I don’t know about you, but hearing all that talk about race, racism and its deleterious effects (on Black people in particular) last weekend just about drove me nuts. Especially because all the politically and racially fuelled angst and outcome are being pinned on one individual, who some in Black America refer to as “#45.”
Understandably, his arrival on the political global stage, his ascension to what many consider to be the supreme political office in the world, still have people befuddled, scratching their heads, pulling out their hair, tongues wagging, and more…
Many contend and have concluded that he’s truly leading a team of “despicables” – (despicable cadres).
#Me too! I have never been witness to so much contentious, partisan talk—day in day out—about race, racism… in my life. There are times when I just become tired (but never apathetic or complacent) with all the visceral panel discussions and conversations: race, racism, visible minorities and tolerance… Yet I watch… listen… then take a step back and tune out to try and put things into perspective, invariably concluding by hanging my thoughts on that old cliché: “The more times and things change…”
Race… racism… It’s akin to putting that proverbial “foot forward” then when all is said and done coming to the realization that (in the current #45-infused contaminated and polarized socio-political climate) things are stagnant. But then, for those who are primarily impacted, after moments of reflection comes the realization that there’s no room for frustration, complacence, apathy; there’s just too much at stake. So re-adhere to the mission, the struggle and long-term objective.
So leading up to the weekend of August 10 and all that wall-to-wall network television (Sunday morning news magazine) programs, it was a veritable saturation gab fest of issues and discussions on America’s perennial social illness, for whatever it’s worth.
The diagnosis is in: America is sick; some people say it’s a social cancer. Before his departure, an old-timer would often say of those who are afflicted, “Racism is like cancer, you don’t always know that you have it…”
But many contend that America seems unable to have a truly no-holds-barred open conversation to deal with the problem.
I accepted old-timer’s premise, but always dismissed the latter part…
All who espouse racism are conscious of their human ‘failing’; they know they have it, but simply refuse to engage, to purge… Especially because the nation, the political powers-that-be lack the intestinal fortitude to do the right and laudable thing: having an unfiltered national “conversation” that would rear its head whenever another Black male was killed by a white policeman.
(Remember that white policeman, Michael Slager, hunting down a fleeing Walter Scott that day in 2015 down in North Charleston, S.C., shooting him, five bullets in the back?
Talk of racism was rife then; President Obama was still in office. But the national discussion on race never happened.
Several Black males seemingly forgot the Walter Scott incident and have suffered similar fates.
Needless to say there has been no call on #45 to have a national conversation. He’s not into comforting any of the regularly afflicted. That’s not his thing. On the contrary, he once told police to get rougher.
What a political character.
So when that neo-Nazi-white supremacist rally scheduled to take place in front of the White House last fizzled, many breathed a sigh of relief. No repeat of last year’s Charlottesville, Virginia, debacle. No racially charged chants and taunts, no blood spilled, no “Make America Great Again.”
But the war on overt institutionalized, systemic racism in America is not over, is never over. Not with that unyielding, hard-nosed demographic across America who adhere to 45, being nourished, emboldened and empowered by his recurring ideological blatant and subtle pronouncements: “[…] people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
Which, based on public backlash of his detractors made #45 tweet last Sunday that he condemns “all types of racism and acts of violence…”
Perhaps a veiled wrist-slapping to his Unite the Right”, white supremacist cadres.
Nevertheless, that racist quicksand is what it is.
[Aside. I recently watched an episode of satirist Sacha Baron Cohen’s
Who Is America? on Crave TV.
What he does is called “pranking”; I refer to it as the ‘outing’ of America. Cohen’s modus operandi is simple: assume an effective disguise of multiple characters, who take an unadulterated, unfiltered look at America for all that she’s worth.
The episode in question was done in small town America, a place called Kingman, Arizona.
His character in this instance was what one Arizona newspaper describes as a “liberal character, Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello…(who) leads a focus group about plans to replace a local shopping center with a $385 million mosque…the world’s largest outside of the Middle East.
Needless to say the video presentation is hilarious. But from the get-go members of the group are far from impressed; they weren’t having any of it. They talked of terrorists/terrorism and subtle comments about resorting to guns to ensure that no mosque, period! is built in their town.
Another member of the audience said, “I’m racist toward Muslims.”
As far as fellow (Afro-) Americans go, one particular angry male who was spitting bullets throughout the presentation, and I paraphrase, said: we don’t like them in our town either “(…) but we tolerate them…” Needless to say there are none living there.]
If you can, check out Sasha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America? It’s satire, social commentary, at its best and rawest, showing people (much like animals) in their natural element.
According to one newspaper story, “after the televising of the episode some local people commented that (the town) is not as racist as it appears in the episode.”]
Good for them. But I’ve heard such honest, raw, unfiltered sentiments before. For me it’s another symptom of the enabler-in-chief, #45’s, America. Sowing seeds he probably hopes will “Make America…” not just “great, but “white Again.”
For us, it’s all about hundreds of years of (their imposing and our indoctrinating us with that myth of) white supremacy as we’ve come to know it – visually and literally.
The onus is on us, the objective is unchanged: continue the multi-generational European de-cluttering, deprogramming and cleansing process. Coincidentally, I’m in the reading a(nother) book, which is helping me to do just that. The hell with all that socially and racially-imposed “visible minority” and other dehumanizing labeling, identifying and depicting…
Author and scholar Ian Isidore Smart’s recently released book, EMANCIPATION 101 (Original World Press), brings historical context and perspective vis-à-vis our place in the 21st century world.
Here’s an excerpt: The Treaty of Tordesillas.
“[…] Under this Treaty, Pope Alexander V1 arrogated to himself the right to divvy up the newly “discovered” world between Spain and Portugal. This Treaty is the legal foundation on which European domination of the planet is based. Of course, the Catholic Church of the twenty-first century implicitly rejects the white supremacy proclaimed in the Treaty of Tordesillas. However, this repudiation of white supremacy needs to be formally and expressly declared. It should not be left to chance or to be merely inferred…” (p. 30-31).
Smart continues, “[…] By the mid-fifteenth century of the Common Era, Portuguese mariners had begun to link their small but powerful nation with Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and China through aggressive trade activities. The Treaty… converted the entire Western Hemisphere into more than just weaker trading partners but actual possessions of Spain and Portugal. These two nations of Europe were given absolute conqueror status over all the peoples and lands of the Western Hemisphere…the peoples of the entire continent of Africa were brought into this global system not as trading partners but as objects of trade… The peoples of the entire African continent were reduced to the status of chattel…in 1857 C.E., the Supreme Court of the United States vigorously reaffirmed the subhuman status of Africans. In its notorious Dred Scott decision, the white supremacist justices of the Court ruled that Africans were not human, but merely articles of commerce…. They affirmed that Africans “were so far inferior [to white folks] that they had no rights that a white man was bound to respect.”
On 8 November 2016, “We the People” of the United States elected as their president a man who avowed a commitment to white supremacy and the institutionalizing of white nationalism…” (p. 32-33).
This book, among others, is about racial enlightenment… Read it.