Black History, Part 5: Biased Concerns

Look at how black celebrities are constantly maligned by the white gentry. “The Great White Hope” came about in 1910 when black prizefighter Jack Johnson [1878-1946] had attained the world’s heavyweight championship, and a campaign was begun to find another white contender willing to fight Johnson, beat him and take back the crown. The previous champ, Jim Jeffries, never wanted to fight Johnson. “I ain’t gonna fight no dinge!” he kept declaring. What’s the matter? Are you scared? Jeffries had already retired undefeated some years before and did not relish giving up his title to a Negro. After all other attempts failed, Jeffries became their last hope, and he eventually agreed. Maybe the $65,000 purse had something to do with his compliance, too. You think? This fight became a symbol of athletic superiority of the races.

As it turned out, Jeffries’ fears proved to be warranted, because Johnson did beat him, too, and retained his title. This caused much protest and rioting for weeks after from outraged whites. Then they went after Johnson on a personal level. If they can’t beat him in the ring, they’ll find other ways to get him. His unrelenting penchant for white women (he was even married to several of them) certainly did not help his popularity and acceptance any. They eventually did get him for violating miscegenation laws and the Mann Act.

Hank Aaron, too, was an object of persecution. Did you know that many white baseball fans were very upset when he broke the homerun record in 1973? He received all kinds of threatening hate mail when he was about to do it. “Dear Nigger Henry, You are not going to break this record established by the great Babe Ruth if you can help it…Whites are far more superior than jungle bunnies…My gun is watching your every black move.” Well, if they are so superior and all that, what are they so worried about? The truth is, maybe Babe Ruth wasn’t all that great. He just hadn’t played with or against anybody that was better than he was, namely, the greater black players! One’s worth can only be determined by comparing them to the people they directly work with. If he had been allowed to play with certain blacks, he probably wouldn’t have set any kind of record at all. I believe that the best or greatest of any human endeavor can never be determined, because, theoretically, there is always someone somewhere in the world that is better. The artists and films that win Oscars every year for “best” achievements are chosen only from the five nominees submitted. They are never really “the best,” necessarily. The best performance of the year most likely was never even put up for consideration.

Here is a damned-if-you-do/don’t situation. When a white guy is trying to pick a fight with a black guy, it’s often difficult to avoid the altercation. “Hey, Boy, didn’t I hear you say that Joe Louis can beat any white man that he comes up against?” Now if the other guy answers in the affirmative, those are fighting words. How dare he say such a thing? But if he denies it and says, “No, suh, I never said that at all,” the response is, “So then, are you callin’ me a liar, Boy?” which then gives them cause to fight anyway. The white guy is not going to let the other one off the hook in either case.

Remember what they put Clarence Thomas through before his appointment to the Supreme Court. Even if he was guilty of the sexual harassment charges against him, I doubt very seriously if he is the first and only Justice in history who ever made an inappropriate pass at a woman. So why was Thomas singled out and made an example of at that particular time? No one can convince me that his being black had nothing whatsoever to do with it. They just needed something to discourage his consideration. I have always suspected that Thomas’ appointment is merely a token gesture anyway. It has been reported that he is not given equal influence or has as much importance as any of the others (I can relate to that), and I have even heard him being referred to as Clarence “Uncle” Thomas!

And of course, everything that the Obamas did was subject to close scrutiny and negative criticism by some people. When they came to New York to take in a Broadway show, there were grumblings about their choice of show to see. “Why did they attend that ’black’ show rather than one of the more lily-white ones that are playing?” Well, duh! Because that is the one that they wanted to see! The Obamas took a trip to London and got to meet the Queen, and somebody took a picture of the First Lady with her arm around the Queen’s shoulders, and people complained, “Ach, how dare ’that woman’ touch the Queen!” What they didn’t see or even cared about was that Elizabeth had first put her arm around Michelle! And it turned out that they were talking about shoes at the time, like two girlfriends! And how is it anybody’s business how two people choose to interact with each other? Michelle also received flak from people for being photographed wearing a dress that showed off her bare arms. Our current First Lady Melania Trump posed nude for a photo shoot some years ago, but that’s okay, it seems. I hate this hypocritical double standard used when people set out to discredit somebody.

They constantly made offhand racist comments and then tried to feign innocence when they were called on their shit. Like when Republican Congressman, Doug Lamborn from Colorado, said in an interview that having to deal with the President is like “touching a tar baby.” I’m sure he would not have said that about Clinton or Bush. Throughout Obama’s administration he had trouble getting things done because there were those in his employ who just hated and refused to take orders from a black man. So you see, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you achieve in life, if you’re not all-white, there are those who will always try to put you down. When some John McClain supporters would ask me if I was voting for Obama just because he is black, I admitted to them that indeed I was. And then I asked them, ’Isn’t that the very reason why you are not voting for him?’

Then along came the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who was President Obama’s former pastor and who almost hurt Obama’s candidacy because of his association with Wright and the preacher’s public statements that have been deemed to be anti-American and anti-white. The substance of some of his statements was American racism, criticism of our Government and pointing out the hypocrisy displayed in dealing with world terrorism. White folks don’t like to hear the truth about ourselves. The media critics didn’t seem to mind, however, when the white evangelists (John Hagee and Pat Robertson) who endorsed John McClain’s campaign for President, likened the Catholic Church to the Nazi regime in their thirst for Jewish blood and blaming Hurricane Katrina and the 9/11 attacks on America’s tolerance of gay people.

Then after two years in office, some Republicans, headed by Donald Trump and his Tea Party cohorts, were all concerned about Obama’s questionable American citizenship and bringing his actual birth certificate under public scrutiny. I would think that all of that would have been investigated and proven before his campaign and subsequent election. Martin Van Buren’s first language was Dutch. I wonder if anybody questioned his birthright when he ran for President? I wonder, too, if Donald Trump is one of those two-faced “whited sepulchers” that I cited in another post (Color Issues)? He acts as if he likes black people, but does he really?

What it is with those people who just won’t let it go about O.J. Simpson? I somehow doubt that the murders would have been the big deal it was if the victims had not been white. The ones who still think that he’s guilty just can’t accept the fact that a black man got away with murder and did it through our American court system and was able to hire expensive lawyers to defend him. Even if he really did it, that’s only one case. Consider the vast number of white men (and women, too) who have committed murder over the years and were never convicted or even went to trial, the lynchings for sport of blacks and the assassinations of our black civic leaders. Why aren’t these same people as outraged and unrelenting about that? Remember how the police immediately went after O.J. right after the murders occurred, although they didn’t have any real evidence against him, but when Robert Blake’s wife turned up dead, they waited until more than a year before they even considered him a suspect!

Lana Turner admitted years later that she is the one who in 1958 stabbed to death her lover Johnny Stompanato for which she got her teenaged daughter, Cheryl Crane, to take the rap and was acquitted. The killing was pronounced a justifiable homicide on the grounds that the girl was trying to protect her mother from what she believed had been a threat to her life. I suppose the victim’s being a notorious hoodlum must have helped their case. So you see, I’m sure that whites get away with murder more often than blacks do, especially when the victim is black, and even when they‘re not. Of course, it is wrong in any case; I just don’t like the double standard used.

Eddie Murphy did an HBO comedy special some years ago in which he told, what some considered to be, off-color gay jokes that angered some gay media watchdogs. Those guys were always complaining about queers constantly being ignored and unacknowledged in show business, then whenever somebody does include us in their work, they don’t like what’s being said. Well, they can’t have it both ways. Eddie was all dressed in tight-fitting, red leather pants and shirt and was pacing back and forth across the stage while he was talking. I remember him saying at one point, “I know that you faggots out there are lookin’ at my ass. And the reason that I’m moving around so much is because I don’t know exactly where you’re sitting.” I think that’s funny. He made an innocent observation, even if self-indulgent. What’s wrong with that? He wasn’t wrong either, because I certainly was looking at his ass myself!

He also mentioned that “this AIDS thing is some scary shit” (we didn’t know a whole lot about the disease at that time), and he may have made some wisecracks about it. I suppose that some objected to Eddie’s use of the word faggot, and AIDS is much too serious a matter even to joke about. I didn’t mind any of his comments, and I wasn’t in the least offended. But that’s me. Arthur Bell, however, of The Village Voice tried to launch a campaign to put Eddie in worldwide disfavor, instigating a boycott of his movies, TV appearances and recordings. I thought, Chill out, Arthur! Where is your sense of humor? You want to destroy a man’s career just because he called nobody in particular a faggot? White standup comics always say insulting things in their routines. Comedy is based on making fun of somebody. Joan Rivers, for one, used to and others, too, spout disparaging gay humor all the time, and Mel Brooks goes after everybody, including gays. So why did Bell single out Eddie as doing something unique and unforgivable? If he is waiting for gay glorification from the mainstream media, I think that he has a long wait.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X were troublemakers, stirring up dissention amongst the races, so they were promptly dispatched. Okay, so Malcolm was killed by other blacks, but I’ll bet you it was some white men who put them up to it. The movement to make King’s birthday a national holiday was met with much objection and resistance. It took 17 years for them finally to okay it and another 13 before it was acknowledged in all 50 states. I’ll bet that they didn’t fight it when Christopher Columbus was up for consideration. And he was not even an American and a slave trader to boot!

Some years ago many whites disliked Rev. Louis Farrakhan (they probably still do), because he “advocates hatred of whites.” Well, I have heard the man speak on several occasions and I have never heard him say that he hates anybody. It’s just that he speaks the truth about white people and they don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to own up to their faults. He’s just like me in that respect—he calls ’em as he sees ’em. I speak the truth about white people, too, but that doesn’t mean that I hate anybody. That’s not the same thing. I can hate what someone is or does but not hate the person. I wish people would listen with an open mind to what the man is saying instead of always twisting his words and projecting their own pre-conceived ideas of what he’s all about.

I thoroughly enjoyed Farrakhan’s address at the Million Man March in 1995. On the day of the March, before Farrakhan had even said anything, our dear President Clinton had publicly badmouthed the man, warning us about his upcoming message of hate and ill-will. That’s right, Bill, prejudice the whole nation against him before he has a chance to state his position (as if Clinton had any right to judge and criticize anybody). His brilliant speech was not like that at all. It wasn’t even about Whitey. If anything, he was telling the men there that we need to get our shit together and stop blaming others for our misfortunes. It was more of a pep talk, in actuality. I found him to be quite articulate, inspiring, spiritual, empowering and educational.

I have, however, changed my initial defense of the man since I learned that he is probably responsible for killing Malcolm X, but not dismissing the notion that he had help and some encouragement from white men. When Malcolm cut himself off from Elijah Muhammad and Islam, he began making disparaging remarks about his former mentor, which Farrakhan, his new protégé, did not take too kindly to, and he had him subsequently disposed of. Ironically and hypocritically, this aforementioned speech of his in 1995 is practically the same things Malcolm preached about just before he was killed. I guess they had a more common philosophy than they both realized at the time.

Another powerful and influential voice that the Powers-That-Be did their best to try to silence was Paul Robeson [1898-1976]. He was a man of many talents: singer, actor, Phi Beta Kappa scholar, athlete, author and political activist. It was the latter that got him into the most trouble. As a much-sought-after performer during the late forties and early fifties, Robeson made several visits to the Soviet Union, where he was constantly revered and adored and where his color was never an issue, as it is here in this country. When there began rumblings about U.S. Communist infiltration and Russia became a potential war enemy, Robeson appealed to all American blacks that they refuse to go to war against Russia, if it ever came to that. He went on to explain that we shouldn’t have any gripe with them, as the Russian people treat us better than our own countryfolk. Of course, this sentiment was interpreted by some that Robeson was unpatriotic and a Communist sympathizer, resulting in his instant ostracism and blacklisting by Joseph McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover and their cohorts.

Despite all of her money, and probably because of it, Oprah Winfrey was sued for slander and forced into a lengthy court settlement when some white, Texas cattle ranchers accused her of ruining their beef business, due to her so-called great influence on the American public. But the thing is, during her show discussion about mad cow disease, Oprah didn’t tell her viewing audience that they should not eat beef ever again, she was speaking for only herself. Since when was sharing a personal dietary decision with someone a trial-worthy crime? If you or I ever announced on nationwide TV that we were giving up chocolate for whatever reason, could the Hershey people, or would they, sue us because of their declining sales? I rather doubt it. Isn’t Oprah entitled to freedom of speech rights like everybody else? The very trial was so bogus, in my opinion. I think that those crackers did it for the publicity and as a possible means to get some money from Oprah (they were suing her for $11 million) and at the same time defame her dignity. “That Negress is too rich and too uppity for our own good. She needs to be put in her place.” Fortunately, since Oprah is so well-loved, even by most whites, ultimately the charges against her were not convicting. Anyway, how can one black woman be any serious threat to the more powerful white men?

Do you think that singer/actor Vanessa L. Williams’ little indiscretion, revealed in 1984, was the first and only scandal associated with Miss America? Well, check this out. A Miss America contestant in 1923 was tried and acquitted for killing her husband. Miss America 1926 was discovered to be an adulteress, prostitute and alcoholic child abuser, who shared her highballs with her 2-year-old. Miss America 1937 didn’t even serve her term, because the morning after she was crowned, she ran off to parts unknown with her boyfriend. Miss America 1945 (humanitarian Bess Myerson) was once charged with bribery and arrested for shoplifting. Miss America 1976 admitted to being a pothead, Miss Florida 1982 was arrested for drunken driving and Miss Ohio 1982 was charged with shoplifting. All these charges were dropped and all was forgiven.

But it’s the first black Miss America who was forced to give up her crown because she had previously posed nude for a photographer. Now, come on! What was so heinous about that? You know?—any little thing they could find to discredit her. And you know that somebody was on her case the whole time. Vanessa reports that her victory did not sit well at all with the bigoted South and white supremacist organizations, for one thing. She regularly received death threats and was afraid to appear in public crowd settings because of potential snipers being present. She was also criticized for having an opinion of controversial topics. Interviewers would ask her questions and Vanessa would give intelligent, honest answers. When she was asked to give up her crown, she initially intended to sue, but she was warned that they would dig up her entire sordid past and use it against her in court. She decided that it wasn’t worth it and dropped the law suit. So then, I guess that adultery, prostitution, drug and child abuse, felonies and even murder are all okay, as long as you are white and you keep your clothes on while doing them!

While Fantasia Barrino was competing on “American Idol” in 2004 and viewers learned that she was a teenaged unwed mother, she started receiving hate mail and bad press. She was a disgrace and not worthy of representing American values, they complained. I didn’t hear any similar feelings about any of the white contenders in the same situation. Although Fantasia did consider withdrawing from the competition, she decided to ignore all the negative criticism and went on to win that year, by 65 million votes, I might add. So there!

Some years ago while working for the Psychic Friends Network, they gave my girl Dionne Warwick a hard time, making her out to be a crook and embezzler. But even if she were guilty (I happen to believe and accept her explanation of the situation, however), what, no white folks have ever confiscated any money under false pretext?! Hello?! They who are without sin may cast the first stone.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore; Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me; I lift my lamp beside the Golden Door.”–Emma Lazarus
Now the Government is trying to crack down on “illegal aliens,” not wanting them here because “they take our jobs away and eat up our food.” Come on, if someone is able to take somebody else’s job, then that person must not have been doing it well enough or someone else is better suited for it! In this land of so-called free enterprise, a person is supposed to be able to pursue any work endeavor that they desire, aren’t they? They should be glad that our immigrants want to work. Those who lie around idle and take advantage of our Welfare benefits, these same complainers call lazy and shiftless. It’s another case of damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t. Who are they trying to kid? What about our own citizens who take advantage of our Welfare system? I see it as just another exercise in discrimination. Those bureaucrats in Washington need to visit our Statue of Liberty sometime and read the above inscription on the thing. Accepting foreigners is supposed to be what this country stands for. Everybody here, if not born here themselves, has ancestors that came from somewhere else.

Our dear President Trump, however, is taking issue with Ms. Lazurus’ sentiments and desires to ignore or even get rid of the inscription entirely. You see, he doesn’t want any poor, homeless, huddled masses or wretched refuse gracing our shores, especially if they are not white. You will notice that they target only People-of-Color for restriction and deportation—your Hispanics, Asians, Arabs, Caribbean islanders, for the most part, but now Trump has added people of the Muslim faith, in particular, Syrians, to the list. Some are afraid that their intent is to infiltrate in order to take over the country. Maybe they just want to get away from the terrible situation in their homeland. That’s the reason everybody else wants to come here–for a better life. America has always been populated by foreign refugees. This is nothing new. Two of Trump’s three wives are foreigners. I’ll bet he didn’t try to keep them out of the country!

There are some white separatists who want everybody except their immediate family to “go back to where they came from,” not acknowledging the fact that they themselves also came from somewhere else. They don’t even want people here who were here before they were. Senator Rawkins, a character from Finian’s Rainbow, when informed that Finian McLonergan is an Irish immigrant, exclaims, “An immigrant! Damn! My whole family’s been havin’ trouble with immigrants ever since we came to this country!”

Those pooh-pooh naysayers don’t seem to be as restrictive with white Canadians and native Europeans, however. Look how many native Canadians (like, Celine Dion, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner and Alex Trebek) and Australians (like, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman and Anthony LaPaglia) in the entertainment field are working constantly in this country. Some have won Academy Awards, and they all have gotten rich, taking good jobs away from our own out-of-work actors. Why aren’t they subjected to prohibition and deportation? The Manhattan clinic and hospital where I receive my health care is loaded with exotic physicians. You should see some of the names on the directory. Not a Smith, Jones or Williams in the bunch. I wonder how much trouble they all had getting into the country? I, myself, am seeing a Hungarian doctor and also one from Croatia.

There was a recent news item about a Nigerian immigrant living in New Jersey, being convicted of “fake identity,” when he took the name of a dead man and worked for over 20 years at the same job with a person‘s name other than his own. He was somehow found out and was subsequently indicted for it. I don’t see how the man committed any kind of crime by using the name of someone who does not exist anymore. Welsh singer Arnold George Dorsey took the name of a dead German composer and has lived his career as Engelbert Humperdinck ever since. British actor Jane Seymour did the same thing. I never realized that changing one’s name was a federal offense. Or is it only so when a non-white person does it? Of course, the fact that the guy is an illegal alien does not help his case any. It seems that they will use any excuse to justify their bigotry. It’s more hypocrisy.

Mexico’s former president, Vicente Fox, got into some trouble a few years ago when he commented publicly that “Mexican men and women are willing to do the kind of work that even black people now refuse to do.” Until he was called on the carpet about it, Fox and some of his associates didn’t even realize that what he said was very racist–at least he said that he didn’t know. Just because at one time blacks were forced or compelled to do certain jobs, doesn’t mean that it was what they preferred to do. He should have said that Mexicans will do the work that nobody else wants to do, including white people, or they wouldn’t be trying to get somebody else to do it for them! Fox’s subsequent apology was not for making the comment itself. He was sorry that certain people were offended and took his remark the wrong way. What?! I guess he still doesn’t get it. TV chef Paula Dean does the same thing. A couple of times now she has been publicly reprimanded for making racist comments and gestures. But instead of apologizing for saying what she did, she is only sorry that some people were offended by it.

If you check it, what is now the southwestern United States (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California) used to be Northern Mexico before the white settlers stole the land away from the natives. The Mexicans are not really immigrating, then. They didn’t come from somewhere else. They were already here. Consider some of these place names: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Fe–and all the other “Saint“ names–Mesa, El Paso, Amarillo, the list goes on and on. Do you honestly think that it was the Anglo Americans who gave so many of these major cities Spanish names because they so wanted to honor their dear, beloved neighbors, the Mexicans?

So who are really the “illegal aliens” here? The term itself seems invalid and unfair. It’s merely a matter of a silly, arbitrary border, some of it is actual land and part of it is a river. It’s as if somebody drew a line in the sand and demanded the inhabitants on either side of the line to stay on their side. Actually, the “U.S.” residents can cross the line whenever they want to, but the Mexicanos have to play “Mother May I” to get permission to cross. Is that fair?

I noticed a hypocritical sign at JFK Airport one day when I returned from one of my trips. It reads, “Welcome to New York City. We are so glad to have you here.“ Who, exactly, is “you”? So I suppose if a Mexican person, for example, somehow obtained a passport and entered the country by plane, it would be all right for them to be here. But we can’t have them sneaking in through the back door by crossing an arbitrary land barrier. If that welcome sign applies to anyone who sees it, it shouldn’t make any difference who they are, whence they came or how they arrive.

Why should it be against the law for any person to venture from one country to another without governmental sanction? I don’t like this whole idea of national borders anyway—needing permission to live in, and even to enter and visit, other countries. Why can’t everyone be allowed to come and go and live anywhere they please? It only perpetuates the idea of terrestrial possession, causing groups of people to cherish their territorialism and to feel that they have the right to keep the “undesirables” out. A person like Bill Gates could live anywhere in the world that he wanted to—I mean, he could even buy the whole country, with his money and his being white and all—who would stop him? But a poor Cuban refugee, for example, does not have that privilege.

And how about those ignoramuses that used to get on the TV talk shows imploring us to help them “keep the white race pure”? I doubt very seriously that there are any pure white persons left on earth. If they go back far enough, they’ll be sure to find some black or Indian or some other kind of non-white genes amongst their ancestors. It’s virtually unavoidable. The same can be said of black Americans. All current generations most likely have Caucasian ancestors, if not directly then indirectly. For myself, my great-great-grandmother, on my mother’s side, was a German woman, and because of my relative, Matthew Henson, I even have Eskimo cousins living in the Arctic!

And of course, to let them tell it, it’s all our doing that the races are all mixed up, when they are the ones who always instigated it. The African slaves did not voluntarily come to this country with the express purpose of mating with white Europeans. It wasn’t our men seducing and raping the white women. I have seen signs carried by white protesters that read, “We will not accept mixing of the races.“ But they are the ones doing it! It’s the white men who impregnate black and other women against their will.

Black pioneer filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux, made a film in 1920 called Within Our Gates, and one scene has a Southern, elderly white man invading the home of a young mulatto woman, and he is about to force himself sexually on her, when he recognizes a hereditary birthmark on her body and realizes that it’s his own daughter that he was about to rape! He apparently had done the same thing to the girl’s mother years before.

We are not the ones who invented miscegenation. So now they want to forget about the past actions of their forebears and act like they didn’t do anything, in order to reclaim their pure white status. Well, too late, people. The “damage” has already been done. But so what if there is such a purebred white person? Is that supposed to be some great achievement or special honor? What makes their Aryanism, or whatever the fuck they think they are, superior to someone with multi-lineage and mixed genes? I would think that having more would be better to having less. These folks need to get their minds fixed.

[Related articles: Black History, Part 1–Did You Know?; Black History, Part 2–Slavery and Its Aftermath; Black History, Part 3–Racism via Show Business; Black History, Part 4–Criminal Injustice; Color Issues; Some Racial Observations and Assessments; Stereotyping and Profiling, Racial and Otherwise; Walt Disney, a Racist? Who‘d‘ve Thunk It!?]

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