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THE SECOND RECONSTRUCTION
The second response was relocation or Pan-Africanism. The desire to return back to Africa burned in the hearts of Joseph Cinque, Paul Cuffe, Martin Delaney, Marcus Garvey, and the Republic of New Africa. The third response was emancipation and the removal of the physical chains. This was achieved because southern families grew weary of their safety with the likes of Nat Turner, Denmark Vasey, and the other 263 insurrections. The North also wanted Africans to work in their factories versus the southern plantations.
The following response to freedom was civil rights. The opportunity to vote and to enjoy all public accommodations entitled to U.S. citizens. The problem with the political arena is that the same group that gave civil rights has the same ability to renege. Over a hundred years ago in the 1880s after electing Representatives and Senators in record numbers, southern and northern Whites worked out a deal called reconstruction and many of these political rights were rescinded. As a result, African Americans never received their 40 acres, a mule, and $50.
A century later the government passed the Civil Rights Act, affirmative action legislation, and a near representative number of Congresspersons were elected. The power structure wants to roll back this process. The second reconstruction has been well orchestrated with the American manufacturing base being ended by the global economy. This has led to downsizing which stimulates rehashing age-worn arguments of racial inferiority, e.g. The Bell Curve which fuels the recent debate on abolishing affirmative action. These oil can, smooth power brokers have the audacity to use Martin Luther King's speech, which sought being judged by the content of his character rather than the color of his skin.
I am not surprised by White males who only comprise 33 percent of the U.S. population, but constitute 80 percent of the U.S. Congress, 90 percent of the U.S. Senate, 100 percent of all U.S. Presidents, 80 percent of professors and doctors, and 92 percent of Forbes magazine's richest 400 individuals being concerned with downsizing. We have cities with a greater than 50 percent African American population, who can't secure legislation assuring them 20 percent of governmental contracts. After the Croson vs. Richmond decision, African Americans comprised 70 percent of the population and were receiving 38 percent of the contracts. Today though, they receive less than one percent of governmental contracts.
The above does not surprise me because it is not about affirmative action, it has always been about power, greed, and the maintenance of White male supremacy. In my hometown of Chicago before Harold Washington was elected Chicago's first Black Mayor, the city had a $3 billion budget, 34 wards comprised of people of color and 16 White wards. For some strange reason, the 16 White wards received $2 billion of the $3 billion budget. In the spirit of Maat (balance) Harold Washington promised he would not shift the power from White to Black but that each ward would receive 1/50 of the $3 billion budget. The White community and its power brokers were furious and did everything they could to stymie Harold Washington's efforts. Naive African Americans couldn't understand why they were frustrating Harold's efforts. Then like now, many of us don't understand power, greed and White supremacy. Many of us either have never read or forgotten Frederick Douglass' quote that "power concedes nothing without a struggle."
The White male supremacist's argument is that innocent victims shouldn't have to suffer for past wrong-doings of their ancestors. Question? Who should suffer? Who should provide the remedy? Has the perpetrator ever admitted that an injustice was committed?
The argument is can't we all just get along and operate like everyone is playing on a level playing field. I would be in favor of abolishing affirmative action under the following conditions:
1) Reparations are paid for African's free labor between 1619 and 1865.
2)That the state or federal government make up the difference in local school per pupil expenditures. Currently, in the same state some children receive $15,000, while others receive less than $5,000.
3) That teachers be fired when they lower expectations based on race, income, or gender.
4) That a full investigation be conducted to explain how White males with high school diplomas earn more than everyone else with college degrees.
5) That all forms of racial discrimination be eliminated specifically in the banking, real estate and insurance industries.
6) That colleges no longer allow the alumni a certain percentage of admission for their children regardless of their academic background.
7) That we remove the mandatory sentence for the possession of crack cocaine and the pat on the wrist if it's "powdered" cocaine. What is the chemical difference? Could the reason be African Americans are more in possession of crack cocaine?
8) That we place a moratorium on African American males being placed in special education since they presently are nine percent of the students, but are 32 percent of the special education students, and only six percent G.P.
9) That we abolish tracking in schools where children are unfairly divided into groups e.g. advanced placement, honors, regular, and basics.
10) That a full investigation be made to determine how one percent of the U.S. population can own 48 percent of the wealth.
In closing, this one percent that makes up the Trilateral Commission 300, Forbes 400, and the Fortune 500, continues to use the "race card" as a wedge to keep the 23 million poor Whites separate from the 12 million poor African Americans and Latinos. Poor Whites didn't lose their jobs because of affirmative action, they lost their jobs because the one percent transferred their factories to Mexico and paid workers $2.38 and some moved to Asia and paid them 75 cents an hour. Financially, White women who were also viewed as a minority by White men will also suffer with the demise of affirmative action.
I'm glad that I understand power, greed, and White supremacy because none of this surprises me. African Americans must now move to the economic frontier. We must finally realize we made a mistake in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Whites did not want us back because they had a change of heart; they were going broke. We must reinvent the bus companies, stores, and other businesses and quit expecting people that are driven by power to ever treat us in the spirit of Maat.
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