Author Archives: adilifufundi

5: Illogical Jay-Z and Kanye shatter Reparation “Smartness”—Slavery’s legacy can’t be sold, or glamorized!

“Maybe…accommodating ‘Afro stars’ are satisfied with just comfortably ‘waiting’—so long as they get theirs

 

“Dr. W.E.B. DuBois recognized [America’s] cleverly induced self-absorption [because his students facing unprecedented Black opportunities in the late 1800’s] were already sated with the illusion of America’s solitary, ‘get rich chance’ mentality…

“DuBois’ prophetic admonishment…remains clear: this chance to economically advance must be about the ‘we, not the me!’”

 

Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 14: The Bible As A Weapon In The War On Gays, Page 295; and Chapter 18: Threads Of Mystery Lodged At The Seat Of Human Time, page 422.

 

 

“…black leadership…sharply divided over…removing disfranchisement from ex-Confederate leaders. To permit them to return to active political participation seemed like the best way to win [white power holder’s] approval…

“But the democratic propensities of black leaders in this respect would also prove to be their undoing…”

Been In The Storm So Long Chapter Ten: Becoming A People, pg. 526.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House.”

Audre Lorde; Sister Outsider, The Crossing Press Feminist Series (1984).

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED IMAGE:

Rap mogul Jay-Z and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell on August 14, 2019, celebrate signing their new deal.

 

Greetings revved-up readers!

Glamorously successful Blacks showing “Pied-Piper” charm lead their nationally demoralized kin to glitter—not bold “vision”—partnering supremacist weasels only ensures  the continued, sinister rise of mega Trouble in Black Paradise.

 

America has been abuzz with rapper Kanye-West’s display of steadfast love and adoring respect for Trump. Now, disastrous and bizarre affiliation continues.

Rap mogul Jay-Z’s made a mid August announcement that his company Roc Nation has formed a partnership with National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell; the same NFL where exclusively white owners clearly demonstrated modern day supremacist tactics—conspiring to not hire quarterback Collin Kaepernick.

Kaep of course drew their vengeance by consistently kneeling during the national anthem. Yet, his protest was not only against relentless systemic killings of unarmed Blacks—it also targeted another raging U.S. offense: Afro economic disenfranchisement.

Rap mogul Kanye West adores and hugs his role model #45 during an October, 2018 visit to the White House, in which veteran football player Jim Brown attended. Kanye has said he just “loves” the president, feels like “Superman” wearing his MAGA hat, and that they are “brothers” because they share “dragon energy.” Kanye’s also demeaned Afro-American legacy saying he believes slavery was a “choice” and he wants the 13th Amendment (which technically ended U.S. slavery) abolished. photo: Getty Images.

 

My first response is this:

Jay-Z has demeaned the absolutely valid idea of slavery reparations for today and distorted the “origins” of Radical Reconstruction’s clearly defined reparation intent—on a massive scale. The NFL deal gives the Black movement a grand slap in the face—a thing totally synonymous with slandering Black liberation “legacy.”

Blacks buzzing over this is of course most important.

Celebrity opinions in our society will obviously be given priority and placed first; some did immediately blister Jay-Z’s act, while defensive support from others was also sadly predictable.

But considering H.R.40 Slavery Reparations Bill finally finds renewed life—desperately seeking basic Black support—so many people waffling, being starry-eyed, or being totally conflicted here is troubling—especially since the Black populace (not rich celebrities) bears the brunt of attack.

So before delving into the back-and-forth banter too far I must first address a missing, yet glaring item:

No one is connecting today’s slavery reparations issue here—or even mentioning our Afro liberation “ancestors”—given their steadfast allegiance to Black people, their hard earned “insight,” their proven blueprint for how to “strategically” succeed—and their heart stopping sacrifices for us!

The earliest Afro slave abolitionists and reparation advocates understood (and faced) stark reality:

They knew their info starved public had a dire need to really understand just what essential Black social advancement (after Emancipation) even looks like; prophetically they also knew that in America’s raging, “long range” supremacist future—following guaranteed sabotage by diabolical whites—today’s dire need would absolutely be the same.

Current Black “celebrity” moguls profoundly muddle the truer concept of that social advancement. It’s one of many huge reasons I’ve started writing this series on modern reparations—breaking it down for the everyday folks who’re most affected—this article being the 5th.

The 1st article offers my urgent motivation—partly inspired by getting the gift of Professor Leon F. Litwack’s book Been In The Storm So Long: The Aftermath Of Slavery; this came on the heels of realizing Rep Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Tx) had newly sponsored H.R.40.

While with San Francisco’s 49ers Colin Kaepernick (at right) and teammate Eric Reid keel during the national anthem, protesting unarmed Blacks being killed by police and rampant Black disenfranchisement. Reid’s response to Jay-Z’s NFL deal was: “These aren’t mutually exclusive. They can both happen at the same time! It looks like your goal was to make millions and millions of dollars by assisting the NFL in burying Colin’s career.” Kaep’s girldfriend Nessa on her Hot 97 radio show said: “I don’t mind you doing a business deal – but I do mind you wrapping it in social justice when you’re working with an organization that denies someone an opportunity.” On Instagram Nessa posted: “It’s typical for the NFL to buy different PR looks to cover up their dirt – that’s nothing new. But what is disgusting and disappointing is Jay-Z let them use him.” photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images.

I’m an Elder with 45 years training in “alternative” education and social repair—I know a thing: greater society (including Blacks) is still being “bamboozled!”

Bias in standard U.S. public school curriculum persists. Neither Black history, nor slavery’s soundly entrenched force are required—none are actually studied—not even by most Blacks.

Discussions here limited to feelings, or speculation—not knowledgeable “facts”—trivialize the Black struggle. So in this series, showing the gutbucket facts about 19thcentury Radical Reconstruction’s disastrous 21stcentury impact, I’m matching Litwack’s goal:

 

“…to engage…[assisting the reader’s position to] see and…feel the past in ways that may be genuinely disturbing…how a study…may teach as many ironies…as it does clear lessons.”

 

I’ve fleshed out Reconstruction’s key details in earlier chapters (beginners see pt. 1) so here are essentials that make Jay-Z’s deal—and Kanye’s kid like fawning over a clearly defined, white supremacist tyrant male—so diabolical:

President Abraham Lincoln, General William “Tecumseh” Sherman and the white Radical Republican Senate (led by Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner) knew unmistakably the catastrophic depth of wrongs slavery inflicted upon Blacks—greatly assessing racism’s damage—physical, mental, material and spiritual.

Sherman met with 20 Black delegates (ex-slave Rev. Garrison Frazier being the Black populace spokesperson). Frazier made unmistakably clear Black folk’s basic intent after Emancipation—and what could make it happen:

Designated land for total self-sufficiency is the only means to ensure uplifting the Black “race.”

Total “social equality” is the absolute goal and being beholden to whites will not achieve it—in short, whites cannot be trusted.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Rap Mogul Jay-Z yuck-it-up last August, announcing their new deal in New York at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation headquarters. The deal has the rapper in charge of both the NFL’s Music and Entertainment and Social Justice Initiatives components (where Jay-Z will choose acts for the Super Bowl, general NFL entertainment events and choose which organizations receive grants for community work). Slapping Kaep and Black legacy in the face the rap mogul justified it by saying: “…I support protest across the board. We need to bring light to the issue. I think everyone knows what the issue is — we’re done with that…We all know the issue now. OK, next!” photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation.

Frazier speaks of Blacks (themselves) uplifting the entire Black race—not merely uplifting an “individual,” or segment.

Both free Blacks and slaves had already ingeniously proven their adept, highly diverse trade skills—and survival capabilities. Land taken from defeated Confederate traitors (who’re subject to execution) should be granted to Black families for farming, businesses and the like.

And here’s the matter’s crux:

Breaking the white stranglehold (or, monopoly) on Black labor is a must—it can’t be compromised.

Blacks cannot be allowed back into the exclusive clutches of sadistic former slave-owners—or white supremacist run economies—unmistakably pinpointing the “national” level.

In short, Frazier and his leadership colleagues (added Lincoln and the Senate’s Radical Republicans) were early advocates of this:

“Independent Black power.”

Yes, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, the Black Panthers and the like, got it right!

Black’s only insurance is to create vast, self-run work structures—giving Blacks plentiful alternative Afro markets to take their labor skills and expand upon their own network machine—a parallel operation governed under federal capitalist auspices—the very same way other ethnicities (and corporate interests) do for their own.

Lincoln (pushed by white Senate Radicals Stevens and Sumner) agreed and Sherman signed Special Field Order No. 15 issuing land designation into law—it actually happened (the “mule idea” came later).

Hence, like today’s Trump, incoming supremacist President Andrew Johnson honored the disgust of Southern governors (and the terror of Black economic “power”) killing the deal—returning mega profiting, but still hopeful Black bodies back into white power’s exclusive hands.

Robert Smalls was a highly skilled slave pilot, charged with operating the Planter, a Confederate military transport ship. In 1862 when white officers left the vessel in his charge Smalls successfully piloted it out of Charleston Harbor, picked up his and the other slave crewmen’s families, then fooled Confederate check points into allowing him to sail all into open water towards the Union’s clutches—gaining freedom for everyone. 1868 Reconstruction’s opportunity had Smalls serving in both of South Carolina’s legislative houses and the U.S. House of Representatives for three decades. In 1895 Smalls, who had collected reliable statistics (over that prior thirty years) presented a shocking accusation: “Since the Reconstruction times, 53,000 Negroes have been killed in the South.” Modern estimates had hugely underestimated the number of Blacks assassinated by whites (with assessment limited to between 1877 and 1968) and those calculated numbers covering 91 years added to a drastically lower 4,000 slaughtered souls.

The Afro social clampdown—likened to being bottled in a national “pressure cooker”—was solidly sealed. Blacks now having no available job alternatives got herded back under sadistic white power control—while their amassed, “expert” trade skill capabilities were suppressed nationally—diverse labor market resourcefulness being all but eliminated. Whites wanted Black laborers trapped in the fields.

But here’s the Afro fly in that white power ointment:

Emancipation, technically, couldn’t be reversed. Combined with the constitution’s theoretical “principles” freedom’s concept actually provided arsenal for future Black liberation gains—should some brave soul dare risk life and limb to fight for it.

Here, agents of white power were no fools—so what was their major pressing priority?

Sculpt the entire directional body of Black systemic life—to keep thorough, long-range white psychological (thereby white “economic”) control.

Having had over 200 years to fine-tune the economics of harnessing their Black chattel—using absolute “containment” through bloody physical beat down and mental shredding processes—whites tweaked the terminology. A “morally correct” look shrouded an unchanged system (with terms like Sharecropping, Separate But Equal, etc…) obscuring locked-in slave veracity.

And they didn’t stop there:

Capitalist prowess had whites finding new ways to themselves profit from Emancipation—creating slave spinoff industries—the Prison Industrial Complex rising as a prime, lucrative Afro community crusher.

When Dr. W.E.B. DuBois arose at the turn of the 20thcentury, owning his Black liberation leadership, rare higher education training joined an inherited “Black consciousness”—telling him stark reality:

Mental shredding campaigns by whites were thorough and tragically effective. Every aspect of the functioning system was at the disposal of white propagandists—Blacks now readily contained themselves.

Frederick Douglas had known far earlier that self sabotage “character” dynamics were created to overrun Black lives—and was no illusion:

Well groomed light skinned “house slaves” pitted against savagely debilitated dark skinned “field hands”; the creation of “Mammies” (bold, moralizing Black women defending white propaganda over their exploited kin); Uncle Toms (Black men selling out their own, protecting white value maliciousness to save their own skin); and most damaging of all:

Wealthy Blacks rigidly embracing white male power models for “ethics”—and brotherhood—staying exclusively dedicated to white power economies.

Then, add gangsta’ love.

It’s the very thing Kanye West and Jay-Z have done.

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was a poet, esseyist and nonfiction writer, who as a pioneer open Black lesbian in the 1970’s set her radical voice blazing on behalf of America’s ultimate disenfranchised sectors. In the 19th century “suffrage” tradition Lorde’s 20th century “social activist” pen and feminist speaking force unapologetically addressed issues of race, sexuality and gender identification, confronting and shaking up status-quo rules. Asked to speak at a white mainstream feminist event in the early 1980’s Lorde confronted white feminist racism and exclusivity, writing “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House.” This biting chastisement of the white feminist movement for using white male standards (as models for women’s liberation) also exposed the pitfalls of Black leadership using white patriarchal standards (as models for Black liberation); showing that white patriarchy models designed for superiority, exclusion and oppression cannot and will not deconstruct a sexist and supremacist system—only duplicate and reinforce it.

Blacks internalizing racist (or white “politic”) propaganda are the biggest obstacle in the battle to collectively “uplift!”

In fact whites had the perfect morality based weapon—guaranteed to kill Afro “allegiance” to Black lives (and distort incisive liberation ideals)—a weapon proven to successfully catch fire—to snuff out the self-protection properties found in Afro spiritual charge:

Europe’s “radicalized” colonial Christianity.

In his book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass—An American Slave, Douglass warns us:

 

What I have said…against religion I mean strictly…the slaveholding religion of this land…with no possible reference to Christianity proper

“…for between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference—so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked

To be the friend of one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other.”

 

Douglass knew the writing on the wall:

174 years following his bold declaration about what I call “radicalized” Christianity, clear factual reality would have a slave economy’s (and social reality’s) “vice grip” carving bloody trails of white politic treachery; endless “rationalization” and betrayal from legislators (and empty suit leadership) would charge right into the 21stcentury—where religiously groomed masses would still “buy” it.

Both DuBois and U.C. Berkeley scholar Litwack lay out how unresolved “reconstruction” fire could only slam against our contemporary doorstep—which it absolutely has done.

So I must ask: after all this time following reparation’s collapse, does no Afro populace see that locked-in systemic and mental corralling still has Blacks jumping through “hoops?”

The illusion of progress glitters, while aspiring Black laborers fight to get lucky—merely falling through cracks:

Well qualified folks alter self images to satisfy white values for treasured white corporate jobs (then find there’s no other Black presence); they bite tongues amid racist situations (and attacks) to keep those jobs; they remain stringently pitted against one another, but still act proud to become the first Black this’ and that’s (in age-old major industries)…

The demoralizing list is endless.

Such scenarios allowing kindred to fall through cracks under the illusion of progress soundly obliterates “vision!”

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) at left with Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902). Anthony is arguably America’s most famous “radical,” pioneer women’s suffrage activist, campaigning for total equality and the women’s right to vote—getting arrested often. Born into a Quaker family who were staunch abolitionists Susan’s early fierce campaigns for Black social equality set her blueprint for feminist strategy. The family hosted such notables as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. Her brothers Daniel Read and Jacob Merritt Anthony were rigorous abolitionists in their own right. Elizabeth Cady Stanton had set a “radical feminist” stage before Anthony and they became lifelong activist companions and friends. Both women had died before the 19th amendment’s passage in 1920 (giving women the right to vote) but it was named the “Susan B. Anthony Amendment,” honoring her legacy.

Here’s an analogy—I’ll use recent category 5 hurricane Dorian, which settled over the Bahamas for 2 days of concentrated destruction:

 

Another hurricane—known as “white supremacy”—has settled Afro containment genocide, Native ethnic cleansing and barbarous underclass economic piracy over America—for 500 years and counting.

Ravaging everything enclosed in its “pressure cooker” state, unbridled ferocity continues to spinoff the entire “free world’s” most debilitating elements (shoddy healthcare, the most inhumane prison system, underpaid job forces, divisive civic propaganda, rampant racism, sexism and homophobia, etc…)—maintaining turbulence built over centuries.

Supremacy’s wide “hypnotic eye” seeks to lull its victims—fooling them with glittery hopes—taunting escapees to sell-out for “self-interest” relief—an irresistible reward for joining the corrupt flow of its grand, altruistic machine!

Modern liberation voices (like Malcolm X, Dr. King, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Bayard Rustin, Harry Hay, Audre Lorde, Noam Chomsky, Dolores Huerta, and the like) joined ancestral forecasters (like Robert Smalls, Henry McNeal Turner, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells; Susan B. Anthony, William Lloyd Garrison, and the like) putting dents in those deadly winds.

All hoped to gain momentum for “everyone’s progress” (not select achievers falling through white power cracks) as they passed a shrewd baton—to us!

But supremacy’s mighty hurricane is intelligently settled—its patient forces able to wait out valiant resistance efforts—that eventually turn weary.

Citizens (Blacks being hit the worse) soon succumb to what forecasters call “hurricane fatigue” (a mixture of steady storm hits and near misses causing people to make terrible risks—drop their guards—try and “ride out” impossible situations—and merely hope for the best).

“White Supremacist Hurricane Fatigue” is diabolical:

Causing weary Blacks to lose a once unshakable foundation for cultural allegiance; it dulls vision for “collective” Afro advancement; and obliterates the importance placed on recipes for building resilient, Black independent economic structures.

Killed are key strategies set by our ancestors to withstand and escape the storm.

 

In this light the actions of Afro moguls Jay-Z and Kanye West show they wish to be part of that supremacist hurricane—joining “it”—not their ancestral forces.

And this critical fact:

America—staunchly dedicated to supremacy—robbed “both” the heirs of slavery and of free Blacks.

After Emancipation every resourceful Afro communal segment strode to join ranks (coming together in unprecedented “National Black Conventions”) owning responsibility to uplift everyone—leaving no child behind.

Reparations for Black Reconstruction were absolutely legitimate, geared to set-up Blacks as total equals in society—charting an independent, self-sufficient Afro economy under the auspices of American capitalism—added equal representation on the local, state and national levels.

In short, it’s called “Black Power”—wielded by a horrendously victimized people who the likes of Lincoln, Stevens, Sumner and Sherman trusted to exercise fairly—and with integrity.

Young mogul rapper Lil Wayne was discovered by rapper Birdman (both now embroiled in a multimillion dollar lawsuit) in 1995, rescuing him at age 12 from a notoriously violent, poverty stricken New Orleans housing project. Wayne, courting extremist, white patriarchal narcissism to ignore his “roots,” literally boasts of being disconnected from Afro ancestral legacy and the plight of Black people. In a Linsey Davis interview on Nightline Wayne’s response when asked about Black Lives Matter was, “… I am a young black rich motherfucker. I’m a nigga. I don’t know what you mean, man. Don’t come at me with that dumb ass shit, ma’am. My life matter…especially to my bitches. I don’t feel connected to a damn thing that ain’t got nothin’ to do with me.” And in a previous Fox Sports 1 interview by Skip Bayless Wayne said he didn’t believe racism exists because, “…I have white fans!” Blacks though, still help keep his concerts sold out. photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

And to contradict “Moscow” Mitch McConnell’s blatant cover-up:

Today’s white heirs of Northern and Confederate soil absolutely enjoy the mountainous spoils of sabotaged Black Reconstruction—a thing predicted by 19thcentury progressives trusting their own senses—white politic is a supremacist fabric and its cunning, dogged leadership cannot be trusted!

Black people are not disposable and this relentless treatment must immediately end—period!

For Afro-Americans to distort, or trivialize Black “legacy” (even accidentally) is to slander one’s own legacy in the Black movement.

And yes, Black populations have the absolute duty to detect and hold sellout moguls accountable (entertainers or whomever) right where it may only get their attention—at the polls and in the pocket book.

So, what causes the Kanye’s, Jay-Z’s, Dennis Rodman’s, Lil Wayne’s, etc…to make flagrant sellout decisions?

What moves them to align with supremacist, dictatorship “values”—instead of those who clearly risk all that glitter and high living glory promoting Black justice—like a steadfast Colin Kaepernick?

My Old School term calls it “oppression sickness.”

But another social justice warrior and scholarly veteran coined the perfect term—she is Dr. Joy DeGruy and she calls it:

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.”

Keep it here readers!

The breaking-it-down heat is about to rise!

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Jews slam AOC, but “others” were in Nazi camps—now being ignored as usual.

“… into the deep annals of Black antiquity…Fellasha Hebrew Village…report that the horrible treatment of Black Jews in modern Israel forced their beleaguered immigrants to prematurely return back to Ethiopia…”

Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 2: A View From The Cradle Of Civilization, Page 41.

 

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

By Martin Niemöller: an early version of “First They Came” (about 1946).

Martin Niemöller was a former German U-Boat Commander who became a Lutheran Pastor. At first he supported Hitler and the Nazi’s 1933 rise, thinking it would solely rally Germany’s socially and economically beleaguered country.

But Niemöller denounced Hitler by 1934, correctly seeing him as a racist, bloodthirsty dictator. It got him sent to prisons that included Dachau—Allies finally released him in 1945.

Niemöller wrote “First they came” as an indictment of cowardly German intellectuals and Protestant clergy who turned a blind eye to brutal Nazi philosophy, persecutions—and the inhumane containment that blossomed into Nazi Death Camps.

Gaining international stature as a spokesman for postwar German repentance Niemöller would consciously modify his poem to include persecuted groups relative to wherever he spoke.

 

Featured Photo (at top):

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a rally at Howard University May 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Sunrise Movement held an event for the final stop of the “Road to a Green New Deal” tour to “explore what the pain of the climate crisis looks like in D.C. and for the country and what the promise of the Green New Deal means.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

 

Greetings savvy readers!

Trouble in Black Paradise sees longtime cultural bedfellows (known advocates for people of color) in a bizarre wrangle—pundits placing priority on their own badge of oppression.

 

Voices lashing out intending to protect Jewish cultural interests have instead squandered a powerful opportunity.

While freshly primed ICE agents subject the nation to terror, now launching more public raids, fallout from another quite publicized brouhaha still has many shaking their heads.

“Corporate media” had wasted no time sensationalizing claims that Jews cry foul—zeroing in on comments made by firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) popularly noted as AOC.

AOC already had joined a long official line condemning the government’s way of handling recent Central American “refugees” who continue surging toward the border—men, women and children specifically fleeing murderous conditions and hopelessly corrupt homeland officials.

We’ve all gotten ongoing details of severe maltreatment by border officials—seen the images in reports:

Children no matter how young separated from parents (kids now scattered across the country and lost in a vacuum).

Central American refugees fleeing violence and government corruption are caged on the U.S. border indefinitely, in inhumane conditions by the Trump administration.

People crammed in hugely overcrowded cages, denied basic services, languishing in disease infested conditions—people of all ages actually dying in virtual captivity—waiting for what’s supposed to be limited time in standard process procedure.

Widely under reported is the “natural disaster” conditions refugees are also fleeing—widespread flooding and famine. And now there are reports of sexual abuse by officials at a Yuma, Arizona border setup. Heinous situations only get worse.

So what was AOC’s horrendous offense?

This past June she dared to declare that Trump’s border setup was no less than “concentration camps”—tagging it with the slogan “never again!”

Push back response was immediate!

Those reacting implied that the entire Jewish Diaspora was horribly insulted—using the term “concentration camps” was deemed so offensive that the actual current inhumane treatment of vulnerable Hispanic escapees was suddenly jettisoned to the backseat.

It’s well worth pausing here to let this soak in:

Journalism that had prioritized commenting on the “life and death” circumstances of desperate exiles fleeing for their lives (now being severely maltreated at U.S. borders) got totally commandeered—these exiles are escapees who are currently being inhumanely corralled.

Journal urgency instead shifted, rushing to blow up accusations that Jewish pride has been wounded—simply because holocaust sentimentality around a “term” was ignored.

On July, 15th, 2019 a press conference was called by four new Democrat Congresswomen of color. From left: Reps Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts are famously known as “The Squad.” One by one all reproached Trump for his continued racist attacks that single them out (he continues suggesting that they “go back to the countries they came from”). All were born in the U.S. except Rep Omar, who became a citizen after immigrating here as a child. The Squad continues to upend Trump by exposing his racist, sexist and elitist policies, which he cannot legitimately defend. (Ironically Black Jews who migrated to the newly created “State of Israel” in the 1940’s couldn’t overcome the wall of racism awaiting them there; horrendous treatment forced them back to Fellasha Hebrew Village deep in ancient Ethiopia.)

Corporate media grabbing and running with the ball can’t be taken lightly—their action gives emotional credibility to any attention grabber’s claims to “high crime offense”—and it’s enough to hijack any show.

Here’s the first insidious dynamic in this situation that shouldn’t be missed:

To give burning weight to someone’s assumed emotional insult—when that insult incorrectly pushes aside another’s clearly tragic matter—actually gives the false accuser authority to do harmful judgment on the stricken group’s tragedy.

Legislators, clergy—and others of great “influence”—using the same insidious tactic should ring clear memories into the minds of many groups still battling severe oppression:

Unarmed Blacks killed by cops, people of color in general, the LGBTQ spectrum fending off “radicalized” Christian attack (Black trans folks catching it at the bottom) and historically someone else—Jews.

Response impact is never as great (if noticeable at all) when “the oppressed” turns the situation around—to actually hurl valid accusations of “high crime offense” towards higher ups—including the media itself.

So did media sources address concerns from “credible” Jewish reps, or merely fan the flames of distraction from trolling right wingers in disguise?

And is the basis of all the upset itself “credible?”

Responding to AOC the group Never Again Action (NeverAgainAction.com) which is Jewish based began launching national demonstrations at ICE headquarters—including businesses outsourced by ICE (like GEO Group) that operate detention facilities. In July and August campaigns blocked sites in St. Paul, Mn., Portland, Maine and Los Angeles—scores of protesters being arrested.

But another journalist’s immediate response verified my own suspicion: that conservative trolling  media interests are at work here—with some of those forces actually working from within.

Rep AOC addresses deplorable, inhumane conditions that cage Central American refugees at America’s southern border. At her left is Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-Tx) twin brother of and campaign manager for Democratic Presidential Candidate Julian Castro.

Jewish historian Anna Lind-Guzik wrote a June 20th article specifically addressing this uproar.

Lind-Guzik’s immediate headline point is that calling those U.S. border detention centers concentration camps…“isn’t just accurate. It’s necessary.”

As the author makes many powerful points and observations she pointedly addresses condemnation of AOC made by the Holocaust memorial in Israel—Yad Vashem.

Irony here is pointed out in Yad Vashem’s own materials which make it clear “…that concentration camps for undesirables, including Jews, Poles, Communists, gay people, and Roma, opened in 1933, while the death camps were opened starting in 1941.”

Lind-Guzik says Yad Vashem’s illogic continues since it…“embraces visitors like Viktor Orban, the anti-Semitic, ethno-nationalist Hungarian prime minister”—it’s a startling contradiction.

Child refugees separated from their families and caged like animals at America’s southern border.

Blatant U.S. right winged outrage did come from the mouth of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) daughter of none other than the notorious Dick Cheney—Dick guided many a Republican president whose administrations were riddled with human rights violations.

Liz actually said AOC needs to take a history lesson (this in the face of her father Cheney calling torture “enhanced interrogation”).

And of course Harvey Levin of TMZ used his official “Jewish card” when he summarily rejected AOC.

Levin with great irony (as an “openly gay” celeb) has shown highly conflicted response to issues of LGBTQ abuse. He also gets constant scrutiny from Black co-host Van, demonstrating regularly a position more aligned with privileged white male club response.

Levin wouldn’t even concede when admitting to his guest George Takei that the historical context of concentration camps technically applies. Takei (of Star Trek fame) was compelled to speak out for AOC—having himself been subjected to Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.

Says Takei:

“I know what concentration camps are…I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again.”

Actor and social activist George Takei (Lieutenant “Sulu” of Star Trek fame) joins me after attending a political event at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre. Our poignant conversation had Takei sharing his experience when he and fellow actress Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek’s Lieutenant “Uhura”) joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to participate in dangerous Southern Civil Rights demonstrations. Takei enthusiastically accepted my book, “Trouble In Black Paradise,” which chronicles my early Black LGBTQ organizing to create “safe space”–caught between extreme white gay community racism at one end and brutal Black community homophobia at the other.

 

Takei continued:

“At least during the internment, when I was just 5 years old, I was not taken from my parents…At least during the internment, my parents were able to place themselves between the horror of what we were facing and my own childish understanding of our circumstances.”

Hearing this Levin still dug-in—relentless!

Levin loved that the term “concentration camps” was sensationalized—in modern times—to exclusively be applied to Jewish “death camps.” Ownership of it was what Levin actually drooled over—admitting the novelty itself is what “he” didn’t want to give up!

Did Levin and Liz Cheney miss history lessons revealing that clergy, communists, trade unionists, gypsies, Poles, people with physical deformities, or mental illness, and “others”—especially homosexualswere also in those “camps”—with Jews placed atop a macabre type of hierarchy there?

Martin Niemöller was a German Lutheran pastor—one of the first, ending up in Dachau.

Are any of these “other” groups scrambling to lay highest claim to that term concentration—rejecting so-called lesser identifications—to boost a tragic “badge-of-honor?”

Obviously Jews still get the hierarchy’s priority spot in Levin’s and Cheney’s judgment as none of the “camp’s others” even warranted their mention.

This raises the second insidious dynamic:

Under the banner of defending the need to still confront unresolved discrimination—or even acquiring “things” once totally kept out of reach—how terribly easy it is for a brutally persecuted group to succumb to classic ego mania.

A chart hangs at Dachau Nazi Death Camp designating the specific symbols that are attached to specific segments of prisoners. Jews at the hierarchy’s top wore a “yellow star.” All others wore triangles: brown for gypsies; red for political prisoners; green for criminals; blue for “immigrants”; purple for Jehovah’s Witnesses; and black for asocial people (including “lesbians”). Homosexual men–the lowest and most brutalized of all–wore the “pink triangle.”

Elevating one’s “badge of oppression” over others who are in the same boat smacks of behavior born from another classic set-up: it is “dog-eat-dog” reaction (better known as “divide and conquer”)—an age-old tactic employed by those who have the power, or opportunity to oppress.

It’s the very tactic employed by Nazis dividing and classifying groups in those “camps.”

Time and observation verifies that “oppressed and damaged people will oppress and damage others.” Varied examples abound:

White women’s lib excluding women of color; Blacks passed over for “lighter” people of color; white gays snubbing the general Civil Rights movements; Blacks condemning and excluding LGBTQ’s from the Civil Rights table, etc…

Yes, it’s important to identify just who is at the very bottom—the purpose is to recognize the most vulnerable “realities,” so as to target the emergency crisis areas of those that need priority relief; and to end damaging patterns that make us blind to the vulnerable who are among us (tools that help with thwarting the enslavement ploys of powerful aristocrats and “legislators”).

Thus the challenges of being under attack become the impetus for oppressed people to “unify.

But first and foremost the goal of persecuted people is to heal!

Recognizing one’s own brutal past and reviewing current persecution challenges is the starting point in the healing process—not the stepping stones to build on empty ego “bragging rights.”

Homosesual prisoners at the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, wearing pink triangles on their uniforms. December 19, 1938. photo by Corbis/Getty Images.

Healing the many types of wounds from oppression is always the ultimate goal. Being stuck on the need to be the biggest victim indicates something that’s very tricky:

It implies not only that people have not healed, but that celebrating in the euphoria of “victimization” has become the real goal.

Hence, a third insidious dynamic—the powerful opportunity squandered by Jews attacking AOC:

Jews who genuinely fight to keep “death camps” from existing ever again (starting in America) would make broadcasting this crucial goal far more powerful by actively seeking alignment with Hispanic refugees—people concentrated by Trump in those inhumane border detainment camps—period!

All the dastardly ingredients are stewing there: violation of written policy; separation of families; containment in isolation; denial of standard provisions; and the recipe item congealing it all—criminalizing legal refugees.

But most troubling is this:

I neither heard, nor read of any Jews (who loudly decried AOC) making reference to U.S. white nationals marching on the University of Virginia campus, carrying “tiki” torches (KKK style) chanting among other things, “Jews will not replace us”—as recent as 2017!

White nationalists march on the University of Virginia in 2017, carrying “tiki” torches KKK style and chanting slogans that included, “Jews will not replace us!” Nazi salutes and symbols were prevalent as they rallied against the removal of Confederate statues.

Was this not alarming enough for all Jews to see—as a sign of ominous reemerging stages—building on the diabolical situation brewing at our border?

It only makes sense that conservative, “right winged” Jewish factions are those who join republican trolls—distracting from “brown people” being caged like animals—claiming injured Jewish sentimentalities rise above other persecuted people’s mirrored plight.

Lest we not forget who Trump’s biggest Middle East supporter and personal fan is:

Extremist, right winged Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel recently reelecting “Bibi” the tyrant (who is plagued by corruption) for a record fifth term—who vows to quash any recognition of legitimate Palestinian self-governing homelands (and Human Rights)—speaks volumes about Israel’s “social fabric.”

The civilized world  sees an age-old Palestinian civilization—being governed unlawfully and brutally contained by Israel—as a crime against humanity; let alone Israel’s own appalling racial hierarchy that keeps other “migrants” from the Jewish Diaspora locked in line there—European Jews riding high privilege at the top.

A July 12, 2019 Oakland, CA protest and rally calling for the closure of southern border concentration camps and returning humane treatment to Central American refugees. photo by Marilyn Bechtel/PW.

Now, brown people being locked in U.S. border cages, with standard refugee policies again coming under methodical attack, are caught in repeated history:

Central Americans have been seen by Jews and right wingers as being “others”—the same invisible plight given to the “others” who also succumbed in those Nazi death camps.

But we do know this:

Progressive Jews are already loudly aligned with oppressed peoples—rallying on the human rights frontlines—working to ensure a thing:

That grassroots Hebrew do absolutely recognize the basic steps leading to potential holocaust; they know that many groups have and any group can experience holocaust reality—and it’s a perspective that won’t be hijacked.

“Never again!”

 

4: McConnell crew out swinging against Reparations—but force of history can’t be beat!

“…even the ‘poorest’ whites held tremendous power and sway over the most influential Blacks…”

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.

 

Feature image:

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.

White nationalists march at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in August, 2017, proving that vast numbers of racists still lurk in America’s underbelly. Protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee these Nazi affiliated racists carried torches KKK style, chanting “white lives matter,” “blood and soil” and “you will not replace us” before a fight broke out with counter protesters. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed the next day when white supremacist James Fields slammed his car through a crowd of anti racist protesters. Fields was recently sentenced to life in prison for the incident.

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.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, speaks during a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in Washington. Rep. Lee assumed sponsorship of H.R.40 Reparations Bill in 2018 after Rep. Conyers stepped down. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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?”

Mohammed Ali ben Said was born as a Muslim in the Sudan in the 1830’s. Captured into slavery as a teenager Said was carted off to Turkey. Given as a gift to a kind new owner Said was taken all over Europe where they eventually landed in England. Baptised a Christian the now free Nicholas Said immigrated to Canada and moved to Detroit. When the Civil War broke out Said joined the 55 Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (one of the first battle ready Black regiments). After the war Said settled somewhere in the South, disappearing from noted history.

 

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 emerged as a major national Black organizer before and after emancipation. President Lincoln appointed Turner as the first Black Union Army Chaplain in 1863. Greatly involved in Reconstruction Turner became friends with Congressman Thaddeus Stevens and Senator Charles Sumner who led the Radical Republican faction. Founding two newspapers, “The Voice of Missions” and “Voice of the People” Turner also was a supporter of American Blacks relocating to Liberia, West Africa.

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:

Fiery Thaddeus Stevens (PA) HOUSE and Charles Sumner (MA) SENATE led the Radical Republican faction, that had advocated for slavery’s end and full equal rights for Blacks long before the Civil War. Radical Republicans fought President Andrew Johnson and got Radical Reconstruction implemented, giving Black men access to positions of political power that lasted a mere 10 years before supremacist policies brought it crashing to and end.

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!

Born in Jamaica Marcus Garvey immigrated to the U.S. in 1916 where he fought injustice waged against Blacks. Founding the Universal Negro Improvement Association (which grew to some 4 million members) he also founded “The Negro World” newspaper. Garvey pushed for Blacks to re gain social/economic control of Africa, creating the Black Star Line Shipping Co. to achieve that goal. He was finally brought down by J. Edger Hoover, did some prison time, then eventually relocated to London, England where he died in 1940 at age 55.

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.

Killings of Transgender women are on the rise. As of July, 2019, 14 Transgender women have been murdered nationally. Muhlaysia Booker was found shot to death in her car one month after being beaten by a mob at an apartment complex, which had broken her wrist and given her a concussion. 24 were murdered in 2018 (that were actually reported).

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 outits 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.

From left: Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and organizer Bayard Rustin (openly gay architect of the 1963 March on Washington and major advisor for every Civil Rights leader of his time) march in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, kicked-off by Rosa Parks’ refusal to relinquish her bus seat.

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.

The “Frisco Five” hold a press conference during their hunger strike at San Francisco’s Mission District Police Station, calling for then Police Chief Greg Surh’s resignation due to ongoing killings of unarmed Bay Area citizens. Surh eventually resigned. May 12, 2016. photo by Adilifu Fundi.

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!

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!

Trouble in Black Paradise shows an insidious U.S. heritage yields modern social disaster.

 

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 Professor Leon F. Litwack, presented in scholastic review.

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.

Staying true to our Bay Area mystique—its tone still offering a legendary climate (that does raise radical take-charge social warriors and rallies to create diverse protective havens)—both the world and our country continues to keenly eye this landscape.

Counterculture hopefuls (of all ages) leave hometowns to follow their hearts—hustling especially out of America’s own broader places—riding that hugely enticing current to seek rare shelter—said to be found along reknown San Francisco Bay.

Here, those migrating refugees struggle to abandon the rigidly locked psychological and political mentalities of their origins, while bringing their own human depth that inspires—and they include white folk.

The Bay Area though, does also foster extreme conservative elements that cling to antiquated white cultural attitudes and classic white power beliefs—especially seen in the murderous acts waged against unarmed citizens by police (receiving no legal consequence) and in racist, sexist and homophobic emails discovered flowing between department officials.

Ironically most of this—in one of Americas most major metro areas—never finds its way into coverage by most dominant national “corporate tv news.”

San Francisco’s LGBTQ society is overwhelmingly white—absolutely dominated by white men. It’s a community that by its nature (and assassinated Supervisor Harvey Milk’s grab-the-ring legacy) should be leading the vanguard when it comes to awareness advocacy—and sensitivity.

But gay mainstreamers show quite the contrary. Hoisting pride that would parade their depth  (beyond entertainment thrills that now bounce raucously inside what used to be historic LGBTQ rescue walls) isn’t common; gays touting an interest in social substance 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, radicals pushing to reignite progress here must step out of today’s roiling human river—a flow of citizenry that’s being ever more clogged by convention, conformity and 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)

Rob is a bit younger than me, making him generations older than many in our LGBTQ hang out space. He’s familiar with my artistry, Afro “alternative” teaching and multicultural repair trail; he witnesses my public sensitizing and schooling self-absorbed novices—often he grimaces.

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

And LGBTQ 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.

It makes Rob’s gift of a study on U.S. Slavery’s chaotic legal ending all the more special—and outright timely!

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

For one, I’d just begun rereading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (Doubleday, 1845). 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.

Then this: white supremacist air once again 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 conventional America conveys shock at supremacist outbursts—as it did with this president’s election—claiming perplexity.

Amplified here is consequential reality:

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

Nor is a broader Black history—including lies depicting a benevolent Confederacy (that this country still “funds”); they’re simply dismissed as a novelty—or deemed “inconsequential.”

Neither subject is a curriculum requirement.

It brings me to a nitty-gritty item of gargantuan proportiontotally linked to “slave legacy” with glaring consequences—while being absolutely shrouded 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.

America is the world’s newest “test tube” society—an infant republic nation turned into 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” economic labor force—exclusively benefiting them—flooded the national “cooker” with intent to absolutely yoke.

In addition to African slaves “all” underclass would be chattel—excluded from upper ranks indefinitely—especially poor whites (who are incessantly pounded with racially superior notions—for many reasons).

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

If hate speech influence failed to win over the white underclass clear-cut threats from the bloodied sword swiftly did the trick; a survival message from the top (saying you better take the correct side) thus drove poor whites to madly hit the frontlines as noble guards in the name of wealthy white interests—virtually sabotaging themselves.

Our framers (acting to fine-tune their envisioned American labor machine) literally molded what could be called “tubes” of citizens—stacked in hierarchy segments—jerking them in line for a ruthless “test”—white “privilege” locked solidly on top.

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

This embroiled social chaos aimed to strengthen white tycoons—so they gave it name charged with benevolent “airs”: capitalism.

And to cap it off aristocrats fused a truly American social ideology (“…that all men are created equal”) with an age-old blueprint from their medieval European motherland:  they crafted “morality laws” based on privileges and flooded the New World “cooker” coast-to-coast:

Clearly defined were brutally enforced layers of omnipresent privilegewhite; male; wealthy; Christian; heterosexual; etc…where standard, decent hearts and minds became “morally” convinced to actually support ruthless, inhumane practices—all fueled by the glitzy “lure” of upper crust lifestyles.

The new “American dream”—”life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”—dangled irresistible possibilities (over a destitute public) of raising their class status. But that “dream” became conveniently twisted—to now include social and class discrimination as an accepted “etiquette.”

Here’s the tricky deal:

“Etiquette” revised in that way becomes (for rulers) a nasty tool—it effectively dulls, or kills urgency in public defiance against murderously corrupt authority. “Good etiquette” thus becomes nefarious—manners are now a weapon (acting like perfumed religion) to help make violently glamorized “greed” attractive—treachery (flooding a “labor” pool) is socially ethical.

Governor’s had to know “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 grabbing ingredient—taylored specifically to curtail benevolence:

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

A white supremacist illustration depicting Christ giving his blessing to 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.

Radicalized (strangely thus far) is a term  given by the West only to Islam.

By definition “radicalized” people are those who’ve stripped out a peaceful, non violent creed, replacing it with notions of their group’s “superiority” —a privilege that specifically o.k.’s unbridled bloodshed and terror—and offered as “God’s” conversion enforcement.

Ironically colonial America did just that:

Pulverizing Jewish founder Joshua’s (or, Christ’s) blazing humanitarianism “radicalized Christianity” is clever—it redesigned vulnerable, goodness based psyches. Thus, worshiping whiteness, white politic and its immoral structure—with violent, murderous Christian pushback now approved and towering over resistors—was easily wedded to America’s rising religious legal authority.

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

As such “radicalized” Christianity sabotages intimacy, destroying 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” brutality is by far the biggest creator of social monsters—utterly transforming those who would ordinarily be humane—literally convencing families to violently attack and disgard their precious “own.”

Blacks were savagely crushed in at the “cooker’s” bottom—LGBTQ’s (finally climbing “out” of hiding in modern times, organizing to be a viable society) squeeze in under Blacks; and the Black gay stratum remains crucified and jammed under all—ensuring we’d catch hell from all the rest.

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.

Governing authority uses every major U.S. institution to enforce the hierarchy—dolling authority to systemic minions: corporations, media airwaves, ethically “sold-out” minorities and 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 he 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 Litwack’s brazen push back weapon.

Professor Leon F. Litwack of the University of California at Berkeley.

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 to enter U.C. Berkeley. Fate soon struck when a friend’s dinner invitation brought a surprise meeting with none other than Dr. DuBois—it catapulted Litwack’s chosen direction.

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

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

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 victors restored the economy—by returning sadistic white Southern power to run lucrative operations Northerners desperately desired—the same new aristocrats and global U.S. power 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.”

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. Hughes’ “intro” never made it into the book’s final cut.

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”). 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).

A 2017 Los Angeles Times cartoon.

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 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 segment this same issue bares ear splitting validity—and does ignored urgency here ever scream.

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

3: U.S. Slave Legacy thrives today—given “Forty-Acre” Reparation was no fluke!

“…slums, projects and ‘low income’ housing—in short the Black ghetto—is a direct descendent of U.S. slave quarters; Black slums…descend directly from enclaves and territories easily trapping Blacks through political/economic (and ‘red lining’) exploitation…”

Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 12: Impudent Moralizers, Ill-conceived Mavericks And Glorified “Legal Setbacks,” Page 260.

 

 “On May 29, 1865, President Andrew Johnson announced his Proclamation of Amnesty, whereby most former Confederates were to be pardoned and recover any of their lands which might have been confiscated or occupied.”

Been In The Storm So Long Chapter Eight: Back to Work: The New Dependency, Page 404.

 

 

Featured image: Rev. Ulysses Houston, 9th pastor of Third African Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia and one of 20 Black ministers who met with General Sherman. After Sherman signed Special Field Order No. 15 Houston led 1,000 freedmen to claim lands on Skidaway Island where he became the “Black Governor.” During Radical Reconstruction Houston was elected to Georgia’s legislature, eventually introducing a bill that established Savannah State University.

 

Greetings savvy readers!

America’s self praise locomotive chugs along—fully fueled to stir up Trouble in Black Paradise—an honesty our U.S. heritage carefully avoids.

 

Books like U.C. Berkeley Professor Leon F. Litwack’s Been In The Storm So Long: The Aftermath Of Slavery certainly bring emotional difficulty—understandably for anyone.

Harper’s Weekly illustration depecting a Freedmen’s Bureau official protecting newly freed slaves and free Blacks (seeking social equality) from ruthless, cunniving Southern white power forces. By A.R. Waud. July 25, 1868.

But for Blacks today the subject is especially an excruciating read and Litwack’s presentation is no exception. Slave reality laid out so starkly shows why this matter makes Afro-Americans become so unhinged; and why older Blacks in particular—when the 21st century is supposedly so historically removed—still staunchly avoid revisiting slavery’s gruesome operation details.

Communities are still hard pressed to calm angry temperaments; aggravation is never allowed to settle because modern bigotry attacks still hit from anywhere—notably by malicious police. Thus emancipation’s “period in review” easily opens old wounds—slamming insult into a legacy of ongoing injury—uncorking humiliation that’s so carefully bottled—reviving dread that shatters any brief comfort zone illusions.

All are nasty residuals sabotaging Afro-America’s urgency to study—and thoroughly understandslave legacy‘s nuts and bolts:

156 years later Blacks are still haunted by the air of absolute powerlessness—community conditions have hardly changed.

A San Francisco community press conference on the steps of the Criminal Courthouse calling for Cops who’ve murdered unarmed Bay Area citizens to be tried and convicted. October, 7, 2016. photo by Adilifu Fundi.

It’s a dizzying burden today’s white culture can conveniently deny—or simply choose not to carry; especially since whites themselves guard the controls—distorting narratives, hiding the story (or, not talking at all). Add something else: white politic runs every aspect of America’s system itself.

Here, Litwack reminds us whites do step out of that pack. In my vividly showing slavery reparations today are not only valid—but tragically overdue—I’m agreeably following the professor’s advice:

“…to engage…[assisting the reader’s position to] see and…feel the past in ways that may be genuinely disturbing…how a study…may teach as many ironies…as it does clear lessons.”

Interestingly one key lesson gives serious teeth to moviemaker Spike Lee’s very specific studio moniker—he perturbs whites, others and tongue-tied Blacks who dismiss it. Lee’s logo bolsters an in-your-face reminder:

America flat out snubbed humanitarian promises and duty to rectify emotional, physical, spiritual and “material” devastation from slavery’s all encompassing Afro containment horror.

And Been In The Storm does duly confirm Lee’s logo proposal—the concept of ex slaves receiving “forty-acres and a mule” was no imagined fluke.

Professor Leon F. Litwack of the University of California at Berkeley.

 

Litwack writes:

“…[January, 1865, General] Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 15, a far-reaching document that set aside for the exclusive use of the freedmen…land abandoned by Confederate owners…granting black settlers ‘possessory titles’ to forty-acre lots…Congress made the newly established Freedmen’s Bureau the custodian of all abandoned and confiscated land (seized for nonpayment…or belonging to disloyal planters who had fled)…ex slaves…could pre-empt forty-acre lots, rent them…and purchase them…at a fair price…If the Bureau had implemented this provision and if blacks had been able to accumulate the necessary funds, some 20,000 black families would have…the means for becoming self-sustaining farmers.”

“Thousands of ex-slaves had been placed on forty-acre tracts under Sherman’s program, the earlier experiments…persisted into 1865…stories of individual and collective success by…black settlers…would seem to have assured…expansion of such projects…Federal policies…had not been long-term commitments but [nefariously]…designed to keep [freedmen] working on the plantations…away from the cities and the Union Army camps.”

 

General William Tecumseh Sherman had faced overlapping dilemmas:

General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Sherman’s march through Atlanta to the sea with the North’s subsequent Southern “occupation” did of course immerse him in catastrophic slave reality. This dovetailed another serious issue: fallen Confederate leadership, plus their public supporters, absolutely was “traitors” (arguably the nation’s most egregious violation) punishable by death—thousands of U.S. bodies lie blasted in the wake of Rebel “treason.”

And “execution” was a Union option definitely taken very seriously by Southern secessionists.

It was a prospect taken so serious that slaveholders who hadn’t relocated slaves (hoping to ride it out and salvage their expensive “human” chattel) actually fled massive plantations—running for their lives; owners abandoned slaves to carry on (without overseers) with what slaves knew best—handling all the operations themselves.

Here, slaves becoming freedmen were no fools:

Rev. Garrison Frazier addresses General Sherman, Secretary of War Stanton and 19 other Freedmen reps at the January, 1865 Savannah, Georgia meeting. Painting by Haller Buchanan (now in the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum in Savannah).

Although former plantation owners schemed desperately, until the bitter end—to convince slaves and themselves that Blacks were witless, animal level “dependents”—slavers got a heart stopping surprise:

Freedmen ingeniously seized and claimed those abandoned properties, heeding opportunity without hesitation—shocking the entire system itself!

These new occupiers correctly believed they had the right to now own the land; their enslavement had actually created those so-called “self-made” moguls; slave “knowhow and labor” is what brought America into lucrative, world competitive fruition.

Treasonous ex owners—if not justifiably “executed”—should now legally forfeit those lands as penalty.

A January, 1865, event in Georgia solidified the freedmen occupier’s belief:

A commemorative plaque marking the signing of “Forty-Acres” Special Field Order No. 15 stands at the Green-Meldrim House in Savannah. General Sherman met with Black leaders at this site.

Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton had met with 20 Black advocate leaders (a mixture of free born and ex slaves). 67-year-old Rev. Garrison Frazier, an ex slave chosen as spokesperson, clearly relayed the fervent desire of his constituents (basically the Afro masses); Frazier prophetically pointed to the reparation ideal that works best:

Designated land for total self-sufficiency is the only means to ensure uplifting the Black “race.”

Total “social equality” is the absolute goal and being beholden to whites will not achieve it—in short, whites cannot be trusted.

In four days with President Lincoln’s approval Sherman signed Special Field Order No. 15 issuing land designation into law (the “mule idea” came later). But tragically the whole situation would all quickly change: incoming President Andrew Johnson was a staunch white supremacist—and Confederate sympathizer (although he detested their ruling elite).

Portrait of the first Blacks entering the Louisiana State Legislature in 1868, elected during Radical Reconstruction. Lasting from 1867-1877 its elimination nailed the political door shut over the next century for Blacks.

In April Lincoln was assassinated and in the fall of 1865 Johnson had finally eliminated Order No. 15. (Confederates celebrated wildly, already having received Johnson’s amnesty). Cunning seditionists got back their ruthless authority and lands—they stripped freedmen of those occupied estates and then employed far reaching insidiousness:

Whites went about destroying other Black’s makeshift hovels and shanties—these were outside of cities and away from plantation sites; ex slaves were now unscrupulously forced back under the traitor’s full monopolizing survival dependence—in herds.

Hence a key chapter in Litwack’s book is titled Back to Work: The New Dependency.

Following Radical Reconstruction’s fleeting life (white “Radical Republican” legislators stepping from “the pack” trying to fully integrate Black political participation) a newly reunified America then went into absolute lockdown.

Litwack has follow-up books tracing that lockdown’s 130 year aftermath:

Trouble In Mind: Black Southerners in the Age of Jim Crow (Alfred A. Knopf, 1998, 577 pages) and How Free Is Free? The Long Death of Jim Crow (The Nathan L. Higgins Lectures, 2009, 208 pages) paints a time warp trail:

Outright campaigns to intensify violent racist hatemongering in the white populace cram the chaos of racial un-resolve well into our times—these campaigns worked to utterly and profanely distort “morality.”

Perverted white “morality” now claimed the spotlight:

Quickly passed social and economic racial disenfranchisement policies (starting with the Black Codes) vaporized any notions that slavery’s wrongs would ever be righted—only expanded under that cloak of perverted white “morality.”

It brings me back to how clearly slavery reparations must be understood in our times.

Former Rep. John Conyers’ (newly revised) “study”H.R.40 Slavery Reparations Bill already has galvanized formidable main opposition—with its mere existence.

Yes, today’s foes are that same past breed of governing guard dog—modern legislators who now widen that cloak of perverted “morality.” They’ve been groomed to drive the U.S.’s enduring heritage train—literally claiming an image that shouts they hold justice backed by god!

And that fraudulent image still wields a powerful weapon: its called moral “altruism.”

Moral “altruism” is defined as:

The mere notion, or idea that a thing is “noble”—where one “goes through the motions” of showing they have noble intent (altruistic)—claiming its for the greater good (moral).

But “altruism” only means the intent—not a guarantee that what’s pushed is at all benevolent (meaning a thing could be “altruistically” promotedfor the greater goodthat’s in reality destructive—or, immoral).

So guard dog legislators tactfully use “altruistic” authority images as a weapon to stifle—gaining “moral” support to pass immoral bills—sealed with public embarassment; “loyalty shaming” is powerful in rallying crowd support—the device now attempts to make reparation supporters stay in line—sharply questioning their “patriotism.”

Former Army Ranger Rory Fanning who served two Afghanistan tours protests at a Chicago Cubs baseball home game in support of Kaepernick (at left) who came under media attack. Fanning famously brought attention to the military cover-up of Ranger hero Pat Tillman’s death (by “friendly fire,” not the Taliban) whose unit he’d served in. Fanning (who finally left the army as a “conscientious objector”) also raised money for the Tillman Foundation by walking from shore-to-shore across America in 2008-2009, chronicled in his book “Worth Fighting For.” Tillman had resided in San Jose, Ca.

 

 

Former San Francisco 49er football player Colin Kaepernick knows this all too well: rejecting that shaming heat he persistently took a knee—keeping attention during the national anthem on Black lives destroyed by America’s system—while most Black players “did not!”

So intimidating is the “patriotically correct” card—used in high profile news “viewpoints” to demoralize reform hopefuls—big numbers of lawmakers stepping-up to defiantly co sponsor H.R.40 is slow coming (thirty years after it was first introduced):

On March 8, 2018 Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee did take main sponsorship after Conyers resigned.

Incidentally, H.R.40 only pushes for a study of whether reparations are valid—and what modern compensation might look like—giving mere authorization to set an analysis into motion.

And a thing is sureopposition is guaranteed to specifically pound upon targeting inflammatory, divide-and-conquer ideas:

Saying vast American social advancement has given all Black Americans total access to the “American Dream”;

And only native Afro-Americans are qualified to address this issue—not immigrant Blacks.

Pundit foes will say “progress” is proof Blacks only want a handout—rationalizing yet another of slavery’s age-old promoted stereotypes—and that Blacks should be pulling themselves up by bootstraps.

Also, they’ll say it’s literally not their fault: that those Afro-Americans should be helping each other instead of killing each other (Black-on-Black crimes visibly shooting through the roof).

June, 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of New York City’s famous Stonewall Riots. In 1969 at the Stonewall Inn whites joined the Black and Puerto Rican LGBTQ spectrum pushing back against the corrupt police force that had viciously harassed them with impunity.

And what about this group: the LGBTQ mainstream—driven by white gay males?

It’s a severely burdened segment, still targeted for “absolute extermination”—still under vicious psychological and physical assault—and still nationally unprotected in mass.

Even though masses of gregarious San Francisco white gay males throw a fly in its own persecution ointment:

Seemingly oblivious these white gay men imitate typical national white reaction—ignoring racist acts against Blacks. Too many easily brush-off that dizzying LGBTQ burden of being under civic attack while others cannot; revelers keep heads clouded in frivolous privilege—traipsing along content to celebrate white male self indulgence.

Given that odd mixture could LGBTQ Extermination Reparations be sellable? And what about a still desperately needed national Civil Rights Bill that currently shows no light on the horizon?

Then, there’s the Black LGBTQ spectrum—oppressed by everyone—and particularly hit hard by that gay majority “racism” (highlighted sharply by today’s hit TV series “Pose”).

In 2019 Black transsexual murders frighteningly skyrocket—revealing absolute vulnerability (and disposability).

2nd February 1964: Unapologetically gay Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin, the major architect of the 1963 March on Washington and advisor to every major Civil Rights activist of his time. Popular Black leaders tried to have Rustin ousted, but Dr. King refused. Here Rustin, spokesman for the Citywide Committee for Integration, talks on the phone at the organization’s headquarters at Silcam Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Patrick A. Burns/New York Times Co./Getty Images)

Now, the quintessential question:

About the Black Christian mainstream—its age-old homophobic terrorist crusade (that destroys and ejects untold Afro lives)—and its blatant dismissal of modern Black led Civil Rights Movement participation.

Should Afro religious offer reparations for tragically successful campaigs that brutalized their very own cultural “dependents?”

Keep it here readers! I’m tackling all of these fiery issues—and we do need to hear from you!

It’s sizzling here in San Francisco—but it’s about to get hotter!

2: Slavery’s American legacy thrives—And this modern Crisis gives Reparations striking validity.

“No housing discrimination or economic exploitation slate was wiped clean in order to have people start over on an ‘even keel’…to attempt a resolving of Black social circumstance without addressing…profound relationships governing white classes have with it is…absolutely ludicrous.”

Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 12: Impudent Moralizers, Ill-conceived Mavericks And Glorified “Legal Setbacks,” Page 260.

 

“…upholding the principles of white supremacy, in expediting the pardon of ex-Confederate leaders, in seeking to restore political and economic power to the old ruling class, President [Andrew] Johnson would act all too decisively. And in opposing even minimal civil rights for blacks, he would be firm and unyielding.”

Been In The Storm So Long Chapter 10: Becoming a People, Page 529.

 

Greetings stirred-up readers!

Trouble in Black Paradise sees a self praising U.S. heritage sail along—while propelling insidious modern social disaster.

 

I shared in the opener that Rob’s gift of Leon F. Litwack’s book Been In The Storm So Long: The Aftermath Of Slavery was absolutely timely. My white gay male friend actually was one of Litwack’s students at U.C. Berkeley, knowing I’d be totally interested in his work. And this as a controversial dilemma heats up again—that simply won’t go away.

Captured African men, women and children are being led off to a West African holding pen (by tribal enemy overseers employed by whites) before being boarded on slave ships bound for the Americas. 18th century illustration, artist unknown.

Slavery reparations in this time period for African-Americans—inheritors of African slave legacy—are unpopular to say the least—deemed utterly preposterous while given dogmatic media dismissal. It’s why talks and books like litwack’s—actually examining slavery—are essential to moderate hotly divided positions.

But I’ve also shared that most Americans are oblivious to in-depth Black history—it’s intentionally not a national school curriculum “obligation” (soundly rejoiced by Trump’s guard dog Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—“a Michigan billionaire and extremist right wing activist”—chosen because she has absolutely no teaching or administrative education experience).

And yet another testament of slavery: a disastrous consequence insures most Afro-Americans   have no knowledge, substance perspective—or “interest”—in prioritizing Black history themselves. In essence Black masses show no urgency in fighting for its promotion—or reviving reparations.

 

Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in 1838, rising to become a fiery, uncompromising slave abolitionist, advocate for total Afro-American equality and inclusion after Emancipation and the first major national Black leader. Black allegiance to uplifting Black folk (in an unscrupulous white power society) was his steadfast cry.

It’s also why with my 45 years of Afro alternative teaching and cross communal social repair I’m writing these articles.

All sides tackling reparations—fiery views acknowledged—need credible info to have credible standpoints. And facts can get innumerable puzzled folks off of blurry fences, positioned clearly in talks of substance based on integrity (if they’ve managed to fend off America’s overwhelming propaganda machine).

Unsurprisingly, stalwarts who refuse to let basic sensibilities be compromised by America’s relentless campaigns to distort history are mostly found totally opposite of Education Secretary DeVos—on the left.

Litwack in his 1979 book sharply delivers painstaking clarity, partnering well with 1845’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

Illustration: Whipping of a Fugitive Slave by Marcel Verdier, 1840’s. In Frederick Douglass’ narrative he describes many situations where sadistic white masters beat particular slaves regularly, just on principle, keeping their wounds raw (as an “example” for all to remember that whites were in charge and Blacks resisting subservience had no recourse).

Douglass’ personal account wrenches the reader with slavery’s in-your-face rawness—over 300 years of State imposed horrendous physical butchering, animal containment and subhuman mental shredding (every person should absolutely be required to ingest at every U.S. schooling phase).

Litwack’s microscope covers about four years, honing in on emancipation’s legal declaration (1863) the immediate chaotic years after the Civil War (1865-67) and just before Radical Reconstruction (itself lasting from 1867-77).

Thus Litwack’s shocker amplifies this: the U.S. system’s actual “crafted operation” and its diabolical facets (in other words, North/South political agreements—reuniting torn America and driving its “slave tainted” social direction—for long range intent).

Here, that troubling earlier analogy—about the U.S. “social pressure cooker’s” hierarchy (given alarming clarity in another article)—gets blazing life. It’s important to recall that American and Portuguese institution slave policies in history are recorded as the world’s absolute worse.

Illustration: The Emancipation of The Negroes, 1863–The Past and The Future. Harper’s Weekly Magazine.

A thing causing utter shivers reading Litwack (also a Bay Area radical) told why Southern whites spit double fire about emancipation: Blacks also publically stopped acting out submissive behavior.

Whites guffaw when ex slaves won’t “defer” to them (not tipping hats or moving off sidewalks when they passed; now boldly “looking them in the eyes”; not saying “Massa and Mistress”; demanding whites—particularly strangers—stop calling them “uncle and auntie”; and the like); “offenses” whites considered only worse than losing human property and land itself.

Both the white North and South recoil from their many jolting firsts:

The Union resentfully accepts Black soldiers (now armed to kill rebel whites); a defeated Confederacy endures “occupation”; Black Union soldiers wield unprecedented “authority” (over fallen slave-owners); a Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (Freedmen’s Bureau) operates to “incorporate freed Blacks”—and placate poor whites; missionary branches compete to formally school and “groom” Blacks (to appease a cunning white power mainstream); etc…

President Lincoln was forced to enlist Black men as Union Soldiers to turn the war’s tide. At the Civil War’s end these Black Soldiers had unprecedented authority during Southern occupation over whites. Newly freed slaves got both their allegiance and much needed security from furiously scheming ex slaveholders (including bouts of retribution). Black Union soldiers having temporary power to resolve disputes and enforce makeshift slave protection laws got a taste of civic inclusion–though it would prove to be extremely short lived.

Then whites were absolutely mortified by this:

Blacks (who couldn’t even legally gather before) were allowed to now stage major State Emancipation Conventionsself created and operated (by free folk and newly freed slaves)—to determine their own terms for becoming full fledged citizens in society—seeking “all rights” therein.

Litwack’s details amplify just how involved U.S. “reunifying” was—underscored by white forces scheming at every step to keep supremacist values intact and literally worshipedindefinitely.

Hence, America’s state operated “pressure cooker” was primed to receive ugly ingredients (riddled with sabotage) to steer a nasty new social phase.

Yes, Black resistance sources obviously would continue to flair, adding building blocks for future generations. But a particular event must be shared that really captures that enduring repair challenge—in the 20th century.

It would be 100 years later that a small reconstruction revival effort took root—out in California. The project pushed to savalge Black lives and clarify for all doubters America’s masterful success at shaping her long-range intent:

At slavery’s end during America’s “reunification” vast pools of skilled Black merchants, carpenters, artisans and the like, were targeted and eliminated by governing whites. Blacks had actually built the White House and crafted other major infrastructure feats, but (men, women and children) were now forced back to the low skilled, hard labored fields so whites could take and dominate those skilled positions–into the indefinite future. It’s why today especially in California Hispanic migrants dominate housing construction and home remodel positions (gladly uplifting each other) where Blacks (snubbing their own especially in the corporate world) are hardly ever seen.

In 1974 a teaching call-to-arms was set in motionopportunity that I absolutely personally jumped at.

A coalition of diverse Blacks—from professionals to homemakers—founded C.E.B.I.S. (pronounced “see-bus”) Committee to Establish Black Independent Systems. The response was to San Diego’s dire Afro social crisis and educational failure.

Black children tested lowest in the entire state of California (with the highest dropout rates). San Diego’s curriculum—totally incompatible with Black student needs for excellence—was being force-fed.

Exclusive Anglo celebration dominated and white colonial teaching practices prevailed (totally echoing Litwack’s 11th grade frustration thirty years earlier back in the 1940’s).

“Self-hatred” riddled these children, proving a major culprit—exacerbated by a serious problem: the community’s own through-the-roof low self esteem.

Demeaning jabs at one another in daily exchanges ran like water—words like “black,” “nappy hair” (and that favorite Anglo term “nigger”) being constantly used as nasty weaponscrushing spirits in damning personal slights. The situation was atrocious.

The late Dr. Shirley Thomas and her husband the late Dr. Charles Thomas were C.E.B.I.S. board members and co founders. Charles Thomas was known nationally as America’s “Father of Black Psychology.” C.E.B.I.S. was created in the spirit of Dr. W.E.B. DuBois’ concept of a Talented Tenth (diversified Black professionals galvanized to uplift the nation’s disenfranchised Afro-Americans–out of white social containment). Dr. Shirley died of cancer, ironically while researching the abnormally high cancer cases among Black female Civil Rights warriors. Dr. Charles was eventually found mysteriously murdered—stabbed to death on a busy San Diego boulevard.

I was a 19-year-old college level student teacher. Like most of my C.E.B.I.S. colleagues I was first in my family to gain college access—our generation’s combined “Freedmen” (and native “dreamers”).

Something else: my “self-esteem” was frighteningly below rock bottom. At 19 my awareness of prolific Afro global (Diaspora) reality—masterful, bedazzling Black empire achievements—was literally nonexistent (let alone knowing the intricacies of white U.S. political scheming).

C.E.B.I.S. Elders quickly taught us fledgling educators a stunner:

Our “rescue mission” inherited conditions unchanged since post emancipation (beyond a sabotaged Radical Reconstruction’s 1870’s period). And if we didn’t clearly peg the planned social failure “culprit” (government managed and locked in) we’d only be putting band aids on hatchet wounds.

C.E.B.I.S. was an Afro-centric alternative styled “test tube” (actually aided by an admittedly dumbfounded San Diego public school system). Neutralizing America’s insidious “pressure cooker” conditions was our “Statement of Purpose’s” clear target.

In 1977 fellow C.E.B.I.S. teacher, the late Busara Sadikifu Abdullah and I co created a spinoff assembly based on the alternative program. “Kuumba: A Voyage Into the African Experience through Song, Dance and Poetry” toured the entire San Diego City and County Schools System for the next few years, sensitizing the entire area to global Black achievement and its influence on all of society. C.E.B.I.S. board member and staff trainer the late Adam “Badili” Cato had inspired us, as his school Naranca Elementary (seen here) hosted our debut show.

Our attack was three-pronged:

1. Creating a classroom climate that totally “immersed” students (in Black history achievement); 2. “Immersing” staff in Afro-centric sensitivity (to support basic teaching skills); and 3. Student “home visitations”—something standard teachers don’t do.

Immersing kids in Afro historical achievement hit a major source of Black “self-hatred” (staff included—it virtually rescued my “self esteem”). Plus, Afro-centric staff immersion purged those sabotaging colonial teaching methods.

And the clincher: student home visits revealed struggling families—ravaged by civic induced poverty and set-back; single headed families being the overwhelming majority—stressed to the brink, all but emotionally broken—and seeing no way out; their “children’s education” was the only glimmer of hope.

Among many of our immediate family advocacy solutions was to steer (or create) multiple avenues of social resource—directly targeting home support (theirs treated as our own); it lessened student burdens—thereby enhancing classroom ambition.

The turnaround effect for us all was huge! Each prong proved essential. We clearly helped redirect families—salvaging precious lives (and inadvertently preparing me for another future perilous frontier I never dreamed I’d face—one my “relations” never thought they’d be confronted with as well).

“Kuumba: A Voyage Into the African Experience through Song, Dance and Poetry,” co created by the late Busara Sadikifu Abdullah and I, revolutionized assembly presentations in San Diego City and County Schools Systems. A spinoff of the C.E.B.I.S. program, highly popular and in high demand we’re seen here at Webster Elementary School in 1978.

Yet, C.E.B.I.S.’s ultimate initial goal was to “activate” establishing Black Independent Systems—we hoped “nationally” (free of suffocating civic slavery policies) launched into the future—indefinitely.

But a mega problem: we were a rare self-help castle of hope on a shore U.S. policy had corrupted beyond our strained resourcefulness. After six abbreviated years weighted under a corrosive system’s tonnage of “resistance to evolve” (with our own lives separating us in personal directions) America’s wave of colonial legacy crashed back in—leaving only the imprint of what we’d begun.

Briefly funded multicultural segments and events did spring up—added battles to expand curriculums (though in isolated places).

But nationally, now in the 21st century nothing’s changed—not the predicted continued catastrophic rise in Black urban disposability—nor has thinly disguised government culpability ended.

40 years later I’m the Elder—having cut my teaching and social repair teeth at C.E.B.I.S.

It was in the late 1970’s though, when that other perilous “test tube” frontier rose from obscurity to confront me, also demanding a crisis “rescue mission”—I painfully came out as a gay man.

The LGBTQ plight, so locked in secrecy, predatory darkness—and broken by chronic shame (legally murdered, terrorized and made disposable by all others)—had another demon waiting well “before AIDS”: racism unbridled—intensifying my severe sexuality isolation.

In 1987 I co founded San Diego’s POCASE (People Of Color AIDS Survival Effort) Task Force. AIDS was ravaging the general minority community unchecked, as the then existing San Diego AIDS Project (white gay founded) stood helplessly by doing nothing. Such was the very reason a minority coalition had sued white based AIDS agencies nationally, forcing them to show minority outreach to receive their funding. I brought in Dr. Charles Thomas as an advisor to facilitate racism workshops and educate POCASE about how the system sabotages minority efforts. Outsider novices who’d flocked in, scheming to boost funding for their seperate white based projects, basically rejected his admonishments–most never bothered to show up for Thomas’ workshops.

Racial hostility so animated in a white male dominated “queer underground” would test my humanity to the brink—let alone social repair skills; Black liberation (and Buddhist) consciousness blueprints gave  me rare “vision”—I neutralized toxicity to find national breathing space (and likeminded activist jewels) navigating America’s homosexual “test tube”—the most ravaged in America’s social “cooker.”

My own book Trouble In Black Paradise: Catastrophic Legacy Worshiping the New World Politics of Saving Soulsclearly tying worsening Afro devastation  to “radicalized” Christianity—is poignant testament in this, my own Afro gay bio—an early Black LGBTQ community’s own call-to-arms account.

Openly gay Black activists: Filmmaker Marlon Riggs (at left) and writer/artist Essex Hemphill (both lost to AIDS) collaborated on the late 1980’s movie “Brother to Brother,” exposing Black LGBTQ struggles to live, love (and socially contribute) amid rampant white gay society racism and extremist Black community homophobia. Hemphill graciously hosted my arrival to attend the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights (thanks to the late Joseph Beam, editor of the very first Black Gay Men’s Anthology thtled: “In The Life”).

Reparations not being in the LGBTQ agenda (among other things) speak volumes—I’ll address later.

Conyer’s H.R.40 Slavery Reparations Bill though, undeniably has mega teeth for modern Afro-American heirs.

Next I’ll tell you what Reparations today must look like (if it’s to be put to bed)—what clearly “valid” grounds an opposition will hungrily target—and how their disguised fallacy can be exposed!

And you don’t want to miss it!

Aretha’s eulogy flack hugely misguided, but “true” violations defended—or totally ignored.

Cover photo above: Aretha Franklin interviewed on March 26th, 1973.

 

“…Black preachers…within America’s African slave community…assist a desperate Black populace with freedom’s struggle…“freedom fighters”…dedicated to cultural/spiritual values…backs…just as bloodied…as the rest.”

“…mainstream media…have been no friend to the Civil Rights movement, or…healthy, non stereotypical images…racial atrocities…in the South on newsreels…were only there9781481707282_COVER_FQA.indd because Civil Rights strategists were clever enough…”

“…America’s extreme…spawned…’off the hook’ levels of Black-on-Black homicides and an incessant obsession with violently denigrating homosexual life.”

“…the Black community itself…is failing generation after generation as it…prioritizes…isolationist style personal materialism…white based corporations as a “salvation”…a military machine…but discards…Black economic independent systems.”

“…the ultimate…example of manhood has become…violent behavior…treachery…a perverse sense of ‘respect’…the ultimate testosterone prize.

“…’essential’ minority culture…is not a standard requirement: endless masses of whites never have to see, or interact with, Blacks…during the entirety of their ‘standard education’ years…”

 

Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 5: The Highest Paid Position Attainable By A Pre Civil Rights Era Working Black Man, page 87; Chapter 12: Impudent Moralizers, Ill-conceived Mavericks And Glorified “Legal Setbacks, page 250; Chapter 14: The Bible As A Weapon In The War On Gays, pages 289, 298 & 299; and Chapter 15: A Demon Lurking In The Closet Of Mainstream Gay Organizing, page 321.

 

Greetings charged-up readers!

Trouble in Black Paradise sees pop culture cheapening Afro Spiritual Heritage—and cashing in!

APTOPIX Aretha Franklin

Vincent Street attends Aretha Franklin’s casket at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History, where the Queen of Soul first lay in repose.

 

Aretha Franklin had hardly been laid to rest when mainstream media expectedly pounced—lionizing publicity scroungers. Pundits gave social media naysayers the gift of sensationalized breaking news.

Aretha’s stirring August, 31st “homecoming” at Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple—site of Rosa Parks’ 2005 funeral—was led by Bishop Charles H. Ellis, III. The world hunkered in witnessing a deep, dazzling tribute.

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Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple whose head pastor is Bishop Charles H. Ellis, III is filled to capacity, honoring Aretha.

Subsequently certain presenters became targeted, accused of violations: President Bill Clinton, Minister Louis Farrakhan (merely attending); Ellis’ interaction with singer Ariana Grande—Grande’s attire as well.

But Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr. draws the biggest heat.

Williams’ family ties with Aretha’s is legendary (he eulogized the 1984 funeral of her Civil Rights activist father, Rev. C.L. Franklin). Williams, younger than Aretha by a year, called Rev. Franklin his mentor. Ironically it’s this family sanctioned eulogy that’s being criticized—and downright castigated.

Aretha marches 1988 commemorats 25Anniv Det CL Franklin organized with King, includes Mayor Coleman Young, Sen. Donald Riegle

Aretha in 1988 (second from left), joined by Mayor Coleman Young, Senator Donald Riegle and others in the 25th anniversary commemoration of a Detroit Civil Rights march organized by her father Rev. C.L. Franklin. Dr. King had marched front-and-center with Rev. Franklin only a few months before the Washington march.

My TV reservation was set to witness this daylong affair; to be drenched in time honored Afro cultural and spiritual enrichment—elements arguably preserved only in the Institutional Black Church—it raised Aretha, shaping her spiritual constitution, artistic expression—and religious allegiance.

Its core generated her soon-to-be world renowned title: “Queen of Soul!”

I come from that tradition.

My watch was especially layered: excitedly anticipating thunderous Old-School testament through artistic revitalization—unprecedented ceremonial “interaction” rarely getting primetime (the last arguably Whitney Houston’s 2012 funeral).

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The renowned Clark Sisters’ penetrating vocals got both Al Sharpton and President Bill Clinton up out of their seats!

I also brought an activist insider’s very critical eye:

As an openly gay Black man (coming out pre AIDS) who first cut radical sixties social consciousness teeth; investing in Afro communal/education repair—including alternative cultural and spiritual research work; bringing all this to a gay “underground” much later—skills already honed to assist fledgling LGBTQ organizing.

Mine epitomizes “critiquing” the modern Black Church, including what produced—and shapes it: Euro-religious doctrine riding white U.S. social dominance.

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Classic lead vocalist Ron Isley of the R & B pioneering Isley Brothers delivers a difficult performance, pausing with grief often, but crooning with silk magic for Aretha, his close friend over decades.

My book “Trouble In Black Paradise,” is a bold, overdue confrontation dialogue—addressing Black religious and white “culture”: scholar discredits hellfire and brimstone homophobic doctrine (destroyer of untold devoted Afro LGBTQ and mainstream lives); yes, historical insight does spotlight unsung Church tied heroes and heroines (bravely staying inclusive)—their work pricelessly advancing the entire movement.

So my scrutiny exceeds “conventional” eyes—anticipating violation that evaded tawdry sensation alarms; perceiving actual progress easily flying over “pop culture” heads.

Jan 1987

The Queen of Soul in 1987 performing with the Godfather of Soul, the late James Brown (whose estate sent a spectacular bouquet of pink roses to Aretha’s funeral.

 

Swiftly a gross sacrilege hit me, missing critic reaction: HLN (Headline News) spinoff of CNN—with major world broadcast—flooded its coverage with commercials.

It mimicked a variety show (cheapened by relentless “ads” cutting in often). And methodically selective: superstars got spotlighted, while lesser known presenters—namely Black gospel legends primetime already obscures (kept from inclusion and global audience due) were conveniently censored.

So when coverage resumed, actually catching snubbed folks in action, HLN simply “recapped” previous mega acts over them—stalling for the next commercial name. I was flabbergasted!

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Detroit’s P.A. Brooks II, First Assistant Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (the nation’s largest Afro-American denomination). Being lesser known to outsiders didn’t get many such gospel presenters primetime coverage on HLN–CNN’s spinoff station.

Dumping HLN’s blasphemous monetary exploit—sidestepping Impact Live TV’s frustratingly weak signal—I thankfully caught BET’s clear uninterrupted broadcast. But something is doubtless: HLN captures the lion share of white mainstream viewers.

Thus, with carnival air solidly set, in traipsed early performer Ariana Grande.

Grande’s wobbly, clearly confused entrance showed this: being physically overwhelmed by a striking Black religious climate (no Black observer could miss). A Daisy Dukes length dress—clearly promoting tawdry sex-goddess “me” focus—shocked me! (the “Ariana show” prevailed—not talent selflessly letting star power drive a dynamic funeral contribution—not reverence for sacred mores of a spiritual institution—the Black Church).

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Legendary actress Cicely Tyson’s towering Afro classic depth captures the room with her riveting performance of Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “When Malindy Sings” (cleverly adding insertions of Aretha’s name).

Patriarchs’ font-and-center strained diplomacy to not look stunned—but Grande defenders attacked Bill Clinton’s predictable jaw-drop (deeming it lecherous—not expected shock).

Palpable room embarrassment steered Ellis’ attempt to diffuse—it drew attack: an effort to hug her made worse by Grande’s flagrant uptight recoil (the clear cause of innocently positioned embrace). “Awkwardness” exacerbated the Bishop’s generational joke about her name.

Irony leaped: I couldn’t imagine Grande sporting this attire at a Catholic funeral—or ever recoiling from the Pontiff’s embrace.

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Aretha performs for the Elton John AIDS Foundation 25th Anniversary Gala. November 7, 2017. New York.

Rev. Jasper Williams did tag a long affirming line: legend categorically had reclaimed its own stage—the heritage of Black clergy freedom fighters!

Al Sharpton (“Aretha Franklin…was a Civil Rights activist and freedom fighter!”); Jesse Jackson (“Long lines to celebrate death, short lines for voting…”); William Barber (“just before election call all these same singers…bishops back for a televised revival…then send people to the polls…“); Dr. Michael Eric Dyson—his fiery eloquence outright scathed Trump; and other powerhouses familiar to insiders honored this institution’s freedom fighter tradition—extolling Aretha.

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Rev. Jasper Williams, Jr., whose family has legendary ties to the Franklins, launches into a eulogy that blisters the root of Afro-American tragedy, drawing widespread criticism.

Each eagerly predicted an earthshaking eulogy address, whose theme was “Aretha/the Queen of Soul”—I especially see why:

A singing Williams took the platform and—streaming Malcolm X’s blazing “spirit”—pranced right into calling Afro-American tragedy to hard-hitting task.

A troubling list meant to disturb, and I agree:

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Soul legend Stevie Wonder gave a haunting harmonica performance, then got the church on its feet, all joining in to sing his classic tune “As.”

Blacks seeing “integration” as the savior, but not thwarting white systemic shark opportunity (that’s still plundering) is tragic; Black male investment (raising male children) is crucial—skyrocketed abandonment “real”—and devastating; Black-on-Black catastrophic crime soars (proving tragic self-hatred); hence Black lives will not matter externally until they’re indisputably priceless “to us!”

Yet, critics reject Williams’ statement, “straights need to respect gays…gays need to respect straights…” as pulpit progress.

Yes Rev. Williams, Afro-America central—selling-out—has lost its “soul.”

March 1972 Op PUSH Soul Picnic 142St. Armory NY Betty Shabazz, Jesse, Tom Todd VP, Aretha, Miriam Makeba, Louis Stokes

The 1972 Operation Push Soul Picnic in New York. From left: the late Betty Shabazz (widow of Malcolm X), Rev. Jesse Jackson (founder), Tom Todd (Vice President), Aretha Franklin, the late South African vocalist Miriam Makeba (ex wife of the late legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela) and Louis Stokes.

Lil Wayne boasted “Fuck Black Lives Matter…I’m a gang-banger!” (Concerts still sellout). Nicki Minaj swaggered “I am the new Harriet Tubman”—“hoochie” jiggles and extremist narcissism stokes white industry gold (not “social consciousness”).

No cynic dared touch on this!

White ruled media’s pop culture stringently packages “Blackness” for ownership—not honor. Inroads to the Afro artistic powerhouse foundation—the traditional Black Church itself (shaping Afro dynamism whites emulate and exploit)—became HLN’s cash cow.

Black sacred institution stripped of r-e-s-p-e-c-t!

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Broadway and recording star Jennifer Holliday (centerstage in purple) sings a soul stirring “Climbing Higher Mountains” starting Aretha’s recessional.

 

There’s a reason standard media and Afro-America (discarding freedom fighter ancestors for white cosmetic worship—and narrative) won’t quote “Malcolm.” Franklin’s family backing Williams’ detractors sadly joins that bandwagon.

Rev. Williams hit the rusting nail on the head!