|Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.|
James Baldwin with actors Marlon
Brando and Charlton Heston.,
08/28/1963 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In 1963, James Baldwin penned his seminal work on race relations in American, "The Fire Next Time," two essays which served as a prophetic warning to his countrymen.
Just as the Hebrew Prophet Obadiah had warned of the destruction of Edom, Baldwin, according to the New York times, "brilliantly, with searing penetration masterfully" laid out the case for America's doom if the nation did not get a handle on the "Negro Problem..."
In 1963, it was no less difficult for Baldwin...than it was for my grandmother to have the conversation with me in 1955, or the conversation I had with my son in 1993, or the same conversation going on across African American communities in 2013, in light of the killing of Trayvon Martin.
"You can only be destroyed," Baldwin tells his nephew, also named James Baldin, "by believing that you are what the white world calls a nigger. I tell you this because I love you, and please don't you ever forget it." "And I know," Baldwin writes, "...this is the crime of which I accuse my country and my countrymen, and for which neither I nor time nor history will ever forgive them, that they have destroyed and are destroying hundreds of thousands of lives and do not know it and do not want to know it...But it is not permissible that the authors of devastation should also be innocent. It is the innocence which constitutes the crime."
Until a year and a half ago, Zimmerman did not cast much of a shadow on the affairs of humankind. All that changed February 16, 2012, when Zimmerman profiled an African American teenager walking in his condominium community, stalked him, and baiting the youngster into fighting his way home. Zimmerman then took his concealed weapon from his holster and shot the black teenager in the chest, killing him almost instantly...
Obama's Soul on Ice: A Week later and I'm Still Numb
"How far in a state can a recognized moral wrong safely be compromised?" --W. E. B Dubois
When the jury verdict was read in Sanford, Fla., last week, it jolted the nerve endings in my spinal cord, rendering me numb. A week after a jury of George Zimmerman's peers let him get away with killing a high school student in cold blood, I'm still numb.
I am numb not because Zimmerman was not found guilty of something; I'm numb over the fact that five white women and one Latina woman would put their racial feelings above doing the right thing. One can argue as much as one pleases that such is the rule of law and the Zimmerman jury followed the instructions given to them by Judge Debra A. Nelson.
Nevertheless, I will always contend this jury reached its verdict based upon the racial biases they brought into the courthouse with them the morning they began their sequestered jury service.
This is precisely what their jury oath says they should not do. They are sworn to let their verdict speak the truth of what happened in the event before them...
Seemingly, at this point, Obama had had enough of the jig. In a press briefing last Friday (July 19, 2013), he put the onus square on the shoulders of white Americans to begin honestly seeking to heal racial wounds brought on by the history of whites and blacks in the United States of America...
If we do not dare try honest dialogue, all else is cheap window dressing and will doom any initiatives to bring the country with all of its ethnic and cultural groups together in the spirit of good old American democracy.
Whites are dodging Obama's call for an honest discussion on race
"Most white people hate Black people. The reason that most white people hate Black people is because whites are not Black people. If you know this about white people, you need know little else. If you do not know this about white people, virtually all else that you know about them will only confuse you." --Neely Fuller
Shortly after the 19th century ended, Dr. W. E. B. Dubois opined that, "the problem of the 20th century will be the problem of the color line, the relation of the lighter races of men to the darker races in Asia, Africa and the islands of the seas."
More than 60 years after uttering that prediction, Dubois closed his eyes in Accra, Ghana, on the day his countrymen had that great march on the mall in Washington. The day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., urged his fellow Americans to usher in a day when people will "be judged by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin."
Not much had changed in those first 63 years. Albeit, black men in America had fought in three wars, learned to fly fighter planes in World War II, saved the agriculture of the South, separated blood plasma and created the concept of a blood bank...
...discussions have obscured the intent of the President's suggestion to have an honest rap on race...
Review and Discussion on Thursday and Friday...