One of the lessons taught to me was that “God don’t like ugly.” When we would screw up our faces and frown, or pout, or say mean things to or about each other, she would admonish us, reminding us that God saw and heard everything and that God didn’t like …ugly. Continue reading “The Moral Bankruptcy of White Supremacy”
Tag: Edwin Black
Racism: Ingrained Ignorance
You’d think after a while that disparaging things said about people of African descent, will let up, but it never ends.
At what should have been the pinnacle of her career, Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was banished from the Olympic Games on Wednesday after making racist comments and expressing right-wing sentiments on Twitter.
“With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will have homemade food,” she wrote. (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/olympics–greek-triple-jumper-removed-from-olympic-team-after-making-racist-comments-on-twitter.html)
And, interestingly, even with all of the “marriage is between one man and one woman” drivel, a white church in Mississippi refused to allow a marriage between an African-American couple – one man and one woman – to be performed in the church, a church which, by the way, the couple had been attending for some time, but had not joined.
The unfortunate couple was informed the day before their wedding was to take place that it would not and could not happen, and the pastor of the church, also white, was warned that if he performed the ceremony in the church he would be fired. (http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_t2#/video/us/2012/07/27/church-bans-black-couple-wedding.wlbt)
I sometimes wonder what God was thinking when He was creating people. Actually, I wonder what brain patterns God created that makes and has historically made people think and believe that only people of either Nordic or Germanic descent are “worthy” races.
It’s like racism is part of the DNA of some people. In his book, War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s campaign to Create a Master Race,” author Edwin Black describes how the “science” of eugenics was brought to life not by a redneck hillbilly, but by Harvard and Ivy League-bred intellectuals, including Charles Davenport, and was supported by some of the most prestigious names in American history, including Andrew Carnegie.
Interestingly, according to the work funded by the Carnegie Institute, not even the Greek athlete would have been considered a person of “worthy” race; people from the Mediterranean region, from Asia as well as from Africa were considered inferior.
Early proponents of a “master race” theory were adamant about the “taint” being in the blood of non-white, non-Germanic people. Robert Fletcher, who was the president of the Anthropological Society of Washington wrote in 1891 that “germ plasm” ruled, that one criminal would breed another, that the “taint was in the blood,” and that the only way to handle the problem of inferior races amongst the superior was to quarantine them.
American eugenicists hoped to craft a super race, a master race, and so known and respected that, Black writes, Hitler and the Nazis referred to the work of the Americans in their quest to exterminate Jews.
The question that comes to me, over and over again, is “did the tendency of people all over the world to put down, to denigrate, people of African descent originate with American racism and its theories of white supremacy? Would not only America but the world be less racist had not America taken the reins of racism and pushed a theory of the validity of white supremacy?
Because the roots of racism are so deep, it is not surprising that the negative remarks, the negative opinions and misconceptions, and the outright racist slurs that people so blithely utter and throw around is not surprising, but it sure gets boring and bothersome to keep on having to face that kind of music, just because of where one’s ancestors came from.
I am not sorry Voula Papachristou doesn’t get to compete in the games she worked to get to her whole life. Her skin color did not give her license to write such an insensitive thing on Twitter. Some will scoff and say, “get over it. It was a joke.”
To her, maybe, and her friends. But the people who make disparaging comments about people of African descent, who draw lewd cartoons and write and disseminate crude racially charged emails are not comedians. They are victims of a sick way of thinking…spawned, perhaps, by ancestors who were determined to create a master race.
Those same ancestors spawned people who will say that marriage is between one man and one woman, with a “gentleman’s agreement” that that holds ONLY if the man and woman are white. Their being the progeny of brain sick ancestors, fused with religious dribble, makes them think the way they think is the way God thinks.
Isn’t that …interesting? They are not harbingers of truth or of exciting scientific discovery.
They are the victims of ingrained ignorance.
A candid observation …
Racism is as American as Apple Pie
Something hit me the other day.
Racism is as American as is apple pie.
That “apple pie” phrase has always had power when it has come to describing what America is about, hasn’t it? Baseball is American. Hot dogs are American. Democracy is American …and racism is American.
Our racism bubbles under everything we do, under everything we say and under everywhere we go. From the beginning, racism was an American issue. Brilliant men who wrote the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, owned slaves while espousing liberty. Some of them owned slaves themselves.
Even when some of our heroes, like Abraham Lincoln, did heroic things addressing the issue of slavery, many of them still carried racist values, believing that white people were inherently superior to black people and that not even emancipation from slavery meant that one believed blacks were or could ever be equal with or to whites.
America, it seems, was intent on having a “master race,” even before Germany. America’s beliefs as concerned keeping the white race pure was so powerful that it “caught the fascination of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi movement,” writes Edwin Black in his War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race.” Of course, the eugenics movement did not just target black people; anyone who was considered “inferior” stood the chance of being targeted from removal from American society. Thus, Black writes, one could be black, but also “Jews, Mexicans, Native Americans, epileptics, alcoholics, the mentally ill…and anyone else who did not resemble the blonde and blue-eyed Nordic ideal” could be targeted.
But our racism, our peculiar and unique chasm between whites and blacks, is so distinctly American. Our racism is bubbling now, as it always does, as the nation reels from the report of the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin, but it has always bubbled. I cringe at the subtle and not-so-subtle racist jabs at President and Mrs. Obama. They have been there from the time the president took office. Mean-spirited jabs are called “jokes,” with those who are saying or spreading those things vehemently denying they are racist.
The racist belief that all black people, or too many black people, are lazy, continues to feed a society, too many of whom believe the hype, and causing otherwise intelligent people, like Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich, to say the most insulting things about black people and the (lack of a) work ethic of black people.
Racism keeps urban schools in the state they are in, with school boards, politicians, and individuals alike finding reasons not to provide adequate funding for public schools that are not fit for human habitation, for needed books and computers. The prevailing thought, points out Jonathan
in his Savage Inequalities is that poor (primarily black) children cannot learn, so there is no need to throw money into building better schools for them or paying a little more for better teachers for them.
Racism allows injustice against African-Americans, especially African-American males, to continue to exist, with the same politicians and individuals who do not want to “throw money” into building better schools for poor black children thinking nothing of throwing literally hundreds of thousands of dollars into building bigger and better prisons – for profit.
Racism has been behind the “war on drugs” as author Michelle Alexander points out in The New Jim Crow, making it commonplace to arrest and incarcerate black and brown people for addiction to crack cocaine, while virtually ignoring the explosion of prescription drug abuse by wealthy white people.
Racism bubbles beneath us; it is like an infected, festering sore. While overt discrimination is for the most part gone, the covert discrimination, the belief that black people are “objects” to be dealt with and ignored, still exists. In the Trayvon Martin case, accused shooter George Zimmerman reportedly said, “they” always “get away with it.” The “they” would mean young, black men, one might suppose. Zimmerman said young Trayvon looked “suspicious.” The fact is, for many white people, no matter how an African-American is dressed, he looks suspicious.
So, yes, we have some wonderful things that are “as American as apple pie: hot dogs, football, democracy and Superman, the NFL, the Superbowl, the World Series.” Those things make us smile.
But racism has its own place in the list of all things American. And from the look and feel of things, it’s not likely to lose its place in line any time soon.
A candid observation…