Health Care For All=Black Reparations? Get a Grip, Beck

September 5, 2009

If African-Americans didn’t exist politicians and corporate America would have to invent them.Which is what they usually did.

Popeye cartoon

Popeye cartoon

Sleeping :coon:

Sleeping :coon:

Race antagonism has been the holy grail of politics since the founding of the nation and will probably remain so beyond the day that the sun sets on the American adventure. Blaming the “other” for society’s woes is the human condition and as American as apple pie. Sure, now and then groups other than Blacks are targeted to create cohesiveness within the “white” and “right” community: Mexicans, Chinese, foreigners, Bolsheviks have all been enlisted as poster children for the imminent destruction of (White) American values, but nothing succeeds at that job of dividing Americans against themselves as the people who arrived just after the first colonists, the alien Blacks from planet Welfare.

Political cartoon

Political cartoon

The right wing’s latest effort to re-package universal health care as reparations for Black slavery is just the latest in the effort to get Whites, who have the largest numbers and would be the greatest beneficiaries, to cut off their own noses to spite their face.

We all know them African-Americans have been looking for a handout since they landed at Plymouth Rock, then squandering  their time trifling on ol’ massa’s plantation instead of hoisting that bale.

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck

We all know the Republican right allegedly hates government, unless, of course, they’re bleeding it dry with bailouts or partnering with it to bleed the taxpayer dry with over priced contracts, making a few of themselves rich in the process.  Their ideological objection to government often extends to their fundamentalist religious beliefs opposing any form of worker’s benefits, public schools, or social security benefits.  It has been famously said that they want to shrink the size of government until they can drown it it the bath tub.  What better way to accomplish the destruction of the New Deal and the social safety net than to racialize it?  Race in America trumps every other passion.  Break the “coalition” among the blue dog Dems, feminists and minorities and the Democratic party will be small enough to drown in the bath tub.

WH with Obama

WH with Obama

But back to the Beckian screed on black “reparations”. Whoa,  health care is a reparation?  According to Beck it’s part of a package that includes universal education and Black History Month!  Huh?!! (Duh, a**hole, Black history is American history, or didn’t you know that). Was HillaryCare a form of “reparations”? Well, health care  must be reparations  for white slavery because they would get it too; those who occupy the hills of West Virginia and the survivalist compounds of Utah and Idaho.  Perhaps it’s for reparations for Europeans and Whites in virtually every industrial country on the globe.  The Asians have even gotten into the reparations act by providing single payer or universal coverage to its citizens.

They must all be headed down the slippery slope to a commie black welfare state on planet Batshit.

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Yes, Virginia, It’s RAAAAAACISM!

August 21, 2009
Ohaha lynching 1919

Omaha lynching 1919

Is racism in America really classism in disguise?  Do White Americans actually discriminate against Black Americans based upon  assumptions about (lesser) intelligence, education, innate moral rectitude,  social responsibility, ambition and financial standing rather than race?  Yes.  And that distinction sounds suspiciously like raaaacism.

Can racism be falsely claimed? Yes.  Can racism be falsely denied? Yes.  Blacks and Whites in America perceive the country and its grand promises through very different experiential lenses, so let’s examine this egalitarian, and I think false, assertion.

Racism, especially the institutional and state sponsored kind, is the oppression, domination and manipulation of peoples based upon their seemingly immutable and inferior characteristics of phenotype and genotype; an unreasoning prejudice based upon belief in the inherent superiority of one exalted race over another naturally debased race.  This quote  in 1887 from Henry Grady, a Southern “moderate” and editor of the Atlanta Constitution (from Trouble in Mind, Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow, Leon F. Litwack) is very explicit:

“The supremacy of the white race of the South must be maintained forever, and the domination of the negro race resisted at all points and at all hazards because the white race is the superior race.  This declaration is no new truth.  It has abided forever in the marrow of our bones, and shall run forever in the blood that feeds Anglo-Saxon hearts.”

Jesse Washinton lynched-burned at the stake

Jesse Washinton lynched-burned at the stake

Black liberation from physical slavery and political enfranchisement weren’t worth the paper the they were written on. Any attempt to exercise these “rights” usually resulted in death.  Through most of the next 100 years after emancipation, Blacks lived within an ever tightening vise of White restrictions, humiliations and intimidation that they were powerless to change. Under the magnifying lens of Jim Crow Blacks did not dare to own their own emotions, their feelings of anger and resentment, as the mildest expressions of other than childlike deference and submission could result in their deaths.  Despite the complaints of bigots that Blacks were childlike, ineducable, and primitive and therefore in need of paternalistic white control, it was educated, and economically successful Blacks were usually the targets of White wrath. Here is the story of the Tulsa Race riot, 1921, the most destructive riot in U.S. history that obliterated Black Tulsa, Ok.

Racist etiquette required that wherever the two races came into contact the negro must be  reminded of his limitations because equality elevated the inferior race and degraded the superior. In a racist society, race trumps class and gender prejudice.  All members of a race, male and female, well off or not are inferior to all members of the other race.  The lowest white man is higher than the highest nigger.  Total segregation of Blacks who had been freed from slavery, dehumanization, false arrest, forced labor, economic terrorism, unpunished ritual murder, and political disenfranchisement are the tools of ideology. In my experience, bull necked resentment, unreasoning unfairness and mistreatment are also racism.

Lynched Black woman

Lynched Black woman

In America, classism, prejudice based on mutable forms of perceived inferiority, laziness, drunkenness, etc., even ethnic prejudice based upon cultural inferiority to superior Nordic races, is usually overcome within a generation as all persons perceived as “white” eventually assimilate into the larger group and enjoy the privileges of that group over the oppressed race.  Since race is a social construct, the Irish, as the “niggers of Europe” were oppressed as a race, to justify their enforced economic dependency and debasement.

Yes, in America, there can be attitudes of class based prejudice within and among both races based upon relative wealth, social standing and sometimes color.  But when the two “races” intersect the bigotry is complex but is usually based on race.

Ida B. Wells, the great African American social reformer and anti-lynching crusader, described news and scholarly media that:

reproduce myths about the sexual nature and sexuality of Black women and girls which leaves them open to assault and unprotected by the law. As editor of a militant Black weekly, the Memphis Free Speech and Highlight, Ida B. Wells published a searing editorial condemning mob violence and the widespread white acquiescence that served to sanction mob rule. Wells’ editorial dismisses white, southerners’ self-righteous defense of vigilantism and suggests that the psychology motivating mob violence is white men’s desire to control white women’s sexuality rather than widespread fear of Black male sexuality. The editorial is scathing, relentlessly incriminating and challenges the white supremacist rhetoric casting Black peoples’ sexuality as loose, wanton and uncontrollable.

The lynch-murder of three highly respected Memphis, Tennessee businessmen in May of 1892, was the event that transformed Ida B. Wells into an ardent anti-lynching crusader of unparalleled historical significance. In 1892 lynchings were nearly a daily occurrence in American society. Tragically, more U.S. citizens fell victim to mob rule in 1892 than any other year in the countries recorded history. Wells-Barnett was outraged when in less than one week across the South, eight Black men were hanged till dead, and their lifeless bodies filled with bullets. In no instance were legal actions taken against any white person or persons involved in the men’s deaths. Although the justification “excusing” five of the mob executions was what Wells called “the new alarm about raping white women,” the three businessmen were killed by the mob for daring to own, operate and protect a prosperous cooperative grocery in competition with a nearby white-owned store. The murders of the Memphis grocers caused Wells to critically reexamine and challenge not only vigilante violence, but the rhetoric used to defend lynch-law as well.

Yeah, it’s racism.


Obama and States’ Rights-Marriage

January 24, 2009

States’ Rights. What are they? Constitutional Amendment X defines them as: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” In our country, so divided by the issues of slavery and race, these words have been heavily freighted with history.

Back in the day, not so long ago, those words, uttered in the wrong company, were enough to start a bar fight. Those two words, spoken by a Lester Maddox or Bull Connor, were the equivalent of a codified rebel yell signifying a resistance to Federal dominance over state power and all that went with it: voting rights for African Americans, civil rights, secularism, public school integration. President Ronald Reagan made hay out of those words, condemning Big Government and taxation with a sub-textual message of lazy, black welfare queens living off the dole. Ronald Reagan, with his promise to keep hands off the the traditions and internal workings of the South, converted a reluctantly Democratic region into an enthusiastic and pivotal Republican stronghold. For African-Americans states’ rights meant no rights. It was the power of the federal government to broadly enforce equal accommodation, ensure voter rights and reject the concept of “separate but equal” that began the slow erosion of racial discrimination. See here.

Now it’s the Democrats’ chance to take a turn at bat creating a permanent majority party. And well, the states’ rights issue is back, but with a twist. This time it’s about marriage. The issue of marriage, who may and may not marry, was explicitly a state matter until the 1967 legal challenge of Loving v. Virginia. In this case, the nation’s interest in equal protection to marry triumphed over a State’s interest in upholding community or traditional views surrounding the marriage contract.

The Defense of Marriage Act, passed by a Republican congress and signed in 1996 by Bill Clinton usurped state authority again, this time permitting anti- gay marriage states to ignore legal gay marriages in other states, a clear reversal under the Loving v. Virginia rule. Presidential candidate Obama, self-described “fierce defender” of equal rights for gays, himself defined marriage as between one man and one woman and went a step farther with Rick Warren at Saddleback declaring, that for him, “God is in the mix”‘. Notwithstanding the vague and pandering nature of the comment, if “God is in the mix” then gay marriage is transformed from a secular, civil rights/equal rights issue into a moral one, determined by a majority of Christian “believers”. That’s exactly where Obama, the Democratic Party and many evangelicals want to keep it. If gay rights are not civil rights the states can deal with them as they choose, mostly in an uncivil manner, without the struggle over personal liberties and “lifestyles” which are the bugaboo of national presidential politics.

Many African-Americans would prefer that LGBT rights were de-coupled from the civil rights struggle. Many find gays tagging along under “their” banner on the continuum to equality to be “insulting”. Why? because, they say they believe being gay is a “choice”, not an immutable condition, and if they are fundamentalist Christians, which the majority are, an immoral choice. Yes, marriage is a choice but hey, so is practicing any of the multitude of religions in the country. And we all know choosing the wrong religion historically was, and in some places still is, a risky and punishable choice.
President Obama is pandering to this nonsense to win the humanity-challenged hearts of the religious right.
Before 1967 most white voters in the states upholding miscegenation laws would have argued that marriage is a choice and so is selecting the marriage partner. Anyone deciding to chance wedlock with a person of a different race, understood the risks and consequences, and deserved them. Many would have argued, too, that it was an immoral choice, based upon their interpretation of the Bible.
What many African-Americans and other evangelicals forget is that freedom to love whom one will and receive the same rewards and benefits of the loving legal contract is what America is all about. It’s equality stupid.