Wednesday, December 29, 2010

(when will) We Shall Overcome

April 02, 2008

Most of us have experienced this: a child says to you, his or her parent, "You just hate me". This happens when you, acting as their gaurdian, decide to deny them something that they really wanted: ice cream, PS3 time, online access, etc. It is ridiculously wrong to assume that, indeed, you hate your own child, but that is how the little one feels. If he/she doesn’t get exactly what they want when they want it, then "the world is against me."Usually we grow out of this kind of immature reasoning.

Unless, of course, you have people around you who foster this kind of thinking, and you are too comfortable with blaming your shortcomings on someone else. We can find examples of this kind of immature reasoning in adult minds from time to time, but we also quickly rebuke it, usually.
Unless we are gripped by the throat with fear.

What kind of fear would keep us from telling someone that they are acting like a child? Well, simply put, it is fear of not appearing politically correct.

The Thought Police have terrorized America for the past 20 years, and the condition, unfortunately, is that of a yoke which has become all too comfortable on our necks. Want to keep your job? Well, keep your mouth shut when thinking about applying the same standard to that African American at work. You have to word things very carefully, so as not to be seen as reflecting attitudes from people you never knew 150 years ago, towards people who have never been slaves for 150 years.

Despite the mammoth amount of laws to prevent black people from being fired, excluded from purchases, or treated without respect, the convenient drumbeat continues.

Rapper 50 cent displays the mildest of reactions against white America:"I just think there’s people that might not be ready for an African-American president," he continued. "It’ll be an issue, believe it or not." "I’m not sure America is ready to have a black president," he continued. "I think they might kill him." The MC said that as a black man, "You’ve got to be conscious of racism, period. And it’s still there. We don’t deal with it as often as my grandparents did. My grandparents grew up in South Carolina, so they experienced the heart of that."

Alice Walker displays the more resentful side of African Americans. In case you forgot who Alice Walker is, she’s the one who wrote, "The Color Purple". She received a full scholarship to two different private, elite colleges, and became angry for her lot in life. You can read her bio at:

She just wrote an open letter to us all about the selection of a candidate for President Of The United States Of America. You can see it in full here:

Here are some excerpts to which I express my reaction:

"I made my first white women friends in college; they were women who loved me and were loyal to our friendship, but I understood, as they did, that they were white women and that whiteness mattered. That, for instance, at Sarah Lawrence, where I was speedily inducted into the Board of Trustees practically as soon as I graduated, I made my way to the campus for meetings by train, subway and foot, while the other trustees, women and men, all white, made their way by limo. Because, in our country, with its painful history of unspeakable inequality, this is part of what whiteness means. I loved my school for trying to make me feel I mattered to it, but because of my relative poverty I knew I could not."

Excuse me while I wipe away my tears. Poor Alice had to attend a college where, *gasp*, there were people who had more money than she! What a CRUEL thing to do to a woman! How clueless of me not to realize that when I was catching a bus ride in Athens, OH, to my school campus every day that "whiteness" meant that I was to ride in a limo! This is the ridiculous standard of equality that we are treated to by these child-like brains: "If I, as a black person in America, have to ride a bus or walk to my destination while white people ride in limos, then IT’S A RACIST SOCIETY!"

How does any adult reason with childish emotions like that?And pray tell, just how did "whiteness" matter in her context? Here is a woman who gets to attend a college that SOMEONE paid for (no one paid for mine. I still have $30,000 in student loans to pay back from a degree I completed 12 years ago), and upon graduation, she is IMMEDIATELY given a position on the Board of Trustees! Just WHO in America gets treated like that?

And yet Alice receives all of this privilege, resulting only in her spiteful resentment of the "system" that put her there! There is no pleasing some people! There is a great saying I learned while substitute teaching in Virginia public schools years ago. It was etched into the hall pass the kids would use: "Gratitude is the sign of a noble soul." After all that our mean, racist, evil "whiteness" has done for African Americans in this country for the past two generations, the only thanks or expressions from the benefactors is, "What have you done for me lately?"

I guess, for brains like Alice’s, if we don’t catapult all poor black people to the same income level as Bill Gates, then "AMERICA IS A RACIST SOCIETY."

"When I have supported white people, men and women, it was because I thought them the best possible people to do whatever the job required. Nothing else would have occurred to me. If Obama were in any sense mediocre, he would be forgotten by now. He is, in fact, a remarkable human being, not perfect but humanly stunning, like King was and like Mandela is. We look at him, as we looked at them, and are glad to be of our species. He is the change America has been trying desperately and for centuries to hide, ignore, kill. The change America must have if we are to convince the rest of the world that we care about people other than our (white) selves."

Oh, I see. America is supposed to be on a quest to convince the rest of the world that we care about people, "other than our (white) selves." Silly me. I’d thought that when my paycheck has many dollars taken from it every two weeks to be spent on foreign aid to practically ALL Third World (excuse me, "Developing Nations"), that I was working for a gesture of kindness to be spread to Africans, South Americans, Asians, and Arabs. But I was wrong! According to Alice, my tax dollars going to all of those black, brown and yellow folks proves just the opposite: that I only spend my hard-earned dollars at white stores, on white-produced products, in white neighborhoods.

Thanks, Alice--you really cleared that one up for me.And here’s something else that Alice illuminated for me, a Southern White Chrtistian Male: Me and my band of brothers didn’t REALLY put ourselves on the line and die for non-whites when we were in the Army. It was all an illusion: I didn’t really serve as a combat infantry soldier for 5 years in far-away lands, amongst non-white villagers. Me and my fellow soldiers didn’t really do anything special when we liberated yellow South Koreans, protected and fed black Africans in Somalia, defended Serbian Muslims against genocide in Bosnia, or any of the other far-away places we went to in order to die for their cause.

Since Alice doesn’t live in her original continent, where her own people sold her ancestors to European slave merchants, I guess she’s never felt the overwhelming gratitude of a native people who were liberated, rescued, and served by good, white men in American uniforms.

Funny how foreigners love America more than many of it’s citizens.

"I want a grown-up attitude toward Cuba, for instance, a country and a people I love; I want an end to the embargo that has harmed my friends and their children, children who, when I visit Cuba, trustingly turn their faces up for me to kiss. I agree with a teacher of mine, Howard Zinn, that war is as objectionable as cannibalism and slavery; it is beyond obsolete as a means of improving life. I want an end to the on-going war immediately and I want the soldiers to be encouraged to destroy their weapons and to drive themselves out of Iraq."

This passage is stunningly stupid. In one paragraph she manages to reveal just how deficient is her awareness of world politics: belief in Howard Zinn and helpmaid of communism. Leave it to someone who was "educated" (indoctrinated?) at Sarah Lawrence college to be unaware of the evil system known as communism, or it’s long record of murder, malaise, and decay.

To be fair to the braintrust at Sarah Lawrence, perhaps poor Alice just missed the bus to school that day when this was covered.

"I want the Israeli government to be made accountable for its behavior towards the Palestinians, and I want the people of the United States to cease acting like they don’t understand what is going on. All colonization, all occupation, all repression basically looks the same, whoever is doing it. Here our heads cannot remain stuck in the sand; our future depends of our ability to study, to learn, to understand what is in the records and what is before our eyes. But most of all I want someone with the self-confidence to talk to anyone, "enemy" or "friend," and this Obama has shown he can do. It is difficult to understand how one could vote for a person who is afraid to sit and talk to another human being. When you vote you are making someone a proxy for yourself; they are to speak when, and in places, you cannot. But if they find talking to someone else, who looks just like them, human, impossible, then what good is your vote?"

Whew...the stench from that well Alice is in is beginning to really stink. She’s so far deep into her hole that she can’t see any light whatsoever. Poor thing. She’s so racist and angry that she can’t even see an epic story for what it is.

The story of Moses and his people all the way up until now has been an amazing story of an underdog against the world. The Jews have been chased, murdered, and disrespected for four thousnd years. Whereas the Jews have always been a distinct people, with a distinct homeland, the Palestinians are a people who have constantly moved in and out of different cultures, refused entry into their own people’s nations (refugees, even. Regular studies show that "Palestinians" are discarded Jordanians, Syrians, and other Arabs. Whereas their parent nations refuse them citizenship, Jews actually allows Palestinians the right to vote in Israel.) and have resisted every attempt to establish a homeland for them also.

When the newly-formed UN tried to erect a Palestinian nation in 1948, their "leaders" refused, on the grounds that they wouldn’t put up with living next to those pigs and monkeys we know as "Jews". The surrounding Palestinians, Egyptians, Jordanians, Syrians, Iraqi, Saudi Arabians, Kuwaitis, and Algerians have waged more than four major wars on Israel since 1948, and when they aren’t trying to push the Jews "into the Mediterranean", they are waging minor wars, known as "intifadas".

But, then again, I guess I’m just a "typical white person" (Obama qoute), who is acting like I "don’t know what is going on." (Alice quote). Perhaps I should learn from such an enlightened mentor as she.

"It is hard to relate what it feels like to see Mrs. Clinton (I wish she felt self-assured enough to use her own name) referred to as "a woman" while Barack Obama is always referred to as "a black man." One would think she is just any woman, colorless, race-less, past-less, but she is not. She carries all the history of white womanhood in America in her person; it would be a miracle if we, and the world, did not react to this fact. How dishonest it is, to attempt to make her innocent of her racial inheritance."

"Racial inheritance"? "...carries all the history of white womanhood in America in her"? My, my. Just WHAT kind of "education" is that Sarah Lawrence school peddling?

I’ll tell you what, Alice: if you stop seeing all the evils of white society every time you look at my people, I’ll stop seeing all the rapes and murders that blacks have been responsible for when I look at you. Deal?

"I can easily imagine Obama sitting down and talking, person to person, with any leader, woman, man, child or common person, in the world, with no baggage of past servitude or race supremacy to mar their talks. I cannot see the same scenario with Mrs. Clinton who would drag into Twenty-First Century American leadership the same image of white privilege and distance from the reality of others’ lives that has so marred our country’s contacts with the rest of the world."

That’s (part of) your problem, Alice: you imagine too much. Sure, you can easily imagine lots of things, but Obama himself exclaimed that he would have bombed Pakistan right after 911! He didn’t say that he would "talk" to them. But details like this are unimportant when you live in a fantasy world, where everything around you is imagined (racism included). "...with no baggage of past servitude or race supremecy to mar their talks."

Here’s a little clue, Alice: we whites don’t walk around, remembering the "good old days", when we used to buy you from your own people. It isn’t something we hold onto, ya’ know? It’s not as if we’re learning anything valuable from the hateful rhetoric that too many blacks like you spew, so we’re not obsessed with concentrating on "how it used to be."

And, believe it or not, when a white American is in the position of ambassador or diplomatic attache’ to some third-world nation, the "whitey" in him or her isn’t dictating their every thought or move. We whites are mostly thinking of how to do our job to the best of our ability so that we may advance in our job capacity.

And in case you haven’t noticed, being an outright bigot is not a way to advance. Even for Condoleeza Rice, who is our present Secretary of State (that’s the office which is designated to talk to foreign leaders). And she’s black.

"And yes, I would adore having a woman president of the United States. My choice would be Representative Barbara Lee, who alone voted in Congress five years ago not to make war on Iraq. That to me is leadership, morality, and courage; if she had been white I would have cheered just as hard. But she is not running for the highest office in the land, Mrs. Clinton is. And because Mrs. Clinton is a woman and because she may be very good at what she does, many people, including some younger women in my own family, originally favored her over Obama. I understand this, almost. It is because, in my own nieces’ case, there is little memory, apparently, of the foundational inequities that still plague people of color and poor whites in this country. Why, even though our family has been here longer than most North American families – and only partly due to the fact that we have Native American genes – we very recently, in my lifetime, secured the right to vote, and only after numbers of people suffered and died for it.Imagine, if he wins the presidency we will have not one but three black women in the White House; one tall, two somewhat shorter; none of them carrying the washing in and out of the back door. The bottom line for most of us is: With whom do we have a better chance of surviving the madness and fear we are presently enduring, and with whom do we wish to set off on a journey of new possibility? In other words, as the Hopi elders would say: Who do we want in the boat with us as we head for the rapids? Who is likely to know how best to share the meager garden produce and water? We are advised by the Hopi elders to celebrate this time, whatever its adversities." " my own nieces’ case, there is little memory, apparently, of the foundational inequities that still plague people of color and poor whites in this country."

Sorry, Alice. It looks like you’ve thrown a pity-party, and no one is coming! Your own neices don’t have a bitterness in their hearts towards us whites, but you do! And I’ll bet you won’t let them remain happy, either.

Perhaps there’s "no memory....of the foundational inequalities that still plague people of color and poor whites in this country" because the memory is just that: a memory. If these foundational inequalities were actually a problem, then they wouldn’t need angry Aunt Alice to point them out!

And just what "madness and fear" are you suffering from, poor Alice? Just what else do you want besides your Ivory League education, celebrity life as a poet/author, and large family? Is the madness you describe something that could better be described as, "failure to assimilate"? Is the fear you describe more aptly stated as, "aversion to hard work"?

"We have come a long way, Sisters, and we are up to the challenges of our time. One of which is to build alliances based not on race, ethnicity, color, nationality, sexual preference or gender, but on Truth. Celebrate our journey. Enjoy the miracle we are witnessing. Do not stress over its outcome. Even if Obama becomes president, our country is in such ruin it may well be beyond his power to lead us toward rehabilitation. If he is elected however, we must, individually and collectively, as citizens of the planet, insist him do the best job that can be done; more, we must insist that he demand this of us. It is a blessing that our mothers taught us not to fear hard work. Know, as the Hopi elders declare: The river has its destination. And remember, as poet June Jordan and Sweet Honey in the Rock never tired of telling us: We are the ones we have been waiting for."

All hail the prophet, Alice Walker! We have come to learn the Truth about America from her trusted bossom: "Even if Obama becomes president, our country is in such ruin it may well be beyond his power to lead us toward rehabilitation." That’s it--set up the board for the next round: no way will simply electing a charlatan like this black man we call Obama really do any kind of "healing" for our black citizens.

The fight must continue! White brother kills white brother for what end? To free the black slaves! Is that enough? NO. Massive restructuring to our constitution and the creation of intrussive agncies are formed for the next 140 years to give you even MORE of a chance at the American Dream. Is that enough? NO. Ok, what if we elect a black man as president of this beautiful nation--will that be enough, Alice? NO.

You know, it’s funny. Ancient slave masters never were treated to the vitriol from their subjugated that the free great-great-great-great grandsons of the slaves inflict upon the whites of today. And that’s after the whites from the past two generations have put themselves at the back of the line for hiring, receiving education loans, and cultural respect. People who have NEVER experienced slavery or even Jim Crow laws are exacting pain and suffering from people who NEVER had anything to do with slavery or Jim Crow.

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