Over the annals of time, we have rightfully and wrongfully ...in my opinion mostly wrongfully...exalted Presidents to a status of Great Expectations. In part because of the Romanticism of American history and the writings of Racist White American historians, and in part, because White America and Black America have always considered those elected as American Presidents as exceptional. I have never considered American President as exceptional per se, but I have had a certain amount of respect for some American Presidents...simply because they were American Presidents.
That does not include many of America’s “founding father” Presidents who were slave owners and pedophiles and slavery supporters and supporters of the South and sympathizers of so-called Southern traditions...or even a so-called progressive like Woodrow Wilson, who was simply a Racist in presidential clothing.
In recent years, I considered Lyndon Johnson, with all of his flaws, and a Southerner...yes I know, my prejudice is showing...an excellent President. Any president who starts an Anti-Poverty program...shepherds a “Civil Rights” bill, and two “Voting Rights Acts” through Congress...and then says “We SHALL Overcome” in a speech to Congress ...gets an “Attaboy” from me. I also had a lot of respect for John Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. Among many other things, John Kennedy appointed Thurgood Marshall to the federal bench, and Jimmy Carter appointed Andrew Young as Ambassador to the United Nations and started an Initiative for permanent funding and support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
I do not expect any President to understand all issues and especially issues that impact Me as a Black American, but I expect White American Presidents...like I expect any White elected official who comes into the Black community...not to be an “expert” on me...and to “be fair” and “to listen;” and given those dynamics, to do whatever he or she can do, to make a difference.
What can you possibly say as a Black American when you talk about President Barack Obama? First you grin from ear to ear. Not just because he looked like me and was the President of the United States of America, but because he proudly served with Quality and Panache and Competence and Integrity and Sincerity and Honesty and Character and Principles and He gave Respect and he Commanded Respect...and I could go on and on and on. 8 Great years as President. 8 Outstanding years of a Respectful and a Respected Administration.
That Quality and Panache and Competence and Respect came to a screeching halt with the election of donald trump. Other than his supposed money, donald trump brought Nothing and brings Nothing to the Oval Office, and there is a question about his money. Did I say Nothing? Let me correct that. He brought his core Racist attitude, his Racism, his Incessant Lying, his White Privilege, his Treasonous Criminality, his relationship with International Criminals, his Incompetence, his lack of quality, his small-mindedness, his narcissism, his lack of character, his lack of integrity, and his scandal a day administration. The oft-quoted, "to those whom much is given, much is required'' means nothing to donald trump because... that is exactly what he has given...Nothing! It goes without saying as bad as other presidents were, you might consider them "good" in comparison to donald trump.
donald trump’s name will be added to the list of “worse than execrable” American presidents and probably with more asterisks than one can shake the proverbial stick at. And none of those asterisks will stand for anything, other than his Lying and Criminally Scandalous service of Nothingness, as the Disgraceful and Loathsome president of the United States.
Questions: Presidential? Would you really want your children to admire and model themselves after donald trump?
The Struggle Continues!
Racists, and more often than not, the White press, try and equate Far Right Racists and their Racist Politics with Progressives or Liberals and the Politics of Freedom and Equality and Justice for All. I heard a member of the national press say today, “In other words, They have the Far Right, and You have the Far Left. No! They have Racism and Racism Stands Alone! Just another example of how Ignorant Whites in the press are, when it comes to understanding fundamental Rights and Freedoms. And Although they are Freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, they are Freedoms that Blacks have had to Fight For, Every Day.
America’s Racism did not just begin. It is being propagated on a monumental scale Today by an Ignorant Racist president ...and his equally Racist followers ...and an Incompetent and Complicit Racist Republicant House of Representatives...who have 5 WEEKS to continue to act as the Racists in Charge.
The Far Right and those who believe in Human Dignity and Respect for All ARE NOT to be used in the same sentence. Far Right is Racism personified and to the Nth Degree, as they always have been. The so-called Left IS NOT Extremism.
In the year since Charlottesville, Racist Republicants in Congress have increasingly turned a blind eye to the Far-Right Racism of a Racist president. They have lost interest in a host of urgent policy issues related to racial inequity and especially enforcing the Voting Rights Act, of which they had no interest, in the first place. The cornerstone of the Racist president’s Racist code-word slogan of “Make America Great Again" and Republicants are following the Centuries Old Far-Right Strategy of Racist Politics...Separate and very much Unequal ... and Definitely Do Negative Things Unto Blacks FIRST...and doing their part to "Make America Great ..err White...Again."
That is always the game plan of Racists. If you advocate for Equality and Diversity and Freedom and Fairness for All, Voting as a Right, Health care as a Right, according to Republicants and Racists---which to me are one in the same---those things are extreme, and they are Racist interpretations of “Far Left.”
There is no equivalency with White American Racism as practiced by the trump Republicant Party and Decency and Respect and Principles and Integrity. Blacks and Whites who fought for and who fight for Civil Rights and for Human Dignity and Respect don’t matter to these Racist Neanderthals and to the president of the United States and the press still cannot get it right.
I am convinced one of the major problems with the White Press is, they DO NOT have the resolve and the Black reporters and other Black staff who can explain to them...White folks...how their White Racism impacts Blacks, since we are the targets of such abject Racism.
White folks, no matter how they try and no matter how much they want to be, ARE NOT Experts on Black folks. They either do not want to, or they do not have the stones to...or in the case of FOX, they are damned and determined not to report on White American Racism. African Proverb...“Until the Lion tells his side of the story, the hunt will ALWAYS favor the Hunter.”
The Struggle Continues!
I am thankful for Great family and Great friends. I am thankful for those who have made a difference in my life over the years.
However, there are those things for which I AM NOT Thankful. I am not thankful for White American Racists who want me, to be thankful for them, and for their "allowing me" to live in America on THEIR terms.
There is this notion that White America GAVE me something and for that I should be eternally grateful and thankful. White America did not GIVE me anything. White America TOOK something from me and my ancestors to satisfy their prurient needs...their lustful desires...and their pecuniary interests. They took untold wealth and riches from my ancestors in the Christian Institution called Slavery which made White America obscenely wealthy and for that I am NOT thankful. Black Americans EARNED everything they accomplished in these As Yet United States of America, With Nothing and in Spite Of!
After the White Racist shenanigans ...Black Voter Suppression-Black Voter Denial-Black Voters Ignored-Blacks Voters Disenfranchised...in the Florida Governor’s Race and the White Racist shenanigans -THE SAME- in the Georgia Governor’s Race, nothing makes me think we will not see more White Racist shenanigans in the Senatorial campaign in Mississippi.
What is obvious to me, is that Brian Kemp and Ron DeSantis are both Racists and they appealed to Core White Racist Attitudes of White Racists in Georgia and Florida. Neither was as qualified as their Black opponents. But that did not make a difference and only in very RARE occasions does it make a difference. When you run a campaign where qualifications and track record and service should be the primary prerequisites, yet YOUR White Skin color is the ONLY qualification, nothing makes me think that Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Racist White female candidate in Mississippi, is any different.
On March 21, 2018, Governor Phil Bryant announced Cindy Hyde-Smith as his choice to fill the United States Senate seat held by Thad Cochran, who indicated he would be resigning the seat later due to ongoing health issues. Cochran resigned on April 1, and Bryant formally appointed Hyde-Smith on April 2.
Hyde-Smith totally supports Racist president donald trump (expected) ...voted for the Racist Brett Kavanaugh (expected)...during this re-election campaign she made the Racist comment that she would sit in the front row for a public hanging-spelled lynching in Mississippi (expected)...and she posed wearing a Confederate cap et al (expected). All of this appeals to White American Racism and especially in Christian Mississippi, the state that lynched and killed more Blacks, after the Civil War, than any other state.
Mississippi’s execrable track records of Racism and Racist violence is disgusting and nauseating and repulsive, just as is some of the Christian Evangelicals in America and in Mississippi, who turn their heads when Racism stares them in the face. Mike Espy, like Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum is more than qualified to serve the citizens of Mississippi except in one main category. His skin color is Black. And that will be his political death knell, Just as it was for Ms. Abrams and Mr. Gillum.
I would like to think Mike Espy will win in Mississippi, and I have done all that I can from afar to help him. But judging from the track record of Racist White America, and Racist Whites in the South and particularly Mississippi, I am not going to hold my breath, nor will I lose any sleep. I know that when the chips are down...when the rubber meets the road...when push comes to shove...all of the clichés apply...White Mississippi WILL BE White and Racist. They always have ...and they always will be.
Racist Political machinations are no different. I hope I am wrong about Whites in Mississippi. I doubt that I am. I have not been wrong about Whites in America, yet. They are predictable. If I am, I will be the first to give my mea culpa. Somehow, I don’t think I will have to...not when White American Racism is on the prowl.
In the meantime we MUST keep Fighting White American Racism. Doing Nothing Is Not An Option!
The Struggle Continues!
I Love the Holidays and I especially Love Family and Friends during the Holidays and on Special Occasions...even when A LOVED One is No longer With You. And even though it is tough...Real Tough...You Cherish the Experiences and Love the Memories...and Thank God for Them.
Even though the pain is there during the Holidays, So are the Great Memories. And the Great Memories will always Outweigh the Not So Great Memories.Thank you God for Ann Hurst, and OUR more than 50 years of Great Memories Together.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.!
I am playing my music too loud in your opinion and it so offends you that you shoot at me while I am sitting in a car with three of my friends who happen to be Black. Your bullet hits me in the chest and in the head. I am wounded and I know I am dying.
Yeah sometimes when my mother thought I was playing my music too loud in my bedroom, my mother would say... "Boy if you do not turn that music down" and that was all she needed to say. Her words were enough and it was my mother, whom I dearly love. My mother is a good mother and my father is a good father. They raised me right. I am respectful to senior citizens and to my teachers and to my neighbors and to young ladies. I do not drink and I have never done drugs. I want to graduate from high school and attend college. I know I will not do that now because I am dying.
I remember seeing portions of a movie on TV called “American Graffiti.” I watched as those students played their music and some of it was loud ...perhaps. Yet no one threatened nor raised a gun and shot in their car to do them bodily harm. It was not important at the time but now that I think back on those movie scenes all of the students were White. I wonder if that is why Michael Dunn shot into the car where I was sitting? Did he shoot because we were Black? Are racist attitudes and racism that prevalent today that you will kill me because you think my music is too loud? If I was breaking the law, why not call the police? Is playing music against the law?
All of that is moot I guess. Playing music is not in my future. Only a homicide detective...the medical examiner...the funeral director...a cemetery. I wonder if my parents will give the funeral director my favorite Blue suit and my new shoes I just got for my birthday. I do not know how this works and I cannot ask anyone. This dying sucks. I will miss my Mother and my Father and my family and my friends and my classmates and my school and my church and my neighborhood and my girlfriend and my room and my favorite foods. All this because my music was too loud? Really?
And God...thank you for helping Elect my Mother to Congress.
From an Idea and a Vision by Dr. Rudy Jamison ...with the support of Dr. Chris Janson and the University of North Florida's Center for Urban Education and Policy...with historical help and civil rights perspective from Rodney L. Hurst Sr...with the commitment of 25 young high school students and their parents and teachers...with the Outstanding and Talented lead of two Muralists...with the creative consultancy of one of Jacksonville most outspoken advocates of the Arts...with sponsorship by some of Jacksonville's notables...has grown a Jacksonville Monument!
The Hope and History (Ax Handle Saturday) Mural is one of the most exhilarating and remarkable projects I have ever been associated with, as I watched talented young Black and Brown students put the creative genius of a White Muralist with the assistance of a Black Muralist on the side and the front of the Eastside Brother Building...on A. Philip Randolph-the Father of the Modern Civil Rights Movement-Boulevard. What Symbolism! A Mural so noted and known now, that Senator Cory Booker asked to see it and understand it, when he came to Jacksonville to campaign for Andrew Gillum. Of course, we accommodated him. Hats off to Nicole Holderbaum AND Suzanne Pickett AND Rudy F. Jamison Jr. AND Chris Janson AND Mai Keisling AND Hope McMath AND 25 High SCHOOL STUDENTS AND Bruce AND THE City of Jacksonville! What a Project!
A number of Blacks in Florida are upset and angry and bitter at the election for governor, and understandably so. I am too. However, we need to keep some things in perspective.
I was taught from an early age, pre-teenager, that 1) No one was better than me, and 2) because I am Black, I had to be twice as good as many Whites I would compete with, or encounter. Even though I was young, I understood Racism but understanding the White Privilege "thing" would come a little later...even though White Privilege goes hand-in-glove with White Racism.
Andrew Gillum is twice as good as Ron DeSantis and correspondingly, twice as qualified. I often wonder when a Black person runs for governor or for President, what is going through his or her mind.
I can imagine Andrew Gillum internalized that being governor would afford him the opportunity to put folks on the Medicare/Medicaid/Obamacare rolls who were surreptitiously removed or not included by the Ron DeSantis/Rick Scott Republicant Ilk.
I can imagine Andrew Gillum wanted to make sure public education, which was good enough for him and his parents, would not fall victim to those who would hypocritically use public money to fund and underwrite private schools, charter schools (private), and segregation academies, while Ron DeSantis supported the abrogation of public education dollars.
I can imagine Andrew Gillum understood the suffering of an underserved and a neglected constituency as mayor of Tallahassee and could rectify some of that suffering as governor, a suffering Ron DeSantis does not understand nor does he want to understand.
I can imagine Andrew Gillum internalized how important it is for ALL persons in Florida to register and vote, which Ron DeSantis would never want to happen, without the antebellum obstacles to casting a vote,
I can imagine that Andrew Gillum simply felt he could soothe some of the ills and wounds of persons who call the State of Florida, home...thinking alien to the thought processes of Ron DeSantis.
After saying all of that, understand that Racist Republicant political strategy is to never allow White folks who are considered the Have-nots, feel they are the Have-nots. White Americans who are poor and low-income by all stretches of the imagination and the economic scale...and even if they consider themselves middle class (whatever that means) ...have to be assured they are so much better than persons whose hue of skin is Black ...so they have to have someone to “look down on” no matter their station in life. So White Florida preferred to have a White governor because he is White, as opposed to a governor who was Black, and who would have their best interests at heart.
That is who a Black candidate is and what that Black candidate represents when he or she offers themselves to serve White folks and Black folks. Blacks, based on how they have been treated, do not wanted ANYONE to suffer that same treatment. Barack Obama offered and was elected President, and this country, contrary to the Racist Naysayers, is so much better as a result.
Although Andrew Gillum leaves us thinking what might have been and what could have been, Andrew Gillum leaves me thinking that irrespective of his outstanding qualifications to serve and serve well, the campaign for Florida’s governor was and is purely based on the Racist nature and the Racist psyche of White America, and the resulting White Privilege. All component parts of the American Institution of White Racism.
Plain and simple...Give me a White person, no matter his qualifications, and to hell With How Good and How Much More Qualified the Colored Fellow is! Right White Florida and White America? And as we have seen, be careful White America, who and what you ask for.
The Struggle Continues!
Black America knows because Black America experiences Racism daily ...and White America knows because White America practices Racism daily. But if you profess not to know, go with this: Racism in America means political, social, financial, and educational control over a Race of people while also internalizing your Race is superior. And let’s put to bed the concept and the construct that Blacks are Racist. We do not control anything, not even when President Obama was President. We have our prejudices, but control, we ain’t even close.
And yet, we go through these machinations trying to pretend Racism does not exist. Black America tries to ignore it and somehow “work around it”...some in Black America anyway...and White America constantly denies its Racism.
WE are now where we are...with rampant overt Racism...an Overt Racist White president...White American Racists emboldened to feel they can do any damn thing they want, because they know whatever they do they can get away with it...and political and religious institutions that simply cease to exist as fair, equal, and moral compasses of America. We are really in no different a place than where we have been historically in this Racist Christian country. In fact, churches are among the most segregated public spaces in America.
During slavery, White Religious leaders ignored the American Institution of Slavery which put Black people in chains because of the color of their skin.
White religious leaders today also ignore the American Institution of Racism which seeks to keep Black people in political, financial, social and educational chains because of the color of their skin. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. – in his final book, 1967's "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" – wrote that the Christian church "has been an accomplice in structuring racism into the architecture of American society." In fact, they are the Amen Corner for America’s White Racist president. And while White religious leaders are supporting Racism, Black religious leaders are More Than complicit with their Wimpish silence about Racism and their DO-NOTHING attitude in fighting Racism. Christianity and Racism CANNOT co-exist.
Then there are Blacks who go-along to get-along... we know them ... we have seen them...you might be one yourself...but they will never say a mumbling word about White American Racism.
Do-gooder White preachers will have you believe that we can have a prayer breakfast or a prayer luncheon or a prayer dinner or just pray “by itself” and all problems would be solved. Black preachers like to have Prayer Vigils. Yet there is NEVER follow-up of Any Kind!
I am a Christian and I believe in prayer. I know enough about Biblical teachings to know and internalize that PRAYER IS ACTION, and prayer needs to lead to further outward action with the focus on alleviating hurt and fighting an evil like Racism. Simply ‘praying’ for changes without doing anything about the object of your prayer is not going to do anything because your faith hasn’t changed you enough to change your behavior.
I’m reminded of a recent quote from Pope Francis, who said, “You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. That’s how prayer works.” Prayer is accompanied by care, care for those who are hurting and oppressed, for those lost and weary.
We are where we are today...with some fighting the Racism as practiced by White America...the Voter Suppression of Black people by White America individually and collectively...egged on by a Racist White president...who was elected by a Racist White America ... because we ignore and deny and some even try and justify, White American Racism.
I went to see an exhibit here in Jacksonville several years ago that purported to say, we are more alike under the skin than we are different. Uh Huh...that sounds good. But question was, if we are more alike, WHY do we have Racism as practiced in these As Yet United States of America...TODAY? No answer to that.
Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer: “We want what is rightfully ours. And it’s no need of running and no need of saying, ‘Honey, I’m not going to get in the mess.’ Because if you were born in America with a Black face, you were born in the mess!”
And White America, YOU created the Mess!
The Struggle Continues!
I AM BLACK, AND I AM A VIETNAM ERA VETERAN OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE. What a Helluva note as we approach Veterans Day, (originally known as Armistice Day) and is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11 to honor persons who served in the United States Armed Forces...that not only is America's president a Draft Dodger...but today he Dishonored America's War dead and every United States Servicewoman and Serviceman. He was in Europe ostensibly to attend the Commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the ending of World War I. He Did Not Go, for whatever outlandishly lame reason...He Did Not Go!.
White America plays these Racist games about Respect. White America, like the Racist donald trump, does not Respect Black America, even when we are wearing a military uniform. The uniform does not make a difference nor does it afford you Respect if you are Black. Something about that skin color thing.
Correspondingly White America and White America's president are quick to “Racistly” excoriate Colin Kaepernick for kneeling to protest White America’s Racism and Police Brutality which is his right. They say he is Disrespectful and implies his protest is directed at the military and the flag. It was not!
In the Idealistic sense, I served in the military to Protect The Rights and the Freedoms of ALL as guaranteed in the United States Constitution...even as I DID NOT have those Rights and Freedoms and Respect as a Black person in this country, while wearing a military uniform AND To Protect Colin Kaepernick's Right to protest America's Racism and America's Police Brutality.
Yet, White America...Racist White America...you wanted to lynch me for protesting segregation before I enlisted in the military, and even while I was in the military, and you give a Draft Dodging Disrespectful president who INSULTED all veterans, a DAMN PASS.
Now I am not going to lose any sleep because of ANYTHING America's Reprehensible Racist Vile piece of a Nothing president named donald trump says and does, but we need to be absolutely clear.... donald trump who LIES and says he respects the Military ...INSULTED EVERY American Servicewoman and Serviceman TODAY!
This is especially addressed to those ignorant trump supporters who think he walks on water.
The Struggle Continues!
Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.