When the liberal and conservative political bubbles clash online over the issues of anti-black racism several tropes are bound be texted, memed or gifed. The King Kong Aint Got Nothin’ On Me of these troublesome tropes is: “the democrat party started the KKK” followed closely by “The GOP freed the slaves (you ungrateful, uppity, negra.)” Beside the need of my inner grammarian to jump through the screen and throttle the writer with a copy of Strunk & White, the sheer ignorance and constant repetition of these tropes as a legitimate point of debate makes me want to holla Marvin Gaye style. A cursory glance into any history textbook not published in the great confabulating state of Texas illustrates that the history of the Grand Old Party is not that simple. While the KKK was most certainly founded by southern men who were members of the Democratic Party, the nation’s most prolific terrorist organization was not an official paramilitary arm of the Democratic Party. That is a leap that even D. W. Griffith wouldn’t make. While Lincoln did enact the Emancipation Proclamation, the GOP was hardly unified by their desire for the full abolition and equality of the nation’s human chattel.
These oft repeated racial conservative tropes have three rhetorical aims: to “educate” black people on the “history” of the GOP, to chide us uppity blacks about our lack of gratitude for magnanimity of Republicans and “enlighten” our poor, simple, uninformed minds that have no ability to discern how we are being manipulated by liberal whites. Racially liberal commenters dutifully respond to this claptrap by explaining that the parties swapped their racial ideology in the 1960’s. The southern reaction to the passage of the Civil Rights bills is usually used as a point of reference. The major ammunition in this comment arsenal is an infamous quote from the GOP political operative, Lee Atwater. This human garbage was responsible for formulating the policy known as the Southern Strategy. Atwater’s bigot bonafides include serving as a political aide for Strom Thruman, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Atwater recanted his racism on his deathbed, but no last minute confession can wipe away the stench of his 1981 interview:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
Sadly, quoting the bigot who crafted and implemented one the vilest political policies in recent history isn’t enough of a racial patronous to defend against your average racially conservative GOP commenter. He or she will continue to squawk that their party has always had the best interests of black folks in mind and that we are too lazy and intellectually bereft to see that shining nugget of truth and break free from the “democrat plantation.” Many will come up a quote from their limited stable of famous black people whose quote backs up their position. Morgan Freeman and Charles Barkley or the most recent political Negro de jure Ben Carson are often used, but the Big Kahuna of racial internet comment dodgeball is “the content of their character” sentence from Martin Luther King’s March on Washington speech. It is clear racial conservatives have never read the whole speech or they would recoil in horror at this quote:
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
The birth of the Republican Party inspired the hope that blacks would receive the riches of freedom and security of justice, but the end of Reconstruction greatly diminished out the section of the Republican party who fiercely worked for the post-Emancipation legal, political and social equality for the freedman. The election of Republican president Rutherford B. Hayes in 1877 ushered a decades long waxing and waning quest to recruit the Southern white voter and an expand their influence throughout the predominantly white areas of the country.
After Reconstruction divisions in the GOP grew and by 1888, the party was split between the “black and tans” who favored black inclusion in the the party and the “lily whites” who wanted to restrict party membership to whites only. The lily whites won in Southern states and initiated the swift annihilation of the black political power base in the South. George Henry White, was the last black GOP Southern Congressman seated for the 1898-1901 term. The next black Congressmen from the South would not grace the House of Representatives until 2013. With the victory of the Lily Whites every southern state instituted de facto Jim Crow despite the fact that these laws were flagrant violation of the 15th Amendment. Another tidbit unbeknownst to your average republican Internet commenter is that many Midwestern and Western Republican state parties had very cozy relationships with Klu Klux Klan. By the 1920’s Indiana had the largest KKK Klavern in history and its leader was a republican political operative, D. C. Stephenson. Republican politicians affiliated with the KKK were also active in Colorado, Washington and several other states. This series will take a closer look at the Grand Old Party between it’s founding and the implementation of the Southern Strategy that will help you reclaim your time the when the next racist rube comes up in your mentions spitting the same tired set of smelly, old, soggy, cheeto colored tropes.
Next Friday: The Notorious GOP Part 2: The Founding of the GOP and the Politics of Compromise
One night six years ago, on a quiet side street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, I came across a photo album that had been put out with the trash. I lived around the corner, and I was walking home when I saw it sitting beneath a streetlamp on Lincoln Place.
It looked handmade, with a wooden cover bound with a shoelace. But it had been tied up with twine, like a bunch of old newspapers, and left atop a pile of recycling.
After hesitating a moment, I picked it up and took it home.The pages were fragile, and they cracked when I turned them, as if the album hadn’t been opened in a long time, but the photos were perfectly preserved. They seemed to chronicle the life of a black couple at midcentury: a beautiful woman with a big smile and a man who looked serious, or was maybe just camera-shy, and had served in World War II.
As I turned the pages, the scenery changed from country picnics to city streets and crowded dance halls in what appeared to be Harlem, and the couple went from youth to middle age. Looking at the album, I was struck by how joyful the photos were — and by the fact that as fabled as this era was, I had never seen a black family’s own account of that time.
I have always been ridiculously proud of being black. My parents filled me with the stories of those who fought for Caribbean independence like Julian Fedon, Queen Nanny and Toussaint L’Ouverture. For the few years my family lived in Canada, my dad owned a black book store and I loved nothing better than to sit in a corner reading a book and listening to grown folk talk about history and politics. I learned about the ongoing struggle in America and the rest of the black diaspora an to reverse centuries of racism and imperialism at a very early age.Spending my formative years in London and Toronto I got read and hear about so many heroes that bucked the restrictions of antebellum and Jim Crow America without the malignant dynamics that serve to minimize and disregard the acts of these heroes in this country.I was deeply impressed by the fighting spirit of black people of all walks of life. By the time I was nine I was recite more facts about black accomplishments than a J. A. Rodgers book!
Since I was surrounded by this knowledge I never got the idea that math and science was for white men. I competed and won borough and city wide science fairs. I went to natural science camp and I am proud alumni of the Bronx High School of Science. It wasn’t until my tenure as a doctoral student I got the message that black excellence was not to be seen or heard. I was asked by several professors indirectly and directly to tone down my rhetoric when it came to issues of race because I was making white students uncomfortable. One vile little weasel of a professor actually told me I had to learn “how to talk to white people!” In my doctoral program the feelings of whites were more important than my education, a lesson that was a far more bitter pill to swallow than when illness stopped me completing my degree.
This is why women like Katherine Johnson (portrayed by Tajari P. Henson in the film Hidden Figures) has my undying admiration. She served this country when she didn’t have the right to vote. She helped this country garner the prestige of winning the space race when she couldn’t buy a home next to her white colleagues. She had to temper her brilliance, yet excel at her work in era where the toxic brew of racism and sexism was the norm. I doubt my pride would have let me reach the heights of technical brilliance that she and her colleagues did. Ms. Johnson performed her duties with quiet dignity and we are now able to bask in the glow of her accomplishments and show the next generation able to how fantastic black female mathematicians and scientists can be.
Johnson was born in 1918 in the little town of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Johnson was a research mathematician, who by her own admission, was simply fascinated by numbers. Fascinated by numbers and smart to boot, for by the time she was 10 years old, she was a high school freshman–a truly amazing feat in an era when school for African-Americans normally stopped at eighth grade for those could indulge in that luxury.Her father, Joshua, was determined that his bright little girl would have a chance to meet her potential. He drove his family 120 miles to Institute, West Virginia, where she could continue her education through high school. Johnson’s academic performance proved her father’s decision was the right one: Katherine skipped though grades to graduate from high school at 14, from college at 18.
Continued at: Katherine Johnson: The Girl Who Loved to Count | NASA
These women may be lesser known to most Americans, but they are my heroes and
I walk gratefully in their footsteps.
“There’s a Chinese saying, ‘Women hold up half the world,”‘ the late civil rights historian and NAACP chair Julian Bond told NBC News in 2005. “In the case of the civil rights movement it’s probably three-quarters of the world.”
Here are just nine of other women who made indelible contributions to the civil rights era:
Long before Steve Harvey gained mainstream fame I was not feeling his brand of humor. I thought he was the least talented of the Kings of Comedy and was constantly distracted by high top fade toupee. I thought his sit com was bland remix of every school sit com from Welcome Back Cotter to Saved by the Bell to Hanging with Mr. Cooper. I tried to give it a chance but I began seeing the disturbing mysogynoir patterns in the Steve Harvey Show. While sweet, but dim witted Lovita easily settled into a traditional romance and wedded bliss with Cedric, Steve Hightower chaffed at being supervised by and in love with an obviously more qualified Regina Greer. The time honored trope of “will they, won’t they” is marred by what would become Harvey’s signature black woman hating schtick on stage. Calling the gorgeous and svelte Wendy Raquel Robinson “piggy” changes from affectionate adolescent snapping to ugly mysognoir power plays if one is paying attention to the growth of Harvey’s comedy career.
Black men have created a cottage industry of books about why black women’s marital rates have plummeted. Mainstream media jumped on this trend for a while too. They made a pretty penny with this twaddle by conflating sexist black religiosity, pseudo Africana mythology (also know as Ashy Hotepology) with that special brand of respectability politics born out of a need control black women with a Jim Crow level of ferocity. No of these “writers” examined why black men are marrying less on whole but those who do are out marrying more. Harvey is the king of this movement. Even though his book was simply another ashy tome, it went mainstream and his deeply ignorant view of black women mutated into Dear Abby style advice for everyone color and crees. This twice divorced, thrice married adulterer was suddenly an expert on relationships!!!
On smart women:
Well, I mean, you know if a guy is out for one thing, it’s best to go for shallow, unintelligent women. You don’t want to break this news to really bright women. “Hey, I just want to do something to you this evening”…You want to find somebody shallow, really simple unintelligent, that you can run this by and they’ll sit there and go, “Wow, that sounds great.
Men cheat because women are hotass hos
Women ask that question all the time: Why do men cheat? But it’s really because there are so many women out there willing to cheat with them.
I could go on and on but someone was kind enough to compile a youtube video of the ignorant sexist, mysogynoir, homophobic, religious intolerance swill that has seeped from the open sewer that is Harvey’s mug. Harvey has ridden this trash train to a syndicated radio show, a daily talk show, two movies, hosting a daily game show and the Miss Universe pageant (insert schedufreude here). Last week, Harvey decided to expand his poison beyond his twisted version of gender and include race. This time he wasn’t just attacking black women he decided to go after Asian men.
Last week, Steve Harvey aired a segment on his his eponymous syndicated talk show about obscure, absurdly specific advice books. These were niche interest titles like Dating for Under a Dollar: 301 Ideas and How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men.
The audience laughed at the latter book in anticipation as Harvey took 15 seconds to gather himself. “That’s one page,” he finally gasped. “’Excuse me, do you like Asian men?’ ‘No.’ ‘Thank you.’”
The comedian then offered a sequel, How to Date a Black Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men — “Same thing. ‘You like Asian men?’ ‘I don’t even like Chinese food. It don’t stay with you no time. I don’t eat what I can’t pronounce.’” – The Hollywood Reporter
In order for you to appreciate my ire at this clown on this issue, I have let you know about my ancestry I was born in The London Borough of Haringey, UK of Jamaican and Grenadian ancestry. My maternal grandmother was half Indian and half Welsh. My parents also had friends of mixed Asian ancestry and so do I. When I moved to the Bronx, I had no idea about the sociosexual stereotypes that are imposed on Asian Americans and had crushes on many an ethnicity hue including Asian dudes. Since I was the immigrant, I saw my Asian friends as more American that I was. It really wasn’t until I moved to the midwest that I noticed the fetishization of Asian women and the emasculation of Asian men. Although black female and Asian male intermarriage occurs in the Caribbean and South American, it is rare in this country. There have been brief periods of when black women and Asian men married both in the Jim Crow South and the North before the Chinese Exclusion Act was lifted in 1943.
Harvey’s typical hotep arrogance managed to bring the ugly trope Asian male emasculation together with the oft-promoted fantasies of black male sexual prowess and his own presumptions of the unattractiveness and hypersexuality of black women with his usual mysoginoir flair. Of course black women are too stupid to pronounce a Chinese food menu how could they possibly desire the miniscule charms of Asian men? Harvey knows that all we desire is BBC. Luckily, millennials are not in Harvey’s target demographic and some young black women and Asian men are slowly shrugging off what Harvey and many black & white fuckbois with OK Cupid profiles want them believe and are figuring out inventive ways to meet, hook up and start relationships.
Oooops…. I forgot to mention Harvey met with Orange Shitgibbon on Friday on housing issues. He wants to work with to Sleepy Uncle Ben in some capacity at Department of Housing and Urban Development. Now if that isn’t the Kingfish leading Amos and Andy into another con (Google it, young’ens,) I don’t what is. Here are some pics of sexy, hotass Asian men to momentarily take your mind off the upcoming Orange Apocalypse.
Hello folks! It has been a long time since I have posted to this blog. In an effort to get over the shock and horror initiated by impeding elevation of the Orange Menace to PEETUS, I’m going to try to translate my burgeoning habit of “old lady yells at cloud” into bringing you all the black lady news with my own brand of trenchant cultural criticism. I also hope to upload most of my scholarly work on my sister blog site Black Is…Black Ain’t in the hopes that some shiny new blackademic will get interested in my ramblings and continue the research I couldn’t.
Well on to the topic at hand. With the election of Cheeto McPissParty we live in the post-truth world so presciently described in George Orwell’s 1984:
Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge, which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
In the America headed by the Orange Shitgibbon, an Attorney General with a documented history of racism, xenophobia, homophobia and anti-disability statements and legislation is what is needed to make ‘MERIKA GREAT AGAIN and honoring women of color for their contributions to making this country a more equitable land is racist identity politics. After the run of the African American Lady Liberty coin, there will press Asian-American, Hispanic-American and Native-American sets also. So if you want to piss off the white supremacist faction of the supporters of upcoming junta buy some gold ladies for posterity!
As an Africana/film historian and person with common sense, it has always gotten on my nerves that individuals refer to a sports as white or black. It is if America has massive amnesia and forgot that about 110 years ago blacks were not considered super athletes but sickly, frail creature prone to certain diseases, destined to “naturally die off” like the American Indian. Sports stardom is based on hard work, natural talent, access, luck and MONEY. Serena and Venus’s father worked hard to get them access so their talent and work ethic could be admired by the world and Tiger’s dad was featuring his little golf prodigy at three years of age. As black athletes become contenders in swimming, gymnastics, hockey, speed skating and other so called “white” sports we sometimes forget the people like Pete Brown, Arthur Ashe and the incomparable Althea Gibson who opened the door for today’s superstars.