Tag Archives: civil rights

White is NOT a metaphor for power. They just think it is. Black Lives Matter

Revisit: White is a metaphor for power

https://s00156364.wordpress.com/2017/10/08/white-is-a-metaphor-for-power-james-baldwin/

I wrote a post a couple of years ago about James Baldwin, and White is a Metaphor for Power.

The main push for equal rights for ALL MEN and WOMEN in America was during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. African American people were treated badly before then to say the least. But now, over 50 years later, what has changed?James Baldwin | Who Speaks for the Negro?

It is worse now to be African American, and American in general than ever before in the past. The violence shown to African American people and the prejudice against them has never before been so bad, and that includes the times of the KKK. When the KKK were most prominent, it was after the abolitionist movement and the civil war. Primarily though, the violence then was contained in the southern states. Now it is all over. The violence back then was somewhat primitive. Now, there are all manner of weapons being used, and more African Americans are being killed.

Being any other shade or colour than white in America now, brings fear, insecurity, and anticipated need for recording and retaliation. I have heard men say that when being pulled over, they stop under the brightest street light, so the camera in their car, on their phone, or wherever else can capture the whole thing, in anticipation that they are going to be discriminated against and even violently treated by law enforcement officers.

People are out protesting against this treatment, and what do you think a response should be from the leaders? Certainly not put law enforcement and army and others against them. People should be able to protest peacefully, but they are angry. Rightfully so. Some are so incensed by this treatment, that the protesters themselves get loud and even violent towards those who have caused the problems. The Law enforcement officers need to stand back where the protests are peaceful, and not interfere. I applaud the officers who have knelt with protesters in solidarity with their cause.The George Floyd protests are sparking a surprising debate in ...George Floyd protests live updates | Minneapolis, US riots ...

Lets talk about international conflicts just for a minute. When there is a dispute between two civilized countries, the first step is diplomacy. The next step is sanctions  economical, social and political. It takes a lot of steps before one country feels that the only way to resolve the issue is by violence.

This is not the case internally in the United States. When the first sign of trouble came, the leaders sent the riot squads in, then the army, and now i see there are even people who are without insignia or identification on their uniforms standing against civilians and citizens of the country.US 'vulnerable' to accusations of hypocrisy, as China and Iran ...

The actions of the President and other leaders is deplorable. I saw a contrast of two pictures earlier today. One where President Obama has his sleeves rolled up and is walking with protesters. The other of President Trump, walking alone with riot squad soldiers on either side of him while he goes to a church, not to pray but to get photos taken. You can make your own conclusions.Obama, at Selma Memorial, Says, 'We Know the March Is Not Yet Over ...

What is going to appease the people in this time of crisis? A change in policies and practices of those who have caused such a problem. A public apology from those who are in positions that can change this systemic problem. Not confrontation with violent armed “enemy”.

Now I must talk to the leaders of the protesters. You need to talk diplomatically with the leaders of the police, and if possible, the President. You need to show leadership to save the ones you lead from further harm against people who don’t seem to have any compassion.

I must address the problem of looting. Looting from private citizens, store owners, or publicly listed companies does nothing but hurt your cause. Looters are not part of your protest against injustice, they are opportunistic criminals, who take advantage of the mayhem for personal gain. They do nothing to promote the cause or address the injustice. I don’t expect anyone to turn them in to the police. That would be just stupid, giving up people to be subject to the anticipated abuses. I do however, expect the leaders of the protesters to deal harshly with those who seek personal advantage, stealing and destroying non-public property using your protests as a smokescreen.Luxury stores looted by rioters in the US after George Floyd killing

Again, like my original post on James Baldwin, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King jnr, I tell you I have regrets about my skin colour and what it represents. The narrative needs to be changed. White should not be and never be a metaphor for power. With your current leadership in that country, I say good luck.

But come November you have a choice.  Please choose to exercise your democratic right to vote. Voting is your voice to the leadership that you will not tolerate things as they are.

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“White is a metaphor for power” James Baldwin

Image result for i am not your negro

I just watched the movie I am not your Negro on the suggestion of my Literature teacher.It is an amazing movie which highlights the struggle that negro people, and other have had at the hands of white people for over 400 years.

Negro people did not ask to come to America. They were brought to America to serve white people.  They were slaves to the white man until 1865, but still considered inferior to white man until very recently… well some white people still consider anyone different from themselves as inferior. Negroes were not able to go to school with white children until 1957 following the civil rights protest at Little Rock High School.Image result for negro protests

Although the 15th Amendment of the Constitution allowed black men to vote from 1896, many states discouraged negro men from voting by including clauses which stated that black men had to be literate to be allowed to vote, and some states also put a tax on voting for negro men. It wasn’t until the 24th amendment in 1965 that Lyndon B Johnson removed all barriers to allow negro men AND WOMEN, the right to vote, thereby treating them as equal citizens.

Black people were shown in advertising from the 1890’s but the images were generally shown in subservient roles, such as Rastus and Aunt Jemima. It wasn’t until the Civil Rights movement that black people appeared as equals in advertising. It seems then that the nation was starting to come around.

Progressively the nation has included many different skin tones and racial diversions in all walks of life. In 1968 Robert Kennedy announced that America could even have a black president in 40 years. That proved to be true with the inauguration of Barack Obama 40 years later.

Image result for negro protests

The movie showed the rise and fall of such civil rights leaders as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jnr and Medgar Evers. These three leaders were strong voices in the civil rights movement which dared to say that blacks were equal to whites. Malcolm X was a black Muslim leader who thought that peaceful protest was useless. Martin Luther King Jnr was a leader who was a Christian who believed in peaceful protests through negotiation. Medgar Evans was a leader who was promoting desegregation primarily in the public school system. Because these men dared to buck the system, they were all assassinated. The idea was ‘to keep the blacks in their place’.

Its not only in America where white people think they are superior to other races. We look at Apartheid in South Africa. We can look at the colonisation of various countries including Australia and India to name but 2. The treatment of native peoples at colonisation or invasion is appalling. White America does not have  a good record here either. The treatment of Native Americans, including Indian nations and Inuits still continues today.

The line that stood out for me in the movie was “White is a metaphor for power”. This is true the whole world over. James Baldwin equates it with Chase Manhattan bank. That is to say that White man considers themselves far superior to any other race on Earth,

Image result for dont you wish you were white

I saw a sign held up in a protest in the movie that said “Don’t you wish you were white?” No. I am ashamed of my skin colour and what it stands for. I don’t look at skin colour as a difference between people. However, I can see how other people, in suppressed minorities might look at me, as a white man, and be scared, even hate what I represent.

James Baldwin says in his movie that he doesn’t want to be a Christian, as he believes that in America at least, the Christians haven’t yet learnt the golden rule “Love One Another”.

All I can say is, I am sorry.

 

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