movement. The Abolitionist movement existed BEFORE the Republican Party even came into being. Moreover, Abolitionists like Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison had to get on Lincoln's a_, and that of Republican leadership; to get them to take a firm and principled stand against slavery. So, you need to get your history straight: Whether they call themselves Republicans or Democrats, Quakers or Baptists or whatever, the RIGHT has always been the most racist. Anti-racist struggles have been primarily the work of the left, or at least center-left.
I'm re-visiting a very interesting memoir which you may like by Hans Massaquoi: DESTINED TO WITNESS: GROWING UP BLACK IN NAZI GERMANY.
I've seen this before, and it occurs to me that the critical issue is whether your culture and family prizes education. I recall reading somewhere in W.E.B. Du Bois' THE WORLD AND AFRICA, that the most prosperous trade in old Songhai, or at least Timbuktu, was the commerce in BOOKS. There was a PASSION for learning among our my African ancestors that has been largely forgotten. But then, America also has an old tradition of anti-intellectualism, as studied by one historian in a book called ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM IN AMERICAN LIFE.