It is bad enough that the media can no longer to be trusted, and worse that there are few alternative choices to turn to for reliable information that is free from spin. The audio recording group I've been associated with recently posted a solidarity message in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) and against police brutality.
America is rediscovering values it never had, and some are using this for political gain, especially the opposition parties and those who see Donald Trump as the manifestation of all what is wrong. All sides are playing the religious card, wrapping themselves in the flag and reverting to politically correctness.
It is very popular nowadays to make a "Big Deal" out of old movies and historic figures, especially of those associated with the institution of slavery or the Civil War or if the name of a US military base is named after a "Confederate" general.
This is so even when it is evident that both sides were guilty as hell for the carnage that resulted as a result of the American Civil War. All the time they are too preoccupied with rewriting history to justify the war or its outcome. This is on the level as quoting from the bible to justify slavery based on the Sin of Ham, and that is only for starters.
By the 19th century, as described by the NYT, and many historians agree, the belief that African-Americans were descendants of Ham was a primary justification for slavery among Southern Christians.
I finally finished reading Gone with the Wind, while also alongside reading the recent commentary, in time for Olivia de Haviland to die. I might even be for such quick fixes if it would have a positive impact in light of all that is happening in the US, and unite the people for the common good. There is no doubt that this movie gives a snapshot of racism in America, and how deeply rooted it is.
It is only now that people are starting to open their eyes to all the depictions overtime of the role of blacks. And, only because of the long-overdue black uprisings that are now happening in America.
Adventures of Hucklebeery Finn now banned in many school systems for having used the N-word, but there's no mention as to how much of a risk it was to Mark Twain to write a book against slavery. He could not have got away with the anti-slavery message unless he disguised it as a children's story. However, Uncle Tom's Cabin is considered a historic novel as that is what people want it to be in retrospect.
Even professors, one at the Univeristy of Calfornia, are now threatened with the loss of their jobs if they use the N-word, even if quoting from Martain Luthur King Jr. and his speech from the Memphis Jail. But what are public schools are teaching about Malcolm X and the contribution he made to the Civil Rights movement? He committed the offense of using of the N-word while reading Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" during a lecture on racism in America.
I am sure a teacher would have problems if his or her students would compare Malcolm X's methods of achieving equality for blacks to those of Martin Luther King, and to further discuss who was the House Negro and who was the Field Negro-two kinds of slaves. And even if based on the historic writing and speeches of those who made this comparison.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1963) describes why he was not held in high esteem by the power to be:
"No man in our time aroused fear and hatred in the white man as did Malcolm, because in him the white man sensed an implacable foe who could not be had for any price-a man unreservedly committed to the cause of liberating the black man in American society rather than integrating the black man into that society."
It is for this reason he is not honoured as MLK or Rosa Park in the Civil Rights Movement, schools named after him or National Holidays proclaimed.
It would make an interesting assignment to have young minds write about the meaning of Plymouth Rock, and how it was landed on by the black people, and how they did not land on it-and what it would take to bring about a "real revolution."
Malcolm X was considered too dangerous because he was a realist, not an idealist, and much can be learned now in terms of Black Lives Matters and current race relations by listening to him telling it like it was and continues to be.
Modern Day Uncle Toms are still with us to this day, however, they are not the ones who will bring about equality for blacks and fair play. It is no wonder why Malcolm X was under constant threat, and whenever in a restaurant in New York or Washington, it did not matter, as he would request a seat facing the door, to see who was coming and going, as he was always in fear for his life. His fears proved justified. He was murdered before he was able to have a greater impact on black lives in America.
I wonder what he would say about the plight of blacks in America today, as he "attributed the degradation of the Negro people to the white man, and considered integration as a fraud." What he was suggesting was separation and black nationalism and not assimilation into white society.
Few have read him, and if he was alive, the BLM and others would have their leader. Malcolm X contended that if the leaders of the civil rights organizations persisted, the social struggle would end in bloodshed because he was certain the white man would never concede full integration-and saw separation as the only solution for blacks, and black muslims, as he was addressing at the time, to gain their own identity, culture, and lay the foundations for a self-respecting productive community. Malcolm X was so right on as to what is happening, a country where it is almost a crime to be black or poor, and in retrospect, he was a true visionary as to the state of America in light of race and class struggle.
Equality for None
First, it was the war on drugs, which became a war on young black men, and even with subsequent Democratic White Houses, three strikes you are in for life, and a crime more often than not reserved for blacks and the lower echelons of society (classes).
Nobody should be surprised or taken back when they wake up one day and hear blacks saying "enough is enough." They all should go back and read the works of Malcolm X; and if he could be heard from the grave, he would be saying, "I hate to tell you so but I told you so." And it is no coincidence that he was murdered, and it comes as no surprise that no real investigation was ever made.
He was convinced that black people would only tell the white man what he wanted to hear, and so convincingly, at times they did not know themselves what the truth was, and how the black people remain a close book to the white man, who has never displayed any interests in understanding them.
His public appearances were avoided by both the whites and the blacks, and "the Negro middle class-the Negro "establishment"-abhorred and feared Malcolm as much as he despised it." We know how he would have reacted to some of the acting by blacks as they were cast in Gone with the Wind. He was especially dismayed at the role of Butterfly McQueen when he first watched the movie as a teen growing up in Michigan.
And from such movies, lessons are to be learned, and this will help us understand the actual place of blacks, in reality, and how they are stereotyped and treated in modern America. Later interviews with Butterfly would confirm all what has gone wrong with blacks trying to buy into the American Dream and how in many instances, it has proved to be an illusion.
The BLM movement and Federal Crackdown in Portland, that too in an election year, allows us to think who we really are as a nation, of our political values-and how our collective view of history is myopic and one of convenience. The so-called American experiment implies the once highly-held banner of American Exceptionalism is proving just the opposite.
There is nothing exceptional about claiming that the birthright of being American as some God's Gift to Humanity-and the sooner we accept that and the sooner we move on-the better for everyone, domestically and internationally.
The divisions in the US and much of the world is greater than I've ever known. The division alone with face mask is destructive... It's the most insane state of affairs in America; it is getting worse, much worse, especially in an election year with so many depending on expanded unemployment and social welfare.
What's wrong is suddenly right. You can't buy garden seeds but you can buy sex, alcohol and pot. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of what's going on. And the closer election comes physical decision will be based more on getting elected, and less on sound economic policy-spend now and worry about it later.
As for the crackdown on civil rights, the technology wasn't there then to enforce and support the so-called system, and naturally for our own good. Now technology will yield ultimate control, and the sooner we wake up to the Brave New World the better, at least in the minds of those in high positions. The problems which we are facing are more often those that went beyond convenient distractions, out of our control, and have now become the everyday reality.
Has the BLM matter actually had the opposite effect and made you less sympathetic with aggressive and violent supporters of BLM? Many claim that it is largely based on fraud waste and abuse of racism claims?
And how do people who are tired of seeing BLM and ANTIFA make their voices heard in a culture that ignores or retaliates against such alternative views, banned from social media sites and pushed to the edge?
I believe this is more important to address than who the president should be. What is at stake is the integrity and honesty of our nation. Strangely, they call it Black Lives Matter, but do not care at all about the large number of black people who die at the hands of other blacks or dropouts of schools who have few opportunities in life.
Education and deadly crimes between blacks are a serious problem that few are willing to address, the root causes. There is no doubt the police in America are trigger happy. But still, they don't care that more blacks are being killed every weekend in Chicago by other blacks.
The reason that many whites support BLM and ANTIFA and other movements, Occupy Wallstreet, is because of their own frustration with the system and because there is no other bandwagon to jump on. I don't think blacks need me or you for anything-as they run their own movement and with success.
They are just as capable as anybody else. Only racists think they aren't capable of being able to organize normal change, and by any means necessary. Nobody should be against cops, only against the system they represent. Sometimes cops make mistakes but so does every person reading this.
I used to think racism was still a huge problem. Then I spent 20 years loving and living with blacks in Washington DC and Baltimore MD. I came to see no racism at all, just a lot of bad behaviour and paranoid people all hurting each other. There were no white people in their lives other than me.
I came to the conclusion that racism is mostly a problem in people's own minds to delude themselves from reality. Humans don't make good choices. And some people have only felt empowered by using their skin colour in as many situations as possible because it seems to help them go unchallenged. So be it, and if it works, let them use it for what it is worth.
The unabated corruption, crime, lying, and self-deception is what fuels tension and paranoia disappear once you move out of the façade, and become aware of the reality. This is because so many blacks and others move out of such neighbourhoods too. It's illuminating, and you realize that the people who originally came up with the sympathetic reasons that made you do all this were either duping you or were duped themselves. They didn't know reality through their own experience.
Just because they read and watch the news makes them they believe it. I came away feeling great sympathy for people who try to build something and work hard to become skilled, intelligent and HONEST about reality; I no longer any sympathy for people who do not try to improve things and build, and who do not tell the truth. Having a father with good honest ethics is everything.
Having a scumbag for a stepfather or significant other and not knowing your "real father" explains everything as to why these neighborhoods are raising decades of turmoil. It has nothing to do with white people because they aren't a factor there. It has to do with the failure of the family and that so many fathers, white and black, are locked up or have police records, and that is a Scarlet Letter for life.
[Ron: In my view white political and judicial puppets controlled by Talmudists control the US political system and accordingly they ARE a very significant factor in the plight of Black and other poor young USans. The welfare system started by Roosvelt and greatly enhanced by President Johnson and subsequent Democrat Administrations used Welfarism and Feminism to eliminate black fathers from a majority of Black child raising homes. THAT was not an accident and it is the primary reason for dysfunctional Black families and neighbourhoods.].
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Henry Kamens, columnist, expert on Central Asia and Caucasus, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook".