Sunday, January 13, 2019

Highly Sensitive to the Thought

Artist's Description
Mohamed Ziauddin - Did the post-Civil War reconstruction efforts by the North cause great resentment among the southern whites and worsen the racial hatred of blacks?

Muhammad Rasheed - Yes. Even though the poor whites didn’t own slaves themselves, they covenanted with the wealthier whites to form a racist aristocracy. One of the terms of this agreement was that —in exchange for poor white loyalties—Black people would be permanently delegated to the bondsman class to save poor whites from chattel slavery themselves. So even though the poor whites had nothing else (literally) they at least had the artificial status of ‘whiteness’ to elevate them over Black people so they could pretend to be mini-lords strutting about in the land.

Naturally, the poor whites jealously guarded this special status and took it upon themselves to make sure slave uprisings and escapes wouldn’t ruin their good thing. But being on the losing side of the Civil War changed all of that. The Black people were now free… and worse! Under the reparatory program of Reconstruction they were becoming politically enfranchised, growing literate, and rising up the socio-economic ladder like a rocket! What was going to protect the whites from being at the bottom of society now if they didn’t have the permanent legal cushion of Black bodies to walk upon?!

This marked the birth of domestic terror, as the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups formed to sabotage the upward mobility of the newly-freed Black American. All their petty racism-based aristocratic dreams were directly tied to the subjugation and exploitation of Black people and they weren’t about to let them get away without a fight.

A lot has happened since those days, with the behavioral responses of white people towards Black people who express anti-racism messaging reflecting the same ole resentments of previous eras.

Myron Macklin - This is so cringe-worthy. Why demand a seat at the table when you can build you own?

Muhammad Rasheed - He's talking to his own people, Myron. The big dude is just centering himself in the usual fashion.

Myron Macklin - Hmmmm. Explain it to me like I'm five.

Muhammad Rasheed - Note that the Activist isn't looking at the white guy, but into the camera. He's preaching to his own people to get them together for what they need. The white guy is in earshot and has come to make himself the center of what is being discussed. He'll probably call the police and tell them the Activist doesn't have a permit or whatever.

Myron Macklin - Ok so I did understand it. I just have an issue with the particular messages of ending racism: that would be directed at white people who invented and practice systematic racism; economic inclusion is asking for a seat at the table in the aforementioned comment. I may be a minority in believing that black folks would be better served operating with the idea of racism being with us for a long while because it probably will. If this is true(even if its not) then it would mean we need to create our own self-sustaining economies. That does not mean inclusion. It does not mean diversity. What it means is parity. This is what other groups practice that us black folks here in America do not do at any measurable amount. I get that the cartoon may have had a different intention than what I gathered, but still felt the need to make my point.

Muhammad Rasheed - An example of economic inclusion is in the media industry. When I was growing up there used to be many Black-owned media companies across the country. Operating within its own self-sustaining sub-economy, the system enabled other Black entrepreneurs to advertise their products and services and they gave other Black-owned entertainment companies opportunities to get in front of their Black audiences and everyone made money. Black people were economically included into Media.

This all changed when one of the Fortune 100 mega-corporate media companies merged with another in a blatant violation of the nation’s anti-trust laws. In the usual fashion, they monopolized the market of the entire Media industry which caused smaller business to have to drop out – and as usual the Black-owned businesses took the biggest hit. Now there is FAR less opportunity for Black entrepreneurs within that industry and the reason Byron Allen is currently suing the aforementioned media giants who make up the cartel.

Economic inclusion is basically a clean-up. It will break up monopolies, protect the open free markets and allow everyone to compete in the parity you’ve described. It actually sounds like we’re on the same page here, Myron, and it may be just a matter of a clash in interpreted definition of terms.

MEDIUM: Scanned pen & ink cartoon drawing w/Adobe Photoshop color.

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