Things change. But what happened to the revolts of old?
By Min. Paul Scott
“Don’t try to hide. You might as well embrace it/you’ve done it all/turn around and face it.” – Jay Electronica on “Run and Hide”
Bob Whitman was incensed. While pouring his morning cup of coffee he happened to take a quick glance at his son Billy’s homework assignment where his teacher had quoted, “because of the deep-rooted prejudices of average whites and the 10 thousand recollections of Blacks” a division would remain …which will probably never end but in the extermination of the other race.” He immediately emailed Billy’s principal, Dr. Assata Jackson in all caps, that the racist ramblings of Malcolm X and Black militants being used to teach his child would not be tolerated!” However, he dropped his coffee cup when Dr. Jackson replied “Uh..that was Thomas Jefferson , sir” with a smiley face emoji.
If the protests of 2020, have taught us anything it is there is a fear in White America that we are on the verge of an apocalyptic, race war where hordes of Black ruffians will commence slaughtering innocent white people, indiscriminately. Not only is this sentiment insulting to African Americans, but it also is a false narrative that has often been repeated over the last several months.
The anxiety of White Americans can be understood so I get it. After 400 years of systematic oppression who wouldn’t want a little payback. So when they see on the news images of rioters tearing up cities their first impulse is to think Dr. Dre’s 1992 song, “The Day the N****z Took Over” had been remixed in 2020. But that does not gel with the reality of the times. Truth is many of the rioters in these cities are white kids.
There have been reports over the summer of many of the protests following the murder of George Floyd have been, predominately, Caucasian. After the Breonna Taylor riots last month, the mayors of two North Carolina cities blamed white anarchists for hijacking the racial justice movement.
This is not to say that Black people have not risen up to Fight the Power.
Historically, there have been many instances of Black rebellion including the well-known Nat Turner uprising of 1831. Historian Herbert Atheker states in his book, “American Negro Slave Revolts,” that there were over 200 slave rebellions, but the newspapers and politicians suppressed the information. They feared that the truth about rebellions would spread fear among whites and encourage more rebellions amongst the Africans.
In his work, “Urban Racial Violence in the Twentieth Century,” Joseph Boskin chronicles how in Tulsa Oklahoma and other cities Black folk did not just lay down and die but fought back, valiantly, but were outnumbered and overpowered by the might of racists backed by the US government.
So, it is clear that Black folks ain’t scared to throw them hands when necessary. This has both repelled and captivated white America. I remember when one of the most “militant” Hip-Hop artists of the 80’s told me how in the middle of their Black Power anthem he would look out in the crowd and see an audience filled with white college kids.
But in 2020, America what is really seeing a civil war between white folk and African Americans are just the raison d’etre. I feel the term Black Lives Matter is presently and largely being used by white Liberals who are engaged in a battle against the MAGA maniacs. Black suffering is just a handy prop to them.
So, one morning when one of the homies inboxed me about the militia that allegedly planned to kidnap the governor of Michigan the fast way…ski mask way…ransom note. I just replied with Chris Rock “Betty White” (bet -he -white) meme and went back to sleep.
What we see happening in America is largely “white-on-white violence,” but this point is missed by conservative talking heads who are quick to counter any issue facing Black America with “what about Chicago?”
Let us be clear. The media is hell-bent on finding a Black equivalent to match the white supremacy that is running rampant in this country today. But history has taught us that any “race war” that starts will be instigated by white supremacists determined to “Make America Great Again.”
See, understanding white supremacy is not as simple as ABC, and no matter how much we might want to pin racial unrest on some uneducated, s#### dippin’, yahoos from Alabama, the reality is, the architects of white supremacy were masterminds. Carl Rowan Points out in his book, “The Coming Race War in America,” that the author of the Right-Wing militia bible ”The Turner Diaries , “Andrew Macdonald,” was really a former physics professor named William Pierce.
So, Black folks can’t get caught up in a white family feud when we weren’t even invited to the picnic.
As Kwame Ture once said , at the end of the day white people are fighting for power but Black folk are fighting for survival and we gonna survive America.
Minister Paul Scott is founder of the Black Messiah Movement of Durham NC. His website is BlackMessiahMovment.com