stamped from beginning
from amazon page (linked above):
Contrary to popular conceptions, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Instead, they were devised and honed by some of the most brilliant minds of each era. These intellectuals used their brilliance to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation’s racial disparities in everything from wealth to health. And while racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited.
to the lives they said didn’t matter
i somehow managed to write this book between the heartbreaks of trayvon martin and rekia boyd and michael brown and freddie gray and the charleston 9 and sandra bland, heartbreaks that are a product of america’s history of racist ideas as much as this history book of racist ideas is a product of these heartbreaks..
young black males wer 21x more likely to be killed by police between 2010 and 2012.. median wealth of white households 13 x blacks.. and black people 5x more likely to be incarcerated..
by racial disparities, i mean how racial groups are not statistically rep’d.. black people 13.3% of pop.. but today african americans own 2.7% of wealth, make up 40% of incarcerated pop..t
there have been 3 sides to this heated argument (about who’s to blame for disparities).. segregationists.. blame black people (ie: ones who are being killed) .. antiracists ..blame racial discrimination (ie: blame cops) and assimilationists .. blame both.. (ie: both blacks and cops acted like irresponsible criminals)
title comes from a speech that mississippi senator jefferson davis gave on floor of us senate 1860.. objecting to a bill funding lack ed in dc.. ‘this govt was not founded by negroes nor for negroes.. the bill was based on the false notion of racial equality.. the ineq of white and black races was stamped from the beginning..
in embracing biological racial equality.. assimilationists point to environ.. hot climates, discrimination, culture, and poverty – as the creators of inferior black behaviors.. for solutions, they maintain that the ugly blackstamp can be erased – that inferior black behaviors can be developed, given the proper environ.. as such, assimilationists constantly encourage black adoption of white cultural traits and physical ideals
antiracists have long argued that racial discrimination was stamped from beginning of america.. recognized.. blacks and whites.. are equal in all their divergences.. as audre lorde (1980): we have no patterns of relation across our human differences as equals)
the simple logic of racist ideas has manipulated millions over the years, muffling the more complex antiracist reality again and again..
from the beginning it has been a 3 sided battle, a battle of antiracist ideas being pitted against two kinds of racist ideas at the same time..
the shrewdest and most powerful racist ideologues have managed to define their ideas outside of racism..
my defn of a racist idea: any concept that regards one racial group as inferior or superior to another in any way.. t
anti black racist ideas – the subject of this book.. any idea suggesting black people or any group of black people, ar interior in any way to another racial group
to call women as a group stupid is sexism. to call black people as a group stupid is racism. to call black women as a group stupid is gender racism.
racist intentions – not policies – became cover after the 60s. old and new racist policies remained as overt as ever, and we can see the effects.. whenever we see racial disparities..
hate and ignorance have not driven the history of racist ideas in america, racist policies have driven the history of racist ideas in america..t
time and time again, powerful and brilliant men and women have produced racist ideas in order to justify the racist policies of their era.. in order to redirect blame for their era’s racial disparities away from those policies and onto black people
racially discriminatory policies have usually sprung from econ, political and cultural self interests.. self interest that are constantly changing.. ie: seeking higher office, profit increase, career advance.. t
consumers of these racist ideas have been led to believe there is something wrong w black people, and not the policies that have enslaved, oppressed, and confined so many black people.. t
fooled by racist ideas, i did not fully realize that the only thing wrong w black people is that we think something is wrong w black people. i did not fully realize that the only thing extraordinary about white people is that they think something is extraordinary about white people..
i’m not saying all individuals are equal in all way. i am saying that there is nothing wrong w black people as a group, or w any other racial group.. that is what it truly means to think as an antiracist: to think there is nothing wrong w black people, to think that racial groups are equal..
no racial group has ever had a monopoly on any type of human trait or gene, not now, not ever.. t
when you truly believe that the racial groups are equal, then you also believe that racial disparities must be the result of racial discrimination.. committed to this antiracist idea of group equality, i was able to self critique, discover, and shed the racist ideas i had consumed over my lifetime while i uncovered and exposed the racist ideas that others have produced over the lifetime of america..
no logic or fact or history book can change them (the producers/defenders of racist ideas), because logic and facts and scholarship have little to do w why they are expressing racist ideas in the first place.. stamped from the beginning is about these closed minded, cunning, captivating producers of racist ideas. but it’s not for them..
p1 – cotton mather
1 – human hierarchy
hurricane of 1635.. mather took the deliverance (from hurricane) as a charge ‘ to walk uprightly before him as long as we live’.. his friend.. john cotton.. puritans.. believed themselves to be god’s chosen pieces of humanity.. a special, superior people .. and new england , their israel, was to be their exceptional land..
mather and cotton embarked on a sacred mission to create, articulate, and defend the new england way.. they penned the colonies’ first adult and children’s books as part of this endeavor.. .. fashioned harvard’s curriculum after their alma mater, cambridge, setting off an ideological trend.. william & mary 1693, yale 1701, uni of pen 1740, princeton 1746, columbia 1754, brown 1764, rutgers 1766, and dartmouth 1769, the other 8 colonial colleges – regarded ancient greek and latin lit as universal truth worthy of memorization and unworthy of critique,,
in studying aristotle’s philosophy puritans learned rationales for human hierarchy, they began to believe that some groups were superior to other groups… t. .in aritstotle’s case.. all greeks superior to all non greeks… but puritans believed they were superior to native americans, african people and even anglicans.. that is .. all non puritans..
aristotle (384-322 bce), concocted a climate of theory .. saying that extreme hot or cold climates produced intellectually, physically, and morally inferior people who were ugly and lacked the capacity for freedom and self govt.. all this was in the interest of normalizing greek slaveholding practices and greece’s rule over the western mediterranean.. ‘humanity divided into two: the masters and the slaves.. or .. the greeks and the barbarians.. ‘
by birth of christ or start of common era, romans were justifying their slaveholding practices using aristotle’s climate theory and soon the new christianity began to contribute to theses arguments.. for early christian theologians – whom puritans studied alongside aristotle – god ordained the human hierarchy..
foundations of race and racist ideas were laid..t
aristotle’s rival – alkidamas: ‘the deity gave liberty to all men, and nature created no one a slave..
st augustine.. and african church father int the 4-5th centuries, maintained that ‘whoever is born anywhere as a human being, that is, as a rational mortal creature, however strange he may appear to our senses in boldly form or colour or motion or utterance, or in any faculty, part or quality of his nature whatsoever, let no true believer have any doubt that such an individual is descended from the one man who was first created’
however, these antislavery and egalitarian champions did not accompany aristotle and st paul into the modern era, into the new harvard curriculum, or into the new england mind seeking to justify slavery and the racial hierarchy it produced..t
when john cotton drafted new england’s first constitution in 1636, moses his judicials, he legalized the enslavement of captives taken in just wars as well as ‘such strangers as willingly sell themselves or are sold to us’
in 1636.. barbados officials announced that ‘negroes and indians that come here to be sold, should serve for life, unless a contract was before made to the contrary’
the first major war between the new england colonists and the area’s indigenous peoples erupted in 1637
william pierce forced some indigenous war captives onto the desire, the first slaver to leave british n america. the ship sailed to the isla de providencia off nicaragua, where ‘negroes’ were reportedly ‘being.. kept as perpetual servants’.. massachusetts governor john winthrop recorded captain pierce’s historic arrival back into boston in 1638, noting that his ship was hauling ‘salt, cotton, tobacco and negroes’..
the first gen of puritans began rationalizing the enslavement of these ‘negroes’ w/o skipping a christian beat.. they (ships) carried across racist ideas – racist ideas that preceded american slavery, because the need to justify african slavery preceded colonial america..t
khaldun: ‘negroes who migrated to the cooler north were found to produce descendants whose colour gradually turns white.. dark-skinned people had the capacity for physical assimilation in cold environ.. : white skin and straight hair
all an enslaver had to do was to stop justifying slavic slavery and inferiority using climate theory (aristotle) and focus the theory on african people, for the racist attitude toward dark skinned people to be complete..
gen 9:18-29 ‘tha negroes were the children of ham, the son of noah, and that they were singled out to be black as the result of noah’s curse, which produced ham’s colour and the slavery god inflicted up on his descendants’ as kahaldun explained..
although it clearly supposed black inferiority, the curse theory was like an unelected politician during the medieval period. muslim and christian enslavers hardly gave credence to the curse theory: they enslaved too many non black descendants of shem and japheth, ham’s supposed non cursed brothers for that.. but the medieval curse theorists laid the foundation for segregationist ideas and for racist notions of black genetic inferiority.. racist ideas truly came into being
2 – origins of racist ideas
the portuguese made history as the first europeans to sail along the atlantic beyond the western sahara’s cape bojador in order to bring enslaved africans back to europe.. 1444
zurara distinguished the portuguese by framing their african slave trading ventures as missionary expedition..
but the market was changing.. so many of the seized captives were ‘slavs’ that the ethnic term became the root word for ‘slave’ .. by mid 1400s slavic communities had built forts against slave raiders.. causing the supply of slavs in western europe’s slave market to plunge at around same time that the supply of africans were increasing.. as a result .. western europeans began to see the natural slave(e) not as white, but black..
despite their different ethnicities and skin colors, zurara viewed them as one people – one inferior people
in building up prince henry’s evangelical justification for enslaving africans, zurar reduced these captives to barbarians who desperately needed not only religious but also civil salvation.. zurar imagined slavery in portugal as an improvement over their free state in africa
schooling the world ness
zurara did not engage in the salve trade for money .. he was given two more lucrative commanderships in the military order of christ.. zurara’s bosses quickly reaped returns from their slave trading…. in 1466 a czech traveler noticed that the king of portugal was making more selling captives to foreigners ‘than form all the taxes levied on the entire kingdom’
zurara circulated the manuscript of the chronicle of the discovery and conquest of guinea to the royal courts.. as well as scholars, investors and captains.. who read and circulated it throughout portugal and spain.. zurara died in lisbon in 1474.. but his ideas about slavery endured as the slave trade expanded..
by time german printer valentim fernandes published an abridged version of zurara’s book in lisbon in 1506, enslaved africans – and racist ideas – had arrived in the americas..t
christopher columbus, newly married to the daughter of a genoese protegé of prince henry, desired to make his own story – but not in africa.. he looked instead to east asia.. the source of spices.. portuguese royalty refused to sponsor his daring expedition.. queen isabel of spain, a great niece of prince henry, consented..
1492.. after 69 days at sea, columbus’s three small ships touched shores that europeans did not know existed.. bahamas and next night cuba..
almost from columbus’s arrival, spanish colonists began to degrade and enslave the indigenous american people, naming them negros da terra (blacks from the land).. transferring their racist constructions of african people onto native americans..t over years that followed, they used force of gun and bible in one of the most frightful and sudden massacres in human history.. thousands of native americans died resisting enslavement.. more died from european diseases, from conditions they suffered while forcibly tilling fields, and on death marches searching and mining for gold..t
millions of native americans were driven off their land by spanish settlers dashing in after riches
1502 – barolome 18 yr old who would play an outsized role in direction slavery took in the so called new world
by 1510 barolome de las casas had accumulated land and captives as well as his ordination papers as the americas’ first priest.. in 1515 he departed for spain where he would conduct a lifelong campaign to ease the suffering of native americans and possibly more importantly solve the settlers’ extreme labor shortage.. .. in 1516 written pleas.. he suggests importing enslaved african to replace the rapidly declining native american laborers.. made a gain 2 yrs later..
in time, some indigenous peoples had caught wind of this new racist idea..an indigenous group in mexico complained that the ‘difficult and arduous work’ .. was ‘only for the blacks and not for the thin and weak indians’.. las casas and company birthed twins.. racist twins that some native american and africans took in: strong black; and weak native american who easily died from the stain of hard labor..
las casas regretted ‘the advice he gave the king’ to import enslaved africans.. he say in zurara’s writing evidence revealing the slave trade to ‘be the horror that it is’.. he tried to close the door on african slavery, after opening it for so many spanish slaveholders.. he failed.
leo africanus established himself .. as world’s first known african racist.. (as zurara was first european produces of racist ideas).. leo’s african ancestry hardly shielded him from believing in african inferiority and european superiority..
once manuscripts finished 1526.. published in italian 1550 translated into french and latin 1556.. readers across western europe were consuming it and tying african people to hypersexuality, to animals, and to the lack of reason.. most influential book on africa next to zurara’s .. during the 1500s
3 – coming to america
normalizing neg behavior in faraway african people allowed writers to de normalize neg behavior in white people..
1589 – richard hakluty urge explorers, traders, and missionaries to fulfill their superior destiny, to civilized, christianize, capitalize and command the world.. that he (george best) found first in england but could not speak of
schooling the world ness
the puritans believed, too, in civilizing and christianizing the world. but their approach .. rather than econ returns or political power.. was about bringing social order to world..
william perkins became one of first major english theorists – or assimilationist theologians, to be more precise – to mask the exploitative master/servant or master/slave relationship as a loving family relationship..t
it was perkins’s family ordering that puritan leaders like john cotton and richard mather used to sanction slavery in massachusetts a generation later.. .. perkins’s claim of equal souls and unequal bodies.. led puritan preachers like cotton & mather to minister to african souls and not challenge the enslavement of their bodies..t
in 1597, john pory a recent cambridge grade.. argued that climate theory could not explain the geographical distinctions in color.. they must be ‘hereditary’ ie: descended from ham.. the cursed son of noah..
shakespeare et al late 1500s.. staging black people as cruel idiots..
1605 – ben jonson produces the masque of blackness for queen anne of denmark.. inspired by climate theory.. 12 ugly african princesses .. learn they can be ‘made beautiful’ if travel.. to blanch.. queen anne herself and 11 court ladies played the african princesses in black face, inaugurating the use of black paint on the royal stage..
feel like i’m reading howard zinn’s a people’s history
kin james chartered in 1606 w eye on n america ..virginia and new england.. captain john smith a mentee of richard hakluyt.. n american’s first permanent english settlement survived..
the word race first appeared in frenchman jacques de brezes’s 1481 poem ‘the hunt’ where it referred to hunting dogs.. as term expanded to include humans over next century.. primarily to id and differentiate and animalize african people…. term did not appear in a dictionary until 1606, when french diplomat jean nicot included an entry for it. ‘race.. means descent.. it is said tha man, a horse, a dog or another animal is from good or bad race’.. then british lump multiethnic native americans and multiethnic africans in to same racial groups..
thousands crossed atlantic moved by smith’s exhilarating travel books.. which by 1624 included tale of pocahontas saving his life.. the civilized savage’
shakespeare (1611) played on these associations of the ape and devil and african in crafting caliban.. the hypersexual bastard child of a demon and an african witch from a ‘vile race’.. thomas petyon wrote of cain.. as black deformed elf.. these were ideas about african people circulating throughout england .. as african people were being hauled into britannia on slave ships
first recorded slave ship to arrive in colonial america w african people as not originally intended for english colonies.. probably headed for vera cruz mexico.. latin american slaveholders had used racist ideas to craft a permanent slavery for the quarter of a million africans they had at that time.. pirates ships probably attacked… 1619.. selling some 20 of their angolan captives in jamestown to virginia governor george yeardley, the owner of 1 000 acres..
john pory, the translator of leo the african’s book into english was yeardley’s cousin.. and in 1619.. served as his secretary..
july 30 1619.. yeardley convened the inaugural meeting of elected politicians in colonial america, a group that included thomas jefferson’s great grandfather.. .. pory was their speaker.. who had defended curse theory.. became colonial america’s first legislative leader..
pory set the price of american’s first cash crop, tobacco and recognized the need for labor to grow it.. so .. angolans arrived right on time.. considering these african people to be stamped from the beginning as a racially distinct people, as lower than themselves.. and as lower than the more populous white indentured servants..
virginia’s first judicial decision explicitly referring to race.. 1630. white man ‘to be soundly whipt before an assembly of negroes and others for abusing himself to the dishonor of god and the shame of christianity by defiling his body in lying w a negro’.. the court contrasted polluted black woman w pure white woman w whom he could lie w/o defiling his body.. first recorded instance of gender racism in america.. body of black woman tainted.. could defile a white man upon contact
the marrow’s explanation became a guiding principle for mather’s gen of puritans settling in the massachusetts bay area in the late 1620s and 1630s. puritans used this doctrine when assessing native american and african strangers, ensuring intolerance form the start in their land of tolerance..t
ligon’s recommendation of christianizing the slave for docility appeared during a crucial time of intellectual innovation and as intellectual ideas abounded, justification for slavery abounded too..
4 – saving souls, not bodies
mather marries cotton’s widow.. had son named increase mather, who married widow’s daughter.. named first son.. 1663 .. cotton mather
in time.. cotton would make his father a prophet.. he combined best of the cottons and mathers..
not many englishmen wer more knowledgeable – or less compassionate – than john locke about british colonialism and slavery. ‘you should feel nothing at all of others’ misfortune‘ he advised a friend in 1670..
just as richard baxter had pushed his ‘voluntary slave’ theory to defend slavery in his free christian society, john locke pushed his ‘just war’ theory to defend slavery in his free civil society..
in any society, the mind ‘at first is rasa tabula’ locke famously wrote in an essay concerning humane understanding.. if people are born w/o innate intelligence, then there cannot be a natural intellectual hierarchy.. but locke’s egalitarian idea had a caveat.. he painted the unblemished mind white.. he used the term ‘white paper’ much more often than ‘blank slate’ or ‘tabula rasa’ to describe the child’s ‘as yet unprejudiced understanding’..t
also.. in same essay.. touched on the origin of species.. african women had conceived babies w apes.. reinforced african female hypersexuality..
ever since europeans had laid eyes on native american in 1492, a people unmentioned in the bible, they had started questioning the biblical creation story.. some speculated that native americans had to have descended from a diff adam.. by end of 16th cent.. european thinkers had added african people to list of species descended form a diff adam..
to justify black enslavement, barbados planters actually ‘preferred’ the polygenesis theory over the curse theory of ham..
in 1675 a war more destructive than the great hurricane of 1635 ravaged new england.. 3000 native americans and 600 settlers killed..
in 1688 germantown petition against slavery was the inaugural antiracist tract among european settlers in colonial american.. the golden rule would forever inspire the cause of white antiracists.. whether out of altruism or intelligent self interest.. human hierarchies of any kind, they understood, would do little more than oppress all of humanity..
but powerful slaveholding philadelphia quakers killed the germantown petition out of econ self interest..t
rich planters learned from bacon’s rebellion that poor whites had to be forever separated from enslaved blacks.. in 1680, legislators pardoned only the white rebels; they prescribed 30 lashes for any slave who lifted a hand ‘against any christian’ (christian now meant white) .. all whites now wielded absolute power to abuse any african person..
1674.. cotton mather youngest student in harvard’s history.. (11 yr old) known as intellectual prodigy.. the chosen one.. fluent in latin, running thru 15 chapters of the bible a day, and as pious as boys came..
smaller than a 6th grade pupil.. when he walked onto tiny campus.. he was like a self righteous politician entering a corrupted congress.. 12 -15 18 yr olds schemed to break the 11 yrs old’s moral backbone.. had started stuttering .. self searching and burden of trying to live up to two famous names may have worsened his condition.. the soul searching setback caused him to turn to his ink and quill..
insecure in speech.. confident, brilliant and artistic as a writer.. his father allowed him to write-up many important church and govt docs.. ended up writing 7 000 pages of sermons between ages of 13 an d 32.. more than any other american puritan
around 1677 royal society economist william petty drafted a hierarchical ‘scale’ of humanity, locating the ‘guinea negroes’ at the bottom..
francois bernier, a friend of john locke’s, anonymously crafted a ‘new division of the earth‘ in the french journal in 1684.. became first popular classifier of all humans into races..t.. to bernier.. there existed ‘4 or 5 species or races of men’: europeans (original humans – including n africa, middle east, india , americas and se asia); africans; east asians; and the ‘quite frightful’ people of norther finland, ‘the lapps’..
the notion of europeans – save the lapps – as being in the ‘frist’ race was part of western thought almost from the beginning of racist ideas.. ..it sat in the conceptual core of climate theory.. bernier standardized white people and eroticized african women.. ‘ i dare say there is not a more delightful spectacle in the world’.. a contradiction inherent in much of anti black racism.. he posed notion of two human souls: one hereditary, sensitive non rational and animal like.. the other god given, spiritual and rational.. ‘those who excel in the powers of the mind should command those who only excel in brute force.. just as the soul governs the body, and man rules animals’
1686 – royal governor via king (losing local govt in massachusetts) .. much of new england despondently submitted.. not increase mather, the newly installed head of harvard.. then in 1689.. new englanders raised the baton of revolt..
5 – black hunts
(on cotton trying to get local govt back.. getting it.. but not seen as legit.. so not the same): the declaration of gentleman and merchants.. most likely written by mather – resembled another declaration by another prominent intellectual down in virginia a century later.. in 6th article.. ‘the people of new england were all slaves and the only diff between them and slaves is their not being bought and sold’..(from british masters)
cotton mather wrote of all humans having an unblemished white soul the same year john locke declared all unblemished minds to be white.. boyle and isaac newton had already popularized light as white.. michelangelo had painted adam and god as white in sistine chapel.. and for all these white men, whiteness symbolized beauty, a trope taken up by one of the first popular novel by and english woman..
1688 – aphra behn’s oroonoko: or, the royal slave.. was first english novel to repeatedly use terms like ‘white men/people’ and ‘negro’.. about the enslavement and resistance of a young english woman and her husband oroonoko, an african prince.. behn framed oroonoko as a heroic ‘noble savage’ superior to europeans in his ignorance/innocence/harmlessness.. and in his capacity for learning from europeans.. in true assimilationist fashion, one of the characters insists ‘a negro can change colour,.’
mather couldn’t stop preaching about the devil and witches.. maybe he was consciously attempting to redirect the public’s anger away from elites and toward invisible demons..t
long before egalitarian rebels in america started to be cast off as extremists, criminals, radicals, outsiders, communists, or terrorists, mather’s community of ministers ostracized egalitarian rebels as devils and witches..
salem witch hunt began..t
in nearly every instance, the devil who was preying upon innocent white puritans was described as black.. ‘the body was like that of a monkey’ the observer added.. since the devil rep’d criminality .. salem witch hunt ascribed a black face to criminality – an ascription that remains to this day..t
cotton’s friends were appointed judges.. on may 31 1692.. mather expressed his support for capital punishment.. on jun 10 .. first of more than 20 accused witches to die
the fervor over witches soon died down.. but even after massachusetts authorities apologized, reversed conviction, and provided reparations in early 1700s, mather never stopped defending the salem witch trials, because he never stopped defending the religious, class, slaveholding, gender, and racial hierarchies reinforced by the trials.. these hierarchies benefited elites like him, or, as he continued to preach, they were in accord w the law of god..t
a group of enslaved africans formed a ‘religious society of negroes’ in boston.. in 1693 cotton drew up the society’s list of rules.. ‘wee the miserable children of adam and noah.. freely resolve. ..to become the servants of that glorious lord’ .. two of mather’s rules 1\ members to be counseled by someone ‘wise and of english’ descent and 2\ not to ‘afford’ and ‘shelter’ to anyone who had ‘runaway from their maters’.. some members of society probably delighted in hearing mather cast their soul as white.. .. some probably rejected these racist ideas and used the society to mobilize against enslavement.. .. the religious society of negroes did not last..
in a good master well served (1691) he presumed tha nature had created ‘a conjugal society’ between husband and wife; ‘a parental society’ between parent and child; and ‘lowest of all’ a ‘heile society’ between master and servant.. society; he said, became destabilized when children, women, and servants refused to accept their station.. t.. mather compared egalitarian resisters to that old ambitious devil, who wanted to become the all powerful god.. this line of thinking became mather’s everlasting justification of social hierarchy: the ambitious lowly resembled satan; his kind of elites resembled god.
his insistence that urbane american slavery was better than barbaric african freedom was not unlike zurara’s .. (better off as slave in portugal than in africa).. ‘do not partake in evil… by obeying.. your soul will be washed white in the blood of the lamb’.. if you fail to be ‘orderly servants’.. then you shall forever welter ‘under intolerable blows and wounds’..t.. from the devil.. ‘your overseer’ .. in sum, mather offered enslaved africans two options: righteous assimilated whiteness and slavery to god and god’s minions, or segregated criminal blackness and slavery to the devil and the devil’s minions
mather’s writings on slavery spread throughout colonies.. from boston to virginia.. by the 18th cent he has published more books than any other american.. boston.. had become colonial america’s booming intellectual center..t
w raising/exporting tobacco.. purchasing enslaved african became the investment craze.. t
cotton’s counterpart in virginia.. minister james blair.. used profits from slave labor to found the college of william & mary in 1693, the colonies’ second college..t
mather remained in solidarity w anglican spg missionaries and quaker missionaries in trying to persuade resistant enslavers to christianize resistant africans.. .. difficult to persuade.. but much easer than what mather’s friend tried to persuade them to do in 1700
6 – great awakening
1706 – mather released the negro christianized.. – don’t worry about baptism leading to freedom.. the ‘law of christianity .. allows slavery’
new england churches routinely gifted captives to ministers.. mather named ‘it’ onesimus.. mather kep ta close racist eye on him, constantly suspecting him of thievery
americans reading early colonial newspapers learned two recurring lessons about black people: they could be bought like cattle, and they were dangerous criminals like those witches..
from their arrival around 1619, african people had illegally resisted legal slavery. they had thus been stamped from the beginning as criminals.. t
1721 – small pox comes to boston.. mather finds out via onesimus.. west africa had been inoculating (tiny amount from smallpox victim scraped into skin w a thorn) – precursor to modern vaccination.. racist european scientists at first refused to recognize the african physicians could have made such advances.. it would take several decades .. before edward jenner.. so called father of immunology, validated inoculation..
if grandfathers consumed in england the racist idea of the african who can and should be enslaved, then cotton mather led the way in producing the racist idea of christianity simultaneously subduing and uplifting the enslaved african.. he normalized and rationalized the expansion of colonialism and slavery..
by mather’s death in 1728, royal society fellows had fully constructed this white ruling standard for humanity. christianity, rationality, civilization, wealth, goodness, souls, beauty, light, adam, jesus, god, and freedom had all been framed as the dominion of white people from europe.. the only question was whether lowly african people had the capacity fo rising up and reaching the standard.. mather: the african people could become white in their souls..
part 2 – thomas jefferson
7 – enlightenment
peter (thomas’s dad) had accumulated almost 60 captives by the 1750s, which made him the second largest slaveholder in albemarle county. peter preached to his children the importance of self reliance – oblivious of the contradiction – to which he credited his own success
8 – black exhibits
9 – created equal
as a holder of nearly 200 people w no known plans to free them, thomas jefferson authored the heralded american philosophy of freedom.. t.. what did it mean for jefferson to call ‘liberty’ and ‘inalienable right’ when he enslaved people..
for these rich men, freedom was not the power to make choices; freedom was the power to create choices.. england created the choices, the policies american elites had to abide by.. just as planters created choices/policies laborers had to follow
this is school.. spinach or rock ness
for jefferson.. power came before freedom.. indeed power creates freedom, not the other way around, as the powerless are taught
as jefferson penned.. thousands of africans were taking matters into own hands.. according to jefferson’s own calcs.. virginia lost as many as 30 000 enslaved africans in a single year..
thomas jefferson only really handed revolutionary license to his band of wealthy, white, male revolutionaries.. he criminalized runaways in the declaration of independence , and he silenced women.. t
gained a powerful ally in 1776 – jefferson said adam smith’s.. the wealth of the nations.. ‘best book extant’ on political econ – wealth from a nations’ productive capacity, a productive capacity african nations lacked..
thomas jefferson emerged as the preeminent american authority on black intellectual inferiority.. one wonders whether jefferson really believed his own words.. did he really believe back people were smart in slavery and stupid in freedom..t
as his peer penned the us constitution, jefferson began a sexual relationship w sally hemings.. (14? and biracial)
‘amalgamation (combining) w the other color produces degradation to which no lover of his country, no lover of excellence in th human character, can innocently consent’ he wrote in 1814, after he had fathered several biracial children.. like so many men who spoke out against ‘amalgamation’ in public.. and who degraded black or biracial women’s beauty in public, jefferson hid his actual views in the privacy of his mind and bedroom..
at 16 .. sally pregnant.. refused to return to slavery.. jefferson.. promised her extraordinary privileges and made a solemn pledge that her children should be freed.. she gave birth to at least five and possibly 7 children from jefferson..
free and affluent biracial activists numbering almost 30 000.. starting driving their civil rights.. close to half a mn enslaved africans , who were producing about half the world’s sugar and coffee .. heard these curious cries for rights and liberty .. on aug 22, 1791.. enslaved africans revolted, .. it was s civil war that no slaveholder, including jefferson, wanted enslaved africans to win.. if these black freedom fighters could declare their independence and win it on the richest soil of the americas, then their nation would become the hemispheric symbol of freedom, not jefferson’s us..
10 – uplift suasion
this strategy of what can be termed uplift suasion was based on the idea that white people could be persuaded away from their racist ideas if they saw black people improving their behavior, uplifting themselves from their low station in american society.. the burden of race relations was placed squarely on the shoulders of black americans..
conceived by ‘extraordinary’ black people.. this strategy to undermine racist ideas was actually based on a racist idea: ‘negative’ black behavior, said that idea, was partially or totally responsible for the existence and persistence of racist ideas… to believe that.. was to believe that there was some truth in notions of black inferiority.. .. and to believe that.. was to hold racist ideas..
uplift suasion was not only racist.. but impossible for black to execute.. ie: always display positive.. also.. held the extraordinary negro.. upwardly mobile blacks were regularly cast aside as unique and as diff from ordinary, inferior black people..t
then yellow fever killing 5000 .. from rush telling black people they had immunity to it
then eli whitney and king cotton.. became american’s leading export.. tightened the chains of african people in american slavery.. uplift suasion had no chance
callendar exposes jefferson’s sally.. but didn’t upset voters.. ie: some were having their own secretive affairs w black women – or raping them – and they did not want such things publicly aired.. ‘everyone did it .. or tried to..’ from ending teens virginity, to affairs, to master/slave rape.. to enslaving one’s children.. all seemed normal in slaveholding america.. immutable facts of life and economy
11 – big bottoms
12 – colonization
while smith believed that black people were capable of whiteness, jefferson insisted that they were incapable of achieving whiteness in the us. colonization (sierra leone) offered an alt that both men could embrace.. 1816 – the colonization movement’s manifesto..
this new racist drive required racist ideas to make sense of it, and hegel’s pontification about backward africans arrived right on time..
ironically, back in 1807, hegel had expressed a very antiracist idea in phenomenology of spirit.. condemning ‘the overhasty judgement formed at first sight about the inner nature and character’ of a person.. legions of philosophy chairs across europe became hegelians.. kierkegaard, marx, engles.. but before his death in 1831.. hegel failed to free himself and europe from the enlightenment era’s racist ideas.. hegel: ‘the african people were a nation of children.. in first stage of human development: the negro is an ie of animal man in all his savagery and lawlessness.. ‘
the vast vesey conspiracy provoked fear in charleston and beyond. slaveholders began to contemplate the end of slavery and ejecting the black people seemed like an attractive option.. ‘the whole us should join in a colonization society’
jefferson, the nations’ most famous antislavery anti abolitionist, longed for the louisiana territory, which he purchased in 1803, to become the republic’s hospital, the place where the illnesses of the original states could be cured – most notably, the illness of slavery.. enslaved africans would be spread out (if not sent to africa).. the ‘diffusion over a greater surface would make them individually happier’.. jefferson dreamed that the vast louisiana territory could swallow slavery..
jefferson autobiography: nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free, ‘ he wrote. ‘nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same govt’
jefferson back to colonization.. apparently, black american would civilize the continent under the tutelage of those white americans who had civilized them..
aside from the hemings children and sally.. jefferson did not free any of the other enslaved people at monticello.. one historian estimated that jefferson had owned more than 600 slaves over the course of his lifetime.. in 1826 he held around 200 people as property and he was about $100 000 in debt (about $2 mn in 2014) an amount so staggering that he knew once he died, everything and everyone would be sold..
1826 died surrounded by his enslaved house servants
part 3 – william lloyd garrison
13 – gradual equality
garrison devoured cotton mather’s writing.. then .. soon after lundy’s visit, garrison resigned from his temperance newspaper and thrust himself into the antislavery cause. little did he know that almost 4 decades would pass before he could stop pressing america to free itself of slavery
almost from his first words in 1829, agents of the american colonization society knew they had selected the wrong independence day speaker ‘i am sick of our hypocritical cant about the rights of man‘ garrison bellowed, making the church crowd uncomfortable.. we should be demanding ‘a gradual abolition of slavery’ not promoting colonization.. freedom and ed would ‘elevate black to a proper rank in the scale of being’
no valid excuse can be given for the continuance of the evil (of slavery) a single hour’ garrison wrote
antislavery activist david walker was part of black community in boston.. walker told enslaved blacks to mobilize themselves for the second american revolutionary war.. yet walker watered down his appeal by disparaging the very people he was calling up to resist. blacks were ‘the most degraded, wretched and abject set of beings that ever lived..’ he proclaimed.. he regurgitated the theory of how slavery had made black people inferior..
walker was not first/last black activist to complain about political disunity as a uniquely black problem.. these racist ideas diluted walker’s message and yet it was still intoxicatingly antiracist..t.. walker id’d and decried america’s fav racist pastime: denying blacks access to ed and jobs and then calling their resultant impoverished state ‘natural’..
garrison needed new medium to continue his antislavery advocacy.. his opponents denigrated him as a ‘a second walker’ .. a sentiment alexis de tocquevile would echo.. after he toured the us in 1831.. ‘the prejudice of race appears to be stronger in the states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists..’ he described the vicious cycle of racist ideas.. he believe extinction remained th only option..
garrison.. diff option.. : immediate abolition and gradual equality (a process of civilizing black people to be equal one day.). calling antifascist who fought for immediate equality impractical and crazy.. just as segregationists called him crazy for demanding immediate emancipation
garrison pressed for free blacks to challenge ‘every law which infringes on rights as free native citizens’ and to ‘respect yourself if you desire the respect of others.. he urged black to acquire money, too, because ‘money begets influence, and influence respectability’
garrison believed that the nearer blacks ‘approached the whites in their habits the better they were’.. according to an early biographer..’they always seemed to him a social problem rather than simply people’.. when blacks were seen as a social problem, the solution to racist ideas seemed simple.. as blacks rose, so would white opinions.. when blacks were seen as simply people – a collection of imperfect individuals equal to the imperfect collection of individuals w white skin – then blacks’ imperfect behavior became irrelevant.. discrimination was the social problem: the cause of the racial disparities between two equal collections of individuals..t
in emphasizing black self improvement to war off racism, garrison was reflecting the views of the elite black activists who invited him to their cities and subscribed to his newspaper.. black activists in many cases saw each other as social problems that needed to be fixed.. ‘if we ever expect to see the influence of prejudice decrease and ourselves respected, it must be by the blessing of an enlightenment ed’..t
and so it school to all
of course, recent history had not shown a proportional relationship between black uplift and white respect..t
when tennessee enslaver and war hero andrew jackson became the new president as the hero of democracy for white men and autocracy for others in 1829, the production and consumption of racist ideas seemed to be quickening, despite recent back advances..
in 1830s, turned news to more eye catching ‘bad’ news.. black behavior .. blamed for impoverished black enclaves.. the vicious housing cycle had already begun..
millions of poor european immigrants pouring into norther port cities after 1830 further amplified the housing discrimination and threatened free blacks’ hold on menial and service jobs..native whites.. now calling irish immigrants ‘white niggers’
it was in this environ of entrenched racism that america’s first minstrel shows appeared.. .. thomas ‘daddy’ rice, who learned to mimic african american english (today called ebonics) was touring south.. appearing in blackface and dressed in rags.. jim crow sang and danced as a stupid, childlike, cheerful black field hand.. ‘zip coon’ black male who mimicked – outrageously – white elites..
in decades leading up to civil war, blackface minstrelsy became first american theatrical form, the incubator of the american entertainment industry.. mainstream in us until around 1920
in 1835-6.. for those who didn’t like minstrel shows.. could see.. barnum’s greatest natural and national curiosity in the world.. barnum would go on to become one of greatest showmen in american history, exhibiting all kinds of ‘freaks’ including whitening blacks..
in addition to minstrel and ‘freak’ shows, a series of novels and children’s books produced racist ideas …. both black and white children were building a sense of self on a foundation of racist ideas.. t
garrison loathed the shows and the lit, and he loathed those politicians too. and yet he also crafted black people as the social problem..
after turner’s rebellion (blacks resisting and killing whites), virginians started seriously contemplating the end of slavery.. not from moral persuasion of nonviolent abolitionists (as garrison pushed), but from fear or slave revolts.. that could one day kill them all.. resulted in even more harrowing slave code .. racists ideas, clearly did not generate these slave codes, enslaving interest generated these slave codes..racist ideas were produced to preserve the enslaving interests..t
thomas roderick dew (prof at william and mary.. later president).. like garrison, considered colonization to be an evil and impractical idea. black people’ though vastly inferior in the scale of civilization‘ and though unable to work ‘except by compulsion’ still constituted the cheap labor force that the southern economy needed.. (suicide to get rid fo them)
racial discrimination was off the hook.. cities received assurance that their menial labor pools, which the us senate found so essential to the economy, were safe..t
dew’s review accomplished in enslaving circles what garrison’s thoughts accomplished in abolitionist circles..
1833 – american anti slavery society.. believe in immediate emancipation.. led by america’s most illustrious philanthropist.. and his rich brothers (one to be ohio senator).. aass constitution: ‘this society shall aim to elevate the character and conditions of the people of color, by encouraging their intellectual, moral religious improvement, and by removing public prejudice’
the tappan bros instructed aass agents to instill in free blacks ‘the importance of domestic order, and the performance of relative duties in families; of correct habits; command of temper and courteous manners’..
and yet, aass agents and supporters were cautioned not to adopt black children, encourage interracial marriages, or excite ‘the people of color to assume airs’.. blacks were to assume ‘the true dignity of meekness’ in order to win over their critics..
dang. this got so well practiced .. for doing it to children..
1835.. aass used new techs (mass printing and postal service).. to spread their gospel.. w 20 000 to 50 000 copies a week of abolitionist tracts.. . the aim: to waken the conscience of the nation to the evils of slavery’ slaveholders had no clue what was coming
14 – imbruted or civilized
1841 – garrison sessions w abolitionists in nantucket.. 23 yr old frederick douglass is first runaway to tell his tory.. emerged as newest black exhibit.. he was intro’d to audiences as ‘chattel’ a ‘think’ a ‘piece of southern property.. he wanted to be intro’d as a man.. and he wanted to not just tell his story.. but his philosophy..
garrison’s printing office published the narrative of the life of frederick douglass in 1845.. in 5 months 4500 copes sold and in the next 5 yrs 30 000
15 – soul
stowe’s uncle tom’s cabin.. blacks’ spiritually superior.. because of intellectual inferiority.. this allows blacks to have soul.. ..quickly became a central pillar of african american id as black readers consumed the book and passed on its racist ideas.. racist whites, believing selves to be void of soul.. made it their personal mission to find soul thru black people.. racist blacks, believing selves to void of intellect, made it her personal mission to find intellect thru white people..t.. black americans almost immediately made uncle tom the identifier of black submissiveness.. .. stowe’s underlying racist ideas that made uncle tom so submissive – blacks especially spiritual.. had soul..
types of mankind (greek, negro, ape, et al) was so popular.. loaned go frederick douglass.. who used his first formal address before a college audience.. 1854.. of mount a spirited rebuttal.. he recycled the message in other speeches for years..
when men oppress their fellow men, the oppressor ever finds, in the character of the oppressed, a full justification for his oppression‘ douglass, amazingly, summed up the history or racist ideas in a single sentence.. t
douglass turns from his antiracist best to his racist worst.. he references the work of biracial physician james smith .. who had the single greatest influence on douglass’s life.. more than garrison.. smith:’the hair of black people was growing more and more straight, these influences .. climate and culture.. will ultimately produce a uniform american of white skin and straight hair
16 – the impending crisis
abe lincoln – antislavery stand – on henry clay & his cause for colonization ..garrison: no man was a greater enemy to black people.. lincoln called clay ‘my idea of a great man’
lincoln did not like the domestic slave trade, and yet he had no problem advocating against black voting rights early in his career
driving interest in 1857: cotton
by the fourth debate (w stephen douglas) in charleston in central illinois, lincoln had had enough. ‘i am not nor ever have been in favor of making (black people) voters or jurors’ or politicians or marriage partners.. there is a physical diff between the white and black races which i believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.. and inasmuch as they cannot live, while the do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and i as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race’..t
darwin: declared war on biblical chronology and the ruling conception of polygenisis, offering a new ruling idea: natural selection.. he didn’t explicitly claim that the white race had been naturally selected .. he did however open the door for bigots to use his theory by referring to ‘civilized’ states the ‘savage races of man’ and ‘half civilized man’ can calling the natives of s africa and their descendants ‘the lowest savages’
darwin’s scholarly circle grew immeasurably over the 1860s, even changed life of his cousin, francis galton.. the father of modern statistics.. galton created the concepts of correlation and regression toward the mean and blazed the trail for the use of questionnaires and surveys to collect data..t
in hereditary genius (1869) .. he used his data to popularize the myth that parents passed on hereditary traits like intelligence that environ could not alter.. ‘the avg intellectual standard of the negro race is some two grades below our own’ galton wrote.. he coined the phrase ‘nature vs nurture’ claiming that nature was undefeated.. galton urged govts to rid the world of all naturally unselected peoples, or at least stop them from reproducing, a social policy he called ‘eugenics’ in 1883..t
in april 1860 debow’s review printed the results of a ‘search for a moral, happy, and voluntarily industrious community of free negroes’ the reporter apparently surveyed jamaica, haiti, trinidad, british guiana, antilles, martinique, guadeloupe, st thomas, st john, antigua, peru, mexico, panama, mauritius, england, canada, sierra leone, and liberia.. but found that ‘no such community exists up on the face of the earth’
praising lincoln as ‘man of will and nerve’ frederick douglass refused to vote for him, knowing his horrible illinois record on black rights.. garrison ignored promoters playing up lincoln’s antislavery credential.. lincoln would ‘do nothing to offend the south’ garrison scoffed
lincoln: only diff between n and s.. you think slavery is right and ought to be extended; we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted’
s carolina only had to utter: haiti.. to induce fear.. in final week fo 1860. s carolina enslavers took drastic steps to ensure their safety
17 – history’s emancipator
there have always been individual truths to support every generalized racist lie (ie: runaways who realized slavery was better than freedom and heroic black confederated defending slavery)..t
horace greeley (as responsible for lincoln’s election as anyone) urged lincoln to enforce the ’emancipation provisions’.. lincoln: my paramount object in this struggle is to save the union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery (would do either if it saved the union)
lincoln issued the prelim emancipation proclamation.. all slaves freed.. (for the sake of the union).. any slave sate could remain or return to the union if it pledged loyalty and willingness to abolish slavery at any time before jan 1 1900.. the us govt would compensate such states for freeing their human property..
in next two years, lincoln made himself available to writers, artists, photographers, and sculptors who memorialized him for the historical record as the great emancipator. .. w his proclamation.. he emancipated about 50 000 black people in the union occupied confederate areas that january.. he kept enslaved the nearly half million african people in border states, in order to maintain their owners’ loyalty.. he also kept enslaved the roughly 300 000 african people in the newly exempt formerly confederate areas, in order to establish their owners’ loyalty.. more than 2 million african people on confederate plantation remained enslaved because lincoln had no power to free them.. democrats mocked lincoln for ‘purposefully making ‘the proclamation inoperable in all places where the slaves (were ) accessible’ and operative ‘only where he has notoriously no power to execute it ‘..
but enslave african now had the power to emancipate themselves.. by end of 1863 400 000 black people had escaped plantations and found union lines,
whereas before he (garrison) had slammed lincoln for his sluggishness and indecision, garrison now began to praise lincoln’s ‘cautious’ and ‘considerate’ manner..
the black owned san fran pacific appeal detested this ‘halfway measure’ insisting that ‘every bondsman’ should have been emancipated, and ‘every chain.. broken’.. t
18 – ready for freedom?
henry villard, one of the war’s most talented young journalists.. on blacks from sea islands of s carolina.. where he had observed war’s first emancipated people and first regiment of black troops.. his racist observations: the ‘half heathenish blacks’.. ‘savage superstitions’.. villard derisively called their gullah language ‘jargon‘ and looked down on them for not comprehending ‘our english’ ..using the same line of thinking, the east island blacks could have called villard’s language ‘jargon’ and his religion ‘savage’..t
by war’s end almost 200 000 black men had served in the war..
black people all over the south were saying this to union officials: do not abolish slavery and leave us landless.. do not force us to work for our former masters and call that freedom.. they distinguished between abolishing slavery and freeing people.. you can only set us free by providing us w land to ’till by our own labor… in offering postwar policy, black people were rewriting what it meant to be free.. t
escape from freedom ness
since the fed govt had started selling confiscated and abandoned southern land to private owners in 1863, more than 90% had gone to northern whites over the widespread protests of local blacks.. t
gen sherman opened settlements for black families.. by june 1865, 40 000 people had been settled on the plots and had been given old army mules..
all black people needed was to be left alone, secure on their own lands and guaranteed their own rights
because of slavery.. didn’t think they could do it.. horace greeley: must be ‘aided by contact w white civilization to become good citizens and enlightened men’
on jan 31 1865 – house members passed 13th amendment abolishing slavery.. the eruption of republicans on house floor – hugging dancing, crying and smiling and shouting .. foreshadowed emancipation parties and meeting across the us..
lincoln expressed his preference for bestowing voting rights on ‘the very intelligent’ black sand black ‘soldiers’ ..
‘that means nigger citizenship’ murmured a 26 yr old actor.. john wilkes booth and his confed conspirators had planned to kidnap lincoln and demand release of confed troops.. ‘now by god’ booth reportedly said, ‘i’ll put him thru’
19 – reconstructing slavery
(after bit on white trash and extraordinary blacks); discriminatory racial language (not racial inequities) became the proof of racism for the federal courts – the apparatus charged w the huge burden of enforcing equal treatment.. simply avoided using racial langue to veil their discriminatory intent, to get away w racial murder.. t
(andrew johnson): five blacks voting rights would result in ‘nigger domination’.. if there was any semblance of equal opportunity, these racists argued, then blacks would become dominators and white would suffer.. this was – and still is – the racist folklore or reverse discrimination.. andrew johnson crafted this form of racism.. and long after congress impeached him, he still topped lists of the worst us presidents..
as southern black citizens were killed over the next few decades to make way for jim crow, buffalo soldiers killed indigenous communities in the west to make way for white settlers..
during ..getting black men right to vote.. came women right to vote.. as needed.. black men being more sexist than white.. consequence of his racial oppression.. the abused becoming the abuser…. white women a great deal smarter
from then on (first national labor agenda 1867) this denial of racism allowed racist laborers to join w racist capitalists in depressing black wages, in shoving black workers into the nastiest jobs, in driving up their rates of unemployment and in blaming the racial disparities they helped create on black stupidity and laziness..
kkk founded originally in 1865 as a social club in tennessee
it stung leading suffragist susan b anthony to think the constitution had ‘recognized’ black men ‘as the political superior of all the nobel women’ .. they had ‘just emerged from slavery’ and were ‘not only totally illiterate, but also densely ignorant of every public question’ ironically, sexist men were using similar argument about women’s illiteracy, women’s ignorance of public questions and nobel men.. as the natural political superiors of all women.. ie: george downing.. a black activist.. and businessman.. spoke of women’s’ obedience being god’s will
they did not realize that the racist, sexist, ethnocentric, and classist ideas were produced by some of the same powerful minds..
20 – reconstructing blame
(on 15th amendment) – ‘the ballot is the citadel of the colored man’s safety’ parodied on black southerner..’the guarantor of his liberty, the protector of his rights…’ as the black southerner knew so well, the ballot never did stop all those hooded night riders..
klan violence as needed to ‘keep the niggers in their place’.. worst offender was a suspected black rapist of a white woman. klansmen glorified white womanhood.. they religiously believed that blacks possessed supernatural sexual powers, and his belief fueled their sexual attraction to black women and their fear of white women being attracted to black men.. black women’s bodies.. were regarded as a ‘training ground’ for white men, or a stabilizing ‘safety valve’ for white men’s ‘sexual energies’ ..
horace greeley had long been associated w emancipation and equality, but he made himself over in order to campaign as the democratic candidate for president in 1872.. ‘political equality is far off’ he lectured blacks. ‘social equality will remain forever out of reach. don’t expect free gifts of land, segregate yourself; …’
to intimidate and reassert their control over rebellious blacks and white women white male redeemers took up lynching in the 1880s. someone was lynched on avg, every four days from 1889 to 1929.. often justifying the ritualistic slaughters on a false rumor that the victim had raped a white women..t.. white men, women and children gathered to watch the torture, killing and dismemberment of human beings – all the while calling the victims savages.. hate fueled the lynching era.. but behind this hatred lay racist ideas that had evolved to question black freedoms at every stage.. and behind these racist ideas were powerful white men, striving by word and deed to regain absolute political, econ, and cultural control of the south
part 4 – web dubois
21 – renewing the south
dubois at 70: ‘the slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again towards slavery’
blacks were so strong.. so fit for slavery.. but when freed.. too weak for freedom
the system of separation had been created to ensure racial ineq, yet grady propagated the notion that it was intended to ensure racial equality and bring racial progress.. truth never did stop the concocters of racist ideas..
president ben harrison: ‘when is (the negro) in fact to have those full civil rights which have so long been his in law?’
22 – southern horrors
on june 25 1890 dubois spoke at his harvard grad ceremony.. graduated from most prestigious black and white colleges.. in us.. he felt he was showing off the capability of his race.. ‘the european (strong) met civilization and crushed it.. the negro (submissive) met civilization and was crushed by it’
black people did not sit idly by during this segregationist organizing. black resistance caused lynching to spike in the early 1890s .. justified by a ‘spike in black crime’.. this justification was accepted by a young dubios, by the middle aged.. booker t washington.. and by a dying frederick douglass.. it took a young antiracist black woman to set these racist men straight.. ida b wells..
ida recoiled from the lynching of friends and sheer number of lynching during peak of 1892.. when number reached 255.. she released a blazing pamphlet in 1892 called southern horrors: lynch law in all its phases.. . from a sample of 728 lynching reports in recent years, wells found that only a bout 1/3 of lynching victims had ‘ever been charged w rape, to say nothing of those who were innocent of the charge’.. t.. white men were lying about black on white rape and hiding their own assaults of black women, wells raged..
the negro problem: playing down the southern horrors of discrimination and playing up what was wrong w black people
23 – black judases
(on hoffman’s book – stats.. showing blacks were heading to extinction.. which supplied his employer w an excuse for its discriminatory policies concerning life insurance for african americans.. white life ins co’s refused to insure a supposedly dying race. yet another racist idea was produced to defend a racist policy..
while dubois fought that..ie: so too the germans..? but .. in all his intellectual power.. dubois proved unable to stop the cycle fo racial profiling and crime stats and racist ideas.. no one could reject stats or refute them as indicators of greater black crime.. instead they accepted the numbers as fact and tried to push against the stereotypes of criminal blacks thru ed and persuasion.. thus reproducing the racist ideas they were working to eliminate
dubois reinforced as much racism as he struck down.. his speech riddled w racist ideas, speaking of ‘blood’ races, race traits, backward africa, imbruting enslavement, criminally minded and effeminate african american men, strong europeans, and the idea that african americans were superior to continental africans..
and too.. dubois saying: duty of negroes to solve problem of black female unchastity..
dubois .. ‘laying all necessary stress on the weaknesses of his people’ and then ridiculed him for believing that these supposed weaknesses could be cured.. reading this review.. dubois should have gathered that when he tried directing readers from crossroads of racist and antiracist ideas.. they often would not reach his desired antiracist destination…. then again .. dubois, like his elite black peers, hardly considered their attacks on the black poor and black women to be racist…
washington had a knack for putting white audiences at ease.. he gave them what they wanted.. minstrel show (‘darky’ jokes) and they gave him what he wanted.. a check for tuskegee.. washington somehow demeaned black people as stupid for an hour and then received donations to educate those same stupid people..
washington was ingeniously play in the racial game, but it was a dangerous game to play at end of 19th cent
dubois rational for gradual decolonization – black nations were not ready for independence.. /freedom.. echoing those proclaiming in 1899 that cuba, guam, puerto rico and the philippines, the colonies the us had received from winning the 1898 spanish american war, were not ready for independence..
1899.. poem in mclure’s magazine by rudyar kipling urged americans to ‘take up the white man’s burden..’
teddy roosevelt – 1901: ‘it is our duty toward the people living in barbarism to see that they are freed from their chains, and we can free them only by destroying barbarism itself..’
while us leaders publicly debated the colonial peoples’ capacity for civilization and assimilation, they privately debated military bases, puppet politics, natural resources, foreign markets, and war costs.. this public humanitarian debate, which was also a private political – economic debate, became a 10th cent staple as the american empire publicly and privately warred to extend its sphere of influence..
at home and abroad, a profound political racism cast non whites as incapable of self rule, or capable of self-rule one day – in order to justify both their subjection and the resulting socioeconomic disparities..
blacks in early 10th century would joke that the first english word immigrants learned was ‘nigger’.. they most probably consumed racist ideas, distancing themselves from black people..
at the time.. william archibald dunning reigned as he director of columbia uni’s dunning school of reconstruction history.. dunning trained a gen of influential southern historians who became dept chairs and dominated the discipline of history for decades in the 10th cent.. his most notable student.. ulirch bonnell phillips…. in american negro slavery (1918), along w 8 more books and duffel bag of articles, phillips erased the truth of slavery as a highly lucrative enterprise dominated by planters who incessantly forced a resisting people to labor thru terror, manipulation, and racist ideas. instead he dreamed up an unprofitable commerce dominated by benevolent, paternalistic planters civilizing ane caring for a ‘robust, amiable, obedient and content’ barbaric people..t.. phillips’s pioneering use of plantation documents legitimated his racist dreams and made them seem like objective realities.. phillips remained the most respected scholarly voice on slavery until the mid 10th cent..
most text book writiers excluded black people from school books.. but if included.. it was the dunning schools’ fables
thomas dixon jr.. composed a ‘reconstruction trilogy‘ vowing to share the ‘true story’ (after seeing uncle tom’s cabin).. he posed reconstruction as a period when corrupt, incompetent northerners and black legislators ruled, terrorized, disenfranchised, and raped southern whites until they were redeemed by the might and virtue of the kkk.. nothing arrested the national mind in the hazards of black voting.. better than this racist fiction ..
white savior stories were fast becoming a fixture .. via booker t washington’s autobio .. up from slavery..
in 1901.. du bois fire the first shot in the civil war between washington’s tuskegee machine and dubois’s elite civil rights activists..
antiracists were not defending black humanity and freedom, he (dubois) said, as ida b wells has so eloquently advocated doing. it was customary for assimilationists to charge antiracists as being like segregationists ..all hate filled and irrational.. these fabricated labels would marginalize antiracists throughout the 20 th cent.. would one day even marginalize .. dubois..
as thomas tried to distance himself from blackness thru the america negro, it was, ironically, his very blackness that cause white americans to shower him w the adoration he so desired.. since racist ideas deemed every individual black person an expert and rep of that race, black people like thomas had always proved to be the perfect dispensers of racist ideas.. their blackness made them more believable.. their blackness did not invite defensive mechs to guard against their racist ideas about black inferiority..
racist americans.. hailed the american negro as the most authoritative.. w/in black america however.. thomas became known as ‘black judas’..
after black leaders dug up dirt on thomas and destroyed his credibility he fell into obscurity..
roosevelt invites booker t to lunch in president’s house.. segregationist.. in uproar.. purpose of lynchings.. if racist ideas won’t subdue blacks, then violence will.. roosevelt learned his lesson .. never invited a black person the president’s house gain.. but he failed to quiet segregationists by officially naming the president’s residence the ‘white house’..t
1903 dubois ‘s audacity to publish most acclaimed book of his career: the souls of black folk.. saying blacks were not soulless beasts.. black folk wer fully human.. a perfect comparison to uncle tom’s cabin.. ‘black’s as soul oasis in a dusty desert of dollars and smartness’.. ‘he simply wished to make it possible for a man to be both a negro and an american’
dubois fumed about the extraordinary negro conception.. this ‘silly’ conceptual loophole to uplift suasion.. but, somehow, he kept his own faith in the potential of the silly strategy of uplift suasion..
seemed to have formed consensus on solution to ‘negro problem’.. more strident uplift suasion.. for upwardly mobile talented tenth persuading away the racist ideas of white folk. the strategy remained deeply racist.. black people apparently were responsible for changing racist white minds.. white people apparently were not responsible for their own racist mentalities..
uplift suasion had been deployed for more than a century, and its effect in 1903 – american racism may have never been worse.. but.. uplift suasion had been and remained one of many great white hopes of racist america
24 – great white hopes
black fighter w white wife.. and white tarzan
the eugenics movement created believers, not evidence ..americans wanted to believe that the racial, ethnic, class and gender hierarchies in the us were natural and normal. they wanted to believe that they were passing their traits on to their children..t
if some could break away , the logic went, then all could, if they worked hard enough.. racist logic didn’t have to be logical; it just had to make common sense.. blaming blacks and not the remaining discriminatory barriers..
the film (birth of a nation) revitalized the kkk, drawing millions of american by the 1920s in to the club that terrorized jews, immigrants, socialists, catholics and blacks..
angry at its likes.. black communities everywhere protested the birth of a nation.. in the final days of his life, booker t tried what naacp and other groups were trying to do – block its showing.. they failed.. dubois took a diff approach, challenging the film’s historical racism.. in his the negro, published right on time in 1915
25 – the birth of a nation
when germany surrendered in the great war, an embittered austrian soldier sprinted into german politics, where he gained some cheers for his nasty speeches against marxists and jews. in 1924 adolf hitler was jailed for an attempted revolution. he used the time in prison.. to write mein kampf. ‘the highest aim of human existence is.. the conservation of race’ hitler famously wrote
in 1916 stanford eugenicist leis terman and his associates ‘perfected’ the iq test based on the dubious theory that a standardized test could actually quantify and objectively measure something as intricate and subjective and varied as intelligence across diff experiential groups..t the concept of gen intelligence did not exit.. but.. terman managed to make american believe that something inherently subjective was actually objective and measurable.. terman predicted that the iq test would show ‘enormously significant racial differences in general intelligence, ‘..standardized tests became the newest ‘objective’ method of proving black intellectual inferiority and justifying discrimination and a multimillion dollar testing industry quickly developed in schools and workplaces..t
american psychological association president and princeton psychologist carl c brigham used the results of the army intelligence test to conjure up a genetic intellectual racial hierarchy, and a few years later he constructed the sat test for college admissions..t
treaty of versailees 1919.. german state forced to pay reparations.. president wilson.. feared the relatively good treatment black soldiers had received in france had ‘gone to their heads’.. to wilson’ s racist americans, there was nothing more dangerous than a self respecting black person..w antiracist expectation of immediate equality.. rather than gradual equality of assimilationists or permanent ineq of segregationists
the communists theorized that if they killed capitalism, racism would die, too – not knowing that capitalism and racism had both emerged during the same long 15th cent, and that since then, they had been mutually fortifying each other while developing separately..
and so dubois copied his enemies: he used racist ideas and his punishing power to silence the antiracist challenge to color discrimination
26 – media suasion
princeton psychologist carl c brigham confessed in 1932 that his earlier findings about iq tests determining genetic black inferiority were ‘w/o foundation’ ..t..(although the use of brigham’s sat test only expanded)..
meanwhile, eugenics was kept afloat by nazi germany and by the american birth control movement..
where workers were still treating diseases differently by race.. syphilis harmed black much more than it did whites.. but the theory had never been definitively proven. so in 1932.. ‘study of syphilis in untreated negro male’.. govt researchers promised free med care to 600 syphilis infected sharecroppers around tuskegee, alabama.. they secretly withheld treatment to the men and waited for their deaths, so they could perform autopsies.. researchers wa to confirm their hypothesis that syphilis damaged the neurological systems of whites, while bypassing blacks ‘underdeveloped’ brains and damaging their cardiovascular systems instead.. this study was not halted until the press exposed it in 1972
king kong was nothing but a remake of the birth of a nations.. set in the island scenery of tarzan .. and then new york.. but w/o the controversy.. the filmmakers had veiled the physically powerful black man by casting him as the physically powerful ape.. king kong was stunningly original for showing images of racist ideas w/o ever saying a word about black people.
27 – old deal
in 1933, a 65 yr old dubois had almost completely turned to antiracism
1926 architect of negro history week, carter g woodson: ‘if you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself’
the more antiracist dubois became, the more he realized that trying to persuade powerful racists was a waste of time.. and the more certain he felt that black people must rely on each other..
what probably solidified the need for black solidarity in dubois’s mind the most was studying the remedies for the great depression.. ie: the new deal seemed more like old deal.. ie: blacks excluded.. in order to join unions.. have to forget they are negroes and stop talking about that race stuff
next to employment.. no more devastating area of discrimination than housing..
1934.. dubois never agin seriously promoted uplift suasion
hitler hoss 1936 summer olympics.. jesse owens.. takes 4 golds.. he hoped he had also managed to change americans’ racist ideas.. if anything .. deepened the color line.. esp the racist ideas of animal like back athletic superiority..
it was those very nazi doctrines.. and mass murders of german jews, which began in 1938.. that were enraging white intellectuals and turning them off from jim crow.. in dec 1938.. in a unanimous resolution, the american anthropological association denounce biological racism..
first had to define it..
idea that they were not racial because did not root behavior in biology.. argued that blacks were capable of being civilized and developed..
most influential assimilationist scientific text of the era came from e franklin frazier.. in frazier’s sexist view, male headed nuclear two parent families were ideal.. in his racist view, black families statistically fell short to white families in fashioning this idea.. ‘this ‘disorg’d family life’ in black neighborhoods was caused by racial discrimination, poverty, brutal pathology and the intro of the matriarchal black family during slavery.. completely ‘stripped of his cultural heritage’ the slave became a brute .. frazier argues.. the slave’s emergence ‘as a human being was facilitated by his assimilation ‘of his masters’ culture
malcom x reflected on his’ ..first really big step toward self degradation: when i endured all of that pain, literally burning my flesh to have it look like a white man’s hair’.. malcom by then realized he ‘had joined that multitude of negro mean and women in america who are brainwashed into believing that the black people are ‘inferior’
the sudden willingness to name and define racism did little to obliterate it..t
ie: gone w wind.. 1939.. white enslavers portrayed as noble and thoughtful; slaves as loyal but shiftless and unprepared for freedom.. received 10 academy awards.. in same way tarzan became primary medium thru which americans learned about africa, gone w wind became primary medium thru which they learned about slavery.. the only problem was that, in both cases, the depictions were woefully incorrect..
the loyal, loving mammy in gone w wind, one of most adored characters in hollywood history, was played by hattie mcdaniel..
by enjoying her servitude.. mammy acts as a healing salve for a nation ruptured by the sins of racism’.. melissa harris perry explained in a 2011 analysis of the film.
what blacks needed to do was ‘infinitely more difficult’: he had to accept their imperfectly equal humanity,’ baldwin declared.. ‘it is the peculiar triumph of society – and its loss -that it is able to convince those people to whom it has given inferior status of the reality of this decree’
28 – freedom brand
dna structure discover in 1953.. dobzhansky and montagu end up dethroning the eugenicists in science but enthroning new racist ides.. unesco (un ed, sci, and cultural org) statement on race .. no human population shad any bio evolutionary achievements.. these assimilationsist spoke of the ‘cultural achievements’ of certain populations..
brown vs board as assimilationist
29 – massive resistance
the most notorious victim of what was to be called ‘massive resistance’ to desegregation was 14 yr old emmett till.. on aug 28 1955. for hissing at a mississippi white woman, hooligans beat till so ruthlessly that his face was unrecognizable during his ope casket funeral in his native chicago.. the gruesome pics were shown around the enraged black world.. on march 12 1956, 19 us senators and 27 house reps signed a southern manifesto opposing brown vs board.. for planting ‘hatred and suspicion where there had been friendship and understanding’.. klan fielded new members.. and elite segregationists founded white citizens councils.. southern schools ensured that their textbooks gave students ‘bedtime’ stories, .. that read like gone w the wind..
but civil rights movement kept coming.. ie: mlk – who considered dubois as ‘an intellectual giant’ , malcolm x.. 1959
king had not stopped struggling, either. but du bois has soured on king, deciding in late 1959 he was not the american gandhi after all..
harper lee’s to kill a mockingbird 1961.. became the uncle tom’s cabin of he civil rights movement, the novel’s most famous homily, hailed for its antiracism, in fact signified the novel’s underlying racism. ‘mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy’.. that’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.. african american come across as spectators, waiting and hoping and singing for a white savior.. and thankful for the moral heroism of lawyer atticus finch.. there had been no more popular racist relic of the enslavement period than the notion that black people must rely on whites to bring them their freedom..t
58 – george wallace became the face of american racism.. when he should have been rendered only as the face of segregation. harper lee should have reigned as the face of assimilation ..
on blacks not taking enough responsibility.. then.. on them taking too much responsibility..
part 5 – angela davis
30 – the act of civil rights
angela.. grew up detesting the poverty all around her.. and detesting the poverty of the assimilationist ideas all around her.. deciding ‘very early, that i would never – and i was categorical about this – never harbor or express the desire to be white’
fav author – james baldwin
davis could not relate to malcom x’s religious deprecations of whites. but she ‘was fascinated by his description of the way black people had internalized the racial inferiority thrust upon us by a white supremacist society’
jfk killed (nov 22 – 1963) after he announced ‘deep sense of outrage and grief’ over birmingham bombing (sept 15) .. launched investigation.. which caused his southern approval rating to dip.. (angela knew 3 of the 4 girls killed)
malcolm x.. muslim.. embarks on obligatory hajj to mecca.. afer a lifetime in the theater of american racism that began w the lynching of his father, malcolm x on this trip saw for the first time ‘all colors’.. interacting as equals.. the experience changed him.. ‘the true islam has shown me that a blanket indictment of all white people is as wrong as when whites make blanket indictments against blacks’.. from them on he took the racist wolves and devils, no matter their skin color.. though american media outlets reported his change.. the narrative of malcolm x as hating white people endured
most racist idea to date: idea that ignored the white head start, presumed that discrimination had been eliminated, presumed that equal opp had taken over, and figured since blacks still losing .. racial disparities must be their fault..
1964 civil rights act managed to bring on racial progress and progression of racism at same time..
the most transformative verbiage of the 1964 act was the wording that legislated against clear and obvious intention to discriminate.. ie: whites only.. allowing all else…. discrimantors had to merely privatize their public policies to get around the civil rights act..
though eugenicists had been discounted in mainstream america, members of congress and their constituents had thoroughly embraced their standardize mental tests as having the capacity to assess what did not exist: general intelligence. in the job industry, in ed, and many other sectors, officials could justify their racial disparities by pointing to test scores and claiming they were not intending to discriminate.. and to racist americans, the racial gaps in the scores – the so called achievement gap – said something was wrong w the black test takers not the tests...t
malcolm gunned down in 65.. possibly no other american autobio opened more antiracist minds than the autobio of malcolm x.. he argued that white people were not born racist, but that ‘the american political, economic and social atmosphere .. automatically nourishes a racist psychology in the white man..’.. ‘i’m for truth, no matter who tells it. i’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. i’m a human being first and foremost, and as such i’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.’
31 – black power
latest identifier of the supposed less peoples: minorities.. made no sense as another name for black people, since most black people lived, schooled, worked, socialized, and died in majority – black spaces.. the term only made sense from the viewpoint of whites & elite blacks.. in their white spaces.. so class racism.. became wrapped up in the term ‘minority’
the term ‘ghetto’ was know as ain identifier of the ruthlessly segregated jewish communities in nazi germany.. thous social scientists like clark hoped the term would broadcast the ruthless segregation and poverty that urban blacks faced, it quickly assumed a racist life of its own.. dark and ghetto would become as interchangeable as minority and black….all ghettoes w dangerous black hooligans who rioted for more welfare..
they (malcolm disciples) were now passionately embracing the term ‘black’ which stunned mlk’s ‘negro’ disciples.. who would rather be called ‘nigger’ than ‘black’
66 – .. march against fear thru mississippi towns.. ‘we been saying freedom for 6 yrs and we ain’t got nothing.. what we gonna start saying now is black power’
in next few years the black panther party grew in chapters across the country.. they policed the police, provided ree breakfast for children, and org’d med services and political ed programs.. 67
angela davis grew restless in frankfurt.. reading about the surging black power movement.. decided to return to the us summer of 67.. arranged to finish her doctorate at uc san diego
black power even appealed to the face of the civil rights movement.. mlk: ‘the negro must say to himself/world ‘i’m black, but i’m black and beautiful’
mlk made his way out of the good graces of assimilationist america that year.. they still wanted to keep him in the doubly conscious dreams of 63, just as they had wanted to keep dubois .. of 1903.. but king no longer saw any real strategic utility for the persuasion techniques.. he now realized that the desegregation had primarily benefited black elites, leaving millions wallowing in the wrenching poverty that had led to their urban rebellions.. ..king switched gears and began planning poor people’s campaign.. goals was to bring poor people to nation’s capital to force the fed govt to pass an ‘economic bill of rights’.. committing to full employment, guaranteed income, and affordable housing.. a bill that sounded eerily similar to the econ proposal on the black panther party’s 10 pt platform..
mlk fall of 67: power is not the white man’s birthright; it will not be legislated for us and delivered in neat govt packages’..t
the road to lasting progress was civil disobedience, not persuasion, king maintained..
they said king had become an anarchist.. his own critique of antiracists as extremists and anarchists in his birmingham letter four years earlier had boomeranged back to him…
planet of the apes took the place of tarzan in racist popular culture.. it held up in full color the racist panic during the 2nd half of 20th cent of the conquered dark world rising up to enslave the white conqueror..
by 68.. both dem and republs had popularize the call for ‘law and order’.. it became a motto for defending the planet of the whites..
elderidge cleaver (former convict turned malcolm x disciple).. penned soul on ice.. 1 mn copies sold in no time.. ‘black soul which has ben colonised by an oppressive white society’.. his book became the manifesto of black power masculinity to redeem the tragic colonized male.. whose soul was on ice.. cleaver’s queer racism and gender racism were striking..
lbj created commission .. w 9 white and 2 black investigators rep ing groups hostile to black power and touting the new status quo motto ; law and order.. antiracist did not expect much.. kerner commission (named after chair illinois governor otto kerner).. unabashedly blamed racism for urban rebellions.. it said ‘what white american have never fully understood – but what the negro can never forget – is the white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto.. white institutions created it, maintain it.. and white society condones it.. most famous passage: ‘our nation is moving towards two societies, on black on white – separate and unequal
read by more than 2 mn americans.. richard nixon blasted report for exonerating rioters.. mlk christened report: ‘a physician’s warning of approaching death, w a prescription for life’
the report recommended the allocation of billions of dollars to diversify american policing, to provide new jobs, better schools and more welfare to poor black communities.. and to eradicate housing discrimination..
johnson and his bipartisan peers deployed the cost excuse, in the midst of more costly deployment for the hated war in nam.. then again.. johnson did push thru one recommendation: the creation of more police intelligence units to spy on black power orgs..
nixon created a second commission of civil disorders.. this time he selected the members more carefully.. this commission recommended sharp increase in fed spending on police weapons, training and riot prep. washington had no problem following thru
at hearing ‘mlk has been shot’.. in disbelief at first, she (angela) felt an overwhelming sense of guilt .. like other blackpower activist, she had cast king aside as a harmless leader..
‘i dont’ think we had realized that his new notion of struggle, involving poor people of all colors, involving oppressed people through out the world – could potentially present a great threat to our enemy’ davis remembered (on killing of mlk)
reeling from the assassination, davis joined w leaders of other local black power groups.. and orgd a massive rally.. hoping to keep anger away from lapd.. but .. week following king’s assassination.. more than 125 cities experience another wave of urban rebellions.. which led to another backlash of law and order from racist americans.. via wallace, nixon, agnew..
largest antiracist mass mobilization since post civil war period.. w segregationist saying they should not be proud, w assimilationists saying they were not black. james brown (godfather of soul) began in august 1968 to lead chant of millions: ‘say it loud.. i’m black and i’m proud’… a smash hit that topped the r&b singles chart for 6 weeks..
reversal of elites.. now not lighter skinned.. but black people looking at selves thru own eyes..
esp take up in schools and colleges where black student activists, educators and parents were demanding the newest academic discipline, black studies.. 67-70.. compelled nearly 1 000 colleges/unis spanning almost every us stat to intro black studies depts/programs/courses.. filtered into k-12 too..
to be black and female.. double jeopardy 1969
the rise of black feminism and black patriarchy led to ideological showdowns inside and outside of black power org’s over who had it the worst
angela leapt into campaign for first black woman to run for us presidency..
32 – law and order
nixon’s southern strategy’.. remained over next five decades: demean black people and praise white people w/o ever saying black people or white people
1969.. angela planned to quietly nestle into her first teaching position at ucla.. fbi had other plans.. finding her communist.. black panther .. et al.. reagan as ca governor fires her.. she ends up getting job back
angela rallying to free 3 black inmates at soledad prison.. one.. $70 conviction turned in to a life sentence.. same day reagan’s board once again fired her from ucla.. as reporters peppered davis for a response to her firing at rally .. she connected her academic enslavement to the judicial enslavement of political prisoners.. her sign: save the soledad brothers from legal lynching’
aug 7, 1970, jonathan jackson walked into courtroom.. freed inmates .. police opened fire.. shootout took the lives of jackson, the judge and two inmates.. police traced ownership of one of jackson’s guns to angela.. week later davis charged a murder, kidnapping, conspiracy.. .. she fled.. hoover, months before his death, place the ‘dangerous’ davis on the fbi’s top ten most wanted list.. angela became the iconic female activist of the black power movement.
most wanted poster showed her famous afro too.. the more african americans let their afros grow.. in early 70s.. more they faced wrath of assimilationists…. who called afros ugly.. a disgrace..
that year 70, that the women’s movement at last reached the mainstream consciousness of the us.. norma mccorvey (under alias jane roe) had filed suit in texas to abort the pregnancy.. roe v wade
ideas wrapped up in the mind/body of angela davis, a mind and body that nixon’s and reagan’s law and order america wanted dead
jury acquitted davis of all charges on june 4 1972.. but she walked out looking at women/men she left behind bars, and pledging the rest of her life to free them from slavery..
nixon’s watergate scandal heightened the contradiction of crime and prisons.. all those americans serving prison terms.. many for their political acts/views.. while champion of law and order, nixon, did not spend a day in prison for watergate scandal.. when ford took office following nixon’s resignation, he pardoned and immunized nixon from prosecution…
the color purple and waiting to exhale..
only one woman elicited more debate than michelle wallace in black communities in 1979.. the movie 10, bo derek, wore her hair in cornrows ..setting off a mad dash of elite white women flocking to salons to get the ‘bo braids’ .. at same time.. american airlines fired ticket gen renee rogers for wearing cornrows..
what was most amazing about the whole uproar – and similar white appropriation uproars that surrounded eminem (rap) and kim kardashian (body) decades later – was the hypocrisy of some black people.. some of those black people who had permed their hair .. an appropriation of european culture… were now ridiculing bo derek and other white women for braiding their hair an appropriation of african culture..
rocky’s opponent apollo cred.. symbolized the empowerment movements.. the rising blackmiddle class.. and the 76 pride of black power masculinity , muhammad ali.. rocky.. came to symbolize the pride of white supremacist masculinity’s refusal to be knocked out from avalanche of civil rights and black power protests/policies..
weeks before america ran out to see rocky, though, they ran out to buy alex haley’s roots..
33 – reagan’s drugs
biggest irony and tragedy was not bakke’s refusal to look in the mirror of his age and interviewing prowess.. instead, it was that no one was challenging the admissions factors being used: the st tests and gpa that had created and reinforce the racial disparities in admission in the first place.. since segregationists had first developed them in the early 20th cent, st tests.. from mcat to sat and iq exams.. had failed time and again to predict success in college/career or even to truly measure intelligence.. but these st test had succeeded in their original mission: figuring out an ‘objective’ way to rule non whites (and women and poor people) intellectually inferior..t.. and to justify discrimination against them in the admissions process..it had become so powerfully ‘objective’ that those non whites, women and poor people would accept their rejection letters and not question the admissions decisions..
‘in a racist society it is not enough to be non racist, we must be antiracist’ thundered angela davis in sept 1979
80 – klan violence and lynchings by private citizens paled in comparison to he terror being perpetrated by gangs of policemen across the nation from strip searches and sexual abuse of black women to pistol whipping of black males.. by early 80s.. one study showed that for every white person killed by polices.. police killed 22 black people..
bell hooks: racism has always been a divisive force separating black/white men, and sexism has been a force that unites them
in 82 reagan issued one of the most devastating executive orders of the 20th cent..’we must mobilize all our forces to stop the flow of drugs into this country’ and to ‘brand drugs such as marijuana exactly for what they are – dangerous’ announcing his war on drugs..
in reality, crack had become the latest drug addicting america to racist ideas.. t
its bipartisan act led to the mass incarceration of americans.. the prison population quadrupled between 80 and 00.. due entirely to stiffer sentencing policies, not more crime..
in 96 when 2/3 of crack users were white or latina/o.. 84.5 % were black.. even w/o the crucial factor of racial profiling
turning the campaign for law and order into a war on drugs enriched many political lives over the next two decades.. it hauled millions of impoverished non white, non violent drug users and dealers into prisons where they could not vote, and later paroled them w/o their voting rights.. what an ingeniously cruel way to quietly snatch away the voting power of your political opponents
dang.. don’t be so very wise in seeing the depth of these systemic issues/violences.. and miss the pieces in place to perpetuate it.. ie: voting.. presidency.. school.. work for pay.. these are all disturbances to the system… they are all not us..
even the stats suggesting that more violent crime – esp on innocent victims – was occurring in urban black neighborhoods were based on a racist stat method rather than reality..
stats are racist/inhumane.. in any form..
ie: drunk drivers.. routinely kill more people than violent urban blacks ..were not regarded as violent criminals. 78% of arrested drunk drivers were white males in 1990.. white american were far more likely to fear those distant black mugshots .. than their neighborhoods’ white drunk drivers, who were killing them at a greater rate..
evidence hardly mattered when convincing american that there was something wrong w black welfare mothers and therefore w the black fam..
so.. return of family’s historic strength will require overthrow of the complicated predatory ghetto subculture’ – eleanor homes norton..
this racist drug of the declining black fam was as addicting to consumers of all races as crack.. and as addicting as the dangerous black neighborhood..
but many of the black consumers hardly realized they had been drugged. and they hardly realized the new tv show they thought was so good at counteracting unsavory thoughts of black people was just another racist drug
34 – new democrats
cosy show 84.. the ultimate uplift suasion..
med researchers had to finally admit that ‘crack babies’ were like the science of racist ideas: they never existed..
even thought most blacks eligible for welfare did not utilize it, one study found that 78% of white americans thought blacks preferred to live on welfare…
the millions of viewers of the (rodney king) beating were told that those officers had done nothing wrong.. but they (viewers) had reached their own verdict: the criminal justice system, local business owners, and reagan-bush econ policies were ugly as charged of robbing the poor of livelihoods and assaulting them w deadly weapon of racism.. cosby and king : can’t we all just get along..
it would take 20 000 troops to quell the 6 day uprising and restore the order of racism and poverty in la..
on clinton’s racist note, columbia uni researcher began a 5 yr study of only black and latino boys in ny to search for a connection between genetic and bad parenting and violence (they did not find any connection)
more than 2000 black female scholars made way to mit jan 13 1994.. first ever national conf of black women scholars.. angela did closing keynote
3 days later.. clinton intro’s 3 strikes you’re out.. $30 bn crime bill.. net effect.. the largest increase of prison population in us history.. mostly nonviolent drug offenses..
clinton fulfilled his campaign vow that no republican would be tougher on crime than him – and crime in america was colored black. as tupac shakur rhymed in ‘changes’ ‘instead of war on poverty, they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me..
35 – new republicans
mandate was simple: black people, esp poor black people, needed to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their socioeconomic plight and for racial disparities and stop blaming racial discrimination for their problems, and depending on govt to fix them..
this convinced a new gen of americans that irresponsible black people caused the racial ineq’s.. not discrimination..
1995 – the bell curve (book) comes out.. [and Stephen Jay Gould wrote that the “entire argument” of the authors of The Bell Curve rests on four unsupported, and mostly false, assumptions about intelligence]
in his revised and expanded 1996 edition of the mismeasure of man, gould maintained that no one should be surprised that the bell curve’s publication ‘coincided exactly w a new age of social meanness‘..
after hernnstein and murray (the bell curve) decreed that racial ineq was due not to discrimination but genetics.. , murray’s co fellow at the american enterprise institute, 1995, almost on cue.. decreed ‘the end of racism’
how could anyone claim the end of racism during one of the most racially charged years in us history..
oj simpson murder trial and exoneration became the epitome of softness on crime from upset racist americans..
in.. 300% increase in murder rates for black 14-17 yrs olds between 85-92, a rate 6x greater than the white increase.. dilulio explains surged not from unemployment, incarceration, et al.. but by moral poverty.. growing up in abusive fatherless.. et al.. and his solution was .. religion..
so.. in midst of all proclamations about end of racism in 95.. ie: million man march. vs angela and fem’s .. black feminists.. calling march organizers sexist.. and white assimilationists were calling march organizers racist..(just black men in march)
‘african americans, a mere 11% of national population, compose about 40% of death row populations..there too you will find this writer’ – mumia abu-jamal in live from death row, a collection of his commentaries…
many who showed up for mn man march 1995.. believing the racist idea that something was wrong w black men/teens/boys/fathers/husbands.. but many stood there and listened to the 50 speakers also believed the antiracist idea that there was something wrong w rampant discriminations..
louis farakhan: ‘the real evil in america is not white/black flesh. the real evil is the idea that undergirds the setup of the western world, and that idea is called white supremacy
bill clinton did not greet /hear mn black men.. instead he gave a racial progress speech at uni of texas..
96 – a loss for antiracists.. in california .. voters banned affirmative action.. neither funding allocation policies for public colleges and k-12 schools nor st tests.. were banned.. the % of african american as uni of california campuses began to decline
we have to go deeper.. ie: getting anyone into schools/colleges.. is a compromise..
96 – thriller.. *set it off.. t..showcased how and why four unique black women could be motivated by la’s job, marital and gender discrimination; class and sexual exploitation; and racist police violence to commit a violent crime.. in their case, well planned armed bank robberies.. in an attempt to better their lives.. and get back at those who were trying to destroy them.. it humanized inner city black perpetrators of illegal acts.. pinkett.. latifah..
*26 min video on making of film [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zGTvyhGV2Y]
at 22 min: it says a lot about our system when you have a certain part of the population who has to live like this and to feel like there’s no way out and the only way out is to do something that’s suicidal..t
clinton sadly mistaken about root of ‘problem of race’ when he announced on june 97.. commencement address as uc san diego.. he pledged to lead ‘the american people in a great an unprecedented convo on race’..
upward of 1 mn black women made sure to inject their ideas
gingrich: ‘racism will not disappear by focusing on race’.. synthesized into a newly popular term: color blind.. the idea of solving the race problem by ignoring it.. announcing that anyone who engaged clinton’s national discussion in any antiracist way was in fact racist.. jim sleeper: anyone who was not color blind.. was racist..
36 – 99.9 percent the same
angela: 2 millionth prison entered system in america on feb 15 2000..half are black.. most drug crimes.. even though whites found to be more likely to sell drugs.. davis was crossing the country and directing attention to the unjust criminal justice system, which she viewed as the new slavery..
davis offered the natural abolitionist solution a few years later.. her 2003 book: are prisons obsolete? she imagined ‘a world w/o prison’ in the 115 page manifesto for prison abolition..t
davis: the prison relieved america ‘of the responsibility of thinking about the real issues afflicting those communities’ from which prisoners are drawn in such disproportionate numbers..t
real issues – roots of healing..
ebonics was no more ‘broken’ or ‘nonstandard’ english than english was ‘broken’ or ‘nonstandard’ german or latin
clinton.. 2000.. revels a map that should revolutionize medicine by giving scientists info about the ‘genetic roots’ of disease.. should also revolutionize racial science.. map shows ‘that in genetic terms, all human beings, regardless of race, are more than 99.9% the same..
craig ventor (one of scientists responsible for sequencing the human genome): ‘the concept of race had no genetic or scientific basis’
when conference was over.. ‘white blood’.. ‘black diseases’ should have ceased.. but.. segregationists had too many racist policies to hide, racial disparities to justify, sci and political careers to maintain , and money to make..
next theory: the .1% genetic diff must be racial.. new ideas to justify the inequities of every era..
‘there is no such thing as a set of genes that belong exclusively to one (racial) group and not another – dorothy roberts in her 2011 book fatal invention.. ‘race is not a biological category that is politically charged.. it is a political category that has been disguised as a biological one’
but the bio ideas lived on comfortably..
ventor (2014): ‘there are greater genetic differences between individuals of the same ‘racial’ group than between individuals of diff groups’
in 2000.. 10s of 1000s of black voters in gov jeb bush’s florida barred from voting or had votes destroyed.. allowing george bush to win..
ironically normal: after triumphantly proclaiming to the un their commitment to eliminate racism.. local/state/officials, the supreme court, and the us senate executed or validated the racism that won a presidential elections..
aug 31 to sept 7 2001.. , nearly 12 000 to durban s africa for un world conference against racism.. carried their antiracism momentum around the world.. then .. brick wall in aftermath of sept 11 2001.. more than 3 000 americans lost lives in attacks on world trade center.. antiracists and antiwar activist were threats to national security.. but could not exploit those feelings for long.. only 44% of african american endorsed the invasion of iraq in 2003.. far less than the 73% of whites or 66% of latina/os..
by then antiracists had regained footing.. inspired by 3 part documentary race: the power of an illusion.. 2003.. dave chappelle performed a hysterical skit of blind white supremacist.. who thinks he is white.. learns in end he is black…
many republicans assumed given the alleged ‘end of racism’ that affirmative action would soon be on its way out.. but june 2003.. sandara day o connor issued a majority opinion upholding affirm action.. o connor: the court expects that 25 yrs from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today’.. she was off by 500/1000s.. of years
that pace toward racial parity could be quickened if the racial preferences of st testing were eradicated.. but use of st testing grew exponentially in k-12 schooling when bush admin bipartisan no child left behind act took effect in 2003 – set high standards/goals.. and conduct regular testing assess how well students are reaching them.. then ties fed funding to test scores… bill professed its purpose was to keep children from being left behind, but it simultaneously encouraged funding mechs that decreased funding to schools when students are not makin improvements.. thus leaving the neediest behind..
the no child left behind act was no supposed to make sense. it was the latest/greatest mech for placing blame for funding ineq’s on black children, teachers, parents, and public schools.. and this victim blaming watered the growth of the quickening ‘no excuses’ charter school movement, ie: expelling students if could not rise above their difficult circumstances..
more than 70% of students arrested at school during 2009-10 school year were black or latina/o, according to dept of ed stats..
in early 70s many americans were imagining a world w/o prisons… in early 80s many were imagining a world w/o st tests.. but racism had progressed since then.. t
obama lecturing cosby’s ‘blame the poor’ tour – 2004
37 – the extraordinary negro
on hailing obama (2004) as the extraordinary negro.. as a proclamation of the end of racism..
but discourse would not quiet down.. ie: blacks saving whites (the green mile); white savior (the blind side); personal responsibility (pursuit of happyness)
2005 – hurricane katrina.. 1800 lives.. millions to migrated.. neglect of preventative; slow response; et al.. as if politicians were hoping for destructive hurricane to occur so ‘disaster capitalism’ (klein) could follow it
obama ended up following in the racist footsteps of every president since nixon; legitimizing racist resentments saying those resentments were not racist, and redirecting those resentments toward political opponents..
antiracists joined the protest squatters representing the 99% in the occupy uprising in 2011. they continue to demand reparations, one of he most notable ie’s being tanehisi coates’s story
nothing really jump started the traveling exposition of the postracial lie better than.. feb 26 2012.. zimmerman killed trayvon martin.. and the list goes on
for many antiracists, the term ‘thug’ had become ‘the accepted way of calling somebody the n word nowadays’.. richard sherman
‘thug’ was one of many new acceptable ways of calling black people inferior or ‘less than’
hearing the acquittal of zimmerman in 2013 punched alicia garza in the gut.. blm
collectively these activists were pressing against discrimination in all forms, in all areas of society, and from myriad vantage points..
alicia in 2015: ‘we have so many diff experiences that are rich/complex. we need to bring all of those experiences to the table in order to achieve the solutions we desire..
everyday.. as it could be..
when will the day arrive when black lives will matter to americans? it depends largely on what antiracists do.. and the strategies they use to stamp out racist ideas..
what we should stop using.. : self sacrifice, uplift suasion, and ed persuasion..
trying to educate knowledgeable people does not make much sense. trying to ed powerful producers or defenders or ignorers of american racism about its harmful effects is like trying to ed a group of business execs about how harmful their products are.. they already know and they don’t care enough to end the harm..
an antiracist america can only be guaranteed if principled antiracists are in power..
that would mean.. 7 bn truly free people.. has to be all of us..
there will come a time when we will love humanity, when we will gain the courage to fight for an equitable society for our beloved humanity, knowing, intelligently, that when we fight for humanity, we are fighting for ourselves.. there will come a time. maybe, just maybe, that time is now..
indeed.. now.. nationality: human
Haymarket Books (@haymarketbooks) tweeted at 8:21 AM – 6 Jun 2018 :
“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” —Angela Davis https://t.co/Z7jBOkotEl(http://twitter.com/haymarketbooks/status/1004367622786469889?s=17)