The Continuing Black Protests

Black Lives Matter have been protesting for years now trying to bring some notice to the injustice that is still occurring in the US.

For the most part they are non-violent…..I know there is reports of vandalism and looting…..for the most part it is thugs using the protests as cover for their criminality….it is mostly citizens protesting calmly and with purpose.

I need to ask….what has these non-violent protests accomplished?

I know there are bringing a focus on the injustice and inequality in our society….but the conversation around these protest are more about the isolated acts of criminality than the issues that caused the protest to start.

What will it take for this situation to generate a real conversation on the social inequality?

Black Lives Matter has brought about a few “promises” from governmental agencies…..

While it is too early to assess the global impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, emerging evidence indicates that it has made significant progress. The first significant impact of the protests has been the toppling of Confederate and slavery-related statues around the world — statues that had stood all-too-proudly for centuries. In England, protesters toppled the statue of Edward Colston, a prominent slave trader. In Belgium, protesters set fire to a statue of King Leopold II. In the USA, statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln have been toppled. Airports and schools are also being renamed.

Second, city councillors have vowed to reform police departments. From Minneapolis to New York City, and from Los Angeles to Denver,  mayors have pledged to take money away from the police and reinvest it in community programmes. In Los Angeles, for example,  Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he would redirect US$250 million from the police budget into healthcare, jobs and ‘healing’ programmes for the city’s communities of colour. Democrats in Congress have also unveiled sweeping legislation on police reform, including banning chokeholds and mandating federal police officers to use body and dashboard cameras.

Third, corporations such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Reddit and Amazon have promised greater diversity and inclusivity. In fact, Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian recently resigned via a video urging the board to fill his seat with a black candidate. Ohanian also pledged US$1 million to Colin Kaepernick’s Know your Rights Camp in the announcement. On top of this, a new database has been set up to collect video footage that documents police violence at demonstrations across the country.

https://www.merit.unu.edu/black-voices-matter-what-have-the-protests-achieved-and-should-they-always-be-non-violent/

(By the way….I do not agree with this supposition…..what it calls for has not worked in the past and most likely will not again)

These promises are nothing but a pacifying move…..cities are promising reform and yet the killings continue and the cops still walk or get  slap on the wrest for their murder…..and corporations are throwing money at the problems hoping it will put them in a favorable light…..basically the same crap they pulled in the 60s and we all know how that worked out, right?

I sorry to be a downer but I do not see any change in the future because of these protest….any change will be incremental at best…..and that tactic has gotten Blacks where they are today.

If they want to progress then there must be a new way….and that way is for them to work out…..but without another tactic nothing will change.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–22Feb21

Yesterday, 21Feb, was the 56th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X in NYC…..I shared my thoughts on Malcom’s assassination about 2 years ago…..https://lobotero.com/2019/02/22/the-death-of-malcolm-x/ ……and now a letter has shown new light on the government’s role…..

Family members of Malcolm X say they have new evidence that shows that the NYPD and FBI conspired in the murder of the civil rights activist and one-time Nation of Islam spokesman, the Guardian reports. During a Saturday news conference at the site of the Audubon Ballroom, where Malcolm X was assassinated on Feb. 21 1965, three of Malcolm X’s daughters revealed a deathbed letter attributed to Raymond Wood, a former undercover NYPD officer. In the letter, Wood says that he was pressured to encourage members of Malcolm X’s security detail to commit crimes, which led to their arrests days before the assassination. The result was that there wasn’t door security at the ballroom. The letter alleges that the NYPD and FBI conspired to cover up details of the assassination and disrupt the Civil Rights Movement. “I participated in actions that, in hindsight, were deplorable and detrimental to the advancement of my own Black people,” Wood said in the letter, per Spectrum News.

“My actions on behalf of the New York City Police Department were done under duress and fear,” he wrote. Three Nation of Islam members were convicted in Malcolm X’s murder, per Reuters, which notes that some historians and scholars have said that they believe the wrong people were convicted. A 2020 Netflix documentary, Who Killed Malcolm X?, prompted Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to review the case. And following Saturday’s new conference, the DA’s office said that the review is “active and ongoing.” In a statement, per the BBC, the NYPD said it “has provided all available records relevant to that case to the district attorney. The department remains committed to assist with that review in any way.” The FBI hadn’t publicly commented on the case. “Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated,” said Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s daughters.

Back in those days the government had its treacherous fingers in many of the events in the days of protests and demands.

Five years ago I shared with my readers something that Malcolm X predicted….https://lobotero.com/2016/05/19/malcolm-x-predicted-the-progression-of-racism/

Malcolm was far more insightful that Black leaders today….the last 4 or 5 years have proven his prediction.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wfrite, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Thoughts On Black History

First let me say here that I am taking nothing away from the people that fought for their civil rights…..their sacrifice and accomplishments are above reproach….and by all means their accomplishments should be taught and learned….but realities need to be taught as well.

We need to take a good look at what was accomplished….

The Civil Rights in the 50s and 60s was an amazing thing to behold….people protesting for a better life and the promise of equality.

Finally LBJ stepped up to do the right thing….but what were his motives?

Honestly the protests as the grew stronger and stronger the old white boys got very nervous….their eyes were on their profits and decided that it was time to head off the coming revolution……people like Rockefeller ( don’t forget he was a major donor into Eugenics) and Ford started dumping cash into endowments for such stuff as arts, dance, education etc…..this was trying to bring the racial tensions to a simmer from the boil of the 60s.

LBJ then rammed through face saving policies as voter rights….and his War on Poverty….

And the peasants danced.

These measure calmed down the situation for now Blacks had a chance to live the ‘American Dream’….(how has that worked out for them?)

What have Blacks gotten since the death of MLK, Jr?

In some ways, we’ve barely budged as a people. Poverty is still too common in the U.S. In 1968, 25 million Americans — roughly 13 percent of the population — lived below poverty level. In 2016, 43.1 million – or more than 12.7% – did.

Today’s Black poverty rate of 21% is almost three times that of whites. Compared to the 1968 rate of 32%, there’s not been a huge improvement.

Financial security, too, still differs dramatically by race. In 2018 black households earned $57.30 for every $100 in income earned by white families. And for every $100 in white family wealth, black families held just $5.04.

Another troubling aspect about black social progress – or the lack thereof – is how many black families are headed by single women. In the 1960s, unmarried women were the main breadwinners for 20% of households. In recent years, the percentage has risen as high as 72%.

https://theconversation.com/black-americans-mostly-left-behind-by-progress-since-dr-kings-death-89956

Blacks were left behind in the 60s and they are still being left at the bottom of society…..that “American Dream” is still just out of reach for many people of color.

So what have the protests of the 50s and 60s actually accomplished for the Black community?

There is still voter suppression, racial injustice, and debilitating poverty…..again I ask what did the movements of the past actually accomplish?

We should celebrate black history…but it needs to be celebrated every day not some month set aside for observation.

We need to rethink the “Black Policy”….

Last summer, millions of Americans took to the streets across the country to protest the violence Black Americans have suffered at the hands of police. It sparked what has been called the largest civil rights movement of our time — one that saw worldwide demonstrations, new demands placed on lawmakers, and white people and non-Black people of color pledging to speak up against injustice, to no longer turn the other way. It felt like the United States might finally be ready to do the work to be less racist.

But after the protests petered out and the anti-racism books were read, many also wondered: Now what?

How do we make up for the 400 years of racism and inequities that Black people have endured in this country? How do we start to fix the systemic problems that have deliberately disadvantaged Black Americans when it comes to acquiring wealth, quality education, and clean air to breathe? This series hopes to start that conversation — and to lay the groundwork for the federal government to take action.

For Rethinking Policy for Black America, a series rolling out over the month of February, Vox talked to policy wonks, lawmakers, researchers, activists, and the communities impacted by these injustices to lay out some of the best policy plans that address inequities in housing, health, economics, education, policing, and the environment. Some are familiar; some are ambitious; not all can be packaged up and sent to Congress for approval today. But they are a beginning, and if enacted, they would help create a truly anti-racist future in America.

https://www.vox.com/22277011/rethinking-policy-for-black-america

Maybe Malcolm X should have been heeded…..https://lobotero.com/2016/05/19/malcolm-x-predicted-the-progression-of-racism/

It seems that Black leaders today are looking for immediate solutions to long running systemic problems…..and in doing so have accomplished very little.

Just some thoughts.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Kamala Is Not The First

We get lots of news that is wrong…..and then these sources back step to make it seem like we are just not understanding what they are putting down.

One such wrong information is that Kamala Harris is the first black woman in our history to be on a ticket as the VP candidate….this is not true……the year is 1952 and the Progressive Party pick a black woman to share the ticket with Vincent Hallinan…..

Harris may well be the first Indian-Black woman to run as the VP candidate…..but not the first black woman….not the first woman…..

Charlotta Bass strode onto a stage in Chicago and gave a speech as the first Black female candidate for Vice President.

As a candidate for the nation’s second highest office under the Progressive Party ticket in 1952, she addressed convention attendees on March 30 that year.
“I stand before you with great pride,” she said. “This is a historic moment in American political life. Historic for myself, for my people, for all women. For the first time in the history of this nation a political party has chosen a Negro woman for the second highest office in the land.”
While Kamala Harris became the first Indian-American and first Black woman this week to run for Vice President on a major party ticket, Bass came before her decades ago in that long-shot bid.
 
In a nod to her minimal chances of winning, Bass’ campaign slogan was, “Win or lose, we win by raising the issues.” Her party lost to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, but her campaign decades ago helped open doors for minority candidates today, according to experts.
 
Just because Bass was on a alternative party ticket does not diminish the fact that she is the FIRST Black woman on a political ticket mas VP candidate.
 
Learn about this historic figure…..http://blackhistorynow.com/charlotta-bass/
 
I Read, I Write, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Juneteenth–2020

Closing Thought–19Jun20

Donald the Orange has decided to once again hold his rallies…the only way he can control the message in public…..he will return to the propaganda trail in Tulsa…..

President Trump is planning to hold his first rally of the coronavirus era on June 19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And he says he’s planning more events in Florida, Texas, and Arizona as well. Trump made the announcement as he met with a handful of African American supporters Wednesday afternoon for a roundtable discussion, the AP reports. Trump’s signature rallies often draw tens of thousands of people but have been on hiatus since March 2 because of the coronavirus pandemic. “A beautiful new venue, brand new. We’re looking forward to it,” Trump said during a White House event. “They’ve done a great job with COVID, as you know, the state of Oklahoma.” The rally will take place on Juneteenth, the commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US.

Sorry but a bad choice….unless you want to reinforce the racist accusations against the campaign…..

I have written several post explaining the importance of 19 June or Juneteenth…..https://lobotero.com/2017/06/19/juneteenth-our-other-independence-day/  or  https://lobotero.com/2018/06/19/closing-thought-19jun18/ and more  https://lobotero.com/2019/06/19/the-other-independence-day/

Trump will do something…..Out of respect? 

“Many of my African American friends and supporters have reached out to suggest that we consider changing the date out of respect for this Holiday, and in observance of this important occasion and all that it represents,” he wrote Friday night in a series of tweets. He noted that the “big deal” rally is now scheduled for next Saturday, June 20, and claimed that ticket requests have been “in excess of 200,000.” The Hill notes that his switch regarding the rally, which will be his first one in over three months due to the coronavirus pandemic, is a “rare instance of [him] giving in to criticism,” though Trump had insisted earlier that the choosing of June 19 as the original date wasn’t intentional.

Out of respect is just another lie for the slobbering supporters.

Trump was not finished embarrassing his ass…..he then asserts that no one every heard of Juneteenth……until he brought it to the news…..

“I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous,” Trump said, a reference to his decision to postpone a campaign rally from June 19 to June 20. He said a black Secret Service agent told him about the day’s significance: a celebration of the end of slavery. “It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it.” Trump was surprised when informed his own White House has previously marked the occasion. Sen. Kamala Harris was among those ridiculing Trump’s assertion, notes USA Today.

But in case you are on of those people that never heard of the day and  would like more info and history on why this is a terrible idea……to hold a racist rally on this day that is……https://theblackwallsttimes.com/category/history

And before Tulsa there was a riot in East St. Louis about 4 years earlier……

In East St. Louis, as in other cities across the nation, white people resented every effort of African Americans to improve their social and economic conditions during the 20th century. In this instance, white residents erupted in violence in response to Black migrants coming into the city in droves — mostly from the South. During World War I, the labor market significantly expanded to meet the needs of military production. With a growing demand for industrial workers in the North, Black Southerners flocked to places like East St. Louis. In response, white business owners worked to block new migrants from gaining economic or political power.

Even though Black workers held the most menial jobs and received lower wages than their peers, white people in East St. Louis still viewed them as a threat. And they were determined to keep Black people “in their place” through acts of violence and intimidation. In May 1917, a group of white workers filed formal complaints against Black migrants in the city, blaming African Americans for taking “their” jobs in local factories.

https://theintercept.com/2020/06/10/east-st-louis-race-riot-1917-protests/

As the lives of Afro-Americans were starting to improve the rest of society was not handling it well and riots broke out trying to put blacks back in the “place”.

And that brings us to today…and not much has really changed.

Sorry but a change in date will not make things better for this president……

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

“Get Over It!”

It is the “real” Memorial Day and as a Vietnam veteran I have often wondered why all the films made about that war feature mostly white guys….Blacks came home to worse things than us whites….and no one has ever cared…..

Spike Lee will change that…..finally the story of black Vietnam veterans will be told.

When Dedan Kimathi Ji Jaga returned from combat in Vietnam, he painted his walls black, covered his windows and sat in darkness all day. His injuries and post-traumatic stress were severe, but as with many African American soldiers in 1968, the US government gave him little support.

“They summarily released me back to the streets with no aid,” said the 72-year-old California resident.

Black veterans across America are hoping this painful and enduring legacy will get the attention it deserves in Spike Lee’s new film, Da 5 Bloods, which chronicles the journey of four African American vets who return to Vietnam in search of their fallen squad leader and buried gold.

“The plight of African American service members who served in Vietnam, where they are now, why they are the way they are, this should be brought to light,” said Richard D Kingsberry, a veteran in Charlotte, North Carolina, who began his service in 1972 in the navy. “A lot of African American service members never got cared for properly after they returned, and that is a life-altering impact.”

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/may/22/spike-lee-vietnam-da-5-bloods-black-veterans

After so many years their stories can be told…..a bit late but maybe it will help people understand….

Here is a story that will NEVER be told…..

Image

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Death Of Malcolm X

On 21Feb1965 Black leader Malcolm X was assassinated in NYC……..

In New York City, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated by rival Black Muslims while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights.

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/142725

The question still remains……why was he killed?

Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, born Malcolm Little) was an influential and inspirational figure to the Afro-Americans in the United States.  A powerful orator, excellent debater and willing to preach “The price of freedom is death,” led for his personality and teachings to be printed across the U.S. and the world.

There are three possible answers.  Three—because each on its own isn’t satisfactory.  Examining the motives behind the killing inevitably leads for more questions to be asked and before you know it, you’re in too deep.

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/142725

Many people do not like Malcolm X because of his supposed hate for white people….some of that is warranted but after he returned from the Hajj his tone changed for the better to include all people…….

I offer a few videos for those interested…..

This video is a long piece but should be seen to understand the man and the movement he inspired……

This one is a short video that was made for children to acquaint them with the man…..

Malcolm X was more than the negativity that is always bought up when his name is mentioned…….he should be required for any history of America.

Black Face–Another Sad Chapter

We are still hearing about the use of black face by white people to depict a black person…..why?

Virginia is in the news and black face is also…..but what of black face?  It is the 21st century and we are still talking about this act of bigotry.

Yes, there is a long disgusting history of its use in the US…..

Once called the “king of performers,” Al Jolson was famous in the 1920s for his portrayal of blackface.

It’s ironic on the first day of Black History Month a raging controversy erupted in America that recalls one of the more demeaning chapters, that of ‘blackface’, of American Black History.

The controversy prevailed after pages from the 1984 year-book of Virginia Governor Ralph Norton’s tenure at medical school was made public showing individuals dressed in blackface, and a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) uniform, hood and all.

The gravity of the situation not recognized

As the controversy rage, with calls for Northam to resign over his association with the blatant racist images, which he denies involves him, some people within the Caribbean American community failed to recognize the gravity of the situation. Some wondered why should the government pay a price for behavior as a young man of 25, some 35 years ago?

It’s not surprising this question would be asked. As has been seen in the past, several Caribbean Americans, although they are of the black race don’t fully comprehend, or appreciate some of the significance, especially the more negative aspects, of American Black history.

https://caribbeantimesnyc.com/2019/02/blackface-a-sorry-aspect-of-black-history/

I think it is sad that since this situation is a dire need of a solution that I had to find this article in the Caribbean Times…..

Now I ask….are we truly having a conversation on this situation or we just throwing diatribes at it?

I grew up in the racist South of the 50s and 60s and I do not see this as something that we should avoid….we need to air all the

Further Reading……..arguments and not the platitudes.

https://www.black-face.com/

https://www.vox.com/2014/10/29/7089591/why-is-blackface-offensive-halloween-costume

Lincoln And The Emancipation

As a history buff I am always looking for stuff that the normal person may not be aware of or did not learn while in school…..the major event in American history that gets a lot of attention is the “emancipation” but is it all that we think we know about it?

John Brown was executed by the state of Virginia with the approval of the national government. It was the national government which, while weakly enforcing the law ending the slave trade, sternly enforced the laws providing for the return of fugitives to slavery. It was the national government that, in Andrew Jackson’s administration, collaborated with the South to keep abolitionist literature out of the mails in the southern states. It was the Supreme Court of the United States that declared in 1857 that the slave Dred Scott could not sue for his freedom because he was not a person, but property.

Such a national government would never accept an end to slavery by rebellion. It would end slavery only under conditions controlled by whites, and only when required by the political and economic needs of the business elite of the North. It was Abraham Lincoln who combined perfectly the needs of business, the political ambition of the new Republican party, and the rhetoric of humanitarianism. He would keep the abolition of slavery not at the top of his list of priorities, but close enough to the top so it could be pushed there temporarily by abolitionist pressures and by practical political advantage.

Lincoln could skillfully blend the interests of the very rich and the interests of the black at a moment in history when these interests met. And he could link these two with a growing section of Americans, the white, up-and-coming, economically ambitious, politically active middle class. As Richard Hofstadter puts it:

https://libcom.org/history/lincoln-emancipation-howard-zinn

I like Zinn and may I suggest that his book “A People’s History Of The United States”….. a long read but well worth the time to do so.

Learn Stuff!

The more you learn the more you know……how’s that for a profound statement?

Class Dismissed!

Ever Hear Of The “Harlem Hellfighters”?

Sunday and I must get off my butt and start getting the garden ready for the crops of the year…..but before that I need to offer up another history lesson….(I hear those heavy sighs)…..

I have been writing and trying to get more Americans to pay attention to World War One……it was century ago and while American troops were only there for about a year and actually fought for about 6 months we still lost about 116,000 troops……in case you cannot feel the size of that…we lost 53,000 in Vietnam in ten years….

There were and are many stories of the units that fought in this war and one of those units is the Harlem Hellfighters……

A century ago, on Feb. 17, 1919, the US Army’s 369th Infantry Regiment, nearly 3,000 African American soldiers and known as the Harlem Hellfighters, returned from World War I and marched up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan before hundreds of thousands of cheering New Yorkers. The Harlem Hellfighters weren’t supposed to be heroes, but they were among the “hyphenated” troops whose accomplishments demonstrate that the United States’ asymmetric advantage, in war as well as in peace, is diversity.

The 369th Infantry Regiment was part of the Army’s Rainbow Division, 27,000 troops from across the country quickly mustered after the US entered World War I in April 1917. Most of the division shipped out to Europe in August of that year; the Hellfighters didn’t arrive in France until late December. They had not been allowed to march off to war with the rest of their Rainbow Division because “black is not a color of the rainbow.”

American military leaders expected the troops of the 369th to be terrible soldiers. Like most black recruits in World War I, they weren’t intended to fight but to be manual laborers at the front. They were issued inferior uniforms and weapons, and then, in an emergency, they were transferred to the French army, whose officers were explicitly told to treat them as second-class soldiers.

Despite the discrimination and the disadvantages, the men of the 369th became one of the war’s most decorated and celebrated units.

Read the full piece in the Los Angeles Times.

That is my offerings for the day……

Go! Learn Stuff!

Have a great day……I shall be back in full force come Monday…..