Tag Archives: conservative

The Aftermath Of Integration

1I recently had a conversation with a group of young people, none of which lived during the age of government segregation. Each had strongly convoluted opinions about the era that were not based in fact. This made me think about how much the current world view has changed the reality of black life, as it relates to a historical perspective.

First, white folk never wanted it and chatted go back to Africa at the time. It was never intended to be fair or equal! I am not suggesting that integration should not have happened, but it did have a negative impact on black life and the future of African Americans in many ways. Two prominent ways were in the areas of family and black business.

One thing that happened, for sure was that the black community stopped supporting the businesses in their own communities. After segregation, African Americans flocked to support businesses owned by whites and other groups, causing black restaurants, theaters, insurance companies, banks, etc. to almost disappear. Today, black people spend 95 percent of their income at white-owned businesses. Even though the number of black firms has grown 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007, they only make up 7 percent of all U.S firms and less than .005 percent of all U.S business receipts.

I took the opportunity to educate these young people that in 1865, just after Emancipation, 476,748 free blacks – 1.5 percent of U.S. population– owned .005 percent of the total wealth of the United States. Today, a full 135 years after the abolition of slavery, 44.5 million African Americans – 14.2 percent of the population — possess a meager 1 percent of the national wealth.

If we look at relationships from 1890 to 1950, black women married at higher rates than white women, despite a consistent shortage of black males due to their higher mortality rate. According to a report released by the Washington DC-based think tank the Urban Institute, the state of the African American family is worse today than it was in the 1960s, four years before President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act.

In 1965, only 8 percent of childbirths in the black community occurred out of wedlock. In 2010, out-of-wedlock childbirths in the black community are at an astonishing 72 percent. Researchers Heather Ross and Isabel Sawhill argue that the marital stability is directly related to the husband’s relative socio-economic standing and the size of the earnings difference between men and women.

Instead of focusing on maintaining black male employment to allow them to provide for their families, Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act with full affirmative action for women. The act benefited mostly white women and created a welfare system that encouraged the removal of the black male from the home. Many black men were also dislodged from their families and pushed into the rapidly expanding prison industrial complex that developed in the wake of rising unemployment.

Since integration, the unemployment rate of black men has been spiraling out of control. In 1954, white men had a zero percent unemployment rate, while African-American men experienced a 4 percent rate. By 2010, it was at 16.7 percent for Black men compared to 7.7 percent for white men. The workforce in 1954 was 79 percent African American. By 2011, that number had decreased to 57 percent. The number of employed black women, however, has increased. In 1954, 43 percent of African American women had jobs. By 2011, 54 percent of black women are job holders.

The Civil Rights Movement pushed for laws that would create a colorblind society, where people would not be restricted from access to education, jobs, voting, travel, public accommodations, or housing because of race. However, the legislation did nothing to eradicate white privilege. Michael K. Brown, professor of politics at University of California Santa Cruz, and co-author of“Whitewashing Race: The Myth of a Color-Blind Society” says in the U.S., “The color of one’s skin still determines success or failure, poverty or affluence, illness or health, prison or college.”

Two percent of all working African Americans work for another African American’s within their own neighborhood. Because of this, professionally trained Black people provide very little economic benefit to the black community. Whereas, prior to integration that number was significantly higher because of segregation people in the black community supported each other to sustain their lives and families.

The Black median household income is about 64 percent that of whites, while the Black median wealth is about 16 percent that of whites. Millions of Black children are being miseducated by people who don’t care about them, and they are unable to compete academically with their peers. At the same time, the criminal justice system has declared war on young Black men with policies such as “stop and frisk” and “three strikes.”

Marcus Garvey warned about this saying:

“Lagging behind in the van of civilization will not prove our higher abilities. Being subservient to the will and caprice of progressive races will not prove anything superior in us. Being satisfied to drink of the dregs from the cup of human progress will not demonstrate our fitness as a people to exist alongside of others, but when of our own initiative we strike out to build industries, governments, and ultimately empires, then and only then will we as a race prove to our Creator and to man in general that we are fit to survive and capable of shaping our own destiny.”

Maybe this proves that once past truths are forgotten, and the myths that are lies are born with an unfounded reality detrimental to all, but those who seek to benefit. As I have often said, “I firmly believe education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. We can change the world but first, we must change ourselves.” And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Twitter @JohnTWills

Source: Black Atlanta Star


The Commander In Chief

14993312_10154615666982464_2133913184964303209_nI am grateful and proud to have lived long enough to witness what most people, living or dead, would have ever thought possible, which is to see a Black Man elected President of these United States; not once but twice. Particularly, with America’s documented history concerning race and racism which has been as horrible as anything the world has ever known. Therefore, to know that a man of color is the most powerful man in the world and lives in the White House is as significant as the resurrection of Christ in my view. Regardless of anything he might or might not have done; the optics was great!

There is an old saying in the black community, which is we, black people, have to be twice as good to get half as far. Mr. Obama, like him or not, compare to the last guy the difference is clear. He has changed the history of America, and I say that in spite of the blatant bigotry and opposition from all quarters. White folk, most hate him and of course many black people do as well. Yes, he could have addressed and focused more on the suffering and plight of black people, but I will say compared to all other presidents he has done a marvelous job.

President Obama’s victory two times was as complete and devastating as Sherman’s march through the South. But there is no early sign that the zealots of the anti-government far right-wing have learned anything at all or desire to change their hatred rooted in the color of his skin. So we can expect more terrorism to lie ahead.

Most have forgotten the horrors of the last administration and the misdeeds of prior office holders and some will continue to buy into the ploys of the right. This is to include the McCain types and Donald Trump! I for one am proud of the work Mr. Obama has done and continue to do. Let me also say for the vial hatred constantly directed at him, if there were any dirt or skeletons in his closet – it would surely have been revealed and used against him by now. So I will say just the mere optics of him being president is the most amazing presence one could have.

Let me just recap some of his most recent successes and accomplishments while being CIC:

  • Passed Healthcare Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010).
  • Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression.
  • Passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010) to re-regulate the financial sector after its practices caused the Great Recession.
  • Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan and Iraq: From a peak of 101,000 troops in June 2011, U.S. forces are now down to 91,000, with 23,000 slated to leave by the end of summer 2012.
  • Eliminated Osama bin laden: In 2011, ordered Special Forces raid of secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan and eliminated hundreds of terrorist the world over.
  • Turned around the ailing Auto Industry in 2009 to save one of the last major manufacturing industries through massive restructuring.
  • Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: Ended 1990s-era restriction and formalized new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time.
  • Toppled Moammar Gaddafi in March 2011 ending Gaddafi’s forty-two-year. No American lives were lost.
  • Provided Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers when he signed the Claims Resolution Act, which provided $4.6 billion in funding for a legal settlement with black and Native American farmers.
  • Won a Nobel Peace Prize.

I only selected a few of his significant accomplishments. However, I am proud of the wonderful optics of him being an excellent family man, an inspiration to the world, and role model to billions of minorities, and African Americans in particular. When I look back at history, I cannot find another president who inherited as much mess and still was able to produce positive results. He has outsmarted his opponents at every turn and fought for the American people unlike no other.

Yes, Mr. President you did an amazing job. In fact, considering the opposition before you; I’ll just call you Superman. I believe he can fly! God Bless you Sir and your beautiful family. Finally, we are going to miss you when you are gone! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

To see more accomplishments


Domestic Terrorist

215There is a strange phenomenon taking place in America and around the world. Specifically, America where they have spent trillions in its war on terror, yet turned a blind eye to the terrorist right here at home. They claim the Muslims are the enemy, but the Klan has terrorized the nation unimpeded for a hundred and fifty years. In fact, during the periods of their existence Presidents, Judges, lawmakers, and people of all stripes have been members. Even a few black people so they say!

This terrorist group more commonly known as the KKK was founded in 1866 and extended into almost every southern state by 1870. It became a vehicle for white southern resistance to the Republican Party’s Reconstruction-era policies aimed at establishing political and economic inequality for blacks, and other nonwhites. Its members waged an underground campaign of intimidation and used violence directed at and to intimidate the newly freed slaves.

Although Congress passed legislation designed to curb Klan terrorism, the organization saw its primary goal, the reestablishment of white supremacy, fulfilled through Democratic victories in state legislatures across the South in the 1870s. After a period of decline, white Protestant nativist groups revived the Klan in the early 20th century, burning crosses and staging rallies, parades and marches denouncing immigrants, Catholics, Jews, blacks and organized labor.

The civil rights movement of the 1960s also saw a surge of Klu Klux Klan activity, including bombings of black schools, churches, and violence against black and white activists in the South. I want to clarify something here and remind you the “anywhere south of Canada is in the south.” With the shield of government sanction, this group practiced and got away with murder throughout its existence.

During the civil rights era of the 1960s, the government was able “by any means necessary” to end and destroy black movements. Yet, they seem not to be able to end the Klan’s reign of terror in over a hundred years. Perfect example, the Black Panthers, were removed in about five or six years. Martin was killed ending that movement. In fact, the FBI said this civil rights movement was the most dangerous threat to national security.

They infiltrated all of the black organization, and I believe sort of tried to infiltrate the Klan too. We know there were informants, and law enforcement people present during many of the crimes the Klan committed. Let me go back to my opening; statistics show that twice as many crimes are committed today as by the Middle East terrorist groups. But I would argue that the Klan is far more dangerous to those they oppose than the Arab terrorists because of their efforts to maintain white supremacy.

The question then becomes ‘WHY’ has this violent group managed to survive nearly unchecked for more than a century. The current manifestation is splintered into several chapters with no connection to each other; it is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Today, these groups are estimated that to be around 10,000 known members.

So, if you think the Klan is dead – think again! They use other words like the alt-right, but they are alive and well. Maybe the nation should take a closer look in its own backyard and keep its nose out of everyone else’s affairs. Let me say, if secrecy means hiding beneath a sheet it’s a cowardly strategy! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Ball Of Confusion

trumpI watched as white folk, mostly, pick their champion to be president of their movement to take back their country, which is little more than a revived edition of the Citizens Counsel of a day I thought had long past. If I can quote James Brown, all I have heard is a lot of “talking loud and saying nothing.” I think anything he say will be realized the day Jesus returns!

As I witness this disaster, I likened to the days of Richard Nixon, only on steroids, we will hear him say, I am sure, “I am not a crook.” This guy reminds me of the character from the Wizard of Oz – when you look behind the curtain; you find there is nothing there. Both of these comparisons are very appropriate moving into this new era of the Republican agendas and their efforts to make America White Again!

The Republicans want to go back to this mythical time of the past when they abused the lives of people and the system for their benefit. However, this time they envision was not a good period of time for most, particularly, black people! I will borrow some words from a hit song of the sixties Ball of Confusion; “Segregation, determination, demonstration, Integration, aggravation, Humiliation.” So where is the obligation to the nation?

As I thought more about the words of that song I recalled these words: “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. Vote for me, and I’ll set you free.” Am I the only one who heard a dog whistle – “Make America Great, ” and we know what that means! Coupled with their constant theme “take our country back” tells us that we will not be set free but rather enslaved sort of like what was do during Reconstruction. And we know how that turned out! So the band plays the same old tune.

Eve of destruction, tax deduction
City inspectors, bill collectors
Mod clothes in demand,
Population out of hand
Suicide, too many bills, hippies movin’
To the hills
People all over the world, are shoutin’
End the war

Air pollution, revolution, gun control,
Sound of soul
Shootin’ rockets to the moon
Kids growin’ up too soon
Politicians say more taxes will
Solve everything
And the band played on…

So round ‘n’ round ‘n’ round we go where the world’s headed, nobody knows. The Republicans are singing the same old tune – “take from the needy and give to the greedy”. So to Trump and the gang your platform is Just a Ball of Confusion. Oh yea, that’s what the world is today. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The Foundation Of The Present

20150420_201208History is a powerful tool because it’s like a clock that tells you where you have been and where you have yet to go. Arnold Glasgow once said, “The future is the past returning through another gate.” In other words, history repeats itself and just as Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun.” This is particularly evident in today’s political environment to which I would argue because America is more divisive than probably at any time in its history. It is more racially polarized as it’s ever been.

Just look at the destructive business of justice for example; we see the racially biased war on drugs, stop and frisk, Stand Your Ground, the prison industrial complex that is now a for-profit entity with its stocks traded on the stock market. They call corporations people, yet they never serve time for their crimes. There is no question, and statistics bears it out, that these policies and laws disproportionately affect African Americans and minorities. It is not much different than the Black Codes or Slave Laws of the past, which is why we need groups like the black lives matter movement today.

Let’s go one step further. The state of race relations is at its worst in a hundred and fifty years. The American president and, in fact, all minorities are much maligned and chastised by groups like the Tea Party and for sure the GOP; both are nothing more than the new face of the “Klan.” Billionaires have bought and paid for the GOP electing politicians who do their bidding with no regard for American or its people and then theirs Trump who may well prove to be the antichrist!

Over time, this culture of hatred has appeared in any number of different forms, i.e., slavery, separate but equal, segregation, and Jim Crow. However, what we see today is different with the same face of racism. It is easy to see because often they will quickly say they are not racist or that they have black friends. So beware of the pat on the back as they smile in your face.

There may be some who will disagree, but the foundation of this democracy was built on the backs of one group or another. Even before Africans were stolen and brought to this country, the nation’s forefathers had already begun to annihilate the people who were already on America’s soil. Although the process was not complete for several hundred years – these people were destroyed.

The mindset of these people in the GOP, the so–called Conservatives, has turned even more dangerous because they have now begun to eat they’re own. This is a clear indication that the least of thee have no chance. From Nixon to their hero Reagan, to Bush, Bush II, and beyond; the goal has been the same, to protect the rich and destroy all others. Therefore, it appears that it is not black and white anymore; rather it’s rich or poor.

So my question to America; how does it feel to be an N-word, because we are all N-words now! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


A Fearless Freedom Fighter

3I have been blessed to have met and known many people over the years; from the infamous to the famous; the great and not so great, and many honorable souls. I have been in the presence of a few presidents, shaken the hand of Nelson Mandela, met Muhammad Ali, famous Motown stars and many entertainers… on and on! However, none have impressed me more than this amazing woman I was allowed to call “Winnie” when I had the pleasure of meeting her.

The former wife of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela–Mandela, is a South African activist and politician; in addition to holding several other government positions. She’s been the head the African National Congress Women’s League and a member of the ANC’s National Executive Committee. I can’t count all the women I’ve known in my life, but I can honestly say that none rise to the level of this amazing woman, who has endured suffering far beyond that of any woman.

I am not trying to rewrite her story, rather give my impression of her from my encounters with the former Mrs. Mandela. Think about this for a moment; her husband was imprisoned for twenty-seven years, she was imprisoned, exiled, financial hardships, her home was bombed, endured attempts upon her life, and years of unthinkable horrors. What I find amazing is that she did this unselfishly for millions of South African’s she has never met. Most of the women I know would leave you for anyone of the above mentioned or as little as the common cold.

She was a controversial activist, yet popular among her supporters, and referred to as the ‘Mother of the Nation’. However, she was reviled by some South African’s while trying to help them achieve freedom. The ANC called her politically and morally accountable for the gross violations of human rights. We know from what our government did to Dr. King and Malcolm X, so personally; I am suspect of any of the public charges brought by the Apartheid government of South Africa.

She met the lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1957. They married in 1958 and had two daughters, Zenani (born 1959) and Zindzi (born 1960). Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1963 and released in 1990. The couple separated in 1992, and their divorce was finalized in 1996 with an unspecified out-of-court settlement.

I want to be clear when I say some will, I’m sure, take issue with my opinion concerning my view of her late husband, who as I understand it divorced her for political reasons. He could forgive his oppressors and jailers, yet could not forgive the woman who sacrificed so much and stood by him for all those years.

It is true that her reputation was damaged by such rhetoric as that displayed in a speech she gave in Munsieville on 13 April 1986. Where she endorsed the practice of necklacing (burning people alive using tires and petrol) by saying: “With our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country.” Further tarnishing her reputation were accusations by her bodyguard that she ordered a kidnapping and murder.

On 29 December 1988, a bodyguard, who was the coach of the Mandela United Football Club (MUFC), which acted as Mrs. Mandela’s personal security detail, abducted 14-year-old James Seipei (also known as Stompie Moeketsi) and three other youths; the four were beaten to get them to admit being informers. The body of one of them was found in a field with stab wounds to the throat. In 1991, she was convicted of kidnapping and being an accessory to assault in connection with the death of Seipei. Her six-year jail sentence was reduced to a fine on appeal.

2

During South Africa’s transition to democracy, she adopted a far less conciliatory and compromising attitude than her husband toward the white community. Despite being on her husband’s arm when he was released in 1990, the first time the two had been seen in public for nearly thirty years and their thirty-eight year marriage ended two years later.

Ms. Mandela’s legal issues are in the public domain, and it’s your choice to Google if you like. What I will say from my perspective: “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” Lastly, I will say having the opportunity to be in her present was a life changing experience and will say proudly that I have yet to meet another woman who impressed me to such a profound degree. I know of no other woman who sacrificed so much for so many unselfishly. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


False Witness

4 horsemenThe difference between genius and stupidity is that a genius does not know he is stupid. I have repeatedly said that the conservative operatives always seem to find some sorry Negro willing to sell their soul or one that is just plain stupid.

The latest house Negro is retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, who recently said President Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement Obamacare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.” On another occasion he said, America is getting to be like Hitler’s German. I am really disappointed to hear that a black man would compare these things openly. I am sure he has knowledge of this atrocity called slavery, which was the worst thing in the history of mankind.

Carson, who retired from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said at the conservative Values Voter Summit in Washington said of Obamacare: “It is slavery, in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government… It was never about healthcare. It was about control.” He went on to say, “That’s why, when this administration took office, it didn’t matter that the country was going off the cliff economically, all forces were directed toward getting this legislation passed,” naturally the event’s 2,000 attendees loved this – sorta like red meat!

He went on to say, “Why did they want to pass it so badly? …socialized medicine is the keystone to the establishment of a Socialist state. That’s the problem.” I would ask if this supposedly smart man can recall who run the country of the cliff for eight years prior to President Obama. The things the prior president did were far worse than anything done since 2008.

I was taught the character of a man is the company he keeps. Brother Carson has been keeping company with the devil: the GOP and organizations like the Heritage Foundation, the American Family Association, American Values, Liberty Counsel Action, and the same crowd that supports the Tea Party.

He has aligned himself with the like Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, and Tim Scott of South Carolina. Others included House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania. To include former Arkansas Gov. and GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint are also scheduled to speak at the summit.

Carson, who is running as a Republican presidential candidate in 2016, continued his attacks on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as well as other policies of the president that began with his comments at the National Prayer Breakfast as Obama sat on the dais, which was a so disrespectful. Frankly, I think he is the worst kind of Negro.

“Government plays a very important role when, in fact, it believes in the Constitution… When they begin to neglect the Constitution when they begin to impose their own will.” “That’s the problem,” he said. My guess is that he has not read the constitution! Yes, the same constitution that labels people of color as three-fifths a man. Not since it was written has that language been changed to identify said people of color as full citizens, and he dares to suggest publicly that this crowd of his gives one damn about him or us.

I would ask the good doctor to recall the budget chairman’s remarks where he said; we have a culture of inner-city men not working or learning the value of working! Mr. Carson that was a dog-whistle, a code, for people who look like you! There has always been “House Negro’s” and “Field Negro’s”. Just because you are suppose to be smart and gifted; does not mean you are intelligent! Therefore, I say sir – “you bear false witness”. As a result, look at what the Republican’s have done to you – threw you under the bus! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Legacy Of 1963

obama-and-kingThe shameful and wretched history of the past should never be forgotten, as it is a guide to our future because history does repeat itself. It’s been more than fifty-years since the historic March on Washington in the pivotal year of 1963 and we are still fighting for the same struggle. This should be an eye-opening reminder of what it was like in the year of 1963 and the horrible things that happened that year. It is clear that certain people, the ones who want to take back their country are wanting to relive a time prior to 1963, which reminds me of “Separate but Equal” – like it was in 1963.

A recap of events of 1963:

  • January 14 – Alabama Governor George Wallace delivers his “segregation now, segregation forever” inaugural speech, penned by Asa Carter, the founder of a KKK terrorist organization.
  • April 12 – Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth and others are arrested in a Birmingham, Alabama protest for “parading without a permit”.
  • April 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr. issued his Letter from Birmingham Jail.
  • May 2 – Thousands of African Americans, many of them children, are arrested while protesting segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor unleashed fire hoses and police dogs on the demonstrators.
  • June 12 – Alabama Governor George Wallace stands in the door of the University of Alabama to protest against integration, before stepping aside and allowing African Americans James Hood and Vivian Malone to enroll.
  • President John F. Kennedy broadcasts a historic Civil Rights Address, in which he promises a Civil Rights Bill, and asks for “the kind of equality of treatment that we would want for ourselves.”
  • June 12 – Medgar Evers, an NAACP worker in Mississippi, is murdered by white supremacist Byron de la Beckwith.
  • August 18 – James Meredith becomes the first black person to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
  • August 28 – Martin Luther King, Jr., delivers his “I have a dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the 250,000 people gathered for the peaceful March on Washington.
  • September 15 – The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham is bombed by the KKK. Four African American girls die in the blast, sparking armed conflict between blacks and whites. Although bombings of black churches had been occurring throughout the Deep South and particularly in Birmingham since 1948, this tragic event galvanized the Civil Rights Movement.

With regard to the Trump, Tea Party, and conservative members it is telling what the seek. I would argue that their mindset is similar to that mindset that created the legacy of 1963. Remember President 43, a Republican, did not attend any of the yearly NAACP Meetings during his presidency. I will digress and say that I was wrong. There was one Republican present for the fiftieth anniversary. It was Abraham Lincoln. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The African American Plight

12

It’s been more that fifty years since the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a watershed moment, in the eyes of some. However nice the show was black people never got that bad check the Dr. King talked about, in the same way, the slaves never got the forty acres nor the mule. Today, black people are poorer and in a worse position now, than in 1963 and near the same position as they were 1863 – really. The sad thing is most continue to believe and wait for the premise of the American dream.

However, we must be mindful that it was not a welcomed event as most of white America and the Kennedy Administration were very much against the March on Washington for equality. In fact, a survey at the time records that most of white America stated “the Negro is happy,” therefore, the request for equality is coming from a few outside agitators. In spite of a quarter of a million people who walked, rode buses and trains to make the statement that they were just plain wrong.

I’m not saying that there has not been significant and important progress in the last 50 years. Surely for some, but if Dr. King were to have an opinion – I am sure he would be very displeased. I don’t profess to be as honorable or noteworthy as some of our so-called leaders, but the disparity between Black Americans and White Americans when it comes to jobs, income, healthcare, and wealth remain vast and much too large. When you look at the urban communities – the plight of Black America is worse than ever in most categories.

Some time ago several organizations gathered and released what they called the annual “State of Black America” report, which highlighted the economic forecast for African Americans in this country. Although the report is presented annually, this year, the Urban League commissioned a half-century study, which in my view was deplorable given the results.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair reported, “the unemployment rate is double for blacks than for whites; we’ve lost more homes to foreclosure than whites, and we’ve lost more wealth than whites”. Yet, they say the percentage of blacks living in poverty has declined 23 points, and the percentage of black children living in poverty is down by 22 points since 1963.”

A point to note, the march was before the signing of any of the landmark civil rights legislation, which adds little credibility to that statement. It is also noteworthy to remember that at that time, in 1963, Jim Crow was the law of the land and its restrictions did not allow “Coloreds,” as they called them, to use the same bathrooms or eat at lunch counters. So, if you consider this environment the fact is there are minimal gains that have been made regarding great progress.

The report credits the civil rights measures that were enacted to open the doors of opportunity for blacks in education and standards of living. Rep. Chaka Fattah said, “It is without contradiction that African Americans have made extraordinary progress in the report… But, compared to the majority, we still have some room to grow”. I wonder if his constituents would agree in Philadelphia. Moreover, any of the basic civil rights for people of color only took about three hundred years to achieve.

The Urban League leader then said, as the budget debate continues in Washington on whether to cut critical program funding, the “State of Black America…” highlights a harsh reality. “Budget-cutting fever will cause economic pneumonia. If we are to move toward lasting economic recovery, full equality, and empowerment, we must apply sustainable solutions keenly focusing on jobs for all Americans and closing the gaps that result in a tale of two Americas”.

I will tell you that I have lived long enough to have witnessed and know that people will say anything, regardless of complication, on any subject. Many will say, “There is no race problem because there’s a black president. Or they will point to a few, out of 42 million, successful African Americans as progress. But the reality is most Blacks in America see the remnants of the Dr. King’s Dream more as a “Nightmare”. I have to say from my vantage point the forecast looks GRIM! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The Rule Of Law

I believe it was Solomon who said “there is nothing new under the sun.” This is a powerful statement! If you look at how history repeats itself, you will come to know this is true. For example, we see today how the Republicans are trying to turn back the hands of time by trying to suppress the voting rights of many minorities you should know this is not new either. This has been a staple of the American political structure.

There have been many ways to suppress people over time; unfortunately, Black people have endured the brunt of these efforts. Of course, as you know, the history of America reports that it was not only Black people affected by these efforts. Just look at what they did to the Native American’s! What I can report is that it was always a minority most affected by these laws to ensure a permanent underclass.

This ideology of White Supremacy began as indentured servants, then slavery, segregation, and now could it be conservatism. In each of these classifications, they called these laws codes, which I suppose make the immoral sanctions sound kinder. The truth is its sole purpose was to suppression the vote and take away rights. Kind of like the agenda behind the States Rights dog whistles we hear today.

Black Codes were laws passed designed specifically to take away civil rights and civil liberties of Black people primarily at the state and local level. This is the reason Conservatives desire a return to “States Rights” and speak of taking back our country because at the state level they can be unimpeded in turning back the hands of time.

Although, most of the discriminatory legislation, in terms of Black Codes, were used more often by Southern states to control the labor, movements and activities of newly freed slaves at the end of the Civil War. But as Malcolm X once said, “Anywhere south of Canada was South” meaning wherever you were in America you were subjected to discrimination in terms of the “separate but equal” laws of the land.

The Black Codes of the 1860’s are not the same as the Jim Crow laws. The Black Codes were in reaction to the abolition of slavery and the South’s defeat in the Civil War. Southern legislatures enacted them during Reconstruction. The Jim Crow era began later, nearer to the end of the 19th century after Reconstruction, with its unwritten laws.

Then there were sundown laws, which meant Blacks, could not live or be caught in certain towns after dark. In some cases, signs were placed at the town’s borders with statements similar to the one posted in Hawthorne California that read “Nigger, Don’t Let The Sun Set On YOU In Hawthorne” in the 1930’s. In some cases, exclusions were official town policy, restrictive covenants, or the policy was enforced through intimidation.

After the abolition of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prior to that Colored’s [as they called them] were considered 3/5’s human. Therefore, all former slave states adopted Black Codes. During 1865, every Southern state passed Black Codes that restricted the Freemen, who were emancipated but not yet full citizens.

While they pursued re-admission to the Union, the Southern states provided freedmen with limited second-class civil rights and no voting rights. Southern plantation owners feared that they would lose their land. Having convinced themselves that slavery was justified, planters feared the former slaves wouldn’t work without coercion. The Black Codes were an attempt to control them and to ensure they did not claim social equality.

The Black Codes outraged public opinion in the North because it seemed the South was creating a form of quasi-slavery to evade the results of the war. After winning large majorities in the 1866 elections, the Republicans put the South under military rule. They held new elections in which the Freedmen could vote. Suffrage was also expanded to poor whites. The new governments repealed all the Black Codes; they were never reenacted – OFFICIALLY.

Therefore, we see hints of it in the racism that has raised its ugly head and risen to the surface of society’s consciousness, particularly in this political climate. Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and especially since the Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibited racial discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing, the number of sundown towns has decreased.

As one historian has noted, “Racial segregation was hardly a new phenomenon because slavery had fixed the status of most blacks, no need was felt for statutory measures segregating the races. These restrictive Black Codes have morphed in one form or another to achieve its desired effect to maintain a superior status by the powers that be. I am only suggesting that we know and understand history for it will open the mind to what the future may present.

This rule of law then, remains the same today! Frankly, if you don’t know where you came from you will never get to where you are going. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!!!

JUST A SEASON 

%d bloggers like this: