If The Hoodie Conjures Up White Fears Of Violence, Imagine How The MAGA Hat Makes Black People Feel

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“You can neither divorce the context of Trump’s campaign nor his presidency from what the MAGA hat epitomizes.”
 
Recently, a group of white boys from Covington Catholic High School in Newport, KY were caught on video jeering, ridiculing and mocking an older Native American man as he drummed and sang in Washington DC. The boys had just attended the anti-abortion March for Life and were wearing red and white hats emblazoned with Donald Trump’s signature slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Videos of the incident posted to social media went viral and were the catalyst for fierce debate regarding who was in the wrong and whether or not the MAGA hats should’ve played a role in the ordeal. Prior to the confrontation with Nathan Phillips, the Native American elder, the boys had a run in with a group of Hebrew Israelites, who yelled, screamed and called the boys nasty names. Many use the antagonism of the Hebrew Israelites to justify the shameful behavior of the Covington boys. I don’t buy it.
 

After the original video caused a stinging rebuke of the boys behavior, other videos caused some to walk back their criticisms and become sympathetic to the boys to the point of even painting them as the victims. This demonstrated the penchant of Americans to always give white youth the benefit of the doubt and to allow them to be depicted as vulnerable children, who should be given a pass for youthful mistakes, something never afforded to Black children. For example, the same crowd that became sympathetic to the fact that the Hebrew Israelites may have provoked the tension and aggression of the Covington boys never saw Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice or Jordan Edwards as children. That crowd blamed 12-year-old Rice for his own death after being murdered by a cop for playing with a toy in a park. In a now infamous video, Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera blamed Martin for being profiled and murdered by George Zimmerman in 2012 for the crime of: wearing a hoodie. Rivera opined, “I think the hoodie was just as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.” He also said that those who wear hoodies are “stylizing themselves as gangstas.” Rivera’s advice for Black boys to “dress more appropriately” by not wearing hoodies was never mentioned by right wing pundits regarding the Covington boys who were dressed in hoodies and MAGA hats. Read more…


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The Damaging Statement We Make When Civil Rights Orgs Honor Men Like John And Neglect Women Like Angela

 
It’s important to think twice
 
As the president of my local NAACP branch, there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t hear or read an accusation that our organization and other civil rights groups are antiquated and out of touch groups beholden to corporate funders and thus no longer able to speak truth to power. As much as I believe venerable organizations like ours and others are yet relevant and needed in the fight against injustice, I find it difficult to debate such criticism when civil rights groups continue to embarrass the African American community and affirm the criticisms of a generation that has lost all respect for them. It is a fact that most civil rights organizations are financially supported by the very entities that are hurting Black communities. It is hard to mobilize against the debilitating effects of the decisions, practices, and policies of banks, alcohol and tobacco, insurance, retail, sports, and entertainment industries when they are paying the bills. This should be a time of serious inflection as younger generations are looking elsewhere for leadership rather than a what they perceive as a bourgeois civil rights community that does not have the capacity to relate to them.
 
The loyalties of the NAACP, the Urban League, the National Action Network (NAN) and others are constantly called into question over their decisions to either remain quiet on an issue of concern or to back a corporate entity in a manner perceived as questionable. For example, the New York Post reported that civil rights organizations were being paid to remain silent on lack of Black television programming with the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner. The National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM) filed a $20 billion racial discrimination lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable, that included the NAN, the NAACP, and the Urban League as defendants. There is much that civil rights organizations must do to shed the image of being elite social clubs detached from the daily realities of Black life in America. Read more…

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Repudiating Farrakhan: The Delusional Notion Of White Supremacy That Black People Are The Ones Who Need To Denounce Bigotry

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“While some of the remarks Farrakhan has made about Jews have no doubt been offensive and hurtful, not understanding the reluctance of Black people to kowtow to the expectation of white people that we repudiate the minister on their demand reveals how deep the racial divide in this nation truly is.”
 
The clear and concise message to Black people from the Jewish community, white liberals and gaslighting white supremacy supporting conservatives: Condemn Minister Louis Farrakhan or we will ruin you.

While they have tolerated, supported or remained silent about anti-Black and non-white bigotry, systemic racism and the extra judicial murders of unarmed Black people for eons, they have the unmitigated gall to muster up outrage at Black people who refuse to capitulate to their mandates on who we are allowed to have as leaders and who we need to unequivocally repudiate to prove to them, the perpetrators, supporters, passive participants and apathetic onlookers of our oppression, that we’re not the racists. How’s that for some serious cognitive dissonance?

Minister Farrakhan, a prominent African-American religious leader, activist and head of the Nation of Islam, has drawn both scorn and been accused of anti-Semitic comments and praise for his advocacy for the Black community throughout his life. For decades, Farrakhan has been active in the fight against drugs and crime, advocating for clean living and Black self-help. He was the visionary of the historic Million Man March in 1995, which drew over one million Black men to the nation’s capital for a message of empowerment. Because of his activism, Farrakhan has gained widespread notoriety and respect in the African American community. His supporters through the years range from grass roots activists and residents to religious leaders, celebrities and elected officials. Without question, Farrakhan is simultaneously one of the most revered and respected and one of most controversial and oft-maligned figures in American social and cultural politics. Read more…


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Black Rage Is Warranted, And We Don’t Need Your White Judgment: The “angry” black man/woman is not without reason.

Photo: Alalam News

Each time the media bends over backwards to push the narrative of law enforcement to justify the shootings of unarmed Black people and to frame them as inherent criminals who deserve to be executed, I find myself becoming more and more incredulous at a nation that proves to me everyday that the lives of my people carry no value in a white supremacist society bent on returning back to the days when Black people had no rights whites were bound to respect.

The late James Baldwin rightfully opined that to be Black “in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” And who can blame Black folks that are angry at the extrajudicial murder of innocent African Americans at the hands of law enforcement, the unjust criminal justice system, and disparities in health, employment compensation and every other status indicator in these yet-to-be United States of America? Top that off with an open racist for a POTUS and an administration full of white supremacists, and it should be completely understandable why Black folks would be in a consistent state of rage. Read more…


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Calling Liberal And Progressive Black Voters ‘Slaves On A Plantation’ Is Patronizing Ahistorical Nonsense

Five years ago America celebrated the sesquicentennial of the emancipation proclamation, which freed slaves in the southern states that were in open rebellion during the Civil War. It was the precursor to the 13th Amendment, which abolished American chattel slavery, the most brutal and inhumane form of servitude in history. Forced labor of enslaved Africans helped build America into an economic powerhouse through the production of lucrative crops such as tobacco and cotton. The forced labor and sexual exploitation of Blacks in America was horrific, dehumanizing, and has had long lasting negative effects for generations of those descended from people unjustly held in bondage.

The seriousness with which the history of slavery in America should be studied, contemplated, and taught is undermined by the casual and disrespectful use of slavery and plantation imagery by conservatives as part of their political agenda to encourage Blacks to defect from the Democratic Party. Using the word “plantation” to characterize the relationship between Black voters and Democrats is an untoward primary strategy of today’s Republican Party. To them, Blacks who don’t vote with the GOP are “slaves on the Democrat plantation.”

This abhorrent plantation rhetoric is racist and sacrilegious. Such hyperbole would never be used against any other demographic in America. Imagine the outrage if Nazi and concentration camp tropes were used to describe Jews who chose not to vote Republican. It would never happen. But alas, the descendants of those whose labor built the wealth of America have never been afforded proper dignity or respect in this nation. Making light of the horrors of slavery to score political points is repulsive. Callously using terms that describe the history of our oppression should be verboten and never again should they be used by conservatives as a cudgel. The repeated use of plantation imagery dilutes the emotional potency of the most execrable chapter in American history. Read more…


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