I SPENT ALL OF MY PRETEEN-AGE AND TEEN-AGE years, walking around these "As Yet" United States of America, while living in Florida, and serving in the United States Air Force, being insulted, marginalized, stigmatized, and disrespected by Christian White American Racism, and signs which read "Negroes only"
and "Colored" and "White."
Segregated bus stations-city, Trailways, and Greyhound, segregated train stations, segregated government offices, segregated schools, you name it, and segregation and Christian White American Racism was attached to it.
I was fighting back, but I was still insulted, marginalized, stigmatized, and disrespected.
And today, Ron DeSantis, and his Racist yokels do not want Blacks, who were victimized by Christian White American Racism all of their lives, to talk about, and discuss their VICTIMIZATION? They claim that MY talking about how I was treated by Christian White American Racists could hurt White folks feelings?
MEMO TO WHITE AMERICA :
I will NEVER stop talking about the vulgarity and the evil insidiousness of your Christian White American Racism and your core racist attitudes. I know THEM BOTH Quite Well.
Picture montage: Top left-Elaine Brown, former chair of the Black Panther Party, Charlie Cobb (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee-SNCC), and me; top middle- Dr. Eddie Glaude, and me; top right-Roy Wilkins and me ( at age 16 in 1960); bottom left-my picture by Ingrid Damiani as a part of the "Lift" Exhibit, based on the immortal "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" hymn, by Jacksonville native son, James Weldon Johnson, at the Cummer Museum; bottom middle-Dr. Robert Hayling, Charlie Cobb, and me; bottom right-me speaking at the Black Community's and the City of Jacksonville’s jointly sponsored, THEN, Dr. Martin Luther King breakfast. God is Good.
LET ME SEE IF I CAN UNDERSTAND THIS, Ron Desantis does not want me to talk about how his White ancestors enslaved my Black ancestors so that my Black ancestors could make his White ancestors obscenely wealthy, as his White ancestors used violence, the threat of death, and chains to keep my Black ancestors enslaved because Ron Desantis feels the truth about Slavery would somehow make him and his family uncomfortable and hurt their feelings?
Does that capture Ron Desantis's insidious and hypocritical opposition to telling the truth about his Christian White American supremacy and his Christian White American racism?
AMERICAN HISTORY IS ALREADY INCOMPLETE, DISHONEST, AND RACIST. This latest Racist move by DeSantis and his ilk is to tell Social Studies teachers/professors what truth they can and cannot teach, which he politically calls CRT. It is intended for his racist base. His apparent intent and to make American history more Incomplete, Dishonest, and Racist.
The losers are the students, especially Black students, who are targets and are impacted by his and other insidiously designed racist educational strategies.
Buffalo-Another example of the Hatred and the Ongoing Deadly Violence of Christian White American Racism.
OneJax's post on Facebook.
It was a typical Saturday. The local supermarket was busy. A father buying his 3-year-old a birthday cake. An 88-year-old woman stopping by to pick up groceries after visiting her husband in a nursing home. The young mom and beloved teacher, 32, who went to the store to buy what she needed to make dinner. A gentleman who gave people rides to and from the store—even if they didn’t have much money. These and six other lives lost. Snuffed out in an instant. Three others were injured.
OneJax is horrified and heartbroken by the events in Buffalo this past weekend. The racially-motivated rampage by a subscriber to racial hate groups and replacement theorists, left the carnage in his wake.
What sense can be made of this madness? There is no simple answer. The whys and wherefores of acts like this will continue to be debated by minds far greater than ours. But it’s incumbent upon us all to be part of the conversations so that steps can be implemented in order to predict—and hopefully, prevent—future events from taking place to begin with.
For now, OneJax asks that we all treat each other gently, with care and kindness. This horror was perpetrated in Buffalo, but people all over the country are hurting, mourning and looking for answers. In our community, let’s answer the hate with love, outreach and inclusion. And take whatever steps necessary to assure that the country never has to pray for us.
My Response, also on Facebook.
DISAPPOINTED BUT NOT UNEXPECTED.
I am a recipient of the OneJax Silver Humanitarian Award. I was honored to receive the award (in 2017) and proud my oldest son, Rodney, was there to put the award around my neck.
However, for everything the award means to me, its impact is wearied for me, when I read the "milquetoast" statement by OneJax (below) in response to the vicious and deadly murders of Blacks by a young White supremacist Racist criminal in Buffalo, NY. He targeted Blacks in a Buffalo Supermarket killing 10, and wounding 3 persons.
In an excerpt from its Facebook post, OneJax writes:
"What sense can be made of this madness? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. The whys and wherefores of acts like this will continue to be debated by minds far greater than ours. But it's incumbent upon us all to be part of the conversations so that steps can be implemented in order to predict—and hopefully, prevent—future events from taking place to begin with.
For now, OneJax asks that we all treat each other gently, with care and kindness. This horror was perpetrated in Buffalo, but people all over the country are hurting, mourning and looking for answers. In our community, let's answer the hate with love, outreach and inclusion. And take whatever steps necessary to assure that the country never has to pray for us."
As a Black person and an ongoing target of Racism in these "As Yet" United States of America, I would have preferred OneJax, from my hometown, to say nothing, than to use such a compilation of meaningless words they posted on Facebook. "... we all (should) treat each other gently, with care and kindness," and, "Let's answer hate with love, outreach, and inclusion?" REALLY? We are talking racist murders.
"Let's take whatever steps to assure that the country never has to pray for us." Why not also add "thoughts and prayers," (a standard nothing response from many in White America when a tragedy occurs)?
Blacks, who were targeted in the Buffalo Racist massacre, died because many in White America support a Racist conspiratorial "replacement theory," which like the Racist mass murderer, spreads the filth, evil vulgarity, and the deadly violence of racism, while others in White America do nothing; they died because many in White America support the pathology and the sinister symbolism of the number "14" while others in White America do nothing; and they died because of the many racists and Racist schemes which have a daily homecoming and thrives in America's racist underbelly, and still White Americans say and do nothing.
Let's call "racism" and "White supremacy" what they are, "racism" and "White supremacy."
Let's deal with the Racism which radicalized a 18-year-old cascading from a racist TV network and the racism which "flows" regularly from racist White elected officials at ALL levels.
Let's deal with the deafening silence from the White Christian Community where the words "brotherhood" and "sisterhood" seemingly have no place today.
Next, let's deal with the passage of legislation by White Elected officials designed to appeal and pander to only a White Racist constituency base.
Finally, let's deal with the dishonesty that also cascades from the mouths of White Racist elected officials at ALL levels designed NOT to address hatred and exclusion but to appeal instead to hatred and inclusion, Whites only.
As a Black man, I have dealt with Racism for as long as I have understood Racism. Many Whites do not like to talk about racism because it makes them uncomfortable. They are awkwardly uncomfortable hearing words about racism birthed from America original sin of White supremacy.
How painful would White folks be if they were the targets of Racism daily?
As a Black man, I am a target of racism daily. And I will continue to be a target of racism daily when Whites, Christian Whites at that, who would and could say something in opposition to Racism do not say anything, or the words they choose to use are measured to the extent they are meaningless. I can only fight Racism. I do every day. Whites can change Racism. They do not every day.
But if I have to continue to fight with little or no help from White America, then that is what I will continue to do. Doing nothing is not an option for me.
I will not fight racism with White allies who wallow in Passivity and milquetoast words. That insidiousness will not get it.
To say I am disappointed in OneJax's words only scrapes the surface. Yet in Jacksonville, OneJax is not alone. Several Jacksonville organizations in the "diversity and inclusion business" would cower in fear if they had to use terms other than the convenient "diversity and inclusion."
But this is Jacksonville, and I am accustomed to getting the same thing from Jacksonville's White Christian community all of my life when dealing meaningfully and substantively with Racism. That same thing is – NOTHING-Not One Thing. So please, don't take my word for it. Jacksonville's History speaks for itself.
MEMO TO BLACK AND BRILLIANT YOUNG PEOPLE:
As many of you graduate from high school and college, and you get ready to take on the world, remember, no matter how Black and Brilliant you are, there are elements-racist elements in this world who really do not care how Black and Brilliant you are in your Black Skin.
Just understand what racism IS so you are not surprised when it happens to you because of your Black Skin.
Just understand the intent is to Disrespect you because of your Black Skin.
Just understand Disrespect is one of the cornerstones of racism because of your Black Skin.
Just understand the intent is to make you feel less than because of your Black Skin.
Just understand the intent is to not let you feel Black and Brilliant because of your Black Skin.
Just understand the intent is to demoralize you because you are Black and Brilliant in your Black Skin.
When you understand what racism is, don't let racism deter you, don't let racism discourage you, and don't let racism stop you.
Just understand you ARE Black and Brilliant IN your Black Skin, IN SPITE OF.
When you internalize and understand the Blatant and Brazenly Overt Christian White American Racism in the South today, it is easy to see why there were great migrations of Blacks from the the South going North, East, and West, especially after World War 1 and World War 2.
Black military veterans returning home from fighting "the enemy abroad" while risking their lives defending this country, refused to return home to the South, continuing to fight Racist American "enemies" on their native soil, while also risking their lives.
Don't be surprised if there is not another Great Migration of Blacks, military and non-military, from the South.
I KNOW WE ARE TOLD RACISTS are made, not born, and Racism is taught, but when I watch excerpts (on MSNBC) of evil Christian Racists on FOX and the ignorant racist diatribe spewing forth from their racist lips, I am arriving to the conclusion that SOME Racists ARE born that way, with Racism embedded in their DNA.
PRESS RELEASE TODAY BY BLACK CITIZENS AND ORGANIZATIONS CONCERNING THE CITY OF JACKSONVILLE'S BICENTENNIAL COMMEMORATION.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jacksonville’s Major African American Organizations Not Included in Planning of Jacksonville's 200th Bicentennial Anniversary.
Last year, the City of Jacksonville entered into a "partnership" with the Jacksonville Historical Society to plan for Jacksonville's 200th Anniversary celebration. But unfortunately, they decided to exclude the Black community from the planning process. So, one year later, the City and the Jacksonville Historical Society have cavalierly stated they have already planned the bicentennial anniversary, and the Black community can participate if it wishes.
Of course, the decision is the city's prerogative. However, it follows Jacksonville's traditional discourteous history toward Black people, who comprise one-third of Jacksonville's population. The City of Jacksonville can only answer why it wants to exclude the rich legacy of Jacksonville's African-American history.
Jacksonville came into existence in 1822 during a period of abject racism and slavery. In the ensuing 200 years, life in Jacksonville has ranged from Jim Crow segregation to varying levels of integration.
Organizations like the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) have always stood ready to work with the City of Jacksonville and any other entity in situations of mutual respect. However, it is disrespectful as well as insulting to discover a year later that the bicentennial committee has received no meaningful input from the Black community.
Jacksonville's history has not been all "sweetness and light." No efforts should be made to exclude those historical times. History should be about honesty and truth.
Further, we understand, appreciate, and respect the rich history of the African American community in Jacksonville. Respectful of this history, we will acknowledge the contributions of the African American community by participating in various community activities surrounding the 157th anniversary of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation in the State of Florida on May 20, 1865, in Tallahassee, Florida, and the celebrations surrounding the national holiday "Juneteenth" from June 18-20, 2022.
The below organizations have decided not to participate in the City of Jacksonville's bicentennial anniversary. To do so is to say we accept the wanton disrespect the city has shown for Jacksonville's Black community.
WE RESPECT OURSELVES AND OUR HISTORY.
The James Weldon Johnson Branch of the Association for the study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
The Jacksonville Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation of Jacksonville, FL
Sisters' Seat at the Table
Take'Em Down JAX
Harriett Tubman Freedom Fighters
Rodney L. Hurst, Civil Rights activist, Black Historian, and Author
Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.