Category Archives: Front Page

Are You Serious?

RUNNING CONVERSATION WITH ONE OF MY OBVIOUSLY WHITE FACEBOOK “Friends.” I posted a picture with a caption…”Black People Have Been Stereotyped as Lazy Ever Since They Stopped Working For Free.”
This is the ensuing conversation. I have replaced his name AND ALL REFERENCES with FACEBOOK FRIEND.

FACEBOOK FRIEND…Those with whom I worked shoulder to shoulder sweat brow to sweat brow in the farm fields where we grew up as neighbors were paid the same thing as white workers, all ate together from food my Step-mother prepared, drank water from the same water barrel, drank the same RC Colas and ate the same moon pies my Dad bought for all of us to have a mid morning and mid afternoon snack. What you are showing does not resemble anything I ever saw or experienced as one who hand picked cotton, plowed mules, hoed peanuts, and worked the fields together.

Rodney Lawrence Hurst Sr …This is a picture of slavery FACEBOOK FRIEND. Did you not read the caption? However by NO stretch of the imagination were Blacks EVER paid the same pay for equal work as Whites. It Just Did Not Happen.

FACEBOOK FRIEND …You are categorically incorrect. It simply illustrates that you speak about things you do not know about and do it with a racist intent. You were not present, as I was, when my Dad and Farmers throughout Northwest Florida paid black workers the same thing all other workers were paid. I doubt seriously that you ever worked in a field with anyone. Nobody coerced anyone to work or not to work where and when I grew up. I am still involved with the farming operations of my Brother. Being fully mechanized and doing our own work, there are no other workers employed nowadays.

Rodney Lawrence Hurst Sr… You would love to get away with saying I do not know of what I speak. That is always the first response of core racist attitudes when Blacks question the virile racism that has existed in this country for 300 hundred years. I like you calling me a racist. It shows me how uninformed you are AND it shows me that you like many other Whites in this country do not even understand the definition of Racism, and based on our previous conversation you have no clue what White Privilege is either. Maybe it is time I call you a racist FACEBOOK FRIEND……..because you are the one —White America—who instituted this American Institution of Racism. And it is you who cannot see the forest for the trees. You probably think Whites are being unfairly discriminated against and yet you probably never even acknowledged Racism existed. You remind me of the usual Whites who always talk about Blacks pulling themselves up by their boot straps knowing full well they never had boots. You do not know me well enough to know where I have worked. You do not know me well enough to know what I have experienced. Yet suffice it to say I have seen Whites like you everyday. Now let me also deal with the intent of the image/picture…Whites call Blacks shiftless and lazy and no good, yet when we were working as enslaved persons in a Racist Southern Free Labor Economy we represented 1/3 of the national wealth of this country. We were fine then and YOU still did not pay us. You said you paid Blacks equal pay for equal work…Well in the history of White America…YOU are the First.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Remembering America’s Home Grown Domestic Terrorists

*the Dylan Roofs ( who killed the 9 AME Church members in Charleston South Carolina…
*the Byron De Le Beckwiths (who assassinated Medgar Evers)…
*the Shawn Berrys, Lawrence Russell Brewers, and John Kings (who dragged James Byrd for three miles behind their pick-up truck in Jasper Texas along an asphalt road)…
*the Cecil Prices (Deputy Sheriff in Philadelphia Mississippi who led the group responsible for the murder of James Earl Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi, and Andrew Goodman and Michael "Mickey" Schwerner from New York City, who were abducted, shot at close range and killed by members of the local White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County Sheriff's Office, and the Philadelphia Police Department of that city in Mississippi)…
*the Roy Bryants and the J. W. Milams (who murdered Emmett Till)…
*the James Earl Rays (who assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King)…
*the Robert Chambliss' (charged with murder and with buying 122 sticks of dynamite which he used to bomb the 16th Avenue Church in Birmingham Alabama killing Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins, aged 11 to 14)…
*the faceless murderers of Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriet whose home was bombed on Christmas night in 1951 because of their civil rights activities…
*The murderers of Vernon Dahmer, President of the Harrisburg Mississippi NAACP and civil rights activist (who eventually died from burns when three carloads of Klansmen pushing into their house, shooting and setting fire to a dozen one-gallon containers of gasoline. His wife, youngest children, and elderly aunt all escaped, although his daughter was severely burned. Vernon Dahmer succumbed to his injuries just 12 hours later.)
*THESE ARE BUT A FEW of the HOMEGROWN DOMESTIC TERRORISTS Blacks have had to deal with in this SELF-ANOINTED Christian America.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

He is the President. You Have Had 7 Years To Get Over It!

President Obama Rips and Humiliates Trump And Carson In Front Of The Entire World

FOX Minions recommend President Obama take advice from a TV Show.

WHITE FOLKS ARE VERY GOOD AT SECOND GUESSING BLACKS WHEN BLACKS ARE IN CHARGE. However, what they are really admitting though is they cannot stand it that a Black male is the President of These United States. I think we have heard enough from Republicants and FOX and other wayward travelers in the Media to know and understand these comments have nothing to do with partisan politics or philosophical differences.

Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have never served in the military. Neither have Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum or Bobby Jindal. Of course we all know the Uncle Ben story. It is no crime to not have served in the military. It is a crime when you allow your resolute ignorance of the military and military affairs tempered with Diplomacy…and your hatred for the President of the United States AND THE Commander-In-Chief of ALL United States Military …to overload your ignorant behind thereby impacting the entire world. Itchy Ignorant Trigger Happy A$$holes have no place in the Oval Office. We saw what happened when we had ONE in the White House just a few short years ago.

These comments have everything to do with White Privilege and White Folks refusing to admit and acknowledge the Black President knows what the hell he is doing. And they do not know whether to "sh*t or go blind" (colloquial expression in the Black community). They are also admitting they did not have have enough political moxey to run and be elected as President; so correspondingly they WILL NEVER admit President Obama has the requisite political intellect to serve AND serve WELL as President. They really do not have to. The proof is in the results.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Black Children Matter Too!

I WILL NEVER DEFEND MURDER, FAR FROM IT. Murder by Police is certainly indefensible and unfathomable. The murder of a child is even worse. Everyone is up in arms over the killing a a 6 year old White child. Yet we have seen murder by police with regularity. But the victims are almost always Black…and the police are almost always White. HOWEVER, I have yet to see this swift determination that the police were guilty and arrested and charged with second degree murder when the victim was a Black child and the police was White. Believe me, Police have killed a number of Black children ACCIDENTALLY according to the police. And in every instance when police made a "mistake", there were "police safety circumstances" and the killing was ruled "justified." WHITE POLICE ARE NEVER ARRESTED AND CHARGED AS QUICKLY as in this "case." You might as well not have a trial for these two Black policemen. They are already guilty no matter what criminal acts the dead youngster's father committed to have the police respond.
News accounts…The incident began last Tuesday night when 25-year-old Chris Few reportedly led four city marshals on a chase through Marksville with his son Jeremy sat in the passenger’s seat.Few is speculated to have attempted to ram into patrol vehicles once he was cornered in at a dead-end, though state police have not confirmed this.
No matter the circumstances the Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson characterized the shooting as " the most disturbing thing I’ve seen." Really Colonel? What a quick response. No investigation. Just Guilty. No administrative leave with pay. No "due process" and no "jumping to conclusions" as is the usual response when the police shooter is White.
There have been no comments about the father ramming the police cruiser or the father's background which is the usual case when the officers are White and the victim is Black. And the police and the press go to strict PR mode to sully the reputation of the Black victim and the Black victim's family. That has happened in EVERY CASE when the dead victim is Black. Of course, the response/reaction is always "Race has nothing to do with it". Strange how the script in this case gets flipped.

Black police…White Victim…no extenuating circumstances…GUILTY PERIOD!!!
White police…Black Victim…extenuating circumstances…JUSTIFIED SHOOTING!!!
Anyone can write this script.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Stoney The Road We Trod…

Embedded image permalink
CHANGE DOES NOT ALWAYS HAPPEN BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. THROUGHOUT THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT—you know that movement that many Black and White Millennials say is no long relevant—economic power was always the key. Racism did not take its lumps until it became expensive and all resulting from man’s racist inhumanity to man.
Even though it is noteworthy that Tim Wolfe, the President of the University of Missouri resigned, he resigned never dealing with the continuing core racist attitudes of inhumanity which got into trouble. It was not until the Blacks on the football team threatened not to play and the university was faced with more than a million dollars in “racist costs” did the president and other associated with the University of Missouri got the message. Wolfe’s decision was decried by some who were shocked that a system president could be forced out by protesters focused on a single issue. Of course they miss the point. It is not a single issue.
Racism is never a single issue and once again racism ALWAYS affects our very lives. Those who feel it is “better” and far more “convenient” to send their Black sons and daughters to a TWI—Traditional White Institution—should understand that now. When we think it is more convenient to send our children to get an education at a school because they will get on TV or there is “prestige” attached to the institution because it is White, we need to get back to OUR books and really study or better yet just look in the mirror.
President Wolfe said, “Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation. We have to respect each other.” I beg to differ. Change does not come from “listening, learning, caring and conversation”. Change comes from the uncomfortability of being made to face an issue(s) you refuse to face. Change comes from the uncomfortability of admitting racism and then doing something about that racism. Change is an action word and talking will not solve the problem. Many movements fighting racism started with young people. And each movement was criticized. The Black community was not monolithic. Some Blacks did not want young Blacks upsetting their carefully crafted "Colored Fiefdom." The sit-ins in 1960 started when four Black college freshmen from historically Black North Carolina A&T College in Greensboro, North Carolina challenged racism by sitting in White lunch counters. The 1960 Jacksonville sit-ins which led to Ax Handle Saturday started with Black high school students from the four segregated Black high schools in Jacksonville, Fl sitting in at White Lunch Counters. The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was founded by Black College students at historically Black Shaw College in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1960 to fight racism. Young people upset the very convenient “apple cart” for many Blacks and Whites. Whites and Blacks now, like they did then, will criticize the Black students at the University of Missouri for making it too “uncomfortable.” And those criticizing will never understand. 
When a person is daily insulted because of the color of his/her skin, the INSULTER has a problem. You know nothing about but that I have a Black skin and that is your prerequisite for hating me. Note to INSULTERS…if you do not want the tag of RACIST…then do something about it. Changing racism is something only you can do. If you do not want to do anything about the American Institution you created, then just prepare yourself for the expensiveness of your Racism. We will fight you, and the fight will get more expensive with each battle.
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

I Don’t See Racism. Oh Really? Could It Be That You Don’t Because YOU Are White?

There are none as blind as those who will not see AND those who do not want to see. A perfect example of the thinking of White America…No White Privilege…No White Supremacy…No Racism. In other words, things just happen.  Ya Think?
Read this following article from the web site

"One of Rhode Island’s most powerful Democrats doesn’t believe that “white privilege” exists. In a recent interview with the Providence Journal, Nicholas Mattiello, the state’s speaker of the House, said that that racial disparities are simply due to African-Americans’ and other minority groups’ failure to “take advantage” of the opportunities available to them.

Mattiello was invited to discuss racial issues with a panel from The Providence Journal, which is producing an extensive series on race in Rhode Island. He told the panel that, before he was asked that question, he had never thought of the phrase “white privilege.”
On social media, some observers noted that Mattiello’s ability to avoid thinking about racial issues was, itself, evidence of white privilege.
Mattiello was responding to an op-ed previously published in The Providence Journal by David R. Carlin, the former Democratic Senate Majority Leader, which argued that racial disparities were the result of “appallingly dysfunctional subculture that is pervasive among the black lower classes.”
This subculture fosters attitudes that lead to astronomical rates of out-of-wedlock births, millions of fathers who give little or no support to their children, high rates of crime and violence, high levels of drug abuse, a poor work ethic and very poor academic achievement. Unless this subculture is eradicated, we may expect that great numbers of blacks will live in misery.
Mattiello said he wasn’t sure about the phrase “subculture,” but seemed to agree with the overall point — namely, that “white privilege” doesn’t exist and that there is a “breakdown” within minority communities that explains racial disparities.
“You have to find ways to get the community to access and to take advantage of [opportunity]. Some people do, but not enough do. And there’s a reason why they don’t, and that’s something that I quite frankly don’t understand, and I need help with that,” Mattiello said.
Mattiello said that education was “the great equalizer” but dismissed criticisms that Rhode Island schools were effectively segregated. “I would say that it’s not segregated, it’s just that it reflects the population that it serves… I don’t know that you start busing people and so forth.”
“I don’t see racism because that’s not how I live my life… But I’ve never seen it because it’s not the way I live. And I’ve never been the victim of it,” Mattiello added.
Mattiello supported voter ID legislation in Rhode Island, a policy that restricts access to the polls and disproportionately affects minority voters.
His primary accomplishments are reducing the corporate tax and estate tax in Rhode Island. He also opposes abortion and has an A+ rating from the NRA."
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Racism Does Not Change.

Cases in Points…
..The police was "kind of" wrong BUT if the young Black teen-aged female student had only OBEYED ORDERS the White male police officer would not have brutalized her.
…The police was "kind of" wrong BUT if Sandra Bland had just OBEYED ORDERS the White male police officer would not have arrested her and she would not have died in jail.
…The police was "kind of" wrong BUT if 12 year old Tamir Rice did not have a toy gun the White male police officer would not have shot and killed him after 3 seconds of observations.
…The police was "kind of" wrong BUT if Walter Scott had not run from the police, the White male police officer would not have killed him by taking careful aim and shooting him in the back.
…The police was "kind of" wrong BUT had Freddie Gray not caused his arrest, he would not have been brutalized by the police officers later dying from his injuries.
And this goes on and on and on … case after case after case. The brutalization of the young student in that South Carolina class room might have many scenarios, but the one scenario that most Whites zero in on is they see perceived disrespect as a reason for the police brutality. It goes back to that period in America's history called the Nadir of Race Relations—look it up—where 3-5 Blacks were LYNCHED WEEKLY in this Christian country purely based on the color of their skin. They were also lynched if the interpretation was they were "sassying" Whites. Sassying? Yes sassying.
Racism is Racism and it has not changed, and it does not change.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Two Stories … Police Brutality and Racism.

No Police Brutality? Really?

Police Brutality With Impunity!

Two articles which deals with basically the same issues…Police Brutality…White Privilege…White Supremacy.

No one can make ME believe a White policeman would have treated a White female student like this. Right or wrong she is still a child and a police officer should not have treated her like this. He is a professional law enforcement officer. It is yet another another example of police brutality … and you can bet the police apologists will instantly say she got what she deserved. Bottom line… she is still Black and brutal police actions are always excused when the victim is Black

This is another example of the disrespect and disregard that many Whites and correspondingly many White Policemen have for Black Lives including young Black Lives. Of course, police apologists will say she should have immediately moved. So since she did not move, did she deserve to be brutalized? The American Institution of Racism dictates that Whites NEVER see Blacks as the victim. Whatever happened it was the Black person's fault. And if a policeman is involved, the policeman did nothing wrong. Policemen are ALWAYS right. After all, policemen exists to protect Whites from Blacks.Yet Whites cannot imagine by any stretch of their imagination a White policeman…NO…a Black policeman brutalizing a young White female student. And therein lies the problem. It is called White Privilege AND White Supremacy. Blacks see it everyday.
And the Colored Sheriff is just that…a Colored Sheriff.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

A Black perspective on Ben Carson, the Teapublican’s ‘anti-Obama’ by Denies Oliver Velez

(Denise Oliver Velez is one of my favorite writers. I am posting her blog of October 18, 2015 which appeared on Daily Kos web site.)

Historically, Black Americans tend to be overlooked when it comes to achievements in science, math, and medicine. So it was with great pride that we embraced the acclaim garnered by Dr. Ben Carson, neurosurgeon, who inspired many of our youngsters to go on to college and to follow his career in medicine. His autobiography, Gifted Hands, is a present that has been given to many young people in black households across America.

Hence, many of us are beyond appalled that this man has morphed into an anti-science reactionary who touts creationism, intelligent design, and anti-evolutionism. What makes it even worse is that he is now the poster child for the right-wing tea party attacks against Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, and Democrats running for the 2016 nomination. He has become the antithesis of the civil rights struggle, directly attacking the gains we have made and are fighting to hold onto. He embodies a "great black hope" agenda for white tea partiers, and racists who are willing to forgo their racism as long as the black person they control is steeped in their brand of tea.
Join me below for more on this failed ploy.
I can't say that I am surprised by this tactic. Look at the "replacement" of Thurgood Marshall, an iconic Supreme Court Justice and defender of civil rights, with Clarence Thomas.
See the McCain campaign's attempt to buy off women by choosing Sarah Palin as a vice presidential candidate, who was supposed to appeal to us women simply because she has ovaries. Now see how the GOP's new rising star of femininity—Carly Fiorina—is primarily a hatchet woman to be used against Planned Parenthood.
The selection of Carson does two things. There is a delusional hope (what is in that tea they are drinkin?) that the black electorate will automatically shift gears to back Carson—because he is black—and peel off minority support from frontrunner Hillary Clinton. They must believe their own rhetoric: That we voted for Obama in large numbers simply because he is black. Sorry, teapubs—if you believe that bullshit I have a bridge to sell you from my hometown in Brooklyn.  
The second key element is that Carson's candidacy provides a "we are not racists" shield for them to hide behind.  See. Look. The. Man. Is. Black. We teapubs have black people too.  
Oh my!  
Why am I not impressed? All they are proving is that they can field equal opportunity wingers: Black (Carson), Latino (Cruz and Rubio), and female (Carly Fiorina).

When Jenée Desmond-Harris interviewed some conservative white Ben Carson superfans in South Carolina in January, she found they were most enthusiastic about what she called the "made-for-Hollywood narrative arc of his life." Carson grew up poor in Detroit, but after working and studying hard, he became a successful and famous neurosurgeon.

"It goes to show that if you have a dream and fulfill that dream, it can be done," 71-year-old Martin Kolar of Myrtle Beach told her. Others praised Carson's faith and character — key selling points to evangelical voters, who preferred Carson to Trump in a recent poll of Iowa Republicans.
Sometimes, however, these citations of Carson's biography can have an implicit — or not so implicit — racial undertone. "He would be a wonderful role model for everyone, especially for the black people," 72-year-old Peggy Kemmerly of Elongee said. "You know, to get them off entitlements. He could open doors. Well, doors have been opened for them, but unfortunately they haven't accessed them." And Kolar said that he hoped Carson "removes the hyphen" in African-American to identify as "just American, to heal the racial divide we've been forced into."

Barry Saunders, columnist and reporter for the News and Observer, wrote a take-down of Carson well before his run for the nomination, back in 2011:

For instance, who can dispute the importance of personal responsibility – not a Republican invention, by the way – when Carson tells in his autobiography, “Gifted Hands,” how his mother, not willing to believe he was a “dummy” as teachers and fellow students called him, made his brother and him turn off the television set and write her twice-weekly essays. She then made them read the essays to her. It was years later, he said, before his brother and he realized that their mother made them read the essays because she was illiterate. In explaining how he succeeded, Carson proclaimed at CPAC, “It was because I had a mother who believed in me.”

She didn’t do it alone
No doubt, Mother Carson deserves tremendous credit, but – in the words of a political sound bite from the last presidential election – she didn’t do it alone. Carson, in his book, tells how his grades improved tremendously when a government program provided him with free eyeglasses because he could barely see. Not only that, in “Gifted Hands” we read this nugget: “By the time I reached ninth grade, mother had made such strides that she received nothing but food stamps. She couldn’t have provided for us and kept up the house without that subsidy.” He writes elsewhere, “As I’ve said, we received food stamps and couldn’t have made it without them.”
Oy. Ben Carson now, though, bemoans the “welfare state” and talks about how the rich have always taken care of the poor, how “no one is starving in America” and how government dependence kills initiative. Eating welfare cheese obviously didn’t kill his ambition or prevent him from becoming a great surgeon, but he now thinks it would be bad for everyone else. Sort of like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, eh, railing against Medicare and government-backed student loans – even while admitting that his parents received Medicare and he went to college on student loans? How many more Ben Carsons might there be out there who, if Carson’s plans go into effect, would never get a chance to shine?

Hypocrisy, thy name is Carson.

Carson of course is not alone in representing black conservatives and Republicans, who are a varied bunch: Allen West, Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, Michael Steele, Tim Scott, Mia Love, Condoleezza Rice, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Star Parker, Larry Elder and Colin Powell represent a spectrum. Powell, of course, is anathema to his own party, since he endorsed Barack Obama. He comes from a time when black Republicans were like Sen. Edward Brooke.
Theodore R. Johnson examines black Republicans and conservatives in "The Partisan Paradox of Black Republicans" and points to a spectrum of reasons for their existence:

So why would any black person want to be Republican? It varies from person to person, but Rigueur’s work suggests the reasons fall into four rough categories. First, many inherited the political loyalty of their ancestors that supported the party of Abraham Lincoln and saw hope in the black outreach of Teddy Roosevelt. Second, others believe that economic security is the best way to secure civil rights, so their “work hard and be twice-as-good” mentality aligns well with conservative principles and policies. This may sound like prioritizing individualism over collective well-being, but it is closer to a belief that personal responsibility is the best way to achieve group progress. Third, there are those who believe a contested black electorate is the best way to empower black America, so they make the pragmatic decision to work from the Republican side. And fourth, and most interestingly, there are opportunists who choose the Republican Party because its black underrepresentation creates more attention and prospects for the few black members it does have.

Johnson's take is far milder than the one taken by Chauncey DeVega in "Ben Carson’s destructive lies: 4 racist assumptions endorsed & magnified by black conservatives." He concludes:

Black conservatives are highly prized by Republicans. As such, they are well compensated on the lecture circuit, by the right-wing media machine, and are coddled and protected by a network of well-funded conservative think tanks and public relations firms. Their designated role as the “best black friend” for Republicans, the “special” and “good one,” is ego gratifying. And because the Black Freedom Struggle is in many ways a burden that some black folks are either too weak or unwilling to carry, black conservatives from the Reagan era onward have chosen to betray that honorable past for reasons of convenience, cowardice, lucre, and self-aggrandizement.

Black conservatives who channel racist talking points about African-Americans in the service of institutional white power are not a new phenomenon. During chattel slavery, for example, the role of “the driver” on the plantation—the middle manager who was responsible for much of the day-to-day discipline and operation of the slave labor camp—was often a black man. Likewise, for reasons humane (protecting one’s family and kin from white enslavers) and craven (owning black human property to extract wealth and income from their bodies, minds, and labor), a very small number of African-Americans in the antebellum South chose to own slaves.
Some people choose to challenge power by lying down and surrendering to it; others decide to benefit from its injustices and inequalities. The black conservatives in today’s Republican Party have made a strategic choice to do both.

Renee Bracey Sherman, reproductive justice activist, takes a hard look at Carson's compact with the anti-abortion right wing in this article. She writes:

History tells us that black women created their own forms of contraception and abortion-inducing teas with cotton root and other herbs while enslaved, to keep their owners from profiting off their bodies. The ability to plan pregnancies has always been essential to black women. For example, SisterReach, a nonprofit in Memphis, is using billboard campaigns to fight for access to shame-free reproductive healthcare, including abortion.

If GOP candidates really want to show off their “pro-life” values, they could discuss how the lack of health care access is devastating to the black community’s health. They could decry St. Louis police’s recent use of tear gas against Black Lives Matter protesters, which has been found to cause spontaneous miscarriages. But Carson believes that our First Amendment right to march for the lives of black youth is “silly,” and unfortunately, he’s not alone on the campaign trail in thinking that. And so we’ll keep seeing the GOP field bolster their conservative credentials using debunked myths, hypocrisy and baseless claims — and in the process, continue to deny women like me access to safe abortion care.

I have read a plethora of negative opinions from black writers on Dr. Ben, and they will keep coming as long as he is in the race and beyond. His future is assured in right-wing circles and on the speaker circuit, as well as on televised forums provided by Fox News. Since it would be incorrect to psychoanalyze Carson specifically, it makes more sense to put him and all the other black reactionaries of his ilk into a historical context and framework. He is not the first black man or woman used by those whose foot is on our necks to co-sign their ideology and practices, and he won't be the last. Nor is he the first to profit from it.

So allow me to shift gears and recommend a historical perspective that is still valid today.

Book Cover, Black Skin, White Masks, Franz Fanon

attribution: Grove Press

In "Black History is American history: Books you should read," one of the texts I featured was by Frantz Fanon. Pondering Ben Carson has sent me back to my bookshelf, to re-read the work of of this "Afro-Caribbean psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary."

Few modern voices have had as profound an impact on the black identity and critical race theory as Frantz Fanon, and Black Skin, White Masks represents some of his most important work. Fanon’s masterwork is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers.

A major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world, Black Skin, White Masks is the unsurpassed study of the black psyche in a white world. Hailed for its scientific analysis and poetic grace when it was first published in 1952, the book remains a vital force today from one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history.

Photo of Franz Fanon

Frantz Fanon, (20 July 1925 – 6 Dec. 1961)

Frantz Omar Fanon was born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, which was then a French colony and is now a French département. His father was a descendant of enslaved Africans; his mother was said to be an "illegitimate" child of African, Indian and European descent, whose white ancestors came from Strasbourg in Alsace. Fanon's family was socio-economically middle-class and they could afford the fees for the Lycée Schoelcher, then the most prestigious high school in Martinique, where the writer Aimé Césaire was one of his teachers.

Over at The Liberator Magazine online, a series of close readings of Black Skins, White Masks is being conducted. The editor writes:

While the book does call for an end to oppression along with attempting to identify the nature of the "black self," it is also a direct assault on what many considered (and still consider) to be the essence of the black identity. As such, the book becomes a sort of internal conversation among black people calling for a reassessment of who we consider ourselves to be.

Given the current debates raging about a post-racial America, the election of the nation's first black president, and continued disagreements over what really constitutes "blackness," we may find that Fanon provided some very intriguing answers–over 50 years ago–to our most pressing questions about black people.

Zia Sardar writes in "Fanon and the Epidemiology of Oppression:"

Black Skin, White Masks was the first book to investigate the psychology of colonialism. It examines how colonialism is internalised by the colonised, how an inferiority complex is inculcated, and how, through the mechanism of racism, black people end up emulating their oppressors. It is due to the sensitivities of Fanon, says Ashis Nandy, that ‘we know something about the interpersonal patterns which constituted the colonial situation, particularly in Africa’ [2]. Fanon began a process of psychoanalytic deconstruction that was developed further first by Nandy in The Intimate Enemy and then by Ngugi wa Thiong in Decolonising the Mind (1986). Other theorists of colonial subjectivity have followed in their footsteps.

Fanon writes from the perspective of a colonised subject. He is a subject with a direct experience of racism who has developed a natural and intense hatred of racism. When it comes to experience, this is no ordinary subject : already the author has fought for the resistance in the Caribbean and France, has been wounded near the Swiss border, and received a citation for courage. He has a professional interest in psychoanalysis and speaks of Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Carl Gustav Jung without much distinction. He is going to offer us a psychoanalytic interpretation of the black problem, he says. But we can be sure that this is not a therapy session. Fanon is no armchair philosopher or academic theorist. He has a more urgent and pressing thing on his mind: Liberation.

Our history, as a colonized people inside the United States cast perpetually as "the other," provides a constant tension and challenge for us as black Americans. We are all too aware of the fact that despite the fact that one of us ascended to the Oval Office, our struggle is far from over. In many ways Barack Obama's election has increased efforts to eliminate his ascendancy, unleashing unfiltered hate against us from right-wing quarters and upping the efforts to undo what has benefited us on his watch.  

We, as black Democrats watch those efforts—including the touting of a man who bears our complexion, but not our interests—with a determination to ensure that he and his handlers fail in their efforts to turn the clock back on the incremental progress we have made.    
Oh hell no, Ben Carson!

This black woman will be thinking of you as I cast my ballot for the Democrats on the ticket in the spring, middle finger held high and pointed in your direction.

The Struggle Continues.

Denise Oliver-Velez is currently an adjunct Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at SUNY New Paltz, and is a Contributing Editor for the progressive political blog Daily Kos.

Teaching Truth.


Like It Or Not—Do not expect your Black students to identify with your American History class if you do not incorporate Black History. If I sit in a classroom and only read about the contributions made by White Americans and White Europeans then the "learning field" is NEVER level. It is downright DISHONEST that a White American History as defined in history textbooks makes the ongoing statement that Blacks made no salient contributions to this country.

You have to teach the truth irrespective what the textbooks say. My Black ancestors developed this country also…before, during, and after slavery. And as distasteful as it might seem to some, you have to teach the truth about the Civil War, and that slavery was the REAL reason it was fought. It takes a bit of courage but you MUST make your History classes INCLUSIVE and TRUTHFUL! You are NOT TEACHING to do otherwise.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.