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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Living Under a Racist

Kareem is saying pretty much what many of us are saying.

Now is the time for resistance.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: What it means to be black during a Trump administration

On hopelessness — and the way to escape it.

 

Nicholas M. Butler, the Nobel Prize-winning American philosopher, once said that optimism is the foundation of courage. Today, African Americans will have to dig pretty deep to find that foundation because there’s not much optimism in sight. Yes, we’re all supposed to come together after an election, let bygones be bygones, and march forward unified as neither Democrats nor Republicans but patriotic Americans celebrating the triumph of the democratic process. But it’s difficult to link arms when the home of the free embraces the leadership of a racist.

Let the other groups denigrated and threatened by Trump speak for themselves. The women, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, the LGBT community and others who now must walk through the streets of their country for the next four years in shame and fear, knowing that their value as human beings has been diminished by their neighbors. I only speak for myself as an African American and I speak with the rage of betrayal.

After numerous police shootings of unarmed blacks every year, national Black Lives Matter protests, and unprecedented expressions of support from pro athletes, black Americans saw a glimmer of hope that white Americans were finally acknowledging the overwhelming evidence of institutional racism that had been glaringly obvious to blacks for many years. But that hope was misplaced. Instead, a majority of white America chose to swallow the blue pill, preferring to, as Morpheus explains in “The Matrix,” “wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.”

Unfortunately, black Americans don’t get to wake up and believe what they want to believe, because they have to face another day of lower pay and higher job discrimination, less educational opportunity and greater health problems. These injustices were easier to endure when there seemed to be a sustained path to improvement that the country supported. But now we have the “What have you got to lose?” non-policy that bulldozes the path to rubble.

The white Americans who made up a vast majority of Trump’s supporters were reacting to much more than the economy (which has been steadily strengthening), or Washington gridlock (which Trump has no specific plan or power to change), or fear of terrorism (which his unconstitutional plan of extreme vetting shows no evidence of combating). What some fear most is the changing shade of skin color of America. As the Latino, Asian and black population rises, the white majority will soon disappear. Between 2000 and 2010, whites dropped from 75.1 percent of the population to 63.7 percent. By 2050, whites will be in the minority at 47 percent. Trump represents the last wisp of the rich white plantation owner holding on to the glories of the past.

His history of racism, from Justice Department lawsuits for housing discrimination to claim that Mexican heritage disqualified a federal judge, has already been well-documented. But his disconnect from black people and black culture was especially evident the weekend before the election, when he complained about the musical performances of Jay Z and Beyoncé at a Hillary Clinton rally. (Never mind that Ted Nugent, who had repeatedly threatened to kill President Obama and Hillary Clinton, was performing at his rally by using profanity and grabbing his crotch.) “Did you hear the other night?” Trump asked his audience. “So many people were insulted, they left. … They hear the worst words, the worst language ever.” What Trump fails to appreciate is that the rawness of the musicians’ language is part of the message. It is the urban-charged patois of anger, frustration and empowerment. Similar to the Trumpites’ chanting “Lock her up!” but with less violence.

How can we hope that this man understands or cares about us? Especially now that white America has rewarded his outrageous racism, misogyny, xenophobia and religious intolerance with a mandate to put those beliefs into policy. For African Americans, America just got a little more threatening, a little more claustrophobic, a lot less hopeful. We feel like disposable extras, the nameless bodies who are never part of the main cast.

What’s important now is to skip the wallowing, finger-pointing, name-calling period and begin an immediate and focused effort on dominating the 2018 midterm elections during which all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of Senate seats will be in play. People of color cannot merely play defense anymore. They must mount a long-term offensive that includes relentlessly challenging every act of institutional racism in the country. African Americans make up only 12.3 percent of the population, so it’s imperative that we form a coalition with other groups that are targeted by Trump, including women, Latinos, immigrants and the LGBT community. We have to ignore the self-loathing collaborators among those groups because they prefer the path that makes them think they will be accepted and prized as equals when, at best, they are merely patsies for Trump’s movement.

In “Formation,” Beyoncé says, “I dream it, I work hard, I grind till I own it.” Donald Trump may not appreciate those words, but those words can inspire all African Americans and others who wish to make America America again. Not hope, but action. Not later, but now.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2016 in Second American Revolution

 

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Rev, Jeremiah Wright – How Obama Lost His Soul

I think this sums up the “problem” with President Obama. His first mistake was to throw Wright under the bus. Then he threw Sherrod under the bus so fast, the whole hot lie about her, which took two days to unravel… Hadn’t even got cold yet.

Coldest place in the world is being a black person in the Obama Administration.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Recalls Obama’s Fall From Grace

Barack Obama’s politically expedient decision to betray and abandon his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, exposed his cowardice and moral bankruptcy. In that moment, playing the part of Judas, he surrendered the last shreds of his integrity. He became nothing more than a pawn of power, or asCornel West says, “a black mascot for Wall Street.” Obama, once the glitter of power fades, will have to grapple with the fact that he was a traitor not only to his pastor, the man who married him and Michelle, who baptized his children and who kept him spiritually and morally grounded, but to himself. Wright retains what is most precious in life and what Obama has squandered—his soul.

The health of a nation is measured by how it treats its prophets. When these prophets are ignored and reviled, when they become figures of ridicule, when they are labeled by the chattering classes and power elite as fools, then there is no check left on moral decay and the degeneration of the state. Wright, who spent 36 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s South Side, since the 2008 presidential campaign has enduredslander and calumny and weathered character assassination, misinterpretation and abuse, and yet he doggedly continues Sunday after Sunday to thunder the word of God from pulpits across the country.

I grew up as a Christian. My father was a pastor. I graduated from a seminary. I can distinguish a Christian pastor from the slick imposters and charlatans, from T.D. Jakes to Joel Osteen. Wright preaches the radical and unsettling message of the Christian Gospel. He calls us to live the moral life. He knows that the measure of our lives as individuals and as a nation is reflected in how we treat our most vulnerable. And he knows on whose side he stands. Obama, who like Judas took his 30 pieces of silver and betrayed someone who loved him, withers into moral insignificance in Wright’s presence. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Giant Negros

 

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