By Takuan Amaru
“If you’re white, you’re alright; if you’re brown, stick around; if you’re yellow, you’re mellow; but if you’re black, get back!”
Many Americans over 45 years old are familiar with Big Bill Broonzy‘s version of the song “Black, Brown and White”, but what does this old Jim Crow, jump-roping chant mean nowadays, nearly half-way through the 1st term of the United States’ so-called “first Black President”?
About a year ago, when President Barack Obama was still new in office, there seemed to be real optimism by even factions with historically militant views regarding race relations that some real progress toward equality had been made. Poll after poll seemed to indicate that the entire world had embraced a belief in some sort of “rainbow coalition”.
Change, We Can Believe In
“I have a dream..!”, “Why can’t we all just get along?”, and all the other media-popularized, race-relation mantras all coming to fruition.
It seems that many melanin-rich people have now stopped ‘riding on the president’s genitalia’, as so popularized by Aaron McGruder in the first episode of the 2010 Boondocks series.
What happened to all the “dancing in the street” for the new African-American president and his ‘freedom and justice for all’ policies?
Perhaps incidents such as the Gulf Oil Crisis, the near-collapse of Wall Street, or even the escalated militarization against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, the Congo…the entire world, could account for sentiments of disappointment in some of the president’s loyal followers.
So, what are the facts and what is strictly propaganda? And how do we tell them apart?
“Just be patient and wait for the results to surface… Time is the greatest test of all things.” ~ a wise woman
Now, in the latter half of 2010, we still see wars; we still see a small minority of people living plush while the overwhelming majority continue to languish in less-than-satisfactory conditions.
What about SB 1070 in Arizona? Are there any real indications of progress in terms of harmony and justice for average people?
I could continue, but why?
Has anything really changed?
Have we been duped again? Look at your life. Has any real progress been made that you can directly (or indirectly) attribute to this great change in the Oval Office?
After researching numerous scholars on race relations, the only theories that seem to have any sustaining credibility (i.e. stand the “test of time”) are given by researchers who may be labelled as “Afro-centric”.
One such lecturer is even a “white man”.
“The concept of “white” (as a separate race) is a trick…that has worked beautifully” ~Tim Wise
Tim Wise calls “white” an imaginary concept created for political reasons to keep the bulk of the wealth in a tiny elite’s hands while maintaining misunderstanding and hatred amongst the remaining, lower classes (whites included). He tells us that this “white race” didn’t exist until the mid to late 1600s.
If this is true, and if racism and bigotry are still running rampant today, perhaps we really need to take another look at what is going on.
Dr. Neely Fuller and Dr. Francis Cress Welsing tell us that until we truly understand the global system of white supremacy, everything we look at will only confuse us.
“White people are playing a white survival game (which) has to inferiorize the functioning of black and other people of color…” ~Dr. Welsing
Is the system known as “white supremacy”, in reality, an all-out war for survival by Europeans?
Although Mr. Wise repeatedly talks about a “white elite”, it seems his theory shares much in common with Dr. Fuller and Dr. Welsing.
How about outside of the US?
The New Delhi-based international correspondent for CNN, Sara Sidner, reports that ‘whitening creams’ sales are at an all-time high for males in India to get a more “European look.”
V.T. Rajshekar, Indian journalist and founder of the “Dalit Voice”, teaches us in detail about how self-hatred through the colonization process was literally beat into the lowest classes of people in India. The Dalit (or “untouchables”), Sudras and other native peoples of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan have historically been tormented by those referred to as “Aryans” within their demonic caste system for literally thousands of years.
South Asian countries are infamous for imposing very extreme caste systems on their citizens.
Stephen Hagan, a native Australian journalist and author of the article, “If you’re white, you’re right”, details the past and present climate in Australia between citizens of European descent and the original Australians (“Aborigines”). He refers to the 1901 “Yellow Peril” (fear of Chinese) as well as the the fear of “Kanakas” (indentured servants from the Solomon Islands) who were allegedly “undermining the local workforce by providing cheap labour.” He reports that seven thousand Kanakas were deported due to this fear by Europeans.
Does this sound like the current discussion about Mexicans?
Around this time Prime Minister Edmund Barton made this statement:
“The doctrine of the equality of man was never intended to apply to the equality of the Englishman and the Chinaman” ~Australian Prime Minister, Edmund Barton
Does this sound like a “Chinaman”- Dred Scott case?
In Mr. Hagan’s final analysis he tells us what we already know:
“I am still not convinced that a lot has changed in the mindset of the average Australian when it comes to race relations”
It appears that no matter where one looks, past or present, if Europeans are on the scene so is their exploitative, barbaric system.
Why is this the case?
Obviously, this is not a simple matter of labelling all whites as racists. That said, do all Europeans benefit from white supremacy?
Tim Wise attempts to explain some disadvantages of the Caucasian caste system…to white people themselves in his lecture entitled, “White Privilege”.
Hmm…flaws in the system for white people? This may be news for some. Please judge for yourself.
It is important not to confuse the terms “white supremacy”, “racism” and “prejudice” in our discussions.
White Supremacy vs. Racism
White Supremacy is described by Bro. Fakoli as a system that all white people participate in (conscious or not). This system seeks to keep “whites” in power. The majority of caucasians, however, are not “racists”, he claims.
“Because they don’t actively participate in the enforcement of daily, racist policy to keep whites in power” (i.e. the police)
Prejudice is nothing more than “prejudging” a person based on external or other superficial data. This is basically referring to a set of personal preferences. It could be said that all people are prejudiced to a degree; however, a disdain for a certain person or group of people is certainly not equal to denying them their inalienable, human rights on this planet.
As a Jewish neighbour of mine used to say:
“I’m sure there were many good, law-abiding Nazi lawyers, doctors and teachers who didn’t agree with Hitler and just wanted to live their lives and put food on the table for their children… But that doesn’t mean I’m going to invite one over to my home for dinner!”
So, do those “good, law-abiding Nazi lawyers, doctors and teachers” share the guilt and blame for the horrors at Auschwitz and the other death-camps?
I’d like to close with a quote by a Christian gentleman in his 60s who simply goes by the name of “Dale W”:
As someone in the white majority, I feel deep shame for participating in the wrongs we did in the name of Christ in those days (the 70s). May being a part something like the so-called “Moral Majority” never again help seduce me into being blind about being an immoral, white racist” ~ Dale W, January 2009
Should white supremacists actually be called the “immoral minority”?
Are we blind to the immorality of racism while being preoccupied with our careers, lives, paying bills, planning vacations, raising children and watching the ballgame?
Are YOU part of the “immoral minority”? Or, do you co-sign on their biased, caste system? The challenge is to be honest with yourself.
Stay-tuned for the next AfroAsiatic Perspectives…1
Book: African Presence in Early Asia: by Runoko Rashidi / Dr. Ivan Van Sertima