In black and white!

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The recent riots in Charlottesville, Virginia, have once again thrust the question of race relations in America in the spotlight. This is America’s recurring nightmare! “America’s curse,” as Minister Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam, so bitterly puts it! It is manifestly a problem that will not soon go away.
Of course, people of good will wanted to believe that with the election of Barack Obama, that America had finally moved into a new and harmonious post-racial era. But alas, recent events have shown that this is most definitely not the case. America is still divided along racial lines of black and white.
Consider, there is a 197 per cent increase in antiMuslim hate groups. In 2016, there were 130 recorded Ku Klux Klan groups. In 2015, there were 193 Black Separatist groups, and 663 anti-government ‘Patriot’ groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, while most of these groups have seen a resurgence, the most shocking figure is that of the 917 hate groups currently operating in America.
The question is: What happened on the way to ‘Kumbaya’ and ‘Let us break bread together?’ Apparently, not much! Those vicious and virulent hate groups hardened their positions and crawled out of the woodwork in response to Donald Trump’s hateful pledges to “Make America great again!” “Take back America!” “America First!” “Extreme vetting!” “Limit immigration!” “Wholescale deportations!” “Build A wall!” “End the Trans-Pacific Partnership!” “Abandon the Paris Climate agreement!”
According to Carol Hector-Harris, an African American journalist who appeared on The Voice Of The People (VOP) on OBSERVER radio, “These are all code words for white American supremacy!” As far as Trump and his followers are concerned, all people of colour, the world over, can go to hell. So too can all notions of the world as a ‘global village’ and the ‘brotherhood of man.’ Of course, these racially-charged slogans appealed to the worst instincts in mankind -‘hostile me-ism,’ and they excited the lunatic fringe and the racist element in America.
Needless to say, that element, aka, Trump’s base, voted for division and separation in overwhelming numbers and propelled Trump to an improbable victory. The unfortunate white supremacist rally in Charlottesville is a culmination, or rather, the beginning, of Trump’s cynical pledge to “Take our country back!”
Interestingly, another panelist on that same broadcast, Alister Thomas, a social and political commentator and intellectual, echoed those sentiments. He saw the bigger picture to what was happening in Charlottesville, to wit, that the racism seen on the streets is a microcosm of America’s racist posture towards the rest of the world.
According to Thomas, the rich and mainly white countries of the world, adopt an air of superiority, condescension and paternalism. They have an inflated sense of their own moral and political superiority, and have insisted on imposing, through force of arms and economic might, their notions of culture, democracy and development.
Thomas cites America’s actions in Iraq, Libya, Grenada, Panama and other parts of the world as proof that the same disdain and disregard that America displays for its minority population, is the same disregard that they have shown for other non-Caucasian peoples and cultures.
Myesha Braden, an African American Civil Rights activist, and another panelist on VOP, agrees. And she was able to cite many cases of blatant racism and hatred in her years as a federal hate-crimes prosecutor. Actually, whereas HectorHarris spoke of her experiences as a young girl during the civil rights struggles, and the resulting fear that it engendered in her for ‘white’ people, (eg, she saw her father thrown from the steps of City Hall in Boston after he tried to register blacks to vote), Braden spoke, not of fear, but of pride. She spoke of the fact that she was not shouldering a burden of inferiority, but rather standing tall as an equal.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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