Black Historians Ponder Whether Court Decision Will Finally Set “Black America” Hearts Afire
Darwin Campbell, African-American News and Issues
“We are…. gathered here today to celebrate this year of bi-centenniality, in the hope of freedom and dignitaay, we’re celebrating 200 years of….. white folks kicking ass. Now, white folks have had the essence of dis-understanding on their side for quite a whiiiile… How in so evah, we offer this prayer. And the prayer is….. How long will this bullshit go on? How Long?? How Long?? How long will this bullshit go on?…” – Richard Pryor Bicentennial Prayer – 1976
HOUSTON-Like our ancestors before us, who sang while picking cotton on the hot sunny days on the plantation, we stand today singing,“We Shall Overcome”, but why?
As we sing, our current American “slave masters” continue to roll back historic court rulings and make laws that push us further and further away from the goals of a racism free, Democratic society and fairness, equality and equal opportunity.
The real question for Black Americans in Texas and across the United States is “How Long?” How Long will we allow this bulls*!t to go on?
The 6-2 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court is damning evidence that we have reached the brink of an era that could open the way for a new “Separate and Unequal” system of inequality in America.
“There is only one way to say it, this is a purely racist action by the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Howard Jefferson, President Emeritus, National Association for Advancement of Colored People, Houston Branch. “This dismantling of civil rights is disappointing and draws a line in the sand. We are ready to hit the streets because there is going to be a fight.”
Many civil rights leaders are calling the ruling that The Supreme Court upholds the state of Michigan’s ban of using race as a factor in affirmative action is a devastating blow to the civil rights community. It is a complete insult to Congressman and Civil Rights Pioneers John Lewis, Andrew Young, Julian Bond and other ancestors including murdered Civil Rights Leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Attorney and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, murdered Black Activist Malcolm X, Civil Rights Freedom Fighter Fannie Lou Hamer, murdered Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers and many others who took the beatings, sacrificed their lives and bear the scars that a racist America inflicted upon them.
“Fifty years later a look at the condition of black people our condition is bearer of witness against the illusion of inclusion that integration was the answer to separate and unequal 50 years ago,” said Respected Houston Activist Quannel X. “The civil rights movement was born in the church. However, clearly, the masses of black people are worse off today than years ago.”
As we sing “Kumbaya”, and “Rock-a-Bye Baby”, the curtain is being rolled back like prices at Wal-Mart. Rolled back to a time when Jim Crow racism and Separate but Equal were the order of the day.
Jefferson said it is sad that in his lifetime, he has witnessed the hard work of civil rights leaders and now is facing the real possibility of seeing it unravel completely.
“America likes talking and telling other countries about democracy and human rights and look what we have here,” he said. “A Supreme Court that makes rulings like that. America is marching backwards and Blacks and minorities should be angry about it.”
The motives of some whites who support the Supreme Court’s lopsided views appear to be to turn back the clock to the Old aristocratic plantation South mindset. That becomes more evident in the attacks on voting rights and now the latest Supreme Court ruling that castrates Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity.
The decision overturned a lower court and ruled that Michigan’s Proposal 2 is constitutional. Proposal 2 is a 2006 ballot initiative that led to a state constitutional ban on race-conscious college admissions policies in Michigan. It specifically barred students from lobbying universities to consider race as one of many factors in admissions.
In 2006, the ACLU, ACLU of Michigan, NAACP, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the law firm of Cravath, Swaine and Moore, LLP, filed a lawsuit on behalf of students, faculty and prospective applicants to the University of Michigan challenging Proposal 2.
In 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found Proposal 2 unconstitutional for placing an unfair burden on those seeking to have race considered as one of many factors in university admissions.
“This was a travesty and is a move to kill affirmative action for good and a clear indication that the battle for equality and freedom fight is moving from the federal level and being put back into the hands of the state,” said Frank D. Jackson, Prairie View A&M University Black Historian and Government Relations Officer at the school. “If power is put back in the hand of the states, we better get on the ground, be on guard and start pushing back to maintain what we have.”
According to Jackson, after enduring 400-plus hard years of free labor slavery, education denials, voter intimidation , injustices and power losses after Reconstruction America, some whites think today that affirmative action is no longer viable or needed.
Jackson disagrees. “In conjunction with slavery, there has been 149 years of legal discrimination and since 1964, only 50 years of Voting and Civil Rights legislation,” he said. You cannot fix 400 years of forced dysfunctional conditions in 50 or 100 years. Black people cannot just wake up one morning and be totally cured of 400 years of family fragmentation, rape, sex abuse, lynching and other social, emotional and physical abuses. The math just does not add up.”
Black America is suffering battle fatigue, Post Traumatic Stress, neurosis, self hate and is genocidal as a direct result of what WHITE AMERICA did to us.
“Affirmative Action and equal opportunity must be here until the healing of Black America is completely finished,” Jackson said. “Affirmative Action is needed because it is the only way for us to balance the scales and receive fair and equal treatment.”
He also said shame on Justice Clarence Thomas, who is Black, and others like him who fail to understand history as Justice Sonia Sotomayer, who wrote a stinging dissenting opinion that reflects the court’s poor views on the challenges of Blacks and people of color.
“Justice Thomas did not just appear on that court. Affirmative Action put him there,” Jackson said. “Thurgood Marshall and others fought hard for those rights and laws that opened the doors of opportunity for many.”
Jackson said the remnant of the Old southern aristocracy from days gone by are dancing in the streets over the ruling and white supremacists feel justified in attacking minority groups again.
“This is not a pretty picture and our work is cut out for us because we have little to no help now,” he said. “It is time for Black folks to wake up or die in the fire. The house is burning!”