Perusing U.S. slavery shows subversive bondage legacy thrives—White gays still mistakenly ignore.

“…aside from those rare, stubborn, historical workhorse activists who enthusiastically step “out” from the pack, whites in general cannot be trusted to lead or solely spearhead a Civil Rights Movement.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 17: Black Lesbians And Gays Rock The Frontlines Of Civil Rights Battles, Page 416.

 

Greetings charged-up readers!

An insidious U.S. heritage yields widespread social disaster—it virtually guarantees modern

Trouble in Black Paradise.

 

A white gay male friend totally surprised me during San Francisco’s past Black History Month. The 2019 occasion moved Rob to offer a truly unexpected gift—in the form of a book.

Been In The Storm So Long: The Aftermath Of Slavery (Vintage Books, 1979, 556 pgs.) is a Pulitzer Prize winner by U.C. Berkeley Professor Leon F. Litwack, presented in scholastic review.

Rob’s timing is impeccable:

Former Rep. John Conyers’ H.R.40. Slavery Reparations Bill has gotten revivedgetting its first sponsorship in 2018 by Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee—which raised additional eyes by getting the support of several 2020 Dem presidential candidates during that campaign. I’d also begun rereading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (Doubleday, 1845, 124 pgs.).

All these elements—triggered by Rob’s gift—reminded me of how few people in America understand the major significance of Reparations—for “modern times.”

So, I’m writing this series for the common person—giving it down-to-earth understandable perspective—with “insight angles”—that might surprise everyone!

Conyers steadfastly plowing thru today’s massive political resistance, to actually revive the element of modern Reparations for American slavery’s heirs, is truly significant—and obviously controversial. The act itself—right after Emancipation—pushed to have the government clearly “acknowledge” the heinous level of U.S. slavery—and take unquestionable ownership of its devestating consequence—that eviscerated Afro people physically, spiritually and economically.

It was a daunting task unto itself. And deciding exactly what level of “compensation” Reparations would offer totally struck the center of this volitle mid 19th Century debate.

Theoretically slavery compensation—from a “moral” and just standpoint—would do this:

Absolutely match the level of calculated loss Blacks citizens experienced—due to the loss of Afro community production potential—and this based on having at least 300 years of full fledged citizenship “rights” absolutely hijacked.

Reparations being hijacked as well sent the entire country into a social tailspin—it soon forced the birth of “common cause”—where radical ideals found “progress” in new countercultures.

 

Black Union soldiers got unprecedented authority as Northern occupation of the South expanded, to police white planters and rule in favor of slaves who’d been conned, or mistreated. Stock/photo.

Our Bay Area counterculture has one of America’s longest alluring reputations. Its historic “gateway” to the Wild West drew worldwide 1849 fortune seekers—they were mostly downtrodden white men escaping their well-established homelands.

Gold hunters had basically fled rural and industrial economic chokehold areas—hoping to not just “uplift,” but to transform their destitute lives.

Blacks and multicultural groups followed—along with “independent” women. All desired self-governing relief from over-the-top social repression—especially Americans. They hoped to escape extremist Judeo Christian laws that pushed fanatic Puritan policies:

State statutes also enforced another blight—legalized “slavery industry.”

“Technically” slavery was not legal in America’s West.

Thus, plunked amid West Coast Native Americans, a rollicking, free-for-all bohemian village instantly became the “self-governing” metropolis that put California on the map—1850’s goldrush financing had birthed the new “city” of San Francisco.

A fast-forward shows Bay Area global attraction held fast—expanding as did its hotbed counterculture mystique—where earthshaking social movements got their ground central:

1950’s beatniks spawned Ginsburg and Kerouac; 1964 had Mario Savio putting “free speech” to the ultimate test; soon hippies emerged rejecting rigid status-quo segregation (and bloated American materialism) for “free love”; and the Black Panther Party arose pushing Afro economic “self-determination,” radically revived Black pride—and an end to state sanctioned brutality.

Bobby Seale and the actor Marlon Brando at a 1968 Black Panther rally in Oakland, Ca. The Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 by students Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland. Originally organized as a neighborhood “patrol”—protecting residents from unbridled police brutality—it soon evolved into an “international” political/educational “self-help” organization—demanding the “liberation” of all Blacks from incarceration and disenfranchisement by America’s white, racist capitalist “system.” Among many resources it eventually provided was legal aid, a children’s free breakfast program and community foodbanks. Photo: The New York Times.

LGBTQ shadows did underlay it all, finally fighting for substance in freedom’s daylight—having scratched a “public,” but very underground San Francisco foothold back beyond the world wars.

Here, all these movements had a common denominator—struggling to get from under America’s repressive civic standards—solidly set rules that had directly “resulted” from this:

African “slavery’s aftermath.”

Bay Area notoriety implies a thing:

That today there is still a “sanctuary” scene—it suggests this scene still grooms activists who’ll standup for the outcast—rising to protect citizens that elsewhere are not shielded from residual laws which impose life crushing discrimination.

Thus the world keeps keen eyes on San Francisco’s “Land of Oz”assuming its surviving refuge thrivesknowing hopefuls from all over keep riding that magnetic current toward the promise of desperately sought shelter—I was one of them.

Arriving though is just the beginning:

Novices do struggle to shake-off what comes with them—the racism, religious bigotry (and tightly “closeted” lives) so locked-in by their outdated origins. Yet, others inspire—they’ve grown beyond handicapping biases—able to freely share the depth of human treasure that they also bring—and these “movers-and-shakers” include white folk.

But the Bay Area has its demons:

An underbelly of “rightwing” extremistsclinging to antiquated white cultural attitudes (and classic white power beliefs)—especially seen in the modern murderous acts waged against unarmed citizens by police (receiving no legal consequence).

A 2006 plaque marks the spot where in 1966 Transgender people and gay men rioted at Compton Cafeteria in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District—fighting police brutality and widespread discrimination. Compton’s, a 24-hour café, was especially popular with Trans folk who were intensely shunned by “standard” white gay male bars. Compton’s’ though, discriminated as well—getting a vicious police force to hassle patrons. One-night offended patrons fought back—3 years before New York’s famous Stonewall Riots—but drew no local “news coverage.” Photo by Gaylesf.

Add the racist, sexist and homophobic emails discovered flowing between SF’s department officials. Ironically much of this—rumbling in one of Americas most major metro areas—never finds primetime coverage by most national corporate network news.

And another thing is certain:

The LGBTQ scene (where Rob and I interact) definitely is overwhelmingly white—and absolutely dominated by white men.

So, given its bold reputation (and assassinated Supervisor Harvey Milk’s grab-the-ring legacy) expectation has San Francisco’s gays still leading the struggling vanguardupholding our radical “queer awareness advocacy”—nurturing general underdog “sensitivity.”

But gay millennials show quite the contrary:

Few champion such “pride” that links any defiance with social depth—and once bedazzling “queer” artistry (achieving mega scale that put our identified “gay mecca” on the map) is a scant memory. Raucous frivolity dominates inside what used to be historic LGBTQ rescue walls—social justice “networking” isn’t the rule.

After all, one of the cops implicated in that racist, sexist, homophobic email scandal—who quickly resigned—was a white male who is “openly gay.”

Thus, “survivor” gay male radicals—even after such vast gay male physical loss to H.I.V.must step out of today’s roiling human river to reclaim and resume LGBTQ social “progress”—its flow of incoming citizenry being ever more clogged by convention and illusionary privilege.

Captives being brought on board a slave ship on the West Coast of Africa (Slave Coast), c1880. Although Britain outlawed slavery in 1833 and it was abolished in the USA after the defeat of the Confederacy in the Civil War in 1865, the transatlantic trade in African slaves continued. The main market for the slaves was Brazil, where slavery was not abolished until 1888. Photo by Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images.

My friend Robyounger than me, but older than many of our “revelers”introduced me to Dr. Litwack’s work for a reason:

Rob knows my artistry, Afro “alternative” teaching and multicultural repair trail; he witnesses my public scrutiny of endless self-absorbed novices—often he grimaces.

Yes, I do care to chastise rampant shortsightedness (too many revelers make so obvious); their callousness totally minimizes the reality of our still being under sexist and racist attack. Here, ill-mannered interaction—so glorified (ironically by certain pop culture TV drag shows)—runs the gamut.

And youthful flippancy towards healthy gay male self-awareness breeds a cocky naiveté which draws my blistering ire—especially given the multitude of human histories “overlapping” here.

All make Rob’s gift of a study on Slavery’s chaotic legal ending much more special—and outright timely!

For one, I’d just begun rereading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (Doubleday, 1845, 124 pgs.). Plus, former Rep. John Conyers’ newly refreshed H.R.40. Slavery Reparations Bill getting its first sponsorship in 2018 by Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Leeis raising additional eyes gaining support from several 2020 Dem presidential candidates.

America and the Portuguese had the most cruel and barbarous form of slavery in the history of the world. Stock/photo.

Then this: modern U.S. white supremacy flaring so boldly stuns the unwary, showing it’s not diminished in the least, stoked by the reigning president—Trump’s brazenly declared “white terrorism” (amid world escalation) a nonexistent entity—these to name a few.

It’s strange that standard America conveys shock at supremacist outbursts—as it did with this president’s election—claiming perplexity.

But as we shall see, Litwack’s work verifies the “roots” of this phenomenonclearly exposing a perverse U.S. legacy’s ongoing reality:

Slavery’s soundly entrenched force “still” absolutely defines America’s entire social and economic machine—a thing simply not studied.

Veterans know that broader Black history is also not studied—including lies depicting a benevolent Confederacy (the heirs of which this country still massively “funds”); all are simply dismissed as novelty topics—or deemed “inconsequential.”

Neither subject is a curriculum “requirement.”

It brings me to a nitty-gritty item of gargantuan proportion—that has glaring consequences. Litwack clearly outlines this item’s “truth”—but the “analogy” I’ll use is my own. And its impact—being entirely linked to “slave legacy”—remains shrouded by U.S. textbooks as well:

An armed planter proudly poses with his belabored field slaves, consisting of men, women and children who worked mercilessly from sunrise to sunset. Stock/photo.

America is the world’s newest “test tube” society!

Our infant republic nation was virtually fashioned on a social “cooker”—carefully crafted and pressure managed over 500 years by her “up-and-coming” white aristocrats.

U.S. governors getting their unique chance to shape an “independent” labor force—exclusively benefiting them—flooded the national “cooker” with intent to absolutely yoke everyone.

In addition to African slaves “all” underclass would be chattel—excluded from upper ranks indefinitely; especially poor whites (who of necessity are kept constantly pounded by the ruling class) with racially superior notions—and not so as to end their own low-level wretchedness.

Stringent racist, hatemongering propaganda rained down to capture the souls of white populaces from before this country’s beginning. And U.S. aristocrats see poor whites as their perfect frontline “race” soldiers.

But if hate speech influence failed to win over the destitute white class “allegiance” a thing swiftly did the trick:

Clear-cut threats from law enforcement’s smoking gunbarrel.

A survival message from “the top” (saying you better take the correct side) thus drove poor whites to madly hit racist frontlines as noble guards in the name of wealthy white interests—virtually sabotaging themselves.

All of this (including my own metaphors that follow) is clearly illustrated in both Frederick Douglass’ and Litwack’s books:

Our legal framers kept up the necessary pressure to be “farsighted” (acting to lock-down their constantly fine-tuned American labor machine).

A white supremacist illustration depicting Christ leading the way, giving his blessing to horribly discriminating U.S. governing philosophy. U.S. founders worshiped Europe’s “radicalized Christianity,” perfect to usurp Christ’s humanitarian creed, justifying white supremacy—brutalizing the poor and enslaving Africans. Stock/illustration.

Organized “consensus” had lawmakers literally molding what could be called “tubes” of citizens—stacked in hierarchy segments—jerking them in line for that ruthless white allegiance “test”—white “privilege” locked solidly on top.

The “test” has whites accordingly undermining people who’re boxed into segments under them; in turn the more suppressed segments will house “tubes” of harried families; those families yield “tubes” of beleaguered individuals, etc…

This embroiled chain of social chaos aimed to strengthen white tycoon “monopoly”—keeping a fresh pool of strapped people who’re “desperate” for jobs—after which legal loopholes enabled the powerful to basically takeover any underclass entrepreneur’s “suddenly successful” business.

Shady economists gave it a name charged with benevolent “airs”:

The world knows it as capitalism.

And to cap it off aristocrats set a built-in “moral” contradiction—added to America’s “new”  social ideal:

The notion sayingthat all men are created equal—was fused with that age-old medieval European blueprint which justified repressing the feudal “serf” servant class—it was a slave-like standard. So, America’s new “morality laws” were crafted so that police “enforcement” and courthouse “decisions” was solidly based on this factor:

Religiously acceptable privilege.

“Self-praising” governors pumped the noble illusioncalling it a “democracy” (implying the nation’s destiny was “shaped”and its resources were accessed “equally”—by everyone). Instead, America was a “republic”—with democratic imaginings—whose political, economic and social “reality” would be strictly controlled by acceptable privilege.

This new “morality enforcement” flooded the New World “cooker” coast-to-coast:

It was clearly defined, brutal layers of omnipresent privilegewealthy; white; male; Christian; heterosexual; etc…Now, standard, decent hearts and minds became “morally” convinced to actually support ruthless, inhumane practices.

Marchers protest against the Black LGBTQ stratum being made disposable by every other abused social sector. Reports still come in about LGBTQ activists being discriminated against in certain Black Lives Matter Chapters. Stock/photo.

All was intensely fueled by media campaign “blitzes”—shifting the oppressed toward a new goal to achieve “social relief”:

The glitzy “lure” of upper crust lifestyles.

The new “American dream”—”life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness“—dangled the elite’s irresistible pipe material lifestyles over a destitute public. Throngs joined the fight to selfishly raise their own class status.

So, what was at first a “pipe dream” for everyone—of rising above servitude—became conveniently twisted:

To stringently maintain racial, gender and class discrimination as an accepted “proper etiquette.”

Here’s the tricky deal:

“Etiquette” revamped in that way becomes (for rulers) a nasty tool—it effectively dulls, or kills urgency in a public’s defiance against murderously corrupt authority.

“Proper etiquette” thus becomes nefarious—manners are now a weapon (acting like perfumed religion) to help make violently glamorized “greed” attractive. Discrimination treachery (flooding lawmaker decisions—and the “labor pool” climate) is now socially ethical—the “right” thing to do!

Of course governor’s knew “goodness” is proven as an inherent human spiritual element. They also knew a religious item in their medieval blueprint was readily available—a powerful, well tested, emotion grabber ingredient—taylored to specifically curtail benevolence:

It is colonial European “religion”—(I’ve actually coined) “radicalized Christianity.”

Radicalized is a term conceived and assigned by the West—but (strangely thus far) only toward “Islam.”

By definition “radicalized” people are this:

Those who’ve stripped out a peaceful, non violent moral creedreplacing it with notions that bestow their group with absolute “superiority” —which directly approves unbridled bloodshed and terror—now made mandatory as “God’s” law to “enforce” holy conversion.

Deeply embedded scars were a common identifier of a Black person who was, or had been enslaved. Stock/photo.

Ironically colonial America did just thatpulverizing Jewish founder “Joshua’s”or, “Christ’s”blazing inclusive humanitarianism.

Radicalized Christianity” is clever—it reorients vulnerable psyches, squeezing out humanity’s natural goodness. Thus, worshiping “whiteness,” white politic and its immoral structure became legally essential—with violent, murderous Christian pushback now being not only approved, but demanded—to tower over resistors.

Worshiping whites was easily wedded to our rising religious legal authority.

Colonial Christianity justifies stunting empathy, hospitality and loyalty to integrity—blurring lines that distinguish truth from flagrant fraud.

As such “radicalized Christianity” sabotages intimacydestroying one’s allegiance to protecting one’s self, or others—especially if they’re “outsider underdogs.”

And of monumental consequence:

It snuffs out the “Average Joe’s” desire to intellectually grow (people being convinced that the authoritative religion tells them all they need to know).

In effect our national “cooker’s” brutal climate is by far the biggest creator of American “social monsters”:

Families are literally convinced to violently attack and disgard their precious “own”—and people who would ordinarily be humane are utterly transformed.

Blacks were savagely crushed in at the “cooker’s” bottom. LGBTQ folkfinally climbing “out” of hiding in modern timesorganizing to be a viable societysqueeze in under Blacks. And the Black gay stratum remains crucified and jammed under all—ensuring we’d catch hell from all the rest.

Governing authority uses every major U.S. institution to enforce the hierarchy—dolling authority (and blaring vocal platforms) to systemic minions:

To force Blacks into legal slave like labor conditions, benefiting whites “after emancipation,” vagrancy laws were used to imprison and torture those who avoided going back to servitude on ruthless plantations. America’s modern industrial prison complex got its mega economic boom-start by incarcerating vast percentages of Blacks—Afro prison populations today still being extremely higher than other groups. John L. Spivak, a white investigative journalist, photographed this young boy in 1931, hogtied to a Seminole County, Georgia prison post (because he “sassed” a guard). Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes was commissioned by Spivak to pen the intro to Spivak’s 1932 novel “Georgia Nigger,” exposing the horrendous conditions Blacks suffered on chain gangs. But Hughes’ “intro” never made it into the book’s final cut.

Corporations, media airwavesminorities “selling out” their ethics—public schools being racism’s and sexism’s perfect conditioning factories.

In fact it was a demeaning 11th grade school experience that influenced young Leon Litwack’s dedication to a historian career—focused on Afro-U.S. social/political development.

Yet, Been In The Storm’s particular scholastic and characteristic nuances told me Litwack is white—I was correct:

Born in 1929 Santa Barbara to Russian Immigrants, raised in a Mexican immigrant “hood,” Litwack was diversity infused. A 2001 interview is revealing:

11th grade textbooks angered him, excluding his and people of color histories—only praising Anglo and Northern European. But Dr. W.E.B. DuBois’ book Black Reconstruction: An Essay Toward a History of the Part which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860-1888, awaited his discovery and became young Litwack’s brazen push back weapon.

Teachers openly hurled shame trying to discredit him, labeling Litwack a “labor supporter and political activist”—they were correct! Status-quo Santa Barbara’s institutions were “accidentally” turning this astute young man into a humanitarian radical.

Then a pivotal moment: a rousing progressive air caught Litwack’s senses and in 1948 he also followed that steady, legendary “Bay Area current” directly to U.C. Berkeley.

Fate soon struck when a friend’s dinner invitation added a surprise meeting with none other than Dr. DuBois himself—it catapulted Litwack’s chosen direction.

Professor Leon F. Litwack of the University of California at Berkeley. Stock/photo.

Earning a Ph.D. (1958) then teaching at University of Wisconsin (1958-64) Dr. Litwack returned to be ensconced in his radical nest—teaching at Berkeley (1965-2007).

Been In The Storm has a bottom-line—it shows Blacks unadulterated as topping the most socially oppressed.

Again, Litwack clearly subscribes to my own “test tube cooker” analogy—methodically illustrated by the book’s stark detailed revelations:

Spotlighted is emancipation at the Civil War’s end—the power rug being yanked from under Southern mega moguls. Now, conquered rich white kin must logically be penalized, Black “freedom” must be defined and poor whites need “placating”all need “incorporating.”

Already wedded to Southern systems desperate Northern winners restored the economy—by returning sadistic white Southern power mongers to run lucrative operations Northerners desperately desired—the same U.S. global economic power (and new aristocrats) that slavery had absolutely made.

Louisiana and Mississippi standout as the worse—conning, exploiting and savaging ill prepared new freedmen—in the name of “God.”

And Dr. Litwack pushes to thwart society’s creating “social monsters” (as Santa Barbara attempted with “him”)—re-instilling that urgency (so dulled by “the cooker”).

 

A 2017 Los Angeles Times cartoon.

He states that for “most students” his survey history course is this:

”Perhaps the only…course they will take…I have one chance…to engage them…to force them to see and to feel the past in ways that may be genuinely disturbing…how a study…may teach as many ironies…as it does clear lessons.”

Conyer’s H.R.40. Slavery Reparations bill given this light screams loud and clear—in the 21st century it makes total sense—with clearly practical ways (I’ll lay-out later).

And a thing regarding embryonic LGBTQ society—struggling to catch-up while being white male privilege dominated:

For gays who were not even deemed “worthy” of economic exploitation—instead being targeted for absolute extermination—reparations should absolutely be raised to the table (which I’ll also soon address).

White gay male privilege may not sense it, but for the LGBTQ social segment this same issue bares ear splitting validity—and does urgency that whites absolutely ignore here ever scream.

Keep it here readers, it’s going to get juicy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s