It’s time to take a little Black American self-assessment test.
We used to say the “Revolution” would not be televised, thank you and rest in power Gil Scott Heron: Deet- Deet- dot- dot- dot- deet- deet.
Right now, in today’s so-called “Black Conscious Movement,” it may be time to get a grip on today’s Black America and why we are where we are now, and where we’re headed from here, so put your seatbelts on and get ready for the ride – whether you’re in a plane, driving your own car, or still riding on the “front” of a bus not your own.
Geographically, we know how our Black ancestors got here and why.
Genetically, scientifically, and biologically, we know about the melanin (dominant DNA) in our skin color and many complexions, we somewhat innerstand the complexities of racism and how it all began, and the race-mixing that has come about over centuries of time. We know who God created with His own hand, who says “they” came from apes, and some of us even believe that we have a sixth sense about the outer cosmos and parallel universes outside of the great Milky Way.
We also know that it’s not ‘as easy’ as it used to be to identify modernized mixed-race Black people who are born with more recessive gene traits than the original.
Scripturally, we know the story about how God created man (our Black ancestors) in the upper Nile River Valley and fertile crescent north of Africa when all of this land was really in one whole piece. We innerstand, by that tradition, how woman got here, how humanity came to fall into a sin-drenched spiritually destitute planet. We also have heard one of three mainstream stories about how white people were introduced into the world by some means, scientifically in the Aegean, or by global transmutation out of Africa, by way of the Caucasus Mountains, some 200,000-odd years later.
Now we can locate and situate ourselves, based on the tradition of history and where we are now as citizens of Black America circa 2014. We now have more than 500 years of slavery and race-based history behind us, though this America is not a post-racial America by any stretch of the imagination.
But let’s take a closer look.
For the first (or the sixth or seventh) time, if you believe the stories about the “undercova brothas” who were President before Barack H. Obama Jr., a Black man has been elected President of the United States.
There is nothing “undercova” about this Brotha President. He is most definitively a Black man and everybody who voted for him could see that for themselves. It was highly intentional. Why he is President is anyone’s guess, but let’s take it for what it is right now. He is.
Now we find ourselves in this modern-day America 2014, with this two-term President Obama who only has two years left in office; and I find myself with about 50 years of the ‘non-televised revolution’ under my bosom to speak on.
Today’s “Black revolution” is not unlike the one we had in the 1960s and 1970s. We had the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) out of Alabama, the Black Panther Party (BPP) out of Chicago, the Civil Rights Movement out of southeast America and Atlanta, the Rainbow Coalition of Chicago, The Nation of Islam (NOI) out of New York and Chicago, and M.O.V.E. coming out of Philadelphia, as well as several other smaller revolutions for and against integration and assimilation. We also had the similarly situated various legal actions of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League (NUL).
There were revolutionaries back then, some more militant than others; and there is a Black “conscious” movement happening now.
The Revolution that Heron pontificated on ended when some pretty “monolithic” Black people, ad majorum, took a back seat to white America while we sat on the front of the buses. We got comfortable with being spoon-fed the “nice friendly” covert racism instead of shoveled up and into an early grave “bad” overt racism of olden times.
All was pretty quiet on the assimilated home front for about 20 years, then along came Ronald Reagan.
Black folk had gotten so comfortable that they were dead asleep when a white California actor by the name of Ronald Wilson Reagan gave the old confederates and antiquated frontiersmen of their head dreams a virtual “John Wayne” of a presidential candidate. Never mind that TV cowboy “John Wayne” was NOT John Wayne–his real name was Marion Robert or Marion Mitchell Morrison), but we actually allowed him to be elected President.
By allowed, I mean those who voted and those who did not vote who voted for him by not voting at all. When you don’t vote, you concede to whomever “the other people” elect for you.
I distinctively remember when Reagan repeated one Bible verse about “plowshares and pruning hooks” and many religionista Black voters, schmoozed by the white evangelical movement out of their own Black history and into the prosperity gospel, were bowled over by it. Like limp dishrags who didn’t know a line of ‘Bolshevik evangelicalism’ when they heard it, Reagan was handled into the White House with the help of one Lee Atwater, of the Willie Horton Atwaters. Atwater called us “the race thing,” not Black people, or even the Black vote – just “the race thing.”
As Reagan was getting our permission to be President, he also stood on the gravesites of three murdered civil rights Voting Rights Act workers in Philadelphia, Mississippi, saying things like “Back to Basics.”
Turns out the United Klans of America, Inc., the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and Bennie Jack Hays, amongst others, took Reagan literally and very seriously.
They rounded up the “old John Wayne posses” and lynched Michael Donald of Mobile, Alabama, pretty much the same way George Zimmerman hunted down and murdered Trayvon Martin, late of Sanford, Florida. It reminded us of what happened to Emmitt Till, a Chicago native and visitor in Money, Mississippi at the time of his lynching. This happened on Reagan’s watch, and it was the first time Black America had seen or heard of a lynching in more than 20 years. Yee haw.
Here is where we started hearing the runaway as-yet undefined words of the sparsely educated, words like “liberal,” “state’s rights” (code for anti-civil rights), “welfare queen,” “entitlements,” “socialism,” “marxist,” et al, pop from out of nowhere. Every one of those misused words applied to anything and everything that Black people did or said.
Reagan and Atwater set Civil Rights for Black people in America back 20 years with that one speech; and Black people were voting for him as he did it – something that amounts to co-signing the very historically derogatory stuff that our parents and grandparents had fought so hard against.
Clinton, the “first” (not) Black President came along. Then came George Bush the Latter, who was never elected by the people, but was selected by Supreme Court. Now we have Barack Obama, but get the switch of America’s history firmly in mind.
Beginning with John F. Kennedy/Lyndon B. Johnson, both Democrats; then Richard M. Nixon/Gerald R. Ford, both Republicans; there was James E. Carter, a Democrat, then there was a Republican (Reagan)/George HW Bush (Republican); Democrat (William J. Clinton); a Republican (George W. Bush the Latter); now another Democrat (Obama), so we’re literally doing a back-and-forth tug’o’war kind of thing in American politics.
If that is any indication, then a war-mongering “liberal-hating” (Black-dissing) Republican will be President again in January of 2016, mainly because too many Black people will have thrown in the towel again and chosen, again, not to vote.
With that historical black-and-white / Republican vs Democrat / red dog state vs blue dog state picture firmly fixed in mind, we can pretty much take a guess as to what is going to become of this current “Black Conscious Revolution” under a Republican president.
The twice-elected Barack Obama, the most death-threatened President in the history of presidential death threats, has set off a wave of retaliatory judgmental viciously racist behavior in too many whites across America.
It has gotten so nasty and vicious on their parts that they need to be taught a lesson by everyone who voted for Obama – write him in for a third term, just to piss ’em off.
1) Most of us are well aware that Emmitt Till’s, Michael Donald’s, James Byrd’s, and even Trayvon Martin’s murderous-minded ilk decided to get college degrees and wear suits and ties to court; to carry badges, billy sticks, pepper spray, and flashlights and dress in police garb instead of their typical pointy-headed regalia of times past. Once the Black man got elected President, they climbed out of those festering dens and let it be known that white skin is still superior in America no matter what and that Black folks better stay in their ‘places’ (whatever that is) until they can get that “Nigra Obamessiah” out of office.
2) Most of us are well aware that in corporate and business America, Black people lost jobs by the head. It wasn’t because the jobs weren’t there, but because they had either been shipped out or shut down by some folks equally situated as shown above. The idea behind this was to do anything and everything in their power to sabotage President Obama, no matter who they had to kill to do it.
3) Most of us are well aware that on the rental, homebuying, and goods and services side of things, they jacked the price of everything up sky-high beyond inflationary, tacked on usurious interest, made good on foreclosing the predatory loans of the Reagan and Clinton administrations, and in a very clandestine “Tulsa OK-and-Rosewood FL”-like move reminiscent of times past, they took a lot of land and property that belonged mostly to Black people, whether they had the legal right to do so or not.
4) Then, along with the legalized lynchings, the biological warfare practices of the spread of AIDS and the Ebola Virus that only MOSTLY seem to adversely affect and kill Black people the world over (population control), the defiance of healthcare and jobs that pay a living wage, the “jobs-bleeding slam” (won’t approve a jobs bill and won’t pay unemployment) that they were in control of, and with the vicious attitudes of 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s America rolling over into the New Millennium, they succeeded in turning the United States into the most terrorist nation of them all.
We know that America cannot show other nations the merits of having and building a democracy, because it never learned what that was based on anything other than skin color.
For the time being, however, many Black people seemed to have started the makings of what could be called a digitized Internet Revolution. There are many Facebook groups, Instagrams, Pinterests, memes, e-radio shows, Twitterings, and other social media outlet outrage hype that reminds us of not only our glorious history, but also that seems bent toward educating one another about the work that is left to be done since the Civil Rights “ball” got dropped in the early 1970s.
If history is any indication, this current “black revolution” is a direct result of some culturally jaded and sheltered people who actually thought America was racially equalized until Year 2008 said otherwise. Those who saw this day coming knew that those who had slinked their way into a covert backhanded racism just picked up where they left off, too — when all was not so quiet on the western front.
Like all revolutions of its kind, the Black Conscious Movement of today’s Internet digital media wave will be dead and deceased some time around the middle of 2016. By then, we’ll all be back to being racially marginalized, demonized, degraded, and stigmatized the way we’ve grown more accustomed and comfortable with over the past 500+ years.
There is but one way to stop the coming onslaught and that is to get educated about our past, to read about the here and now, to catch up and keep up this time, and to vote these deadly warmongering thieves and racists out of office on the local and national levels.
If we do not do that which is expedient now, we will see the old Republican-oriented “conquer, divide, steal, kill and destroy” tactics come to the front porch of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, again in 2016.
We can look forward to another illicit oil war in the Middle East (i.e., Northern Africa), and more actions in this nation that will only serve to make racist rich whites richer and more racist than they already are.
This is a very different America for us than it is for them, that is never going to change – ever.
Don’t even think about it, it’s not going to happen no matter how much “positive thinking” (or praying) we do. The history of this country cannot be changed, but the future can.
If we are still open, after all of this, to some “patriotic” war that only counts Black people as full citizens when we’re dead (check your social security number), then our children will AGAIN be placed in those murderous European wars for one reason and one reason only: To kill the children of some other foreign people who were never our true enemies in the first place.
‘Are you a digital revolutionary? -or- Is your passport up to date?‘
Norman Vincent Peale: “The Power of Positive Thinking”
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PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.