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If white america had a bill Cosby
by: Jonathan Scott


Bill Cosby's recent speeches to black audiences across the country, dropped on heads like a wave of U.S. cluster bombs on the poor folks of Iraq, have been wisely critiqued and judged accurately for what they are: well-intended polemics on the moral and political failures of the post-civil rights generation, yet a bit caustic when you consider the objective conditions facing us today. Dr. Cosby is caring deeply and genuinely about a situation from which he is at the same time estranging himself.

In all events, it was just taken for granted that extremely harsh black self-criticism is par for the course. After all, African American intellectuals, from jackleg preachers and political organizers down to eminent scholars and critics like Harold Cruse, John Henrik Clark, and Amiri Baraka, as well as our Nobel laureate in literature, Toni Morrison, are famous for never holding any punches when analyzing all backwardness among the people, such as misogyny, anti-democracy, provincialism, covetousness, opportunism, fatalism, dependency, and laziness. This hallmark of the African American tradition, evident in Dr. Cosby's critique, is the surest sign that a democratic culture and a healthy collective are alive and still flourishing. Praise God.

But it got me thinking. When was the last time you heard a big white celebrity with moral authority raining down critical bombs on white people's heads? For instance, Barbra Streisand taking the bully pulpit to chastise white Jews for members of their tribes' betrayal of the civil rights agenda, and, no less immoral and directly related to civil rights, for their unconditional support of the Israeli apartheid state?



How about the Reverend Billy Graham? I don't recall him ever blasting white Christians for making a disgrace of Jesus' name by continuing to support racist leaders and reactionary social policies such as war, capital punishment, the Crime Bill, de-funding public education and U.S. cities in general, de-unionizing the workforce, repealing welfare, the aggressive assault on Affirmative Action, the upward redistribution of wealth in the form of tax cuts for multi-millionaires – each a different cause of racial segregation, widening socioeconomic inequalities, and the moral debasement of our society.

We know the answer: it's called "white race" solidarity. For as soon as any prominent white leader starts criticizing white people's bad behavior, the white identity falls apart and then the doors are pushed wide open for a new multiethnic U.S. populist movement, which remains the ruling class' absolute worst nightmare. In this spirit, I have written the sermon that Reverend Billy Graham would have delivered on to the heads of white America had he forgotten, for just a day or two, his own whiteness – if he had been a white Bill Cosby.

Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

70,000 people in attendance, June 5, 2005

Reverend Billy Graham , Preaching a Sermon titled "Now Explain That to Jesus"

Brothers and sisters, today we are living through the worst moral crisis that's ever threatened our Christian nation. Tonight I want to be like Jesus and get right to the heart of the matter. We need to stop blaming the victims. That's right. We need to look at ourselves first, at where we're at today morally.



I know many of you are unaccustomed to hearing such language from your leaders, and in particular from me. Yes, Brothers and sisters, I come to you tonight as a sinner. I have been silent about the sin of racism. I have supported immoral wars; these wars I supported were wars of aggression against innocent people, against poor people fighting for independence and a way out of poverty. I supported the war in Vietnam and I was wrong. I supported the war against Nicaragua and I was wrong. I supported South Africa when they practiced apartheid and I was wrong. I supported the first Gulf War and I was wrong. I supported the current war in Iraq and I was wrong (stunned silence).

I have given my consent to an endless war on terror that is a sham and a waste of lives, that is weakening every day the foundation of our Christian democracy and is embarrassing us around the world as a Christian nation. Urinating on a Holy Book! We have become a nation of heathens and the whole world is watching! And God is watching the whole world! Tonight, brothers and sisters, I want to talk in plain terms about our democracy and who is threatening our democracy.

Brothers and sisters, WE are threatening our democracy! It's just us! Nobody else. The black comedian Richard Pryor used to have a joke about the American criminal justice system (a few gasps from the audience). He said, "I went to the courthouse to get some justice and all I saw there was just us" (confusion is breaking out). Brothers and sisters, do you understand? Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, "Woe unto you that are rich! Ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep." This was Jesus Christ's most important sermon and I have ignored it for forty years. But this morning I came out of the wilderness and into the light! Praise God! Jesus was never wrong and if he was then I don't want to be right! (a few amens, the crowd is beginning to warm up).

I have been preaching Born Again Christianity for fifty years now and you know what? I was not the first. I have been reading the sermons of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and he was calling on the people to be born again before I knew what it really meant. What did Dr. King mean? (murmurs from the audience: he called him Dr. King?) He meant a moral transformation, brothers and sisters, from a state of sinfulness to a state of grace. And how did that happen? By being right by God. By being right by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What would Jesus think of you if he came back tonight? That's the question Dr. King was always asking his congregations and they responded to it. Yes, brothers and sisters, they responded by taking to the streets, by marching for their God-given rights to live as decent human beings on this earth, protected by the Christian laws of the land, to love your neighbor as you love yourself. But first they chastised their own sinners and made them get right by God.



Brothers and sisters, I've been studying closely the situation of our Christian nation. Every day I read the news on the Internet and every day I become more revolted by what I see. Tonight we're going to talk about ourselves. Tonight we're not going to talk about Muslims, teenage mothers, atheistic liberals, environmentalists, abortion doctors, gays, or the feminists. Tonight we're going to talk about our own sin (you could hear a pin drop). Tonight we're going to come out into the light of self-criticism. Tonight we're going to name names and come clean with ourselves. Tonight we're going to question ourselves, as Jesus did himself on the Cross of Calvary.

I read yesterday in the Detroit Free Press that the white people of a suburb called Grosse Pointe are expelling the black students from their school district because they say black parents are falsely claiming residence there. Brothers and sisters, I ask you: is this what Jesus would do? These parents are trying to get their children the best possible education and the white people there are opposing the education of children. That's immoral and we need to call out those white people for being un-Christian and anti-American (a heavy silence).

Have you seen the facts, brothers and sisters? Our schools are being resegregated. Today 80 percent of white students go to all-white schools. Wealthy white schools get the most money and they hire the best teachers and have the best facilities, computers for every student, send them to the best colleges so they get the best jobs. Yet in black and Hispanic schools, the average career-span of a teacher is less than three years. Brothers and sisters, why is that? Is it because the children don't want to learn? Is that how you would answer Jesus? Or is it because the pay is so low, the funds have been cut off, and the facilities are built like prisons not educational institutions? What would you tell Jesus?

Let's talk about prisons, brothers and sisters. We need to speak honestly now about one the greatest dangers facing our Christian nation – crime. In states like Illinois, Michigan, New York, and California, nearly 90 percent of the inmates are black and Hispanic. Is it because blacks and Hispanics commit more crimes than whites? Is that how you would answer Jesus? Would you lie to your own Maker and the Savior of your own filthy soul?

I was studying the state of Illinois. Last year, the state of Illinois graduated less than 900 African American students from its public colleges and universities yet released from prison 8,000 on drug-selling offenses. Are African Americans the only people who sell drugs? Not according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They calculate drug use trends from data gathered through the federal National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA).

Stay with me now, people, I know you're not used to facts, listening to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter all the time. But listen to the facts. In a report based on NHSDA data, SAMHSA estimates 3,727,680 whites use cocaine compared to 720,130 blacks.



Why, then, are the prisons filled with black people instead of white people? If Jesus asked you, what would you tell him?

Let me tell you how I would answer Jesus. I would site for him a vital statistic. Thirty-seven percent of all people arrested on drug charges are black yet black people use drugs five times less than whites do. I would tell Jesus, it's an example of white skin privilege – of "black robes and white justice," as the honorable African American judge Bruce Wright has said (whispering is heard).

No, we cannot lie to our Maker and the Savior of our filthy souls, especially here tonight where we have gathered together to come clean in His presence. You see, brothers and sisters, we have been protecting drug addicts and drug sellers in our own communities merely because they're white. We have allowed our Christian communities to become dens of sin, where people traffic in drugs and prostitution openly and freely because they have white skin. Our obsession with skin is the sin! We must drive out these white criminals! How can you allow this to happen in your own neighborhoods? Now how would you explain that to Jesus?

In my reading over the past year, I have made other discoveries that revolt me. Unemployment among blacks is more than double that for whites, 10.8 percent versus 5.2 percent in 2003 – a wider gap than in 1972. Black infant mortality is also greater today than in 1970. In 2001, the black infant mortality rate was 14 deaths per 1,000 live births, 146 percent higher than the white rate. The gap in infant mortality rates was 37 percent less in 1970. Now how would you explain that to Jesus?



I would tell Jesus that it's because for every dollar of white income, African Americans have 57 cents. At the rate we're going, it'll take 581 years to achieve income equality between God's people here in America. Do you think Jesus is going to wait 581 more years for you all to stop this immorality?

I would tell Jesus that the average black college graduate will earn $500,000 less in his or her lifetime than an average white college graduate, for doing the same work. Is this how YOU would explain to Jesus that his black babies die 146 percent times more often than his white babies die? You better be right by Him when he asks you these questions on Judgment Day. You have to be right by God! What did you do to stop this genocide? You better have a good answer, brothers and sisters.

Now we need to talk about sex. Yes, brothers and sisters, we have to speak openly about sex, as Jesus did himself. We cast stones at others for sexual immorality but how would you explain to Jesus the fact that pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry? Ninety-five percent of Americans call themselves Christian and pornography expands every day. Who here does not look at pornography (a flurry of hands are raised in the air)? Who here has never purchased pornography (the same hands in the air)? Then how would you explain to Jesus the thousands of Internet porno sites that exploit young women? Have you ever imagined your own daughters in those same positions?

These are crimes against God, and so we need to return to our discussion of crime. Ken Lay says that by stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from working people's pension funds he was doing the work of God. That's right, he said that. How would you explain to Jesus that this criminal has been allowed to go unpunished for blaspheming the name of the Lord? Why haven't you organized a citizens council to judge him and sentence him to Christian justice the same way you've always carried out vigilante justice against innocent blacks? How would you explain to Jesus that, instead of sentencing Lay, you elected a close friend of his to the presidency of the United States of America?!

Yes, brothers and sisters, now we need to talk about our Christian president George W. Bush, one of Ken Lay's best friends. He calls him Kenny Boy. Thou shalt not lie. It's time we admit publicly, together tonight, that George W. Bush lied again and again to the Christian people of our nation. He lied by saying Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. Then he lied even worse by saying Saddam Hussein was plotting to destroy America with weapons of mass destruction. But these were weapons of mass deception! And you re-elected him! Now how would you explain that to Jesus?

These are President Bush's worst lies but there are many others, saying that Social Security is bankrupt. Why, the U.S. government's own Congressional Budget Office says that Social Security has the funds to pay every benefit owed through 2048. Why is he lying like this, brothers and sisters? What is his purpose? Could it be to enrich the tiny minority of multi-millionaires who got him into office?



I've been reading the facts, brothers and sisters. I've come out of the wilderness and into the light, the light of self-criticism. I told you I was wrong. Now here tonight I want you to confess your own wrongs. How many of you have witnessed racism and did nothing about it? How many of you ignore your children and watch television instead of helping them with their homework? How many of you worship sports stars? How many of you spend money on a new car instead of books for you and your children? When was the last time you took your grandmother out to lunch and talked with her? How many of you know a language other than English? Jesus loved all the children of the world and you don't even love your own children! You send them to daycare and hire nannies to raise them so you can play golf and drink martinis!

How would you explain to Jesus that you allow a ruling class to govern you that spends more money on weapons than it does to fight poverty? Now how would you explain to Jesus, right here tonight, that you do nothing about the fact that 3,000 African children died today of hunger? How would you explain to Jesus that you have allowed the rich, who according to Jesus will have a very hard time entering the gates of heaven, a harder time than a camel has passing through the eye of a needle, to enrich themselves even more than they already are? You have the power! You are the majority! Everything you do affects the whole nation and the world! You could end all this disgusting immorality tomorrow!

Brothers and sisters, you need to march! What do you think Jesus would tell you to do? Did he not march against the Romans? Are you Romans pretending to be Christians or are you Christians trying to be like the Romans?

I fear, brothers and sisters, I fear every day, that if Jesus came back tonight he'd strike us all down. He'd destroy me and you gathered here together tonight. His wrath would be furious. All this slovenliness, this obesity, this collaboration with oppression and narrow-minded racism, this over-consumption, this gluttony, this lazy lethargy, this willful ignorance, this smug self-satisfaction.

Do you think Jesus doesn't know we consume 25 percent of all the earth's resources yet we are only 5 percent of the world's population? Jesus is watching you, brothers and sisters. The whole world is watching and God is watching the whole world. Now is the time to come clean before the Lord!


Jonathan Scott is an Assistant Professor of English at the City University of New York, Borough of Manhattan Community College. He can be reached at jonascott15@aol.com.
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They are the Glass House people. They tend to think WHITENESS is invisible anyway. So, it seems they're banking on any rocks that are thrown either miss or make such an unseeable mess that it doesn't matter (to them) anyway.

Yeah, it's pretty ironic... Bill Cosby and all. Look at how much furor the Wachovia situation has caused. Imagined if the chairman of Wachovia or the WHITE Bill spoke like Tim Wise (a Jewish American anti-racist) and spoke about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY being a Two-Way Street.

All WHITE Hell would break loose and he would be called all kinds of Traitors/Uncle Toms or someone being scammed, feeling overly guilty when he shouldn't, etc., etc.
For as soon as any prominent white leader starts criticizing white people's bad behavior, the white identity falls apart and then the doors are pushed wide open for a new multiethnic U.S. populist movement, which remains the ruling class' absolute worst nightmare.---kresge

I didn't read sermon, because I've heard a lot. I am not being judgmental, I just didn't want to hear another one.

I believe we do this self-chatisement, because it a part of what we learned, or were taught if will.

Dr. DeGruy-Leary cites such behavior in her description of manifestations of her syndrome thesis. Over chastisement, over criticism, over disciplining of self were used to achieve a number of things; such as preventing for labor by children, preventing choice for sale away from family, preventing endangerment to the discipline of the power system, etc.

I also think your observations are valid.

I also think we behave in the manner reflective of how we see ourselves.

By the way, I think there are 'white' versions of Bill Cosby.

No one gives them a forum.

The difference.


PEACE

Jim Chester
I think that there are white "Bill Cosby's" to the extent that there are numerous white scholars, politicians, entertainers, etc. who levy serious criticism of the status quo, but like so many others that levy a critique of the oppressive structures, institutions, and practices in this country, their voices and opinions are relegated to the margins.

Scholars and intellectuals would include folks after the fashion of Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky.

Actors and entertainers not allowed to appear at the Oscars a couple of years ago because of their anti-war views included Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn, the Dixie Chicks, Tim Robbins, Edward Norton, Vanessa Redgrave, George Clooney, Dustin Hoffman. Others who have been critical of American policy have been Michael Moore, Al Franken, Bill Marr, John Stewart, Janeane Garofalo.

In the way of a counter Billy Graham, there are folks such social justice evangelicals as Anthony Campolo and Jim Wallace. They have been very critical of the religious right, U.S. foreign and domestic policy, and have attempted to meet with and been refused by Bush.

Again, I believe that there are white "Bill Cosby's" but because their views are incongruous or not advantageous to the powers that be, they are not as visible.
Kresge,

I thought the point was one where if there was a White figure whom Whites generally didn't marginalize like the one's you named to where elements within the White Community would actually show strong, loud verbal support for such a figure where you would hear "[The WHITE] Bill Cosby is right" just like we've heard in the Black Community.

Also, if there was the equivalent to White people, in general, already saying those things The WHITE Cosby would say in their barbershops and hair salons, etc. that would make for a comparable situation fitting with what it seems the author is suggesting.
Tim Wise is catching hell right now for the little articles that he writes, just imagine if someone like Billy Grahm, WASP came out and made one statement from the abovementioned article, he would be counting down his days on this earth. Those crackers would be looking to gun him down! They would degrade to the same methods of the people in foreign countries that they so often criticize.
This discourse on the article I wrote for black commentator is nice. I'd make one point about Chomsky, Zinn, and the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist white celebrities mentioned. They never talk much about white supremacy. Zinn's book, A People's History, is valuable and I teach chapters from it in my college courses. But he gets Reconstruction all wrong and doesn't pay any attention to the origin of white supremacy--that the Anglo-American slaveowners invented it to prevent mass uprisings against big capital. Chomsky is one of the greatest intellectuals alive but remember that he is from a very particular New York Jewish anarchist-socialist background. I've never read Chomsky on whiteness and the persistence of white racial oppression. I don't think he has a critique. This is just to say that we shouldn't automatically assume a white radical is an opponent of white supremacy because he or she criticizes u.s. foreign policy and the current regime. In Chomksy's case, I think he'll say that white racial oppression is no different than all forms of oppression and that he opposes them all equally. Maybe I'm wrong. If someone has read Chomsky on white supremacy, I'd appreciate the citation. The fact remains that white racism is worse today than it was in 1970, and that a lot of this has to do with the crisis of the white radicals. Harold Cruse talked about the crisis of the negro intellectual, and that was necessary, but there has never been published an equivalent book in white america.
I have always been impressed by how difficult it is for the high-profiled, European American historians to openly confront issues involving slavery squarely.

Like David McCollough for example.

I believe 'white' America CANNOT have a voice like Bill Cosby.

Bill Cosby is as much a product of the system as the rest of us. As noted by others, Cosby has always held himself above and away from the confrontational position, and issues of African America.

I am of the same generation as Cosby. There has always been a 'head-above-it-all' mentality. Fight if provoked. Defend if confronted. Do not seek.

European America puts 'black' faces on the bad things of America's society. e.g. welfare, crime, teenage pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, civil disorder, etc.

PEACE

Jim Chester
Unfortunately blacks aren't allowed to be individuals. They have to worry about how other blacks act because they know that the behavior will be used as an excuse to show how "animalistic" and "backwards" and "destructive" blacks are.

How convenient for whites that they don't have to put on a show for other races because they are seen as individuals and not as a herd. But you will hear fellow blacks get on their soap boxes and tell other blacks to "mind their manners in front of white people" and "put on a show so that they see us as human being." It shouldn't be like that. We shouldn't feel obligated to speak for our race or encourage our race to act a certain way so that we are ALL seen in a positive light because as I said earlier....we haven't been issued to title "individual" in mainstream society.

In short...whites don't need a white person telling them to "get their act together" because they are already assumed to be individuals. But let a black celebrity partake in some questionable behavior....that will be the "excuse" why all or most blacks are "inferior."
But you will hear fellow blacks get on their soap boxes and tell other blacks to "mind their manners in front of white people" and "put on a show so that they see us as human being."---Timeline

This was part of the backlash on Cosby.

Some called it 'airing dirty laundry.'

The attack was on the messenger. Another 'Yes, but...' argument.

In a growing fashion, we are collectively working our way to recognizing that we have the task of growing out of the trauma of the generational effect of chattel slavery.

I thank Dr. DeGruy-Leary for giving us a better umbrella under which to do that growing.

Thanks must also be given to those open minds able to recognize, AND accept the reality of the injury.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by JScott:
This discourse on the article I wrote for black commentator is nice. I'd make one point about Chomsky, Zinn, and the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist white celebrities mentioned. They never talk much about white supremacy. Zinn's book, A People's History, is valuable and I teach chapters from it in my college courses. But he gets Reconstruction all wrong and doesn't pay any attention to the origin of white supremacy--that the Anglo-American slaveowners invented it to prevent mass uprisings against big capital. Chomsky is one of the greatest intellectuals alive but remember that he is from a very particular New York Jewish anarchist-socialist background. I've never read Chomsky on whiteness and the persistence of white racial oppression. I don't think he has a critique. This is just to say that we shouldn't automatically assume a white radical is an opponent of white supremacy because he or she criticizes u.s. foreign policy and the current regime. In Chomsky's case, I think he'll say that white racial oppression is no different than all forms of oppression and that he opposes them all equally. Maybe I'm wrong. If someone has read Chomsky on white supremacy, I'd appreciate the citation. The fact remains that white racism is worse today than it was in 1970, and that a lot of this has to do with the crisis of the white radicals. Harold Cruse talked about the crisis of the negro intellectual, and that was necessary, but there has never been published an equivalent book in white america.

Welcome Jscott!
Thanks for the comments related to your article. I think that you are right with respect to Chomsky and racism/white supremacy. He would probably emphasize the link between racism/white supremacy and capitalism/imperialism. While this position does have merit, I do not think that it is a sufficient analysis. Yet folks like Chomsky, Zinn, and others like Gore Vidal or Bill Moyers do offer critiques of the status quo as well as purveyors of it; e.g. Chomsky's critique of the media.

There are a number of scholars who have offered useful analysis of racism, white supremacy, the construction of whiteness; e.g., Linda Martín Alcoff, Peggy McIntosh, Robert Jenson. Unfortunately, their work is little known.

[Note - I would be interested in your explaining more your assertion that white supremacy was was the invention of Anglo-American slave owners. I would assert that it's source can be found in European Enlightenment thought cf. West's genealogy of racism.]
quote:
There are a number of scholars who have offered useful analysis of racism, white supremacy, the construction of whiteness; e.g., Linda Martín Alcoff, Peggy McIntosh, Robert Jenson. Unfortunately, their work is little known.
And, likewise, their personas too. All the more proof that White America doesn't have A BILL COSBY.

The substance here, KRESGE, is not only the Message but the stature as a Messenger to get people to listen to you (right or wrong). Overwhelmingly, there was a consensus across the board that Bill Cosby's episodes did that - GOT PEOPLE'S ATTENTION - whether they agreed with him or disagreed with him.

So, IMO, the essence of the topic-question is whether there is a figure in White America who can command that type of attention and again have his strong chorus of supporters (more or less) who say "That WHITE Bill Cosby is right!"

quote:
[Note - I would be interested in your explaining more your assertion that white supremacy was was the invention of Anglo-American slave owners. I would assert that it's source can be found in European Enlightenment thought cf. West's genealogy of racism.]
And I would be interested in you elaborating on your idea here, KRESGE... Sounds interesting.

I've come to say that the elements for American RACISM and White Supremacy were there long before the psuedo-scientific and race-slavery justifications were made. IMO, they were present in Europe's brand of Christianity, etc.

So please elaborate on that.

Also, you call Robert Jensen's et al critiques "useful"... What is your overall sense of those critiques? What is your critique of them? Do they say enough? Do they go far enough?

I ask because I have some of those feelings when I read them. To me, sometimes it seems like they're missing the point (or not getting to the most important point) by emphasizing White Privilege in the sense of indignities of, as mentioned, Having To Represent One's RACE and things like Shopping or Driving While BLACK.

Anyway... what are your thoughts?

(Yeah, McIntosh's Knapsack just really seems a bit oblivious. It's "useful", as you say, but maybe it's the fact that I'm looking for more direct critiques on WHITE SUPREMACY itself, as it relates to actual real, structured Power Differentials and Dynamics.)
In Black Reconstruction, DuBois called it "the Blindspot"--he meant the white blindspot. It's the failure of white radicals to understand the history of white supremacy. The dominant view of U.S. racial slavery is that it is "the Peculiar Institution," and this can be found in Foner down to Zinn and David Roediger. These white labor historians, along with conservative black cultural nationalists, see white supremacism as civilizational. In fact, white racial oppression in the continental colonies and later the U.S. was a mutation. Remember that the English ruling class did not impose chattel slavery in England ; and if you compare the West Indies with the U.S. you find some striking divergences. For example, the British promoted mulattoes to full citizenship--they could serve in the colonial army, they could vote, bear arms, own property, etc. In the U.S., all black folk were reduced to a social status beneath that of every white. So if the thesis is that white supremacy started during the Enlightenment, this claim refers to a racial idea, not the actual imposition of it on the ground. To give an analogy: Beginning in the late 1800s, European Zionism had the idea that they would colonize Palestine--"a land without a people for a people without a land," as the slogan said. Yet today the Israeli Zionists have found that their governing idea cannot be imposed on Palestine without exterminating or at least expelling, most of the indigenous Palestinian people. The point is that anyone can have a racist idea or system of thought; but the real issue is always how do they do it? This is why I don't use the word "racism"--I use white racial oppression, because it expresses the actual imposition of the white supremacist idea, and the maintainence of it. We should never forget, as Lerone Bennett showed us, that the first chattel slaves in America were Irish, Scottish, English, and African. They worked together, side-by-side, and fought together. After Bacon's Rebellion, the slaveowners and planters saw clearly that they would have to separate the European American workers and the African American workers. They did this by making it illegal to enslave a European American. This was the centerpiece of the 1705 revised slave code of Virginia. Thus, it's more accurate to say that the real "Peculiar Institution" in the U.S. is the "white race," not racial slavery, because it's odd for a whole enslaved class (the Euroamerican tobacco workers) to be freed all at once, while their co-workers and comrades were left back in slavery--the African Americans. To my knowledge, this has never happened before in human history.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
(Yeah, McIntosh's Knapsack just really seems a bit oblivious. It's "useful", as you say, but maybe it's the fact that I'm looking for more direct critiques on WHITE SUPREMACY itself, as it relates to actual real, structured Power Differentials and Dynamics.)

For three years I taught a freshmen seminar on Justice where I tried to get privilege white youth to begin to understand various types of oppression. They simply could not comprehend structural, systemic phenomena such as racism, sexism, classism, etc. The rejected out of hand analysis such as that offered by Iris Marion Young's "Five Faces of Oppression." What did reach them was the stuff like Jenson, McIntosh, and Alcoff. They begin to understand their privilege. I had one student who really got interested in "whiteness studies" and the "race traitor" material. I have also used stuff of Zinn as well as material of James A. Loewen such as_Lies My Teacher Told Me_, especially chapters 5-7 ("Gone with the Wind": The Invisibility of Racism in American History Textbooks; John Brown and Abraham Lincoln: The Invisibility of Antiracism in American History Textbooks; The Land of Opportunity).

This material is accessible to a large number of people who have never thought critically about these issues before. Though initiatory, they are to my mind important. Just as when the issue of racial profiling came up in the 1999 Democratic debates between Al Gore and Bill Bradley. When Bradley used the term "white skin privilege", I responded "Finally!" Unfortunately, I do not see many contemporary white leaders following suit in their analysis.
quote:
Originally posted by Timeline:
Unfortunately blacks aren't allowed to be individuals. They have to worry about how other blacks act because they know that the behavior will be used as an excuse to show how "animalistic" and "backwards" and "destructive" blacks are.

How convenient for whites that they don't have to put on a show for other races because they are seen as individuals and not as a herd. But you will hear fellow blacks get on their soap boxes and tell other blacks to "mind their manners in front of white people" and "put on a show so that they see us as human being." It shouldn't be like that. We shouldn't feel obligated to speak for our race or encourage our race to act a certain way so that we are ALL seen in a positive light because as I said earlier....we haven't been issued to title "individual" in mainstream society.

In short...whites don't need a white person telling them to "get their act together" because they are already assumed to be individuals. But let a black celebrity partake in some questionable behavior....that will be the "excuse" why all or most blacks are "inferior."


you are correct Timeline....and the whole concept of placing oneself before others for their approval reeks of inferiority itself. I do not allow no one to put the "burden of being black" on me where an ignorant fool is representative of me because of our similar complexion....when tim mcveigh types were not even racially profiled after his terrorist act.....and if anything, that should have been looked at as how para-military, separatist, anti-gov't types are........and the sad part is...negroes, some in here...go around trying to prove to white people that they are 'not like the rest of them"....I hate a negro who loves to be second-class and feels like he actually is..........
Obama's Tough-Love Message to Black Men
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June 21, 2005

Analysis of today's diversity news from BusinessWeek, the Houston Chronicle, The New York Times, Colorlines, Findlaw.com and more:



Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., delivered a tough-love message to black men on Father's Day. In a 30-minute sermon at a Chicago church, the junior senator urged the fathers in attendance to act like "full-grown" men and live their values. "There are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, walking around, and they look like men," Obama told about 4,000 people in the pews. "And they're tall, and they've got whiskers"”they might even have sired a child. But it's not clear to me that they're full-grown men."



Obama said it's only fair to live the way they tell their children to live. "If we are going to pass on high expectations to our children, we've got to have high expectations for ourselves," he said. "Don't settle for just what you've got."




Quote of the day:

"We have not chosen the circumstances in which we were born, but we can determine the circumstances in which we live."

"”Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., challenging black fathers to act like "full-grown" men. Chicago Tribune, June 20.
After Bacon's Rebellion, the slaveowners and planters saw clearly that they would have to separate the European American workers and the African American workers. They did this by making it illegal to enslave a European American. This was the centerpiece of the 1705 revised slave code of Virginia. Thus, it's more accurate to say that the real "Peculiar Institution" in the U.S. is the "white race," not racial slavery, because it's odd for a whole enslaved class (the Euroamerican tobacco workers) to be freed all at once, while their co-workers and comrades were left back in slavery--the African Americans. To my knowledge, this has never happened before in human history.---JScott

I have come to recognize the resolution of Bacon's Rebellion as an early indicator, if not the benchmark for the elevation of European Americans to what must be recognized as societal supremacy.

I did not recall, if I ever knew, enslavement of a European was made illegal.

I also was ignorant of the en masse freeing of European slaves.

I see, and agree with, your point that the 'peculiar institution' is the establishment of the 'white race' as the superior group in America. Applying the 'unusual' to the victimized rather than the victimizer is classic.

I often point out that, per Lerone Bennett's work, that color be it 'black' or 'white' didn't come into the hegemony of the society until about that period you point out the beginning of the 'peculiar institution' of white supremacy.

That sharpens my perception, and understanding, of the construction we live in.


PEACE

Jim Chester
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KRESGE:
quote:
Though initiatory, they are to my mind important.
I agree... Mine was, in part, selfish because I wanted something out of McIntosh & Co.'s analysis when, as you say and as titled, it's about WHITENESS. That is, it's not particularly for me anyway.

So, yes, I agree it's USEFUL. My thing is will it be an Entrance or a Stopping Point?

Anyway... I could go on a number of tangents there but could you please elaborate on the other part: The Origin Of WHITE SUPREMACY.

Thanks...
quote:
Originally posted by JScott:

We should never forget, as Lerone Bennett showed us, that the first chattel slaves in America were Irish, Scottish, English, and African. They worked together, side-by-side, and fought together. After Bacon's Rebellion, the slaveowners and planters saw clearly that they would have to separate the European American workers and the African American workers. They did this by making it illegal to enslave a European American. This was the centerpiece of the 1705 revised slave code of Virginia. Thus, it's more accurate to say that the real "Peculiar Institution" in the U.S. is the "white race," not racial slavery, because it's odd for a whole enslaved class (the Euroamerican tobacco workers) to be freed all at once, while their co-workers and comrades were left back in slavery--the African Americans. To my knowledge, this has never happened before in human history.
JSCOTT, thanks for the dialogue...

I've questioned some of the traditional/prevailing ideas on this too. Namely the idea that the Institution Of Racialized-Slavery was an economic venture and "racism" was only an afterthought, a justification for the disparate treatment instead of being part and parcel of the decision itself.

The attempt is to make the beginnings of American "racism" innocuous: That it just happened because of other factors and not conscious "racist" thought. Of course, people tend to use the idea that Africans were the ideal 'slaves' and supposedly in abundance. As such, the argument goes that Natives were not as fit and could run away and White ethnics could eventually blend into the growing White scenary of the colonial populations. My question then is where were the significant periods where a mixed system of "colorblind" slavery if economics was the chief or only consideration?

How come there were little if any White Slaves For Life? Certainly, in terms of economics, there was nothing prohibiting that even if Africans were "preferred" or "better suited". I mean, was an individual White Slave going to be less productive, yielding less return for a slaveowner?

So, I think I'm in agreement with you JSCOTT the institution of Racialized Slavery was a conscious decision to confer advantage to White Skin.

I do have a question for you though. Speaking about Human History, are you aware of any group in history who were enslaved/conquered like Africans/African-Americans who chose to merely "integrate" into the society that conquered them with little or no aspirations towards independence?

That seems unprecedented to me. I welcome your thoughts, I'm not well versed on world history enough to answer that question but it seems to me that a "conquered" people thoroughout history remained aware that they were "conquered" and never forsook the goal to (re)gain their independence.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
KRESGE:
quote:
Though initiatory, they are to my mind important.
I agree... Mine was, in part, selfish because I wanted something out of McIntosh & Co.'s analysis when, as you say and as titled, it's about WHITENESS. That is, it's not particularly for me anyway.

So, yes, I agree it's USEFUL. My thing is will it be an Entrance or a Stopping Point?

Anyway... I could go on a number of tangents there but could you please elaborate on the other part: The Origin Of WHITE SUPREMACY.

Thanks...

For the most part, I am swayed by the genealogical arguments of Cornel West offered in Prophesy Deliverance as to the development of racism/white supremacy; which I do not make a distinction between, because the concept of whiteness I believe arises with the distinction of race/color.

Firstly, West asserts that the aesthetics which arise out the the Renaissance elevate the Greek form. This Greek ideal leads to the establishment of a "normative gaze" in the West. That which most closely approximates the Greek appearance (face, body, color, etc.) is deemed better or superior.

Secondly, there is the development of modern empirical sciences. Following Michel Foucault, West argues that much of early science was predicated on categorization and classification based on observation/appearance, e.g. botany, and zoology, "the order of things". In concert with the normative gaze mentioned above, one begins to see the classification and categorization of human beings based on appearance. These listings are invariably hierarchical, with Northern Europeans at the top. You also see such dubious sciences such as phrenology and reference to cranial capacities of different "races" used to affirm such listings.

There is also a philosophical and historical understanding that one finds in the likes of Voltaire, Kant, Hegel, Hume, etc. which states that Africans are not really human. They have no history - are not a part of history, but rather belong to the natural realm as do animals. Thus, they are not listed among what Hegel refers to as world historical peoples. They are deemed to have no capacity for reason, no intellect, which leads some to assert that they have no souls.

Finally, there is the rise of a "global economy" and the need for cheap labor. That these Africans can be seen as less than, as not really human, they can be exploited. Again, the African becomes "the Other" against which Europeans come to define themselves - black, bad, soiled, immoral, irrational, soulless vs. white, good, clean/pure, moral, rational, Christian.

Together, these trends assist in the development of racism, racial oppression, and white supremacy.
quote:
There is also a philosophical and historical understanding that one finds in the likes of Voltaire, Kant, Hegel, Hume, etc. which states that Africans are not really human. They have no history - are not a part of history, but rather belong to the natural realm as do animals. Thus, they are not listed among what Hegel refers to as world historical peoples. They are deemed to have no capacity for reason, no intellect, which leads some to assert that they have no souls.
I think the issue here is whether those ideas as consolidated before the (RACE) Slavery Epoch?

I think I agree that the elements were there and I the "normative gaze" idea and how the(ir) sciences developed is, perhaps, an important and intriguing note. I guess you're saying there was a tendency to place things in hierarchies with a continuum of what's "Good" contrasted by what's supposedly "Bad".

I don't know if this explains things adequately enough though. But part of my argument against those who casually promote the idea that Racialized Slavery had an economic impetus as a way to downplay "racism" and to, again, make American Slavery's beginning innocuous -- as if overnight somebody crunched the numbers and decided, "we're going to go with the African (as) 'slaves'" -- part of that argument rests on the fact that Africans who were indentured, working along side Whites increasing had their terms of indentured service extended far beyond those of Whites well before the first life-time [AFRICAN] "slave" was made in the US.

So, I guess that speaks to your pre-existing elements. It seems to me those discriminatory differences had to be based on something. Certainly, if a White servant already owed "service", what would factor in or stop his term from being extended as long as an African's?
the discussion so far is really good--it's too bad it's not had on the regular.

three things come to mind:

(1) after the work of dubois, cornel west, john henrik clarke, cedric robinson (his book "black marxism" is brilliant), martin bernal and others, it's been established that western european philosophy owes its debt not to the greeks but to the egyptians and the ethiopians from whom the greeks based their new sciences, such as architecture, geometry, law, physiology, politics, and philology. the nile flows up, not down. hence, there is a great deal of anxiety among the enlightenment thinkers such as hegel who wrote off africa as being outside of history. eurocentrism begins with the enlightenment, due in large part to the fact that the enlightenment thinkers had been forced to deny the obvious african roots of greek civilization.

(2) not all the enlightenment thinkers were racists. this can be seen in the militant anti-slavery politics of the french revolutionaries, as well as with the english radicals such as thomas clarkson and william blake who agitated against the african slave trade and helped bring it down in 1808. adam hochschild tells this story eloquently in his new book "bury the chains."

(3) the issue is social control. white supremacy was always a dominant idea among the western european ruling classes, as west shows convincingly, but it's another thing altogether putting it into practice. the british learned valuable lessons in ireland that they later applied to the americas. first, for racial oppression to work, you need a "white" or protestant majority oppressor group. imposing racial oppression through a colonial army had proved too costly and failed, in ireland and later barbados and jamaica. the only place racial oppression worked in ireland was ulster, where the planters were able to establish a protestant majority over the catholic irish native population (basically, they starved to death more than a million irish). second, to produce a white majority oppressor group in the u.s., the planters and slaveowners threw open the borders and encouraged the mass immigration of poor and propteryless euoropeans. they did this to avoid paying a colonial army to do it. in other words, white racial oppression is completely dependent on a huge surplus of poor people.

from here, you can draw many different conclusions. my own view is that the white identity is a counterfeit, an incubus. as such, it can come down very fast, with just a section of the poor euroamericans defecting from the "white race."

yet if it was this easy, then why hasn't it already happened? these are great political questions and to answer them you have to read a lot of u.s. history, but from a black working-class point of view, not a white one, which is hardly ever done. to put it simply, if white radicals were reading dubois' black reconstruction, we'd have a whole different democratic party and a perfect opportunity to complete the reconstruction (land reform, socialized medicine, free college education, democratic control of wealth, and so on) that had been barely started in the 1860s and 70s.
Certainly, if a White servant already owed "service", what would factor in or stop his term from being extended as long as an African's?---Nmaginate

I think your question is valid.

Talk about mechanisms for getting the deed done does not address motivation.

Clearly, the difference is race-based.

All of the philosophical analysis cannot rationalize the fact.

A race-based system was constructed beginning in the late 1600s with documentation/codification beginning with the resolution-agreement of the Bacon Rebellion, as referenced in this thread by JScott, and discussed in others earlier.

I agree that there cannot a valid rationale for an innocuous/benign creation of America's chattel slavery.


PEACE

Jim Chester
All great points, JScott. However, I believe that the white supremacy is sustained by white privilege solely based on skin color over non-whites in America, regardless of their class status. Quick question though, if race was indeed not an issue what about class? I've noticed more discussion on this issue in the last couple of years within the black community. What is your take on this issue? Anyone can respond.
yet if it was this easy, then why hasn't it already happened? these are great political questions and to answer them you have to read a lot of u.s. history, but from a black working-class point of view, not a white one, which is hardly ever done. to put it simply, if white radicals were reading dubois' black reconstruction, we'd have a whole different democratic party and a perfect opportunity to complete the reconstruction (land reform, socialized medicine, free college education, democratic control of wealth, and so on) that had been barely started in the 1860s and 70s.---JScott

I like your opening question in this excerpt. Why indeed?

I not only believe what you say is true in terms of the rapid/sudden dissolution of the 'white supremacy' position, I think I see every time I confront any and every advocate with my declaration of ancestral nationality.

Whenever and wherever I declare my ancestral nationality to such a person they go silent, and ultimately change the subject or otherwise absent themselves.

Therefore this leads me to conclude that an attack on 'white supremacy' may be as simple as asserting ourselves.

Self-determination, if you will.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
All great points, JScott. However, I believe that the white supremacy is sustained by white privilege solely based on skin color over non-whites in America, regardless of their class status. Quick question though, if race was indeed not an issue what about class? I've noticed more discussion on this issue in the last couple of years within the black community. What is your take on this issue? Anyone can respond.


I hear JScott's rationale for the evolution of chattel slavery. While I appreciate the pragmatism, I have not, cannot, accept it.

He has already cited the Bacon Rebellion as a seminal event. We know that fight was about race, pure and simple. A uncle who was governor was challenged by his nephew over the rising status of Africans in the society.

I agree that 'white' is the criterion for supremacy.

Power in the hands of those European Americans is the tool.


PEACE

Jim Chester
bacon's rebellion of 1676 was a mass uprising of 6,000 euroamerican chattel slaves and 2,000 african american chattel slaves. at first, the rebellion was about indian policy, but the slaves saw their chance and overwhelmed the arsenal at west point. they shut down all tobacco production and forced governor berkley back to england. the slaves worked together--the euroamerican slaves had no white in them. this is all thoroughly documented in theodore allen's book "the invention of the white race" (verso, 1997).

bacon's rebellion was all about class: slaves versus their masters. in response, the slave masters invented white people, to prevent another mass uprising. in this way, they conferred white-skin privileges on to the euroamericans--this is the original deal with the devil. in accepting these privileges, they had to keep blacks laboring under chattel slavery. thus they became the first american overseers, where a few years before they were fighting hand-in-hand with their co-workers and comrades, the african american slaves.

this is real history, not philosophy or speculation.

anyone can have white supremacist ideas, but what do they matter if there's not a ruling class willing and able to impose these ideas?

as soon as more poor whites see this clearly--that they took the bait and then got fucked over--the tide will turn and we'll have Reconstruction for real.

to answer yemaya's question: i've come to think of race and class this way: what if all the workers were black and all the bosses were white? what would happen then?

if the answer is a popular democratic class struggle, with the bottom 90 percent fighting the top 1 percent, then we should be trying, as dr. dubois was always pushing us, to make all the workers black.

this might seem inconceivable but then so did ending racial slavery seem impossible to millions of people in the 1850s.
JSCOTT,

What do you think about current immigrant or say immigration trends that began after the Civil Rights/Black Power Movements? Especially the near Dancing In The Streets over "Hispanics" becoming the Largest Minority Group, surpassing African-Americans?

Certainly, there are all types of BUFFER CLASSES raised to run interference and/or be the Overseers. Seems to me, a lot of Black CONservatives can be classified in that manner...
nmaginate,

exactly right.

after the passing of the civil rights legislation, the buffer stratum could be filled by anybody, including women, whereas before it was filled by white males only. this helps explain colin powell, condi rice, and why today there are more women in law school than men, and why around 30 percent of the nypd is now female, increasing every day.

the 2000 u.s. census was very interesting. here for the first time you had a non-racial category: hispanic. what does this mean? i thought: if hispanics can be non-racial (or ethnic), why can't everybody else? what is the ruling class up to?

it seems pretty straightforward: they are creating a new brown or ethnic buffer stratum, because they fear that the new latino immigrants, if forced to choose between black and white, will choose black, given the way most whites feel about them and treat them. if this happens, the black population is doubled or even tripled.

so they invent a new buffer that's neither black nor white. genius. to me, what the 2000 census proves more than anything else is that the u.s. ruling class is always inventing and re-inventing race. it's completely political--they're nothing biological or cultural or psychological about it.

yet they still got everybody's head twisted about race, thinking everything about race except what it really is, a giant social control scheme.
So, JSCOTT, given that scheme and the fact, IMO, that few understand the complexities of it? What are we to do?

Some say the key is to interracial, multi-racial Coalition Building. I say there is a lot of historical forces as well as the current "schemes" that complicate that approach because, in general, the "schemes" impact not each group differently including their perceptions and perceptiveness -- i.e. what was alluded to earlier: White Radical, etc. have proven to either have no interest or no insights into how to take it to the highest level.

While some decry the supposed inherent/problematic "essentialism" in the Black Nationalist Ethic, I'm hard pressed to see what we really have to work with. I guess that's all the more reason why you raised the question you did, as you did.

What if all the workers were black and all the bosses were white? what would happen then?

Sadly enough, it would seem as if we need such a Wake Up Call or for things to be so simple, cut and dry (like a Segregation scenario) as to not be caught up and enchanted by the "schemes".

quote:
after the passing of the civil rights legislation, the buffer stratum could be filled by anybody, including women
One interesting historical note is how women were supposedly purposely written into Civil Rights legislation as a "KILL BILL" with hopes that adding women to the package would be a deal breaker. Well, at least, that's how it's reported.

It's funny how everybody all-of-a-sudden get concern about the White Poor when the topic shifts to Reparations or compensatory measures. [White] Women, the White Poor, immigrants, etc., etc. all nothing but BUFFERS, IMO.
I really appreciate close engagement to follow up your paper with us on board. It is a rare, and welcomed opportunity to 'speak to the horse.'

In reply:

this is real history, not philosophy or speculation.---JScott

I don't have a resource, or intent, to say your version, or Theodore Allen's is not real. And I appreciate your citation.

You do leave me not understanding who the 'euroamericans' were.

Please explain.


anyone can have white supremacist ideas, but what do they matter if there's not a ruling class willing and able to impose these ideas?---JScott

I agree, wholeheartedly, with this. A power structure must be in place to make the whole thing real.

White is a construction of European Americans to achieve, and maintain dominance, not simply over the society in general, but Africans, and African Americans in particular.


as soon as more poor whites see this clearly--that they took the bait and then got fucked over--the tide will turn and we'll have Reconstruction for real.---JScott

I am not optimistic that such realization in poor 'whites' will cause them to give up the privilege being member of the dominant class affords.

The demarcation was the root cause of the Bacon Rebellion after all. Whether it is called a 'class action', or not. All of the 'others' were 'not European', and predominantly if not coincidentally African.

Power is seldom relinquished voluntarily.

I am unwilling to wait for that self-denial to happen. I can't.

As I indicated earlier, I believe the dependable solution societally, our healing as a people lies in a decision that produces societal parity, ancestral nationality.


PEACE

Jim Chester
it seems pretty straightforward: they are creating a new brown or ethnic buffer stratum, because they fear that the new latino immigrants, if forced to choose between black and white, will choose black, given the way most whites feel about them and treat them. if this happens, the black population is doubled or even tripled.---JScott

I don't want to clutter up your discussion with Nmaginate so am responding without having read his last response.

I heartily agree with the reality of 'buffer' groups.

Clearly, 'hispanic' is neither a culture, nor race, nor for that matter an ethnicity. It has become a protocol of our society's tool for managing its diverse population(s).

I noticed that early on that construction divided Hispanic into 'black' and 'white'.

It is also obvious that those who are described as 'black' are Africans of unknown ancestry.

Just like us.

Without the assigned 'hispanic' designation, this immigrant population plays havoc with the race-based, color-based construction of our society.

Oh, what tangled webs we weave.


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Originally posted by JScott:
it's completely political--they're nothing biological or cultural or psychological about it.

yet they still got everybody's head twisted about race, thinking everything about race except what it really is, a giant social control scheme.

I agree with this assessment as well. Race is a social construct. Yet, it is an extremely powerful construct. I also like your reference above to Du Bois and the comment about making all the workers black. I assume here, however, that by this you men black in a kind of existential and/or ontological sense - that all workers see themselves as one in their very being, in their common cause (please correct me if I am wrong).

If this is what you mean, I agree with Nmaginate that there are a number of historical factors that mitigate against this. As one of my professors like to say in this regard, "John Brown is one of the few white people who actually gets it, who might be existentially/ontologically black."
what to do about the racial social control scheme?

it's been 300 years of this ordeal, with a few great moments of opportunity in between: reconstruction; the populist movement of the 1890s; the communist movement of the 1930s; and the civil rights movement.

in each great moment of possibility--to make black labor and white labor equal--white supremacy came in to play the role of saboteur, like a scene from night of the living dead, these white ghosts scaring the newly awakened white workers back into the "white race" corral, inhabiting their bodies.

they did it through terror, murdering white anti-racist activists and organizers, and of course through a massive propaganda campaign--telling the poor whites that if whites and blacks were made equal under the law, the blacks would have their way with their white daughters and begin a new period of what they called in the 1890s "black domination" (read charles chesnutt's masterpiece "the marrow of tradition" for these references. chesnutt worked as a journalist covering the white race pogroms down south, which were organized by the former slaveowning class against newly emancipated blacks, in their attempt to re-impose slavery. as always, the poor whites carried out the massacres. chesnutt had european features and could pass as white. his reporting is still some of the finest american investigative journalism of all time.)

the reason i wrote the graham sermon is because history shows that the one place the white death squads will not go is the white church. they'll murder activists and writers and teachers and students, but they'll never bomb a white church. they'll bomb an integrated church, like they did in the 1990s down south, but they'll never bomb a white church.

that's why i believe people like jim wallis are maybe the best hope. there has to be a revolution of the heart in these white churches.

i have no hope for all these white so-called radicals. most of them are too busy trying to put black folk on the front lines to get their heads cracked. i asked this white radical the other day who was recruitng at my college, which is almost all black and latino, why aren't you at the all-white colleges recruiting? they got all the privilege, the lawyers, the parents with connections. send them out to confront the state. you think they're gonna spend more than one or two nights in central booking? but every black person you get to go protest the war has a good chance of "disappearing." he just looked at me with a blank expression.

racism is a white problem, and so we should just keep on doing what we're doing, building the black nation, making it stronger and wiser, guiding and mentoring the young black youth, preparing ourselves for the day when the whites finally throw off the incubus, when they get rid of that ghost that's still haunting them.

i don't know if folk saw the great piece in black commentator a few issues ago where ford and gamble proposed an independent black think tank, supported by just a few dollars a month per african american. it's a powerful idea because history also shows that black liberation struggle is what turns the tide everywhere. for example, look at the impact of the black power movement on the african and caribbean national liberation movements. black power always sets a world standard for struggle, because our struggle is the hardest of them all.
I think if White America had a Bill Cosby ... maybe he would speak out to inform them that their ongoing racist practices are still crippling the Black community.

Now, whether they would listen to him any more than certain members of the Black community listen to the Black Bill Cosby is anybody's guess.

For some reason, the truth gets some people all riled up! sck
This is a great discussion. I haven't read it all yet but will as soon as I have a chance.

Welcome JScott!

I have a question... How did the caste system in the Indian subcontinent develop into a similar racial/colour higherarchy as the European White supremacy that developed out of slavery and colonialism, considering the invasion of the Indus Valley by the Aryans was a seperate and much earlier historical event?

Is it just a coincidence because the invaders were also 'light' Euro-Asians?

Although their are marked differences, the similarity between the 2 forms of oppression are staggering.

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