Well, Black History Month is history, and if it were left up to some of the blacks commenting on my recent column regarding blacks and slavery, so would be my career.
Just a brief reminder to those who were so perturbed by the commentary: History, as I understand it, is to be an accurate record of actual events that transpired, not what is desired or hoped. I am sure, given enough time and latitude, the entirety of yesteryear could be sanitized, becoming what coulda, shoulda, woulda and not what was.
Lest I be misinterpreted, the preceding and following information is in no way to be misconstrued as justification of institutionalized slavery. I offer it merely as evidence that injustice is, as justice should be, blind.
As this commentary will also doubtless be offensive to the “real blacks” who manage to force themselves to read to the end, I will save you the trouble of finding new ways to denigrate me. I have provided a ready reference list of descriptive phrases for my critics, those nattering nabobs of negativity, and any defenders of the arbitrarily established, politically correct “black position.” The following is but a sampling of the more polite titles reserved for use on those blacks (like me) who fail to toe the official party line. (Let the record show, I have already been called all, or most all, of the following, including some I choose not to dignify by repeating.)
The following are all black on the outside and white on the inside: Oreo, Bounty Bar, Coconut, Tom, Uncle Tom, Boot-Licking Uncle Tom, Official Government Issue Uncle Tom, Fried Chicken/Biscuit Eating Uncle Tom, House N-gger, Foot Shuffling Steppin’ Fetchit, Handkerchief Head, Anti-Black-Pro-White, Sambo, Sell-out, Neutralized Negro, Unauthentic Black, De-Blacked, Ventriloquist Dummy, Right-Wing Conspirator, White Wannabe, Clarence (as in Justice Thomas), Non-Practicing Black, Black Republican, Rev. Pork Chop and Judas.
There is a truth that must be taken into consideration. From time immemorial, groups of people have disliked other groups of people. People not liking other people is nothing new, and black/white is not a prerequisite. The words of a song by the Kingston Trio ring as true today as when originally sung: “They’re rioting in Africa, starving in Spain … the whole world is festering with unhappy souls, the French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles, Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch and I don’t like anybody very much.”
In pre-colonial America, Indian tribes hated, fought and killed/enslaved other Indian tribes. Across the seas, Chinese hated Japanese (and vice versa); white Englishmen fought and killed white Irishmen; Africans hated, enslaved and killed (and still do hate) other Africans.
Just because someone doesn’t swoon over you, or is less than ecstatic in your presence, isn’t necessarily racism. Truth is, some of the behavior of certain blacks has exacerbated the situation. Even one of our outspoken civil rights leaders has articulated what most assuredly would be considered a “racist” position if uttered by a white conservative: “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved. … after all we have been through. Just to think we can’t walk down our own streets, how humiliating” (Jesse Jackson, U.S. News & World Report, March 10, 1996).
The dominant aspect contributing to the charge of extant racism in America today is based on this unrecognized fact: Most of the people clamoring about “racism” have no idea what they are talking about. Truth is, they simply don’t know what real racism is. They are focusing on something I call virtual racism.
At the risk of offending, or worse, being relegated to a bygone era, let me just offer a brief refresher course on a few actual, not virtual, racist policies:
The blind: Maintain a separate building on separate ground for the admission, care, instruction, and support of all blind persons of the colored or black race.
Education: Separate schools shall be maintained for the children of the white and colored races.
Textbooks: Books shall not be interchangeable between the white and colored schools.
Telephone booths: Maintain separate booths for white and colored patrons
Lunch counters: No persons, firms, or corporations who, or which, furnish meals to passengers at station restaurants or station eating houses … shall furnish said meals to white and colored passengers in the same room, or at the same table, or at the same counter.
Juvenile delinquents: Separate buildings, not nearer than one-fourth mile to each other, one for white boys and one for Negro boys.
Mental Hospitals: Distinct apartments are arranged for said patients, so that in no case shall Negroes and white persons be together.
Intermarriage: It shall be unlawful for a white person to marry anyone except a white person. Any marriage in violation of this section shall be void.
Amateur baseball: Unlawful for any amateur white baseball team to play baseball on any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the Negro race, and it shall be unlawful for any amateur colored baseball team to play baseball in any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of any playground devoted to the white race.
Parks: Unlawful for colored people to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the benefit, use and enjoyment of white persons.
Oh, one final indignity …
Burial: Shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart for the burial of whites persons.
If you are less than half a century old, how many of those laws have you been affected by, recognize or even heard of? If America was even 1/50th as racist as her uninformed critics allege, that would not be a rhetorical question. It is not rhetorical for me; I rode in the back of buses, drank from colored water fountains, used colored restrooms where men and women used the same restroom and stepped off the sidewalk when white women passed. I challenge anyone to find evidence of any of the above instances of actual, not virtual, racism currently in existence.
According to the official 1830 U.S. Census, 3,775 free Negroes owned 12,740 Negro slaves. Of the 10,689 free blacks who lived in New Orleans in 1830, almost 30 percent of them owned slaves. More than 3,000 were slave masters. These mulattoes, quadroons and octoroons (mixed race; in modern terminology, light-skinned Negroes) owned black slaves and, in some cases, rented their black slaves to whites.
Civil rights leaders and many other liberals are adamant that the injustices of slavery demand restitution (“the act of making amends, offering expiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury; something done or given as amends or satisfaction”).
Since light-skinned blacks owned dark-skinned blacks, do lighter-skinned blacks owe damages to darker-skinned blacks?
How do you say “Rep-a-ra-tions” in da hood?