In San Francisco this past week, an unarmed African American male was shot in his grandparents backyard, because he was thought to be a suspect in series of car break-in’s. A White male took it upon himself in Austin, Texas to mastermind a series of bomb explosions targeted at Black and Hispanic neighborhoods. I find all of this to be a teaching moment for us all in this nation. Yes, I believe that the current administration has revived the onslaught of racist viceroy that seeped into this nation’s identity and profit from enslaving millions of Black people. The ramifications of slavery, and the psychology and methodology that stems from it lives on today.
I have never felt the story that I was told about America was (all) true – I learned the truth about slavery on my time. My primary, secondary, and academic educators were allotted to give me a briefing about my Blackness. This story is about: White Supremacy and nothing else. The only way that anyone can digest what I just typed (in slanted text) and what occurred and still going on today is stepping up to the plate and acknowledging the truth about America’s history. Learn who your people are and what happened in these United States; then maybe you will be able to digest what African people went through during slavery for you to be here today, or by realizing what your ancestors were capable of and created through slavery and how you have profited from it as a White person. I am encouraging you to learn about your personal family history.
Genealogy Note: If every African American family in the United States has a former slave in their ancestral lineage; then every White American family has a slave owner in his or her family history.
The first settlement (colony) in the United States was Virginia (one of your ancestors were here – Black or White). A few of the largest slave holding states (White Families) were South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi (all major ports for selling slaves). *Mississippi was called “King Cotton” – their entire economy was based off on cotton and slavery from the 1800’s – 1900’s. Texas is recorded in census records as being one of the major states where White families moved from New York, Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi as a result of newly signed laws, giving slaves rights in the North. These families moved in droves with their slaves from the 1830’s until the late 1860’s to continue to profit off of slavery.
So here we are today and if you think about the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination (coming up), the Civil Rights Act being signed into law, and where we are today as Black people… still being the first to do this and that; how far have we come? African American men are being killed like they are targets for police practice, and White crime is given a tone that suggests I need to be enlightened about white criminals and their close-knit families in the media. There is not a document that I have read or seen in my genealogy research that suggests to me that racism is not the issue or problem in our country. These United States were built off the concept of enslaving other people for profit, all the while the Revolutionary war was fought for White people’s independence against injustices from their own people and Black men helped them win their independence. Still today, it is all about supremacy (without physical chains).
A 2017 study commissioned by the advocacy organization Color of Change found that news media consistently portrayed black families and individuals as criminal, with that criminality flowing from the “internal disposition of Black people” versus an “external problem with historic roots.” This is racism, but it’s not the crude hatred of the white supremacist. It’s rather a “broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others,” as the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has put it. The only way to understand that skepticism is to grasp the ways racism has shaped definitions of personhood and citizenship over the course of 400 years. In particular, it’s important to understand how whiteness—defined as “a status conferring distinct … social, political, and economic freedoms across an unequal property order”—is tied to American ideas around freedom and liberty. –Slate Magazine, March 23, 2018
To say we are free today is a myth. Black people are not in physical chains – we are now intertwined in a psychological form of 21st slavery. When you are free – you should not have to look over your shoulder or have a sense of fear by giving your driver’s licence to a police officer if you are a person of color. When you are free – you do not have to worry about microaggressions in the work place or asked to change your appearance as a person of color. When you are free – you should not have to worry about sending your child to school and finding out that they are being made an example of what one dare aspire not to be like. When you are free… When you are free… When you are free…
Sidebar Information: The Counted project points to continuing racial disparities, with black males aged 15-34 nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed. – TheGuardian.com
It’s cloudy outside. I felt it was okay to type these thoughts for somebody to read and accept as truth. I am re-confirming what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. discussed in The Drum Major Instinct about White psychological supremacy:
“…Now that’s a fact. That the poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, (Make it plain) he is forced to support his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can’t hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 4 February 1968, The Drum Major Instinct
I rather write and tell the truth about what I feel and see these days. In order for anything to happen positive in this country about race relations and this energy that continues to linger about White supremacy – knowing your history and how these United States were formed and the part your ancestral played in it can make a huge difference.
But, first you must be willing to seek the truth.