I'm writing today in response to this Diary:
Rev Wright and the White Observation of History which is a good diary, and a fair summation of how (some/many) white people may view the issues of Race in America and it's History.
The discussion was robust, but apparently now has some formatting problems in it's comments and can't be responded to.
I wanted to respond to this comment:
I see Wright engaging in the same bullshit, but from the opposite direction. The answer now isn't to tear down Jim Crow - that structure is long gone. What we have to do now is the profoundly unsexy, technocratic shit of improving education in inner cities, fostering development in urban areas, and making colleges affordable. IMHO, Wright's "get whitey!" rhetoric certainly doesn't help, and arguably hurts that effort.
We have to do all that, but "getting whitey" isn't neccesary.
Many white people may see the success of Tiger Woods or Barack, P-Diddy, BET or Hootie and the Blowfish and figure our dark racial past with hardcore discrimination has long ended. People like Pat Buchanan.
What is wrong with Barack’s prognosis and Barack’s cure?
Only this. It is the same old con, the same old shakedown that black hustlers have been running since the Kerner Commission blamed the riots in Harlem, Watts, Newark, Detroit and a hundred other cities on, as Nixon put it, "everybody but the rioters themselves."
White America needs to be heard from, not just lectured to.
This time, the Silent Majority needs to have its convictions, grievances and demands heard. And among them are these:
First, America has been the best country on earth for black folks. It was here that 600,000 black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.
Wright ought to go down on his knees and thank God he is an American.
Just because we went from open oppression to only occasional oppression - like shifting from regular monday morning floggings to a being possibly blindsided every other fortnight on the evening news is not an improvement.
Welfare is not a "Payback" for Slavery, and even if it was - how long would it really take to payback 350 years of it?
Wright Discussion from "Real Time" Last Night.
Let me say finally that I oppose the war in Vietnam because I love America. I speak out against this war, not in anger, but with anxiety and sorrow in my heart, and, above all, with a passionate desire to see our beloved country stand as the moral example of the world. I speak out against this war because I am disappointed with America. And there can be no great disappointment where there is not great love. I am disappointed with our failure to deal positively and forthrightly with the triple evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism.
At the time, King - who had been the darling of so many - was cursed and marginalized for speaking out, just as Wright has been.
But the real problem - and the core of the divide between black and white - is that it hasn't gotten "Better"
Yes, Official Sanctioned Overt Racism and Discrimination have been banned - but that doesn't mean that Covert Discrimination doesn't continue. And frankly, it's a lot more difficult to find, fight and stop something that's in hiding, than something that's out in the open.
Since Jim Crow ended we've had brutal racial murders such as James Byrd, and an overall rise in Hate Crimes (aka Racial Terrorism) predominantly against black people. Since Jim Crow ended we've had horrid racial specticle such as the OJ Trial, the Rodney King Beating and Riots, we've seen continual erosion of the voting rights act to the point that someone who openly used Racial Caging of African American Voters was able to secure a position as a U.S. Attorney, we've seen situations where the authorities excused the use of terror devices (hanging nooses) and intimidation (attacks with bottles and shotguns) which ultimately led one set of young black men - feeling they had little recourse but to take matters in their own hands and protect themselves - retaliated violently in Jena, LA, and left one young man nearly comatose, we've seen Driving While Black, Walking while Black and even having your city DROWNED and Abandoned While Black, we've heard about the "Nappy Headed Ho's" and the "MF-ing Iced Tea" we've seen the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department - the place that is supposed to protect the rights of the vulnerable - Purged of black and females attorneys showing they can't even protect themselves, let alone the rest of us.
None of this has gotten any better, if anything it's gotten worse - and less covert - than it used to be.
The difficulty has now come from identifying what is and isn't racism, and what you can and can't do about it. Since when it happens, it is done covertly, black people can sometimes point the finger of race too quickly (Duke) - but then there is also danger is ignoring it until it becomes far too large and powerful to deal with (Katrina).
We have a lot of work still to do, we will need to be very patient with each other as we try and do it. We have to honestly listen to one another, when blacks complain they've been profiled and harassed, they just might have a point - when whites complain they've been frightened and passed over for a promotion due to "diversity" goals - they might have a point too.
It's going to take Courage - the courage to take the chance that our worst fears about each other, just might have a kernal of truth to them in some isolated instances, but in the vast majority of cases aren't true at all. It takes being willing to ignore who the Crimes Stats tell you should be afraid of - it takes being willing to ignore every time you've been put down for not "speaking proper" in mixed company or having an experience or an opinion that others might find "extreme".
There's only one way out of this, and that's through it - together.