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Black America…And White America’s Rules

Utterly ignorant, or intentionally unaware of the history of America, a common conservative line is that black folks just need to “get in line” with that hard work and education to “fit in”…

Well…What exactly happened in the “Black Wall Street” of Tulsa Oklahoma in 1920?

The black soldiers who came home from WWI and WWII?

Tulsa “race riot” of 1921

Rick C. Wade makes an interesting point here..

Black America has been playing by white America’s rules. If we want reconciliation, it’s time white America shared the burden.

Ever since the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, I and a good many other African Americans have been searching deep within the well of our faith and struggling hard to do what the relatives of the nine slain churchgoers did so painfully, charitably and meaningfully—forgive accused killer Dylann Roof.

Roof’s racist manifesto, asserting, “I have no choice,” because of what he believed black people were doing to white people, is irrational, angers me to no end and tests the limits of my ability to find that forgiveness. But while some say this tragedy is “beyond forgiving,” I believe that I — and we —ultimately must.

I’m not there yet, though. To get there, I — and we — will have to remove what poet Paul Laurence Dunbar once described as our collective mask:

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes —

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

For black Americans, our mask is our unspoken anger, disguising our deep disappointment, and reining in our resentment over a still-evolving history of racial insult and injury — all in the name of coping and getting along with the larger white community. We’ve bottled up our anger and turned our pain inward in the form of self-hate and defeatism. In some cases, we’ve turned our anger on each other.

For too many white Americans, their mask is the willingness to overlook the racial disparities that still persist in our society, and the unwillingness to grapple with the obstacles facing black Americans: recoiling at the sight of #BlackLivesMatter protests, disregarding legislative attempts to curtail our vote and denying the structural racism and economic disenfranchisement that holds many African Americans back.

Mostly, it’s the failure to ask why, in 2015, there are still people like Roof among us who’ve been taught to believe that black people have done some sort of harm to white people — and the failure to acknowledge that while few white Americans think of themselves as complicit in an unequal system, there’s no satisfactory answer to President Obama’s charge, in his Charlestoneulogy, that “racial bias can infect us even when we don’t realize it, so that we’re guarding against not just racial slurs, but we’re also guarding against the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal.” Those are questions for white Americans to ponder, and search their souls for answers.

I’ve worn the mask my whole life and played by white America’s rules, hoping beyond hope that by doing so, black America could eventually whittle away the seeming indifference to the inequities we face. Today’s generation calls this my generation’s “respectability politics.” And what I’m coming to terms with now is that this approach hasn’t always worked when it comes to breaking down the racial obstacles we face. Despite the racial barriers I’ve had to overcome during my lifetime, I’ve kept my faith, attained a top-flight education, worked hard and succeeded. I’m a Harvard graduate, former government official and now a global businessman. I have a solid upper-middle class life.

As a former seminarian and member of the AME Zion church, the shootings at Mother Emanuel opened old emotional wounds I thought had healed. Beneath my mask there’s pain and anger deeply rooted in my childhood; growing up poor in rural South Carolina in the late ‘60s, first attending a segregated elementary school, then later going to an integrated middle school and longing for the same social and physical comforts of my white peers.

In middle school, I recall staying after class to work on a service project, and when my white teacher drove me home I had her drop me off in front of a white family’s house a mile away from mine, so she wouldn’t see my small house and poor neighborhood.

Even a simple visit to the doctor was traumatic. A “Coloreds” sign hung at the entrance to the black section of the office; the room was filthy and the chairs were worn. When I ventured to the nice, clean white section to play with another young boy, I was chastised by the receptionist and disciplined by my mother. The dentist’s office was worse — I never sat in the dental chair for care, because I was treated in the “Coloreds” waiting room.

When I ran for my high school’s student council in 1978, I had to run as “Vice President Black” while a white student ran for “Vice President White.”

I watched my father, a forklift operator who never finished school, struggle to maintain his dignity while suffering the daily humiliations of being black in the Deep South. Like many black men of his time, he drank to mask his pain.

These and other experiences make up my racial DNA, and while I and many others with similar experiences have achieved a measure of mainstream success, despite the price of wearing the mask, more of us were stymied. And even as the mask did damage to our very humanity, and we implicitly knew this, we’ve never allowed ourselves to take it off; and we’ve not held the kind of uncontained hate that we see with Roof.

In addition to forgiveness, then, the challenge is turning our faith into action around racial reconciliation. But reconciliation, as all Americans must now surely understand in the wake of the shootings, is a two-way street. White Americans can no longer enjoy the luxury of being unburdened by history while black Americans carry all its weight. Our history is shared; and so must be the burden…More…

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in American Genocide

 

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Dumb…And Dumber. KKK Plans to March In Charleston

At some point, you have to question the basic IQ of some folks.

KKK chapter to hold rally on South Carolina Statehouse grounds

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s Pelham, North Carolina, chapter have reserved the Statehouse Grounds in South Carolina for a rally next month.

James Spears, the Great Titan of the chapter, said the group would be rallying to protest “the Confederate flag being took down for all the wrong reasons.”

It’s part of white people’s culture,” he added.

Brian Gaines, who runs the South Carolina Budget and Control Board, which oversees reservations, confirmed the scheduling in an email to POLITICO Monday. He added that the group submitted the request on June 23 and, because his office allows any group, regardless of ideology, to reserve the grounds on a first-come, first-serve basis, the KKK will be able to hold its rally.

The event is planned for July 18 from 3-5 p.m., just over one month after Dylann Roof allegedly entered a historic church in Charleston and shot to death nine African-Americans during a Bible study meeting. Reports indicate Roof was attempting to incite a race war and had read 34 various materials from white supremacist groups online before plotting his crime.

 

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A Long History of Attacks on the Black Church

This one from Vox News, explaining the history of attacks on the Black Church as a mechanism of suppression…

3 Black Churches burnt in North Carolina, Georgia and S.Carolina in the past 5 days.

In Charlotte, N.C., authorities say a June 24 fire at Briar Creek Baptist Church was the result of arson and is being investigated as a possible hate crime. NBC News reported that more than 75 firefighters were needed to extinguish the three-alarm fire, and an hour passed before the blaze was under control. Two firefighters received medical treatment for heat-related injuries. The church sustained $250,000 in damage, including a collapsed ceiling and significant damage to a space used for a children’s summer camp. The sanctuary was spared, sustaining smoke damage along with the gymnasium.

A June 23 fire at God’s Power Church of Christ, a predominantly Black church in Macon, Ga., has been ruled as arson, although there is no indication it was a hate crime. As was reported in the Macon Telegraph, the front doors of the church were locked and wired shut when authorities arrived, but a side door was unlocked. The Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives was called, as is the case with church fires, and authorities also noted that electronics and other air conditioning equipment had been stolen from the church in two burglaries. A $10,000 reward is available through the Georgia Arson Hotline for information leading to the arrest of an arsonist.

Macon-Bibb County fire Sergeant Ben Glea­ton told the newspaper that while the investigation into Tuesday’s fire at the God’s Power Church of Christ continues, enough evidence had been discovered to rule the blaze had been deliberately set.

The arson ruling came a day after North Carolina authorities said a predominantly black church in Charlotte was purposefully burned, and roughly a week after a white gunman opened fire in an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, killing nine people.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2015 in Black History

 

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