Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Black America: The Great Choice - Immortal Grievances

"You don't need to be a descendant of slaves to experience the oppression, the suffocating injustice and the ugly racism that exists in our society."

We helped him start his career," says Jackson. "And then we were always there to help him move ahead. He is the continuation of our struggle for justice not only for the black people but also for all those who have been wronged."

Will Obama's election close the chapter of black grievances linked to memories of slavery? The reverend takes a deep breath and waits a long time before responding. "No, that chapter won't be closed," he says. "However, Obama's victory will be a huge step in the direction we have wanted America to take for decades." Jackson rejects any suggestion that Obama was influenced by Marxist ideas in his youth. "I see no evidence of that," he says. "Obama's thirst for justice and equality is rooted in his black culture."

But is Obama - who's not a descendant of slaves - truly a typical American black? Jackson emphatically answers yes: "You don't need to be a descendant of slaves texperience the oppression, the suffocating injustice and the ugly racism that exists in our society," he says. "Obama experienced the same environment as all American blacks did. It was nonsense to suggest that he was somehow not black enough to feel the pain."

Jesse Jackson on Obama from Gary Fouse's Fousesquawk


A note from Radarsite: Immortal grievances. Impervious to reason, undaunted by facts, the allure of victimhood is, it seems, just too beguiling to abandon. Thus the torch of unmitigated resentment is passed on once again from one oppressed generation of black martyrs to the next. Unquestioned, unchallenged, the roles are once again eagerly embraced, for they are irresistible. The enemy has not yet been vanquished, there are still great battles to be won, so the war must continue. This great heroic struggle must go on until 'the oppression, the suffocating injustice and the ugly racism that exists in our society' is finally and completely eradicated, and the slate is wiped clean.
This then is to be that great vision of change we can believe in. This is to be the new message for a new America. Once again the world around us is to be torn asunder by those 'belligerent victims', driven to abominations by their self-righteous rage.
The enemy has been identified. The banner of black victimhood is on the march. Black America, it seems, is about to make another fateful choice. Here, once again, that choice is defined. For those who have read the original article please just skip the rest.- rg

Black America: The Great Choice

There may come a time in the life of an individual, or in the life of an entire people, when they are offered a great choice.

Malcolm Little: 22843

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955–6) and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957), serving as its first president. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history.
In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means.
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986.

Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little [pictured in mugshot above]; May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965), also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was an African American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. His detractors accused him of preaching race hatred and violence. He has been described as one of the most influential African Americans of the 20th century.
Between 1953 and 1965, while most black leaders worked in the civil rights movement to integrate black people into mainstream American life, Malcolm X preached independence. He maintained that Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian religious traditions on which it is based, was inherently racist. Constantly ridiculing mainstream civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X declared that nonviolence was the "philosophy of the fool".

In 1976, Haley published Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a novel based loosely on his family's history, starting with the story of Kunta Kinte, kidnapped in Gambia in 1767 and transported to the Province of Maryland to be sold as a slave. Haley claimed to be a seventh-generation descendant of Kunta Kinte, and Haley's work on the novel involved ten years of research, intercontinental travel and writing. He went to the village of Juffure, where Kunta Kinte grew up and which is still in existence, and listened to a tribal historian tell the story of Kinte's capture. Haley also traced the records of the ship, The Lord Ligonier, which he said carried his ancestor to America. Genealogists have since disputed Haley's research and conclusions and Haley made an out-of-court settlement with Harold Courlander, who had sued him for plagiarism.
Roots garnered phenomenal audiences. On average, 80 million people watched each of the last seven episodes. 100 million viewers, almost half the country, saw the final episode, which still claims one of the highest Nielsen ratings ever recorded, a 51.1 with a 71 share. A stunning 85% of all television homes saw all or part of the mini-series. Roots also enjoyed unusual social acclaim for a television show. Vernon Jordan, former president of the Urban League, called it "the single most spectacular educational experience in race relations in America." Over 250 colleges and universities planned courses on the saga, and during the broadcast, over 30 cities declared "Roots" weeks. Roots was eventually published in 37 languages and Haley won a Special Award for it in 1977 from the Pulitzer Board. Roots was also made into a popular television miniseries that year. The film reached a record-breaking 130 million viewers when it was serialized on television. In 1979, ABC aired the sequel miniseries Roots: The Next Generations, which continued the story of Kunta Kinte's descendants.
Some voiced concern, however; especially at the time of the television series that racial tension in America would be aggravated by Roots. While Time did report several incidents of racial violence following the telecast, it commented that most observers thought that in the long term, Roots would improve race relations, particularly because of the televised versions profound impact on whites. A broad consensus seemed to be emerging that Roots would spur black identity, and hence black pride, and eventually pay important dividends. Some black leaders viewed Roots as the most important civil rights event since the 1965 march on Selma, according to Time. Vernon Jordan, executive director of the National Urban League, called it the single most spectacular educational experience in race relations in America.

There may come a time in the life of an individual, or in the life of an entire people when they are offered a great choice. Fundamentally, this choice may be relatively simple: either to honestly accept responsibility for their own lives and their own actions, and seek to improve their lives through hard work and disciplined endeavor; or to make a different (and often the easier choice), one which avoids responsibility for their own lives and their own actions and seeks to improve their lives through viewing themselves as victims, victims of an evil and omnipotent oppressor, the prima facie cause of their suffering.
The alcoholic who accepts responsibility for his problems has a chance of conquering those problems and moving ahead with his life. The alcoholic who continues to blame others for his plight will most likely never recover.

In 1933, the people of Germany were faced with a similar choice. Unfortunately for Germany and the world, they made the wrong choice, they avoided accepting personal responsibility for their own lives and their own actions and chose instead the false comfort of victimhood. How many times has this wounded old world of ours been torn asunder by the self-righteous destruction of these 'belligerent victims'? Has this disingenuous concept of victimhood ever actually achieved anything of lasting value? How many great works have been accomplished by self-perceived victims? When, if ever, has the steady diet of hatred and revenge ever produced a successful people?

Yet, the cynical preachers of victimhood prosper and win new converts daily. And sometimes they succeed in drowning out the voices of the preachers of honesty and wisdom. Dr. Martin Luther King had offered his people a great choice, a choice to embrace his glowing vision, his great and famous dream of hope and fulfillment. And people, people of all colors rallied to his shining dream.
On April 4, 1968 the dream was shot. For some, the vision had been blurred forever. For some, Martin Luther King's death was prima facie evidence of the eternal victimhood of the American blacks.

There was of course another vision out there. Another voice to be heard. A different kind of voice. The fiery voice of a preacher of hate and revenge. The hate-filled voice of the belligerent victim. In response to Reverend King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, Malcolm X quipped, "While King was having a dream, the rest of us Negroes are having a nightmare."
Thus the plight of the black man in America was not to be seen as the result of their personal actions, or lack of actions, but rather as the result of the criminal subjugation of one people by another, of one race by another. The machinations of the evil and omnipotent oppressor: the ruthless white man.

All great movements need a great myth to rally round and to embody and glorify their mission. For the Third Reich, it was to be that great monumental vision of Aryan supremacy embodied in the soaring ecstatic extremes of Wagnerian drama or in Leni Riefenstahl's glorious propaganda. The great, utterly nonsensical myth of the God-given destiny of the Nordic hero. And of course all myths must have their protagonists, their villains and their monsters, and the convenient monsters of Hitler's grand vision would of course be played by the Eternal Jew, those deadly and conniving Shylocks who had stabbed the noble Aryan warriors in the back in 1918.

The historically undeniable fact that it had been their own magnificent generals, the Hindenburg's and the Ludendorfs, who had pleaded passionately to the Wiemar Government to call an end to the war -- at any price, because the awful alternative would have most assuredly meant the complete and utter destruction of the exhausted and outflanked German Army, and the subsequent invasion and devastation of the homeland, was systematically rewritten and replaced with the new Nordic myth of the monstrous treachery of the weak-kneed Wiemar Government and the underhanded Jews, and thus the inevitable victimhood of the once great German volk.

With the publication of Alex Haley's "Roots" in 1976, and then especially with the remarkably successful television series that followed in it's wake, those American blacks who had chosen the road of victimhood found their own great myth. "Some voiced concern, however; especially at the time of the television series that racial tension in America would be aggravated by Roots." Everything that Malcom X and others had been preaching had seemingly been substantiated, even sanctioned by the highest echelons of the white oppressors themselves. Their great oppression had indeed been vetted and validated, validated as only Hollywood could validate an idea, magnificently, convincingly and dramatically. A monumental myth that Richard Wagner himself would have enthusiastically acclaimed.

The surprisingly successful Civil Rights movements of the Sixties and the subsequent legislative responses incontestably advanced the cause of racial equality more in two or three years than had been achieved in the previous two or three centuries. Those great barred doors had been opened and the road to hope and promise beckoned. Affirmative action promised to level the playing field, and for the most part it actually did. Blacks became more and more integrated into the white world and became more and more 'upwardly mobile'. There were practically no fields of endeavor that were out of their reach. Blacks were entering colleges and universities in record numbers, were entering prestigious previously all-white law firms and major corporations. Television, sports, entertainment, law enforcement, politics, and the military -- there was virtually no occupation precluded from talented and enterprising black aspirants. The good doctor's dream seemed at last to be becoming a reality. The battles, if not all won, were progressing well and the future beckoned.

But that other, darker myth would simply not die. It's message was still too beguiling. It's fiery preachers still to charismatic and inspiring. The baton of hate and revenge had been passed to a new generation of pied pipers, the Sharptons and the Jesse Jacksons, who had never given up on their dark vision of the nightmare. The empty promises of endless victimhood and a total release from the weight of personal responsibility. The hope now was the hope for reparations, all kinds of reparations, social, political, financial. All predicated on the general acceptance of the great myth, not just the acceptance by its purported victims, but by the guilty oppressors themselves .

This, then, was, is, the great choice confronted by a whole new generation of black Americans. Would they accept the vision of the good doctor's golden dream, or embrace the dark nightmare of Malcolm X and the powerful enabling myth of 'Roots'? Would they walk through the open doors of the American Dream, or pull away and form their own separatist group of angry young men? Not angry young Americans anymore, but angry young African-Americans, unwilling or unable to give up the power of their hatred, even at the expense of their hope.

I have little pity for you. There have just been too many other stories in this unfair world of ours, stories of true victims, who have quietly and courageously overcome even greater odds and succeeded in creating a fulfilling life. You who choose to remain fixated on your anger and on your pain will never succeed in bettering your lot, you will only succeed in wreaking more havoc on a already weary world, and crushing the nascent spirit of your innocent children.

In a matter of weeks now we will be facing an important, no, a crucial American election, which will most likely chart the course of this great nation well into the unforeseeable future. The sides have been clearly drawn, the issues are irreconcilable. Once again, we are being offered a great choice, the dream or the nightmare, victimhood or honor, pride or humiliation. Senator Obama's dream is an ignoble appeal to your sense of victimhood, a vision of darkness and disillusionment. The virtual embrace of defeat and hopelessness. It is that same old myth of the perpetual victim and the perpetual oppressor. Those who choose this path will not only weaken their own chances for happiness and self-respect, they will ultimately weaken and further divide this great nation of ours at a time of its utmost peril. For now more than ever we must all come together and all be Americans. Because, once again, this great old wounded world of ours, and this miraculous experiment which is the United States of America is facing the onslaught of a new and fearsome legion of 'belligerent victims'. Victims blindly obsessed by their own great myth, the great savage myth of Islam. And we, the infidels, the American infidels, the black American infidels and the white American infidels are the monsters of their self-righteous myth whom they seek to destroy.

In short, we are in a war for our very lives and there is no more time left for individual self-pity. No more efforts to be wasted on looking for differences between us, which can only weaken us and make us more vulnerable to our ruthless enemies. We are all Americans, you and I, not African-Americans or Mexican-Americans, but just plain Americans, all together, facing a brutal and determined enemy, who could care less about our intramural distinctions or our racial identity crises.

This, then, is our last great choice. Will we get it right this time?

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1 comment:

  1. Obama campaign offers change. Yeah, but what change is that?

    What change is that?