Two New York Police Officers Killed Allegedly in Retaliation For the Deaths of Brown and Garner – By Wayne Johnson, Attorney, Political Economist

In the 1960s the Black Panthers sparked a movement and one the of the theme songs of the movement was “Off The Pigs.” The lyrics were: “The revolution has come. Chrous: Off the pigs! It time to pick up the gun. Chrous: Off the pigs!” The pigs can mean the police or it can mean the people in power.

 

Huey P. Newton, one of the founders and the Minister of Defense for the Black Panthers gave a speech in which he said the police were an occupying force in the Black community.

1-2-1710-25-ExplorePAHistory-a0l7o5-a_349                                                         Black Panthers forced by Police to Strip in Public

He argued that they are not there to protect property because at that time most Black people owned no significant property. He argued they are not there to defend our due process rights because they deny us due process. He also argued that they are not there to protect our lives because they take our lives.

 

windowshot                                                                   Photograph of Black Panther WIndow Allegedly Shot Out by Police

 

It was the Panther’s philosophy, and other nationalist’s philosophy to not take police killings lightly, but to avenge every life the police took.

 

In the context of the recent assassination of two New York Officers in Brooklyn yesterday, that was Black Panther philosophy and rhetoric in the 1960s. However, that rhetoric was mostly propaganda. Rarely, did any Black people take the lives of police in a tit for tat fashion. Usually, if a police officer lost his life it was in an exchange of bullets wherein the police had the upper hand.

 

Yesterday was different. This young man who was apparently troubled by many things, including the deaths of Brown and Garner at the hands of what some would call rogue cops, supposedly decided to execute two officers before taking his own life. His theme… pigs can die too.

 

Until I studied books on the slave patrols, and slave breeding, I had always wondered how police could be so callous and have such little regard for the lives of Black people, particularly young Black men.

 

I also wondered what took so long before young Black men would strike back, became hit men, assassins, and martyrs. They have had access to firearms, knives, bats, clubs and other weapons.   Some are strong. According to officer Wilson, as strong as the fictional character, Godzilla. Some are even trained in pugilism and martial arts. There were movies, like “Sweet Sweetback’s Bad Ass Song,” “Enter The Dragon,” and “The Spook Who Sat By the Door” where Black men retaliated for police misconduct.

 

Moreover, the police are easy targets for anyone who wants to retaliate for perceived injustice.   They do not walk around the their guns drawn, and they do not have eyes in the backs of their heads. Moreover, so long as they have substantial numbers of disenfranchised and unemployed people with nothing to do, those individuals will feel the need to retaliate.

 

I have never been an advocate of protest, violent or otherwise.   I’ve always viewed white men policing Black neighborhoods as an assault on the Black community or a form of occupation. Even as a child, I remember just being stopped and harassed by white cops for no reason.

 

Even if we were into mischief, the police had no way of knowing, and neither did they care. They just stopped us for no legal reason and tried to bully us and intimidate us.   When we rode our bicycles out of the neighborhood, they would detain us and check to see if our bikes were stolen. If we walked out of the Black neighborhood, they might ask us where we were going and why we were in certain neighborhoods, or as the cop did in the movie “Rambo” escort us out of that area.   Once in a while we might encounter a polite police officer, but that was an exception rather than the rule. There was one time I was glad to see them though. We had crossed a newly constructed freeway to get to a frog pond.   A CHP officer spotted us and gave us a ride back to the safety of a park and explained to us, as if we had not realized it, how dangerous it was for us to make that trek.   However, most of the time, our encounters were unreasonable.

 

I even heard stories about police taking Black youth into custody, placing phone books on the heads of the Black youth, so there would be no visible marks, and striking the phone books with batons.

 

I recall listening to an Eddie Kendricks, of the famed Temptations, interview wherein he described his less than stellar interaction with the police where he grew up. He said as children they distrusted and hated the police so much for the mistreatment that they bestowed upon them that they would wait until nightfall, throw rocks at them, and when the police gave chase on foot, they would lead the police at full speed through a backyard with a clothesline just so the police would injure themselves.

 

As children, we yelled “off the pigs” and ran before they could catch us.

 

It seemed somebody was always being harassed or beaten up or killed by the police, even if he or she was the complaining person who called the police for assistance. We viewed them as a corrupt organization of racists, thugs, and brutes.

 

Comedian Richard Pryor told a joke about police making Black men lay face down in the mud after being detained for no legal reason.  The police disregarded the law in their encounters with Black folks, and searched them without warrants, took money from them, and planted contraband on them.  As a Black man, you were just as likely to be brutalized by the police as you were to be brutalized by other criminals.   As far as the average Black person in the “hood” was concerned being a police officer was synonymous with being a gangster.  We did not call them to report crimes and we did not cooperate with them in investigations.  Even if we were not doing anything wrong we tried to avoid them.

I recall one incident when the bank asked me to report the larceny by trick of a check from my account, and the police officer who arrived refused to take a report.  He told me it was a private matter that had to be handled in civil court.  Needless to say, when the bank called to report it, the police took a report without incident.

I remember as a young attorney wearing a business suit hurrying back from the copier so I could file a document by court closing, and being detained by the police and made to wait until a white woman could verify I was not the guy who snatched her purse.  Needless to say, the clothing I was wearing in no way matched the description of the clothing supposedly worn by the guy who supposedly snatched the purse.  That is how some police officers treat Black men.

A book “Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party” By Joshua Bloom, Waldo E. Martin provides and account claiming two Black Police officers, Gwynne Peirson and Eugene Jennings, provided statements that the Oakland police outright assassinated Bobby Hutton, the Black Panther Party National Treasure, as he was attempting to surrender. The book claims that both of the officer’s accounts were suppressed and that Gwynne Peirson’s grand jury testimony was suppressed for over thirty years.

 

Now we are apparently in a new era. Protesters are shutting down major thoroughfares, damaging public and private property, and now, even shooting back at police for perceived violence on the part of the police.

 

Ironically, the police have placed the responsibility for the deaths of the New York officers on two men, one of whom some would declare to be an “Uncle Tom, ” the Reverend Al Sharpton, and the other many would call pro-police, the Mayor of New York.   The police blamed both of them for allowing the anti-police rhetoric to simmer and they claim this led to the violent deaths of the officers.

 

First, that is ridiculous. The poor relationship between the white men and Black men dates way back to before the slave patrols, to the kidnapping of Africans from Africa. One might argue that the two cops were not white; however, they represented the white power structure.

 

Besides, white people have always used Black people and representatives from other groups as agents of oppression against Blacks and others.  As I understand it, the two white men accused of murdering Emmett Til were assisted by at least one Black male.  The United States used Native American scouts and Buffalo Soldiers to defeat other Native Americans.  According to Malcolm X, the government enlisted the “so-called Big Six,” men Malcolm X called “House Niggers” and “Toms,” to control and neutralize the masses of Blacks fighting for change.

 

Second, placing the blame on these two individuals is not fair given the protests were going to take place regardless. If anything, the Mayor and Revered Al Sharpton probably toned down the protesters making a strong demand on them for non-violent protest.

 

If the police want the rhetoric toned down maybe they should issue a nationwide apology, and promise with some reasonable assurances that the racial profiling will cease and desist. That may be too much to ask given the nature of policing, and the profit that is made from incarcerating Black people, and the political clout one might gain from causing the populace to fear Black men.  A lot of people would be out of work if they did not have Black men to use as pawns in the criminal justice system.

Besides, it is an oxymoron for police officers to demand peaceful and democratic protest.  Police Departments by nature are paramilitary organizations with hierarchical command structures.   They take orders from superiors without question and they resort to violence or the use of force almost instinctively.  Even if one of them observes misconduct he or she is unlikely to report it for fear of retaliation from other officers. If they want the violence to end, they should disarm themselves and teach by example.  There has got to be a different way to protect and serve.

As long as police behave like the slave patrols of the 1800s, the violence and disruption is not going to cease. I suppose some of the police do not mind, so long as they are able to collect substantial overtime for quelling these disturbances.

 

 

 

 

Why are many white people so bent on supporting the police, right or wrong? – By Wayne Johnson, Attorney, Political-Economist

Why are many white people so bent on supporting the police, right or wrong?   You have to look back to the founding of the original police departments in the United States.

 

Slave patrols were the precursor to modern day police in the United States. Slave Patrollers had their own characteristics, duties, and benefits, apart from slave owners and overseers. Slave patrol duties started as breaking up slave meetings. These slave meetings occurred on holidays, in which some would plan revolts and uprisings.

 

Eventually, slave patrol expanded to be year-round, not just on holidays. Slowly, new duties and rights of patrollers became permitted, including: “apprehending runaways, monitoring the rigid pass requirements for blacks traversing the countryside, breaking up large gatherings and assemblies of blacks, visiting and searching slave quarters randomly, inflicting impromptu punishments, and as occasion arose, suppressing insurrections.”

 

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Even today, if you see a large rally of Black people on a holiday, such as Juneteenth, the police will come and break it up before sundown, even if there is no active curfew in the area.

 

Slave patrols consisted mostly of white citizens. Most people in slave patrols came from working and middle-class conditions. In some southern states, the militia and army served as slave patrols. In other southern states, slave patrols came about from colonial or state government legislation.

 

Slave patrols typically rode on horseback in groups of four or five, sometimes even in family groups. They often worked sun-up to sundown and varied their times and locations of patrol, to lower the chances of slaves escaping. They used no special equipment. Their chief tools, instead, were whips and intimidation.

 

Today some police behave like slave patrollers, asking questions of Black people who they believe are not ordinarily in the neighborhood and/ or ordering people off or out of the streets, as in the Michael Brown case.

 

Some states, such as South Carolina, required every white man, under consequence of forty shillings, to arrest and chastise any slave found away from their home without proper verification.

 

In some areas, killing a slave was not considered a crime by the courts or community.  We see this as an epidemic today. Police detaining and killing Black men with impunity and immunity.

 

Despite the difficulties of being a patroller, there were also benefits. For example, patrollers were exempt from public, county, and parish taxes and fees during their term of service.

 

Today, police receive lucrative retirement and pension benefits, and generous overtime for keeping an eye on protesters.

 

In addition, some patrollers were paid additional sums with surplus money.

 

Also, regardless of the power patrollers held, they had limitations. For example, although whippings and beatings were permitted, a deterrent also existed. This was the fact that, if whipped or beaten too severely, the slave was then of no use to their masters as laborers the next day. As a consequence, overly brutal patrollers could expect revenge from slave owners.

 

Today there is no deterrent except maybe a lawsuit.

 

After the Emancipation Proclamation, the increasing number of white men being called to the militias of the South in 1862 and 1863 resulted in many slave patrols simply not having enough men to be as active as they once were.

 

Even though slavery and patrols were legally broken down in 1865 at the conclusion of the Civil War, the patrol system still survived. Almost immediately in the aftermath of the war, informal patrols sprang into action.

 

Later, city and rural police squads, along with the help of Union army officers, revived patrolling practices among free men. During the Reconstruction, old style patrol methods resurfaced and were enforced by postwar Southern police officers and also by organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan.

 

Fifty years ago, KKK members who worked as law enforcement officers arrested civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.   The law enforcement officers intentionally released the three of them into a mob of Klansmen later that evening who were waiting to ambush them.

 

I do not want to isolate this group of Klansmen, and pretend that almost every white person who lived in that area was not in the Klan or was not a Klan sympathizer. Also, I do not want to appear disrespectful to Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner; however, that is the reception that most Black folks had been receiving since their ancestors were brought over here in chains.

 

We too often want to pretend that the Klan was his group of misfits. They were a very powerful organization to be reckoned with, with powerful members throughout the United States. They were in politics, the judicial system, and in law enforcement. They could kill you or make you disappear, and no white person in his or her right mind would lend you any assistance. Goodman and Schwerner most likely did not believe that anything like that would happen to them because they look like typical white people.   Chaney probably believed that because he was in the company of two the white looking Jews that would provide protection for him.

 

In this country, the KKK was synonymous with law enforcement.   They worked hand in hand and to be captured by one was like being captured by the other. There were even Jim Crow laws and Black codes to assist them in belittling a Black person’s desire to be truly free, and pursue wealth. They went into Black communities and burned out successful businessmen and seized their property.   Black people could not go to court because they had laws and mores preventing and discouraging such action. Moreover, many of the judges were in the Klan or they were Klan sympathizers.

 

Why are there Garners, Browns, Grants, Martins, and Kings today?

Kingbeating

Rodney King Beating

 

 

The simple answer is we never fixed the system. Some of these police still act as though there are on slave patrol. Forget innocent until proven guilty. Many white folks believe that Blacks are guilty until proven innocent. Some have an attitude that goes something like this… “What is that nigger doing around here? I will go over there and demand answers.” Many police believe if you are Black and young and a male, you probably have some contraband on you or you probably have a warrant, or you are on probation or parole. They feel if they stop you they will find something on you that will subject you to arrest.

 

 

If the Black person does not give an appropriate response he or she is an uppity Nigger, and he or she flunks the attitude test, and then things escalate.

 

Why do things escalate?   Well, that is the topic of many discussions. Many white people do not believe the audacity of some of these young Black men. Many Black men feel, and there is legal support for this belief in the case law and in the United States Constitution, that if they are not doing anything wrong, a police officer has no right to demand anything of them.

The law requires that one does submit to an arrest, even an unlawful arrest. However, that is the end of it.  One does not have to be polite.  One does not have to engage in conversation if he is free to go.  If one is not on probation or parole one does not have to engage in any conversation; however, the law is such that one has to specifically invoke the Fifth Amendment if he wants to remain silent.  One does not have to surrender his or her life or submit to excessive or unreasonable force even in a lawful arrest.  The critical question is when does force become unreasonable.  That is a question for a jury.

 

In the case of Michael Brown, if it is true that the officer began firing shots at him for no reason, he had a right to take reasonable steps to try to preserve his life.  Be mindful; however, when you make the decision to protect yourself from unreasonable force the question you must consider is whether you will be successful against an armed assailant.  If an officer is trying to take your life I suppose you do not have much of a choice.

Many people do not understand the dilemma between cops and Black people because their ancestors were never slaves in this country. Maybe we should have played games called masters and servants or people versus pigs, much like cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians, and maybe then white people would understand the dynamic between police and Blacks in this country.

White people do not understand the dynamic because the white people’s ancestors were on the question asking side of the equation.   They demanded the answers, and they still feel they are entitled to answers from Black people.

 

Let’s put it like this… white people would understand this better if they were walking in their neighborhood and one or more Black men approached them and demanded answers, like “[W] here are you going? From where did you come? What is in the bag? Or, are you on probation or parole?”

 

Of course, a white person would feel offended by any of those questions. They feel that it is reasonable for police officers to ask those questions of Black people because they too want to know the answers to the questions.

White people have different experiences with the police.  It is not uncommon for Black people to be treated as suspects, and arrested, or subjected to excessive force even when they are the ones who call the police for assistance.  Most white people have no idea what it is like to be Black and have an encounter with the police.

I once represented a man who the police arrested for domestic violence.   According to him, his wife accused him of cheating and she became hostile.  He left the home in such a huff that he forgot his shoes.  When he re-entered the home to get his shoes his wife blocked him from getting to his shoes.  He called the police so they could help him get his shoes and leave.  His wife, who was knowledgeable about police issues warned him not to call them.  He called anyway.

 

Several minutes later the police arrived and when he attempted to greet them at the front door, and explain why he called, one of them pushed past him and asked to speak to his wife.  The officer asked his wife if he attacked her, to which she replied he had not.  However, she mentioned she was blocking him from getting his shoes, and he tired to push her aside to get to his shoes.  Upon hearing that, the officer ordered the man to put his hands behind his back and submit to be handcuffing and arrest.  Both the husband and the wife were in shock.  Needless to say, the case ultimately was dismissed.

As I understand what happened in the 49ers Ray McDonald case he and his pregnant girlfriend got into an argument.  He ordered her to leave his home, but she would not.  He tried to force her out, but she pushed past him and ran upstairs.  Not wanted to create an incident, he called a police officer who worked in San Francisco, but who also doubled as game security at 49ers games.  He asked him for advice on getting his girlfriend out of his home.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s girlfriend overheard McDonald on the telephone and she decided to call 911 and report to the police that McDonald was attempting to force her from his home and she did not want to leave.   The local police supposedly arrested McDonald for domestic violence.

When last I checked you have a right to expel unwanted guests from your home, and that is true despite the person is pregnant, and the child may be yours.  It may not make sense, and she may still sue you for child support, but if the home is your separate property, and you are not married, you may still demand that person to leave.  Under those specific facts, the police should not have arrested Ray MacDonald, and it was right for the District Attorney not to file charges against McDonald.

 

Moreover, the San Francisco police officer who tried to assist McDonald in getting the woman out of the home did nothing wrong in offering his assistance to McDonald under those facts. What was McDonald to do?   He owned the residence and he lived there.  The girlfriend should have left until the situation was manageable.

Many white people thought both McDonald and the San Francisco officer should have faced charges for something.  Unless the woman was subjected to domestic violence that was not a police moment.

Many white people do not see it like that.  When it comes to Black people they think the police should behave as the slave patrollers did in the 1800s, and that Black people should just submit to their every whim and should not question them.

 

In most cases where Black men are involved they do not have to violate the law.  Black people only have to be Black to be “suspicious” and / or subject to arrest. That is why Zimmerman harassed Martin and shot him.   He wanted to know why the person he looked at as a “Nigger” was in his neighborhood. Moreover, because he was packing a pistol, he felt powerful and he felt he could demand an answer.

 

If people like Zimmerman did not have weapons they would not feel so emboldened. If the police did not carry weapons they would not feel so emboldened.

 

If Zimmerman did not have that attitude, Martin would most likely still be alive because Zimmerman would not have felt he was entitled to a response.

 

That is why the courts like criminals to be on probation or parole.   When you are on probation or parole you are essentially in prison, but you are on the street. That is like being a slave, but not being on the plantation. That gives the police the right to believe they are slave patrollers and treat Black men like slaves.

 

They have the attitude that you are violating their rights by being on the streets. They feel that you are violating their rights by not answering questions. Do not get me wrong, it is not just answering the questions, it is the attitude.

 

Recently, a white officer detained me while I was driving across the bridge.   He used his public address system to tell me to pull off the bridge and into this dark forested area.   I kept rolling until I reached the other side. He was disturbed that I did not pull over on the island and in the dark forested area, and he asked me why I failed to do so. I explained it to him as best I could. I told him I am a Black man in the United States, and it was late and dark outside. I told him that I did not feel comfortable pulling over in an isolated forested area at that time of night.   I told him I wanted to wait until I was in an area were there may be witnesses to our encounter.

 

He then asked me if I had been drinking. I told him that had not been. He then had me follow his finger with my eyes. I first rolled my eyes, and then I followed his finger to the best of my ability. He then asked me from where I was coming. I asked him from where he was coming. He told me hat he was just making conversation.   I asked him why he wanted to know. I told him that if it was just conversation I did not feel I had to respond and I also told him that he could tell me from where he was coming first. He then told me that I had been speeding, but he was not going to give me a ticket, but if I continued with that attitude he might. I told him to write the ticket. I did not really want a ticket; however, I did not feel that he was behaving appropriately.

 

I flunked the attitude test. Fortunately, we were in a heavily populated area, and that particular officer probably did not want escalate the situation.

 

White people say that they would just cooperate. However, white people are not usually harassed by police officers. Usually, it is one of them who initiate the police contact between Black people and the police so they see nothing wrong with it. They feel that if you are not doing anything wrong you should have nothing to hide.

 

Well, that is okay if you want to forfeit your Constitutional rights. However, you do not have the right to ask that I do the same. There is a reason we have a Fourth Amendment that prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. There is a reason we have a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.   Those rights are not there simply to be forfeited at the whim of any police or white person.

 

Of course, the founding fathers were slave owners and they did not intend that Black people have Fourth or Fifth Amendment rights, and many white people and most police officers still operate from that position, that we do not.   That is why they coined the terms “Black while driving” and “racial profiling.”

 

White people never get stopped for being Black while driving, and they never get racially profiled.   For many of them, those things are unimaginable.  They have an entirely different attitude because they are the ones who call the police, and they call them for stupid things like cats in trees, or Black men in the neighborhood.

Nigger Heaven, Why We Hate Each Other – By Wayne Johnson, Attorney, Political Economist

I was reading and came across of book entitled Nigger Heaven.

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Nigger Heaven is a 1926 novel written by Carl Van Vechten, a gay white man, set during the Harlem Renaissance in the United States in the 1920s. The book and its title have been controversial since its publication. It describes the interactions of intellectuals, political activists, bacchanalian workers, and other Harlem characters. The plot of the novel concerns two Black people, a quiet librarian and an aspiring writer, who try to keep their love alive as racism denies them every opportunity.

The phrase refers to the balcony in a theater or church, supposedly the closest a  Black person would get to heaven.

I always wondered why we as a people aspired to be white or longed for everything white, even the language of white people. This is not to say that white people speak proper English and Black people do not. When I say Black people wanted to speak like white people it is more of the pitch, the intonations, the words, and the melodic sounds or lack thereof.

 

I found that white people have just as much terrible grammar as do Black people.   This is true of all sectors along the economic ladder.

 

Some of the words that people misuse are possessive and reflexive pronouns.

 

I was in court one day and I heard a white attorney say opposing counsel showed the court and myself an exhibit. The rule is you have to pretend that you alone are the subject of the discussion.   You would not say opposing counsel showed myself. You would say opposing counsel showed me an exhibit.   Thus, it is proper to say opposing counsel showed the court and me an exhibit.

 

 

My sister speaks English properly; however, when she was younger she tried to sound like and be like her white classmates in the gifted school she attended. I remember as a child this sister, who purportedly is a very gifted person with an extremely high intelligence quotient, would stand for hours in the mirror mimicking phrases that white people use, words and phrases like “far out” and “up tight” and she would also fling her head in a feigned effort to cast her hair from her eyes while she spoke. Needless to say that despite the fact her hair was straightened, it had way too much body to move. We teased her and I would parrot her for fun.

 

Some people want to sound the way they think educated white people sound so they end up overdoing it, trying to sound too white, and then making mistakes in grammar and sounding just as ignorant as the white people who cannot speak English.  Some sound like “Valley Girls” and everyone knows that Valley Girls speak with horrific English.

 

Why do Black people and other people of color make those mistakes in English?

 

It dates back before the Harlem Renaissance.   It predates slavery along the Mississippi.   Contrary to common belief, slavery in the Deep South was only a blip in time. Mississippi became a state in 1817… Alabama in 1819, Tennessee in 1796, Georgia in 1788, and Missouri in1821.

 

Of course, Georgia was first established as a penal colony and a debtor’s colony in the 1730s, a place where the British sent its exiles.  However, at the time of the American revolution, in addition to the exiles there were approximately 18,000 African slaves in Georgia.  After the American revolution the British sent their exiles to Australia.

 

Measure this in the backdrop of the year the United States claimed its independence from the British, 1776, and the time the Civil War ended in 1865. Many of the confederate states had only been in existence less than 50 years when the American Civil War broke out. That is only two, maybe three generations of slaves. You can imagine the frustration the white plantation owners felt when they realized they would not get a reasonable return on their slave investments in the south.  After all, the northerners had profited for nearly two hundred years using slaves and slave labor.

Imagine how the Chinese feel when the United States pressures them to reduce their carbon footprint.  They are probably complaining that the United States used carbon energy for over a hundred years to build a strong economy, but now they want China to curb theirs.

Therefore, most of our slave past in this country was not in the Deep South because those were still largely wilderness and occupied by Native Americans.   Slavery was not legal in most southern states because there were no states in the Deep South in those days.  The Louisiana Purchase did not occur until July 4, 1803.  Most of our slavery roots in the New World was either in the north or in the Caribbean.  So we do not have this long history of bad treatment in the south versus good treatment in the north.   White folks treated us poorly in the north and the south.  Before the south was established the colonists treated Black people in the worst way.

 

Our ancestors were not only servants and laborers; they were soldiers, manufacturers, and builders. More importantly, our ancestors were assets and other forms of property to be bought and sold like stocks and bonds. From the 1600s to about 1840 our ancestors were the primary source of wealth for the rich an upper middle class. White people measured their wealth by the number and quality of African slaves they controlled, or bought and sold.

 

Everyday was a struggle, not for equality, but to be recognized as a human being.   Unfortunately, some of us still do not regard ourselves as humans or as good as white people so we imitate white people and tease Black people.   I have even heard brother who claims to be Afro-centric saying words like… “[Y]ou know how we are?”     That is usually said in the context of some substandard behavior we observe on the part of other Black people that we feel would embarrass us if white people observed it.  Also, it implies white people do not engage in ignorant, criminal, selfish, and other poor behavior.

 

For whites it had to be just as absurd. These creatures that white people were convinced were just a half step away from being apes were now competing with whites for housing, political office, employment, sex, and overall happiness, which for white people is the pursuit of wealth. For rich white people, Blacks were tools that were now free. Slavery was not only the primary source of wealth for some whites, and a few Blacks; Black people were the assets for many.  If they were not working Africans to death, they were buying, selling, renting, and or breeding Africans for slavery.   They even had books on breeding and training slaves as they would dogs.

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Some white people were Nigger Rich, not to be confused with the term used to describe wealthy Black people. If you were white and you were rich you owned many African slaves. When whites had to forfeit their wealth, they had to forfeit their slaves.  When that happened, whites hated Black folks, and anyone affiliated with freeing them, so much that they organized the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to put Black people back in their places.   Many Blacks were forced to work as sharecroppers, and had to pay rent to whites which erased most of the profit they would have received from working.  In other instances, Blacks were forced to buy supplies from white vendors who overcharged them.

The Klan was not just a fraction of the population.  At one time, around the 1920s most white people in the United States were either in the Klan or had strong connections to somebody in the Klan. To be anybody, or to win a political office, white people had to have connections in the Klan.  Any white person who resisted might receive a visit from the Klan and be persuaded to go along with the program or face the consequences.  The average white person was too intimidated to stand up to the Klan.

The first March on Washington was orchestrated by the Klan.  That is where Black people got the notion to have a March on Washington.

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At one time, Burton Becker, the Alameda County Sheriff, in California, was a Wizard, Cyclops, or a Dragon, or some other ridiculous title the Klan bestowed upon him.  In the 1920s, he along with other powerful Klansmen controlled much of Alameda County, and the nation.  The Alameda County District Attorney, Earl Warren, who later became a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, prosecuted him for shaking down bootleggers during prohibition.  For an interesting discussion on the Klan’s influence in the United States read “No There There,” by Chris Rhomberg.

 

For survival, sometimes it meant Blacks had to hate Blacks and even sell out other Blacks to the Klan.

 

Why did Black folks hate Black folks? The answer is simple.   Black people remind them of that which they try so desperately want to forget, that is they are Black too. No matter how much skin lightener they buy, permanents or relaxers they apply, or how they vary their speech, they feel they are still just a notch away from being monkeys in the minds of racists, and to some degree their own minds.

 

That is why instead of reinvesting in their old neighborhoods, many move away from the inner cities only to find that they are surrounded by people who look like them in distant suburbs.  Meanwhile “yuppies” buy the properties Black people allow to run down at a fraction of the value and gentrify the areas. Ultimately, the whites again own the best land that is closer to city hubs and they walk to work and / or pay less on transportation.  Over time, the suburbs begin to look run down and the crime rates increase, leaving Blacks farther away from the major cities in ghetto or run down areas similar to the ones they so desperately fought to escape.  However, this time they are also paying more money in the form of home association dues.

 

Unfortunately, many sisters have it worse than the brothers.   They not only buy hair straighteners, they also buy hair extensions that do not logically or textually resemble their own. They justify it by calling it a fashion.   If it is just a fashion or a style, when is fashion going to swing the other way?  It is expensive to hate yourself.  When we stop hating ourselves, we will save a lot more money.

 

Supreme court justice Clarence Thomas describes his hatred of Black people in his book.   He talks about being teased for being dark and for having other characteristics of Blacks.   He talks about how other Black people were jealous of him because he dared to be different, and therefore, more like white people inside.

 

Even though that is not true some of us still fear they will be viewed as a savage or less than human.   We do not want to be viewed as being too “niggerish” or too “ghetto” acting. We want to be viewed as having class.  Being Renaissance, or boule, is proof of our sophistication or how close we are to white people who we mistakenly believe have class.

 

We want to be recognized for being sharp dressers, having expensive items, driving expensive cars, being light skinned, frequenting places where white people traditionally go, like the wine country, and having white friends.   We want white people to recognize us as a credit to our race. We want that pat on the back from the slave master’s descendants. Yes. Most importantly we want to be in “Nigger Heaven.”  Only white people can get to just plain old’ heaven.   In the minds of some, Nigger Heaven is that place Black people can travel who are almost as “good” as white people.

 

Unfortunately, some of us believe those things.   Even some white people believe that nonsense.   Some white people will befriend you so long as you do not compete with them for a spot in white man’s heaven or for a spot here in heaven on earth.

 

That book, Nigger Heaven, written by a White man validates Blacks as being human because a white man wrote it about Black people, not about subhumans. Not only does it describe Black culture, the author draws distinctions amongst Black people to set some apart from the low life Black people.

 

Every person and every thing that was important was white. Jesus was white. Even God was white, and was depicted with blue eyes and blond hair.

 

As a consequence, Black folks went over the top to prove not only were they human, but non-threatening.   It was taboo for Blacks to read, to be smart, or to be educated because there were so many whites that were not.   It was taboo for Blacks to be rich because there were so many whites that were not. It was even taboo for a Black man to be a sex symbol for women or to be masculine because there were so many white men who were not.   Black men had to avoid being any thing and everything that represented strength.

 

I hope homosexuals do not read too much into this, but that is why black gay men are overrepresented in television and or on speaking panels.   At least one of every two Black male figures the media props up is gay. They are non-threatening.   They certainly are not going to want to have sex with your wife.

 

The white men will hire a Black woman before a Black man when the job is sex neutral.   White men will also hire a gay Black man over a heterosexual Black man.

 

So these white protestants had to live in a fantasy, a fantasy that tells them that no matter how bad life is, they are still white and they will still be loved and still get the job or be hired over a Black person. That is why oftentimes Black people train newly hired white people who ultimately end up being their bosses.

 

Unfortunately, for many Black people they have to live in a fantasy too. In our fantasy, we are accepted by whites as friends, maybe even faithful sidekicks.

When white people elected Barack Obama, many Blacks saw this as a sign that we may finally be accepted as equal to whites.  No matter how many accomplishments we achieve we may achieve only equality with whites.  Even with a President who is half Black, we may never be greater than whites and we may never excel to a place higher than Nigger Heaven, as described in the novel.