The legendary and ever creative Biz Markie once said:
The ink is black, the page is white
Together we learn how to read and write
People are black, got people that’s white
Let’s stop racism, and, let’s unite
Less than 3 weeks ago the people of the United States of America elected Barack Obama, an African American, to the most powerful position in the free world. While one would imagine that in this day and age racism would be a thing of the past they would find themselves sadly mistaken. Since President Elect Obama and his running mate, Vice President Elect Joe Biden, were named the victors of the presidential election over Senator John McCain and his running mate, Governor Sarah Palin, white supremacist groups have been on a recruiting spree.
“The League of the South is reporting a surge in new members within hours of the results from yesterday’s elections,” proclaimed an E-mail that the neo-Confederate group sent to supporters the day after the election. “League president, Dr. Michael Hill, stated that it is from an awakening of many Southerners that the constitutional Republic is now dead and has been replaced with a national socialist empire.”
Hate groups are notorious for inflating their numbers — and it’s likely that their claims of heightened support after Obama’s win are exaggerated. Nonetheless, the fact that they are making those claims suggests that many white supremacists believe an Obama presidency will help them recruit new members.
Fear is an emotion that allows people to be manipulated and white supremacist groups are capable of turning fear into the deadliest of weapons. Due to rising racial tension throughout the United States people are beginning to draw lines in the sand between themselves and people of color. In one particular instance, a white woman who chose to join the KKK was found murdered after she decided that she didn’t want to go through with the initiation ritual.
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Americans seemed to put their racial differences aside to band together against the threat of Islamic extremist. For several years America has been united in the war on terrorism and people of all shades have been proud to be American. Many African Americans throughout the United States have felt like the threat of racism and the lines between black and white were beginning to diminish. There was a new enemy and that enemy was Middle Eastern.
Unlike Vietnam, African Americans felt as if they were also attacked when the 9/11 hijackers executed their suicide mission. With the worst attack being in New York City people of all walks of life felt that their enemy’s enemy was also their enemy and so alliances were formed.
These very alliances were what seemed to blur the lines and since the beginning of this global war on terrorism, it began to appear as if there was no black and white, only allies against terrorism and terrorists.
Now that Obama has been named President Elect and the end of the unwinnable war on terrorism seems to be inevitable true colors are shining through. Uninformed white Americans who voted against Obama are paranoid that their taxes will be raised, their money redistributed, their jobs taken away and given to black people and welfare will skyrocket. On the other hand, uninformed African Americans who voted for Obama are under the impression that life will be easier and that finally the black man is above the white man and the white man will get their due. These very false beliefs are dangerous and that they begin to draw that line in the sand once again. Whites are lashing out spewing venomous comments about President Elect Obama and his family. Blacks are taunting whites with comments like “I can’t wait for my check” and “Who’s the man now?” These feelings of hate that have been placed on the back burner for several years are now reaching a boiling point.
African Americans are beginning to feel like they have been duped into fighting the white man’s enemy for the white man’s personal gain, just like Vietnam. We are no longer Americans united, we are once again black and white.
But it’s not that simple, racial tension is not only rising in the black and white communities but in the Hispanic communities as well. On or about October 17, 2008 an African American male sparked a series of violent incidents by tossing a water bottle at a Hispanic student at Hempstead High School in Nassau County. On November 8, 2008, 7 teens were arrested for fatally stabbing an Ecuadorian immigrant in the chest during what they deemed to be a night of “Beaner jumping” a term used to describe beating up random Hispanics in the street. On October 27, 2008, two white supremacists in Tennessee were charged with plotting to assassinate Barack Obama as part of a killing spree targeting African Americans. KKK flyers are being distributed throughout the United States in parking lots where people are finding flyers under their windshield wipers urging them to join the white supremacist movement before it is too late.
Elected officials are downplaying these events and considering them isolated incidents and stating that racism is not a problem in their respective areas. I, for one, do not see these incidents as isolated as they are tied together by one thing, racism. I believe that if our leaders do not take action to quiet these storms that are silently brewing in rural towns throughout the United States there will indeed be an increase in racially charged violent incidents.
Charles Manson used fear to recruit unsuspecting white throwaways into becoming his own personal zombies. He drove them to murder upper-class white people and make it look like the Black Panther’s were at fault in order to spark a race war between blacks and whites. This was a white man who recruited white people to kill white people in order to spark a race war in which he believed the black man would win. He believed that if he and his followers could start this race war they could hide out in a bottomless pit in Death Valley until the war was over. He believed that he and his followers would emerge from the underground to rule the blacks, who, as his vision went, would be incapable of running the world. Manson “would scratch the black man’s fuzzy head and kick him in the butt and tell him to go pick the cotton and go be a good nigger.” He also lead them to believe that he was Jesus Christ.
Today, fear is being used to generate hate and we all know that the one thing we really fear is that which is unknown. If our leaders took the time out to address these fears, if more time was spent informing people, educating people and uniting people, we would have less fear of each other.
Didn’t we prove over the last few years, in our united stand for freedom, in our combined effort to eradicate terrorism, that we are all Americans? Or were we truly suckered?
Separately we are capable, together we are unstoppable.
Excerpts have been taken from the following sources in order to complete this article:
Erase Racism by Kool G. Rap & D.J. Polo featuring Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane