The Beatings Go On and On
I call it the beatings go on because is part of a violent part of the American civilian black experience.
They was an industrial revolution spreading through America after the destructive Civil War. Reconstruction was a means to rebuild the country and integrate newly freed slaves and poor whites into that dynamic, because Lincoln was all about uplift of his people first. All torpedoed by short sighted Andrew Johnson and Southern politicians. Using voter suppression, purging voting rolls, throwing about legally cast votes, tactics still attempted today.
If Reconstruction had been allowed to proceed and supported and the deconstruction stopped, these revolutionary ideals would have flourished and it would not have taken us another hundred years and another civil revolution to get to enlightenment.
We had to have an industrial revolution because a country cannot survive and should not survive using forced labor. Enlightenment means to me recognizing the horrors of slavery, groups ancestors who supported it, and legitimate means to make restitution for it. I’m not Jewish, although I do have a Jewish ancestor according to my maternal grandmother; but I don’t want to consider a world if the Nazis had won, nor would I ever consider a world if the Confederacy had won. Because someone like me sees that Rebel Flag, statues symbols of backwardness, tyranny, brutality, and death. So books like Fried Oyster Sandwich by some white author, Lloyd Gross that presents a fictional alternative history for the Confederate States of America, I am suspicious of the motives. Is he a MAGA writer, America was great when people like me had no place and no rights and can killed, and he and his kin get to sit on the veranda eating Oyster sandwiches and sipping mint Juleps? Or will this be so ridiculous and improbable doomed existence? Not sure, but plan on reading.
Trifecta of Assimilation
If Reconstruction had not been torpedoed, we, Black Americans could have had a peaceful integration into our society. We could be accepted as people flaws and all, building a mighty nation where men and women were created equal and mighty together. However, what we got was a fractured society with a facade of equality and self hatred. Produce assimilators, coons, “Uncle Toms” whose goal is to make themselves pure and acceptable to white people at all costs. Frederick Douglas, former slave, who would have understandably had the rage of Nat Turner, retired into a comfortable life of a docile coddled Negro unwilling to address the brutality of Lynch mobs and pogroms in the Midwest and South after the war, The way to Black Freedom was lead by 2 great men, very different in their approach to our freedom but who were assimilators, WEB Du Bois and Booker T. Washington. Concept of debunking “stupid and lazy” Negro and replacing it with a non-threatening educated and refined “New Negro” presented by the Harvard educated dandy, WEB “Willie” Du Bois. Or the hardworking blue collar New Negro, represented by Booker T Washington and with his famous institute dedicated to the industrial arts was an attempt to back door our way into acceptance. It would leave Washington to cape-for Theodore Roosevelt even though he would not pardon the black soldiers who were probably falsely accused of rape in Texas. We would even Woodrow Wilson the biggest racist of them, showing the first Birth of a Nation which glorifies the KKK, and who oversaw the widening of segregation on a Federal level as well as kicking civil rights leader Willam Trotter out of the Oval Office.
They could have supported and protected Ida B. Wells, someone wronged by historians for years because she understood black rage every time she reported on lynchings risking her life to report the truth of the continued violence against us. They did not see her cause as just and different tact but in accord with our freedom. It was then as well as now to kick the door down or burn it down because no one was going to open it peacefully.
I am not sure if Frederick Douglass nor Booker T, every came to this conclusion during their lifetime, if they did their changed views were not widely known, But we know of WEBs conversion and acceptance by the Niggerati during the second half of his long and storied Life. He was helped along by one of the most persecuted and maligned group on the earth besides, African Americans, Jews during that period. Frank Boaz, escaped persecution in Europe and emigrated to America seeking freedom of thought and life. He would give Du Bois a wake up call a lead to the Epiphany that you’re always gonna be black no matter how many degrees behind your name, how many poems and books you write how many concerts you attend. You just are great, not for acceptance by White America, but just to be a great person. And we have to be allowed to be great, have the same economic opportunities, the same educational experience, the right to live anywhere. He would pass away before he would see the likes of Martin Luther King demonstrating to the world why the importance of our freedom and equality. There always has to be someone along the way to slap you down or remind you not to reach beyond. It they tried to do it with Jack Johnson, the heavy weight champion, They used the media in obvious racist, birth of a Nation like tactics like Tarzan because the world needs a white man subjugating Black people savages of Africa. Stamped points to the screening of Birth of a Nation, and the glorifying of the KKK in the South, as one of many impetuses to the initiation of the Great migration from the South. We basically left in droves literally running for our lives. The narrative about back to African and other ideologies of Marcus Garvey is a product of this terror. But the hunger and poverty created Malcolm X and the Black Panther movement who supported burning down the door we were not going anywhere and we deserved equality, “By any means necessary”.
Uplift suasion and the Nigerati were not motivated prove just how refined and brilliant we are to try to impress other races but be that we are brilliant, artistic because we want to be to entertain other African Americans. That’s why we had the Harlem Renaissance. They wouldn’t let us in the Cotton Clubs or even in most places on Broadway, so we had to create it out of necessity. We were allowed to perform so we actually had to establish our own venues in order to showcase our own art. I still have more could evidence to cancel the New York Post beyond the story line of Hunter Biden’s non-Ukraine Scandal. , but a former editor of the Post, Bowers, said that Black people were symbols animals and and did not deserve equality. Again main stream media supporting the racist narrative, all lies.
Extremism-Conservative vs Liberal Equal in the Blocks to Enlightenment
Extremism in economic thought and political thought leads to stagnation and no enlightenment. Everybody has their own truths build on thought processes of others, Aristotle, Karl Marx, the Dali Lama, Buddha, Christianity. But sometimes those same ideals of perverted and weaponized in ways to stagnant thought and to stop change. There has to be a happy medium. The great wars 1 and 2, we fought side by side gallantly and with courage and could not even be promoted, lived in segregated barracks and cafeterias, still murdered in the streets stateside. The Great Depression hit, we were not part of the New Deal Equally. We had unlikely allies like Truman initiating the desegregation of the Federal Government and Military and other civil rights legislation pissing off every white Southerner to the point they left the party, dubbing themselves the Dixiecrats and pushing an alternate president the Grand Dragon himself Strom Thurmond for president, didn’t work but they tried it.
Several landmark cases would formalize the demise of Jim Crow in our nation, like Shelley versus Kramer, Brown versus Board of Education , the first one was about disaggregating real estate the other one was desegregating education and then there was workers rights all culminating in the March on Washington. We are great because we want to be. We needed allies to assist but not necessarily lead us. We have the capability to lead everyone not just Black people. Kennedy’s administration recognized the timing of the movement and is credited with ushering in the Civil Rights Movement, but they were cautious, they were manipulating even the historic March on Washington behind the scenes. I didn’t know that the Kennedy administration knew the march needed to proceed but they directed who would actually speak and they basically apply pressure because Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, nor James Baldwin didn’t speak, they were no women. They accepted MLK even with his socialist left leaning speech, still less harmless in their eyes than back to African and burn it to the ground Black Panthers. I can only imagine if a young Shirley Chisholm or the cultured James Baldwin, or fiery Angela Davis had been on the Podium…It would take Andrew Johnson with several swipes of his pen to blow up Reconstruction, and it would take another Johnson, Lyndon B., to change all of it with a Reconstruction 2.0 of sorts at the signing of the Civil Rights Act.
The discourse of racism has to proceed to heal and unite our society. Recognizing it as the insidious blight the that it is, is paramount to conquering it. Acceptance of extreme views is not a way forward for out country or society, there is a middle ground for success.
I recently viewed an interview with one of the authors of this book who was a bit cagey about discussing a book he had published 4 years ago. I thought it was views of an eccentric writer who viewed the bimodal commercial success was in someway diluting the authenticity of his art. And to that, I was really like, Boy bye, you got bills. Make that money. But he clarified that he wanted people not to to lose focus or become desensitized to the sensitivity and urgency for change of the push to and search for antiracism or racism, when words devolve into part of the accepted vernacular, I.e. woke or problematic. I can only hope that my analysis and insight is helpful and would not water down the significance of the discussion but would assist into furthering the discussion and understanding.