Saturday, March 12, 2016

White Supremacy, Also Known as 'White Privilege,' is a Cancer that Must be Eradicated. Blessings and Good Will for the Diversity of Humanity!

"Remember this Son, if I have learned anything in my seventy plus years on God's Earth, it's this very simple and unquestionable truth, 'There is only one race on this Earth, the Human Race, all the people of the Earth are a part of that race, and they should all be treated accordingly." - My Late Grandfather, Raymond Joseph Halliburton

        "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." These are probably the most famous words taken from the United States' Declaration of Independence; yet, somehow, more and more people find themselves looking at these words with skepticism. Is this skepticism justified? After all, countless landmark laws, court decisions, and executive actions have been taken to defend the principles of freedom and equality. They are most definitely justified! Why? Because, despite all of the laws, rulings, and actions taken in defense of these principles, people in this country are still judged by the color of their skin, rather than by the content of their character. Further, those laws that have been passed, those court rulings that have been handed down, and those executive actions that have been taken are deceptive. They have done little more than prop up a four hundred plus year old system that was designed specifically to separate the races and elevate the 'white' race above all others. Let us take take a stroll down history lane.....

        The first slaves to live within the borders of what would later be the United States of America arrived on the North American continent in the early 1620s. They were African warriors, women, and children that had been captured in battle and sold off to Portuguese slavers by their king's enemies. They were from West Africa along the coast near the River Gambia. They were brought in as an experiment to work the expanding tobacco fields in the colony of Virginia. Initially, they were treated as indentured servants and many were granted their freedom after a specified term of service. However, by the late 1640s, just over twenty years since the first slave had stepped on what would become American soil, they started to outnumber whites. These whites, worried for their safety, and seeking to secure a permanent and free labor source began to enact 'white' laws. These laws, combined with a series of pro white court cases, placed Africans at the bottom of the social order and made their condition of slavery perpetual. Eventually, this condition was even extended to children born to slaves. This was a unique atrocity that not even the Romans had practiced. It was made possible for the first time for a person to be born into slavery, to work their whole lives as a slave, and to die as a slave, never once having experienced the glories of freedom. This system made it possible for whites to groom slaves, from childhood, to accept their station, assist in its expansion, and work without complaint to perpetuate the system.

        So, here, is the beginning of white supremacy in the United States. It started before this country was even an a gleam in the Founding Father's eyes. From this early period, right up until 1776, when this nation first declared its independence and had a real opportunity to end slavery and this system of white supremacy, slavery was expanded and enforced with military might. Many slaves, in this early period, did not adjust to their new role well, especially since, at this point, the African Slave Trade was still bringing fresh shipments of African slaves to the American colonies every day. Five major revolts, the Gloucester Country Revolt in 1663, the New York Slave Revolt in 1712, the Samba Rebellion in 1731, the Stono Rebellion in 1739, and another slave revolt in New York in 1741, not accounting for a number of other minor events, rocked the white world, and resulted in even more restrictive 'white' laws being passed, placing Africans so low on the social ladder that whites saw more value in their livestock than they did the people that they were enslaving. Slaves could not hold onto their native religion, they could learn to read or write, they could not use traditional musical instruments, they could not speak their native tongue, and much much more. They were reduced to the status of children or worse, and deviation from these new rules most always carried a severe punishment, from brutal beatings to death. So, what happened in 1776? In 1776, the United States declared its independence, arguing that all men are created equal. What they failed to mention was that this statement only referred to 'white' property owning men. Their slaves were still sub-human pieces of property, who served as mere tools for the expansion of the white man's economic influence and the white man's accumulation of wealth. The Declaration of Independence ignored the glaring contradiction that existed in this new nation, and made no effort to rectify the problem. Thirteen years later the contradiction was written into federal law, when in Article 1 of the new Constitution, slaves were declared to be three-fifths of a person. Yet another opportunity to end the scourge was missed and white supremacy was now given national legal protection.

        This system of slavery and white supremacy was perpetuated until 1865. It was propped up by a series of diabolical political compromises and a vile Supreme Court decision. The three most important compromises are the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. The Missouri Compromise regulated slavery in the country's western territories by prohibiting the practice in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30′ north, except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri. The compromise was agreed to by both the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress and passed as a law in 1820, under the presidency of James Monroe. This created the Mason-Dixon Line. It was deemed necessary at the time to prevent a violent conflict. It did prevent a conflict, but it also guaranteed that slavery's day of reckoning had not yet come. It further guaranteed that slavery would expand. Abolitionists compromised with the lives of millions of slaves and millions more yet to be born. They were able to do so because the value of a white man's life was considered higher than that of a lowly African slave. The Compromise of 1850 did much the same thing, only this time it was playing with what is now the US Southwest. Here, white people could decide whether they wanted to enslave their fellow human beings for unpaid labor or whether to keep their lands free for white labor. The interests of the slaves themselves, were not considered. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 had the same stipulations. White people could choose to keep their state free for white labor or to keep slaves to do all of the hard work.

        As for the Supreme Court, white supremacy got its biggest pre-Civil War boost from the Dred Scott Decision. This was a landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court held that African Americans, whether enslaved or free, could not be American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court, and that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States. Dred Scott, an enslaved African American man who had been taken by his owners to free states and territories, attempted to sue for his freedom. In a 7–2 decision written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the Court denied Scott's request. The decision was only the second time in history that the Supreme Court had, up to that date, ruled an Act of Congress to be unconstitutional. All previous compromises were tossed in the garbage by this decision, which helped to exacerbate the tension leading up to the coming Civil War.  This made citizenship the sole purview of the white man. Now, according to this ruling, not only were slaves not  full citizens, but any African Americans who had managed to gain or retain their freedom were no longer considered citizens. This was white supremacy, once again, absorbed directly into the governing laws of the United States.

        Of course, the Civil War broke out four years later. This war, no matter what anyone says about State's Rights, was a war fought over the future of slavery. I will simply ask, "Which of the State's rights was being challenged?" The state's right to regulate whether or not people could be held as property was being challenged; thus, the State's Rights argument is nothing but a sham excuse to avoid admitting that the Confederacy was fighting to keep African Americans in bondage. The South's entire economy was built around slavery, the Civil War could not have been engaged in for any other reason. The end of slavery sounded the possible death knolls of white supremacy in the South, and for that matter, in the entire nation. Executive action, the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, and congressional legislation, the 13th Amendment, ended slavery in the United States by law. This did not, however, ensure the death of white supremacy. It merely set it aside for a while. Further action was taken by Congress during the Reconstruction period. The 14th and 15th Amendments were passed, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was passed, the Freedman's Bureau was established, and measures were taken to provide land and education to former slaves. This, however, still did not ensure the death of white supremacy. It merely waylayed it for a time. 

        This should have been the end of the problem. These laws should have been all that was needed to help African Americans rise out of the pit of slavery. However, on December 24, 1865, in Pulaski, Tennessee, a group of Confederate veterans, under the leadership of the confederate rebel, traitor, and white supremacist, Nathan Bedford Forrest, convened to form a secret society that they christened the “Ku Klux Klan.” The KKK rapidly grew from a secret social fraternity to a paramilitary force bent on reversing the federal government’s progressive Reconstruction Era-activities in the South, especially policies that elevated the rights of the local African American population. They fought right up until the end of the Reconstruction period, when President Ulysses S. Grant finally subdued them with brute military force. They had formed this organization because they were not satisfied with the terms of the South's surrender at the end of the Civil War and because they, unlike Robert E. Lee, were not, in their own words, yet beaten. These men were successful in getting Congress and the Presidency to back out of Southern affairs. The Union Army left the South, and the African American population was left without support. 
        White Supremacists, many of whom had fought against the Union to keep African Americans in bondage, were now allowed to run state politics again, and they made quick work of it. They pushed African American politicians out of office at the state and federal level, they pushed White Republicans, what they called 'Yankee Sympathizers,' out of office, and they swiftly passed a series of Black Codes that put African Americans back at the bottom of the social order in the South. If they could have put African Americans back in chains they would have, but given the 13th Amendment, they settled with sharecropping and domestic terrorism. The KKK in its original form, a guerrilla military force, did not survive, but they did carry on as informal enforcement agency. It was their job to ensure that African Americans did not resist the resumption of white supremacy in the South. The system was bolstered by the Supreme Court, as well. In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court made the 'Separate But Equal' doctrine the law of the land in not just education but also in the provision of public goods and services and in day to day commerce. This new system of white supremacy was perpetuated until the 1960s. This was known as the Era of Jim Crow.

         The period in US history when the white supremacist structure faced its biggest challenge was from the 1950s to the 1960s. This, of course, is the period in our history when the Civil Rights Movement was at height. If the problem was ever going to be solved, prior to the present day, this would have been the period for it to happen. In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and began a twenty year process of desegregation. The 1956 Montgomery Bus Boycott fought and saw end of the segregation of the bus lines in that city in Alabama. Similar actions all across the South and across the nation, led my men like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., brought the issue of Civil Rights, racism, and white supremacy to the forefront of American politics. They further placed the United States under the scrutiny of the entire world as police brutality and viscous beatings were televised and broadcast around the globe. The Civil Rights Act of 1960, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 were the culmination of the efforts of millions of people working together for the freedom and equality of an entire people. This should have been where the problem ceased to exist, but it was not. 

        These laws were accompanied another law that many heralded as a great advancement, but actually served the reverse purpose to what it reported to do. There was also some political violence that followed in the Civil Rights Movement's wake. Lyndon Baines Johnson's 'Great Society' and his 'War on Poverty' did a lot of supposed good; however, they also did something else that is not good at all. The stated goal of these programs was to equalize economic opportunity for all races, but what it really did was pay people who had previously agitated for equal rights to stay at home. With life made just barely livable, many people stayed at home and spent less time in the streets campaigning for equal rights. This was accompanied by the assassinations of Dr. King, Malcolm Little, 'X', and Robert Kennedy, among others. Follow these actions into the seventies, and what do we get? We get the introduction of hard narcotics into the poor and urban communities that are populated mostly by African Americans and other minorities. Heroine was first. It was followed by cocaine and then crack. All of these actions combined were meant to demobilize, terrify into submission, and destroy the will to fight of the African American community in the United States. At the same time, 'White Flight' saw the rapid expansion of  the American suburbs and the creation of de facto segregation. The power centers in the United States shifted with them. The urban areas where these problems were concentrated were then demonized and the 'white' suburbs were elevated to near divine civilized status. Combating social upheaval with force had made the US look bad to the world, so they switched to more clandestine methods. They succeeded in once again perpetuating white supremacy. 

        Has the system of white supremacy or 'privilege' now seen its final day in the twenty-first century? Are we a society that is blind to color? It has not, and we are not! The latest tool of the white elite is disinformation. First, they put it out in the media that such things as racism and the like are no longer a problem. They no longer exist, or are the sole purview of demented radicals. Second, they shanghai the stories of major social heroes and redefine their legacy to fit into the ethos of white America. They line up experts that say the discriminations are going the way of the dinosaurs. They portray a percentage of minorities on television and in the movies, and they criticize and attempt to ostracize anyone who challenges their mythos of a color blind society. All the while, we witness the passage of draconian voter registration laws, the creation of gerrymandered voter districts that ensure the election of establishment 'white' candidates, and police brutality rises to an all time high. We also see the passage of mandatory minimum laws that intentionally place harsher sentences on drug crimes that are known to be mostly committed by minorities. Three Strike Rule laws are also used to punish minority communities. This is, of course, accompanied by a skyrocketing prison population, the majority of which, is non-white. This is further accompanied by an obvious tolerance of organizations like the neo KKK and neo Nazi organizations while, at the very same time, organizations like the Black Panthers are demonized as demented radicals or social outcasts. Essentially, the white elite smiles in your face, while simultaneously they shove the big red, white, and blue rod of justice up your butt when you are not looking.

       Let me get this out right away, "This shit has got to go!!!!!" It's the twenty-first century ladies and gentlemen. How can we allow this to continue? If we do, we will pay for it with bad karma and the perpetuation of this system that discriminates against anyone and everything that is not approved by the white elite. It just simply cannot be allowed to continue. The question, then, must inevitably be, "How do we make that happen?" Unfortunately, that is an extremely complex question that does not garner a simple answer. There is, however, despite this complexity, a very simple way to get the ball rolling in the effort to kill the cancer that is white supremacy, or 'white privilege.' People who have been traditionally protected by this invisible cloak of social protection need to take that invisible cloak, roll it up nice and tight like a carpet, and shove it up the white elite's butt while they look them directly in the face. The white elite must learn quickly, and harshly, that they no longer have total control of their situation. 
        This, of course, is easier said than done, but for my part in the matter, I offer this. First, I am not and will never allow anyone to call me a white man! I am, before anything else, a human being. I do not wish to be identified with a social construct that is responsible for the destruction of millions of lives around the world. The very thought is repugnant to me. Second, I am the descendant of political exiles. The Halliburton family came to the colonies in 1746 after the Battle of Culloden. The last two surviving sons of the last Halliburton to be the Baron of Tweed, David and William, made sure that some two hundred years after they arrived here, their progeny would remember that. This makes me a political exile also, and a proud Son of Scotland! Third, through my birth father, I am what Jim Crow Louisiana would have called an Octoroon, in that I am one-eighth African American. I have even had the great fortune to meet my grandmother on his side, Mama Jefferson. She has since passed on to the next life, but I am proud to have been able to call her Nana. Fourth, I have a fricking soul, and I do not wish for it to be stained with the inherited crimes of four hundred years of theft, rape, and murder. Fifth, finally, and most importantly, I am an American Citizen, and as an American Citizen, it is my sacred duty to defend the rights of anyone who finds themselves the victim of discrimination in this country. Therefore, I commit myself to that mission. If more people with my complexion can begin to see themselves as I do, perhaps something can be done peacefully. If not, the only other option is open rebellion, and the chaos and destruction that would ensue from such an event, I am most sure, is far beyond what any of us is prepared to deal with. Hopefully, it will not have to come to that. 

1 comment:

  1. Educated Citizens reject White Privilage..reject Racial Hate.
    Bernie Sanders is a Courageous Leader...Help him win By Votin