Category Archives: Front Page

SLAVERY…Period

SLAVERY IS THAT SUBJECT NOT TRUTHFULLY TAUGHT IN AMERICAN HISTORY CLASSROOMS AND AMERICAN HISTORY TEXTBOOKS PURPOSEFULLY EXCLUDE. Yet Slavery is a subject that WE should talk about and tell our Young People that OUR ancestors survived America’s Christianity in spite of. I thought about the ravages of Slavery that we do not discuss as I watched a segment of 60 Minutes this evening. The second section of my book, "Unless WE Tell It…It Never Gets Told!" is called "Confronting Racism" and it starts with a chapter on Slavery. These are a few excerpts from that chapter:
America’s Holocaust called slavery is the greatest tragedy and most immoral failing in the history of this country. Slavery, not states’ rights, birthed the Civil War. The Civil War was fought to maintain slavery. Everything about the Civil War revolved around slavery. Period. End of story.
 
The trade in enslaved persons, from the middle of the fifteenth century to the end of the nineteenth, was responsible for the kidnapping of between twelve and fifteen million people, forcibly removed from Africa to the Western Hemisphere. The trafficking of Africans by the major European countries during this period is sometimes referred to by African scholars as the “Maafa,” Swahili for “great disaster.” The slave trade led to the violent transporting of those millions of Africans, and to the deaths of many millions more. Nobody knows the actual number of Africans who died during slave raids and associated wars in Africa, during transportation and imprisonment, or in the horrendous conditions of the so-called “Middle Passage,” the voyage from Africa to the Americas.
 
Some historians conclude that the total loss in persons removed, together with those who died on the arduous march to the coastal slave marts and those killed in slave raids, exceeded the sixty-five to seventy-five million inhabitants remaining in Africa at the trade’s end. More than ten million died as direct consequence of the Atlantic slave trade alone. After being kidnapped from their homelands rich in culture and history and forced to become “chattel or property” on their way to an alien land, many Africans chose to jump overboard during those horrific trips aboard the slave ships and succumb to a death by drowning rather than succumb to death in slavery.
They were turned into nameless human beings, kidnapped and herded like cattle. Packed as human cargo and brought to foreign shores. Stripped of their identity and history. Stripped naked in the public square and inspected like livestock. Sold at auction to the highest bidder. Beaten and brutalized and dehumanized with searing regularity. Forced under unimaginable penalty to work under horrific conditions for no pay. Raped and marginalized with absolute impunity. Hunted like animals when they dared to rebel and seek freedom. Denied basic human rights. And yet they survived.
 
America simply ignored “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in order to enslave men, women, and children based on the color of their skin. American history textbooks do not accurately describe the horrors of slavery—the killings, the inhu¬manity, the decimation of the Black family unit, and the horrors of torturous bondage.
 
In "The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism", historian Edward E. Baptist asserts that slavery was woven inextricably into the fabric of early nineteenth-century capitalism. Banks and financiers fed slavery with the investment it needed to continue expanding, and were rewarded with handsome profits from the labor of enslaved millions. Baptist pointed out how slave owners were able to boost productivity to a higher degree than other industries by working their slaves almost to death.
 
In the 1820s, slave owners held two million enslaved persons worth $1 billion—a third of all U.S. wealth at the time. The number of those enslaved in the United States had swelled to about four million at the time of the Civil War. The institution of slavery created the economic basis for modern capitalism and turned the United States into the wealthiest nation in the world. New York was built on cotton—the crop that dominated the international markets in the 1800s—as the city collected forty cents of every dollar earned in the cotton trade, transforming it into a financial center. Moreover, at the start of the Civil War, slaves were worth 48 percent of the wealth of the South, more than all of the banks, factories, and railroads in the country combined. In slavery, Africans were considered less than human, with no worth except as faceless “vessels” to carry out demeaning biddings, to work, to procreate and thereby generate children to be themselves enslaved.
 
Many contemporary textbooks, though, give a sanitized and historically inaccurate account, claiming that Africans were better off in American slavery than they were in Africa. Slave owners and slave traders would boast that slavery was “natural” because of race. Africans were not human beings, and therefore, they were born to be slaves. As historian Eric Williams writes in his book Capitalism and Slavery, “Slavery was not born of racism; rather, racism was the consequence of slavery.”
 
The Struggle Continues.  RLHSR.

PERPETUAL DISTRUST!

WHITE AMERICA AND BLACK AMERICA ARE AT A CROSSROADS. As much as we say One America or One Jacksonville or One-Wherever You Live- it is just talk. Many communities have these groups and organizations that talk a good game and even think their action is meaningful, but in the final analysis, the extent of their action is JUST TALK. Not only do many in White America not get it, but some in Black America also do not get it either.
 
Black America does not TRUST White America and for reasons too numerous to list them all, but I will list a few…
1) American History which should tell a truthful story of this
country’s good and bad dishonestly embellishes ONLY the good about White historical figures and excludes everyone and everything else. W. E. B. Du Bois said, “One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. We must not re¬member that Daniel Webster got drunk, but only that he was a splen¬did constitutional lawyer. We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner . . . and simply remember the things we regard as creditable and inspiring. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect man and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth.”
Black Americans are woefully unknown and excluded from American History. In the academic
arena there is a saying, “If it is not written down, it did not happen,” and Black history is seldom written on the pages of American history.
2) White America refuses collectively to admit to their White Privilege. White Privilege is described as a level of collective advantage that comes with being seen as the norm in America, automatically conferred irrespective of wealth, gender or other factors and all based on a White skin color. It makes life smoother, but it’s something you would barely notice unless it were suddenly taken away — or unless it had never applied to you in the first place. Yet Black America see examples of White Privilege every day exemplified with the respect police gave a White murderer after killing 9 Black people in a church by taking him to a fast food restaurant to eat because he was hungry. Did the police feel sorry for him because he was trying to escape and did not have a chance to stop and eat? That is coupled with the number of Blacks killed by police for just "twitching" and Whites who are arrested by police even though they were armed with various weapons.
3) Racism is one of the residuals of the American Holocaust called Slavery. Slavery created racial segregation and institutionalized racism. Most dictionaries define “racism” as racial hatred based on the color of one’s skin. As Dick Gregory said, “White is not a color; it’s an attitude.” Some add that racism is racial prejudice plus the institutional and systemic power to dominate, exclude, discriminate against, or abuse targeted groups of people based on a designation of race. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. How flawed is a country that passes racist laws, creates discriminatory governmental policies, and develops unfathomable societal catego¬ries designed to keep that population in their place based on the Black color of their skin? Even with the celebrated election of a Black President less than 150 years after the end of slavery, a vast number of White Americans showed for all who would watch and listen that it was not a happy occasion for them. Black America can plainly see the ongoing disdain White America has had for a Black President for no other reason than the color of his skin. Forget his qualification and the content of his character. White America never gives a damn about qualifications and the content of character irrespective of what they try to say…it is just the color of one’s skin. Like I said, Black America does not trust White America.
4) It is said that when America gets a cold, Black America gets Pneumonia. Which stills goes back to how Blacks are treated on everything from health care to jobs to education to housing to police actions to community infrastructure to politics.
 
This country now stands on the precipice of electing one of the most obviously racist and divisive demagogues in its short history and the same Whites who insulted President Barack Obama and tried to make his 8 years as hellish and as non-effective as possible are ecstatic with the thought of electing The Racist named Donald Trump. It is also an election encouraged by a smattering of Blacks who really do not know any better. Some Blacks really enjoy Whites telling them they are different. Some Blacks even feel if they just go along to get along with White America, they will be all right not understanding by supporting Donald Trump for President they are simply House Negro pawns with no human dignity and respect. Whites do not want Blacks to tell them the truth about Racism and Race Relations. They would prefer Blacks lie to them or tell them something which glosses over the problems. The reason America is in the “fix” it is in today is because we have not learned to talk truthfully about Racism and White America WILL NOT admit it's Racism.
 
Even with local political issues in your respective communities and in Jacksonville, how can you trust anyone who stands and supports the Racist Donald Trump? Is there any wonder why Black America STILL distrusts White America?
 
The Struggle Continues.  RLHSR.

Donald says The African Americans…He means You People!

Don't you just love White political commentators giving their opinion about Donald Trump "regrets" and his new so-call outreach to "The African Americans" –his way of saying 'You People'–as if his regrets make a difference? The Press then "reports" on Donald Trump as if they think that WE think THE Racist CAN change his spots.

Donald Trump has insulted Blacks (and many others) during his entire campaign. You do not put the brakes on your core racist attitudes and think Blacks will buy your new BULLSHIT. We did not buy your old BULLSHIT. If White commentators want an opinion about Donald Trump and his "new appeal" to "The African Americans", why not ask The African Americans? NO matter the circumstance, when will White folks understand THEY are not experts on US and how WE think? Donald Trump is a through and through Racist and he cannot pivot or make a change from that.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

WE Have a Lot To Lose.

Occasionally, I share great words and posts from friends on Facebook and from those in the media. This post comes from Chuck Hobbs, Tallahassee, Florida — Lawyer, Writer, Activist, Muckraker (his words). Chuck's writings are really something to write home about. I bet you will agree.

"Just read where Donald Trump posed the following question to "The African Americans" today: "What the Hell do you have to lose" (by voting for him).

Well, as one of "The African Americans," off the top of my head if I voted for Trump I stand to lose:

* My Self-Respect;

* My Black Card—and I do not mean American Express;

* Most, if not all, of my thousands of Black followers who read my articles and blogs and who would deduce that I have transmogrified from a proud Black man to a Fuck Nigga;

* My natural rhythm and ability to cut a two-step while balancing a bourbon in one hand and a Black n Mild in the other;

* My natural command of Ebonics;

* The daily communion with the ancestors whose spirits surround and support my every step;

* A place in Heaven for my dad, who may scream among the heavenly host: "that boy and namesake of mine done lost his got damn mind…" and get tossed out like Lucifer;

So nah, sorry Donald, but I will pass. Yes, I understand that Hillary Clinton has some deep flaws and has to answer for many issues with respect to Black people as I addressed assiduously while campaigning for Bernie Sanders earlier this year. But I sincerely believe that there are enough prominent and strong Black people advising Clinton now and later who will keep her in check with respect to what impacts various Black communities across America.

But Trump, like too many white Republicans and their Negro lackeys, irks the shit out of me when he seeks to tell Black people what WE should be concerned about politically. You and ya'll ain't Black, you have never walked in nann one of our shoes, and just now, there is some gump white dude named Rep Jack Kingston on CNN talking about how Trump is reaching out to "The African Americans," while simultaneously screaming that Clinton has never said "Blue Lives Matter." No, mufucka, it is ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬, which implies "too," which for the intellectually dim witted means "also," which, then, implies that all lives matter, including the police. But Trump and his lackeys in a very pernicious way are convincing their fact deficient white supporters that Black folks want war with the police because to Trump et al, the best Black folks, which they believe are the minority, are 1. Docile 2. Dumb-Mute about racial injustices 3. Patriotic to the point of Jingoism despite living in a land that by law and custom has enslaved and mistreated us since 1619. Indeed, the election of a Black President did not ameliorate almost 400 years of racist bullshit by whites in power against Blacks, and what is worse is that Trump et al have done everything within their power to stymie Barack Obama's administration and question the very American citizenship of the man.

So to Hell with Donald Trump's appeal to "The African Americans." If he was as real as he claims, he would have delivered his pitch at the conventions for the Urban League, the NAACP, the National Bar Association, the National Medical Association or even better, the National Association of Black Journalists— all black advocacy groups. He has yet to deliver a speech at any one of over 100 HBCUs, schools that other candidates know are must stops to connect with Blacks in their vast alumni networks. Or if he is really about that Black vote life, he would have walked through the blighted neighborhoods or sat among Black folks living in squalor in housing projects and rural towns across America. But alas, he's not real, he is as fake as they come and a racist whose rhetoric cannot be mitigated through a fake ass apology and a half-hearted attempt to win Black voters."

Didn't I Tell You?

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing

Based on the Eternal words of James Weldon Johnson's "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing"…

LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience presents area contemporary artists' responses to Jacksonville’s rich artistic African American heritage at the Cummer Museum and Art Gardens, with an emphasis on creating an artful platform to discuss issues around race, equity, and community.

As I continue to view LIFT—this great exhibit of talented and gifted artists—motivated by the words of one of Jacksonville’s great native sons, I cannot help but have flashbacks to what “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” means to me and its importance in the movement of civil rights in this country. I was ten years old when I enrolled in James Weldon Johnson Junior High school, which was one of two segregated Black junior high schools in Jacksonville. Upon entering the lobby of the school, you could not help but see a very striking and even imposing painting of James Weldon Johnson.

I learned about James Weldon Johnson during my West Jacksonville Elementary School years including, memorizing and singing “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” as a member of the school’s chorus. I would later transfer from James Weldon Johnson to Isaiah Blocker Junior High School, the other segregated Black junior high school in Jacksonville. My first day in my 8th grade American History class at Blocker, I was asked by Mr. Rutledge Pearson, the class instructor and later my mentor, to “tell the class something about James Weldon Johnson.” Little did I know at that time, but my first classroom expression about one of this country’s real giants would later lead to my joining the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP and the start of my continuing journey of talking about Black History and Civil Rights History. We sang "Lift…at every NAACP Mass Meeting during the CivilRights Movement.

We also sang "Lift…at every meeting of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP. “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is a majestic hymn. After having the honor of speaking to a Jewish Temple, the Rabbi said to me and others in his congregation, "It is a song that speaks to me as a Jew, and to oppressed people everywhere."

I am honored that I was included as a representative of those to whom James Weldon Johnson's masterful lyrics resonated. My hat is off to you Hope McMath and to you Ingrid Damiani, and the other great artists who have infused this much needed and thought-provoking exhibit into the fibers of a Jacksonville community.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

You cannot fix STUPID.

It is amazing to hear political pundits or whatever they are called these days opine about how Donald Trump has to pivot on his message to become a legitimate candidate for president. There is no pivoting on a message proclaiming your core racist attitudes. Donald trump is a legitimate candidate for president Now AND Donald Trump is a Racist Now. He did not just become a racist. He has millions of White supporters and voters who hang on his every word. For those who would counter that he has Black supporters understand his Black supporters —who you will usually find groveling at the FOX news trough—are totally insignificant and are strictly along for whatever the ride will pay them.

The White Media REFUSES to acknowledge Donald Trump's obvious racism. Every time he opens his mouth, slimy sputum soaked in hatred dribbles like a baby regurgitating. Racist ideology oozes through his lips in every sentence he tries to make. Does the media recognize racism or does the media rationalize racism as politics as usual? Since most of the decision makers in the media are White, do they compel themselves to "look the other way?" Is the media that afraid to tell the truth about racism? If they are, WHY are they afraid?

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Unappreciated Black Americans and Unappreciated Black American Olympic Champions.

http://cbsnews2.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2002/09/19/cb61ec02-a642-11e2-a3f0-029118418759/thumbnail/620x350/2737ac88d354c95087c9a04a69d70578/image522577x.jpg
 
ISN'T IT AMAZING HOW MUCH BLACK AMERICANS are applauded and cheered in the Olympics when we are representing and WINNING for America as Americans? But after after the Olympics, these same Black Gold Medal Winning male and female Olympic Champions are subject to being killed on the very streets of America by police as "violent and criminal" thugs. The cheers for the Black American heroes are only cheers when it suits the fancy of White America. The same thing goes for other sports …college football, NFL football, The NBA, college basketball… and entertainment…and list goes on and on and on.

I am reminded of Jacksonville Native Son and Matthew W. Gilbert Junior Senior High School and Florida A&M great BOB HAYES who set the Olympics on its ear in 1964 winning the 100 meter dash and anchoring the United State 4×100 relay team. Anchoring the relay team, Bob received the baton in next to last place and won going away, Ralph Wiley, the late revered sports columnist, would write, “The Bullet Man was behind six relay teams when he got the baton on the anchor leg of the 4 x 100-meter relay final in Tokyo. He made up nine meters on the field. Nine meters! He ran his leg in 8.6. That’s not running. That’s teleportation. That’s Star Trek.”

Since segregation and racism represented a way of life in this country and the City of Jacksonville at the time, this same Great Bob Hayes…this same Great Jacksonville Native son who brought so much fame and acclaim to America and correspondingly to Jacksonville, Florida DID NOT receive the same celebratory Olympic Champions parade as White Olympic Champions or the perfunctory awards from the City of Jacksonville. Bob Hayes could not eat at a downtown restaurant or sleep in a downtown hotel or drink from a water fountain unless it was labeled "Colored"…and all based on the color of his skin. Olympics? YES! Common respect and brotherhood? NOT SO MUCH! Bob went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys. When the Cowboys won the 1972 Super Bowl, Bob Hayes became the ONLY man in the history of sport of have an Olympic Gold Medal and a Super Bowl Champion ring. Even this signal honor was not enough for the City of Jacksonville to recognize Bob Hayes as it should.

You see, White America ONLY appreciates Black America when Black America does things to benefit White America. Yet we continue to represent America and represent America well and in spite of, even though America in most instances does not give a tinker's damn about Black America. Like it or not and admit it or not, it is based solely on Racism and the color of one's skin. YET it is the American Way of Life and it belies the symbolic Olympic rings. Racism and White America's Core Racist Attitudes are as American as Apple Pie…and they are NOT Olympic Ideals.

The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Donald Trump Is WHAT He Is.

THE RACIST DONALD TRUMP has said enough ridiculous and stupid things…has insulted everyone imaginable…has shown his ignorance of domestic and international issues…has shown his lack of temperament…has shown how offensive he is…has repeatedly lied about everything from his net worth to his ability to make decisions…has shown his knowledge of life ranges from prurient to sublime…and has shown he is a card-carrying Racist, Sexist, Homophobe, Xenophobe and several other adjectives in between. You would think these repugnant and abhorrent and disgusting traits would be enough to sink anyone seeking the presidential nomination of a major political party in this country, let alone getting the nomination and then running for the President of the United States.

Yet the Republi-cant Party loosed this vile pariah on the America public. And why has he lasted this long? Good question and the answer does not say very much about those in the Republi-cant Party who decided Donald Trump is what this country needs. And at the same time it says everything about the Republi-cant Party.
 
The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

Yes … The Struggle Continues.

OPEN LETTER TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN…

WHITE AMERICA HAS HEARTBURN when Blacks call out and fight America’s Racism. Even before it had a name, the movement to fight Discrimination and Racism had begun. White America never understood THE Struggle called the Civil Rights Movement and they certainly do not understand this chapter of the Struggle called Black Lives Matter. But Black America fully understands White America’s Full Frontal Embrace of an unapologetic Racist named Trump. We are supposed to ignore your foaming at the mouth…hanging on his every word…fawning over his racism…proudly displaying his bumper stickers …and your parade on the media supporting a person so racist that he is an embarrassment well beyond our shores.

Let’s make sure the conversation is fully on the table. America’s Dishonest Racist history IS the conversation. America is a racist country and proves it every day. White America not only denies its core racist attitudes, but uses a “household strategy” of asking Black America to prove that Racism exists. Even when we prove Racism, you –White America–say it is a mirage and it is not there. In a nation with the racist history of the United States—from Slavery to Jim Crow laws to cowardly hate groups–the Ku Klux Klan etc. to de jure segregation to de facto segregation to military segregation to school segregation to employment discrimination to voter suppression to a death-delivering-Occupation Force called The Police—it is baffling that non-racism would be THE presumption and that racial bias/discrimination must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Dr. King called it sheer ignorance and conscientious stupidity. White folks frequently say if Blacks do not like America then WE should go back to Africa. James Baldwin said, “I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

Even with America’s Racism, Black folks are not going anywhere. In fact, we will only make the trip back to Africa, when you return to Europe. We have earned the right of citizenship and will stay and fight for who we are and our birthright. It might happen that one day WE will return to Africa, but it is not happening TODAY. You founded this country on the pretense of Christian ethics and then immediately instituted Slavery. SLAVERY! You remember slavery don't you?—The Immoral American Holocaust for which America has NEVER apologized… The Christian American Institution where White America enslaved Africans after kidnapping them from their homeland…enslaving them in chains…forcing them to work for free for Christian Whites in this Christian country because it suited their financial fancy and because they could….and then blaming Africans for slavery. That also included 13 of this country’s first 18 American Presidents who owned enslaved persons including one of your White American heroes, Thomas Jefferson, who apparently loved Slavery so much that he picked one of his enslaved persons to bear SIX of his children. Keep in mind that Racism IS one of the residual consequences of Slavery.

Continue YOUR American Racism and YOUR fervent support of a Racist of YOUR choice as he runs for president FOR YOU, and we will fight as hard to keep him from out of the White House. Donald Trump is a Racist and epitomizes the American Institution of Racism. But running The Racist Donald Trump is really only a part of YOUR problem. The problem for you is still President Barack Obama—a Black Man as the 44th President of the United States. Even though President Obama is not on the ballot, you continue to run against him. You even made plans before he served one day as president to make his years as president a miserable existence. Not only did you fail, but President Obama has served the American People more magnificently than the political pundits could have imagined. You will not admit that Donald Trump, the choice of YOUR preferred Republican Party cannot carry President’s Obama’s jockstrap. You could never allow that a president whose ancestors were Black would have the intelligence, the astuteness, the cleverness, the ingenuity, the adeptness and the shrewdness to serve and serve well in the Oval Office. But you accept Donald Trump simply because he pushes Racism as the one item on his insufficient agenda. Intelligence usually means a lot to YOU but it obviously means nothing in your arena of racist politics.

We will fight and continue to fight against those who use skin color as a disqualification for equality and fair treatment. Donald Trump is simply the latest attempt on YOUR part to further extend Racism in these, As Yet, United States of America. Black Americans have fought racism for years. WE are fighting racism now. WE will continue to fight racism and the Donald Trumps of this country…WE always have. Nothing has Changed.

Yes … The Struggle Continues. RLHSR.

NO White America…You DO NOT have a Damn Clue how this feels!

Police holds Black family at gunpoint in front of their 7-year-old child.

NO JUSTIFICATION!

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES. RLHSR.