As the specter of the trial of George Floyd’s murderer looms over America, I wonder what it takes to preserve basic rights when it comes to Black people in the U.S.?
After all, how many had to die for the right to vote just to see that basic right, supposedly guaranteed by the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, be jettisoned by modern day Kluxers in state legislature after legislature? What were the beatings at the Edmund Pettus Bridge all about? Did John Lewis and hundreds of others risk their lives in vain?
Anti-Blackness in this country runs amok. It is a plague worse than Covid, having persisted now some four hundred years and counting.
Scholar and activist Rev Daniel Buford reminds me this plague was enshrined by the U.S. Supreme Court in the infamous Dred Scot decision in 1856, when it declared that Black people have no rights a white person need respect. Dr. Y.N. Kly makes the same point in his book, “The Anti-Social Contract,” when he states that at the time the U.S. Bill of Rights was crafted, Blacks were not considered fully human and did not fall under the Constitution’s protection.
White folks can’t win straight up so we must once again use chicanery and tricks to keep Blacks from casting their ballots. Will we soon return to literacy tests and subjecting Blacks once again to guessing how many bubbles are in a bar of Ivory Soap (100% pure, we say) in order to be eligible to vote?
The Republicans and their Democratic co-conspirators should be mandated to put on their hoods as well as wear masks.
Rev. Buford states that while Republicans ignore so-called “minority rights” when in power, they insist upon them when out of power. He cites a similar insistence by the South African apartheid government when their legitimacy was challenged.
Enough of fussing about votes, let’s once again go to the recent attack on the human rights of transgender athletes, especially in youth sports. This latest rendition of the nation’s culture wars stokes the flames of transphobia and seeks to bar trans teens from playing sports in high schools. This is sick.
Make no mistake. This is about Black kids who grow up to be Black people.
I swear does this have no end to it?
We used to call it in the white South “waving the bloody shirt.” Stir white people up by scapegoating Blacks for every ill that confronts the nation - from “Welfare Queens“ to “The Russians are Coming” (to quote Ron Chisom).
Now, it’s not just the white South. Anti-Black scapegoating stretches from Arizona to Michigan and Montana, too. It will soon come to a legislature near you.
Stop this madness.
Don’t get me wrong. I know there are whites who decry these racial frauds. But do we care enough to put a stop to them? To act as if our lives depended on it?
Because they do.