UNLESS AND UNTIL BLACKS TELL THE STORY OF RACISM IN THIS COUNTRY, LIES will flow like a Great River. 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.” We call that the Pathology of White Privilege and White Supremacy.
Racism is the institutional and systemic power of a group to dominate, control, exclude, discriminate against, or abuse targeted groups of people based on a designation of race. Let’s substitute words… Racism is the institutional and systemic power of White America to dominate, control, exclude, discriminate against, and abuse Black Americans based on the designation of their race. Racism is an insidious cultural disease. Racism is defined and real and purposeful and sinister. It is not an urban legend or a tale spun to entertain.
Racism is not a dramatic journey when a war was fought was to maintain slavery and to keep Blacks in chains. Racism most certainly is not a dramatic journey based on the whims of what Blacks THINK happens to them.
Racism is not a dramatic journey when laws were passed to rationalize White Christian beliefs that Blacks are less than human.
Racism is not a dramatic journey when White America STOLE 300 years of involuntary free labor from enslaved persons (my ancestors) and refuse to this day to even discuss “paying any of the money/reparations back.”
Racism is not a dramatic journey when 12 presidents of this country’s first 18 presidents owned slaves and 8 of the 12 owned slaves while serving in the White House.
Racism is not a dramatic journey when White America value me more as a Black athlete for their entertainment purposes than my worth as a Black student.
Racism is not a dramatic journey when White America excluded the many salient contributions of Blacks in American history textbooks.
Racism is not a dramatic journey when the Ku Klux Klan as the original Domestic terrorists came into existence to terrorize Blacks.
Racism is not a dramatic journey when White Privilege coupled with the White Supremacist Pathology is real and continues to permeate this country.
Racism is not a dramatic journey when America elects an overtly racist president who proceeds to stash avowed Racists and White Supremacists throughout American government and its court system.
NO…Racism is NOT a dramatic journey. The Oppressor can never understand what it is like being oppressed because by definition, Oppressors are not Oppressed. So it is with Racism, White America does not understand Racism. White America created Racism, and correspondingly, they have never been on the receiving end of their Core Racist Attitudes.
Mr. Hurst, can’t you just give us White Folks and Black Folks a break from talking about Racism ALL the Time, Day in and Day out?
I wish White Racists ...and especially White Racist Southern Senators...who did not like John Lewis in the first place... would keep his name out of their mouths.
Dyed-in-the-wool Racists like Moscow Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, who praised Lewis out of one side of his mouth while burying in the United States Senate, a voting rights bill and the voting rights John Lewis bled for and fought for his entire adult life.... Lindsay Graham, trying to make some wretched comparison between John Lewis and Black Lives Matter by regurgitating crap he does not understand... and the little Racist twit from Florida, Marco Rubio, who is learning how to be a Southern Racist, yet could not even recognize a picture of John Lewis, and used someone else's picture in his "tribute" to John Lewis, or whatever the hell he called it.
When a Black person dies...who called out your Racism...just keep your damn mouth closed. John Lewis's death does not change you or absolve you from being a Racist. You were a Racist when he was living; you are still a Racist now that he is no longer living. Your hypocrisy is also your White Disrespect and it is insulting.
WHITE FOLKS HAVE ALWAYS talked about how much they admire America's presidents. Of course, they are only talking about those presidents who look like them, ignoring the ONE obvious exception.
They talk about how smart and how deliberate " their presidents" were in their decision making, their empathy and their intelligence.They revel in their admiration for "their" presidents.
However, I have not heard them talk about this current "edition" of White American presidents and how much they admire him...his intelligence, his empathy, his decision making.
Just as I was thrilled and excited and delighted to have seen the election of one of America's greatest presidents, Barack Obama, and experience the 8 years of his quality administration, I am correspondingly "glad," as contradictory as it might sound, to have seen the election of the most ignorant, the most stupid, and certainly the most Racist White president in the history of Racist White United States presidents. It really Does something to that "White superiority" thing when as a Black man, I watch the narcissistic incompetence and sociopathic ignorance of donald trump.
Excuse me while I laugh, at him and at those of you, who voted for him.
America has not solved one thing about the appropriate medical and scientific protocols for the Coronavirus. donald trump and his sycophantic Republicants are lying about everything concerning the Coronavirus-testing, equipment, number of cases, and deaths.
Republicant governors re-opened TOO early, using the rationale of politics instead of scientific facts, and now Coronavirus cases and deaths in their states are spiraling out of control. Can you say ringleader Florida?
We are fooling ourselves if we think school systems can handle the health, safety, and welfare of students and teachers in a state where the Coronavirus pandemic is very prominent, when the state(s) where the school system(s) is located cannot protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. Once again, they are making political decisions, not scientific decisions, and their political decisions have ALL been deadly. There is No help from the federal government ...no plan...no support for the states.
Schools ARE NOT ready to open. No way, I would send MY son and my daughter back to school during this current uncertainty. Through donald trump's execrable and incompetent decision making endorsed implemented by his equally despicable, trump Rump Sniffers, schools will become DEATH TRAPS.
When Republicants say, vote for them because of their"trusted conservative values," what do you think they mean?
The word "conservative" is a coward's way of not calling yourself Racist. You are a Racist. Be a Racist man/woman and own it!
Republicant political ads in one breath also talk about their "conservative values" and in another breath talk about how they will support president trump and his "values."
trump "values"-an accused rapist, a chronic liar, a sexist, a serial adulterer, a misogynist, a person with a reputation for not paying his bills, a person who consorts with America's enemies, a person who does not defend America's military, a person who will sacrifice children for his re-election chances, a xenophobe, a draft dodger, and a Racist. Apparently, "conservative values" and "trump values" are the same. rd "conservative" is a coward's way of not calling yourself Racist. You are a Racist. Be a Racist man/woman and own it!
"trump’s niece tells Rachel Maddow about Trump using the n-word and anti-Semitic slurs."
"trump uses barely veiled and very dated racial code’ about the suburbs at White House rally."
Headlines all say the same thing. donald trump is a Racist. Racism elected donald trump. Whether you are White with a degree or White without degree, it does not make a difference. White America elected donald trump.
It is a damn shame to even think this sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic, sociopathic racist has a chance to be re-elected, let alone that he was elected in the first place, which shows you how sick and Racist this country still is.f
The Struggle Continues!
It is never too early to understand the struggle and your fight against racism. I have been talking about racism since my eighth-grade American history teacher and mentor Rutledge Henry Pearson invited me and my classmates to join the Youth Council National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He would tell us in the classroom, “If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.” I was 11 years old. Mr. Pearson started me on two roads: fighting racism and understanding the great legacy of Black history.
Most Black students consider American history boring because American history rarely mentions Black names and their contributions to the development of America. I would have considered American history boring too, but Mr. Rutledge H. Pearson taught our class about the great contributions of Black Americans. If it were not for his teaching against the accepted norm during this era of segregation, we would have used the American history textbook approved for Negro students in a segregated Negro class, in a segregated Negro school (Isaiah Blocker Junior High School), in the Negro division, of the Duval County School System (Jacksonville, Florida), which only included the names of two Blacks, George Washington Carver and Booker T. Washington.
Mr. Pearson told us to “leave your eighth-grade American history textbook home” and proceeded to teach us real, honest, and inclusive American history. He wanted to make sure that we were armed with the tools to fight a country that did not want us here, even though our ancestors were kidnapped from Africa and brought here in the belly of slave ships.
He wanted us to know that our degrading beginnings in slavery in this country were not the beginnings of those who looked like us. He wanted us to know that America did not give us anything. He wanted us to know that our ancestors rightfully earned the citizenship that America did not want us to have. He wanted us to be proud of who we were. He wanted us to know and appreciate the great legacy of Black males and females who blazed paths of accomplishments through the jungle of racism. He taught us and taught us well. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Youth Council meetings were extension of Mr. Pearson’ s classes. I became President of the Youth Council at age 15 and would become one of the leaders of the sit-in demonstrations the following year. Sit-in demonstrations began in 1960 by four students from North Carolina A&T College in Greensboro, N.C. Our sit-ins were in August 1960 since most of us were high school students and in school. I had just graduated from Northwestern Junior Senior High School in Jacksonville, two months earlier.
Mr. Pearson’s classroom teaching, and his involvement with the NAACP outside the classroom, took a lot of courage in the fifties. Mr. Pearson used a saying when he talked with us about the NAACP and the struggle for human dignity and respect. He simply said, “Freedom is not free,” which resonated with me.
Mr. Pearson personified courage. Fighting the war of racism is not easy and has never been easy. Yet it is a battle in a war that we must continually declare. As Mr. Pearson would say, “If you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.” Forget that and we perish as a people.
An excerpt from my book, "Unless WE Tell It...It Never Gets Told!" and Chapter 18, Joan Mattison Daniel...and more from the pivotal 1960 Civil Rights demonstrations.
"Joan Mattison Daniel stood with Jesse Jackson before he became Reverend Jesse Jackson, before there was an Operation PUSH, before there was a Rainbow Coalition, and before “Run Jesse Run.” She stood with Jesse Jackson, as college students who wanted to use the public library in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. She and others stood with Jesse Jackson to fight the infrastructure of racism. She stood tall and fought segregation and racism so that those who came after her would not have to fight. She fought for freedom of education and the freedom to read in the Greenville Public Library, this acknowledged repository for books.
Who would have thought the public library was just another vestige of racist and vitriolic discrimination and racism? When eight Black students entered the all-white library to extend their education by checking out books, the Civil Rights Movement began in Greenville, South Carolina. Joan Mattison was a student at Morris Brown College, and Jesse Jackson was a student at the University of Illinois. Joan, Jesse, Elaine Means, Margaree Seawright Crosby, Dorris Wright, Hattie Smith Wright, Benjamin Downs, and Willie Joe Wright were friends and high school classmates in Greenville. They became known as the Greenville Eight.
While home for Christmas in 1959, Jesse Jackson walked to the segregated “colored” library in search of research materials for schoolwork he needed to complete during his college break. According to Joan, the Black library on McBee Avenue was “woefully small.” The librarian, Jeanette Smith, worked hard to stock as many books as possible, but most books in the “colored” library were outdated, and the book inventory was tiny. Because Ms. Smith had to request books from the white library in Greenville, she told Jackson that she could not get the reference books he wanted for another six days. That would be too late. He would have to return to Illinois before he could get the books and work on his assignment.
Jesse walked to the white library on North Main to get the books himself. Jackson told Joan, “By the time I went over there to get the books, there were two policemen there. The librarian said she “did not have anyone to go to the book stacks” and “told me to come back in six days. Six days?” Jackson continued. “I was shocked. I told her I would be happy to get them myself because I needed those books right then.” Jackson did not get the books. He did get what he described as a “coded message” from one of the officers. “You heard what she said,” one officer told him. The message: “Leave or get arrested.” “I walked outside, and I just cried,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t right, and I was determined to challenge that system.”
The following year Jesse and Joan and other members of the Greenville Eight did challenge the system. On the morning of July 16, 1960, they gathered at Springfield Baptist Church, which at the time was a magnet for civil rights activism, led by a charismatic young pastor, the Reverend James Hall, who was also president of the Greenville Chapter of the NAACP. They walked to the library and were told that if they did not leave, they would be arrested. They left.
When they got to the church, Reverend Hall asked them why they had returned. He sent them back, telling them that going to jail was OK and, in fact, was expected. So, the Greenville Eight returned to the library. After peacefully refusing to leave, they were arrested by city police. They were released after spending about forty-five minutes at the city jail, according to the Greenville County library system.
Sitting in at a library might today not sound all that difficult, but it was a confrontation to the “comfort” system of White racism and segregation. Such “confrontations” were usually met with varying forms of violence. It was a further example of Black people “not knowing their place” and of being disrespected.
In talking with Joan, I asked how she and the other members of the Greenville Eight felt at the time. “There was no fear,” she said. 'We all knew we were a test case against the City of Greenville’s blatant racism and discrimination. But we all felt it was necessary. We also knew we had a responsibility to make society better by fighting segregation. In fact, each generation has a responsibility to fight America’s wrongs no matter where or what they are. After we sat-in at the library, it ignited other demonstrations in Greenville. Our library sit-in was a pivotal point in Greenville’s history, which made it all worthwhile.'
Later that month, Donald Sampson, the NAACP attorney in Greenville who represented the group, filed a suit in federal court to integrate the public libraries in Greenville. On September 2, the libraries closed— “in the face of the lawsuit,” as the library system put it. A few days later, Judge C. C. Wyche dismissed the suit, because the libraries were at that point “nonexistent.”
On September 19, the Greenville Public Library reopened as an integrated facility. Stories such as that of the Greenville Eight did not gain the prominence of some other flashpoints in the Civil Rights Movement, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, school integration in Arkansas by the Little Rock Nine, or the Greensboro Four’s arrest for sitting down at a Woolworth’s lunch counter.
Yet the work of the Eight launched demonstrations against racism in Greenville, began Jesse Jackson’s journey in civil rights, and was another chapter in the struggle for human dignity and respect. After the library arrests in July, there were more sit-ins and demonstrations. Demonstrators sat-in at lunch counters at Woolworth’s and Kress drugstores, and staged “wade-ins” at Cleveland Park’s segregated swimming pool. But the Greenville Public Library was strategic, said Reverend Hall. Joan taught in South Carolina and Duval County public schools for five years, and at Florida Community College at Jacksonville (now Florida State College at Jacksonville) for thirty-five years, retiring in 2003.
An elder in her church, True Holiness Deliverance Tabernacle, and the church’s executive secretary, Joan also serves as trustee and dean of Tabernacle Bible Institute and is the assistant to the overseer. She is the proud mother, with her former husband, Mathis Daniel, of daughter Sharalyn Daniel and son Cean Daniel, and the proud grandmother of five grandsons and a granddaughter.
Joan Mattison Daniel is a friend, a pioneering hero, and America and her home town of Greenville are much better because of the courage that she and the rest of the Greenville Eight displayed. Joan decided that enough was enough. I am glad that Joan Mattison Daniel calls Jacksonville home."
When we “sat in” at the heretofore White lunch counters at department stores in downtown Jacksonville in 1960, they closed the lunch counters. Angry Whites, who were denied eating fresh lunches at “their” lunch counters in downtown stores Woolworth, Grant’s, Kress, McCrory’s, Cohen Brothers, and Walgreen’s, showed their volatile displeasure with us for disrupting their Racist comfort zones. Woolworth was the largest “5 & 10” department store in downtown Jacksonville and had the largest lunch counter...84 seats. “Niggers” ...“Jungle Bunnies” ... “NAACP-Niggers-Ain’t-Acting-like Colored-People” (for NAACP) ... “Pickaninnies” ... “Coons” and ...Burrheads” ... were some of the “enlightened” vocabulary, Racist Whites yelled as they stood behind us after “their” lunch counters were closed. And, we were often “told” to “Go Back to Africa.”
We were children, mostly teenagers, and members of the Jacksonville Youth Council NAACP, yet we knew right from wrong and we could readily recognize Racism and Jim Crow. Our sit-in demonstrations were for Human Dignity and Respect and Against Racism.
After two weeks of peaceful demonstrating, we were attacked by 200 or so, White Racist thugs in the middle of downtown Jacksonville with ax handles and baseball bats. That was 60 years ago. We never saw police during those two weeks.
Overt Racism was rampant then. Even though the visible signs of Racism and Segregation are gone today, and we live in an Integration Generation today, what we see playing out in real time today, is no different than what was happening in this country in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Racism then, as Racism is now, was actively supported by the Christian White America, who said and did, Nothing.
Not only did Haydon Burns, the mayor of Jacksonville, not provide safety for its Black citizens downtown on that Ax Handle Saturday, the mayor and law enforcement were told “something violent was going to happen” by an FBI informant...and still did Nothing.
Then, as now, except for a few White ministers, voices from the White Christian Community were conspicuously silent in Jacksonville. In fact, the City of Jacksonville has never apologized for not providing “public safety protection," --you know that "Protect and Serve" thing --and Jacksonville's White Christian Community has never apologized for their lack of support, their lack of human compassion, their lack of human decency, and their lack of Brotherhood, and Sisterhood. We did not expect they would apologize, but it would have been a “nice Christian touch.” Of course silence, in the face of obvious Moral wrongs, is complicity.
There is little difference in what happened in the Civil Rights Movement throughout the South and in Jacksonville then; and what is happening now, on the national scene and the Racist discourse and the Racism, spurred on, encouraged, and emboldened by America’s Racist president...and you get, Silence from White Christian America? Christian Right and Wrong is the issue...yet you witness violence by White Racists...and vile messaging from the mouth of America’s White Racist president, who say and do Racist things as a Racist, AND he gets applause from White America?
White Christian America is noticeably silent and will not call donald trump out for his Racism, his Core Racist Attitudes, and his lack of Human Decency and Respect. You have to ask yourself, do White folks read the same Christian Bible that Black folks read? And if they do, WHY are they saying nothing?
Which is why I do not expect much from Christian White America. When you, as White Christians are as silent as you are, in the face of despicable Racism as exhibited in this country today, and by a Racist president, then you support Racism... just as you did 60 years ago. You might as well have had an Ax Handle in your hand.
The Struggle Continues!
"I don’t want you telling me to go back to Africa, unless you going back where you come from. I got a note one day telling me to go back to Africa and ever since that time—it’s been three times a week I say it when I am in a white audience—I say, 'We’ll make a deal. After you send all the Koreans back to Korea, the Chinese back to China, the Jewish people back to Jerusalem, and you give the Indians their land back and you get on the Mayflower from which you come'...We all here on borrowed land. We have to figure out how we’re going to make things right for all the people of this country." - Fannie Lou Hamer
Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.