Tag Archives: Separate but Equal

The Truth Is: It’s All Lies

3The way white folk tell the story of history it always makes him the hero, which is why it’s called His-Story. The truth of the matter is that very little of what he told is true! We can start with Columbus who was the original robber and murderer! Then we can ask the native people of America how they were treated. When it comes to Black people history is clear the crimes inflicted upon this race. But they say that “all men are created equal”. This was the biggest lie ever told!

Minister Malcolm asked a profound question before he was taken from us. Having seen racism, known Jim Crow and witnessed segregation I’ve pondered and sought the answer to a question brother Malcolm asked and I presume most black people have done as well; “How can so few rule so many?”

After I became a man, I learned the answer was right before my eyes in the place where all the lies are buried – the LIBRARY. Perhaps, this is the reason black people were killed for learning how to read. These people knew if the oppressed could read they would learn everything told and taught to them in terms of history was a lie, which means the actual truth was never told and one of amoral behavior and pure evil perpetrated in the name of God.

The story of the conquerors begins with a criminal who got lost and stumbled upon an island he called the new world, never reaching the shores of America but given credit for discovering it. Upon his arrival, he raped, murdered, and pillaged becoming their hero. Others followed with the same criminal intent to take the land where people resided and all the resources claiming under the guise of “Manifest Destiny,” which means God himself, said they were entitled to it.

They told us how they were welcomed with a story of Thanksgiving where the people helped them survive only to be slaughtered. The same thing occurred in a place called Jamestown, where again they received help from the inhabitants during a time called “the starving times”; their gratitude was stealing the land and annihilating the people who helped them survive.

The country was taken officially with acts of terror and revolution in the name of “Liberty for all” and something called a Constitution. To this point, they had already, for a half a century, used the enslavement of human beings taken from Africa to build wealth and a nation. To cement their supremacy, this document said, the people of African descent they claimed were not human to justify the abuse. Further, to justify this, they said these human beings were nothing more than chattel property – merely a beast of burden used for prosperity.

They convince the African people after being reduced to lifelong servitude to celebrate the Fourth of July and the liberty it granted, albeit only for them. It is important to note, shortly after the stolen nation was formed, the first law passed was the “Naturalization Act of 1790,” which said that “only free white people can be citizens of this country”. For the purpose of understanding, when you hear the coded phrase “we want our country back” speaks directly to this law meaning for white people, who they call the real Americans!

Then it was the most brutal act of their conscience, which was having the slave fight a war against itself, the Civil War, to see who would have the right to benefit from black people being slaves. More whites died in this conflict than in any of America’s wars. Ironically, they called it a “Civil War”. Frankly, there is nothing civil about this type of insanity. In the end, they told the Colored’s they were free, and Lincoln emaciated them. In fact, Lincoln never emaciated anyone. A precursor to the war was a significant Supreme Court ruling in the case of Dred Scott, who challenged the government for his freedom. The court ruled, “There are no rights a Negro has that a white man is bound to respect”.

What followed was something called Reconstruction. This was not successful by design and racism reared its ugly head more viciously ushering in a new system of control – Separate but Equal leading to segregation and Jim Crow, which was nothing more than Apartheid. Of course, even in modern times when there is news footage of the horrors of racism; lynching’s, brutal attacks, fire hoses, or death. Most white people ignore it as if somehow the abused black people were at fault.

As I close with this shameful summation, let me say that it was the use of religion and a marvelous story, mostly myth, used as a cover for the ungodly acts to support these dreadful horrors against mankind. To that point, no one knows what Jesus actually looked liked but the picture representing him looks like Massa with blonde hair and blue eyes. It was also the Massa who taught and gave knowledge of this religion to the slave, which has enslaved trillions of minds to this very day. Therefore, laws were created by white people for white people to be used as a weapon against black people and have been detrimental since the slave-holding so-called forefathers who designed it that way.

In short, we are taught a feel-good Disney-style version of history to promote patriotism and the Willie Lynch Syndrome to continue racism. Both combined results continued wealth for a few, which is why so few can rule so many. He who has the gold, therefore, makes the rules. Therefore, the only way to make a change is to choose not to spend your money with those who oppress you!

Minister Malcolm also said of America’s dirt “The chickens come home to roost”! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Segregated By Law: Plessy Vs. Ferguson

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On Labor DayWeekend, I am reminded of a man who fought and lost a great battle. This could very well apply to many men, but it is Homer Adolphe Plessy that brings me to the topic of this post. It has often been said, “There are no perfect men, only those with perfect intentions.”

Homer Plessy’s decision to buy a railroad ticket for a train trip from New Orleans to Covington, which is on the other side of Lake Pontchartrain affected every person in the country for more than sixty years. It was this event on that fateful day that resulted in a national policy of segregation that became known as “Separate but Equal.”

It was a setup from the start says New Orleans historian Keith Weldon Medley in his book “We as Freemen”. He describes how the Comite des Citoyens (Committee of Citizens), an organization of freemen of color, planned the legal strategy for more than a year. They meant to challenge the segregation law using the post-Civil War 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause.

Plessy, a shoemaker from the Treme neighborhood, volunteered for the job and was the perfect candidate. Seven-eighths white, he was “colored” in the eyes of the law. He bought a first-class ticket, sat in the white rail car and when asked to leave, he answered that he was colored, refused to leave and was arrested by a private detective. It had all been worked out in advance.

Homer Plessy’s paternal grandfather was Germain Plessy, a white Frenchman, arrived in New Orleans with thousands of other Haitian expatriates who fled Haiti in the wake of the slave rebellion led by Toussaint L’Ouverture that wrested Haiti from Napoleon in the 1790’s. Homer Plessy was born less than three months after the issuance of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The New Orleans city directory from 1886-1924 listed his occupations as shoemaker, laborer, clerk, and insurance agent.

As a young man, Plessy displayed a social awareness and served as vice president of the 1880’s educational reform group. At age thirty, shoemaker Homer Plessy was younger than most members of the Comité des Citoyens. His only attribute to this effort was being white enough to gain access to the train and black enough to be arrested for doing so. He volunteered for a mission rife with unpredictable consequences and backlashes. This shoemaker sought to make an impact on society that was larger than simply making its shoes. When Plessy was a young boy, his stepfather was a signatory to the 1873 Unification Movement—an effort to establish principles of equality in Louisiana.

The Comité des Citoyens (“Citizens’ Committee”) was a civil rights group made up of African Americans, whites, and Creoles. The committee vigorously opposed the recently enacted Separate Car Act and other segregation laws. They retained a white New York City attorney, Albion Winegar Tourgée, who had previously fought for the rights of African Americans.

In 1892, the Citizens’ Committee asked Plessy to agree to violate Louisiana’s Separate Car law that required the segregation of passenger trains by race. On June 7, 1892, Plessy, then thirty years old and resembling in skin color and physical features a white male, bought a first-class ticket on the East Louisiana Railroad running between New Orleans and Covington, the seat of St. Tammany Parish. He sat in the “whites-only” passenger car. When the conductor came to collect his ticket, Plessy told him that he was 7/8 white and that he refused to sit in the “blacks-only” car. Plessy was immediately arrested by Detective Chris C. Cain, put into the Orleans Parish jail, and released the next day on a $500 bond.

Plessy’s case was heard before Judge John Howard Ferguson one month after his arrest. Tourgée argued that Plessy’s civil rights as granted by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution had been violated. Ferguson denied this argument and ruled that Louisiana, under state law, had the power to set rules that regulated railroad business within its borders speaking to what segregationist call “States Rights.”

The Louisiana State Supreme Court affirmed Ferguson’s ruling and refused to grant a rehearing, but did allow a petition for writ of error. This petition was accepted by the United States Supreme Court and four years later, in April 1896, arguments for Plessy v. Ferguson began. Tourgée argued that the state of Louisiana had violated the Thirteenth Amendment, that granted freedom to the slaves, and the Fourteenth Amendment, that states, “no state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, and property, without due process of law.”

On May 18, 1896, Justice Henry Billings Brown delivered the majority opinion in favor of the State of Louisiana. In part, the opinion read, “The object of the Fourteenth Amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law, but in the nature of things it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based on color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory to the either. … If the two races are to meet upon terms of social equality, it must be the result of voluntary consent of the individuals.”

The lone dissenting vote was cast by Justice John Marshall Harlan, a Kentucky Republican. In his dissenting opinion, the first Justice Harlan wrote: “I am of the opinion that the statute of Louisiana is inconsistent with the personal liberty of citizens, white and black, in that state and hostile to both the spirit and letter of the Constitution of the United States.”

The “Separate but Equal” doctrine, enshrined by the Plessy ruling, remained valid until 1954, when it was overturned by the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education and later outlawed completely by the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Though the Plessy case did not involve education, it formed the legal basis of separate school systems for the following fifty-eight years.

After the Supreme Court ruling, Plessy faded back into relative anonymity. He fathered children, continued to participate in the religious and social life of his community, and later sold and collected insurance for the People’s Life Insurance Company. Plessy died in 1925 at the age of sixty-one, with his obituary reading, “Homer Plessy — on Sunday, March 1, 1925, at 5:10 a.m. beloved husband of Louise Bordenave.” He was buried in the Debergue-Blanco family tomb in St. Louis Cemetery #1.

Know and understand where you came for in order to know where you are going. History often repeats itself and with the makeup of today’s Supreme Court, who knows what might develop. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Living Yesterday – Today!

Let me first say to all who follow THOUGHT PROVOKING PERSPECTIVES that I am indeed honored that you read my words. I try to provided and add a prospective to reality whereby you may be empowered and maybe, just maybe, see the world through new eyes. If you knew me personally, you would know that I rarely ask for anything, maybe that is a fault, but I am a benevolent spirit and this is my way of giving.

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I WILL HOWEVER, TODAY, ASK EACH OF YOU FOR SOMETHING. PLEASE SHARE SOMETHING ABOUT THIS MURDER, ASK FOR JUSTICE, AND RAISE YOUR VOICES IN PROTEST OF THIS INJUSTICE!!!

I have lived long enough to have witnessed many vial and unspeakable things done under the auspices of RACISM. I remember the first time I saw the brutally beaten corpse of little Emmitt Till, which was done because of a way of life. I can recall crying that day and I cry today for the murder of Trayvon Martin. As I see it, these two horrible events are strangely similar and equally frightening.

It shows that we, as African Americans, are still a nation of people living in a nation without a nationality. Translated – no justice!

Of course, we don’t yet know every detail of the encounter between Martin and the monster who murdered this unarmed 17-year-old high school student. But, we know enough to conclude that this is an old familiar story with the same tenets rooted in RACISM. Emmitt’s murderer got away with it and so far so has this guy.

Now let me ask, how many guys named George are out there cruising the streets? How many guys with chips on their shoulders and itchy triggers fingers with loaded handguns? How many self-imagined guardians or more aptly put vigilantes who say the words “black male” with a sneer? You do know that was the Klan’s mantra!

Whether Zimmerman can or should be prosecuted, given Florida’s “stand your ground” law providing broad latitude to claim self-defense, is an important question. But, the more important question is: “we should stand up to repeal these deadly laws designed to give license to “Kill Black People”. This often happens because this bull’s-eye that black men wear throughout their lives, and in many cases, just caught on the wrong street at the wrong time.

Protect, teach your children, and may this child’s soul rest in peace. I have lost a child through tragedy and I know this pain. My heart and prays go out to the Martin family.

If you never took a stand for anything – now is the time. And that is my Thought Provoking Prospective…

http://johntwills.com


The Ghost of Jim Crow

 If you follow my blog, Thought Provoking Perspectives, and I hope you do, you know that I often write about issues concerning and pertaining to the African American Diaspora. I do so, hopefully, to empower those who either don’t know our history or have forgotten it. Therefore, in honor of Black History Month I will write a post each day on this topic that I hold dear. Let me say that I believe our history is American History and as I have said many times; “It is the Greatest Story Ever Told”.

In an earlier article someone made a comment and ask a question that, frankly, surprised me. The question was; “What do you mean when you say Jim Crow”? My first thought was, how can history so recent and one that I’ve witnessed, and know to be true, be removed from the consciousness of anyone living in America. I suppose it speaks to the indifference of what is learned today, or not, through the education system or that the system is designed to protect the system.

So in today’s post I will explain the term Jim Crow for those who don’t know! The term originated in a song performed by Daddy Rice, a white minstrel show entertainer in the 1830’s. Rice covered his face with charcoal paste or burnt cork to resemble a black man as he sang and danced a routine in the caricature of a silly black person. By the 1850’s, this cruelly belittling blackface character, one of several stereotypical images of black inferiority in America’s popular culture, was a standard act in minstrel shows of the day.

The term became synonymous with the wicked concept of segregation directed specifically toward African Americans in the late nineteenth-century. It is not clear why this term was selected. However, what is clear is that by 1900, the term was generally identified with those racist laws and actions that deprived African Americans of their civil rights by defining blacks as inferior to whites while identifying them as subordinate people.
It was around this time that its inception entered the lexicon of racial bigotry after the landmark U.S Supreme Court decision Plessy verses Ferguson in 1896 resulting from a suit brought by the New Orleans Committee of Citizens. The notion was devised as many southern states tried to thwart the efforts and gains made during Reconstruction following the Civil War.

They, the Committee of Citizens, arranged for Homer Plessy’s arrest in order to challenge Louisiana’s segregation laws. Their argument was, “We, as freemen, still believe that we were right and our cause is sacred” referring to the confederacy. The Supreme Court agreed and a policy of segregation became the law of the land lasting more than sixty years as a result of that crucial decision.

As a result of reconstruction African Americans were able to make great progress in building their own institutions, passing civil rights laws, and electing officials to public office. In response to these achievements, southern whites launched a vicious, illegal war against southern blacks and their white allies. In most places, whites carried out this war under the cover of secret organizations such as the KKK. Thousands of African Americans were killed, brutalized, and terrorized in these bloody years. I might add that anywhere south of Canada was “South” as this was the law of the land.

The federal government attempted to stop the bloodshed by sending in troops and holding investigations, but its efforts were far too limited and frankly were not intended to solve the problem. Therefore, black resistance to segregation was difficult because the system of land tenancy, known as sharecropping, left most blacks economically dependent upon planter/landlords and merchant suppliers. In addition, white terror at the hands of lynch mobs threatened all members of the black family – adults and children alike. This reality made it nearly impossible for blacks to stand up to Jim Crow laws because such actions might bring the wrath of the white mob on one’s parents, brothers, spouse, and children.

Few black families were economically well off enough to buck the local white power structure of banks, merchants, and landlords. To put it succinctly: impoverished and often illiterate southern blacks were in a weak position to confront the racist culture of Jim Crow. To enforce the new legal order of segregation, southern whites often resorted to even more brutalizing acts of mob terror, including race riots and ritualized lynchings were regularly practiced to enforce this agenda.
Some historians saw this extremely brutal and near epidemic commitment to white supremacy as breaking with the South’s more laissez-faire and paternalistic past. Others view this “new order” as a more rigid continuation of the “cult of whiteness” at work in the South since the end of the Civil War. Both perspectives agree that the 1890’s ushered in a more formally racist South and one in which white supremacists used law and mob terror to define the life and popular culture of African American people as an inferior people.

I want you to remember that words have meaning and power. Therefore, as we witness the already in progress, presidential campaign that you think about what you have heard and hear from the States Rights folks from the right-wing so-called conservatives. Those vying to become president in 2014, as well as others seeking highly placed positions, understand this tried and true principle as they speak to the so-called real Americans and those who want to take back their country because history is known and has repeated itself!

And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com


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