Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 12: Impudent Moralizers, Ill-conceived Mavericks And Glorified “Legal Setbacks,” Page 260.
“…patronizing public places…the most successful blacks invariably found themselves sitting in separate compartments with the least successful blacks. Color, not class, made the essential difference…”
“…some black spokesmen derived satisfaction from…former slaveholders trying to win …votes of former slaves [but] they did not minimize the seriousness…’They basely flatter us in order to better betray us,’ the New Orleans Tribune warned. ‘The deeper they bow, the more their detestation and desire for revenge are growing in their bosom.’”
“The beatings meted out to black voters, the assassination of black leaders, the intimidation of black candidates, and the breaking up of meetings suggested in 1867 …the techniques of terrorism that would be embellished in the next…years to expedite…emasculation of the freedmen.”
Been In The Storm So Long Chapter Ten: Becoming a People, Pages 522, 554 & 555.
Born into slavery in 1862 Ida B. Wells-Barnett became a teacher and journalist, writing for the Negro Press Association. A fierce anti-lynching campaigner Wells-Barnett stirred controversy when she advocated for Blacks to use violence against murderous white supremacists, also acquiring a gun herself for her own protection. Wells-Barnett had been run out of Memphis because of an article she wrote on a horrible lynching there.
Greetings savvy readers!
As predicted “white camp” legislators are coming out swinging—determined to keep a steady brew of Trouble in Black Paradise.
Senators Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum nervously watch as supportive public interest rises—so they’ve come out swinging. Their mission is clear:
Quickly shut down “mere thoughts” of slavery reparations in modern times.
Here’s their potent weapon:
Senators wrap themselves in a cloak of nobility, saying their position protects the public good; their authoritative images promote altruism—which is merely good “intent,” but false righteousness disguises what really fuels their aim:
An ugly belly of white supremacist rationale barely hides beneath.
These legislators represent that ongoing “changing of the guard,” modern elites gladly tending America’s old-time racial club. Camouflaged in nobleness is that McConnell and his likeminded are actually fired up to keep in place white upper crust financial and social advantage—following suit with their “new” hero Trump—that’s their real priority.
It’s classic political diversion and it has a strategy: keep white politic system of belief searing across the land—and thus expand armies of disenfranchised whites who’ll readily cooperate.
Centuries of race baiter misinformation have long primed socially spent poor white folks to rally, and do the dirty work. The poor “majority” will then hurl their bodies valiantly—hot to guard anti reparation frontlines—while the white “minority” sits back on its protected wealth and social control interests.
Thus middle and underclass whites continue sabotaging their “actual” advantage—which is to coalesce with “other” undermined people.
Instead they prefer buying into ancient Afro rejection rhetoric—in mass.
And these Senator’s are well groomed in the lingo of that ancient white rhetoric—so, using it to condemn reparations flies as is expected.
We’ve heard what McConnell said: the Civil War’s battle itself adequately addressed slavery; that President Barack Obama’s “election” is proof of sufficient results—the same Obama whose policies McConnell himself vowed to and effectively did block (including a Supreme Court nominee).
All say that modern whites (in essence their “tribe”) had nothing to do with slavery and are totally disconnected from it today. Santorum though presents a notion that’s absolutely disgraceful—but hardly shocking:
“Congress should have acted on this issue way back then!”
Santorum’s rant proves these governors either deceive us about not knowing the obvious, or care not to actually study critical American history—both being shameful positions; again, its bias cloaked behind innocence and used as “weapons” that promise the continuance of absolutely dire policies for Blacks!
It does show why their ilk are totally opposed to former Rep. John Conyers’ H.R.40 Slavery Reparations Bill: it would actually authorize that “study”—on the legislative level—examining the whole historical context, including what (if anything) would be appropriate compensation for today’s Afro heirs.
Santorum’s predictable focus is exactly why I carefully headed it off.
My last article put critical spotlight on General Sherman actually signing Special Field Order No. 15, better known as the “Forty-Acres” Bill. It was approved both by white Radical Republican legislators and President Lincoln—infuriating droves of supremacist lawmakers (see what determined the Bill’s content, how it came to be signed—and what killed it “right here”).
The core of the matter is exactly that which killed the bill—added the result that clearly slams Afro social catastrophe into modern times—key elements these Senators really hope to keep 21st century intellects detached from.
Then of course there’s McConnell’s potent backup arsenal—throwing the slave heir “authenticity card” into the fray, aimed to confuse noble minded citizenry—he says that it’s impossible to determine today just who should be awarded reparation:
McConnell asks “What about Blacks who have mixed ancestry? Plus there were free born Blacks who were relatively wealthy and owned slaves themselves—what about their heirs? And what about those who later emigrated here? Would they be eligible for reparations too—and why?”
The immediate answer is an unequivocal yes!
There’s a thing supremacist “logic” can successfully avoid when hurling white rhetoric at those who’ve not studied their own U.S. history: the emphasis on how Blacks were actually classified on the human scale—this as it relates to the puzzling problem of how they’d be reintegrated after emancipation.
The white majority raced to reinforce how they classified Blacks, openly barreling disdainful antebellum attitudes over the nation—flooding 19th century streets and media outlets—making their clear hopes obvious.
Professor Leon Litwack in his book Been In The Storm So Long notes there were many white Southern conventions aimed at reestablishing the South’s system. Litwack shares a white attendee’s comment:
“…’The niggers are having a convention, a’n’t they?…What do they want? Equal rights I suppose…Going to vote, be they?’ [After white Southern Reconstruction Conventioneers were] informed…[that] blacks [listing items they should gain with civic freedom] had been quite moderate…[and that] their principal demand…[thus far only sought] the right to testify in courts…[a white] delegate quickly replied, ‘No sir; they won’t get that. It wouldn’t do at all…The people won’t have niggers giving evidence. They’ll never get that. The people won’t have it.’”
Litwack also quotes ideals emerging in those concurring Black reconstruction conventions (Afro gatherings obviously causing huge fret for the white commenter above).
Henry McNeal Turner, a major emerging national Afro social organizer, clearly answers puzzled McConnell’s questions about reparations “qualifications” 153 years ago. In 1866 (shortly after President Johnson killed Field Order No. 15) Turner says this:
“We want representative men, without regard to color, as long as they carry the brand of negro oppression. We need power and intellectual equality with the whites. It does not matter whether he be a pretty or ugly negro; a black negro or a mulatto. Whether he were a slave or a free negro; the question is, is he a negro at all?…We want power; it only comes through organization, and organization comes through unity. Our efforts must be one and inseparable, blended, tied, and bound together.”
Again, Black leaders rising from slavery’s ashes weren’t stupid—nor were the populace constituents they spoke for—a populace consisting of newly freedmen, native free born and Afro emigrants (those Blacks traveling in the Diaspora who had more leeway to come and go).
These Black organizers knew the clear devastation areas—prophetically they knew the exact painful degenerating reality our future Afro communities would face—given setbacks directly tied to sabotaged reconstruction.
So in response to McConnell’s perplexity about where today we must begin—added who and specifically what social items reparations must target—leaders like Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Martin Delany, Ida B. Wells and Dr. W.E.B. DuBois already made this crystal clear:
We must resume enacting the very blueprint visionary Black reconstruction leaders themselves had begun.
Rev. Garrison Frazier had told Sherman and the Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton that the ideal reparation item—to most effectively enact civil and economic equality—would unquestionably be:
Designated land for total self-sufficiency—it’s the only means to ensure uplifting the Black “race.” Being beholden to whites will not achieve it.
When Sherman asked if Blacks wished to live within established white communities Frazier then dropped a bomb—the answer was a resounding no! (Only one of the 20 Black reps present said yes).
Blacks wished to have separate living communities combined with their own farmlands—for obvious reasons:
Black communities being plunked amid a majority white populace would leave them far more vulnerable—white power schemes to reclaim everything will be relentless; thus physical and psychological attacks from whites (including total containment) would be far more effective.
Again, Blacks back then prophetically knew whites could not be trusted! Sherman and Lincoln summarily agreed—Special Field Order No. 15 was thus signed into action!
The white majority conventions confirmed Black leader’s assessment—making absolutely clear their supremacist goals:
To prevent Black social equality on all levels; to prevent substantial or “collective” advancement up political and economic ranks; and totally “contain” all Afro communities—regardless of origin—or economic status.
Black populaces exist only to appease white power interests—into the unforeseeable future—period!
And let’s not forget a terrifying item for whites that legislators used as a stay-in-line weapon—one drop of Afro blood, no matter how white you looked, meant you were a “nigger” (subject to full persecution therein).
So, no matter what a Black social classification was—free born, freed slave, emigrant—or wealthy status (rich Blacks being the extreme minority, but whose monetary “buffer” was far more threatening to whites) all were under total white power persecution—and containment.
And all were subject to the whims of the lowliest white citizens as well—immunity from disenfranchisement (or lynching) not even being secured by Black upper crust status.
Thus in the 21st century every Afro sector (poor and LGBTQ folk clearly hit the worse) is damaged by slavery’s legacy—in one form or another—“injury” that can’t be dismissed, or taken for granted.
Today’s typical white mouthpiece attacks mean we can’t over emphasize just how clearly Blacks in 1865 saw the writing on the wall—they knew that 21st century folks like McConnell could not be trusted—and pesky reality would elude any Santorum radar. Today, we know verified history must be factored into any logical, genuine discussions.
So in review—to aid our confused legislators (and “arm” invested hopeful readers)—I spell out the following facts:
Rationale for starting reparations after emancipation was clearly thought out—its heartbreaking validity was utterly agreed upon. Concrete government steps were taken to set compensation in motion—this action was cut short and the entire Afro spectrum was thrown back to supremacist wolves.
As a result the absolute brutal crushing of Black inclusion and progress was compounded, mowing down freedom fighters over the next century—ongoing racial oppression legacy was confronted yet again by bloodied 1950’s Civil Rights protesters.
Hard fought for 1960’s Civil Rights and voting laws were enacted—not because white legislators or their majority populace agreed at the justice table—but because President Lyndon Johnson wrangled around their bigotry and resistance, winning “bills.”
Executive action made a thing very clear: that white politic still can’t be trusted—and will not give up the exclusive privilege fight!
Hence a “privilege” inheritance reality was made bonehead obvious:
White U.S. descendents after emancipation absolutely benefited in every social respect—due to the pervasive crushing of Afro communities and maintenance of Black monetary exploitation—control which continues thru this day!
As the entire “system itself” is the culprit—showing that (even wealthy) Blacks need protection from a domineering, unscrupulous, life threatening, racial profiling public majority—Federal action must be the source.
Therefore Afro reparation “action” will revisit those white systemic demons that keep stripped economic reward, thwarted opportunity (and stunted “spiritual growth”) ongoing—it will actually address the need for physical, mental and spiritual healing from centuries of unspeakable barbarity—nuances the entire country actually is in need of.
Now the crux:
Modern reparations must again target the specific areas reconstruction leaders identified—social equality and all inclusive Afro uplift—items governors abandoned with Radical Reconstruction’s elimination.
Today’s same areas (showing catastrophic setback) means America must pick up exactly where Sherman, Stanton, Frazier, Turner and the like, left off—adjusting their “blueprint” with contemporary situations.
Yet, a troubling question looms:
Can America’s Afro spectrum community today—being so culturally, emotionally and politically fractured—and riddled with “self-hate”—unify to actually implement Federally awarded reparations?
Keep it here readers!
I’ll be giving you earth shaking angles, showing you what action must look like—if it’s to succeed.
Foundations are about to rock! You don’t want to miss it!