Posts Tagged ‘Ku Klux Klan’

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction…the chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Hating Hatred Doesn’t Work

 

On April 20th, 2013, my family and I decided to protest a Neo Nazi/Ku Klux Klan rally at the Georgia Capital in Atlanta, Georgia.  The protest changed me deeply, shaping in me a new way of thinking.  This post will focus on race, the protest, and my newfound solution to racism. 

 

Racism Defined

Racism, since the beginning of its conception, has always been a tool utilized by the ruling elites to keep the poor and working class Black and white people separated.  Theoretically, there is no reason why a poor Black person or a poor White person should vote or organize differently since both desire and require the same necessities: employment, education, shelter, food, etc.  The elites know this and understand that there is power in numbers.  To thwart unity, the elites employ their two political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, to keep the poor and working class Black and White people apart for their benefit.  Bob Marley explained it perfectly in his 1979 song Ambush in the Night:

See them (Political Parties) fighting for power
But they know not the hour
So they bribing with their guns, spare-parts and money,
Trying to belittle our
Integrity now.
They say what we know
Is just what they teach us;
And we’re so ignorant
‘Cause every time they can reach us
Through political strategy
They keep us hungry
And when you wanna get some food
Your brother got to be your enemy.

Marley describes political parties fighting for power, using bribes to belittle people’s integrity.  Think of these bribes as universal healthcare, scholarships, background checks for guns, or increased social security spending, things politicians promise yet seldom deliver.   Marley also notes that political parties teach people through political strategies, mainstream media indoctrination basically, leading people to become physically and economically hungry…with their brother, the poor and working class Republican or Democrat, falsely appearing to be in the way of their “food”, which is jobs, security, schools, etc.

Republicans, with their continued use of the “Southern Strategy”, pimp poor and working class Whites with “I may be poor, but at least I aint a nigger” type of rhetoric, promoting strong views on militarism, capitalism, crime prevention, love of a White God, and anti-immigration.  These type of people drive pick up trucks and preach self-reliance with a “take no mess” attitude.

The Democrats on the other end, pimp mostly Black voters, insisting to them that they are “good white folk”, patting them on the head, feeding them with government handouts.  The Democrats teach Blacks that the Republicans are all racist hicks that think they are lazy, ignorant, and prone to violence.  If a Black decides to go Republican, these same “good White folk” Democrats who pat the Blacks on the head, stroking their kinky locks, turns into God, casting the Black Republican out of the “Garden of Eden”, calling THEM the racist.  The irony…

At this, the elites smoke cigars with the Republican and Democrat party leaders and play golf together while their constituents grow more and more resentful towards each other.  Just like in Afghanistan and Iraq, the elites rejoice while the poor and working class fight with a misconstrued feeling of patriotism. 

“Conscious” people, like politicians, also perpetrate racism.  Here are two theories of racism and how they are not accurate.

1.     Black people can’t be racist because they have no power.

2.     Racism is something exerted to others and not self.

First off, anyone who says Black people have no power is most likely a racist. Tell Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Huey P. Newton, Fred Hampton, Cornel West, Nelson Mandela, Angela Davis, or Mumia Abu Jamal Black people have no power.  How can the creators of modern civilization have no power?  Black people DO have power, tremendous amounts of it, some just don’t know what to do with it.  Instead of taking their power to college campuses to organize, some take it to White owned football teams to organize…to tackle people.  Instead of taking their power to protest against police brutality, some take it to White owned recording booths to promote Black on Black brutality.  Instead of taking their power to stand outside a state capital for the release of a political prisoner, some take it to stand outside a White owned Footlocker for the re-re-re-re-re-rereleased pair of 180$ basketball shoes that they wont even play basketball in.  Come on man, come on…  Black people do have power, some just don’t collectively aim it in the right direction for true positive change. 

Secondly, self-hatred in my opinion is a form of racism.  Perming one’s hair, whitening one’s skin, killing one’s brother…all this is a form of racism because it entails hating one’s skin and Black characteristics, seeing a brother as an enemy.  If a White person hates a Black person he is racist.  If a Black person hates a Black person he is racist.  We have to start judging ourselves with the same rubric we employ to judge others.  A White man can’t be racist simply because he didn’t vote for Obama yet a Black man is not racist for killing five Black men and injuring three in a shootout.  How can we call the Ku Klux Klan racist if our own brothers are carrying out their dirty deeds for them?  Racism is racism no matter who perpetrates it.  With that being said, lets talk about my family outing to the Ku Klux Klan/Neo Nazi rally.

 

Protest

Butterflies were turning flips in my stomach as my family and I approached the capital.  I was not afraid of the Ku Klux Klan or the Nazis because I see racists every day, but to see them out in the open with their views, passionate about their hatred and not ashamed of it was something different..something intimate..something more real.  When I turned the corner, walking past Georgia State Troopers with cocked and ready M-16’s, I found myself face to face with rage and hatred, anger and pride.. grungy looking white men in White robes and militant looking White men in Black military suits, pants tucked into their shiny boots.  Holding my son close, he asked, “Daddy, who are those men?”  I simply replied, “People who don’t want Black people and White people to live together…the same people who hated Dr. King and wants segregation.”  My son nodded in my arms and buried his head into my chest.  The racists were on the steps of the capital, waving flags and holding banners, their apparent leader speaking from a PA system.  The leader was drowned out by screaming from his supporters and noise made by the protesters.  The protesters ranged from young tough looking Black men to old White hipsters.  There were some men wearing V for Vendetta masks as well as a large Jewish presence.  After a while, the leader ended his speech and a long period of taunting began.  The racists spit across the barricade, protesters flipping the middle finger, shouts of “Cracker ill kill you” from the protester side and “You lucky the police are here boy” from the racist side.  Throughout all the pandemonium, the police looked as if they were against the protester side, keeping their back towards the racists, the gun facing us.  In the midst of all the commotion, a protester, a young woman, was grabbed and dragged through the street by the police, apparently for having a sign with explicit words written on it.  I guess freedom of speech is defined as verbal speech, not written?  With protesters playing bongos and snare drums and racists continuing to hurl insults, the atmosphere was similar to that of a playground tussle, all talk and no fights.  After a stand still, the racists decided to end the speeches and head back to their place of gathering.  The protesters stood there in a confused daze, not sure to follow them or continue protesting where they were.  After the racists entered a parking deck where they regrouped, a large group of protesters circled the building and stood on the corner.  The playground fight atmosphere continued, racists screaming down, protesters screaming up, cops screaming at protesters, racists screaming down, protesters screaming up, cops screaming at protesters, so on and so on and so on…  In the end, I looked from protester to racist, racist to protester, and again from protester to racist; but already it was impossible to say which was which*. The battle was a stalemate, a tie between who said the most insults. The crowd started to disperse and people went home. 

* Yes, I borrowed that line from Orwell’s book Animal Farm.

Solution

Police agents assassinated Malcolm X after he worshiped with White Muslims and started to believe in Black/White unity.  Dr. King was assassinated after he began to wean from civil rights to focus more on antiwar/economic rights work, something not simply a Black and White issue but also a Green.  The elites, as I wrote earlier, drive a wedge between the have and the have nots based on money and use race as its scapegoat.  The solution to racism IS NOT advocating a race war.  That is the most ignorant, suicidal thing a “conscious” person can do.  Advocating a poor and working class war would be extremely successful.  I’m not saying a guerilla war in the streets, but a war of public and corporate boycotts, military defections, strikes, peaceful protests, rallies, marches, teach ins, sit ins, mass arrests, occupations, etc, etc…   The real war is No Green Verses Green, Not Black Verses White.  The solution to racism is simply unity.  I never fully understood the meaning of non-violent protest until I witnessed a potentially violent one.  Screaming “F*ck you White trash” isn’t bringing anyone to the table of brotherhood.  Spitting at a protester isn’t getting at the core of why one fundamentally disagrees with one’s thought pattern.  Unity will take a tremendous amount of work because America’s race history is mostly negative.   We as conscious people must understand that at the core belief of racism is classism.  We must come together not as man-made races but as one government made class…the poor and working class.  I will end this blog with a quote from the great Malcolm X.  

“I believe there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice, and equality for everyone, and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation…but I don’t think that it will be based upon the color of the skin, as Elijah Muhammad had taught it”.

A house that is divided cannot stand…

All Power To The People

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