During the Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park here in Boston last night. This is true — even if you are color blind. Party for Socialism and Liberation page stated, “Today, the United States is an example of this kind of “prison house of nations. Since its origins, racism has been a characteristic of U.S. society. This racism has often disguised the fact that the Black population within the United States has emerged with all the main features of a nation within the borders of the United States. Racism against African Americans is a manifestation of national oppression.”
In an essay I wrote published by the Christian Century Magazine, I noted: Some black Americans have been waiting for a black messiah—the savior of their race…. Eight years later, many are still asking: is Obama the end of black politics? A friend shared an insightful article here that states “….I’ve labeled this phenomenon: Post-Civil Rights Era Progressive Activist Privilege. It is the false belief, in electoral politics, that black Americans have the luxury of choosing individual beliefs over what’s best for the group as a whole. My argument to black progressive activists has been simple: we are not in a position as a black community to vote our individual preferences over our group interests. We are definitely not in a position to not vote and then claim to care about our people. If you claim to be about improving black lives over anything else, you can’t possibly argue Trump’s election helps the cause.”
Last night was the first time I walked out on a movie. I struggled watching “Detroit” in the theater. In part, not that it is a bad movie, but that it is too good. At one point in the movie, I became aware that my fist caused my hand to hurt; I felt my blood pressure elevating due to anger. A strange emotion had taken hold of my soul. Few movies have caused me any sense of real emotion; but this one did. “Detroit” is an indictment on the complicit nature of white people’s comfort, as many all but too often turn a blind eye to police brutality and the constant killing of unarmed Black men. Many talk about All Lives Matter as they sit and watch video recordings of cops murdering Us. Too many Americans make excuses for their privileges, while dismissing Our daily exertion. We did not make it through the movie. After a while I was just too mad. I checked out and drifted to a mental place of pure frustration and anger. After a while the only thing I saw was white Americans’ silence. I saw a white supremacist in the White House who speaks about Black and Brown folk in a condescending way. A man and his majority white supporters who support white nationalism over shared values and mutual means. “Detroit” was nothing but a trigger warning for me. I saw Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin, Ezell Ford, Emmet Till, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Andeson, and more.
I am going to work this into my African American Studies syllabus. I am just seeing and hearing Jay-Z’ s The Story of O.J. Still processing. I am hearing Black sellouts. Black and white capitalist. Black folk still enslaved by debt. Black folk without real material power and wealth. Black bourgeoisie. Black working class. Poor Black folk. I am hearing you still Black at the end of the day– Black rich sellouts. White supremacy. Black caricature –watermelon and fried chicken. Gentrification. Panthers keeping it real. Some Oceans here. Nina Simone. Colorism. O.J. aint Black — he is O.J. Black supporters of Trump — sellouts. Drugs. Materialism. Religion.
I wrote this essay on the past and current struggles of the Black and white working class in the United States. I noted that:
Racism has long divided the working class, and today is no different. Many white working class people voted for Donald Trump. And much like 2008, race was a reason. While some will salute a strong economy, in truth, wages have flattened for the working class. Because of this, and because white workers have grown suspicious of the burgeoning black power call by Black Lives Matter, the search for solidarity continues to escape a racially divided country, as noted by the current political climate.
This essay was published by the Hampton Institute here.