The Root) —Amazing Fact About the Negro No. 41: Which massacre resulted in a Supreme Court decision limiting the federal government’s ability to protect black Americans from racial targeting?
In Colfax, La., on Easter Sunday 1873, a mob of white insurgents, including ex-Confederate and Union soldiers, led an assault on the Grant Parish Courthouse, the center of civic life in the community, which was occupied and surrounded — and defended — by black citizens determined to safeguard the results of the state’s most recent election. They, too, were armed, but they did not have the ammunition to outlast their foes, who, outflanking them, proceeded to mow down dozens of the courthouse’s black defenders, even when they surrendered their weapons. The legal ramifications were as horrifying as the violence — and certainly more enduring; in an altogether different kind of massacre, United States v. Cruikshank(1876), the U.S. Supreme Court tossed prosecutors’ charges against the killers in favor of severely limiting the federal government’s role in protecting the emancipated from racial targeting, especially at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan.
Black folks could NEVER depend on the U. S. Supreme Court to protect our voting rights even 140 years after Colfax. When we don’t remember history we are doomed to repeat it.
Obama is considered the first Black president but what has he done for Black folks? Nothing. This is Obama’s last term in office and in his speech , the day he took the second oath of office, he talked about gay rights, immigration and gun control. But nothing about what he would do for the new Jim Crow. There are less men in our communities due to gun violence and mass incarceration. So, I look at his urban policy and found the following bullet points for Crime and Law Enforcement:
Crime and Law Enforcement
Support Local Law Enforcement: Barack Obama and Joe Biden are committed to fully funding the COPS program to put 50,000 police officers on the street and help address police brutality and accountability issues in local communities. Obama and Biden also support efforts to encourage young people to enter the law enforcement profession, so that our local police departments are not understaffed because of a dearth of qualified applicants.
Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Supports: America is facing an incarceration and post-incarceration crisis in urban communities. Obama and Biden will create a prison-to-work incentive program, modeled on the successful Welfare-to-Work Partnership, and work to reform correctional systems to break down barriers for ex-offenders to find employment.
End the Dangerous Cycle of Youth Violence: Obama and Biden support innovative local programs, like the CeaseFire program in Chicago, which implement a community-based strategy to prevent youth violence and have been proven effective.
Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.
But, I want to know without combing through pages upon pages of rhetorical data, exactly what the president will do that will address the new Jim Crow of mass incarceration or as others refer to the new caste system. There is something seriously broke when there are those who pay their debt to society but can not have a second chance at building a life because they are blocked by the word “felon” to rent an apartment, to find a job or learn a skill. The Latinos has his support. The Gay community has his support.
My question is what will Obama do for Black folks that will enhance their quality of life if its not to address the issue of mass incarceration?
The only voices we hear asking Obama to “do something for us” is Tavis Smiley, NPR/PRI radio host and Cornel West PhD, Princeton University. Mariam is asking that something be done about the pipeline from cradle to prison through the Children’s Defense Fund. But, my question is, what is the Congressional Black Caucus is asking for? The Congressional Black Caucus is one of the few political groups that Black folks depend on to cover our back.
Where are the Black leaders and what are they asking the President for?
As a Black female who is blessed with grandchildren, I feel numb hearing the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. My granddaughter woke me up to tell me the verdict – GEORGE ZIMMERMAN – NOT GUILTY. The jury was made up of 6 women. I wondered why all women. Were they all white women? Are white women afraid of Black male teenagers? And, one would say, being a southern state, racism is a prerequisite for being white from the south. Yes, I said it!! I believe the south is still racist! I’m glad there were demonstrations and national out-cry over the verdict. Maybe we should boy-cot Florida!
Are we shocked as Black folks, NO. Injustice is part of the American experience for us. The plots and deliberate actions to further hinder our success as a people are too numerous to mention in this blog.
American society through their legislation has systematically broken our homes apart and now large numbers of our men are in prisons, removed from the community and from the family. Now this verdict gives the ok to kill our un-armed 17 year old sons and get away with it.
I guess it is what it is…. Being Black in America!! SMH! Where is our Black leaders and what are they doing to address this injustice?
The term “new black” is the new slang you see on t-shirts and signs for everything from “pink is the new black”, “Gay is the new black”, “Obama is the new black” and many more. And of course, we have the reverse of the new black and say “Black is the new white.” Well, I believe the new black is brown.
American History tells us how slavery played a part in defining who is considered Black. In an article on The Biracial Black/White Experience by Dr. Kelly Jackson, explains it well:
The question and concern about the identity of mixed-race people was initially forged in the US during slavery when White, European slave owners began intermingling with their African slaves. The presence of Black/White biracial individuals who were difficult to discern from Whites threatened the proslavery arguments that Blacks were biologically inferior to Whites. In order to preserve the sanctity of the institution of slavery as well as protect White masters from having to provide patronage to their half-Black offspring, legislation was developed during the 1600s to classify any Black/White biracial individual as Black. This became known as the principal of Hypo-descent or the premise that Black blood is considered a contaminate to pure white blood (“one drop rule”) (Brown, 2001; Graves, Jr., 2004). As Degler (1986) mentions the US is the only country with the exception of Canada that defined people racially by a measurable amount of black blood (Degler, 1986, as cited in Brown, 2001).
Now, there is so much mixing of racial and ethenic people its hard to tell who is who. For example, Evelyn Lozada on Basket Ball Wives, I thought she was Black but no she is Puerto Rican. Thank God!! She was becoming RACHET in her behavior. And, some of the millenium whites are not aware of the one drop rule. This has allowed the acceptance of statements from celebrities like Tiger Woods who stated he is not Black. Oh, his mother is Asian, was a response from a white man in his 30’s. Well if your father is Black, like Tigers, then you are Black. The Asian gene is a very strong gene. When someone is mixed with Asian it is usually noticeable.
Slowly, there has been a historic decline in the number of whites in America and the fast growth of Latinos are blurring traditional black-white color lines, testing the limits of civil rights laws and reshaping political alliances as “whiteness” begins to lose its numerical dominance. Look at the last presidential election. President Obama didn’t recieve over-whelming white votes but it was the latino vote that won him the election in key states like Florida. Florida has a large cuban population but it was the latino population in Florida that brought the victory to the democratic party. So, when you see a brown person, try and guess their racial or ethenic make up.
I DON’T HAVE ANY WORDS TO DESCRIBE THIS PASS WEEK.
I DO, HOWEVER, HAVE A TON OF OBSCENE GESTURES.
5 Things that made last week a crappy week….
The Supreme Court’s ruling on the voting rights act. Yes, they killed the very essence of the voting rights act and the President and those from the civil rights movement are disappointed with the court’s decision. “I think what the court did today is stab the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in its very heart,” Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who was with President Johnson when he signed the law and who was beaten at Selma, said on the MSNBC program “Andrea Mitchell Reports.” Another pet peeve, Clarence “UNCLE TOM” Thomas our Black Justice who does everything in his power to lash out at Black folks like he hates us as well as himself. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring opinion and said that he would have struck down not just the map but the requirement that any jurisdiction get federal clearance to change a voting law. OMG!! What planet is this man ON.
Trayvon Martin trial started and it was difficult to hear news from the court room. George Zimmerman case is an example of how a white man can kill a 17 year old unarmed Black boy for just walking down the street and its NOT a typical case of racial profiling but of “standing your ground” bullsh*t. How does a Black mother bear the lost of her son but stay strong to fight for justice for her son?
Mandela is dying. One of my heroes of the 21st century. And now, Mandela is dying. I was never concerned about Black people at the International level until I learned of South Africa and Mandela. He opened my eyes to the plight of Black South Africans at the hands of apartheid.
Paula Deen has “Michael Vick” herself this week. Yeah, I heard Jamie Foxx on a hip-hop radio station respond when ask, “What’s new, Jamie.” And he said, “I’m just trying not to Michael Vick myself, man.” I was a fan of Paula’s until this week. Being Black, I automatically assume that if a person is white and from the south then you could be a racist. Well, you REALLY think all white people are racist until they show you they are NOT.
I gained weight on vacation and that’s crappy too!