Monthly Archives: July 2007

SEGREGATION NOW, SEGREGATION TOMORROW….SEGREGATION FOREVER

Brown vs. the Board of Education landmark decision in 1954 sought to end segregation in what was created by Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 with the creation of segregation in public schools. Segregation that negated and denied the humanity of black Americans.

Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote for the unanimous Court in Brown:

Today, education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments. Compulsory school attendance laws and the great expenditures for education both demonstrate our recognition of the importance of education to our democratic society. It is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, even service in the armed forces. It is the very foundation of good citizenship. Today it is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training, and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment. In these days, it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity, where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.  “

The following year, 1955, the Court completed its ruling. In this second Brown decision, Brown II, the Warren Court ordered the states’ compliance with Brown I “with all deliberate speed.”  Desegregation of public schools did not occur right away. Formal compliance with the provisions of these two cases was not expedited, and in the South most public schools would not be desegregated until about 1970 under the Nixon administration. Nearly twenty years after Brown, school desegregation would come to the court’s attention again in two cases involving the use of busing to integrate students across school districts: Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1 (1971) and Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717 (1974). Segregationists fought bitterly against the decision and found numerous ways to circumvent the law, by putting their children into private schools, or taking their children out of schools altogether and home-schooling them at home.

With the Brown decision, many black Americans thought that finally we can truly start to becoming full Americans citizens.

 But as the years rolled by, many forces have chipped away at the Brown decision. And many people foolishly thought that what was wrought on paper would also follow in people’s hearts. But, to believe that a law on a piece of paper can change 400 years of people’s belief in a racist supremacist way of life to go the way of the dinosaur, was sheer folly. White-run America still does not want to see black America have an abundant life in this country, which is why 54 years after Brown v. Board, schools are still OVERWHELMINGLY all black, and all white.

William Rehnquist wrote a memo titled “A Random Thought on the Segregation Cases” when he was a law clerk for Justice Robert H. Jackson in 1952, during early deliberations that led to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. In his memo, Rehnquist argued: “I realize that it is an unpopular and unhumanitarian position, for which I have been excoriated by ‘liberal’ colleagues but I think Plessy v. Ferguson was right and should be reaffirmed.” Rehnquist continued, “To the argument…that a majority may not deprive a minority of its constitutional right, the answer must be made that while this is sound in theory, in the long run it is the majority who will determine what the constitutional rights of the minorities are.” Rehnquist also argued for Plessy with other law clerks. However, during his 1971 confirmation hearings, Rehnquist said, “I believe that the memorandum was prepared by me as a statement of Justice Jackson’s tentative views for his own use.” Justice Jackson had initially planned to join a dissent in Brown. Later, at his 1986 hearings for the slot of Chief Justice, Rehnquist put further distance between himself and the 1952 memo: “The bald statement that Plessy was right and should be reaffirmed, was not an accurate reflection of my own views at the time.” In any event, while serving on the Supreme Court, Rehnquist made no effort to reverse or undermine the Brown decision, and frequently relied upon it as precedent.

Some aspects of the Brown decision are still debated. Notably, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, himself a black American, wrote in Missouri v. Jenkins (1995) that at the very least, Brown I has been misunderstood by the courts.

Brown I did not say that “racially isolated” schools were inherently inferior; the harm that it identified was tied purely to de jure segregation, not de facto segregation. Indeed, Brown I itself did not need to rely upon any psychological or social-science research in order to announce the simple, yet fundamental truth that the Government cannot discriminate among its citizens on the basis of race….
Segregation was not unconstitutional because it might have caused psychological feelings of inferiority. Public school systems that separated blacks and provided them with superior educational resources making blacks “feel” superior to whites sent to lesser schools – would violate the Fourteenth Amendment, whether or not the white students felt stigmatized, just as do school systems in which the positions of the races are reversed. Psychological injury or benefit is irrelevant….
Given that desegregation has not produced the predicted leaps forward in black educational achievement, there is no reason to think that black students cannot learn as well when surrounded by members of their own race as when they are in an integrated environment. (…) Because of their “distinctive histories and traditions,” black schools can function as the center and symbol of black communities, and provide examples of independent black leadership, success, and achievement.

Some Constitutional originalists, notably Raoul Berger in his influential 1977 book “Government by Judiciary,” make the case that Brown cannot be defended by reference to the original understanding of the 14th Amendment. They support this reading of the 14th amendment by noting that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 did not ban segregated schools. Other originalists, including Michael McConnell (a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit) in his article “Originalism and the Desegregation Decisions,” argue that the Radical Reconstructionists who spearheaded the 14th Amendment were in favor of desegregated southern schools.

The case had also attracted some criticism from more liberal authors, including some who say that Chief Justice Warren’s reliance on psychological criteria to find a harm against segregated blacks was unnecessary. For example, Drew S. Days has written: “we have developed criteria for evaluating the constitutionality of racial classifications that do not depend upon findings of psychic harm or social science evidence. They are based rather on the principle that ‘distinctions between citizens solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality,’ Hirabayashi v. United States, 320 U.S. 81 (1943)….”

In his book “The Tempting of America” (page 82), Robert Bork endorsed the Brown decision as follows:

By 1954, when Brown came up for decision, it had been apparent for some time that segregation rarely if ever produced equality. Quite aside from any question of psychology, the physical facilities provided for blacks were not as good as those provided for whites. That had been demonstrated in a long series of cases . . . The Court’s realistic choice, therefore, was either to abandon the quest for equality by allowing segregation or to forbid segregation in order to achieve equality. There was no third choice. Either choice would violate one aspect of the original understanding, but there was no possibility of avoiding that. Since equality and segregation were mutually inconsistent, though the ratifiers did not understand that, both could not be honored. When that is seen, it is obvious the Court must choose equality and prohibit state-imposed segregation. The purpose that brought the fourteenth amendment into being was equality before the law, and equality, not separation, was written into the law.

Public officials in the United States today were nearly unanimous in lauding the ruling. In May 2004, the fiftieth anniversary of the ruling, President George W. Bush spoke at the opening of the “Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site”, calling Brown “a decision that changed America for the better, and forever.” Most Senators and Representatives issued press releases hailing the ruling.

The justices were on opposite sides of the Supreme Court decision, who showed where they stood on how segregation had denigrated and harmed not just black America, but, all of America. Their votes on the highest court in the land told Americans how the court felt about school’s initiatives and how those schools tackled with the issue of race in schools from K-12 grades.

From Chief Justice John Roberts:

“Before Brown, schoolchildren were told where they could and could not go to school based on the color of their skin.The school districts in these cases (Seattle and Kentucky) have not carried the heavy burden of demonstrating that we should allow this once again—-even for very different reasons. For schools that never segregated on the basis of race, such as Seattle, or that have removed the vestiges of past segregation, such as Jefferson County, the way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis. . .is to stop assigning studentson a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Roberts was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Jr. Kennedy proved the key swing vote in striking down the Louisville and Seattle plans.

The 70-year-old justice stated, “This nation has a moral and ethical obligation to fulfill its historic commitment to creating an integrated society that ensures equal opportunity for all its children.

“A compelling interest exists in avoiding racial isolation, an interest that a school district, in its discretion and expertise, may choose to pursue. The decision today should not prevent school districts from continuing the important work of bringing together students of different racial, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, stated Kennedy in a separate opinion. “Those entrusted with directing our public schools can bring to bear the creativity of experts, parents, administrators, and other concerned citizens to find  a way to achieve the compelling interests they face without resorting to widespread government allocation of benefits and burdens on the basis of racial classifications.”

Justice Clarence Thomas took a harder stance against the choice plans:

“Simply putting students together under the same roof does not necessarily mean that the students will learn together or even interact,” he said. “Furthermore, it is unclear whether increased interracial contact improves racial attitudes and relations.”

Justice John Paul Stevens, in dissent, stated the majority of the court:

“reverses course and reaches the wrong conclusion. In doing so, it distorts precedent, it misapplies the relevant constitutional principles, it announces legal rules that will obstruct efforts by state and local governments to deal effectively with the growing resegregation of public schools, it threatens to substitute for present calm a disruptive round of race-related litigation.”

Stevens was joined by Justices David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Justice Breyer vehemently argued that the school programs were well within the guidelines of earlier court rulings since Brown. He cited a 1971 case:

“School authorities are traditionally charged with broad power to formulate and implement educational policy and might well conclude, for example, that in order to prepare students to live in a pluralisitc society each school should have a prescribed ratio of Negro and white students reflecting the proportion for the district as a whole. To do this as an educational policy is within the broad discretionary powers of school authorities,” he quoted from Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.

In his dissent, Breyer was firm and pointed, and his agitation was clear. He said his dissent was “twice as long as any I’ve written before.” He punctuated his words with disappointment with the majority opinion. A liberal member of the court,  his emotions surfaced during normally placid readings of the court’s opinions.

He told the hushed courtroom three times that the majority was wrong.

“So few,” Breyer said, “have so quickly changed so much.” He ended his dissent, saying that “this is a decision that the court and the nation will come to regret.

Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas, are the conservatives on the court.

Stevens, Bader-Ginsburg, Souter and Breyer are the liberals of the court.

Kennedy was hoped to emerge as the court’s new swing voter (retired justice Sandra Day O’Conner was the swing voter). But, he did not. He joined the other four conservatives, even while expressing reservations on the court’s decision.

Both the Kentucky and Seattle lawsuits were filed by the parents of white students who complained that their children weren’t allowed to attend the schools of their choice. In Seattle, Kathleen Brose claims her daughter, Elisabeth, was separated from her friends in 2000 when she was denied her choice of a high school because she was white. In Jefferson County, Kentucky, the district used what they called a “tiebreaker” system by using race to determine where a student should be assigned.

The Bush administration supported the parents who brought suits against the choice plans.

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children. And the U.S. Supreme Court gave its message loud and clear.

Segregation still rules the land, and always will rule the land as  long as white-run America continues to hate, villify and disparage her black citizens.

And no where is that seen so blatantly than in the recent Supreme Court decision on race-based student initiatives that some schools in Seattle and Kentucky were using to reach racial parity in their schools. That they were trying to create diversity for all students in their districts, even if it meant using race-based directives, even if their aim was to live up to Brown and allow students a chance at a better education, Seattle and Kentucky were trying to right generations and decades of racist wrongs by allowing race to usher non-white students into predominantly white schools to enable young non-white students to achieve a better education they had a right to as US. citizens.

But, the U.S. Supreme Court saw fit to insult and malign the reason behind Brown. That the Supreme Court felt that turning back what little gains Brown obtained, and that the Supreme Court perverted the Brown decision in using it to gut Seattle and Kentucky’s education diversity efforts, was sick and pathetic in the most hateful way.

(Links:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/06/28/scotus.race/index.html

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=US&navby=case&vol=000&invol=05-908

The last link gives verbatim the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Seattle and Kentucky schools.)

America is imprisoning generations of future children with inadequate educations, and amputating them off at the legs is what the U.S Supreme Court did with its recent decision. Many nations, developed and undeveloped, care more for their children than America does. Many nations may not have top notch high quality schools and universities, but, they do try to educate their children as best they can. Sadly, the same cannot be said for America.

Little by little, America is pulling the Iron Curtain down over many of her citizens. America is wantonly wasting and discarding her human resources in the form of squandered educations of her littlest citizens. The shame of not giving a high quality education to all of her children is an injustice. America is more than willing to let the most productive years of a child’s life go to waste, the opportunities denied, the talents crushed. These young people denied a good education will be the future citizens of tomorrow. That America so hatefully denies them a chance to get the best education, shows how willingly America wants to slit her own throat.

The Berlin Wall that separated East Berlin from West Berlin in Germany was torn down in 1989. And the irony is that the Wall of a Communist country was torn down and lives on only in memory, yet, America still choses not to knock down the many barriers to racial equality—barriers such as residential segregation, economic disparity,  sub-standard unequal education, social isolation. America persists in erecting “Berlin Walls” all across America, especially where the subject of education is concerned:

-Hopwood Case of Texas

-Bakke Case of California

-Michigan Affirmative Action vote of November 2006

-The recent Supreme Court Case against race-based student diversity in the classrooms

Minorities have a right to all the benefits of living in a supposedly “civilized” society. This country feels that  it has the right to use at will the services, minds, bodies of all its citizens all the while denying many of them the right to a decent good education. Well, so too do the citizens of this country have a right to give their children the best education they can. America has held back many of her citizens from the rights to a life of quality, and she still persists in believing that this hateful mistreatment of many of her citizens is in her best interests. If anything, this cruel behaviour weakens, and crumbles America from within.

If this country can go halfway around the world to shoot democracy into the hearts of the Iraqis, if this country can run all over the globe trumpeting the freedoms and progress of peoples in other countries to have a better life, then it can do the same for its own citizens.

America still loves her worship of exclusion. America still loves her worship of whiteness, which she equates with HUMANESS, all the while hating blackness, which she equates with SUBHUMAN in her eyes.

America still loves SEGREGATION and all the nasty, vicious little perks that go with it. America may not practice de jure segregation, but, she still practices de facto segregation. And she is more than happy to work 24/7 to keep the heat on her black citizens to make sure that they never rise up any higher than she is willing to let them with her racist coporate America, racist educational disparities, racist residential segregation.

As long as America continues her worshipful practice of white hypersegregation, as long as her practice of white habitus continues to minimize, exclude, marginalize and SEGREGATE her black citizens, she will sow a seed of a bitter harvest. As long as America otherizes her black citizens, treats them as a big amorphous blob of “them”, “theys”, “those people”, as long as she continues to spit in the eyes of interaction, interdependence, and closeness between her black and white citizens, she will continue to instill discord and rancor between black and white.

Give me the child at seven, and I will give you the woman.

As long as little white children grow up in all-white, segregated neighborhoods away from getting to know and attend school with their fellow black citizens in a mixed-race school, those little white children will grow up with a stunted, distorted outlook on what a black human being is.  By the time a child has entered secondary school (junior and senior high) and they have lived all their lives around white people, white values, white institutions, they will enter high school and college with cemented stereotypical notions already in their minds against black Americans.  They will have learned a number of stereotypes, myths and lies about non-white people, and bypassed the development of skills necessary to navigate multi-cultural situations needed to function as Americans in a changing society, in a changing world. To expect any different is insane. There will be practically no change in the white child’s perceptions of black people by the time they reach college. The die will have been cast in childhood. You cannot expect a person to attend work with a black person, then go home to an all-white neighborhood and cut off further interaction between black people and not face the consequences. Nothing but a segregated mind-set will occur from living in an all-white environment that practices segregation instead of aggregation.

The world will not tolerate waiting for America to play catch-up in how she holds back many of her citizens. The rest of the world is not obligated to wait for America to do right by all of her citizens. The rest of the world will run circles around, and run over America, if she continues to debase and denigrate her citizens just because of the color of her skin.  Her loss, the rest of the world’s gain. If she is to be a leader in a democracy and a leader in fair rights, then she should live by those ideals that she so stridently screams to all the world. Stop tearing down and hindering her citizens who happen not to be white because they want to better themselves. White America has no right to remain greedy and selfish, with a “Me, myself, and I”, mentality. White America needs to let go of her, “I got mine, now you get yours (even though I’m not about to let you get much of anything)”, mentality.

White people are the biggest practioners of self-segregation. And their all-white/predominantly white neighborhoods attest to that fact.

White habitus conditions their views, cognitions and even sense of beauty, fostering a racial solidarity of self-segregation against all that is black, creating antagonistic antipathy towards their fellow black citizens. Whites experience high levels of racial segregation/isolation while growing up away from many black people. This isolation continues in the workplace, even when black people are present on the job. This creates an aversion to black people, a “negrophobia” if you will, that even flows over into intimate relationships, which no matter how much white people espouse so-called color-blindness, the whites are not very likely to engage in interracial unions with black people.

But, then again what can you expect?

White peoples lack of true empathy towards their fellow black citizens, in social, workplace and school situations, and especially in their lack of empathy or interest in interracial marriage shows plainly that you cannot love or like a people you do not see on a daily continual basis. People you do not intereact with from the elementary/junior high/senior schools on up, from the living in an all-white neighborhood, from working in an all-white environment, you cannot come to see as human.

People learn to create friendships and love of other people when people share activities, proximity, familiarity, and even status. White people living away from non-whites  cripple themselves in their extreme racial isolation. White people can change this but as long as they continue to exclude all “Others” from them, most especially black citizens, whites, despite the civil rights revolution, will continue to cultivate a fundamentally segregated life that will have attitudinal, emotional and political implications.

America can no longer afford to waste her human resources any more. She cannot continue to allow many of her citizens to go down the drain. She can no longer be dismissive of her citizens. She can no longer write off with callous disregard her people who are darker than blue.

Wasted potential. Wasted chances. Wasted lives.

The minds of people are locked in early in their lives by the environment that creates and shapes them. In the world of a white child, anything or anyone coming from outside that terrain is alien. Black Americans have been historically treated as third class citizens, foreigners, aliens, strangers in their own country, because the “badge of disgrace”has been accorded to the blackness of their skin color.  Many studies, books, and periodicals have been written, especially those books written by the famous bell hooks, that being black is an aberration, and that to love, champion, embrace and protect blackness is a sin and is therefore, unforgivable, as the love of blackness is a brave conscientious break from the established love and worship of all things white.

Nothing will ever change the prejudices and lies and myths of stereotypes until America learns to understand that skin tone is just that—skin tone–and that skin tone alone does not negate the fact that black Americans are part of the human race.

Nothing separates us–black and white– but, manmade barriers, manmade obstacles, manmade circumstances, manmade hate.

The saddest irony is that a Communist country half a world away was able to tear down its most infamous barrier. The irony is that the Berlin Wall has been removed and only a lingering memory of a time of division and difference lives on, but, America still choses to cling to her hates and still choses not to knock down her own barriers and impediments to racial inclusion, racial solidarity , racial equality.

America continues to build Iron Curtains against her black citizens.

And she will reap the whirlwind of destruction, for in destroying her black citizens she is also destroying herself.

And that is the message the U.S Supreme Court sent to all of America.

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Online Dating

Well, I knew it was bound to happen.

But, an “R” rating?

At the very least I was expecting an “NC-17” rating.

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WHAT IS THE 4TH OF JULY TO ME?

On July 4, 2007, America will celebrate her 231st anniversary of independence. That white-run America held black slaves in bondage while stridently championing freedom for themselves, showed forth the blatant hypocrisy of this country and the principles on which it was founded.

Even today, in 2007, racial inequalities still persist in this country, the “home of the brave, the land of the free”.

RESIDENTIAL SEGREGATION

Black Americans overwhelmingly are the most segregated of all races and ethnic groups in America.

Residential segregation is something that many people do not give serious thought. For it is in the segregation of neighborhoods where educational, economic and social disparity is seen.

Keep blacks out of the predominently white neighborhoods (ergo, excellent schools, best jobs, best networking/social contacts) and you have in effect curtailed black people obtaining a better life.

Since elementary schools are the starting point (”Give me the child at 7, and I will give you the woman”), it is crucial that ANY American child regardless of race or ethnicity get a decent headstart on the road to a full-filling life.

But, as long as there is residential segregation, there will be stunted lives. Yes, many black people live in predominently black neighborhoods. Some because for them it is less stressful than living in a neighborhood where you are not wanted, epscially if you are the only black family in that neighborhood. To many white people, a lone black family in the predominantly white neighborhood (1%) is considered a “multi-racial” neighborhood; on the other hand, to many black people 25% black families in a predominently white neighborhood of 100 white families is considered a multi-racial neighborhood. Obviously blacks and whites see the “multi-racial neighborhood concept” in extremely differing images. But, many black people live in their segregated neighborhoods because of circumstances. Because of inadequate education, poor jobs skills, lack of clout at the city, county and state political levels, they face many disparate forms of inequality in their lives. They live with lack of decent grocery stores that have available fresh vegetables/produce. They live in neighborhoods that have no businesses for employment. They live in neighborhoods where they have to travel long distances just to get from their neighborhood to buy the basic necessities for them and their children. They try to get something resembling an education from separate, but, still unequal public school educations.

Crumbling inner city infrastructures where the most basic of amenities are lacking, where sewage and water requirements are almost at third world level, where the need for doctors and other allied medical personnel are few and far between, where neighborhoods suffer from the highest incidents of crime, many urban communities have been cut off from receiving municipal allocations of government funding that should be directed into their neighborhoods, but, many do not see any of this funding because so many cities do not use the funds soon enough, or do not allocate much needed funds to the urban neighborhoods to pave streets, repair sewage/wastewater problems, demolish abandoned buildings, provide neighborhood community help outreach programs, provide better and improved mass transit that truly benefits the people who need and use the service the most.

As long as America sees fit to shove off to the side a major portion of her population, she will weaken herself.

RELIGIOUS SEGREGATION

No where is racial segregation more pronounced than in so many “Christian” churches than on  a Sunday at high noon. For a country that professes to be so Christian and filled with brotherly love of their fellow human beings,  giving lip service to following Jesus’s (God’s) commands, it is sorely lacking in showing true Christian brotherly love towards those who have a darker skin than them. Where more white Christians attend churches that are overwhelmingly sparse on non-white congregants. Where is the love of their fellow woman and man in their churches? Where is the outreach in reaching across the racial divide of exclusion in working with their fellow Christians on issues that affect all US citizens? Where are the “white churches” that seek out solidarity with the “black churches” on the plague of teen drug usage? Teen pregnancy? Teen hopelessness and despair? Gang violence in inner city neighborhoods? The poor? The homeless? The gutting of affirmative action programs for minorities?

 ECONOMIC VIOLENCE

Many inner city/urban neighborhoods have no forms of employment because there are no major sources of businesses in their neighborhoods where they can obtain employment. Many companies do not locate factories, department stores, or any type of business for the denizens living in most major urban neighborhoods. As a result of that, most people living in urban neighborhoods have to leave their environment to find employment.

EDUCATIONAL VIOLENCE

Substandard, separate and unequal schools still proliferate the US public school system. Inner city schools lack highly trained teachers, have  many school boards that do not care for the children’s education, concentrating more on school district state tests instead of teaching children educations that will carry them through life:  teachings that instill integrity, knowledge, comprehension and retaining of that knowledge, the love of learning, and especially, the love of reading. Reading opens up  a whole new world for the child. The child who learns at an early age to love reading is a child who will never lose her or his desire for knowledge. Critical thinking is not taught in many public schools. Children are not given the skills to think for themselves and take on the global world they will grow up and live in. Undermining America’s children with inadequate educations hobbles them, and does not prepare them to live in a high-tech, fast-moving world. Saddling children with useless educations that do not teach children how to be resourceful, how to live in the world with various cultures and ethnicities who will have a differing of opinion with them on issues that will affect us all:  global warming, fuel/energy sources depletion, the condition of women and children in the world, the state of crime punishment in this country. America is not preparing her children for a world that will show them no mercy if those children are not prepared for it.

A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE THAT IS AMERICAN AS CHERRY PIE

America has most of all done the most cruelest atrocities to her black citizens and has never done any atonement for her acts of barbarity. There are things that white America has done to black people for over 400 years for which we black people have NEVER received justice, except only very recently, in a few Civil Rights cases that have been re-opened, and that has been stingily and grudgingly given. But, never justice for the following crimes against black humanity:

The horror of slavery.

The disenfranchisement of the Black Codes.

The hounding from town to  town by the Black Laws of the Old Northwest.

The humiliation and degradation of segregation.

The scourge of suffering from atrocities committed if caught out after dark in Sundown Towns.

Pogroms, restrictive covenants, ethnic cleansing on an appallingly, massively sickening scale.

Am I angry because of this?

Yes.

Do I get angry because there are black men, women and children who will never receive justice in this country? Black citizens whose lives were taken from them during Jim Crow segregation; black people whose murderers, pedophiles and rapists STILL walk the Earth free, living and breathing, while the people whose lives they have destroyed lay cold in the Earth?

Yes.

Do I feel that the black people who lived and suffered under Jim Crow segregation, black people like my parents, my uncles, my aunts, have a right to receive justice while they are still alive? (My Mother still lives, but my Father is deceased.)

Yes.

“Normal” behaviour of white people towards black people for over 400 years was rape, burn, torture, enslave, lynch, and destroy.

Any behaviour that constituted “kind and humane” from white people was rare in the world of black people.

To us, racist acts of barbarism was “normal” because to white people it was normal:

In other words, the face that was shown to black people was a face of where the white man made his worst his best:

Destroy black citizens in every way you can, but, never, ever, go out of your way to treat them the way God would want you to. (Except in the rare cases when SOME white people would say no to this brutish way of mistreating their fellow human beings, and would go against the racist practices that occurred around them.)

Even in 2007 America, white America’s behaviour towards black people is still “normal”:

-racial profiling
-followed around the store even when you have money to buy the merchandise
-stopped because you are driving through a white neighborhood
-stopped because you are driving through a white town
-shot to death (whether a black woman, or black man) while in your car suffering from a seizure
-residential segregation where blacks and whites still live Jim Crow lives
-railing against black students entering predominantly white colleges to get a higher education
-told that you are “less than” when you know that you are MORE than qualified and capable of doing the job
-having people insult you by commenting, “Wow, you are so articulate and smart for a black person”, as if there are no intelligent black people living in this world
-being mistreated, disrespected by the police; assumed to be a criminal by the police; assumed to be a prostitute by white men no matter how modestly dressed you are, whether entering a hotel to get a room while traveling, or waiting in the hotel lobby for your friends to come down from their room; rights violated on a consistent basis; having the police treat you more violently because you are black than the way they would treat a white person; if a black woman suffers from the crime of rape, and she goes to file charges, having your credibility discounted by the police because black women are looked upon as “un-rapeable”, a belief that is a holdover from the vicious rapes that white men committed against black women during slavery, Reconstruction and segregation all the way up to the 1970s; having the courts show disregard for a black victim, and more regard for a white victim in the sentencing of the perpetrators; having more of a chance to face police brutality and harrassment more than a white person
-having the school district show callous disregard towards your neighborhood in still having to struggle with substandard, unequal education; lacking decent buildings which are overcrowded, have outdated equipment—if they have any equipment at all—, not enough textbooks for the students, lack library resources, are technologically behind, pay the teaching and adminstrative staff less. These “savage inequalities” that the school district allows and condones (even though black parents pay taxes just like their white counterparts), leads to lower reading acheivement, limited computer skills, and lower levels of learning overall.
-black people still encounter a higher cost due to residential segregation: we are more likely to pay more for housing in a limited market, more likely to have lower quality housing, and more likely to live in areas where employment is difficult to find; black people still are discriminated against in their efforts to rent or buy housing, therefore, we are more likely to be quoted higher rents, offered worser living conditions, or steered to specific neighborhoods.

In housing, race still matters.

Blackface parties, minstrel shows, degrading student videos on the internet showing the most vile racist hatred towards their fellow black students at predominantly white universities, all because black students want the same thing that white students want: a better education, a better career, a better life.

Having the news media constantly bombard the broadcasts with “drugs were probably involved” whenever a black person is shot dead, no matter the black person’s gender, occupation, OR age; having the news media use words to describe black defendants as “brutal”, “savage”, “violent” but, white defendants are “he was someone we never thought would do this”; black people are more likely to be shown in police restraints than whites.

Being more likely to be portrayed as threats to social order, when there is no evidence that black people have sold sensitive classifed documents to foreign governments; there is no evidence of black people selling jobs overseas; there is no evidence of black people taking much needed industries (i.e., steel, automotive, textile mills, manufacturing plants, etc.) out of the cities and relocating them overseas.

And, contrary to what many people may want to believe, black people are STILL more likely to suffer from hate crimes than ANY other race or ethnic group in America, no matter how many lies people try to tell themselves.

White America’s long history of barbarism, brutality, and heinous atrocities against her black citizens are uncountable.

And for so long, white America considered treating her black citizen’s lives as so much cheapness to be callously disregarded and destroyed, as “normal.”

For 400 years this was considered sane in white America.

For 400 years this was considered business as usual in white America.

For 400 years this was considered “normal” in white America’s sadistic mistreatment of her black citizens.

And in the new millenium, in the year 2007, it is still business as usual.

It is still normal. That black, no matter how educated, no matter how law-abiding, no matter how patriotic, is still considered as less than.

This normal behaviour that white America has shown towards black America is deeply ingrained into America.

Normal.

Much of what white America has shown black America was, and is still considered “normal”.

Black America has known more perversion, sadism, viciousness, cruelties, and monstrous abominations from white America than they have known respect, humane treatment and equal regard.

There are some white people in America who are sick of America’s racist hypocrisy towards her black citizens.

But, as it still stands in 2007 America, there are still some white people who insist on holding on to the “normal” outlook towards their fellow black citizens.

There are still some white people who insist on only wanting to see black people as less than.

As long as America continues her normal approach and mistreatment of her black citizens as she is still doing, she will continue to still portray that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And that is what America means to me.  A land of profuse hypocrisies, a land of dreams deferred, dreams crushed, dreams obliterated.

The Fourth of July will be celebrated tomorrow.

What is the Fourth of July to me?

It is still not a holiday I can truly celebrate without severe reservation. It is still not a holiday I embrace with enthusiasm. It is still a holiday that at times can ring hollow to me. When America stills marginalizes her black citizens into third class citizenship status, and still refuses to practice complete inclusion with a group of citizens who loved her more than she has loved them back, I still cannot truly sing my “Country ’tis of thee, Sweet land of Liberty” without  remembering that for me and my people true liberty, equality and egalitarianism is still out of reach for so many black Americans.

This is my country no matter what many in it may think otherwise.

It is still mine, and I will celebrate all the joys and triumphs and remember all the sorrows and travails that my people have overcome, and are still overcoming, as I go about my daily routine tomorrow. I will celebrate for all the black women and men who came before me who suffered and survived so that I would have a life more abundantly than they could ever have imagined.

I will celebrate their victory over a brutal system that sought to destroy them both in body, mind and spirit.

I will celebrate by continuing to be a living testament to them by never forgetting their memory, never disgracing and discarding their history, never being anything less than the very best I can be.

I owe them that.

A life more than well-lived. A life of which THEY would be proud. That all they suffered through was not in vain.

Tomorrow I celebrate the love, the hope, the fortitude, the strength, the resolve of the survivors of slavery and segregation.

Without them, without their hanging on by that shining thread of hope, I would not be here to sing praises to them.

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