brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

By Default Black People Are Not Included

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Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the first African American to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, is catching a lot of attention for making the suggestion that people take advantage of Black History Month to begin a dialogue about race and referring to the United States as a nation of cowards for not discussing the country’s history and continued tolerance for race disparity.

In an address to Justice Department workers, Mr. Holder said that they have a special responsibility to acknowledge social limits and to push past them.  Mr. Holder told employees that the level of social interaction among people of different races is bleak and that it in many ways does not differ significantly from the country that existed fifty years ago.  The fact that within a few short decades, demographic changes will result in no single racial majority only underscore the need for openness and, in some cases, confrontation on issues that separate people.  And just like clock work, social conservatives jumped on their soapbox and used whatever resources they could muster to make Mr. Holders attempt at breaching the racial divide an act of American heresy.

I heard that uber conservative Pat Buchanan and one of my favorite peeps on racial matters Professor Eric Michael Dyson were on Hardball With Chris Matthews to discuss Mr. Holder’s comments.  I went to YouTube to see if I could find a copy of the show.  I really didn’t have time to see it all because if I did, I would’ve been late for work.  But, after about fifteen seconds of watching the two guests I had enough to realize that if Mr. Buchanan was any indication, any talk about talking about race would fail because of the conditions the dominant community has defined for black and white relations from the first moment that black people set foot on American soil shackled in white people’s chains.

Mr. Buchanan was outraged that Mr. Holder would call white people cowards.  Black people are the ones separating themselves from America.  There are the black beauty pageants and the Negro League and the United Negro College Fund and the black caucus and all of these institutions developed for black people.  Never mind the fact that these institutions were developed because white people were excluding black people from participating in the standard beauty pageants, baseball leagues, and the like.  Black churches were developed because black people were not allowed to pray to white people’s god in white people’s vicinity.  These institutions were developed because of white people’s need to keep separate from black people.

There are periods in American history white people were free to put up signs saying white only.  Coloreds had to make due with other arrangements.  But now black people are the problem.  This is nothing new.  I’ve written about this a few times before.  Many people who are sensitive to the need for racial equality and the many manifestation of racial disparity have written about this subject.

But what was different this time, at least for me, was that Mr. Buchanan admitted that the United States, by default, is intended to be a country of the white, by the white, and for the white unless explicitly stated as something else.  Mr. Holder said that the United States is a nation of cowards.  Mr. Holder did not say that the United States is a nation of white cowards.  Mr. Holder did not say that white America needs to come to terms with race.  Mr. Holder never mentioned white people.

However, Mr. Buchanan understands that it is natural to hear the standard and to know that it only applies to the white people in this country.  So when we hear United States beauty pageant, we know that this is an institution designed and developed for the white community.  When we hear about other integral parts of American culture we know that this as white America as surely we know baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie.  The term “all American boy” invokes the image of a young white male, it is implied that this is a reference to the white community.

So when we hear about the beauty contest or the institution for education, we know it is an institution targeted to the white community first and then black people who want to participate and play by white people’s rules.

When we invoke the name America, or the name United States, some people, like Mr. Buchanan, automatically translate this to white only.  We are not talking about black people.  Black people are excluded.  He admitted as much when he said that the term United States is a reference to white only.  If black people want to be included, we have to make sure it is understood unequivocally, without the least bit of confusion.  Obviously, black people are not the only ones who separate the black community from the United States.

Friday, February 20, 2009 - Posted by | Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black People, Life, Pat Buchanan, Racism

9 Comments »

  1. I would love to meet you one day BrotherPeacemaker.

    You say so well what I think. You also, pointed out something that i missed. Overtly, yet I already know.

    What I mean is that you are right. Mr. Holder didn’t say white america. He said america… but the fact that Mr. Buchannan internalized it to mean white america shows where his idealogy is.

    Keep it coming by brother.

    Hotep

    Comment by Damien | Friday, February 20, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Damien,

      This is the same situation that happened to Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Mr. Wright never said that white America is all the shit that many people, even his spiritual student Barack Obama, blamed on him. He said America’s chickens are coming home to roost. We are all in this together. But some people are simply too stuck on their need to separate to see the inclusion of us all.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, February 20, 2009 | Reply

  2. Oh and don’t forget the insinuation that America saved “African-Americans” from that terrible continent called Africa.

    Comment by RiPPa | Friday, February 20, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback RiPPa,

      But I didn’t see much of Mr. Buchanan’s comments. I caught only a glimpse of the show. But I do know that Mr. Buchanan has said such racist rhetoric before. This is a man that said black people need to get on our knees and thank white people for everything our ancestors and elders have gone through at white people’s hands.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, February 20, 2009 | Reply

  3. Implied meanings are always up for grabs. Buchanan (rightly or not) assumed that Holder was talking about white —–> black racism.
    You can draw the conclusion that he was essentially claiming America for whites. Or, you can draw the conclusion that his automatic jump to white Americans shows how little black —-> white racism is ever talked about.

    Besides, Buchanan asked Doctor Dyson who Holder was referring to. Dyson said he was talking about “America”, but then goes into how “people” need to admit white supremacy, social injustice, slavery, jim crow laws, and bigotry, have not led to the best experiment with democracy. Dyson obviously doesn’t speak for Holder, but it’s 100% clear who Dyson thinks the overwhelming majority of Holders speech applies to.

    And you have to remember, Dr Dyson made that assessment BEFORE Buchanan decided to spit out his “truths”.

    Comment by Sean | Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Sean,

      Implied meanings can be a serious problem. But please tell us how America’s institutionalized racism against white people kept black people with a distinct advantage in employment, education, health, wealth accumulation, and land acquisition. How do black people move as a block to keep white people from obtaining jobs, education, and housing? I am truly fascinated with this topic because I have never heard of such instances. I am always open to learning something new.

      As far as Doctor Dyson’s references to white supremacy, all I can say is what do you think confronting America’s history of racism means, the period in America’s history when black people held every advantage. Black people didn’t put white people in chains. Black people did not exercise segregation in the form of Jim Crow laws. White people didn’t have to sue for their civil rights. I have to admit to some confusion because I thought this was understood by everyone. Maybe white people have been subjugated by black people and I just have not given this part of America’s past the attention it deserves.

      And as far as Mr. Holder’s comments are concerned, I think he knew what he was saying when he said America is a nation of cowards, not white cowards, not black cowards, but a nation of cowards. There are black people who simply refuse to acknowledge the racial disparity. Bill Cosby and Doctor Alvin Puissaint wrote Come On People imploring black parents to teach black children to behave in a more socially acceptable manner. Everybody knows black men don’t honor their responsibilities to their families. But where is their entreaty to the white community to keep their children in line and be more socially acceptable? Where is the discussion of the racism that black children have to suffer at the hands of law enforcement? Where are the black celebrities who called for action when Sean Bell was pumped full of bullets as he headed home for his wedding day? Or where was the outrage when Martin Anderson was murdered in a boot camp by seven boot camp guards for not being able to run his assigned laps? Where is the backlash when we see officer Dan Gilroy on tape punching fourteen year old Shelwanda Riley in the face for breaking curfew?

      Black celebrities are too afraid to say anything about these problems lest they lose their favor from the dominant community. We all saw what happened to a man like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Mr. Wright never said anything about white America and yet he was hounded into obscurity. The man became a sacrifice to the political gods in order to restore the dominant community’s favor on Barack Obama. Mr. Obama was too afraid to confront the ugly reality of racism head on and instead feigned phony outrage in order to kick Mr. Wright to the curb. Mr. Obama doesn’t mind his political opponents calling him a terrorist or a Muslim. He laughs at such slander. But when Mr. Wright calls Mr. Obama a politician, the otherwise calm and easy going Mr. Obama makes a public spectacle of severing his relationship with his spiritual mentor.

      This is why racism needs to be confronted by a nation of cowards on both sides of the racial divide.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Reply

  4. Slavery, Jim Crow, White supremacists, are almost universally hated by white people, and described as one of the bleakest and most embarrassing times in our country’s history. We don’t need to discuss them in the context of admitting they were right or wrong anymore.

    I don’t owe anyone an apology for them. Am I sorry they happened? Absolutely. But an apology is an admission of personal fault. My skin color doesn’t link me to an 1800’s slaver anymore than yours links you to people in Africa trading away other captured peoples for guns or gold. Do you understand how ridiculous that sounds?

    Thanks for clarifying Holder’s position. There are whites that need to admit to their racism, and there are blacks that need to admit to white people’s racism. Please excuse me as a wipe the bias flowing out of my computer screen. Cosby talked one side of the problem, one the black community can help themselves with the most.

    I live in Atlanta, a city run by a black Mayer, a black police chief, a majority black police department, a black majority period. There are only five members on the city council out of sixteen that are white, and the president of the council is black. Almost half of Fulton County’s superior court justices are black. Tell me, who is the “dominant community” where I live? In the most important financial, law making, and collegiate area of the entire state?

    I’m not suggesting black people have been in the position to be as racially cruel as white people. But if we’re talking about racist feelings or tendencies, you’ve really deluded yourself if you think black people have nothing to answer for. Hell my dad is a firefighter inside the perimeter. Do you know how many lawsuits there are over the hiring and promoting in the fire departments surrounding Atlanta?

    Maybe it’s because of the area of live in, but there are more race related speakers, seminars, clubs, protests, and just awareness to race in politics and the news than ANY other subject. And I find we are complete opposites in our assessment of the black voice.

    Comment by Sean | Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Reply

    • Sean,

      “Slavery, Jim Crow, White supremacists, are almost universally hated by white people, and described as one of the bleakest and most embarrassing times in our country’s history. We don’t need to discuss them in the context of admitting they were right or wrong anymore.”

      That’s good to hear. But when are we as a country are going to correct the damage that these institutionalized macro scaled versions of racial disparity caused to the black community? Slavery ended and black people were told that they were free. Okay. But how were black people supposed to go into the future as free men and women without the resources necessary to be free men and women? Which led to the racial disparity of Jim Crow. Jim Crow ended. But after so many generations of people living with Jim Crow and its brand of racial disparity laws were passed to make the practice illegal. Okay. But how were black people supposed to compete in an environment where white people felt like they were losing their privilege? Which led to the racial disparity of separate but far from equal. And so on and so on.

      Every step of the fight for equality for black people, white people fought hard to keep equality a distant goal. These institutions created the environment of disparity that we have today. The nation as a whole has never addressed this disparity and never will. White people continue to benefit from these conditions. But try and say that we need to do something to correct this imbalance and many white people say “I don’t owe anyone an apology”.

      Nobody asked you for an apology. I could care less how you feel. To me, you are no different than the Pat Buchanan’s of the world. Your apology doesn’t mean a thing. You are not that important. Do you know how ridiculous you sound? Hey everybody Sean apologized! Racism is over now. You really do have an overinflated ego there. But what is important is for America to address the problems of racial disparity that America has tolerated for so long and continues to tolerate to this day. Too many white people think that the only thing necessary to create an equal environment is that the blatant racial discrimination stops. How do we correct the disparity that the blatant discrimination created and its subtle counterpart continues to create? Hey, back off! I’m not apologizing!

      “I’m not suggesting black people have been in the position to be as racially cruel as white people. But if we’re talking about racist feelings or tendencies, you’ve really deluded yourself if you think black people have nothing to answer for.”

      I am so sorry that there are bad black people out there who have hurt your feelings. Indeed, there are jerks on both side of the racial line. But guess what? There are black people who hurt my feelings as well. Maybe we can address the affects of mean black people and what led to the fact that so many black people don’t care for white people. Lord knows they think they have plenty of reasons to justify how they feel.

      But I’m not referring to the damage of simply hurting white people’s feelings. If we were only talking about black people’s hurt feelings I’d have to say too bad so sad. When I talk about the discussion of racism I’m talking about the general economic, social, political, educational, legal, and other instances of racial disparity that have the majority of the black people on the downside. I have a black mayor and a black policeman! Well good for you! And? What does that do for the rest of the black community? When did these black leaders use their position of authority to ruin the lives of white people? A lot of white people love to point to a few black well to do people as if that alone justifies our tolerance for racial disparity.

      But people never want to point in the other direction as examples of how far we have to go. Where were all these black leaders when Genarlow Wilson was being railroaded into a ten year prison sentence for having sex with a girl two years his junior? He had good grades. He played football. He kept his nose clean. He was never in trouble before. His horrible crime of being a teenager having sex meant that he had to be labeled a sexual predator and needed some prison time. I bet a lot of people felt less safe when he was released after serving two years of his sentence. Lord knows teenagers having sex is just such an unnatural, criminal act. May god have mercy on his soul.

      And yest it is true that Bill Cosby and Alvin Puissaint talk about black people helping themselves by protecting themselves and making sure black people adhere to acceptable standards of behavior. Because we know that there is a stereotypical culture against black people that calls for the harshest punishments possible regardless of the crime or the lack thereof. Young blacks being disrespectful to figures of authority is enough to justify the heavy handed practice of law enforcement. It is this piece of the culture that too many black people are afraid to address because of the possibility that they appear too sympathetic to the plight of the black community.

      And by the way, Africans never traded for gold. Africans had all the gold they needed. Africans didn’t trade other Africans for white people’s gold. That’s another ridiculous contention from you. Africa had a history of slavery that predates white people. That is very true. When tribes conquered other tribes the conquered people became subject to Africa’s version of slavery. Eventually, the conquered people earned a place of equality in the new larger tribe. African slaves were never in chains and kept separate. African slaves learned the ways of the tribe just like anyone else. African slaves were not kept ignorant and their families were not broken on the whims of some owner. African slaves were never anybody’s personal property and were eventually assimilated to make the tribe stronger.

      When Africans traded other Africans away it was for weapons from the white man that they could use to conquer other tribes. The weapons allowed favored tribes to take over other tribes far quicker than the people of the other tribes could be assimilated. The white people offered to take the conquered away so the favored tribe could continue its grab for territory. Africans probably didn’t realize the depths of the new world’s contempt for black people. They probably thought slavery in the white man’s land would mirror the African model of slavery.

      Lastly, an apology is not always some admission of personal guilt. An apology is used to convey a sense of sorrow when there is a sense of compassion. People do it all the time. But the idea of somebody like you have a sense of compassion for black people? Not hardly. You talk about wiping the bias off your computer screen when you ought to wiping your ass because of all the bias coming out of it. I do believe it looks like you have a serious case of diarrhea.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, February 26, 2009 | Reply

  5. Speaking of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder:

    Eric Holder is a racial-minority individual, and in his heart and mind he inevitably does not endorse hate crimes committed by George W. Bush.

    George W. Bush committed hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism (indicated in my blog).

    George W. Bush did in fact commit innumerable hate crimes.

    And I do solemnly swear by Almighty God that George W. Bush committed other hate crimes of epic proportions and with the stench of terrorism which I am not at liberty to mention.

    Many people know what Bush did.

    And many people will know what Bush did—even to the end of the world.

    Bush was absolute evil.

    Bush is now like a fugitive from justice.

    Bush is a psychological prisoner.

    Bush has a lot to worry about.

    Bush can technically be prosecuted for hate crimes at any time.

    In any case, Bush will go down in history in infamy.

    Submitted by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    “GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN U.S. HISTORY” BLOG OF ANDREW YU-JEN WANG
    _____________________
    I am not sure where I had read it before, but anyway, it is a linguistically excellent statement, and it goes kind of like this: “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Oh wait—off the top of my head—I think the quotation came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

    Comment by Andrew Yu-Jen Wang | Saturday, March 7, 2009 | Reply


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