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23 May 2015

Black Self/Group-Hatred and the Myriad Ways It's Manifested

 I must say that this topic has followed me like a deadly cold/flu virus over the decades.  When the immune system is weakened, you wake up with that nagging cough, nasal drainage/stuffiness with aches and pains based on the severity of the symptoms. It's part of living on this planet, yet when it runs its course...there is relief. The specter of this virus lurks in the background, though you know there will eventually be another bout. Of course you'll  do all you can to prevent or delay it but many times it prevails.

 As one with Pan-African leanings since the late 60's, it seems appropriate to compare black self-hatred to a physical and spiritual malady. It's exhausting, painful, recurrent, and depending on the severity it can lead to death.  A death of the spirit and body.  Suicidal and homicidal behaviors come to mind as well as the many dysfunctional mannerisms that lend to the objectification of a group of people and rationales for oppressing them.  Ferguson, Cleveland, South Carolina and numerous unnecessary deaths of unarmed black women and men by the police and the sanctioning of it by some blacks in powerful positions comes to mind. In the case of Baltimore, the State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby is the exception and a sheroe.  Mud-slinging and falsified deterrents are in her future as she remains resolute in getting justice for the death of Freddie Gray by police officers.

As I viewed the House Judiciary Committee on police misconduct/violence and the debate between Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and the controversial black Sheriff , David Clarke; the  insidious virus of self-loathing became painfully clear.  Specifically, this is apparent in David Clarke's condoning of police violence in relation to the Eric Garner case and citing that it is the high crime rate of the black underclass that fuels these encounters which he found justifiable. Some would argue that when you isolate a group of people where there  is poverty, hopelessness and a  lack of educational opportunities, this too may lend to self and group hate.  However, we are addressing those who are paid to protect citizens and not militaristic occupiers who harass, brutalize and kill citizens with impunity in these communities. This protector of the 'blue wall of silence' went so far as to challenge the findings of the medical examiner and declare that Mr. Garner died of a heart attack. Of course, the public knows that it was ruled a homicide and that we could believe our "lying eyes" when this event was captured on a video by a spectator. Congressman Jeffries challenged him on the need for police reform and presented some pertinent observations on the use of deadly force. The sheriff could not defend himself on some of the points made.  I witnessed at that point, the symbolic death of his spirit and the emergence of a delirium which reduced his ability to see Mr. Garner and others like him as human beings. He actually refuses to see  himself.  There is a quote by W.E.B. Dubois which states:

There are still a few of us who are running away to avoid each other with the vague feeling that we shall thus lose ourselves in the world and become free.
This phenomena of black self and group hatred throughout history on a domestic and global level persists.  However, we are now in the 21st century and while many of us refuse to accept the perception of others in how we view ourselves; the practice of white supremacy has taken on an air of sophistication. Camouflaged by stigmatizing identity politics or promoting the more well known 'post racial' meme.  It co-opts folks who look like us and rewards them with powerful positions to carry out its agendas. This is a daunting and formidable challenge. It permeates all systems of society.




 I've provided two links to articles that must be shared for they are riveting, heartbreaking and enlightening. One is an article written by Orville Douglas, a black man who resides in Toronto, Canada.  He addresses why he hates being a black man.  Charles Cole III, an educator, wrote a compassionate and self-empowering  article as an open letter to Orville Douglas and those who share his sentiments. Must reads.         




 



Links:
 Why I Hate Being A Black Man
Let's Really Converse About Black Self-Hatred

02 May 2015

The National Emergence Of Baltimorean Dayvon Love

There have been many in the established civil rights and civic organizations who've declared the 'Black Lives Matter' and other youth driven organizations lack leadership.  I disagree for we have folks like Cherrell Brown, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Mychal Denzel Smith...among others that challenge that mindset. There is also  Dayvon Love, which I'm featuring today for this young brother, succinctly stated on the MHP program {5/2/2015} a very important message about the sophistication of white supremacy.

Interviewed on MHP Video
 He said, “I think people reduce racism to individual white folks in leadership, black people who are succumbed to white folks, and I think Baltimore just shows the sophistication of white supremacy, and how it operates, how it takes black figures, puts them in institutional positions, to give the veneer of justice, when really the same institutional arrangement exists.”

The older generations have said this in many different ways, however, lacked the ability in many cases to select those who weren't just figure heads. The millennials are devising more strategic means of effecting change by calculated voting, less reliance on national leadership and empowering  our urban communities.  Mr. Love also made a distinction between the Mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby. The former selected by the establishment and the latter by the people.  A protest march is one strategy, however, we need a multi-pronged approach and these young people are stepping up to the plate. Those of us who are progressive and forward leaning have our eyes on this situation in Baltimore and frankly across the nation with a resolve to help as our means dictate.

19 April 2015

The Truth Surrounding Assata Shakur & Her Fight for Vindication


'Statement of Facts in the New Jersey Trial of Assata Shakur' 

     By her  appeal attorney {2005} & written by Evelyn A. Williams 

*There is also an account of the incident in "Assata's own words"


Assata Shakur: Taken 12/18/14
Read an article the other day in which the fate of Assata Shakur was again in a fragile state subsequent to President Obama's indication that he intends to remove Cuba from the list of nations that sponsor terrorists. I really thought this had been settled when Cuban authorities initially indicated that they would not be releasing those who've sought political asylum in their country when the Obama administration began establishing ties with the Cuban government.


As most of you know who've followed my blog for some time; I've maintained that Ms. Shakur was framed and that she was not responsible for the death of a New Jersey State Trooper in 1973. At the time of the incident, she and the others in their car were involved in the  human rights struggle and NJ police were notorious for harassing black travelers on the turnpike. Assata Shakur was critically injured and Zayd Malik Shakur, a passenger was killed.  For many years after she escaped imprisonment; there were many who were unsure of her fate and when it was common knowledge that she was granted asylum in Cuba and living reasonably well; there was a sigh of relief.  Subsequent tapes of her made in Cuba became available and viewed worldwide  She was very clear about what happened the day of the shootout and her journey since then.

                                                                         
There have been many articles written about her, however, Mychal Denzel Smith, wise beyond his years and very talented wrote an article in The Nation, titled Assata Shakur Is Not a Terrorist which is one of the better assessments of the events surrounding this woman's flight to Cuba under the most horrendous  circumstances. His rally cry in that article was 'Hands off Assata, now and forever.'

11 April 2015

BlackCommentator.com Apr 09, 2015 - Issue 601 - Extra: What Walter Scott's Death Reminds Us - Includes Video By David A. Love, JD, BC Executive Editor - BlackCommentator.com

"HOW LONG...NOT LONG" WE NEED THE RE-MOBILIZATION OF THE  'BLACK LIVES MATTER' MOVEMENT MORE THAN EVER FOR THIS IS SYSTEMIC & WIDESPREAD!

The murder of Walter Scott by rogue cop, Michael Slager was addressed on my side bar under the "Black Lives Matter" site page. As I thought more about the aftermath of events and viewed a number of articles in the blogosphere about this senseless tragedy; I decided to share this article written by David Love, JD, Executive Editor of The Black Commentator.  It is worth the read and this is one of the few websites that I support  where the truth is pure regardless of the facts and video footage for you see we've viewed video images of police misconduct before and the latter were exonerated. The 'Let's Be Clear'  blog article on these events also brings a perspective that
is illuminating, straight ....no chaser and also worth the read.


20 March 2015

Black Right Wing Conservatives: Really?

“A ventriloquist can always find a good dummy. The extreme right wing down here (in South Carolina) finds a black guy to be senator and claims he’s the first black senator since Reconstruction and then he goes to Washington, D.C., and articulates the agenda of the Tea Party.”
~ Rev. William Barber II, President of North Carolina NAACP ~
Re: Tim Scott , Conservative 'Tea Party' Republican

The above quote by Rev. Barber of North Carolina reflects a feeling/viewpoint  that many of us progressive wing folks and  independents have been struggling with for some time. The continual rise of the black conservative movement with a continuum that is blurred or well defined, dependent on the subject matter . There is the far right which includes the above Senator Tim Scott, Star Parker, Larry Elder, Armstrong Williams, Herman Cain, Allen West, Shelby Steele, Ben Carson, Alveda King  and others.  The latter are the most aggressive and insensitive when it comes to the socioeconomic arenas and their impact on black people.  They spew out phrases like 'welfare mentality', with no consideration or lip service given to the exceptional number of white people who are taking advantage of entitlement programs and engage in anti-social activities as well. The culture of poverty lends to many of the dysfunctional behaviors and need based programs that they assign to black folks. There is no distinct racial group that dominates this culture. Their attacks are usually very personal and scathing to black folks who advocate for the oppressed.  The onus for the suffering of many people of color by the justice system, big business and other societal systems are placed squarely on their shoulders. The conservatives  offer excuses for the injustices that dominate the daily newscasts. Somehow it is always something that black folks are doing that result in these injustices. Mr. Thindwa on the 'Credibility Gap of Black Conservatives' provides a splendid analysis on "How Black Conservatives Hurt Their Cause" .   Dr. Adolph Reed, Jr. a few years ago also wrote an interesting article titled "The Puzzle of Black Republicans" Although these articles aren't current, their message rings true today.  This racial shaming by the conservatives is laden with class bias as well and  intertwined with a animus and group loathing that leaves one to distrust their viewpoints for they reek of self-interest at the expense of the group.

06 March 2015

WE REMEMBER SELMA FIFTY YEARS LATER. 'OH THE MEMORIES...HOW THEY LINGER'


Photo Credit:  Public Domain
How poignant and telling these images of yesteryear are as we've witnessed SCOTUS eviscerating  the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Many states have already started employing barriers with  voting policies that are reminiscent of the era when many marched, suffered and lost their lives to claim their inalienable rights as United States citizens. As I've stated before in previous posts, our history in this country tends to be cyclic and as we remember the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we find ourselves again trying to regain protection under the law that will not only ensure equal access to ballot box, but resolve the many injustices in this society.  Current responses to these inequities are mirrored by the rally cry that "Black Lives Matter" as we address police brutality and discriminatory acts by the Criminal Justice System that stubbornly remain the headliners of our lives.  The struggle continues in other areas as well and the question becomes....is there ever any rest for the weary? 
 
Photo Credit:  Public Domain

*UPDATE:  AND THEY CAME....HAVE MERCY! {MARCH 8, 2015}


Photo Credit:  Butch Dill, AP
Photo Credit:  Daily Mail




 Articles related to this anniversary are as follows:
 Bloody Sunday 50th Anniversary:  Thousands Crowd Selma Bridge
John Lewis On Democracy Now: "I Thought I Saw Death"
Leonard Pitts, Jr.:  'What Was Won in Selma 50 Years Ago Being Lost Today'