Not sure how I feel about this. I don’t think it bothers me very much and it seems like a lot to do about nothing. At Widefield High School, a majority White school, in the 1970s our crowd was known for doing things to rattle the other team. As far as I know, they started the whole “reading a newspaper during introductions” thing. Was it unsportsmanlike? Nope. Was it rude? Absolutely. Was it racist? Nope.
There is true racism in today’s America. It was put on display for the entire world to see by the election of Donald Trump. (Hold your outrage. You and I both know it’s true. The only difference is I don’t have to pretend it’s not in some desperate attempt to save my own morality.) This, however, is not it.
February 12, 1968, Memphis sanitation workers went on strike to protest, among other things, the death of two of their fellow workers due to unsafe working conditions. The Memphis mayor refused to negotiate. He saw no reason for concern over the condition under which “Negroes” worked and, besides, the strikers would be back as soon as the money ran out.
His cavalier and uncaring attitude raised a simple question in the men’s minds: Am I not a man? This same question had been used by abolitionists in an attempt to shame “Christian” men and women into realizing that Slaves were humans. Just as they were. And beholding to the same God and due the same rights. Eventually, a war was fought to settle that question from a legal standpoint. Blacks were men UNDER THE LAW.
Now, we find ourselves suddenly realizing that UNDER THE LAW means nothing if it isn’t recognized by the people. Virtually all Americans pay lip service to the truth that Black men are indeed men but many through their actions and the law demonstrate that it is, indeed, only lip service. It is time once again to let them now that we are men. Let them know that “I AM A MAN”That is the simple fact. And as a man in this country I have certain rights which I will insist are recognized and honored. All because I AM A MAN.
There was a time when Black men who wanted to be recognized as men had to stand up and declare it. And they did. Loudly and proudly.
They let the world know they were men by simply carrying a sign that declared “I AM A MAN” and not letting anyone forget it. Today, we find ourselves in the same situation. Black men are no longer seen as men. They are seen as criminals and thugs. They are, to quote the Governor of Maine, “the enemy” as far as much of America is concerned.
To fight back, we’ve designed a shirt to tell the world you have had enough. That you are a descendant of those men that carried a sign declaring their manhood. They were beaten, attacked by dogs, jailed, and even killed for taking this stand. Take your own stand and help others at the same time.
Purchase one of our I AM A MAN (Say it again) t-shirts. You don’t have to be Black or White or Brown or Red or Yellow to wear it. You don’t have to be Straight or Gay or Bi or Trans. You don’t have to be Anglo or Latino. You don’t have to be Native-born or Immigrant.
You don’t even have to be a man.
You simply have to be willing to say “I will have my rights AND YOU WILL NOT STOP ME!” They come in the original red letters on white background and a more impactful and modern white letters on black background.
Somehow in all of the confusion of the election, we’ve turned it from a political contest into a religious war. There was a time when the election was a contest of ideas between political parties. Those ideas were based on theories and beliefs that, while different, were always understood to be the proponents best attempt to move the country forward. As such, they deserved the respect of a hearing.
Unfortunately, people started believing those ideas were more than they were. That they weren’t the result of human thought and discussion. That they didn’t come from people trying to figure out better ways to live together. People started believing that those ideas were handed down by God. And, since that was the case, those ideas were perfect. The people that created them were perfect. The ideas were never to be questioned. Or improved. Or removed. They were law. God’s law.
There are several problems with this belief. The first of which is that it is simply wrong. It has no basis in reality. It is a loathsome fantasy designed to gain power by those who created it AND to maintain power by those who promote it.
The second is that a law requires enforcement. Now for the danger. There is no enforcement mechanism so you run the danger of having the adherents to this false religion taking it upon themselves to enforce their God’s law. And it must be enforced because IT IS GOD’S LAW. Perfect and infallible. Just. And they do.
The same slackjawed idiots that fall for the scam Trump and his ilk are pulling on them. They use a perversion of the 2nd Amendment and add it to the central tenets of their mad religion. Some going so far as to claim Jesus the Christ as the patron saint of the AR despite the evidence of all the red words in the Bible. They gather the Holy AR and go forth to enforce God’s Law:
If you’re White, you’re all right.
They know they are in the right because Trump tells them that the election is rigged. He has no proof. But they believe him because if it isn’t rigged that means that most Americans disagree with them. Disagree with the hate. Disagree with the racism. Disagree with the sexism. Disagree with the homophobia. Disagree with the religious bigotry.
Disagree with their God.
And their God – like the God of the Old Testament – is a vain and jealous God. He suffers no amount of being ignored. His followers, the good, righteous, WHITE soldiers of the Lord are ready to fight for him. To put the unbelievers and the race traitors and the mud people all in their place. Not because of racism. Or sexism. Or homophobia. Nope. Because it’s what their God wants. He is God, after all.
The mistake we make is pretending this isn’t the case. We believe that because they’ve appropriated some of the trappings of true Christianity, that they are Christians but just confused. That they worship the same God that we do. But they aren’t. They don’t. They aren’t Christians. They don’t worship our God. They are Christianists and they are evil. They worship the religion Christianity as defined by them. In their bastardized religion, Christ is accepted as a symbol of Christianity but His words hold no more sway than anyone else’s. Less if you count the teachings of the Christianist tradition handed down from preacher to preacher, from priest to priest, from minister to minister. His words are only valid if they support the prejudices of the Christianists. When they don’t, He is ignored. Or marginialized.
Christianists are inherently violent and dangerous. We would do well not to ignore the danger they pose AFTER the election. Their brethren in the Middle East, Daesh, have shown us just how much damage can be wrought by religious zealots that worship men. Are we ready to fight off a Christianist Jihad?
“My Professor just said all living ppl are descendants from Africa and ppl got up and walked out and now their arguing,” a student tweeted during the walk-out.
The United States exists in a special place among all nations every created. We are the only nation specifically created with the ideal that a person is more than what they look like OR who they worship OR what they believe OR who they love OR how much they have OR who they are related to. We insist that each person is the same at the moment of birth. That there is no built-in advantage or disadvantage within each person.
All of our words say that. Even if our actions don’t. But it is those words that have made America that Shining City On A Hill that Reagan dreamt dewy-eyed about. It is those words and the moral weight that goes with them which left us as the only remaining superpower. Coupled with our wealth, we wield that moral authority to tell others what is expected of them AND to keep our enemies in check.
Once lost, so are we.
If 117 countries see us as human rights violators, we are on our way to the dustbin of history that is reserved for all empires. If those countries include some that are our allies or that are not actively our opponents, we look even worse.
“Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching.”
We have joined some of the worst actors in the world as a country of concern to the United Nations Human Rights Council. China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and, now, the United States. For something that is easily remedied by requiring the government at all levels to act as if Black Lives Matter. To stop treating Black Americans like an afterthought as a matter of official (albeit de facto) policy.
We must recognize that the closer the level of government is to the citizen, the worse it is at discriminating against the disenfranchised. Local rule was fine when this country was first created but it is useless in today’s world. In fact, it is counterproductive and just adds to our problem.
This is a job for the Federal government. Now.
We all need to take a knee and talk this out. We caused it. We can fix it.
“Them thug niggas up there need to find that bitch! And thats all it is to it!!!
– Facebook User in response to the killing of unarmed Terrence Crutcher by Officer Betty Shelby in Tulsa, OK
Those are the words we should have all been dreading. The wish by Blacks that the element that preys on them will turn their wrath onto the other element that preys on them. Doing what all marginalized people do. Turn to the strong within their tribe to protect them from the enemy outside. The enemy, which is slowly moving from the police to the government in general.
Just leave us alone and fight it out with each other
The police should be thrilled to hear this. They’ve used as justification for all of the unjustified killing of Black men that they were confused/worried/concerned about the threat that Black men pose. They are bigger than they are. They are older than they are. They are more impervious to pain than they are. They are so much more than they are.
And that’s why the need for assault rifles, armored personnel carriers, sound cannons, body armor, all of the baubles of war that today’s police force in America deploys to keep their charges
subdued safe. That’s why the continual need to turn the other way, to wink at a bit of the old ultra-violence when dealing with the jigs.Gotta let them know who’s boss or nice White folks will be in danger. They are already coming after our women. Next, will be our money. Our jobs. Our neighborhoods.
Secret interrogation facilities in Chicago? No problem. Rough riding in Baltimore? Sure. Stop-and-frisk? Absolutely. All part of keeping the animals in the jungle. And keeping the jungle from coming to the suburbs.
But even animals get tired. You kick a dog enough and, eventually, it will bite. Blacks are tired of getting kicked.
Seems like time for some biting has come.
“Shelby claimed the victim was reaching into a passenger-side window of her car and that she, an armed officer of the law surrounded by three others and backed up by a police chopper, felt threatened.”
And then the video showed up. Again.