An essay by
Herman Williams 3RD
There has been a great deal of discussion lately about the concept of systemic racism in America and how it has led to the persecution of so-called, Black people by the White ruling class. There are some who feel the solution to this systemic racism, which apparently took an eight year sabbatical during the Obama administration, is to force White people into admitting they are inherently racist and that our institutions of higher learning need to be transformed into citadels of self-flagellation and atonement for their sins. There are others who believe the first step to the atonement process should begin with the purging of our nation’s history through a process of tearing down symbolic effigies, renaming sports teams, defunding police departments, and the removal of our dear Aunt Jemima, from the pancake box.
Conversely, there are others who believe America’s past sins were eviscerated when our nation came together as one to elect a so-called Black man into our country’s most powerful position as president of these “United” States. It was an act that so stunned the world, the afore mentioned Black man was given the Nobel Peace Prize, simply for accomplishing such an historic feat.
So, when one considers that it would have been impossible for such a Nobel Prize winning event to unfold without a majority participation of the supposed perpetrators of this systemic racism, then perhaps the issue is rife with misrepresentations in the application of blame. The problem lies in the actual meaning of the words systemic and racism, which everyone seems to be willing to gloss over;
Systemic: adj; describes what relates to or affects an entire system.
Notice the words; “affects an entire system?” In case you were wondering, the word ‘entire’ means; having no element or part left out.
Racism: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority (inferiority) of a particular race. Merriam-Webster
I have included, in parentheses, the words “inferiority” for the purpose of this discussion. As we see, the word systemic refers to the entirety of a system, and that system being, American culture. The word racism refers to judging or categorizing human beings based upon their physical traits and capabilities. It’s that simple. One could say, based upon the turnout of Whites who voted for the so-called Black man to become their president, that they had made incredible strides towards mitigating their participation in the aforementioned systemic racism. The fact is, he could not have been elected without them. And have no doubt, Whites did not walk into voting booths with the intention of electing a so-called token Black man to become POTUS, but rather, they saw in him, a beacon for change they truly believed could heal this nation of her past sins.
On the other hand, as the title of this essay would suggest, I will be making the case that so-called Black people in America voted overwhelmingly for Obama, just because he was Black, and have since done very little on their part to bridge the gap or make strides towards ending the racism in their hearts and minds. In fact, it is my belief that so-called Black people in America are without a doubt, the most prolific racists this country, if not the world, has ever known.
Of course, during the 1960s and 1970s, so-called Black people decided to give themselves a pass on being labeled racists, by simply changing the meaning of the word racism to fit an agenda. Dick Gregory, the late comedian and warrior for social justice and equal rights, who rose to prominence during the Civil Rights era, offered the following denial and definition of racism;
"Black people can never be racist. I can hate you 'cause you're Jewish. I can hate you 'cause you’re Irish Catholic. I can hate you 'cause you’re Hungarian... that's prejudice. Racism means the ability to control someone else's faith and destiny."
Mr. Gregory’s position, which was in harmony with many like-minded Blacks of the 1960s and 1970s, who were focused on Blacks as the inherent victims of racism and their lack of power to control the faith and destiny of the body politic controlled by Whites. The truth is, he was dead wrong. He was wrong, because in order to make his point, he had to change the meaning of the word to fit an agenda.
You see, once Blacks/Negroes had made the decision to stay in America, after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, Black leadership sealed the fate, faith and destiny of their people by ignoring the true meaning and implications of the language and culture of the people they decided to form a tenuous relationship with.
In doing so, they condemned the greater portion of such, into roles as perpetual goats and underachievers who would occupy the lowest rung on the ladder to success for the next one-hundred and fifty-seven years.
Understand me clearly, because what I am saying is the current state of Blacks, Negroes, Colored, Mulattos, Yellow-negroes, and Niggas is not the result of what the so-called White men did or did not do, but without a single doubt, it was a self-inflicted act tantamount to cutting off one’s own head to spite the body. And what I find incredibly sad at this juncture in the inglorious history of so-called “Black people” in America, is the continuation of this process in the form of an angry, violent mob called Black Lives Matter. This is an organization that arose from the ashes of ignorance in Ferguson, through the propagation of a lie surrounding the death of a so-called Black man, at the hands of a White police officer. A White officer who had no choice but to take the life of a criminal in self-defense.
They are an organization whose primary weapons are ignorance and violent intimidation of White people/society to acknowledge that, which they refuse to acknowledge about each other. Because with over 6,000 to 8,000 Blacks murdered every year by Blacks, and hundreds of thousands more wounded in body, mind, and spirit in the aftermath, it is clear that Black lives matter very little to Black people.
The leaders of Black Lives Matter simply want us to ignore these deaths with admonishments like; “people die in White neighborhoods all the time,” instead of opening their eyes to the fact that what is taking place within inner city communities is equivalent to self-genocide. In fact, based upon simple observations, the case could be made that Black people actually despise/ hate themselves and each other with an abject callousness never before seen in the history of this country. And it appears that the only time a Black life actually matters, is when the opportunity arises to loot, steal, and destroy in the name of a Black person killed at the hands of a police officer. (Ref: The Negro Conundrum: Another Dead Nigga)
All the while, organizers of BLM are raking in huge amounts of cash, having just added another $300 million from the NBA, which they will be using to enrich themselves and so-called White privileged Liberal politicians, while refusing to acknowledge or even spend a single penny to aid actual Black people. They have literally taken in more than enough money this year alone to fund reparations, food and clothing drives, or just give people some money. Yet, have we seen a BLM Corona Virus financial relief package sent to community-based organizations serving “Black” children?
That’s why we’re here, to talk about how so-called “Black” leadership, or the lack there-of, has been responsible for the dearth of real social and economic equality since the end of slavery one-hundred and fifty-seven years ago. I believe it is time we actually put forth the effort required to correct this shit before it’s too late! And yes, we have reached that moment in time when it’s just about too late. A body or system that is infected with a systemic disease has very little chance of surviving, without an infusion of the proper treatment to destroy the invader. This discussion, as difficult as it may be for many to accept, is that treatment, which can literally heal this nation of the disease called racism that has had a strangle-hold on the necks of its people for so long.
It is the so-called Black people who can end the systemic racism for once and for all, if they choose to ingest the cure. Believe me, I hate being the purveyor of hard truths, but rest assured, I do have some brilliant ideas that will, without a doubt, turn the ship around, and I can’t wait to discuss them. But it makes very little sense to put forth an effort to heal the patient’s wounds, if the behavior that caused the wounds in the first place is not addressed.
I have lived with these thoughts my entire life and have talked about and written various essays on this topic, which I have published to my blog, The Negro Conundrum. It wasn’t until the recent outbreak of violence by BLM, and the discussion of systemic racism coming to the forefront, that I found the proper vocabulary to put forth in these current ideas, which I pray will be the end of this discussion. I do so, fully aware that a rare opportunity exists right now for people of color in America to make incredible strides toward that, which we have longed for ever since the shackles were taken away.
Twelve years ago, the prospects of “Hope and Change” buoyed the spirits of an entire nation, only to see that hope for change dashed against the shores of despair via incompetence, treachery, and the same old legacy of lies and betrayal typical of the bourgeois Negro and Anglo-Saxon class. Until this moment, this country’s dealings with Black people has been steeped in the ga-zillions of dollars made selling false hope and dreams to poor Black people. All the efforts of the so-called Civil Rights protests of the 1950s and 1960s, did nothing more than create super ghettos where young Black girls between the ages of thirteen and sixteen years-old, were bearing multiple children, by multiple men who had raped them. For each child, the mothers would receive a check from the welfare system. These checks could only be obtained if the fathers/ rapists did not live under the same roof.
This created the perfect foundation for the infusion of vast sums of government money flowing into these super ghettos – money spent on highly addictive drugs like crack cocaine and heroin in the 1980s, that provided jobs for these children of rapists as both consumers and dealers. As the numbers of poor Black children continued to rise all that was needed was a place for these children to live. The government decided the best solution was to privatize of the prison systems in America, while making the possession and distribution of the highly addictive drugs they allowed to flow into the communities, felonies. This of course, guaranteed the for-profit prisons would be filled to capacity with millions of young Black teenagers.
So, the idea of keeping a specific race of people poor, black, angry, and desperate was an actual business model that has now become obsolete. The current obsolescence is a result of the human assets or chattel, becoming experts in the extermination of each other, thereby reducing the pool of consumers and dealers to the point that they are no longer profitable. We see it playing out in cities across this country like Baltimore and Chicago, right before our eyes.
Look at Chicago’s current mayor Lightfoot, a so-called “Black” woman who is in reality, a pawn of the current and former masr’s. She is basically taking the party-line attitude that says; ‘These niggas dying in Chicago, are my niggas! And I ain’t letting no White man (Trump), come up in my territory and save my niggas! I’ll see them all dead, before I allow that to happen!’ This is metaphorically what she and all the other so-called leaders of cities with a predominant Black population have been saying through their inaction. With thirty to sixty percent illiteracy rates among poor Black children and zero hope of getting out of the ghettos as a result, it’s apparent the solution by Liberals and the so-called Black intelligentsia is to turn a blind eye on these troubled areas and let the genocide continue. To add insult to injury, they activate groups like Black Lives Matter and Antifa to swoop in and burn everything to the ground, thereby opening the doors to gentrification of the spaces they will no longer occupy.
The reality is, with the exception of when Blacks are needed in their role as a Horde of mindless looters; rioting, destroying neighborhoods, bouncing basketballs, rapping, or dancing and singing to entertain and make money for masr’, so-called “Black” lives have always been expendable and meaningless by definition! As shocking as that may sound, this is exactly where those who have used Blacks from the very beginning, knew they would be. It is the result of catastrophic errors in judgement made by so-called Black leaders who were willing to sell-out their own people for profit and status.
No group of individuals in America have done more harm to people of color, then the well-off bourgeois Negroes during the course of American history. It is important to make a distinction between the slaves and the freed men in America’s past, and the poor and the middle class in modern times. Because the poorer one is, the “blacker” one tends to be – by definition.
If you notice, I keep saying, “by definition?” It is vital to understand our use of language within the construct of the culture it represents.
If racism is systemic in America, then there must be a common denominator that links each and every citizen —by definition — to what we refer to as American culture. That commonality is our language. What is language? It is a distinct code, so-to-speak, that invariably contains the entire history and flavor of the people who speak said language and is therefore the pathway to understanding the culture.
Stay with me, because we are now entering the most crucial segment of this entire conversation.
Language and culture are inseparable! Let me repeat that; language defines the culture and culture is a derivative of the language spoken within a nation. Each language on the planet represents the code to another way of living, believing, learning, and even grieving. Not all words are interchangeable between different languages and cultures.
“According to scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, there is only one word in existence that’s the same in every language, and that word is ‘huh’.” From: One Word
In spite of the fact that there was once in excess of sixty-million indigenous people living within the confines of the North American continent (before the British and Spaniards reduced that number to around ten million), the language that became dominant was English, which we speak, and is derived from the Anglo-Saxons. Who are the Anglo-Saxons?
“Although the concept of a distinct, superior Anglo-Saxon race, with innate endowments enabling it to achieve a perfection of governmental institutions and world dominance, was a product of the first half of the nineteenth century, the roots of these ideas stretch back at least to the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Those Englishmen who settled in America at the beginning of the seventeenth century brought as part of their historical and religious heritage a clearly delineated religious myth of a pure English Anglo-Saxon church, and in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries shared with their fellow Englishmen an elaborately developed secular myth of the free nature of Anglo-Saxon political institutions. By the time of the American Revolution, Americans were convinced that Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest had enjoyed freedoms unknown since that date.” From: Race and Manifest Destiny, the origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism - pg 9
The Anglo-Saxons believed they were the most superior race on planet earth, considering they conquered most of the known world and still exert tremendous influence throughout, including in the United States of America. Think about it; if you want to practice law in America, one must be accepted into the BAR, an acronym for British Accreditation Registry.
I currently reside in Baltimore, Maryland. The state is named after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I of England and mother of Charles II and James II, by George Calvert (Calvert county), the first Lord Baltimore. I could go on and on with such references like New England, New Hampshire, New York, and Chelsea, just to name a few.
English is also the youngest code/language on the planet, with the exception of Ebonics, and is a language derived from a so-called superior race, which means the concept of inferior or minority races are built into the code by default. As for Ebonics, it is the language of defeat and capitulation to the ideology of belonging to an inferior, illiterate and degraded segment of society, much like the untouchables of Hindu culture. In Hindu culture one is born into the untouchable class, as oppose to American culture, in which individuals choose the path of inferiority and degradation.
Consider this; each of us has a quantum computer inside of our heads – it’s called your brain. Nothing created by IBM, Google, D-Wave, or Elon Musk can approach one fifth of the computational power of the human brain. Whether we’re talking about ones and zeros, Q-bits, or the highly sophisticated process through which our brains receive data, e.g. visual, touch, emotions, audio, proximity, and thought, just to name a few, imagine how important words are, whether we are thinking or speaking out loud.
Words are codes for the operating systems that determines our reality within this matrix we call the material world. The actual letters we use to formulate words also have individual meaning and individual vibrations, which when combined create unique vibrational tones that literally program our actions, reactions, lifestyles, belief systems, sense of wellbeing, or dis-ease.
I’m sure most are aware of Nicola Tesla, perhaps the greatest scientific and inventive mind ever to walk the face of this earth. He is famously quoted as saying; “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” Well, the human voice spoken out loud, or within our mind is in essence all three; it is energy, frequency, and vibration. The DNA/RNA in each of the one-hundred trillion cells of our bodies are represented as letters, words, codes, vibrations – each, a piece of the puzzle that describes every aspect of our physiological beingness down to the shape of our toenails. When we are thinking, we are programing our minds to take action. Our minds then produce various combinations of chemical reactions to support the framework of this conscious and subconscious thought that effects every subatomic “particle” of this instrument we call our bodies. According to Russian linguists, language can be used to reprogram human DNA;
“Our DNA is not only responsible for the construction of our body but also serves as data storage and in communication. The Russian linguists found that the genetic code, especially in the apparently useless junk DNA follows the same rules as all our human languages. To this end they compared the rules of syntax (the way in which words are put together to form phrases and sentences), semantics (the study of meaning in language forms) and the basic rules of grammar. They found that the alkalines of our DNA follow a regular grammar and do have set rules just like our languages. So human languages did not appear coincidentally but are a reflection of our inherent DNA.” Reprogramming your DNA by your words
Wait, what? “So human languages did not appear coincidentally but are a reflection of our inherent DNA”? Variances in languages and cultures is determined by one’s physiology based on our DNA structure. What is the one thing a slave from the continent of Africa would not have been equipped to understand in the New World? That would be the subtlety within the language/culture of the people who enslaved them.
Westerners tend to look upon Africa as one huge country as opposed to a tapestry comprised of individual countries populated with ancient peoples, languages/codes and cultures. Take for instance, the Western region of the African continent;
“Western Africa, region of the western African continent comprising the countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Western Africa is a term used in the Encyclopedia Britannica to designate a geographic region within the continent of Africa.
Culturally, the people of the region belong for the most part to one of three major language families. In the northern and least-populous Saharan regions, Arabs and Imazighen(Berbers; singular Amazigh), of the Afro-Asiatic language family predominate. South of a line connecting the course of the Sénégal River, the Niger River, and the southern two-thirds of Nigeria-Congo languages are spoken. Along the middle course of the Niger River and around Lake Chad, Nilo-Saharan languages related to those of peoples farther east predominate. These peoples are divided into a very complex ethnic mosaic but may often be conveniently classified by their individual languages.” Picture and quote from: Britannica.com
If one studies a map of the entire continent you will notice that there does not exist a single country called Black. Before Europeans invaded the continent, an African’s identity was directly corelated to a country, family, language, a particular skill, and the culture they belonged to. A person from the country of Nigeria, regardless of physical appearances, would have defined him/herself as a Nigerian, with pride. Think about it; when discussing the various languages/codes and cultures of people from the continent of Africa, we’re talking about the supposed cradle of humankind—perhaps the most ancient people on the planet. A people who relied upon their wits and an understanding of the cycles of nature passed down over millennia, one generation after another.
We’re talking about a people whose survival depended on developing symbiotic relationships with all living things within their sphere of operation including the ants, rivers, and trees. They were not stupid people. They had a firm grasp on the amount of effort required to support a family, a community, or a nation. According to author John S. Mbiti’s, Introduction to African Religion, as diverse as the languages and cultures were on the continent before whites encroached upon the land, every language had a name for God or the Creator, even though they possessed no sacred scriptures. Neither were they on the lookout for a Messiah. For centuries they survived and thrived by their own force of will, learning from direct experiences passed down from one generation to the next.
Five words you would have never heard coming from the mouths of a people like this; “I am a black man.” And why would they? Understand, the etymology of the word black is traced back to the Old English and German (Anglo-Saxons), not the continent of Africa.
Consider the people of Ethiopia, said to be the oldest country on earth that was originally called Abyssinia. The etymology of word Ethiopia, is derived from the Greeks, meaning burnt people, referring to their dark skin. Yet, an Ethiopian would not have referred to him/herself as a burnt man or woman. They would have called themselves Ethiopians, with pride.
The early Europeans, who were primarily interested in cashing-in on the vast resources of the continent, did not see “a very complex ethnic mosaic,” nor did they classify the people based upon their individual cultures and language. All they saw were blacks; meaning the color of their skin, the shape of their heads, their wooly hair and broad noses. According to the Anglo-Saxon language, blacks were synonymous with savages, beasts, and sub-human creatures whose debased nature made them perfectly suitable for enslavement.
“Winthrop Jordan has shown that Englishmen from the very beginning of their contact with Blacks conceived of them in some measure as a distinct people with particularly strong ties to the animal kingdom. To Englishmen, Blacks were heathen, savage, and beastly. Black were not simply regarded as debased because they were slaves: they were also enslaved because of what was regarded as their different and debase nature.” From: Race and Manifest Destiny, the origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism | pg. 100 paragraph 2
For the residents occupying the various countries on the continent, everything was perfectly fine with their lives, until the so-called “superior races” stepped foot upon the soil. The idea of being civilized to the Anglo-Saxons, meant giving up your freedom to live off the land in harmony with nature, in exchange for the rat-race of laboring all day to chase money and the possession of things through the destruction of natural resources, while creating complicated socioeconomic structures designed to benefit the few at the expense of the masses. This kind of thinking wasn’t built into the DNA of these ancient peoples. They were simple, uncomplicated people who were careful to take from nature only that, which supported their uncomplicated lives.
The discovery of “Blacks” on the continent of Africa, (around the 13th to 14th centuries) living in such innocence, literally rocked their world and had a profound psychological effect on the Anglos. Simplicity meant easy to conquer and subjugate to their will. But more than anything else, seeing them reinforced every false notion they had harbored about their own superiority, intelligence, and core philosophy of beauty. As a result, Blacks have been the most studied race of people on the face of this earth as a sort of baseline species upon which, the Anglo could begin a comparative analysis to prove their status as the most superior example of God’s chosen race. They would have to reevaluate the core of their religious beliefs, questioning how it was possible Adam and Eve could have produced such hideous inferior beasts? Surely, there must have been multiple first couples, they posited.
This resulted in pseudo-sciences like polygenesis that allotted for multiple Adam and Eves, as well as comparative anatomy, and craniology; the scientific study of the shape and size of the skulls of different human races. The only thing that would come close in comparison today would be if aliens landed on the Whitehouse lawn. Such an event would have an immediate impact on every aspect of our existence and shake the foundations of governments and religions. The discovery of “Blacks” on the continent of Africa, had that same earth-shattering impact. It became part of their core identity via their language and cultural dynamics to embrace the perception of innate superiority over them. As such, it was imperative to restrict interactions with such savages to avoid any possibility of cross contamination that would weaken their precious superior blood. We see this determination to keep white men from dipping into the slave pool from the beginning in the colonies;
September 17th, 1630: Hugh Davis to be soundly whipped, before an assembly of Negroes and others for abusing himself to the dishonor of God and shame of Christians by defiling his body lying with a Negro; which fault he is to acknowledge next sabbath day. From: UCLA - National Black law Journal—Sexual Racism: A legacy of Slavery
Thirty years later, Maryland was the first state to actually pass a statute forbidding the intermingling (miscegenation) of whites with Negroes;
“The word miscegenation comes from the Latin words "miscere" which means to mix and "genus" which means race. The term miscegenation was coined in 1864 by the author of a pamphlet called Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races.3 Anti-miscegenation laws prohibited interracial sex and marriage with most of the emphasis placed on the purity of the White race (prohibiting Whites from marrying some other racial group).The history of anti-miscegenation statutes dates back over 325 years.” From: UCLA - National Black law Journal—Sexual Racism: A legacy of Slavery
When faced with the possibility that slaves could actually be freed from bondage, talk then turned to separation of the races;
“When Virginia’s, St. George Tucker in 1798 issued a plea for the ending of slavery, he conceded that Virginians in general thought that the Negroes were mentally inferior and that the Blacks, once freed, could not be incorporated into Virginia society. He also wrote; “Though I am opposed to the banishment of Negroes, I wish not to encourage their future residence among us.”
In 1826, Dr. Thomas Cooper of South Carolina College had wrote; “I do not say the blacks are a distinct race: but I have not the slightest doubt of their being an inferior variety of the human species and not capable of the same improvements as the whites.” He believed that “the inferiority of the natural intellect among the blacks cannot be denied… they are not capable of much mental improvement, or of literary or scientific acquirement.” From: Race and Manifest Destiny, the origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism | pg. 122 paragraph 2
According to the Anglo-Saxons, the word black was synonymous with debased, ugly, subhuman creatures that deserved to be slaves and were unfit to live among whites in any capacity, others than in their role as slaves or servants. Virginia 1830s; this comes from Reginald Horseman’s, Race and Manifest Destiny, the Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism;
In Thomas R. Drew’s, Review of The Debate, he wrote; “slaves were utterly unfit for a state of freedom among the whiles. Blackness, not slavery, was the essential cause of the Negro condition, for the emancipated black carries a mark which no time can erase; he forever wears the indelible symbol of his inferiority condition.” From: Race and Manifest Destiny, the origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism | pg. 123
“Blackness, not slavery,” he said. So, the human beings who were forced to leave a land of diverse languages and cultures – a land where the structure of daily living and the goals one strived for were opposite from the people who enslaved them, not only chose to stay in America, they also unwittingly chose to embrace the very words their captors used to describe them, as their core identity. We’re not merely talking semantics here, we are literally talking about the core ideology of a people who were disgusted by the very sight of a, “Nigger, standing up and trying to talk to me like he was a man,” complained a Texan landowner in the days following the Emancipation proclamation.
The ideology of the white man’s superiority over the negro was understood as a God-given law that no self-respecting white person would ever doubt. For instance, the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Roger B. Taney wrote this in his majority decision, while denying Dred Scott’s assertion of Constitutional rights;
Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: “They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery… He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever a profit could be made by it. This opinion was at that time fixed and universal in the civilized portion of the white race. It was regarded as an axiom in morals as well as in politics, which no one thought of disputing, or supposed to be open to dispute; and men in every grade and position in society daily and habitually acted upon it in their private pursuits, as well as in matters of public concern, without doubting for a moment the correctness of this opinion.” From, his Majority decision, Dred Scott 1857
You must understand that these people would have never considered themselves to be racist, just because they believed these things. According to Taney, it was standard thinking accepted by “men in every grade and position in society and habitually acted upon it in their private pursuits.” So, Dred Scott could not sue in a court of law, because he was a Negro and the Constitution just wasn’t written for his kind. Simple logic based upon the cultural dynamics operating in America, and the rest of the world at the time.
Even though President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, his comments below demonstrate this perfectly;
Lincoln: During his famous debates with Sen. Stephen Douglas, Lincoln explained to the crowd: “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races … I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be a position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” 18 September 1858 From: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/did-lincoln-racism-equality-oppose/
This begs a few questions a lot of people would have loved to ask over the last one-hundred and fifty-seven years since the official end of slavery;
Why did Black people/Negroes stay in a country where the president is telling them to their faces, “you will never be equal to the lowest white man?” Why would anyone stay in a country where the general population believed you were unfit to live amongst white people? A place where they were so disgusted by the presence of free Negroes, that Jim Crow Laws had to be enacted to enforce separation of the races? What part of “you will never be equal,” didn’t those first free negroes get?
Consider the fact that 30% of the world’s resources at the time, came from the continent of Africa. Every civilized country on the face of this earth coveted the chance to exploit the vast resources of precious metals (gold, silver,), rubber, oil, and diamonds. With the knowledge slaves had gained in agriculture, steel making, building railroads, and western business practices over their 200-years in captivity, they would have been an unstoppable force to reap the benefits of the world’s lust for Africa’s abundance. But they chose instead, to stay in the country that despised them.
I believe, that a large portion of the freed Negro/Black population were and still are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome – a condition that would not be identified and studied until 1973, by Swedish psychologist Nils Bejerot, who coined the term. I wrote an essay about this in 2014 called Blackness, the Stockholm Syndrome & Uncle Tom, click the link to check it out. It explains a lot about how a people who have been kidnapped and abused over a period of time develop attachment to their abusers;
Stockholm syndrome is a psychological condition that occurs when a victim of abuse identifies and attaches, or bonds, positively with their abuser. This syndrome was originally observed when hostages who were kidnapped not only bonded with their kidnappers, but also fell in love with them. From: Why Stockholm Syndrome Happens and How To Help
If, as Blacks/Negroes still bitterly complain, that being shackled and put on slave ships to America was the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen, then why not demand to be sent back to their countries of origin, as soon as slavery ended?
The argument was they had no means of affording the trip home. Slaves owned nothing. They didn’t have two pennies to rub together after they were freed and had nowhere to go or any clue how to live free away from the shelter of their masr. Many wound up doubling back to make arrangements with masr’ to stay on at the plantation. Others sojourned North to the promised land, where jobs would be a-plenty, and the rivers flowed with milk and honey, only to find the North just as inhospitable as the South. The truth is many of the freed Blacks of the early 1800’s didn’t want to return to their home-lands, but instead saw America as their new home.
Men like David Walker, a self-taught businessman from Boston, who was an outspoken oppositionist against these colonization plans, published an antislavery, antidiscrimination, anticolonization pamphlet titled Appeal to Colored Citizens of the World in 1829. In it he espoused a transition from gentle persuasion to a more militant and if necessary, violent crusade for African rights in America. It was said that Walker had previously lived in Charlotte, South Carolina at the same time Denmark Vesey tried and failed to lead a slave uprising against their masters;
“It's likely, but by no means certain, that in Charleston, Walker encountered Denmark Vesey, leader of a failed slave uprising. It is inconceivable that he did not know what unfolded in 1822. An estimated 9,000 men and women had prepared to take part in the revolt, but a fellow slave betrayed them. Vesey and 35 other black men were hanged.
Not long afterward Walker left the South. "If I remain in this bloody land, I will not live long.. . . This is not the place for me, " he concluded. "I must leave this part of the country." From Massmoments 1830
It should be noted that Denmark Vesey’s planned slave upsizing was thwarted by a fellow slave, which to my previous point is straight out of the Stockholm Syndrome handbook. After leaving Charlotte, Walker continued the fight. His pamphlet, it was said, inspired Nat Turner’s slave revolt in 1831;
“His publication, aimed primarily at slaves, exhorted them to radical armed resistance. “Kill or be killed,” Walker told them. The man who would not fight… in the glorious and heavenly cause of freedom… to be delivered from the most wretched, abject and servile slavery… ought to be kept with all his children or family in slavery, or in chains, to be butchered by his cruel enemies. (p. 12)
He attacked the hypocrisy of America, “this Republican Land of Liberty” which benefited from the enslavement of Africans. He characterized Whites as “unjust, jealous, unmerciful, avaricious and blood-thirsty… always seeking power and authority. America is more our country than it is the whites – we have enriched it with our blood and tears”” (p. 65). African-American Resistance to Colonization
David Walker also had this to say;
He warned white Americans that “unless you speedily alter your course, you and your Country are gone!!!!!!”
Sound familiar to Black Lives Matter? When David Walker preached, “America is more our country than it is the whites – we have enriched it with our blood and tears,” what was he really saying? The answer is, “this is our home!”
We’re talking thirty years before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed to free the slaves, which clearly demonstrated that David Walker was, for all practical purposes, delusional about the extent of his oppressors deep-seated, centuries old opposition to “Blacks” being freed and making any sorts of demands about their so-called rights; “so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect,” according to Taney. In 1830 David Walker, it was reported, died mysteriously in his Boston home with a $10,000 bounty on his head if brought in alive, and $1,000 dead.
And surprise, America survived.
You would think that if Abe Lincoln was planning on freeing million slaves then surely, he and others would have had a plan to deal with such a large population of undesirables? Well… in fact, he did. An organization was formed in 1816 called The American Colonization Society, which many prominent Whites, including slaveholders, clergymen, and politicians joined together to devise a means of removing freed negroes from the country to repatriate them back to the continent of Africa. Men like Francis Scott Key, Henry Clay, General Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Millard Fillmore, and Daniel Webster supported this effort.
African colonization was looked upon as a way to solve their “negro problem,” thus, the colony of Liberia on the West African coast was established for that very cause. From JSTOR: African-American Resistance to Colonization Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to separating Blacks/ Negro’s from the United States, moved to the next level on April 16, 1862 with the signing of the Emancipation Act, which freed 3,100 slaves in Washington D.C. It called for the reimbursement of former slave owners for their property (slaves) and offered compensation to the newly freed slaves if they would get the hell out of America and immigrate back to Africa. He wanted to meet with a contingent of the newly freed Blacks to present them with an offer. To do so, Lincoln hired the reverend James Michell.
Michell had previously served as secretary for the Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America, which became the American Colonization Society of Indiana. Lincoln appointed him to the post of Commissioner of (negro) Immigration on August 4, 1862.
“The year was 1862. The Reverend J. Mitchell, the newly appointed Commissioner of Emigration (for negroes) escorted five (bourgeois) African Americans into the White House at the president’s request. Abraham Lincoln wanted to hear their views on colonization.
On that August afternoon, Lincoln told the men seated before him that Congress had recently appropriated a sum of money to colonize freed slaves. Lincoln knew that African Americans might resist colonization, but one wonders whether he realized the vehement opposition to the idea. “Why should they leave this country?” the president asked rhetorically. He continued to provide them with an answer:
You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. You here are free men I suppose. (5 Collected Works 371).
A voice among them replied “Yes, sir” to the President’s rhetorical question. Lincoln told them “Your race are suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people.” (Ibid. 371-72). Nevertheless, he asked them to consider whether removing their classification as slaves would really place them on equal grounds with the white race. In Lincoln’s estimation, it would not.
Lincoln urged the men to consider supporting colonization.
We look to our condition, owing to the existence of the two races on this continent. I need not recount to you the effects upon white men, growing out of the institution of Slavery. I believe in its general evil effects on the white race. See our present condition---the country engaged in war!---our white men cutting one another’s throats, none knowing how far it will extend; and then consider what we know to be the truth. But for your race among us there could not be war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or the other. Nevertheless, I repeat, without the institution of Slavery and the colored race as a basis, the war could not have an existence. It is better for us both, therefore, to be separated. I know that there are free men among you, who even if they could better their condition are not as much inclined to go out of the country as those, who being slaves could obtain their freedom on this condition. I suppose one of the principal difficulties in the way of colonization is that the free colored man cannot see that his comfort would be advanced by it. You may believe you can live in Washington or elsewhere in the United States the remainder of your life [as easily], perhaps more so than you can in any foreign country, and hence you may come to the conclusion that you have nothing to do with the idea of going to a foreign country. This is (I speak in no unkind sense) an extremely selfish view of the case. (5 Collected Works 372).
Lincoln pointed, by example, to the successes in the colony of Liberia, with a population of 300,000 – 400,000, including some 12,000 American slaves who had settled there upon being freed. Recognizing that African Americans might not want to settle as far away as Africa, Lincoln offered an alternative:
The place I am thinking about having for a colony is in Central America. It is nearer to us than Liberia---not much more than one-fourth as far as Liberia, and within seven days’ run by steamers. Unlike Liberia it is on a great line of travel---it is a highway. The country is a very excellent one for any people, and with great natural resources and advantages, and especially because of the similarity of climate with your native land---thus being suited to your physical condition. The particular place I have in view is to be a great highway from the Atlantic or Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, and this particular place has all the advantages for a colony. On both sides there are harbors among the finest in the world. Again, there is evidence of very rich coal mines. A certain amount of coal is valuable in any country, and there may be more than enough for the wants of the country. Why I attach so much importance to coal is, it will afford an opportunity to the inhabitants for immediate employment till they get ready to settle permanently in their homes. (5 Collected Works 373-74).
Lincoln asked the men to consider the idea and to help him get “a number of able-bodied men, with their wives and children, who are willing to go” and join the government’s colonization efforts. Lincoln expressed that his plan would work so long as he could find “twenty-five able-bodied men, with a mixture of women and children...” who were willing to go. (5 Collected Works 375).” A Look At Lincoln: Lincoln and Slavery
As you can see, the problem with Lincoln’s plan was the now freed bourgeois Negroes. Of course, hindsight is always twenty-twenty as the saying goes. But it makes you wonder if those freed men and women had had a crystal ball at that time to see the future struggles of people of color in this country just be accepted as human beings, let alone equality as a citizen, would they, should they have taken Lincoln’s deal or even sweetened the pot to their advantage?
When folks like David Walker and the freed men and women who rejected offers to leave the country embraced America as their land of opportunity and the right to be thought of as equal citizens, there is a glaring hypocrisy that literally hits one up-side the head with the proverbial baseball bat. The act of staying in America for the opportunity it represented was in and of itself, a tacit acceptance on the part of so-called Blacks, Negroes, Mulattoes, colored, Yellow-negroes, bourgeois-negroes, and niggas that slavery, for all the suffering and hardships it caused, was a good thing. Because based upon the Anglo-Saxons views regarding the so-called “savages” from the continent of Africa, they would have never allowed them to step foot upon the North American continent, except in their capacity as slaves – period, the end!
There is a reason I spent so much time in this essay discussing the importance of understanding the link between language and culture and the black hole of destiny that awaits those who fail to consider the consequences carefully. Choosing to embrace the centuries-old racist ideology contained within the English language, via the meaning of words such as black, colored, Negro, and nigger, and then adopting these words/codes as a core identity, is the essence of courting disaster. This is especially true when one considers the greater portion of said people in the late 17th and 18th centuries were illiterate. The only reason they referred to themselves using these words, is because these are names taught to them by their oppressors.
What possible excuse could twenty-first century, educated people of color have for doing so?
Human beings, are Homo sapiens, belonging to the genus Homo, and the species, sapiens. That’s it! There is no such thing as the genus Black, Negro, Colored, or Nigger, and as I said before, there does not exist a country on earth called Black. An Italian who refers to self as an Italian American, is legitimately just that — an individual who can trace his/her heritage back to a country on the European continent called, Italy. As I’ve said, think of these words as codes or operating programs that are uploaded into our quantum computers (brains) to establish the parameters of our existence within the cultural framework designed by the originators of the language we speak.
There is a huge difference between calling oneself a Nigerian American, as opposed to the generic African American or Black. This is especially true if the African portion has been mixed with the DNA of the Anglo-Saxon. This is why so-called “Black” people can’t stop talking about slavery, because in the English language, the word black literally means a slave from the continent of Africa.
The word black also means; devoid of light, very evil, wicked, calamitous, sullen, disastrous, miserable, unhappy, sad, wretched, sick, weird, macabre, and angry just to name a few. All of that negativity is programmed into words that have vibrations, which activate our quantum computers to accept specific roles within the culture.
Of course, the first objection I always hear from “Black people,” whenever this specific conversation about the use of these words is discussed is this; “that’s not how we define ourselves, that’s the White man’s definition.” To which, I remind them, we are currently speaking and reading the “White man’s” language. And you can’t wake up one day and decide to change the meaning of words just to suit your own agenda.
It is clear that scant consideration was given to these matters by the slaves who taught themselves to read and write the English language, with the exception of a few whose opinions were soundly rejected by the Black intelligentsia. You really can’t blame a people living in the 17th and 18th centuries for not understanding the inherent subtly of language and culture. But even the smartest intellectuals still referred to themselves as Black, colored, or negro.
One of the most prominent and dare I say, messianic voices to emerge from the shackles of pre-Emancipation slavery was the venerable Frederick Douglas. He was born into slavery in 1817. He learned how to read and write and then when on to publish three autobiographies, was a preeminent leader in the Equal Rights Movement, an orator of exceptional skills gaining world recognition, the national leader for the New York and Massachusetts Abolitionist Movement, a supporter for the rights of women to vote, and was also one of the founding members of the Republican Party.
Douglas was a student of the Constitution and understood the importance of attaining legitimacy as full citizens within the framework of these laws and possessed an uncompromising commitment to this goal in everything he did and said. The most divisive issue he tackled within the so-called Black community of freed slaves, was whether or not Negroes should seek to assimilate themselves into the culture of America, or to develop self-segregated enclaves away from their former oppressors.
Read the following quote from Frederick Douglas, carefully;
“One thing which they ought to do, in order to hold their own against this enemy, is to give up cultivating what they call 'race pride', a sentiment too much like that which is 'the lion in the way' of our progress... Do we not know that every argument we make, and every pretension we set up in favor of race pride, is giving the enemy a stick to break our own heads? ... You will, perhaps, think this criticism uncalled for. My answer is that truth is never uncalled for... In some of our colored public journals I have seen myself charged with a lack of race pride. I am not ashamed of that charge. I have no apology or vindication to offer. If fifty years of uncompromising devotion to the cause of the colored man in this country does not vindicate me, I am content to live without vindication. While I have no more reason to be proud of one race than another, I dare to say, and I fear no contradiction, that there is no other man in the United States prouder than myself of any great achievement, mental or mechanical, of which any colored man or woman is the author. This not because I am a colored man, but because I am a man; and because color is a misfortune and is treated as a crime by the American people.” From WikiQuote
“Give up the cultivation of race pride?” Let that sink in for a moment. If you are a person who identifies as Black, his words go against everything you have been taught to believe about the importance of sticking together and being proud of your Blackness. Yet, Frederick Douglas warns, “Every argument and pretense in favor of race pride gives the enemy a stick to break our own heads,” he says. Who is the enemy? I have carefully laid out the Anglo-Saxon ideology concerning slaves and freed men/women. Again, at the heart of this ideology is the separation from a so-called inferior, debased, sub-human race who are unfit to associate or live among White people. So, the last thing any sane person of color should do, is to give credence to these ideas in either actions, words, or deeds.
In a country where it was literally, illegal to teach Negroes how to read and write, learning to do so and excelling beyond the capabilities of those who passed such laws, should have been the goal for every Negro. If separation and disenfranchisement was the prevailing attitude, full integration and assimilation should have been imperative for survival. If one was unwilling or unable to accomplish this, then making a deal to get the hell out of the country and back to a simpler life, should have become the a priority.
What did the freed Negroes/Black, chose to do?
In 1887, Isaiah Thornton Montgomery and his cousin Benjamin Green, co-founded a thirty-thousand-acre colony that was home to about eight-hundred Black farmers called Mount Bayou, located in Northwest Mississippi. On face value, such a feat for former slaves would appear to be a great accomplishment, but it came with a huge price tag. In an effort to protect the colony from attacks by local vigilantes who couldn’t stand to see successful Negroes, Montgomery, the only Negro chosen to serve as a delegate to the Mississippi Constitutional Convention, tossed 123,000 Black voters under the bus, by agreeing to their disenfranchisement as voters. The last thing White Mississippians wanted was “niggers” voting, because they felt it would put silly ideas into their heads that they were equal to white people. Montgomery was widely praised by pragmatic Whites who thought of him as a “Good nigger,” for his accommodationist position. Yes, the colony was successful, and the Black famers were making money, but many felt the price was too damn high for the thousands of Negroes not invited to the party. And the bottom line is, he didn’t bother to ask those who would be excluded.
As I was reading the Wikipedia article on Montgomery, in the background of my mind, I was thinking about the hook to Lil’ Wayne’s rap, Rich As Fuck – “Look at you, now look at us…, all my niggas are rich as fuck!” Clearly, the only thing Montgomery care about was the immediate success of his endeavors. Even though he was harshly criticized by Northern freed Blacks for his actions, the damage was done.
Also, Booker T. Washington, another former slave who rose to prominence as a leader within the congregation of freed negroes agreed with Montgomery. His list of accolades is long indeed, which included becoming Principal of the Tuskegee Institute, served as advisor to multiple presidents on issues dealing with negroes, while using his notoriety to mobilize coalitions of middle-class blacks, church leaders, politicians, and white philanthropists from across the country with the goal of highlighting the need for building social contacts, economic strength, and pride among negroes to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.
But he was roundly criticized for advancing the idea that African Americans should accept some forms of racial segregation, including the Jim Crow Laws, and their disenfranchisement from politics and voting. It was a position that earned him the pejorative title of “The Great Accommodator.” He agreed with Montgomery’s tactics of trading political power for economic advancement to the extent that he went on to elucidate upon this strategy in his famous, Atlanta Compromise speech of 1895.
Then along came W. E. B. Dubois, born in the solid middle-class neighborhood of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He was a highly educated man, having completed his graduate studies at the University of Berlin and Harvard University (both citadels of Anglo-Saxon indoctrination), and went on to become the first African American to earn a doctorate. He later served as a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University and was one of the founders of the NAACP and served as the chief editor for Crisis magazine – the public voice of the organization.
At this point, I would like to take a slight detour to drill-down on the bourgeois Negro and statements made at the beginning of this essay, that no group of individuals in America have done more harm to people of color then the well-off bourgeois Negroes during the course of American history.”
1. Belonging to or characteristic of the middle class, typically with reference to its perceived materialistic values or conventional attitudes.
Where did the materialistic values and conventional attitudes come from? As I have said numerous times, language and culture are inseparable. Slaves were bred to work on plantations and other fields of endeavor that required laborers and servants, not for their IQs. Various slaves would be elevated to positions that brought them inside the homes of their masters as personal servants to the family. Once inside, the last thing that slave wanted was to displease his masr’ in any way that would reduce him back to the position as a common field negro. It’s human nature. Many of these House negroes, depending on the disposition of their masters toward them, were often thought of as being a part of the family, because their entire existence revolved around making masr’ and his family happy.
This elevated position allowed them many comforts, which included being able to eat the scraps of leftovers from family meals, which the slave had prepared, as well as wearing masr’s hand-me-downs, bathing on a regular basis, because the last thing masr’ wanted was a foul smelling, unwashed negro serving their food and doing chores around the house. Bottom line is, the House negro was living high on the hog – still a slave, but doing a lot better than the field negros.
Once slaves began to gain their freedom, a small percentage began to teach themselves how to read and write, and like Montgomery, Booker T., and DuBois, they worked themselves into positions as business owners, lawyers, or found jobs working in the steal, railway, and shipbuilding industries. But this was all under the auspices of the White ruling class that allowed certain negroes to hold these positions as long as they knew their place. It was also human nature for these former slaves, after learning the language and becoming completely inculcated into their slice of American culture, to feel superior to the masses of poor Negroes or ghetto dwellers, which was a common reference used by the bourgeois.
“There are two types of Negroes in this country. There’s the bourgeois type who blinds himself to the condition of his people, and who is satisfied with token solutions. He’s in the minority. He’s a handful. He’s usually the handpicked Negro who benefits from token integration. But the masses of Black people who really suffer the brunt of brutality and the conditions that exist in this country are represented by the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.” From: House Negroes on the Loose: Malcolm X and the Black Bourgeoisie - Malcolm X, “Twenty Million Black People in a Political, Economic, and Mental Prison” (1963)1
In fact, the white slave owner who knew the negro well, were careful to avoid the pitfalls essential to keeping their slaves ignorant, respectful, afraid, and focused on their labor. As a result, they knew the one thing that would be disastrous for the care and upkeep of “niggers,” would be allowing them to learn how to read or write, because it would render them unfit to be slaves. To thwart such a thing from happening, several states such as Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, North and South Carolina, Louisiana, and Maryland enacted strict Antiliteracy Laws between 1740 and 1834, which prohibited the teaching of negroes to read or write. In his autobiography written in 1881, Frederick Douglas explain the philosophy behind such laws, perfectly;
“Master Hugh was astounded beyond measure and, probably for the first time, proceeded to unfold to his wife the true philosophy of the slave system, and the peculiar rules necessary in the nature of the case to be observed in the management of human chattels. Of course, he forbade her to give me any further instruction, telling her in the first place that to do so was unlawful, as it was also unsafe; "for," said he, "if you give a nigger an inch, he will take an ell. Learning will spoil the best nigger in the world. If he learns to read the Bible, it will forever unfit him to be a slave. He should know nothing but the will of his master and learn to obey it. As to himself, learning will do him no good, but a great deal of harm, making him disconsolate and unhappy. If you teach him how to read, he'll want to know how to write, and this accomplished, he'll be running away with himself." Such was the tenor of Master Hugh's oracular exposition; and it must be confessed that he very clearly comprehended the nature and the requirements of the relation of master and slave”. From: the Life and Times of Frederick Douglas, written by himself. Chapter X: Learning to Read - pg 94-97
“He should know nothing but the will of his master and learn to obey it,” said master Hugh. When you consider that somewhere upward from 95% of the aggregate slave population in America where illiterate, then a freed man or woman who learned to read and write would be superior to the average Negro. This isn’t speculation; these are the facts as demonstrated by Montgomery playing fast and loose with the voting rights of more than one-hundred thousand Negros in Mississippi, Booker T. Washington and his accommodationist attitudes, and W. E. B. DuBois willingness to accept some of the legal restrictions of the Jim Crow Laws to protect a few jobs and businesses owned by other bourgeois Negroes like himself.
The Bourgeois Negros in many ways, became for poor blacks, what their masr’s were during slavery – looking down upon them, while taking it upon themselves to become the all-knowing sages of what was good for all Negroes, based on their lofty positions in society and education. They no more wanted to associate with the poor and uneducated blacks than whites did.
So, as the era of freed men and women began, so too did disputes in ideologies between the various classes of Blacks, Negroes, and Ghetto dwellers began. One faction thought the other was trying to speak and act like they were white. Another had good hair, this one had more money, a better education. From this great divide arose the voices of leadership that would attempt to bring all these various factions and ideologies together with a cohesive plan that would lift the people out from under the heel of their white oppressors.
In Carl T. Rowan’s biography of Justice Thurgood Marshall, Dream Makers, Dream Breakers, Marshall was quoted lamenting;
“It was all but impossible to get Negroes in one state to give a shit about what was happening to Black people in another state,” Marshall recalled for me (Rowan) in 1955. “Hell, even in another city. Our legal efforts were tied to a shoestring because in those days brainwashed Negroes who had a little money couldn’t get their fucking act together.” From: Carl T. Rowan’s biography of Justice Thurgood Marshall, Dream Makers, Dream Breakers – pg 84
Thurgood Marshall’s professor and mentor William H. Hastie, the first African American to serve as Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, and as a federal judge, a federal appellate judge, a US Circuit Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit had this to say in regards to the ideal of self-segregation by Blacks;
“For fifty years prejudiced white men and abject, boot-licking, gut lacking, knee bending, favor seeking Negroes have been insulting our intelligence with a tale that goes like this: Segregation is not evil. Negroes are better off by themselves. They can get equal treatment, and be happier too, if they live and move and have their being off by themselves – except, of course, as they are needed by the white community to do the heavy and dirty work, and why should we object to being set off by ourselves if we are with our own people, who are just as good as anyone else. But any Negro who uses this theoretical possibility as a justification for segregation is either dumb, or mentally dishonest, or else he has like Esau, chosen a mess of pottage. From: Carl T. Rowan’s biography of Justice Thurgood Marshall, Dream Makers, Dream Breakers – pg 63
Even though Frederick Douglas, had achieved a status that would have been considered middle class, he stayed committed to achieving full integration and the idea that human nature would result in the melding of Whites and Blacks into a new hybrid race of free, color-blind Americans. He believed it was the only way for people of color to achieve true equality. He died in 1895. Fourteen years later the NAACP was founded in 1909, by the bourgeois, and egotistical accommodationist DuBois, along with Mary White Ovington, a white woman who was born into a wealthy, abolitionist family, and Ida B. Wells, a former slave born in Holly Springs, Mississippi.
Wells, like Frederick Douglas, was an unyielding supporter of equal rights, as well as a renowned investigative reporter who revealed the dark underpinnings behind many of the lynchings of the South in her famous pamphlet titled, Southern Horrors, Lynch Law in All Its Phases. Ida Well and DuBois clashed over his accommodationist views to the extent that he often refused to acknowledge her as one of the founding members of the NAACP.
In 1916 and again in 1933, DuBois and Joel Spingarn – the first Jewish chairman of the board for the NAACP, organized a series of conferences to literally set the agenda for the future of the race. It was attended by several prominent bourgeois Negroes at Spingarn’s conference center on his property in Amenia, New York. The conference of 1933 resulted in an agreement among those in attendance to pursue the idea of Cultural Nationalism as the direction for all negroes in America. In a confidential memorandum sent to Walter White, in 1934, Joel Spingarn lamented;
“The Amenia Conference voted in favor of cultural nationalism for the American negro as the most important thing for the negro to aim at. This represents the attitude of most of the Negro intelligentsia, or at least of the most advanced groups, and is akin to what certain groups of advanced Jews are aiming at, such as Ludwig Lewison’s opposition to all forms of assimilation and the Zionists desire for political separation. Whether one likes it or not, it is a strong contemporary trend, and in the direction of self-imposed segregation.” From: Carl T. Rowan’s biography of Justice Thurgood Marshall, Dream Makers, Dream Breakers - pg 61
Conflicts between the various factions within the diaspora of freed Negroes and Blacks persisted throughout history until today. From the battles within the NAACP between Walter White and Dubois, to the raging battles between Stokely Carmichael, head of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and Dr. King over whether protests should remain non-violent or violent, to Carmichael’s insistence on the slogan “Black Power” vs. Dr. King’s “Freedom Now,” there has never been a unified platform under which Blacks/Negros, worked together.
“Most of the discussion, however, centered upon SNCC's new battle cry, which had received extensive negative coverage in the national press. "I pleaded with the group to abandon the “Black Power slogan,” King recounted." It was my contention that a leader has to be concerned about the problem of semantics," and not simply ignore the harmful connotations of his words. Carmichael and McKissick both contended that the March needed a slogan, and that the enthusiastic response of Mississippi's common people showed that "black power" expressed their desires. King complained that whites would read intimations of black separatism and violence into the phrase, and suggested his colleagues use "black consciousness" or "black equality" instead. Neither Carmichael nor McKissick would budge, however, and the SCLC contingent was equally adamant that it would not surrender "freedom now." Finally, after interminable argument, both sides agreed on a compromise: Neither would give up its slogan, but the competitive chanting would stop. As the session was breaking up, Carmichael went up to King, saying, “Martin, I deliberately decided to raise this issue on the march in order to give it a national forum and force you to take a stand for Black Power.” King, sensing that Stokely's assertion was part truth and part arrogant self-justification, smiled easily. "I have been used before. One more time won't hurt." From David J. Garrow’s, Pulitzer Prize winning, Bearing the Cross – Martin Luther King Jr. and The Southern Christian Leadership Conference – pg 485
Also, people forget that Malcolm X, forbade members of the Nation of Islam from attending Dr. King’s famous March on Washington of 1963, referring to it as the “Farce on Washington.” Meanwhile, the actions/inactions of leadership from these various organizations demonstrated they had learned the ways of the Anglo-Saxons very well by embracing the core ideology that kept people of color in their proper place; poor, angry, wanting, frustrated, hate-filled, calamitous, and living on modern-day plantations – in other words – black, by definition. Dr. King addressed the issue surrounding the use of the phrase “Black Power” in an interview with the New York Times;
“Stanley Levison convinced King it was imperative that SCLC's dissent from “black power” be registered prominently with a broad national audience as soon as possible, and King approved a Levison draft of a statement run under King's name as a paid advertisement in The New York Times. “Black power,” the statement declared, was “an unwise choice” of words that had “caused substantial confusion and alarm” and had proven “dangerous and injurious” to the movement. It’s popularity in the black community came "not from a sense of strength but from a feeling of weakness and desperation” and from some activists' desperate search for a method to shock and pressure the white majority to come to terms with an evil of staggering proportions.” Much of its appeal was due to blacks' perception that the federal commitment to civil rights was lessening and that “extravagant promises made less than a year ago are a shattered mockery today.” King professed to Times readers that “I confidently believe that the call for 'Black Power' will rapidly diminish,” but his true feelings were different. “You just can't communicate with the ghetto dweller and at the same time not frighten many whites to death,” he admitted to one questioner.” From David J. Garrow’s, Pulitzer Prize winning, Bearing the Cross – Martin Luther King Jr. and The Southern Christian Leadership Conference – pg 497
If it wasn’t for men like Walter White, Thurgood Marshall, Charles Hamilton Houston, and Williams H. Hastie, there would have never been a Barack H. Obama. They understood the importance of ending the separate but equal farse that a Negro student could get the same quality education in an all negro law school that he could get in a white law school. There was no comparison. These men and others who worked tirelessly for ending the evils of racial segregation were instrumental in ending the illegal Jim Crow Laws, and had won the greatest battle of all in the unanimous SCOTUS decision, Brown verse Board of Education. These men understood that the key to equality in America revolved around understanding how to use the laws of this nation to improve the lives of people of color.
“Marshall simply believed that every injustice could be redressed under the rules of law – if the NAACP could muster up enough money and lawyers to go to court against the myriad outrages.” From David J. Garrow’s, Pulitzer Prize winning, Bearing the Cross – Martin Luther King Jr. and The Southern Christian Leadership Conference – pg 81
But, as Thurgood Marshall lamented, their legal efforts were basically thought of as existing on the lower scale of importance by the Dr. Kings and Stokely Carmichaels, because they believed the process took too long and therefore received little financial support. Instead, the various Negro organizations relied upon stirring up emotions of so-called “Ghetto Dwellers” to act out emotionally while utilizing marches and violence, if necessary, to garner short term token legislative handouts that could easily be taken away. During the legal arguments for Brown vs. Board of Education, Thurgood Marshall made the following statement;
“When Reed pressed his belief that segregation was a matter for legislatures, not the Supreme Court, Marshall replied: ““The rights of minorities… have been protected by our Constitution… as to whether I, as an individual, am being deprived of my rights is not legislative, but judicial.”” From: Carl T. Rowan’s biography of Justice Thurgood Marshall, Dream Makers, Dream Breakers – pg 201
Judicial, not legislative, meaning in a court of law suing, as opposed to allowing politicians determine the outcome and dispense justice. Today, we have the hapless Black Lives Matter Movement, marching, protesting, threatening, shooting police officers, and beating up elderly whites, all the while creating millions of converts running away from Liberals, faster than Usain Bolt in a track and field event. It is indicative of a-hundred years of failure on the part of the so-called Black intelligentsia. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that failure must have been the goal all along, when you consider the billions of dollars that have flowed through a multitude of organizations created to deliver the equality and justice BLM is complaining about the absence of in our culture.
Organizations like the National African American League 1890, the NAACP 1909, the Nation of Islam 1930, the National Council of Negro Women 1935, the Congress of Racial Equality 1942, the United Negro College Fund 1944, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference 1957, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 1960, the Black Panthers 1966, and the Rainbow Coalition created in 1969 just to name a few.
Also consider the separate African American Museums and sixty years of Black studies, Black history months, Black pride, Black Arts, and the hundreds of millions of dollars donated to build and support these institutions and movements. Then consider that Black children rank lower in education than children of the poorest third-world countries on earth. Each of these organizations created to improve the lives of Blacks and bring about equality are merely islands unto themselves, headed by individuals with their own agendas siphoning money to allow their leaders to live high on the hog draped in the fine clothing, dripping in gold and silver jewelry, while driving fancy cars and scoffing at the very folks they were supposed to be helping.
The entire history of failure by the so-called Black leadership in America can be summed up in the two opposing views that would define the future of a people of color until this very day;
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.1963, Washington, D.C.
"We are going to build a movement in this country based on the color of our skins that is going to free us from our oppressors, and we have to do that ourselves." Stokely Carmichael 1966
Just in case you forgot;
Racism: a belief that race, is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority (or inferiority) of a particular race. Merriam-Webster
Building a movement, “based on the color of our skins,” and calling oneself Black, is the very definition of racism. It is exactly what Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X, the Nation of Islam and numerous Black Nationalists like Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton, H. Rap Brown and the entire push for "Black Pride" accomplished. No matter how you look at it, even if we applied Dick Gregory’s attempt at changing the meaning of the word racism, “the ability to control someone else's faith and destiny,” we still arrive at the same conclusion.
The imposition of a definitive false ideology called Black Culture or Cultural Nationalism upon a people of color was, is, and will always be racist at its core, and a complete disaster! In the summer of 1968 at the Olympics in Mexico, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood upon the victory stand to receive their medals with raised fists thrusting "Black Power" into every home in America and the world. Then on August 7, 1968 with the release of James Brown's, Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud people of color finally - collectively - came together for the first time in history in support of a single platform for the future of the race; their own destruction! Because it was at that precise moment in history, one-hundred-five years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, that a broad spectrum of people chose without reservation, to fasten the chains of slavery around their own collective minds by embracing "Blackness" as their core identity.
From the beginning of this essay I have demonstrated that the word black was and is associated with separation and everything abhorrent within the language/culture of the Anglo-Saxons, and the embodiment of slavery. Yet, so-called Black people refused to understand that it is impossible to create a separate culture within the framework of an existing culture, using the language of said culture to define themselves.
This is especially true when you consider centuries of sexual intermingling and swapping of DNA that literally created the hybrid human beings that currently exist on this continent. You don’t have to take my word for it; listen once again to the words of a homegrown prophet;
“The native land of the American Negro is America. His bones, his muscles, his sinews, are all American. His ancestors for two hundred and seventy years have lived and laboured and died, on American soil, and millions of his posterity have inherited Caucasian blood. It is pertinent, therefore, to ask, in view of this admixture, as well as in view of other facts, where the people of this mixed race are to go, for their ancestor are white and black, and it will be difficult to find their native land anywhere outside of the United States.” From; Frederick Douglas Political Apostasy
On July 16, 1945 as J. Robert Oppenheimer, an Anglo-Saxon, witnessed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon he thought of a line from Hindu scripture; “Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds.”
In 1968 at fifteen-years old, as I watched people from my neighbor who looked like me with various shades of brown skin profess their pride in being black shouting, “say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud,” a cold shiver coursed through my being. Something wasn’t right. A short time later, I found a copy of the Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate dictionary and looked up the word black. The first definition that hit me square in the chest was: devoid of light, and it caused me to immediately remember the words of a sermon I had heard while serving as an Alter-boy at Saint Veronica’s Catholic Church, located in the predominantly negro community of Cherry Hill, in south Baltimore.
The Priest at the time was a white man, as were all the nuns who operated out of our little church at the top of Cherry Hill road. The sermon was on the meaning of John, Chapter 1.
John, Chapter 1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2) He was in the beginning with God. 3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
I remember rolling the verse around in my mind for quite some time; In Him was life, and the life was the light of men, and a feeling of dread, over the implications of a people I had grown up with, calling themselves a word that meant they were devoid of light and therefore life? They had chosen to become servants of death; the destroyers of lives and communities. And as I continued to read the definitions listed in Merriam-Webster’s relating the word black, the dread grew stronger and stronger.
There was a young man who lived in the neighborhood my family had moved to upon leaving the city of Baltimore called Cedar Hill, a predominantly Negro community of middle class, family-oriented individuals. The children of Cedar Hill were among the first in the nation to be bussed to many of the predominantly white schools located in Glen Burnie. This young man, who was the first Black militant of our neighborhood as well as a religious fanatic, had a fierce countenance and was always quick to admonish anyone who seemed to veer away from the party line of politics or religion. I figured he would be the perfect person to explain the conundrum I faced over identifying myself as Black, as well as the incongruity the word seemed to have from a Biblical standpoint.
Upon asking him about what I had found within the pages of Merriam-Webster’s his response was swift, “You Black now nigger, and you better get used to it. Don’t pay no attention to them lies in that dictionary. That’s the white man’s meaning of the word he done brainwashed you to believe.”
We never got around to discussing the Biblical portion of my inquiry, as I felt that he was about to punch me for not proudly proclaiming my blackness on the spot, as he had instructed me to do. Never-the-less, his response had caused a considerable amount of consternation in my life over the proceeding years as I witnessed the manifestation of the “white man’s’ definition of the word black, grow within black communities across this country like a deadly plague. How could I be right and everyone else be wrong, I constantly asked myself over the years as I searched for answers.
As time marched on, the dread I had felt as a child turned into a reality as I witnessed the horrors of blacks selling death to each other via increasingly deadlier formulations of addictive drugs like crack and heroine, and the death toll from Black on Black murder skyrocketing. From the early 1980s until the late 1990s, the destruction of entire families and cities ensued, wiping out more blacks than both atomic bomb blasts at Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined.
Black people had become so proficient at exterminating each other that Oppenheimer’s lament, seem more like child’s play comparatively.
In conclusion, from the moment slavery ended, people of color on this soil have made every mistake that could possibly have been made in their efforts to remain here and achieve the goal of becoming equal to every other citizen living upon this land of opportunity. In fact, America is the only country on planet earth where each individual citizen is by law, rendered as an equal to every other citizen, regardless the color of our skin. I’m sure most people of color reading this would likely fall out of their chairs laughing at what they consider my naiveté, but it is the one truth that is indisputable in the United States Supreme Court. Our rights as citizens under the laws can be compared in many ways, to the rights one has as a copyright or patent owner. The moment someone encroaches upon that which you have created, the law doesn't jump up to protect your intellectual property. The person who owns the patent or copyright must take the proper legal action to protect their rights.
What people of color failed to grasp, especially the so-called Black leadership, was just how important the unanimous Supreme Court decision of Brown vs. Board of Ed was;
“All of a sudden, the moment of crisis and hope had arrived, with five Supreme Court cases dealing with school segregation generally lumped together under the title Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
Almost no one in the land was so naïve as to think that these cases were simply attacks on Jim Crow schools. Brown was clearly an assault on the “the Southern way of life,” an attack on ingrained racial customs of border states like Kansas and Delaware, and, although few people wanted to talk about it, the de facto segregation in schooling, housing, and almost every aspect of life in even the northern-most communities of America.”
Sitting on the Supreme Court bench to hear the oral arguments were nine, “very troubled white men,” according to Thurgood Marshall, which included Stanley F. Reed, a Kentuckian who delivered the decision in the Lyons murder case that had crushed Thurgood Marshall’s heart. Also, Hugo Black, from Alabama and a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, and “Little Napoleon” Frankfurter, the five-foot-five-inch advocate of “judicial restraint,” according to Marshall. He knew the only way that the country would be able to come together was if they could somehow wrest a unanimous decision from these nine justices, who held the fate and destiny of the nation and people of color in their hands. Anything else would cause a split, thrusting the nation into uncertainty.
The man Thurgood Marshall lost sleep over was Chief Justice Frederick Moore Vinson, appointed by President Truman in 1946. But on September 8, 1953, Vinson died of a sudden heart attack. To replace him, President Eisenhower, appointed Earl Warren, perhaps the greatest Chief Justices in the history of the Supreme Court, who somehow, miraculously wrested a unanimous decision in favor of Thurgood Marshall’s team of lawyers.
The point is, that once this landmark decision was handed down, the NAACP lawyers had accomplished that, which every version of the so-called Civil Rights, and social equality proponents within the negro community had been working for from the beginning. At that point, as Thurgood Marshall said; “every injustice could be redressed under the rules of law – if the NAACP could muster up enough money and lawyers to go to court against the myriad outrages,” period, the end.
From that moment forward, every resource, every dollar that was being funneled into the myriad of dueling civil rights organizations should have been funneled into the NAACP to pay for the legal challenges to fair housing, job discrimination – any form racism that showed its ugly head in America. A full frontal legal assault over the next ten to fifteen years would have completely changed the fabric of race relations and status for people of color living in America. Yet, the biggest roadblock standing in the way, was so-called Black leadership.
Instead of fighting in the courts, Dr. King, Stokely Carmichael, Malcom X, Floyd McKissick, Jessie Jackson, and a host of so-called black leaders decided they couldn’t wait for the legal process to resolve these issues. Each of them with their own organizations separate agendas and egos to match, went about organizing protests and marches, while draining much needed resources going after token handouts from the white establishment. Over the next ten years post Brown v. Board of Ed., what did all of their efforts garner - a disastrous "legislative" trinket called the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Johnson’s Great Society that literally laid the groundwork for the destruction of the Black families, communities, dignity, and the extermination of millions of young Black men and women at the hands of Blacks, by definition. Not one attempt was made to sue for financial redress for one-hundred years of Jim Crow Laws that violated the Constitutional rights of people of color.
All the money President Johnson promised Dr. King he was going to "give" to Black people, was diverted to pay for the war in Vietnam. The more Dr. King complained about the funds and the war, the more forces within the government that supported the war wanted to get rid of him. Once Black people realized they had been played again, the anger and frustration grew to the point where the last thing they wanted to hear was more talk about peaceful protests. They wanted "Black Power" and they wanted it when, "Now!" was the chant that Stokely Carmichael led on college campuses and ghettos across the nation. Thus the era of so-called Black consciousness began.
And if that wasn’t enough – if it was imagined that a people could not sink any lower into the abyss of darkness, they would prove once again they could, by embracing the most-vile expression of hatred in any language on planet earth as a subsidiary of Blackness -- calling themselves niggers.
If Black people are truly serious about ending the systemic racism in America, then real change begins with every face staring into a mirror. The last time people of color agreed on a common cause, was the day they chose to become Black and proud. To reverse the curse that was brought down upon their own heads, requires embracing the only identity that immediately guarantees all the hope and change of equality, in the only place that matters – in the laws as they are laid out in the Constitution.
That identity is an American, along with a willingness to fight in the courts of law for any infringement on your rights as a citizen. Not an African American, not a Black American – no prefix is required when one standing before the Supreme Court of these United States, just proof that you are a citizen.