Can blacks be racist? The answers will vary on how racism is defined. Let’s look at the matrix of racism. If it is defined it as hatred toward another “race” (even though race has no real meaning), then blacks can be racist on an individual basis. If you define racism as the belief that racial differences construct a dominance of one race over another by some false biological argument then the answer is yes once again, and again on an individual basis. However, if racism is a distinct system of institutionalized advantage by those with most of the control and opportunity, then we are not looking at a position that blacks have power in; to oppress in institutional ways. From that standpoint the answer is a big no. As an identifiable group whose oppression is the result of skin color and other physical features, blacks do not control the joystick of power, nor do they control the power of privilege. On an individual plane, blacks can be as racist as anybody else, usually in the form of calling other ethnic groups by racist terminology; such as “Meskin, chink, peckerwood” and other derogatory terms. However, these individual foolish comments cannot be equated to the power of white supremacy and how it is a controlling mechanism.
In quoting Joe Feagin, one of the past presidents of the American Sociological Association, “Racism is more than a matter of individual prejudice and scattered episodes of discrimination designed by African Americans to exclude White Americans from full participation in the rights, privileges, and benefits of this society. Black (or other minority) racism would require not only a widely accepted racist ideology directed at whites but also the power to systematically exclude whites from opportunities and rewards in major economic, cultural, and political institutions. While there are Black Americans with anti-white prejudices, and there are instances of black discrimination against whites, these examples are not central to the core operations of U.S. society and are not an entrenched structure of institutionalized racism.”
According to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, “The term ‘racial discrimination’ shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.” From this universal definition one can see that individual blacks have no real power to inflict mass discrimination upon others. There is a big “however” in any case; we are all obliged to confront all forms of racism whether it is coming from a society or from confused individuals. Perhaps Nelson Mandela said it right on the day of his release from an apartheid prison; “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. . . . I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal, which I hope to live for, and to see realized. But my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
According to the United Nations declaration we should “Undertake to adopt immediate and effective measures, particularly in the fields of teaching, education, culture and information, with a view to combating prejudices which lead to racial discrimination and to promoting understanding, tolerance and friendship among nations and racial or ethnical groups, as well as to propagating the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination . . . .” White supremacists, neo-confederates, and Nazis don’t want this to happen.
What we must do is to take away the myths of racism. We must defeat white supremacy with real history and prove to all that blacks and whites have fought together against racism. The southern bigots do not want to admit that the white abolitionist John Brown was a hero for fighting against slavery in the same light that Malcolm X fought against white supremacy and the belief that whites were devils. For example, if you have not seen the movie or read the book, The Free State of Jones, it is a classic that totally destroys southern racial myths. One of the myths shattered by the book and the movie is the fact that many white soldiers deserted the Confederacy after they realized they were fighting for wealthy slave owning plantation men. After the American Revolutionary War, many whites migrated to Mississippi. Many of these families moved into what became known as Jones County, Mississippi. These white men would later married black women and would declare war against the Confederate States of America (CSA). They became known as “Southern Yankees.”
“. . . many white soldiers deserted the Confederacy after they realized they were fighting for wealthy slave owning plantation men.”
The South has sought to falsify history by denying that thousands of whites deserted the Confederate Army, and in the case of Mississippi actually declared secession from the Confederate States of America (CSA) and defied Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Ancestors of the slave owners adopted fake history and falsely educated folks with lies which enforced an inflexible philosophy of racism. This led to erecting statues and symbols to enshrine bigotry across time by a movement called the “Redeemers of the Lost Cause.” These so-called redeemers were actually racists that sought to distort the true history of the war and the fact that the Civil War was mainly about white supremacy and slavery. In order to create racial myths, the former slave owners had to hide the fact that thousands of whites refused to support the South and its racist belief system.
Jones County, the home of Newton Knight, a real anti-racist white hero, lived in the Piney Woods of Mississippi. It is important to understand that there are three types of “whites” (remember there were no whites before they came to America, but lost their Irish, German, and Italian roots and were turned into whites), anti-racist whites, color-blind racist whites, and racist whites. Slavery and segregation was the American dream for a time, and though most whites did not own slaves, many of them still supported white supremacy. This, in part, is what led Newton Knight to lead a rebellion against the racist minions of Jefferson Davis. In 1864, Newton Knight his company of soldiers to overthrew the Confederate power structure and raised the United States flag over the courthouse in Ellisville, Mississippi. They created the Free State of Jones, and it essentially seceded from the CSA.
Across Mississippi, the adversaries of the slave owners were often tormented in what whites from that time described as, “A reign of terror.” Many were forced into the Confederate army at gunpoint, and told that they would be killed if they did not support the slave-owner cause. The Confederate authorities passed a law called the, “Twenty-Negro Law.” This law allowed planters who owned twenty slaves to be discharged from the draft. This made it possible for wealthy whites to avoid fighting and make poor whites die for them. In essence, poor whites fought an unjust war by being sucker punched by the wealthy plantation owners. In short, Confederate soldiers were pawns of the slave owners. Many poor whites during that time said the law, “Made it a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.”
“Twenty-Negro Law.” This law allowed planters who owned twenty slaves to be discharged from the draft. This made it possible for wealthy whites to avoid fighting and make poor whites die for them.”
Confederate power brokers also inflicted more pain upon poor whites with a “tax-in-kind” scheme. This tariff allowed tax packrat collectors in Mississippi to take whatever they wanted from poor whites. According to research on several legitimate online websites, “They took meat from the smokehouses. They took horses, hogs, chickens, and corn. They took cloth the women had saved to make clothes for the children. Confederate Colonel William N. Brown reported that the corrupt Confederate tax officials had done more to demoralize Jones County than the whole Yankee army” (Source: mshistorynow.mdah.state.ms.us/articles/309/newton-knight-and-the-legend-of-the-free-state-of-jones). So much for the noble cause of the South! Most of what we were taught about the Confederacy was pure lies and some still believe this hogwash. The soldiers that fought for the Confederacy should be recognized as victimized poor people that were manipulated by an evil power.
Knight helped black slaves escape from Confederate authorities. He married a black woman named Rachel Knight and defied southern segregation even in death as he demanded to be buried next to his wife, which was done. Newt Knight’s modern relatives, both black and white, are alive today to tell the story about how many whites refused to fight for Robert E. Lee. During the Civil War many poor whites felt they had more in common with black slaves than with slave owners. Jim Crow finally set in after the defeat of Reconstruction, and Confederate statues and monuments began to jump up everywhere by racist design. Fortunately, cities across America are removing these symbols of hatred. San Antonio should be the Free State against Racism and Confederate Statues.
— By Mario Salas
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In an editorial on Rep. Will Hurd’s page he announced it’s time to serve his country in a different way.
August 1, 2019 Editorial (https://hurd.house.gov)
There are many reasons why I love America. I have learned over my three terms in Congress, by representing people that voted for me, didn’t vote for me or didn’t vote at all, that America is better than the sum of its parts. Serving people of all walks of life has shown me that way more unites our country than divides us. This understanding has allowed me to win elections many people thought I couldn’t, especially when the political environment was overwhelmingly against my party.
In this experiment called America we strive to create a more perfect union. Our founding principle of a right to free speech has given us the freedom to disagree, and the resulting competition of ideas has produced policies tackling a variety of problems. As has happened many times throughout our history, we now face generational defining challenges at home and abroad.
We are in a geopolitical competition with China to have the world’s most important economy. There is a global race to be the leader in artificial intelligence, because whoever dominates AI will rule the world. We face growing cyberattacks every day. Extreme poverty, lack of economic opportunity and violence in Central America is placing unbearable pressure on our borders. While Congress has a role in these issues, so does the private sector and civil society.
After reflecting on how best to help our country address these challenges, I have made the decision to not seek reelection for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security.
I left a job I loved in the CIA as an undercover officer to meet what I believed to be a need for new leadership in Congress on intelligence and national security matters. I wanted to help the Intelligence Community in a different way by bringing my knowledge and experience to Congress. I’m leaving the House of Representatives to help our country in a different way. I want to use my knowledge and experience to focus on these generational challenges in new ways. It was never my intention to stay in Congress forever, but I will stay involved in politics to grow a Republican Party that looks like America.
As the only African American Republican in the House of Representatives and as a Congressman who represents a 71% Latino district, I’ve taken a conservative message to places that don’t often hear it. Folks in these communities believe in order to solve problems we should empower people not the government, help families move up the economic ladder through free markets not socialism and achieve and maintain peace by being nice with nice guys and tough with tough guys. These Republican ideals resonate with people who don’t think they identify with the Republican Party. Every American should feel they have a home in our party.
While I have 17 months left in my term, I’m very proud of the last 55. There were times when it was fun and times when it wasn’t. When people were mad, it was my job to listen. When people felt hopeless, it was my job to care. When something was broken, it was my job to find out how to fix it.
When border patrol agents weren’t getting the tools they needed to do their job, I stepped in to help. When I found an opportunity to expose more students to computer science, I partnered with non-profits to train local teachers to incorporate coding into math class. I made sure taxpayer money was used more efficiently by changing how the government purchases IT goods and services.
It was never about the size nor difficulty nor sexiness of the problem; It was about making a difference. My philosophy has been simple. Be honest. Treat people with respect. Never shy away from a fight. Never accept “no” or the status quo and never hesitate to speak my mind.
NoTwo centuries ago, I would have been counted as three-fifths of a person, and today I can say I’ve had the honor of serving three terms in Congress. America has come a long way and we still have more to do in our pursuit of a more perfect union. However, this pursuit will stall if we don’t all do our part. When I took the oath of office after joining the CIA, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all its enemies. I took the same oath on my first day in Congress. This oath doesn’t have a statute of limitations. I will keep fighting to ensure the country I love excels during what will be a time of unprecedented technological change. I will keep fighting to make certain we successfully meet these generational challenges head on. I will keep fighting to remind people why I love America: that we are neither Republican nor Democrat nor Independent; We are better than the sum of our parts.
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