Sen. Barack Hussein Obama made his play yesterday to soothe the ruffled feathers (and agitated conscience) of white America. Never have I seen a politician sell himself so low, as I did with Obama yesterday. For him to be so fearful of what whites think of him, while denigrating the past—-and present history of black citizens, is beyond stomach-turning. That the majority of white Americans refuse to face up to the racist legacy of white supremacy (racial residential segregation, inequities in housing; an unjust judicial system; disparities in wages between whites, blacks, and other POC; America’s imperialistic, jingoistic, colonialistic Manifest Destiny) and their rage and denial that comes up whenever they are called out on their white privilege, never ceases to amaze me. But, for someone like Obama to kowtow to the will of whiteness is sad and sordid.
I never thought the day would come when I would call a black person a Peter Devesny, but, that day has come. Obama has tip-toed around the anger of whites by first denouncing Minister Louis Farrakhan when Farrakhan supported the candidacy of Obama. Obama denounced Rev. Jeremiah Wright yesterday by calling him divisive, because Rev. Wright spoke the truth about America’s original sins of slavery against black Americans, America’s genocide against Native Americans, America’s excessive nihilistic aggressions against every country around the world. (Read Obama’s race speech here.)
Obama ran from telling the truth to white America yesterday. He ran from telling white America the cold, hard facts of its savage history of racial atrocities against the POC who have been wounded and disparaged because of white supremacy, has created and maintained a legacy of racial animosity which still lives and breathes.
That Obama did not even come to his wife’s defense from being attacked by vicious pit bull racist mongers for telling the truth about America not being a country that has inspired pride in her gave me an even better picture of what type of candidate he is as well as what type of president he will be IF he makes it into the White House.
Obama’s speech yesterday was full of kissing up to whites to calm them and put the blame for much of America’s present racial system on the backs of black citizens.
“Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787. “
They escaped tyranny only to come to these shores and create an unjust system of tyranny that would decimate entire nations of native people. A system that stole the land and resources from Native Americans; a system that allowed indentured servitude for white Europeans, but later in a few short years, instituted a monstrous system of slavery based on race. They (free, white, and 21-year-old white males) made a declaration of independence a country built for themselves on the backs and from the blood of Native Americans and Africans.
“On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike. “
No. Rev. Wright’s remarks were not incendiary. He did not set the legacy of bitter divisiveness that exists in present-day America. It is the legacy of white supremacy that created racial divisiveness in America, a chain of unequal realities that started when the first white European set foot in America. That is the truth of America. There can be no denying that.
“But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam. “
A distorted view of America.
So, the legacy of 350 years of slavery suffered by black Americans is a distorted view of America from black citizen’s perspective; so, the destruction by virulent white racists of Reconstruction that black ex-enslaves worked to achieve was just some silly prank, a distortion, by millions of black people; so, 100 years of segregation was a distorted dream that black Americans dreamed up to use against white Americans? So, the legacy of 100 years of segregation has not left America in the racist condition it is in now in 21ST Century America? If anything, white-run America has distorted this country with centuries of lies of its crimes against humanity. If anything, white-run America has created a web of myths to justify its annihilation of millions of non-white people in this country since the beginning of its inception. America operates today under a regime that still racializes its black citizens, marginalizes them, and perpetuates propaganda that devalues black women, men and children on a daily basis.
As for white racism being endemic, the truth is that white racism has been endemic in America for centuries. And it still is endemic. In the so-called founding fathers who wrote the Declaration of Independence, all the while keeping their fellow black human beings as chattel slaves; it is endemic in all the while granting white males carte blanche to run the country into the ground and cripple and nullify the aspirations of women of all races; it is endemic in the condoning of mass slaughter of non-white people from the lynchings, from the infested smallpox blankets; from the ethnic cleansing banishments that ran entire black people from their homes and communities; it is endemic in the racism that looms over America like a shadow that dogs everyone because of the wrongs of white supremacists both past—and present.
As for the conflicts in the Middle East, emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam, the main conflicts that center around strife in the Middle East stems from the illegal nation of Israel which has destroyed thousands of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. Israel has committed many atrocities herself against her Arabic neighbors. But, America is too fearful to call Israel out on her aggressions. No, better to put the blame all on those infidel Islamic hordes who practice a religion that is maligned and vilified.
And this statement:
“But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality. “
His offending sermons about America?
To not tell the truth about America’s racist legacy is offensive. Telling America the truth about herself has never gone over good and easy with this country. America would sooner slaughter the messengers of truth to keep from facing up to her sick and perverted history. Truth is hated and repelled in this country. Truth is scorned and condemned. Telling the truth of America’s brutality against humans—both inside America, and outside America–neither distorts reality, nor simplifies any stereotype, neither does telling the truth about America amplify anything negative about America. When you (America) have done wrong time after time, after time, and you are told to your face that you have been a cruel and despotic nation, fit only to be put in league with Sodom and Gomorrah, becoming incensed and enraged does not make the truth of your abominations go away. Not speaking about the truth of America’s racist past will not make it go away. Not speaking the truth of America’s abominations is to be complicit in a lie.
Yes, America’s sick, sadistic history is a bitter pill to swallow, but, it is past time for America to put that rusty, sharp, jagged little pill into her mouth, swallow it, digest it—and then face up to her past. Acknowledge her wrongs and stop running from them. Running only puts off the inevitable–a country that will continue to go down and spiral out of control because of a racist history of a few lording life or death over millions.
America’s past is not past. She continues to close her eyes hoping and dreaming that if she does not own up to and reconcile herself with her history of slavery, then the lasting vestiges of slavery will just fade away. They will not. The past is a shadow and like all shadows it takes on the form and substance of that which created it, that which it emanates from, that which gave body and weight to it: WHITE SUPREMACY.
“And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.”
So, black Americans are so crippled from anger, that millions of us do not live productive and fulfilling lives? Black Americans do not harness their passion to work on constructive solutions to what ails the black community, as well as what ails the larger American society? No. According to Obama, millions of black Americans wallow in the complicity of anger so much that every black person one meets on the street is some angry, raging black militant who cannot possibly know how to constructively solve problems in their own lives, nor in the lives of other black Americans. Black people have been solving many insurmountable obstacles in our lives often without the benefit of acknowledgment from many whites or anyone else. We have been surviving, as well as thriving, even when white -run America has sought our destruction so much.
As for forging alliances, black citizens have been doing that for centuries, when those we reached out to, those few who took our hands and worked with us faithfully to dismantle the chains of white racism that seek to destroy everyone in this country. Yes, black America’s pain and history should be acknowledged and no longer dismissed nor trivialized. Our pain is real and is no less than anyone else’s pain.
And this is the real, sucker-gut-punch that really stings:
“In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.”
A similar anger exists within segments of the white community? What the hell?
What similar anger can whites have that parallels black people’s anguish, black people’s rage, black people’s despair in a country that has told black people so often that it hates them? What anger could whites have that could compare to black people’s?
Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by race?
But, they have. Their white skin status has shielded them from the evils of slavery and segregation; their white skin has shielded them from police brutality and racial-profiling; their white skin has protected them against 450 years of racist lies, myths and stereotypes that denigrate, belittle, besmirch and sully their image on a daily basis.
Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they are concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch.
So, black people in America have had everything handed to them? Black Americans had freedom handed to them? Black Americans, in over 450 years of existence in this country, have never worked from dirt-poor-scratch, to make a way for themselves time after time when white supremacy attacked and assailed black communities that were founded after slavery? Black Americans never sought education and knowledge immediately after slavery? Black Americans never had their union jobs outsourced and sold overseas? Black Americans never sought civic duty, good neighborliness, law-abiding lives in America? So, black Americans have no history of being people of the working-class? Black people have been in the working-class (free, unpaid-for slave labor and segregated labor) for centuries. White people do not own a monopoly on the economic class known as working-class people. Black people have suffered tremendously when businesses and therefore jobs do not locate in their neighborhoods. Black people are very familiar with the destruction that many businesses have created with their flight from urban neighborhoods in many cities all across America, with the locations of businesses far away from black commuters who drive long distances to get to work, only to return back to their racially segregated communities. Black working-class Americans are very familiar with the message that many businesses send to them: “Your neighborhoods are not worth urban renewal by locating much-needed employment, grocery stores, healthy food co-ops in your neighborhoods. No. Only white neighborhoods are worthy of human consideration and respect for their health and economic welfare. Black neighborhoods are only worthy of having everyone’s garbage and refuse dumped into black neighborhoods, in the form of waste recycling sites, trash collecting dumpsites and hazardous waste collection and storage. Black citizens’ economic and health concerns are not of importance to many millions of Americans.”
So, black Americans have never worked hard all their lives, or built up job history experience in their jobs and careers many times only to see the companies they put so much into through years of constant and loyal work shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor? Black Americans have never been anxious about their futures, and felt their dreams slipping away under the annihilation that wrought mass devastation from the Ken Lays, the Millikens, the Skillings of rapacious corporate America? Black people have never lived though a century of degrading, menial stagnant wages under segregation? Black people have never suffered from the boomerang effects of global competition? Black people have never seen their opportunity come to be seen as a zero sum game, in which someone else’s dreams come true at the expense of black citizens. Black people have for centuries and decades, seen many of their dreams dashed and destroyed in the betterment of millions of so-called white ethnic, who became white at the violent and bloody expense of many black citizens: Italians, Lithuanians, Bulgarians, Poles—-and Irish. Their white skin status was earned at the expense of millions of innocent black lives, as immigrant ethnic whites came to this country and eventually became white:
“So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves have never committed; when they are told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.”
Whites have not overwhelmingly had to bus their children to all-black schools. It has often been a one-way form of busing with many black children bearing the brunt of racist white hatred–in the North, the South, the East and the West. And as for a black person obtaining a good job, it is obvious (except to the most blind and racist of individuals) that there are capable, intelligent, and industrious black Americans. Yes, gasp! such black people do exist.
Not ony are all blacks to be looked upon as completely incompetent, but, all blacks steal all jobs from every white person in America, no matter how qualified ( or better yet, overly qualified) a black job candidate may be. No matter how unqualified a white candidate may be. No. Every job a black American obtained they received through incompetence. Every job in America obviously rightfully belongs to every white American, no matter how less competent the white candidate, no matter what educational skills (or lack thereof) a white candidate may or may not bring to the table.
White Americans do benefit from past injustices as a result of the legacy of racist applications of Jim Crow that reached into all aspects of all American’s lives. There is much disparity in present-day America with the widening chasm in wages ( black women earn 60 cents for every dollar a white man earns) and the wealth gap (whites of various backgrounds have been able to amass stocks, bonds, homes, decent neighborhoods, that millions of black Americans have never been accorded the chance to make) due to America’s racist legacy.
As for the fear of crime:
“when they’re told their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.”
Fear of crime in urban neighborhoods (read: black neighborhoods), harms the residents who live in those urban neighborhoods. Black denizens of high-crime areas suffer the brunt of crime in ways that whites do not. It is not whites who are being destroyed by crime in urban neighborhoods—it is the residents of those urban neighborhoods who lose lives and property to crime. Since millions of blacks and whites live lives of de facto segregation apart from each other, black-on-black crime harms blacks; white-on-white crime harms whites. Whites need to realize that they are more likely to face crime from another white, just as blacks are most likely to face crime at the hands of another black person.
Therefore, there is no logical, rational reason for many whites to have resentment against black people, especially where crime is concerned. Black people’s live are heavily curtailed by both crime and racism, just as black women and other women of color suffer from the double jeopardy of sexist and racist oppression.
Much of what so-called immigrant white ethnic have obtained in America has been at the expense of millions of black Americans, not the other way around.
White supremacy has nearly destroyed America and everyone in it. White supremacy is not the creation of black people and other POC. No. I lay that blame at the feet of white-run America. But, black people and other POC are not the only ones who should always shoulder the burden of trying to make this a better country; white people need to do just as much in their part to work towards making America a better place for all.
Whites do not own a monopoly on wanting better health care, to see the energy crisis grappled with, to see global warming acknowledged by America and many other countries; whites are not the only ones who want to see the recession and deficit brought under control before our children become great-grandparents; white people are not the only ones who want to see American corporations bring jobs and employment back to America; to see better wages paid commensurate with an employee’s skills.
The same things white people want are the same things millions of other Americans want. Whether black, brown, red, or yellow—all Americans want a decent life for themselves, their families and their communities.
White America needs to acknowledge to black America: “Yes, we did grievous wrongs to your people. Let us white people make amends as brothers and sisters— as fellow citizens. No more will we look down on you as less than. We are all in this country together, and starting from this day forward, we will work with our fellow black citizens as comrades-in-arms against the hated legacy of 450 years of slavery and segregation and its perverse effects.”
Black Americans need to realize that they cannot wait on white Americans to play catch-up in coming to terms with their racist history; on the other hand, black Americans know what they have known all along, a fact that many white Americans stubbornly refuses to accept: this is the only country we all have. Time out for the bullshit of racism, white supremacy, white skin privilege. Time out for the racial hierarchies that pit races against each other, especially the racial hierarchy that exists against black Americans.
Black America has sought and worked hard to get whites to live up to the U.S. Constitution and the Bible. It has taken over four centuries and the loss of countless black lives to wake America up to the ravages of white supremacy. The only thing is: Are you, white-run America ready for a change? Are you tired of the divisiveness that has been a lasting effect of so much hatred? Are you ready to reach across the vast chasm of separation, and stereotypical fears many of you harbor against your fellow black citizens, to truly make this a country for all?
As for Senator Barack Hussein Obama, much of his speech angered me and was condescending to millions of black Americans who have put so much into this country. That he was willing to acquiesce, to pander to white people as if black people are some bogeyman in the night, some hobgoblin to be terrified of because of our anger at America’s numerous acts of injustice, showed his fear of losing millions of white people’s votes.
Obama danced and two-stepped to the tune of salving the conscious of millions of white people.
The Emperor’s clothes have fallen away. The blinders are torn completely off. Obama has unequivocally shown where his loyalties lie.
Black citizens have always sought to be allies with every racial/ethnic group in this country. Blacks in turn, have been spurned by every group in America when that group has taken what it can from black people.
Obama in his speech yesterday let me know whose interests he considers of the utmost importance. Obama let me know with crystal clarity where he stands.
That he painted black Americans as the perpetual anti-citizen and anti-neighbor has given me a clear and unobstructed view of how he handles or better yet, mishandled his discussion of racism in America.
Black people are not a blight on America, Senator Obama.
We are just as much Americans as anyone else.
That you cast so much aspersion our way came across loud and clear in your speech.