Tuesday, February 12, 2019

AMERICA'S ROYALTY: A Shameful Past Revisited

After this I saw a vast crowd,
too great to count, from every
nation, tribe and people and
language, standing in front
of the throne...
(Rev. 7:9 NLT)
Dear Readers.  I'm really struggling with this post!  It's only a couple of days before Valentine's Day and I should be writing to you about love and all the sentimentality that goes with it.  But right now, I'm just not feeling very loved!  Nothing personal mind you, just a weariness of the soul!

February has long been one of my favorite months of the year.  So much to celebrate in it isn't there?  National Heart Month.  Mardi Gras and Lenten season that often falls in February and always a reminder of my own ethnic history,  National Freedom Day (commemorating the signing of the 13th amendment abolishing slavery) and Black History Month! 

 Speaking of the latter, this is the one month that I can easily find great classical movies displaying the phenomenal acting skills of people of color.  Community programs and events are plentiful and they help me relish the memories of the contributions of black people all over the world.  These go beyond entertainment and the arts of which we are most noted but in every discipline.  It just makes me feel proud to be a Black American with a national legacy of purpose and value!

Unfortunately, the jubilation is always short lived because of the painful past of racism that accompanies each historical event.  No matter how noteworthy or awe inspiring the presentations, the issue of racism arises!  Even something as common as a royal wedding in England is marred with crude jokes about the bride's color.  

It struck me recently, after the reporting of such news across the Big Pond, that America has a lot in common with Britain.  We too are ruled by a royal family!  Using the terminology of black historian, Ser Seshsh Ab Heder (Clifford Boxley),  curator of the Forks of the Road Exhibition -- King Cotton, Queen Sugar, and Prince Tobacco is indelibly linked to  this country's history and their economic offsprings are alive and well in our society today!

Whereas from the 15th-19th century sugar, cotton, and tobacco crops produced by slaves created wealth in this nation and kept them slaves; more recently we see distribution of power; the limitation of economic resources and mass consumerism keeping  poor people enslaved.  Like Britain's  monarchy, our royal family is also steeped in tradition.  Classism and the suppression of economic freedom is an ongoing priority.  And for the most part, there's a feeling even among poor white people, to hang on to unearned privileges and past superiority.

Resplendent in the jewel tones of this Cultural Crown are the colors of our shameful past:

The Black Codes -1865-1866 - Laws passed after the Civil War in the south restricting the movement of newly freed African Americans. Examples: Freedmen could not be taught to read or write; Freedmen could not assemble together without the presence of a white man; after freedom must gain immediate employment or face vagrancy charges and jailed.

Today: Racial profiling and the assumption that people of color without jobs are lazy and abusers of government aide.

The Green Book -1936-1967 -Negro Motorist Green Book by Victor Hugo Green was given to travelers in the south to show them the places they could safely eat, gas up and lodge.  Especially helpful when traveling near towns that had sun-down rules.  No Negroes welcome after sun down!

Today: Starbucks Sally, Barbecue Becky, and Permit Patty, nicknames for women who called police on blacks for casual activities prove that what would be considered the norm for whites become a criminal offense if you are not.

The Red Book - Early-Mid-1950s -  Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television.  A book used by television and radio producers, agents, advertisers,  and others that listed the names of entertainers who supposedly had communist affiliations. If their names appeared in the book they were black listed and denied employment in their field of expertise.

Today:  Entertainers and Sports figures like Colin Kaepernick who dare exercise their right to protest social injustices are nationally castigated and accused of anti-patriotism. They suffer loss of pay, job opportunities, and slander.

The Blue Book of the John Birch Society -1958-present - This was a book that encompassed the standard operating procedures undergirding this ultra-conservative and anti-communist group. They oppose among other things, Big Government and redistribution of wealth.  Although they vehemently deny being racist, their actions and rhetoric seem to have disapproved of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and other legislation that leveled the social playing field for minorities. Many believe they are supporters of one of President Trump's  political bases instrumental in bringing him to power.

Today: There is a resurgence of politically motivated bases that support similar ideologies that restrict wealth distribution and human rights especially as it concerns people of color.  These are purportedly founded on the tenets of the constitution and idealism of American patriotism. 

Other colors in this Crown of Shame are the usage of maps by realtors, banks and other financial institutions to keep metropolitan areas segregated and deny mortgages for poor people seeking homes in perceived risky neighborhoods.  They were designated as below:

-Type A - green line denotes affluent neighborhoods
-Type B - blue line denotes still desirable neighborhoods
-Type C - yellow line -denotes declining neighborhoods
-Type D - red line denotes most risky 

Has much changed?  I think not!  Just over the weekend we were hit with the political fall-out of Virginia's blackface controversy.  Sadly, there is a rising popularity of black memorabilia (mammies, grinning big lipped, watermelon eating caricatures, etc.) making a comeback and big bucks.  Replications of demeaning images are being seen in fashion and advertising!  The use of the N-word is common place today and with it the lack of respect for us as humans!   It is as if it says in the bible, Americans ... 

Having lost all sense of shame, they have
 given themselves over to sensuality
 for the practice of every kind of impurity
 with a craving for more.

 (Ephesians 4:19 Berean Translation)

PRAY, MY SISTERS PRAY!  That America will learn before it is everlasting too late that respect for life and justice is due all who set their feet on this soil.  Each person has the right to a peaceful life free from ridicule, with ample opportunities to pursue happiness!  If we clean up our act, denounce the shame and treat each other with compassion, perhaps some will believe that happiness is through a life demonstrated by Jesus Christ!


If you would like to leave a comment please send an email to: sisters4sisters@att.net OR  scroll to the bottom of my blog page at  http://alittlewiser63.blogspot.com  click on the  no comments by the pencil and it will change to a writing space.

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